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Old 29-02-2012, 19:57   #1
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Living Aboard - The Marina to the Mooring

We are having a conundrum!

I have an opportunity to go out to a mooring this summer but am feeling a little nervous about the transition. I will be working 50+ hours a week and my wife is in school. We own one car and one dinghy. I can save about $1500 by living on the mooring. But the marina is calling me! I feel like a total wuss by not ruffing it. I would like to hear from other people who work and have made this transition.
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Old 29-02-2012, 20:09   #2
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Re: living aboard: the marina to the mooring

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Originally Posted by unbusted67 View Post
We are having a conundrum!

I have an opportunity to go out to a mooring this summer but am feeling a little nervous about the transition. I will be working 50+ hours a week and my wife is in school. We own one car and one dinghy. I can save about $1500 by living on the mooring. But the marina is calling me! I feel like a total wuss by not ruffing it. I would like to hear from other people who work and have made this transition.
Those who think that only a "wuss," as you call it, would live in a marina tend to be those who cannot afford to do so.

I should hope that if you're working 50+ hours a week you can afford slip fees. If so, enjoy the profits of your labor.
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Old 29-02-2012, 20:09   #3
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Re: living aboard: the marina to the mooring

When we cruise we mite use a mooring, but as the wife is a travel nurse we must have a few extras in port when she works! useing our dingy to get to the car or public transportation is out because she must look right when she arrives at work !! So we split our cruiseing in 13 week splits she works 13 weeks and we cruise 10 or 12 weeks and then we anchor or use a mooring sometimes. Thats just us but we like it this way ! Bob and Connie
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Old 29-02-2012, 20:33   #4
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Re: living aboard: the marina to the mooring

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Those who think that only a "wuss," as you call it, would live in a marina tend to be those who cannot afford to do so.

I should hope that if you're working 50+ hours a week you can afford slip fees. If so, enjoy the profits of your labor.
I do indeed have that in mind. Living in a marina can feel a lot like living in a mobile home on the water. Being on a mooring is a bit more airy and generally you have to keep the boat in sailing condition, which I like.

It would really help us get a feel for tankage, electrical capacity, etc. I also want to get my wife in the habit of driving the dinghy and bringing the boat into the dock for water/pump out etc. I want to live on a sailboat not turn my sailboat into a floating apartment.

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When we cruise we mite use a mooring, but as the wife is a travel nurse we must have a few extras in port when she works! useing our dingy to get to the car or public transportation is out because she must look right when she arrives at work !! So we split our cruiseing in 13 week splits she works 13 weeks and we cruise 10 or 12 weeks and then we anchor or use a mooring sometimes. Thats just us but we like it this way ! Bob and Connie
Oh cool. My wife is in school to become a nurse and we would eventually like to do what you guys are doing. What is Connie's specialty? I guess showing up with seaweed in your hair isn't the most professional move .
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Old 29-02-2012, 20:52   #5
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Re: living aboard: the marina to the mooring

Shes an ICU, or ICU step down Tele. nurse with 20 + yrs experience. Bob and Connie
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Old 29-02-2012, 21:19   #6
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Re: living aboard: the marina to the mooring

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. . . I want to live on a sailboat not turn my sailboat into a floating apartment.

Oh cool. My wife is in school to become a nurse . . .
Fact of life - if you are not actively cruising you are living in a "floating apartment."

And as others have mentioned, if you are working or attending school you need to be attached to a dock or seawall or whatever, so you can get off the boat and back onto it in any kind of weather. Taking the dinghy to shore in rain and blowing stink wind will not hack it when you need to be dressed sharp. Sometimes you may not even be able to get ashore - then what?

The amenities of life required for working or attending school generally include lots of lights for studying; lots of showers to smell and look good; lots of supplies, food, etc. to keep up with the pace of working or studying.

All of these can be best and most conveniently provided by a marina slip.

And remember, anchoring out and/or tied to a mooring means significant bottom growth and propeller fouling, unless you can pay or do the work year round yourself. At least at a dock/pier you don't have to "use" the engine and propeller to be moving the boat. Cleaning can wait until you are ready to actually go somewhere with the boat.

What living in the "floating apartment" provides is an opportunity to get used to the size of the living space and the amenities you have on board, like heads, galley, salon, and bunks. Also you get to work those associated systems and see how they function long term and what is needed to keep them operating. Dinghies and outboard motors wear out and break and most often at exactly the time you really need them.
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Old 29-02-2012, 21:50   #7
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Re: living aboard: the marina to the mooring

G'Day Unbusted,

Understand, this is coming from a couple who have been cruising (not working) for 25 years: the only times we use marinas these days is for boat jobs that really require being alongside, or for leaving the boat for a significant period.

