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Old 28-10-2015, 01:20   #1
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Living Off-Grid Much Similar to Live-aboard?

HI all!!
this my first forum post so bear with me please.

I've lived off grid and built/ maintained all of it for 20 years, on 20 acres, in ne Washington. state, come jan/2016
solar / wind/ power. genny backup for the long dark months,
all power/ water / septic, heat etcetera so on & so forth I've done for my self and son (last 16 Years).
when he grads in may 2017 ,I plan on getting a sailboat 33'-45' and learning to sail and live aboard ( my son may or may not come with me, his choice, probably off to college, hard to say for certain).
Perhaps if all goes well I'm seriously considering going RTW Eastward.

what do you all think? will my independent living skills translate well??
I've Assumed it would, but would greatly appreciate your input.
Thanks!!
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Old 28-10-2015, 01:45   #2
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Re: living off-grid much similar to live-aboard?

Absolutely. We are all part of the tiny house mindset and being ferociously independent will serve you well. Welcome to the forum Zephyrcat! Buy a little trailerable sailboat, the smaller the better and start sailing!
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Old 28-10-2015, 04:27   #3
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Re: living off-grid much similar to live-aboard?

It's exactly the same. There are a few differences, but you are light years ahead of most noobs. You'll have the right mindset too. There will be very little adjustment.

It's a little more off grid than regular off grid, but you'll do very well.
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Old 28-10-2015, 06:51   #4
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Re: living off-grid much similar to live-aboard?

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on maintaining this lifestyle for such a long period of time. I second what the others have said, you will have very little trouble adjusting to boat life which is basically off-grid whenever you are out of reach of that yellow umbilical cord. We lived on a mooring for 6 months some years ago and it's amazing how little we really needed in the way of power by modifying our lifestyle and expectations a bit. I imagine you have already made that adjustment. Some people never do.

I also second what Azul suggested about getting a small boat and getting started sailing. Something that can sit in a trailer in your yard over the winter won't break the bank and will teach you tons about sail trim. You can take the boat safety classes for your state online for free through Boat U.S. and that's a great place to start. NauticEd offers a few free classes as well, I think there is one on sail trim.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 28-10-2015, 07:29   #5
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Re: living off-grid much similar to live-aboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zephyrcat229 View Post

(...)

Perhaps if all goes well I'm seriously considering going RTW Eastward.

(...)

what do you all think? will my independent living skills translate well??
Hi,

Welcome to the forum!

I think strong off the grid skills will translate very well into easier and softer take off in live-aboard life.

However, if by RTW you mean round the world, (this is the meaning I use for rtw too) then I think it is better to start with a more graded approach. Say like this: off the grid to liveaboard, to local sailing, to coastal cruising to offshore cruising to (possibly maybe but not part of the vision at this point) RTW.

I say this as I find that offshore sailing leading to rtw stunts calls for relatively higher proportion of SAILING skills than any other style of sailing (except for racing). I believe any dinghy racer is half ready to go rtw but very few liveaboards are ready to do so.

So, if rtw, then learn SAILING first and foremost.

I think you are in a fantastic point and I would proceed with the plan.

If you are very serous about your rtw, you may consider buying a live-aboard boat that will later be easily convertible/usable for serious offshore voyages. Note not all great live-aboard boats are good choices for extensive sailing.

Chase your rabbit! Have fun living the dream!

Cheers,
b.
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Old 28-10-2015, 07:56   #6
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Re: living off-grid much similar to live-aboard?

Those skills will translate nicely. The space constraints of a sailboat will need some adjustment.

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Old 28-10-2015, 08:51   #7
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Re: living off-grid much similar to live-aboard?

I guess you'll be teaching many of us some of your skills. We live off solar and wind - rarely have the motors on.
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Old 28-10-2015, 09:27   #8
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Re: living off-grid much similar to live-aboard?

Your skills will definitely serve you well, although you may find your approach at odds with most cruisers these days. As someone who moved from partially off-grid to a smallish sailboat, I can say the two are similar, but not identical. Limited space will the biggest change, but you're leaps and bounds ahead of most.

