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Old 18-02-2011, 11:09   #16
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found some places in west fla where one can stay free-- pm me for info--i liked it there and ye can leave your boat for a bit and enjoy living. and prices arent too bad there--i was able to support life for 2 under 600 dollars per month. without shipwreck. after, different story. (not my boat--we saved the boat i was on-- sailed her home, broken, but got it done.)
need to keep a repair fund in safe place. and the ability to repair stuff by self. or something with which to barter for the hands needed to do the tasks needed....food and beer usually work, and a bit of cash when available....legs of the sailadventure, many things/services can be used--depends on the situation and persons involved.
just make sure the 36 yr change-outs have been done before you set out on your cheap sailadventure...oops, could get interesting to try to repair old stuff when it has never before been changed out. listen to me--i have a formosa--i know.LOL..make it thru on ssdi--isnt much. makes it when there are no catastrophic needs....when those happen--can get intense.
getting to work is fun--i went thru big water, rain, fog in a dink on my way to work for a coupl-a years--was fun, cold and nasty and intense, but fun.... cant see he trough of the seas when trying to get across bay in foggy and windy situations, is a challenge to get to work dry and cloean-- have to learn to think outside the box, as it were, in order to do "normal" things. i "hate" this lifestyle so much i voluntarily have done this since 1990 on board my own and other peoples boats. so cal winters are a bit intense, but the rest of the time is "da kine" lifestyle. just dont tell everyone isnt as hard as it seems..LOL....will be way too many folks doing htis. i will never relocate to land--not as long as i still have my faculties.

most of the time i have resided aboard i worked as a nurse--RN-intnsive care and emergency room and managing of post anes care unit in lost angeles, many yrs commuted from sd to la for working. now THAT was fun...LOL.....
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Old 18-02-2011, 11:19   #17
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I, too, thought about living "on the hook" and prepared my finance thoughts around that. Then I started looking at the practicality of it.
1. It is lonely on the hook. This may not be a problem for you and I could live with it some time, but I need interaction to keep sharp.

2. Exercise on board gets boring, I like to walk. Rowing back and forth to shore to walk would just give me another excuse not to do it.

3. Leaving the boat for a night ashore with friends would be a big deal.

4. Bringing friends aboard for a nignt afloat would be a big deal.

5. Provisioning is a big deal.

6. Gas is a big deal.

7. Water is a big deal.

8. Electricity is a big deal.

I find this really amusing. Everything is a "big deal". I guess living on a boat is definately much harder than sitting on the couch watching TV.

The problem seems to be that everyone wants to live an exciting, adventurous life but it's just too darn hard! Not to mention frightening and uncertian.

They just don't seem to make movies or write books about people who live a safe and easy life. I wonder why that is? Maybe no one cares about the billions of people who just "take up space and use up resources" living their safe and easy day-to-day lives. Those who spend 60-70 years here and their life story could be written on a cocktail napkin.

So I agree, it is much easier to watch exciting lives on the big screen or the boob-box than to go through all the hastle and dificulty of having that kind of life for your own.

Could be that the point that is being missed by the fellow who's post I quoted is that the reason to own and live-aboad a boat is to actually sail and go places. The goal is not to have a cheap sub-standard lifestyle like living in a floating travel trailer and spoiling the veiw from shore.
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Old 18-02-2011, 11:24   #18
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having lived aboard a simple boat for a few years i can say you can live very cheap how cheap and what your willing to go without are the deciding factor.always anchoring out scraping by on bare minimum i would say 300 a month but somewhat short term.i lived aboard in cape may one winter for 5 months for that sum give or take i ate well and had a wonderful time but the boat stayed put and no money was put into her .i have lived summers at winter island salem ma on a mooring with parking and dingy rack and showers this costs about 150 a month average due at the beginning of the season.i have lived one winter at a slip in a marina with electric showers parking for about 300 a month.mooring and marina costs are above living costs also if you want to be able to get a pizza or a beer or something its nice not to be broke.my new budget im shooting for is about 1k a month 300 food and toiletries 300 boat maint and fees 300 discreationary fund fresh food entertainment 1oo month extra fund ...on your 26k budget ild say get a decent 28 footer for about 10 or 12k sink another 3 k into her note not a blue water vessel thats more like 20 to 30 k and budget 1k a month but if you can extend it then better this would give you at least a solid year without worry.good luck
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Old 18-02-2011, 11:28   #19
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The nay-sayers aside, I've been doing this for two years, and while they've been some of the hardest times of my life so far, they've also been incredibly rewarding. all of the downsides that Don1500 mentioned are true, but there's a tonne of downsides to be found in anything worth doing.

the only thing I can really tell you is that you shouldn't expect to save any money for at least the first year or so of this lifestyle. there's just too many incidentals and too steep a learning curve, and you'll be disappointed if you think you'll be saving a tonne of money right away.
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Old 18-02-2011, 11:35   #20
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Okay... the issue always seems to be, "do I have enough money?"
Nothing says you can't get little jobs along the way.

