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Old 12-01-2015, 11:51   #1
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Leaving Land

I have dreamed of having my own self sustaining boat since I was a little girl, and have recently decided that I am going to peruse my childhood dream and live on a boat. I have spent my whole life on land, I grew up in the Rocky Mountains and currently live in the middle of Canada but I have always loved the sea and feel it call to me. I am planning on squirreling away as much cash as I can in the next 2 years to make my purchase. I told my aunt about this and now she wants to come along (I'm 28 and she is 33). I need advice about how much my initial purchase of my new home will be, I need something big enough for the 2 of us, and it has to be able to (at least) cross the islands in BC's coast. I will also need advice about what I should start preparing now, how to find a boat and what to look for as I make minimum wage and have a cheap apartment in Ottawa (about $1000 a month plus bills) doesn't leave me with much money to put away.
Yes I am serious, I am stubborn and I will be seeing this through, and I know I am going to be getting something that needs a lot of work, and am prepared to put whatever work it needs to reach my goal.
Along with advice, I am looking to build a social network of people in the area, so I'm not entirely lost when I get out there.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:04   #2
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Re: Leaving Land

As a fellow Canadian who has lived in the Rockies, and was born and bred in Ottawa, I want to welcome you to the CF fold.

It's clear from your questions that you are right at the start of this journey. Your questions are too general to be answered in any meaningful way, so I'd strongly suggest you start with some basic reading. There are tons of books, blogs and websites out there. Heck, just reading through the threads on CF is a good start.

Once the ice leaves you should look into the yacht clubs on the Ottawa River. Britannia comes to mind. Try to get connected with the club racing. Able-bodied crew is always in demand. This is a great way to learn how to sail, and to be exposed to different types of boats.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:06   #3
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Re: Leaving Land

Do you have any sailing experience? That is an important place to start.

"big enough for the two of us" depends entirely on the two of you. If you are paying $1k for an apartment in Ottawa, it doesn't seem like you are living a very minimalist life style at the moment. Are the two of you willing to share a berth? Do you prefer a wall between you? Can you go without a hairdryer?

As you hear people talking about different boats, look up the layouts online. Can you imagine living in that space or is there something different you need?

Some people spend years looking for that perfect boat. We looked at the boats that were available in our price range and made offers on the ones we thought we could live with, so we had our boat in a few months.

The less you pay for your boat, the more work you will likely have to do. How handy are you? Have you ever done any electrical work? Carpentry? Plumbing?
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:09   #4
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Re: Leaving Land

You will have no trouble making social connections wherever you go, as the boating community is full of great, welcoming people who are bent on helping and looking after each other.

I also grew up in the Rockies before moving onto a boat a couple years ago (Im 31). I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said "Mountain people are wise, ocean people are happy." True enough for me at least.

Look around at yatchworld.com and sailboatlistings.com and you'll get an idea of prices and maybe also start to get an idea of what could work for you. As Mike said tho, really hard to know tho until you're actually on the water. There's a huge range of preferences out there, but being young and willing to cope with some discomfort certainly would make it cheaper.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:25   #5
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Re: Leaving Land

Posting here might put you in touch touch with single women willing to share their boat and adventures.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:29   #6
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Re: Leaving Land

I currently live in a small apartment, and don't use much electricity other than the basics; lights, stove, fridge. The only thing I use that I would have problems giving up would be my computer, but to get out on the water, it would be worth it. The building I live in is old so water and heat is from the boiler room in the basement. And to the gentleman who asked about previous employment, since I graduated high school I have been working in the trades. Mostly sheet metal, but I have carpentry and plumbing experience. I guess the reason that my question is so broad is that I have no idea where to start. And other than the birch bark canoe that I built with my youth group as a child, I have never been on a boat.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:36   #7
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Re: Leaving Land

And yes I am pretty much just looking for something that we can live with. I spent last summer in a 6 by 10 foot bunk with my brother as we worked on a carnival.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:37   #8
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Re: Leaving Land

My two c of advice is to avoid anything that is a project and aim for something that is a tool. Do not get trapped into anything, just get a small strong boat and go sailing / cruising / exploring. Or else get a motor home.

Something that you may like to try out too: avoid cold. Nothing wrong with cold when one is skiing BUT it does make living aboard a small poorly insulated boat less than the come away with me type of song.

We are sailing (when we can) and living aboard (when we cannot sail) our small 26' boat. Two of us here. Having great time and not looking back.

Good luck!

Cheers,
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:58   #9
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Re: Leaving Land

We did some growing at the dock last year as a test.

The crew of s/v Red Thread did some other stuff.
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Old 12-01-2015, 13:03   #10
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Re: Leaving Land

Is 26 feet big enough to handle some rougher water? And thanks for the links to the planter, I was thinking that I had to choose between a garden on top or solar panels (which I probably wont get till second or third year on the water as they are costly)
I have also left a message with the Brittania yacht club, thanks I thought yacht clubs were only for rich people with nice yacht's. I realy could use any experiance I can get before I make my way out west.
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Old 12-01-2015, 13:09   #11
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Re: Leaving Land

I too lived in the Canadian Rockies for several years in Fernie chasing powder snow but spent most of my sixteen years there in the Coast Range B.C.

Mike O'Rielly said it best....

"Once the ice leaves you should look into the yacht clubs on the Ottawa River. Britannia comes to mind. Try to get connected with the club racing. Able-bodied crew is always in demand. This is a great way to learn how to sail, and to be exposed to different types of boats."

Nothing will teach you more initially about boats and sailing than crewing on local race boats. Make sure you are very reliable and keen, you will meet like minded people, find out if you really are suited to sailing and best of all it will cost you nothing.

After you have spent the summer crewing on race boats then organise a crew spot in the winter sailing on someone else boat in the Caribbean which should cost you little more than airfares and chipping in for your share of food and booze.

Don't get overly focused on getting your own boat at least for now. Also it is great if your aunt wants to come too but be prepared to go it alone also.
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Old 12-01-2015, 15:17   #12
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Re: Leaving Land

The right 26' boat can take you anywhere you want to go...

Atom Voyages - Good Old Boats List
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Old 12-01-2015, 15:38   #13
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Re: Leaving Land

Welcome. I dreamed that dream from Saskatchewan and we made it happen 4 years ago now. In our case it was a rental house that we let the tenants pay for over the years. We always referred to it as "the boat". Eventually it became obvious that it was the right time to sell that boat and turn it into a real boat. (Some really good tenants gave notice and the market spiked at the same time.)

Make a plan. Get some experience in smaller boats on the river or on the Great Lakes. Dream big.
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Old 12-01-2015, 16:11   #14
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Re: Leaving Land

Accursed,

If you follow MikeO'Reilly's suggestion and start getting out on the water when it re-attains its liquid state, you'll start learning a lot by sailing on other people's boats. You'll also start picking up on people's opinions about boats to meld in with your own ideas about destinations and the simple truth is that you will need a boat in which you feel comfortable in the conditions that pertain in your area.

Read a lot, and get a roommate to help with the rent. If the roomie pays 1/2, then you can save that. Get debt free, and stay that way.

And welcome aboard, too.

Ann
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Old 12-01-2015, 17:09   #15
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Re: Leaving Land

One tip about money and savings, I've spent the last year minding a friend's house and her cat, while she is in India doing the eat-pray-love malarkey.
No rent, just the bills, and I've been positively shoveling money away.
There are plenty of house-sitting websites around, bound to be one for your area. You could start the 'nomadic' and 'minimal possessions' part of your dream doing house sitting, saving up money.
I'm re-starting the life aquatic in only ten days (woo hoo!).
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