I agree with the recomendation to start soon and start small. You didn't say where in Washington you live, but the PNW offers some of the best cruising in the world. I'd spend a few seasons exploring north through BC and up to Alaska first. Then if rtw still beacons, consider it then.


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Old 28-10-2015, 09:47   #9
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Re: living off-grid much similar to live-aboard?

I have an offshore cruising boat and an off grid cabin. Both are simply appointed. No generator or plumbing at the cabin. No pressurized water, only solar and wind on the boat. I am not a Luddite nor am I cheap: I especially designed both that way to reduce maintenance and increase reliability. I buy the good stuff and cry only once. The nice side effects (IMHO) are fewer maintenance headaches and overall lower cost of ownership as well in both cases.

As leftbrainstuff says you need to get used to the space constraints. Also, at the cabin unlimited water is nice where conservation and planning on a voyaging boat is a major effort.

Compared to our cedar cabin with metal roof, I find the boat to be much, much more demanding for maintenance and constant vigilance for wear on critical parts and systems.

As the Pardeys say, Go small, Go simple, Go now..... Lin & Larry Pardey: Newsletters & Cruising Tips | Sailing Newsletters & Cruising Tips

Mostly though, just get out and sail an much as possible. Get on or get a strong, simply appointed boat and start sailing down the West Coast before thinking about jumping offshore. Also, why eastward? The trade winds are kinder if you head West....

good luck!
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Old 28-10-2015, 09:49   #10
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Re: living off-grid much similar to live-aboard?

Your skills will do you well. Your pocket book may not. I have friends that went from boating to living off the grid in Alaska. Just forget RTW, go cruising, learn as you go and go as far as you are in the mood to do.
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Old 01-11-2015, 21:16   #11
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Re: living off-grid much similar to live-aboard?

Thanks for all of your replies!

As for the rtw thing that's more of a long term (& far from certain) plan. I've had some sailing experience, I figured on buying a pretty decent boat to live on (& sail alot) somewhere in S Florida,(my reasons for there are complex not worth going into)n and gradually sailing greater & greater length/difficulties in & around the Caribbean basin to get back in the swing of things.

The reason to go rtw eastward is twofold;

1. The Mediterranean beckons me.... And once I've gotten that far, the Arabian peninsula (actually passing through a part of the sea near there) would be the scariest thing the rest of the way back toward the Americas, and all the islands of Indonesia, southern Asia in general/ Polynesia, Australia, N.Z. so on & so forth. yolo! why not go for it while I've still got enough youth left in me to make the most of it.

2. Everybody goes westward, so simply to be difficult & go the more roundabout way is strangely appealing.

Being pretty far inland, the lakes and rivers offer the best reasonably close places to keep up my skills in a little 20' sailboat. You're all absolutely right about building up my skills & all that is very true, sadly the season up here seems to last about 10 minutes (between the endless winter)

thanks for your input!
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Old 01-11-2015, 21:53   #12
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Re: living off-grid much similar to live-aboard?

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Originally Posted by Zephyrcat229 View Post

2. Everybody goes westward, so simply to be difficult & go the more roundabout way is strangely appealing.

thanks for your input!
You might want to learn a bit as to why this is so.
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Old 01-11-2015, 22:07   #13
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Re: Living Off-Grid Much Similar to Live-aboard?

Zephyrcat229, you have received from the seasoned cruisers here a lot more positives than most any noob that have posted the same desire. It is the independent lifestyle of living off grid combined with systems knowledge that one acquires that do in fact make a transition to cruising easier. I've done both and wish you the best, I think your cut out for it. I took it one step further and after cruising I went back to school to make a career out of cruising the oceans.


Also, what Stu above said.
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Old 01-11-2015, 23:10   #14
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Re: Living Off-Grid Much Similar to Live-aboard?

As others have said, your off grid skills will be handy but space will be the big change.

If a high priority goal is to do the Med, consider buying a boat in the Med as your starting point.

It's fun to say you just want to be different by going eastbound RTW but reality is westbound is popular for good reason. The biggest advantage is you can run with the trade winds rather than fighting them all the way around.
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Old 01-11-2015, 23:16   #15
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Re: living off-grid much similar to live-aboard?

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You might want to learn a bit as to why this is so.
+2 It will influence your choice of boat and maybe whether you live or die
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