Back in the 70's a buddy of mine wanted to go cruising but he just couldn't get money enough ahead. Finally he just said F#@& it. He spent all but $100 on food and provisions. He had a great little boat, a VERTUE 25. He sailed out of the harbor and headed west. He sailed back into the same harbor 9 years latter with $100 after going around the world.

There are people who worry so much they never go. And then there are people who just go. The ones who just go no doubt worry just as much as those who don't go. The difference is that in the end those who go have accomplished their dreams.
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Old 18-02-2011, 11:40   #21
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Nope, you're screwed! Can't be done.

I still can't get over the fact that you can live on $100 worth of food per month!

You'll never know if you can do it or not unless you give it a shot, right?
Worst case scenario; you fall on your face & end up back where you are, with an empty bank account. So, then you'll have to work, save again, & relaunch a little bit wiser from the first attempt. Then, of course, there is the best case scenario or, more likely, somewhere in-between. When I was mid/late 20s, I took off to Asia for a year - which became a few years - and ended up coming back flat broke, with a wife! But travelling gives you lots of time to think about what really revs your engine & it gave me the drive to set myself up for early semi-retirement. Now, at the age of 47.999 years, I'm preparing to head back to Asia to enjoy the rest of my days securely - which only seemed important when I hit my mid-forties. Go, Get Lost, Scram! Send us a postcard:

"Weather's here, wish you were beautiful!"

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Old 18-02-2011, 11:59   #22
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I find this really amusing. Everything is a "big deal". I guess living on a boat is definately much harder than sitting on the couch watching TV."
Who is going to be "sitting on the couch watching TV"? In my opinion it will be the guy sitting at anchor because he can't do anything else without it being a big deal. And you don't want to deal with big deals every frickin' day.
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Old 18-02-2011, 12:07   #23
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hay--look at me-i am going-- date uncertain, but i am... and i havent much money and i have a hugeass boat with packing gland problem adn a couple of bad chainplates. yes i will fix it and leave before march ends. no, i havent a lot of money. but-- if you dont have greed, life is easier i find. was wooed for a few weeks by a bond salesman-international bonds. if i could wait and wait and wait, he said would be worth my efforts. LOL... like that kinda guy retires. they die at work or the day after they retire.
anything worthwhile is worth working for.
if it seems to be too goood to be true, it isnt.
never leave port on a friday.
smooth sailing and fair winds.
never leave port without port wine for the gods of the sea-- for storms when any port will work well .....
dont wait for being closer to death-- go now and appreciate every minuet of this lifestyle and life.
as i prep this boat i have to jug my water from over a football field away;. i get to row or paddle same football field to get to my pos rustbucket of a car for provisions and parts. i get to hold on for dear life in storms--yes we have a couple of good ones coming-- hunker down, usa--here comes more bs weather.... sorry!!
pioneers rode horses and carried water in open buckets, like i have it hard..LOL.....
getting back to the earth is a hard job-isnt a job for couch potatoes and the like. kinda like growing old---isnt for wimps. sailing is sailing--at least change cities once every so many months. geez..like its hard--i am 63 this year-- sailing keeps ye young. go for it. dont look back except to post pix and trip reports. rub it in for those at home at work and indoors all the time.
have fun. if is too much work-- go back to the sofa and watch us on tv,and read of us between harvests on fb. (i donot own a tv--is wway too much to do --i own a formosa, after all... )
fair winds and smooooth sailing...
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Old 18-02-2011, 12:18   #24
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You asked for realism.

What you're calling self-insured, most folks call "uninsured," which means you won't be welcome in marinas, even overnight. When you say you want "to work as little as possible" most folks will assume means "unemployed." What you're envisioning as a 28-32 foot "bluewater" liveaboard sailboat that can be purchased for 13k many folks will see as a "derelict." The fact that you're planning to take ASA courses, to many, puts you in the category of "non-sailor."

So the reality here is that, in many coastal communities where they've seen their fill of unemployed non-sailors living aboard derelicts, you will be considered a marginal person.

