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Old 09-07-2012, 09:50   #1
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Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

I have never lived on a boat, though I have spent weekends and up to a week cruising. I visited Rockport, TX yesterday to do a little boat browsing and it was disappointing to say the least. A good number of livaboards, but most did not seem to be living--just surviving. Most of the vessels were let's just say, less than ship shape. I hope this is not the norm as I plan in the very near future to go cruising full-time. Now I am not a snob by any means as a bed and roof will do me fine; however, it seemed that the life these folks were living would be less than satisfying, at least to me, but who am I to judge?
Questions:
Is it easier/harder or no difference keeping a boat shipshape cruising or locked to the dock?
Seems all the cruising boats I ran across were in very decent shape. I thought it may be only $$$$, but I kept all my boats in great shape with very little funds, but a lot of elbow grease.
So it leads me to believe the "thrill is gone", is this common?
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:08   #2
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Re: Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

Your boat, like your house is what you make of it.

Cleanliness is up to each individual's standards, some people have different standards than yourself. Some people don't have the money for new paint etc. Others are just lazy and don't keep their boat clean.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:44   #3
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Re: Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

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Originally Posted by Khagan1227 View Post
Your boat, like your house is what you make of it.

Cleanliness is up to each individual's standards, some people have different standards than yourself. Some people don't have the money for new paint etc. Others are just lazy and don't keep their boat clean.
+1 to That

I keep my interior clean and organized. The old adage of "A place for everything and everything in its place," is how I keep things. The exterior is a slightly difference story. I Lysol, and polish the inside every day, and wash down the exterior once a week, but her paint is fading. I would just rather be sailing on a warm sunny day than painting and waiting around.

I consider being on a boat as living, and my work week as surviving

Welcome to CF and Happy Sailing
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:51   #4
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Re: Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

I would say Rockport Texas is not the best place to look. Try Kemah / Clear lake area for a better location in Texas. There are a few nice boats that you could live aboard in Lake Travis near Austin.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:51   #5
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Re: Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

Living aboard is what you make it to be.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:33   #6
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Re: Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

Many of the disappointing vessels are occupied by people who are living aboard for the purpose of low income housing. Most of the well found vessels are occupied by those with a passion for boating and cruising.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:40   #7
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Re: Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khagan1227 View Post
Your boat, like your house is what you make of it.

Cleanliness is up to each individual's standards, some people have different standards than yourself. Some people don't have the money for new paint etc. Others are just lazy and don't keep their boat clean.
Couldn't agree more! My wife and I have been looking over several boats on yachtworld.com and a couple of others and it is amazing to us the condition of cleanliness (or lack thereof) we have seen in some boats up for sale. I once heard Donald Trump mention that just cleaning your car up before a sale can yield more than not; "Spend $10 now and make a $1,000 later."

One would like to think that if you're living aboard your boat you'd want to keep things clean just for sanitary reasons! One would like to think...
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:44   #8
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Re: Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

My boat can look like a dream or a nightmare depending on what we're doing. Pulling the rig apart to make repairs takes months and leaves things looking like hell, but it's much better than just painting over rot which might "look" better but is a horrible thing to do.

Interestingly enough I finally got to a phase in my boating life (took five years of living aboard and coastal cruising) where I realized that anyone walking past my boat generally has no clue what they the hell they're talking about so regarding their opinion in the slightest is pointless.

If you want to admire the wafer thin hull of a Hunter and look disdainfully on Hans Christian with some peeling varnish, be my guest. You're probably not looking at marks of crevice corrosion on the chain plates so when we're both out there getting the crap kicked out of us, one will have a mast in the air when it's all said and done. I dropped $600 on new stem fittings while you spent it on matching canvas.

In the merchant fleet there's a saying that "working boats aren't pretty boats".
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:44   #9
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Re: Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

Even tho I believe in keeping things ship shape, but not Bristol Fashion. My outsides may be faded but CLEAN, and lets be truthful here, when we are dockside for a while Things get a little scatterd!! we all have to put things back in order to put to sea !! but with ours it takes about 2 days and that includes getting stores and makeing a food list so as to use the oldest things first and stuff like that ! and we have been doing it for a LONG time LOL
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:06   #10
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Re: Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

Just like neighborhoods on land, there are slums and there are high-rent districts. Find a marina where the slips go for $1,000 a month, and you won't find many derelicts.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:27   #11
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Re: Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

Quote:
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Many of the disappointing vessels are occupied by people who are living aboard for the purpose of low income housing. Most of the well found vessels are occupied by those with a passion for boating and cruising.

