So I've been reading these forums
for years, finally bought a boat at the ripe age of 28, took the plunge, and moved aboard. Yesterday was 2 months since I got here so I figured I would write a post about some of the various things I've experienced thus far.
When I first arrived (around 10pm after flying since 7:45am) I was greeted by the broker/owner who was selling me the boat. It was all smiles and I was given a quick tour of the marina but at that point I was pretty exhausted so I promptly fell asleep. I woke up the next morning and (like a total idiot) went straight in and signed the papers not bothering to search around for the dinghy
, whisker pole, chartplotter
, etc. I didn't bother to take the sail cover
off to check if the main was fully battened, didn't inspect the depth
meters, and didn't inquire about the rolling furling
that wasn't installed.
It turns out that none of that stuff happened to be onboard and a few days later I was informed that the owner had no idea where it was and that the boat was sold AS-IS. I'm not posting
that to look for sympathy but rather to let prospective buyers know that you should ALWAYS check the vessel out before you sign the paperwork. Moving on, I ended up deciding to take that as a life lesson, put the money
into the boat, and am happy knowing that I am buying
brand new equipment
and doing the work myself.
As the first few weeks went by I started to make some friends and also met some of the local 'dock bullies'. Basically, a repeat of being a freshman in high school
. The best way I've learned to deal with people like that is by treating them like complete idiots. 'You're actually calling me a yankee? Wow, no wonder you live alone on a boat..'
I won't focus on the negative people much more than that; I've made a lot of good friends and gotten a lot of help with the boat, local knowledge, and some much appreciated food
and drinks. I've gotten invited to go on quite a few daysails on various sailboats and if not for that I may have gone insane. You have no idea how boring it gets just sitting at a dock
for weeks straight while you're trying to get your boat going.
Speaking of getting it going, another major lesson I learned is that everything about a boat equals money
. Everything seems to be triple what I would have thought it would cost. Most people will be looking for work on land, but in my case I work off of a laptop
. There's nothing like holding your coffee with one hand and the computer with another when a squall hits out of nowhere and heels the boat over... In all seriousness, I really enjoy working from the boat as it allows me to still make money while being able to travel.
Hopefully this post will answer some of the questions people have or at least give you some advice on what life aboard is like. I know I have a long way to go but every day seems to teach me something new and in the end, to me, this is what it's all about.