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Old 01-06-2016, 23:02   #1
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Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

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, bimini, etc. I didn't bother to take the sail cover off to check if the main was fully battened, didn't inspect the depth and knot 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.
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Old 02-06-2016, 00:53   #2
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Re: Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

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Originally Posted by ThomasWeiss View Post
...but every day seems to teach me something new and in the end, to me, this is what it's all about.
Keep repeating this because....this is what it's all about.

The rest is noise.
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:54   #3
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Re: Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

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Originally Posted by ThomasWeiss View Post
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, bimini, etc. I didn't bother to take the sail cover off to check if the main was fully battened, didn't inspect the depth and knot 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.
Like your post and "Welcome to The Hole in the Water Club"!!
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:26   #4
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Re: Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

No mention as to your location, but I assume since someone called you a "Yankee" that you must be somewhere between SC, Ga, or Alabama. Lol. YOu just gotta shake your head and laugh at people like that..

Disclaimer: I am from SC, so I am allowed to talk about 'my people'. Lol.
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Old 02-06-2016, 08:48   #5
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Re: Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

Nothing wrong with being called a Yankee,it's the 'damned yankee' you have to worry about

Learning to spit after saying Tecumseh Sherman name will go along way

eg; Sherman <patoeey>
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:21   #6
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Re: Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

A good cautionary tale. When I buy a boat I ask for an inventory and include it in the Offer to Purchase. I wouldn't sign anything unless I checked the inventory. Sounds like the broker/owner was a scallywag.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:23   #7
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Re: Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

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Originally Posted by sreesekelley View Post
Nothing wrong with being called a Yankee,it's the 'damned yankee' you have to worry about

Learning to spit after saying Tecumseh Sherman name will go along way

eg; Sherman <patoeey>

Yankee = someone that comes from north of Mason-Dixon Line.
D@mn Yankee = someone from north of M-D Line that won't go back.

Hahahahahaha.....
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:33   #8
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Re: Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

I wish I had learned what you have at 28. You are a hero to me. I am 49 and finally the wife and I are able to buy boat leave world behind and work while living. You should be proud of how far ahead of the curve you are from a lot of us. Good life lessons do hurt a bit and it sounds like you learned it good and deep so you will be able to avoid it again whether on a boat or land.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:39   #9
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Re: Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

I like the idea of Live aboard and leave the rest of the world behind, my wife on the other hand says noway. Stalemate. but what jobs carreers can you develope and sustain on a boat? I am a gradaute from engineering and business and would like to find a way to make some money while on the boat.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:39   #10
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Re: Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

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Originally Posted by scgilligan View Post
No mention as to your location, but I assume since someone called you a "Yankee" that you must be somewhere between SC, Ga, or Alabama. Lol. YOu just gotta shake your head and laugh at people like that..

Disclaimer: I am from SC, so I am allowed to talk about 'my people'. Lol.

South Cackylacky, you need to get out more !! lol

lots of people from many states use the term yankee. New England much?
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:01   #11
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Re: Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

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lots of people from many states use the term yankee. New England much?
I know many people use the term "yankee", but there are certain areas that seem to have more of a disdain for "yankees"..I wouldn't expect that from Florida since all Floridians are transplants from NE, or Cuba.
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Old 02-06-2016, 11:19   #12
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Re: Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

When you said they called you a Yankee, I initially thought you may be in Australia, but when they mentioned SC,NC, etc, it reminded me of years ago when my job sent me to the carolinas for a few weeks. When the locals found out I was from Pennsylvania they said"another Yankee grrrr" to which I replied " Yes, I'm from close to Gettysburg. You fellows know where that is, don't you?"
Thanks for your post, I haven't taken the big plunge yet. (Just a Hobie16)
Just lurking here trying to learn from others first! Thanks, Neal
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Old 02-06-2016, 12:01   #13
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Re: Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

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Originally Posted by ThomasWeiss View Post
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.
Interesting post, please tell us more about lessons your learned (and still learning I suppose), especially about being a digital nomad, working from the boat. About what you do, Internet connectivity, etc. Thanks!
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Old 02-06-2016, 14:51   #14
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Re: Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

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[1] When you said they called you a Yankee, I initially thought you may be in Australia

[2] my job sent me to the carolinas for a few weeks. When the locals found out I was from Pennsylvania they said"another Yankee grrrr" to which I replied " Yes, I'm from close to Gettysburg. You fellows know where that is, don't you?"

[3] Thanks for your post, I haven't taken the big plunge yet. (Just a Hobie16)
1. In Oz you are more likely to be a Yank than a Yankee.

2. Sounds like the people were very nice, otherwise you might no longer with us. And what is wrong with being a Yank or Yankee, even if the speaker is using it as a pejorative, no need to take it that way. Be proud.

3. Both the OP's and yours are welcomed. Don't say, "Just a Hobie16." Once again, be proud.

Most importantly, nice having you aboard.
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Old 02-06-2016, 15:27   #15
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Re: Lessons from my first 2 months as a liveaboard..

I used to get a lot of luls when I lived in Texas for a while because people kept calling me a Yankee when I am from Montana and id break out a history lesson for them.

Some people just don't know how to get along with others.

Sounds to me like you have the right attitude, hope you can get all your missing gear scrounged up so you can get to enjoy your boat.

I just bought one last week, luckily there were none of those kind of shenanigans!
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