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Old 08-08-2016, 08:20   #1
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Living aboard questions

So I am undergoing a major change in my life that will require me finding a new place to live. I had considered living aboard in the past but at the time I had anothers opinions to consider. So now I'm going to do it. I have a bit of cash and ton of equity that I'm going to get to keep. To answer all the normal questions, yes I've owned boats, power and sail, yes I've been offshore, I average 2000 miles a year offshore for the last 5 years. Yes I know living on a boat is not the most convenient
The plan is to buy a boat i can live on on a mooring (year wait for a slip) with my dog, get our stuff together and then take a year or 3 off and go for a trip. Ideal world I would buy the sailboat I want by cashing in some equity l and live on that until we leave. But I would rather pay cash and not pay a bank back, and I'm thinking if I'm just living on a boat maybe a power boat would be better for space and comfort. I have the cash to buy an older one that although it likely isn't safe to cross an ocean in should be just fine floating in the bay.
So what do you think
Wrap up a 70k sailboat
Drop 15- 20k on a floating hopefully move able condo?
Living aboard on a 36 foot power boat vs a 36 foot sailboat, while maintaining a shore based lifestyle.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:02   #2
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Re: Living aboard questions

Based on your "maintaining a shore based lifestyle" you should look into trawlers.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:25   #3
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Re: Living aboard questions

It's the mooring that has got me, not the boat. Mooring is hard core, no endless water and electricity, cable TV with a car in the parking lot, hot showers just feet away.
Buy a 15 to 20 K boat now, and you may not get much back and be stuck with something that is tough to get rid of.
No good answer, but if your wanting that shore based lifestyle, that is gonna be tough without a Marina or tied to a private dock or similar.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:56   #4
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Re: Living aboard questions

Yes Mooring with a dog, means that taking the dog for his daily constitutional, means loading the dog into dinghy, dinghy to shore, walk dog then rinse and repeat. In winter and rainy / windy weather that can be a pain.

Of course, lots O people do it. But starting out on a mooring is hardcore.

While a powerboat has more space then an equal size sailboat, fuel consumption can be a killer, unless you have deep pockets. A 36 foot sailboat will get about 8-10 MPG under power. A single screw trawler, 4-7 MPG and a cruiser 1-1.5 MPG.

Watch the power boats as many are all electric, which means running a generator (more fuel) and noisy. Aim for diesel / propane cooking/heating.
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:12   #5
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Re: Living aboard questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
It's the mooring that has got me, not the boat. Mooring is hard core, no endless water and electricity, cable TV with a car in the parking lot, hot showers just feet away.
Buy a 15 to 20 K boat now, and you may not get much back and be stuck with something that is tough to get rid of.
No good answer, but if your wanting that shore based lifestyle, that is gonna be tough without a Marina or tied to a private dock or similar.

I totally agree, shore based lifestyle while mooring?

Let's see.
1. Ready to go to work.....
a. Is the dingy still there?
b. Do you have water in the boat water tank or will you have to pick up a couple of gallons a the discount store while you wait for the weekend to pump out and refill your water tanks? ( gotta love those sponge baths )
c. Ok you have water so quick shower... How hot was it yesterday? You have a water heater but you don't want to crank up the gen set because you may need the diesel to run over to pump out and get more water.
d. Ok so now let's get those clothes on. ( how much sweat is allowable for a single person before their clothes are ruined? )
e. Ok looking good.... Off to a restaurant to get breakfast.
f. Oh yes, good, the dingy didn't grow legs last night because you left it in the water.
g. Now if the motor will just start you won't have to row.
h. Oh, wait it's raining cats and dogs and blowing like crazy.....
I. Going to be late to work again.
j. Rain slicker on, hat on, boat started.... GREAT..
k. Dingy is half full of water.
l. Good thing you have a place to park your dingy during the day, so it won't get stolen or drift off over a high tide. ( course you gotta pay for dingy parking if you do it on a regular basis and you want it to be secure )
m. Better skip breakfast.

All this, add a thousand things I forgot, and you have to pay for the diesel to provide those things like Air Con, or Hot water or water pressure for showers, and parking for the dingy, upkeep on everything. The total inconvenience and relative danger of getting from the boat to the shore and back on a regular basis.

Course I left out the problems with folks hitting your anchor line or your boat. Or your anchor dragging or the ball line breaking loose or.... or ...

The most fun you can have is getting a call from the coast guard that starts out..... Mr. xxxxx do you own the 35 trawler named "Lose My Shirt". Because we have found it drifting on to the rocks at ........

Marina's aren't such a bad deal if you want to maintain that "Shore lifestyle".
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:39   #6
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Re: Living aboard questions

b-rad, I'm getting ready to do the same thing. Before I did I hung out here on CF and was provided a LOT of good advice from people here (some of which have become my CF Heroes...but that's for another post). Others here have heard my story before, but here it is again just to give you and idea of some of the challenges: I've been living abroad (Egypt) for the past 19 years and am repatriatig to the States next year just after the 20 year mark here. As I have no house, home, job, credit record, driver's license or living family, I don't know where I want to live. So I thought liveaboard (done it before over 20 years ago). So I started searching for boats and never consider powerboats due to the higher fuel consumption and engine maintenance costs. To be fair, sailboats do have their maintenance downsides...like having to buy new sails...but not as often as having to change oil and filters and do tune-ups on a powerboat. Yes, I could have afforded to by a nice big 40-45 foot sailboat but then thought about single-handling the boat. Last sailboat was a Columbia 27 that I was comfortable single-handling at the age of 32, am going on 55 now. So I opted to buy by current boat, an '81 Hunter 27, that is sitting on the hard in the States awaiting my arrival and outfitting. Purchase price was $6K after the marine survey gave everything a "good" classification except for some minor electrical issues.

