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Old 16-11-2008, 10:02   #16
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My avatar is upside down?

I am aware its a sign of distress, but in as such as this is not a political forum I will refrain from hijacking it.

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Old 16-11-2008, 12:30   #17
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Technical reasons why/why not?

Hi Zissou,

Was a fuill time liveaboard in the past and had to deal with some of the technical issues when my home was hauled for painting, etc.

The biggest issue will be water: getting it, draining it and dealing with the waste (plus the solids that also accompany the waste water). If you have access to a hose and a bathroom to use then you eliminate most of these problems. Otherwise (assuming you can get water to your boat one way or the other) you will have to figure out what to with the "used" water when you are done with it. From a sanitary aspect you could let the sinks drain out onto the ground under the boat but that will start smelling after a while. The bigger problem will be toilet waste. You could use a self contained portable toilet but then would have to haul the sewage generated out to dispose of it.

Another issue but probably much easier to deal with is electricity. If you have access to power and a long extension cord then problem solved.

Finally you will have to climb up and down a ladder everytime you leave the boat. Not a problem unless you have somnambulism.

If this is your best way to start boating then go for it. I would however second other recommendations to try boating elsewhere before commiting your limited resources to buying a boat. You might find that the reality is not what you expected. Or like me, you may fall completely in love with it and leave everything behind to go do it some more.

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Old 16-11-2008, 13:21   #18
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As long as you had access to sanitation system living on a boat would be doable. I have seen people who live in RV parks and some of the way that they live would be worse. If the boat were going to stay in the same place there for three years I would take the time to cut some stringers and make a set of stairs that allowed me to walk on to the stern. As far as using the head goes I imagine that you could rig PVC pipe witht he proper amount of slope to get rid of the waste. Another option would be to have a porta potty somewhere close to your boat and use that. I'm sure that would not be pleasant either in the summer or the winter. It is doable if you are willing to live with the discomfort. Electricity could be done in a few ways: 1) solar power ( and all its limitations) 2) wind generator, 3) gas generator to charge your battery banks once in awhile, and 4) best would be a source of constant 120v power. Good luck with your plans.
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Old 16-11-2008, 13:46   #19

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Zissou, if you really want to commit to the experiment, AND minimize lost money...Forget about the boat and apartment. First, but a small piece of land and build a small cabin, or have a 20' long cargo cube delivered to it. The land is an investment--which you can use. The cargo cube is similar to the living conditions on a boat, uninsulated and stark. Outfit the interior any way you choose. If you are still happy living in it after a year, you might make it on a boat.

Then if the living quarters don't discourage you, buy a cheap daysailer that's locally popular and easily resold. Or better yet, buy sailing lessons before you even try buying a boat. If you like sailing, then you can consider moving up, or just spending lots of time on that daysailer while the property under your cargo cube appreciates in value and helps fund the boat kitty.

But experimenting with two rents, an apartment and a boat..I just think that will cost you more and take longer to make up a mind on.
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Old 17-11-2008, 08:32   #20
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It's an interesting idea which I've been following since you first posed the question. Of course anything can be done, with either enough time or patience or money. I can't offer you any sage advice, other than to know that if you honestly think you can do it, you will find a way to make it happen. If you have doubts in yourself or more importantly, your resolve, then simply pass on the idea while learning what you need to know to take advantage of a situation that gets you closer to what you want.

For example: If I want to travel to Japan and lack the funds, it's worth my time to invest $200 in software that helps me learn the language. I learn something(which is always good) and if a job happens to come up that needs my skills and the ability to speak Japanese, I might be lucky enough to get someone else to pay for my trip. You can't survive on nothing, but nothing with a good dose of experience or knowledge will put you on a long journey.

Best of luck in whatever you decide.
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Old 17-11-2008, 10:57   #21
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Originally Posted by CanQua View Post
... For example: If I want to travel to Japan and lack the funds, it's worth my time to invest $200 in software that helps me learn the language...
Or you could begin to learn Japanese for Free
Learn Japanese : Learn Japanese Online : Learning Japanese
Free Japanese Lessons - Learn the Japanese language online for free!
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Old 17-11-2008, 13:22   #22
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Old 18-11-2008, 15:06   #23
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Originally Posted by Zissou View Post
But there's a catch - there's always a catch. In this case, it's that I live in Georgia, which has essentially outlawed living aboard on all public waterways. I do know that people get away with it, but with a boat that, for the next few several years at least, would be financed, I don't think this is a good idea and am not interested in it.
i've not encountered living aboard being illegal anywhere in the dozen countries i've visited, if you are so flexible as to be getting an apartment, a weekender and a trailersailer, why dont you move to somehwhere in the other 99.999% of the planet where living aboard is not illegal?

i didnt think a democratic government could dictate where people slept, is there a big problem with homeless people in your area?