Despite this prejudicial background, I have to agree that in order to adequately satisfy the expectations of an employer, being alongside is nearly necessary. Yes, you could likely do it from a nearby mooring, but it would perhaps detract from your wife's career advancement (if that is important to your plans). We have lived aboard and worked full time, but it was in a marina (in Alameda CA) and that was struggle enough!

But, you can if desired emulate living on the hook even when alongside... for the purposes of learning and general masochism! For instance, you can eschew plugging into shore power and try living off your own electrical resources. This will pretty well mock up life afloat. Try not using shore shower facilities, only fill your water tanks on a schedule that you could endure if you had to motor 10 miles and then wait your turn at a dock with water, or try jerry-jugging all your water (even if it is only from the dockside tap. Try to go sailing on a frequent schedule, for this tends to keep you from getting too far into the "apartment" syndrome, and will keep the prop a bit cleaner... maybe the hull too!

Doing these sorts of things will not only help you learn the limitations of your particular boat, but if you do them religiously they will help you learn the sort of disciplines that become necessary when really cruising.

Ann and I hope that this will work out for you, and that the duration of your stay in purgatory is brief!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 29-02-2012, 23:10   #8
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Re: living aboard: the marina to the mooring

I would recommend staying at the dock for work and school needs. As one who lived on the hook, and working only 40+ hours a week for over a year, I can tell you it is a chore at times to get to work and then back home. Water in the fuel, motor won't start/continue to run, end up rowing in so I can get to work on time. Do you have a safe place to park the car, dingy, and meet your other half for the trip(s) back out ? Does she go to school for 50+ hours a week? If not, then there would be more than 1 trip back and forth to the moored boat. Don't forget the time spent in the dingy is much more than just stepping off the boat at the dock. As another poster suggested, just unplug while at the dock to check out your systems. Any changes or additions needed to your systems are usually easier done at the dock.
It can be done though
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Old 01-03-2012, 00:10   #9
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Re: Living Aboard - The Marina to the Mooring

Also check with your marina. I can come into dock anytime. To charge, to whatever. If I want to spend the night for whatever reason its 15 bucks. My mooring is also very close to the docks, and they have a tender, Lil Toot, that run 7a-7p. Those things can help.


BTW-$1500 puts alot of solar on.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:06   #10
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Re: Living Aboard - The Marina to the Mooring

So much work just living on the hook,keeping all together, that is pretty much a full time job right there and I always looked like a tramp.Now add a full time job and having to look sharp,I could not do it,nor would I try.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:03   #11
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Re: Living Aboard - The Marina to the Mooring

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
And as others have mentioned, if you are working or attending school you need to be attached to a dock or seawall or whatever, so you can get off the boat and back onto it in any kind of weather. Taking the dinghy to shore in rain and blowing stink wind will not hack it when you need to be dressed sharp. Sometimes you may not even be able to get ashore - then what?
I work a boat so any day that the weather would prohibit me from rowing in would probably prohibit me from running the boat!
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Also check with your marina. I can come into dock anytime. To charge, to whatever. If I want to spend the night for whatever reason its 15 bucks. My mooring is also very close to the docks, and they have a tender, Lil Toot, that run 7a-7p. Those things can help.

BTW-$1500 puts alot of solar on.
I take this to mean you have lived/worked aboard on a mooring too? The yacht club we are looking at has a tender and you can tie up over night for 10 bucks.

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So much work just living on the hook,keeping all together, that is pretty much a full time job right there and I always looked like a tramp.Now add a full time job and having to look sharp,I could not do it,nor would I try.
There are a few guys that live on their moorings at his yacht club and they work downtown in the financial district in Boston. My job is far less demanding when it comes to attire.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:06   #12
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Re: Living Aboard - The Marina to the Mooring

Well folks the deal is sealed. I just signed up for a slip, 90/ft, deeply discounted from $120/ft. The slip is a short dinghy ride across from work so I have a pretty sweet commute going for me. We are right near some nice green space and a couple of blocks from a good friend's apartment. Worth a $1000 bucks if you ask me.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:11   #13
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Re: Living Aboard - The Marina to the Mooring

Those numbers make me cringe......our slip is $250 a month, add $40 to liveaboard........yikes!!!
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:27   #14
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Re: Living Aboard - The Marina to the Mooring

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Those numbers make me cringe......our slip is $250 a month, add $40 to liveaboard........yikes!!!
Right?

Welcome to Boston buddy, or New York, San Diego, LA or San Fran. This is one reason we are getting the hell out of the Northeast. Where do you live? It sounds nice.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:45   #15
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Re: Living Aboard - The Marina to the Mooring

Houston......
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