I have to differ with your statement, most of the disappointing vessels are by people who purchase them and never use them, and they just let them deteriorate. I’ve seen live boards who have a lot of clutter around their boats and let them go but then I’ve also seen people buy boats, bring them to a marina, and you never see them again. I’ve never figured that one out.
I saw a guy in Maryland bring in a beautifully restored old Chris Craft cruiser, dock it, and was never back again. The boat deteriorated until it just sank at the dock, then the harbor master finally took action. The person had to either pay a lot for the boat or to have it restored but then lost interest and didn’t do any upkeep. You also have the people who buy a boat, come to the marina for a weekend, never take it out but party all weekend. They are a majority of “boaters” I’ve seen at any marina. Nothing like turning a good boat into a “dock queen” to help it deteriorate rapidly. No maintenance is done, nothing other than showing up and using it as a weekend condo.
Yes, there are live boards that shouldn’t be allowed to do what they do, but then there are just as many of the others that don’t take care of their boats either. I’ve seen it in top end marinas in Annapolis and all over the Chesapeake Bay. I’m in California now and expect to see the same out here; it all depends on the marina and how well they police their tenants. Of course then you’ll get those that call them Nazis or something else so they have to walk a fine line. I’ve always thought a harbor master has a difficult job if it is done right.
I know what you mean about people moving aboard and never doing anything to maintain or use a boat. I’ve also known a lot of live boards that maintain their boats and use them. We lived aboard our boat for 8 years, took her out at least once a month, pulled her yearly, and had a diver clean the bottom every month. You can’t chastise all live boards because of what some do just as you can’t chastise all boaters because of the condo types.
Then there are the worst, the ones who take their boats out on holidays with the most boating traffic of anytime and get drunk. I won’t even touch on them or what I think of anyone that operates a boat while drinking, they probably won’t drive under the influence but think nothing of boating under it. That type of thinking has never made any sense to me.
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Old 16-07-2012, 05:38   #12
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Re: Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

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I have to differ with your statement, most of the disappointing vessels are by people who purchase them and never use them, and they just let them deteriorate...............
You are absolutely right; however, this does not differ from my statement. I was only responding to the topic of "live aboard vessels". Certainly those that leave their boats unused are not living aboard. Also, the use of boats for low income housing is more common in the south where the mild winters make this more feasible.
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Old 16-07-2012, 06:23   #13
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Re: Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

I keep my tools out in harbor so I keep them put away at sea.
There is always a project happening on my homemade woody, so it is usually dusty, primer n glue showing.
Never go to sea on a pretty boat.
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Old 16-07-2012, 06:58   #14
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Re: Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

Don't confuse "salty" with "dirty"... just sayin
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Old 16-07-2012, 07:45   #15
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Re: Live-aboard or Survive-aboard

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Originally Posted by zeta View Post
Is it easier/harder or no difference keeping a boat shipshape cruising or locked to the dock?
Seems all the cruising boats I ran across were in very decent shape. I thought it may be only $$$$, but I kept all my boats in great shape with very little funds, but a lot of elbow grease.
So it leads me to believe the "thrill is gone", is this common?
Applying my experience from motorhomes, as well as my reading and very small experience with liveaboard and cruising, I think it is easier to keep things in shape while "cruising".

The most basic reason is simply that, while cruising, you are not accumulating "crap".
Leaving a row of greasy broken parts on the dock (or on the deck) for days or weeks at a time is not an option when you are on the move. You have to keep everything onboard, and stowed. It simply is not possible to leave junk scattered about.
While cruising (I would think), you also have time to yourself. If you have a crewmate,you have time to look and to rest and to think, and to keep things neat and tidy. I might have this last point all wrong, but when I see people cruising everything is kept in it's place. When I see boats dock-locked, I see plastic tarps, old dinghy storage containers cluttering the deck, and bird-poop basically all over the place - on sails, on covers, on the deck, everywhere.

That is not to say that all marina liveaboards are like that - many marinas are full of neat, clean residents with neat, clean boats. This is just to respond to your question of whether it is easier to keep things tidy while on the move, or while living aboard at a dock.

Personally, marina living is not very "thrilling" to me, and if it were me my lifestyle would rapidly degrade. If you are looking at very low cost marina, you are likely looking at a combination of near-destitution, bad starts, and broken dreams. OTOH, there are likely in there a few very poor, but very happy people enjoying a sense of personal freedom that many wealthier, cleaner people don't have.
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