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Old 20-11-2008, 01:34   #24
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Perfectly Possible, and not at all a PITA like some would say.

I did it for 2 months and actually would prefer it to living in a small apt.

$80 will get you enough 2x4 and 2x6's to build a simple staircase that can sit alongside the boat. Effectively ending the hassle of getting grocery bags on board. I wouldn't recommend ladders for any length of time. It's a numbers game. you climb one often enough, you are going to fall eventually.

There are vacant lots etc, where you can get a very reasonable price for putting a boat up. And here is the great thing. Find a vacant lot with attached water frontage if you can. Look for the ones that have boats moored on them already. Many of these have power and water pulled in for the docks even though no construction has been made yet. (At least here in Ft. Laud / New river) If you are lucky, you'll be right next to a launching site as well.

Here is the great part. Try it, you are renting, and if you don't like it, you can always rent again. Noting ventured, nothing won. And while your at it, you will gain an experience to write about
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Old 25-11-2008, 15:13   #25
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The problem may be local ordinances prohibiting living on a boat. The ordinances may be aimed at RVs. There are many places that don't allow trailers at all.

It might help to know what part of GA you are at. I am in GA and have been in boating for a coupla decades. I might have some suggestions. There are some marinas that look the other way. You just need someone to let you use their address as your official address for driver's license, bills, etc. but, most marinas around Atlanta are so expensive. My slip in Charleston is less than a slip on the southern part of Lake Lanier.

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Old 16-01-2009, 13:30   #26
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Surely Zissou has made a decision by now. I would go with the small RV and park the boat next to it. What has Zissou done? Did he give up? Is he having any sucess writing? Let us know what you are up to and how it is working out. We really are interested.
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Old 16-01-2009, 14:59   #27
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Originally Posted by Zissou View Post
Think Walden, but on a boat.
If you wanted to be like Thoreau, you'd have to live rent-free on a boat owned by your rich neighbors, eat their leftover food every day and walk into town every now and then to buy more booze, rambling on about how simplicity is the key to proper living while being sustained by a life of privilege and the hard work of other people.
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Old 16-01-2009, 15:24   #28
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IMHO, Zissou should learn to write more good before try to be professional writing person.


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Old 12-02-2009, 16:51   #29
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Well I am surprised this thread has garnered as much attention as it has! So a belated but hearty thanks to everyone who has responded.

I hadn't checked this thread in a while because, well frankly I became quite frustrated at the difficulty of getting ahead in this albeit unorthodox way. I even looked into buying an old Airstream trailer as a second choice but that course has been rendered moot as well.

I'm afraid I had to move into a conventional apartment not long after I opened this thread, but that only means I have another several months to investigate this option. Now I'm finding that boat prices seem to be increasingly favorable, with this economic disaster we're facing, and that's got me investigating again.

Several people have wondered why I don't simply move to a state that isn't as backward about living aboard as GA, and the answer is simple enough. I have a reasonably secure position for a large company and lack the funds to buy my boat outright, so I'd like to pay off as much as I could before I shoved off from the shelter of gainful employment.

Anyway, I'm still interested in living on a boat, even if on dry land part of the time. I think a Flicka would serve well, in that you could still trailer it once in a while, whether from Atlanta to Lake Lanier or to Savannah or Charleston. A Nor'Sea 27 might be similarly trailerable. I think being totally land-locked, in something like a WestSail 32, would be demoralizing.

I'll let y'all know if I go crazy and move into a boat on dry land!
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Old 12-02-2009, 17:24   #30
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The way they figure out you are living aboard is to require security guards to write down the license tag numbers at night and have them compared over time. Not saying that I recommend it but I have heard of a guy once (he was an unscrupulous guy who was a friend of a my cousins brother. I think he ended up in jail) that got a couple of old license tags with magnets. Every time he got out of his car at the marina he put another tag on his car. Not saying that you should do this. No not at all. You should definitely get an apartment on the land. We all know sailors are conformist. They never break rules. Everyone that has a ship's station license say aaaaaarrrrrrrgggggg.

(before I get a lot of comments I DO have a ship's station license - $160 I feel good about myself)

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