If it's a dose of realism you want, ask yourself about the plan you mention of collecting rainwater. The only way that's going to work is if you give up bathing, and even then you're going to need to fill frequently from municipal sources. You're not going to be able to do that in most marinas--they don't want your uninsured boat anywhere near their premises. So you're going to have to row your dink, filled with your water jugs, to land. Once you get there, you're going to experience a community that somewhat desperately wants you to move on. They don't want you tying up their dinghy docks, they don't want you pumping your head into their anchorage, and they're wary about you shoplifting in their stores. The message you will hear, over and over and over, is "Please go away."

There are many people able to live aboard simply and inexpensively. The ones who are successful at it tend to be highly skilled. Not only will they have considerable sailing and navigating abilities, they will be quite handy with every facet of repair and maintenance. There are people on this forum who are cruising the world on less than $500 per month, but they tend to have skills that you have not yet acquired. Wanting to take a diesel course in the future, or to purchase a sewing machine in the future, is a long way off from being able to rebuild a diesel or restitch a sail.

Realistically, that $13,000 you're planning to squirrel away as your self-insurance fund is probably not going to last two years. Then what? To make it at that point, you're going to need to be collecting more than rainwater.

A lot of what you say is very much not in line from what I have read, and gathered from other individuals who have sailed. With the market how it is at the moment, a well taken care of 28ft boat seems to be pretty reasonable to find for 10-15k. As well as your feeling on ASA classes. From what I gather they are well respected, and its only silly people who would look down on a another for taking classes on something they just learned to do growing up or by themselves. I live in Montana at the moment so heading to seattle to take classes is my best option.

Also from what I have read many people who design systems of collecting rainwater to flow directly into there tank have more than enough water as long as you keep it clean with a bit of bleach. People crossing the alantic with full tanks when they arrive. Now it does make sense if I were to take this route to build or add some integral water tanks to make sure if there is a dry spell I wouldn't be in trouble, but from what I have gathered it seems completely reasonable.

As far as not having the skills yet, yeah I agree and am working on it. Im mechanical minded and can put a computer together from pieces, I feel with classes, ingenuity, and help in some right places tearing apart motors and repairing them wont be the most troublesome thing I have learned how to do. I'm not saying I'll be an expert of any kind, but by knowing how to address and problem solve something like from a place of understanding will greatly heighten a persons ability to not need professional help.

I'm also a professionally certified fitness instructor in Pilates, weightlifting, and nutrition. I only lost 3k from the day I moved to Honolulu HI with no job or apartment to the time I left a year later. I'm not sure there is a more expensive place in the US to live either haha. 1200$ a month for a flat is just silly.

I do appreciate your response, just a lot of what your saying goes against what others have said, and I feel may be laying on the harsher side of realistic. Also you may be underestimating what a logical, passionate person is capable of . Hope I didn't offend in any way.
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Old 18-02-2011, 12:20   #25
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Having done just what you're proposing, let me add several things. 1: It is very hard to find work in a place unless you spend some time there. It is very inconvenient to have a job for which you must shower and be timely when living at anchor--sometimes you have to brave horrible weather to get ashore and keep your job. 2: Lots of places allow limited-time anchoring--as long as you're just passing through, you're fine. That precludes working, of course. What we ended up doing was cruising for a few months, then sucking it up and paying for a marina while working and saving, then cruising again. Lived at anchor while working and saving once or twice, and it was tougher. Whatever you wind up doing, remember above all else to keep your boat and yourself presentable. The reason for many anchoring restrictions is because of the unsightlyness of tarp-draped, junk-filled derelicts 'owned' by loafers who paddle a half-deflated dinghy to the town dock with a broken oar and lounge about all day hoping someone will offer them a beer. If your boat is clean and tidy, and you look reasonably well-cared-for and industrious, it goes a huge way toward keeping the powers-that-be friendly toward you.
Thanks for the advise, I'll definitely keep that in mind.
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Old 18-02-2011, 12:25   #26
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I find this really amusing. Everything is a "big deal". I guess living on a boat is definately much harder than sitting on the couch watching TV.

The problem seems to be that everyone wants to live an exciting, adventurous life but it's just too darn hard! Not to mention frightening and uncertian.

They just don't seem to make movies or write books about people who live a safe and easy life. I wonder why that is? Maybe no one cares about the billions of people who just "take up space and use up resources" living their safe and easy day-to-day lives. Those who spend 60-70 years here and their life story could be written on a cocktail napkin.

So I agree, it is much easier to watch exciting lives on the big screen or the boob-box than to go through all the hastle and dificulty of having that kind of life for your own.

