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Old 01-03-2012, 22:57   #1
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Just Starting To Think About Liveaboard

Hey everyone,
I realize there are a bunch of threads just like this asking for info on possible costs but most responses are asking for more specifics to get exact figures. I do not need exact figures just an idea how much basic monthly maintenance would be. For instance...how much does it cost to paint the boat and how often should it be done. How often does the boat need to be cleaned? I realize the unforeseen costs that can come up to maintain the motor and can calculate the fuel costs when I take it out as well as the cost of docking fees.
I'm just starting to consider living aboard and obviously have no idea where to start but if I can live aboard for less than $1200 a month I can save money. Assuming my docking fees are $300 a month and my loan is $450 a month for the boat if the monthly basic (keep it floating) maintenance is under $450 a month this is something I desperately want to pursue. I just want to know if $450 a month in basic maintenance is a reasonable figure or if i'm insane and should just be happy living on land. Thanks in advance for your responses

from: a rookie
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Old 01-03-2012, 23:11   #2
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Re: just starting to think about liveaboard

Maintenance costs vary greatly from location to location. They can also vary greatly with different boat types, not to mention the expensive/cheap tastes of the owner. If you really want accurate information wear out some shoe leather and ask around in your area.
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Old 01-03-2012, 23:20   #3
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It's a little hard to say without knowing where you are talking about. Electricity is a monthly expense at a dock, unless you unplug and have a generator, inverter, solar or wind to charge the batteries. Also, warmer water usually leads to more bottom growth. What size boat are you thinking of, and what material? A bit more info would help us help you. Additionally, and I hesitate to ask...but do you wan a boat in live-aboard condition, or proper cruising condition?
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Old 01-03-2012, 23:37   #4
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Re: just starting to think about liveaboard

Way to many unknowns ! size of boat, where ya live? fresh water? or salt. ya see what I mean?? give a little more info and maybe some of us can help ! a 40 ft boat Could cost 20000 bucks or more just for hull and house paint and need to be done as offen as it needs it ! really good marine paint will last 10 or more years if maintained !! give us something to work with LOL just sayin Bob and Connie
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Old 01-03-2012, 23:53   #5
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Re: just starting to think about liveaboard

jcgivsb,

We have been circumnavigating the world for 6 years. I have yet to meet 1 person who itemizes everything...I mean every last cent. I believe most of the advice you will get here will be "SWAGs."

My wife keeps the books on BeBe and she itemizes even the pennies...absolutely everything...money spent while visiting back home, Christmas gifts, bottle of water...everything!

For a 5-year summary spreadsheet of our experience, follow this link: S/V BeBe: Costs

This will give you exact information. Surely there will be some arm chair expert on this forum that will argue that we could do it for less, but facts are facts.

Bill
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Old 02-03-2012, 00:07   #6
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Re: just starting to think about liveaboard

A big thank you to Bill and Judy as an excel spreadsheet lover that post is awesome haha!

As far as minimizing variables there is only so much I can do as I do not own a boat i'm just starting to look and I don't have a slip reserved. I live in California by the Richmond Marina but there are a few options as far as docks so I can figure that cost on my own. I spoke with a friend who lives aboard a sailboat in the marina next to my place and he pays $300 for a 40 foot sailboat. I would love to have a 40 to 50 foot motor yacht since i am not a proficient sailor but if it is substantially cheaper to maintain a sailboat over a motor yacht it may be worth me learning and taking classes for sailing certifications.

Honestly I am an absolute novice in all things boat/yacht so i'm just starting to try and learn if my dreams are crazy or maybe a possibility! Any and all advice is appreciated!

Either way thank you for taking the time to respond
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:56   #7
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Re: just starting to think about liveaboard

i took the liberty of rearanging your posts and adding some obs in

I am an absolute novice in all things boat/yacht so i'm just starting to try and learn if my dreams are crazy or maybe a possibility! I'm just starting to consider living aboard and obviously have no idea where to start.