Another advantage of a smaller boat is the cost of slip fees. I'm drawing a USN pension and intend to try and live on that and leave my bank accounts alone. Wouldn't be able to do anything above a 40-footer and be able to do that.

I plan to be mostly swinging on the hook somewhere in the Chesapeake Bay for most of next year while I adapt to two things.....life aboard and learning to live in my native country (my, how things have changed!) Will do the marina thing occasionally of course. for re-supplying, a proper shower, laundry, etc. Am looking forward to the adventure!

Good luck with yours! :-)

No aspirations to be a full time blue water cruiser (and my boat ain't designed for it anyway and did enough blue water cruising in my 20 years of USN service to get that outta my system). However, I bought a cheap little boat that is roomy enough for me that I can sell on later and not take a major financial hit on. As a64pilot stated previously, buy a cheaper boat. And that shore based lifestyle? Still trying to figure out how to do that myself.

Here in Egypt I also have a dog. A 6-year old Basingi/Pharoah's Hound mix that I found in the desert when I was working archaeology in Egypt's Eastern Desert (Roman sites). It would be unfair of me to keep him on a boat. The dog's a roamer, as it is part of his desert nature. So, archeologist friends of mine who live in a villa in Spain with other desert dogs adopted from here will be taking him in.
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:44   #7
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Re: Living aboard questions

Thorne....+1
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:16   #8
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Re: Living aboard questions

I would not. I think living on a mooring sucks for starters. I would just relocate to where I can have a dock and start there.

Living in a boat is just that. Neither better nor worse than a condo. You either like it, or get used to it, or go for another option.

But I would not start with a mooring. I would start at the dock and later see if I want to be further away from people, supermarkets and bars.

BTW A power boat. More space.

Cheers,
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:56   #9
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Re: Living aboard questions

You know a Dock does not mean a marina.

Craigslist has folks who want to rent their backyard docks, their private docks etc. and these are private contracts so you can work with them to get what you want.

So, kinda the best of both worlds.

Not necessarily the best accommodations.

No showers.. maybe, no laundry,,,, maybe. but no dingy travel daily.

Usually water, electric and a place to park your car, or motorcycle.

Thought about doing this myself at various points.
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Old 08-08-2016, 18:22   #10
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Re: Living aboard questions

Buy a shore side condo until you are really ready!
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Old 08-08-2016, 19:35   #11
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Re: Living aboard questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
It's the mooring that has got me, not the boat. Mooring is hard core, no endless water and electricity, cable TV with a car in the parking lot, hot showers just feet away.
Hey...That's the first time I've been called Hard Core since...ah...well...maybe when I was 17yrs old and in shape...ha ha ha.

Our family of 4 (teenagers 18 and 17) have been living on our Morro Bay mooring now going on 4yrs and haven't feel miserable or like a Hobo bum or like we wanted to quit.

Ok...on second thought...maybe I am hard core.

I would go with a Power Boat just for the Room.
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Old 08-08-2016, 19:44   #12
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Re: Living aboard questions

I'd go the motor boat option (more space and less to maintain) but I'd keep aside a bit of my budget for a very good "shuttle" boat. Something with a centre console, plenty of power and stability. That way at least some of the logistics of shuffling Fido and the groceries won't be so much of a PITA.


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Old 08-08-2016, 20:35   #13
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Re: Living aboard questions

A power boat can have a more comfortable layout. You have more room. Depending on what you buy, you could have bigger appliances, more heating and cooling options, more storage and cabin tops for solar if you want to be off grid. Most power boats have main deck cabins that give you a view of your surroundings. Living in a sailboat is, to me, like living in a cave. All winter you're down in the hull looking out small ports.
I anchor for months at a time without touching a dock. I carry a good shore boat. My dog learned to use the deck. As long as you have a deck that isn't damaged by the waste and can be cleaned and disinfected you can eliminate many trips to shore. When anchored, my lab learned to go ashore herself. I have a setup on the swim platform that allows her to easily get back aboard. Although you owe you dog a good life with enough walks/hikes to make it enjoyable. Boats and their lack of smells are not what dogs are interested in.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:58   #14
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Re: Living aboard questions

Hey guys thanks for all the great responses.
I assure you I would much rather have a slip and all the stuff ti go with it. But it's a year wait for a slip around here. Looking into apartments, they are so much money here and trying to find one that will take me and my dog (gsd) is super tough.

Every thing in Thornes post is what goes through my head when I picture doing this. I know it will be inconvenient and trying, and also exciting and new. Need more new right now.
Really leaning towards a trawler style boat for the short term if i do this. Also I was planning on a nice dinghy, something with a console, electric start 4 stroke, maybe a whaler or similar. The shore based life would be easier with the space, stand up shower, generator all the things that your average sailboat in my size range lacks. Biggest fears are obviously theft not that I would keep anything of value on the boat and something happening to the pup when I'm not around, nature or human induced. Tough decisions, think I have a week or so to be out of the house.
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Old 09-08-2016, 18:54   #15
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pirate Re: Living aboard questions

Well, i forgot to mention I do currently have a boat, it's not much to live on but it's an option in a pinch, it's a 24 ft formula with a full camper top. Also found I can get a transient slip just have to pay more 36/ft ouch but cheaper then an apartment. Also found a cheap 30 ft searay that I'm gonna take a look at. Same deal I will just live at the dock in the transient row.
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