Could be that the point that is being missed by the fellow who's post I quoted is that the reason to own and live-aboad a boat is to actually sail and go places. The goal is not to have a cheap sub-standard lifestyle like living in a floating travel trailer and spoiling the veiw from shore.
I agree. Was just trying to get Idea if cost wise my ideas were reaslistic, didn't really think I had given people the impression that I was going to be sitting around like a bum. I would like to use my sailboat to welll sail.
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Old 18-02-2011, 12:28   #27
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I find this really amusing. Everything is a "big deal". I guess living on a boat is definately much harder than sitting on the couch watching TV."
Who is going to be "sitting on the couch watching TV"? In my opinion it will be the guy sitting at anchor because he can't do anything else without it being a big deal. And you don't want to deal with big deals every frickin' day.
Yeah, daily big deals are really a big deal. The best way to deal with a big deal is deal it out. Hey... what's the deal? Just forget it, I can't deal!
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Old 18-02-2011, 12:30   #28
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Start keeping an eye on inflation. As a grocery shopper who shops only twice a month or less, I'm shocked at the changes I see between visits. Ditto fuel and just about everything else. I don't know HOW to plan for retirement.
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Old 18-02-2011, 12:30   #29
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more considerations

This thread has stirred up a bunch of ideas so I thought I'd kick in. I've lived aboard a couple of times during my life (although rarely for extended periods of time, mostly driven by necessity), and this discussion triggered me to thinking back to those times and how I handled them.

Before I forget, I'd be remiss if I didn't bring up yacht and boating clubs as an option. For a yearly membership, many have their own dockage or mooring fields, provide you access to showers, water, and often a bar and also can provide you with access to OTHER yacht clubs at little or no cost. Owning a pennant can give you a choice of short term ports with facilities that might be really pricy otherwise.

Most of the folks I know that live aboard (excluding those rich as Croessus) tend to have budgets in the $8-16K range. As such it makes for a nice break from the toil most of us endure just to keep a roof over our heads and provides in many of the cases a far more pleasant option for those living on social security (something which has crossed my own mind for the future).

Fourissues tend to keep coming up.

One is maint., and there's a couple of ways to look at that. First, just being in water, especially SALT water, means you'll have to pull, clean, and repaint the hull periodically to prevent your very own marine garden from growing beneath your feet. I know Dave Zeiger at Triloboats (Triloboats.com) designs his boats with copper sheeting on the hull to make a lot of that unnecessary but that's a pricy option. (He does have some great livaboard designs and ideas though). Your only real option here is to develop the skills to do you own basic maint. work. This can influence your choice of vessels as well. Wooden boats require more work, but are easier and cheaper to fix if you have the skills, plastic ones don't require nearly the attention, but when they DO require it, the fix tends to be pricy, messy, and kinda toxic. A mix of skills WITH an emergency fund is a practical approach. A bit of catastrophy insurance wouldn't hurt either. (parenthetically, I like wooden boats. I can work with wood and am a journeyman blacksmith, so that kind of stuff is well within my comfort zone. ..Fiberglass is not.)

Water is an issue unless you're tied up at the dock. I lived for several months in a circumstance in which my showering was done from a 2L soda bottle with holes drilled in the top. It actually works pretty well( check out http://playadelfuego.tribe.net/threa...1-0b04a593943b), and 2L of warm water can get you a decent frugal shower, but hauling the water can get mighty old mighty fast, and at 8.35 lbs per gallon, you can build up biceps tin no time. A large water tank aboard would save you a lot of grief. (reverse osmosis is a possibility, but even the hand pumped units are expensive).

Sewage.......Theres a major thread on this forum on composting toilets, and I highly recommend them. Finding a place to pump out that won't result in random small arms fire from the neighbors is often problematic. The composters are, IMHO, the most practical solution to what has been one of the most persistent problems of the boating community.

And of course, work. (the bane of the drinking class ) I could see, even in a mooring ball situation, that going back and forth in a dingy in all weather to go to a regular job could be an inCREDible pain in the butt. But then, isn't getting away from that "regular job" thing one of the reasons you're doing this? I make some of my income from the internet, and the rest from short term jobs which usually involve me being away or on the road for a few weeks at a time, then back home. Such jobs tend to be very lucrative over short periods of time, and putting your boat in a secure harbor, mooring, or even wet or dry storage for that period might be economical, especially if you didn't have to go to work the rest of the year.

anyway, just some thoughts.
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Old 18-02-2011, 12:30   #30
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re: insurance - you only really *need* liability insurance in most places. ie, places that want you to have insurance before you dock are basically saying they want to know that if your boat catches fire and burns down the whole dock, someone's going to pay for it. a million bucks in liability-only insurance shouldn't run you more than a couple of hundred per year.
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