I live in California by the Richmond Marina but there are a few options as far as docks so I can figure that cost on my own. I would love to have a 40 to 50 foot motor yacht since i am not a proficient sailor but if it is substantially cheaper to maintain a sailboat over a motor yacht it may be worth me learning and taking classes for sailing certifications.

Starting point is to decide what you want to do with the boat (ie live aboard, local cruising, distant cruising, sailing or just to impress some one)

I spoke with a friend who lives aboard a sailboat in the marina next to my place and he pays $300 for a 40 foot sailboat. I have a copy of Bill and Judy an excel spreadsheet

My budget is $1200 a month hopefully less so that I can save money. Assuming my docking fees are $300 a month and my loan is $450 a month for the boat if the monthly basic (keep it floating) maintencnce is under $450 a month this is something I desperately want to pursue.

That depends on what you want to do with the boat (and therefore what boat you select)

Hull material
Wood - foget it if you want to minimise maintanance - total unfogiving in this respect.
Steel - foget it you have to keep on top of maintanance - resut and electrolisis will kill it
Fiber Glass - not a bad choice esp for a variety of uses
Ferro Cement - the best choice of all if it is only to be used as a liveaboard (many will disagree)

Boat type - focus on live aboard aspects
Boat need to provided as much living space as possible - so foget double enders, narrow raceing types , plenty of beam (think how many square meters in a given dock length.

Engines -
If you want a boat for distant cruises you want a desiel inboard (no question) but you will pay a preium in the purchae price. How to kill a desiel, dirty/stale fuel, lack of changes to oil and filters, running without a decient period at working temp.

If you want only to head out into the bay, estuary or similar buy a boat with an atomic gas motor. You will have a lot of choice and purchase at a discount, also better for occasional/ short runs.

Extras, electronics etc
Depth sounder and GPS for local cruising, if you plans are longer cruises in the future buy just before you leave.

As far as minimizing variables there is only so much I can do as I do not own a boat i'm just starting to look and I don't have a slip reserved.

I do not need exact figures just an idea how much basic monthly maintenance would be. For instance...how much does it cost to paint the boat and how often should it be done. How often does the boat need to be cleaned? I realize the unforeseen costs that can come up to maintain the motor and can calculate the fuel costs when I take it out as well as the cost of docking fees.

I hope DON does not see this BUT
Have a look at a hunter and take it from there, not bad boats for live aboard and a bit of coastal cruising which i think may be what you have in mind. ANother thing that would be worth looking at would be Mike Reed boat that he has up for sail, IMHO not a bad boat and a motivated seller.


Either way thank you for taking the time to respond
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:50   #8
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Re: Just Starting To Think About Liveaboard

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Originally Posted by jcgivsb View Post
Hey everyone,
I'm just starting to consider living aboard and obviously have no idea where to start but if I can live aboard for less than $1200 a month I can save money.
You can, but you need to change your thinking on it(IMHO). First off lose the $450 / month boat payment. You do that by instead lowering your expectation of living on a 45ft motor yacht and instead start looking at 30-35ft ones

That'll lower all of your costs, slip, upkeep, fuel, insurance, repairs and so on and let you focus on saving for a larger boat later on if you decide the life suits you. Also, by then you'll also have the experience to know more of what you really want.

Don't rule out sailing boats just because you can't sail. It only takes a few hours to learn. The real "trick" with sailing/cruising is learning all the boat maintenance stuff, which you'll have on a powerboat too. I'm not knocking power boats, they have more space and comforts in them, but choose one just because you don't have sailing experience.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:32   #9
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Re: Just Starting To Think About Liveaboard

If I average my boat payments, mooring (I never dock except to get fuel), upgrades, operational costs, maintenance (that I do all myself); the 2011 costs average out to $1816/mo. And that is for a boat in Northeast that only gets used 7 months a year. And this is a boat used mostly on the weekends!

