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Old 23-10-2015, 21:51   #1
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
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How To Get Started?

Hi there,

We're a young couple (25 and 28) looking to get started with sailing and hope to buy a sailboat to liveaboard in 1 to 3 years.

Our idea all started when I was pondering about what to do after graduation. I have a job in tech, working remotely. I can work from anywhere in the world, so I was wondering where I should go. Maybe live the nomad life and jump from hostels to hostels around the world? Then someone mentioned a sailboat. It's self-sufficient, can be like your floating house, can travel the globe, and the boat has a value; whereas I'd otherwise be throwing money at short term rents/hostels. We begun watching a bunch of Youtube channels of people living aboard and sailing the world, notably S/V Delos and La Vagabonde. They've struck us as very inspiring and we've been obsessed with the idea since this Summer. Especially S/V Delos, since the skipper (Brian) is also a software engineer working remotely from his boat; that's what I'd like to do.

We're trying to slowly validate our idea by getting more and more into the sailing world. To begin, we took a basic cruising class and got our licenses (PLOC in Canada) recently. But now I graduate in December and it's time to think about the next step to accomplish my idea.

I think first we need to figure out: do we even like sleeping/living on a boat, and what sort of boat would fit us. To validate my hypothesis, my current plan goes like:
  • Try to attend a boat show this winter. I guess visiting a boat show would be the best way to get familiar with many models. We're avid travellers and I thought about attending the Phuket 2016 boat show in January. We'll be in South East Asia anyways at that time.
  • Visit Florida or some similar place (South/close to US) in Feb/March and try to find a way to 'test drive' a bunch of boats: sleep on them and figure out if we even like the experience. If we hate it, then at least we'll know that life aboard isn't for me. Sail them and see what matters to us.
  • Eventually figure out a boat that's not too expensive to practice and make mistakes on for ~1y.
  • Then buy the actual sailboat we'd like to live on long term.

In particular, we'd like to look more at catamarans because of the speed/stability/space advantage, but we've never sailed on one and would like to validate the hypothesis.

My idea is that the whole thing will make sense if I end up paying less or about the same than I'd do in rent in cities like Toronto/NYC/San Francisco.
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Old 24-10-2015, 06:39   #2
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Re: How To Get Started?


I think your plan sounds about right. Go ahead and take small steps towards what you want to achieve. Now and then step back, validate, correct your vision for newly acquired data, then correct your plan and your actions to get one step closer to where you think you are going.

No big magic to living aboard. Just chose a boat that will fit what you want it to be. Often the best liveaboard boats are not great sailors and fantastic sailing craft suck as liveaboards. Get a clear vision of how you want to use the boat, then finding the boat will be easy.

Start in an easy area: good weather all year round does make things different. Look for necessary infrastructure if you want to e-commute.

As you have already noted, cats make fantastic liveaboard platforms. However they can be more expensive to buy and keep. Look at marina docking fees for cats vs. monos then decide if the added features of a cat are worth the extra bucks involved.

Try to avoid algorithms set in stone as they do not hold up well to the heuristic code of the universe.

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Old 24-10-2015, 06:48   #3
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Location: Living aboard & cruising since 1972
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
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Re: How To Get Started?

You've identified your goal, strategy and obstacles that you need to overcome. You seem refreshingly well suited for the test! One additional point that you may have already considered,- I believe you would more likely succeed if you chose to adapt to living aboard at one location first and not start living aboard and traveling on the boat at the same time.

Also, carefully evaluate the space that you physically require and possibly even set up a trial period within this mock space. Many moving aboard from houses over-estimate their space requirements. We moved aboard fresh out of college and this can be a great advantage as you likely have not accumulated a huge burden of useless possessions.
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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