I just can not understand how people can come up with all the low dollar amounts.

Maybe it depends on why/how someone is living on a boat and what they intend to do with the boat in the long run.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:36   #10
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Re: Just Starting To Think About Liveaboard

It could be done easily.

Can you do that now? - no.

Could you do that later? - yes

but between those two answers lies a learning curve, mostly paved with money.

BTW I am presuming the eating budget is seperate..........
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:38   #11
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Re: Just Starting To Think About Liveaboard

I'm not anal but try to keep track of what the boat costs me
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:54   #12
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Re: Just Starting To Think About Liveaboard

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I'm not anal but try to keep track of what the boat costs me
Just had a quick peek ....nicely divided up.

$12,700 - yikes!

But......

40% of that is upgrades (nothing wrong with that of course - but by definition not strictly neccessary).

40% is mooring fees (my mooring fees are going up 20% this year. to $150........pa ).

20% ($2 1/2k) is what the boat could have cost someone else pa. ....under $2k if willing to self insure.
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Old 02-03-2012, 13:03   #13
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Re: Just Starting To Think About Liveaboard

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Just had a quick peek ....nicely divided up.

$12,700 - yikes!

But......

40% of that is upgrades (nothing wrong with that of course - but by definition not strictly neccessary).

40% is mooring fees (my mooring fees are going up 20% this year. to $150........pa ).

20% ($2 1/2k) is what the boat could have cost someone else pa. ....under $2k if willing to self insure.
Yeah the updates could have been reduced. But the larger anchor would have been needed in the long run and the dighy davits I guess could have been done without. I figure the boat needs another $5000 in upgrades before going off cruising, but they wouldn't be needed for living on the boat or my current sailing use.

I looked hard this wnter for a cheaper mooring and figured I could save around $500/yr if I bought a mooring assuming I could find parking free. But i couldn't really find anything where the small amount of savings were worth it where I considered other factors that were related.
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Old 02-03-2012, 15:33   #14
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Re: Just Starting To Think About Liveaboard

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Yeah the updates could have been reduced. But the larger anchor would have been needed in the long run and the dighy davits I guess could have been done without. I figure the boat needs another $5000 in upgrades before going off cruising, but they wouldn't be needed for living on the boat or my current sailing use.

I looked hard this wnter for a cheaper mooring and figured I could save around $500/yr if I bought a mooring assuming I could find parking free. But i couldn't really find anything where the small amount of savings were worth it where I considered other factors that were related.
Always "just a few more" dollars .

I wasn't saying anything wrong with updates (mmmm......shiney things ) - but that's what really eats the budget for most of us .

FWIW my boat in the local Marina (assuming I could get a berth) would also be IRO $5k a year. and no liveaboards. Actually it is not legal (not quite the same as being illegal) to permanently live on a boat anywhere in Jersey - but nonetheless some folks do (in Marina and not), just a matter of keeping head down (no rusty bicycles in the rigging , nor pitball on a string ). And also maintaining a shore address also useful .

Personally I far prefer life in the mud / outside a Marina, but that's probably as much to do with how I grew up - pre-marinas over here......not to say that easy walk on and walk off and electrickery on demand does not have it's attractions. But like everything about boats - it's all about choices, upgrades included .
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Old 02-03-2012, 20:55   #15
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Can't thank everyone enough for the responses this is a great forum and you are helping me start to think about the proper things. Hopefully I can give some more detailed info here.
My hope is to end up in as big of a boat as I can afford to have plenty of indoor and outdoor deck space for relaxing. I don't plan on using the boat for any long trips mostly day trips in the sf bay but would like the ability in the future to take weekend trips to Monterey California (150 miles by car) or possibly down to Santa Barbara (300 miles by car). I would never use this boat to race it's strictly for sitting by the bay.
I'm really open to anything including a sailboat or motor yacht. But never considered the importance of the hull material pertaining to maintenance costs so any advice on that helps.
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