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Old 19-07-2011, 11:24   #1
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Marina Just Called, My Livaboard Slip is Available!

Ahoy!
Need your advise and input especially those livaboards that are working while living aboard in the Marina. So here's the deal. Our cast off and sail away date is planned for Nov. 1, 2013. We are re-fitting our 41' Cheoy Lee Pedrick design to take us south to Mexico then off to the So. Pacific, then......

So we were planning to livaboard starting in 2013, save and head out assuming we were able to in fact pay off the boat and save up some kitty. A challenge but doable, (I hope) We put our name in for livaboard upgrade 10 months ago and were told to plan on a 2-3 year wait. Perfect wait time for us!! We are in Shoreline Marina in Long Beach, CA

So the Marina called yesterday and they have our upgraded livaboard slip available for us already and we have a week to let them know if we want it.

We have already started our down size for the big house to the little condo and the kids moved out. The real question and concern is my wife and I both have corporate America jobs. She's in the mortgage field and I in Construction management. We get up early and get home 6ish. We are wondering and concerned how it is to live lives at the dock, would have to store dress cloths, suits etc in the car for daily use, drycleaning and such.

Some hassles in exchage for living on the water and saving all that condo rent money to insure paying off the boat and saving for the kitty so we can cruise.

Maybe just aprehensive because we wern't planning on the marina calling so soon. Maybe could be the best thing to happen to making our dream happen. Its an extra $250 a month so we will need to be sure.

So.....working livaboards......what are your experiences, thoughts and wisdom.

Capt. Randy
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Old 19-07-2011, 11:32   #2
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Re: Marina Just Called, My Livaboard Slip is Available!

I'd recommend holding off living aboard not because of the hassle of working, but good clothes and a boat are tough to merge, but because it is so much harder to work on a boat you are living on. More little stuff gets done as a matter of course, but the big stuff, replacing a headliner or cabin roof or head is much harder. If a slip came up this quickly this year it ought to in a couple of years as well.
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Old 19-07-2011, 11:42   #3
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Re: Marina Just Called, My Livaboard Slip is Available!

Clothing is a problem for professionals, especially if you live in a climate where attire needs to change with the seasons.

At first we ended up renting a small storage locker, and using it for a wardrobe. It also became a place we could keep camping gear, snowshoes, et cetera that we really didn't want to store on the boat but were not quite ready to get rid of.

We both became quite good at keeping clothing in the office or in a locker in the gym at work, et cetera. We found that our respective employers were happy to explore ways we could meet the needs of a liveaboard who works as a professional. The university where I teach, for example, understood that if they wanted me to wear my academic regalia to commencement, or my tuxedo to fund raisers, they were going to have to help me find a place to store such items, because there's no room for a tux on a boat.

In the long run, these were fairly simple problems to solve.
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Old 19-07-2011, 12:00   #4
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Re: Marina Just Called, My Livaboard Slip is Available!

It is hard to have a full corporate wardrobe on a boat. I lived aboard when I was in the Navy. Kept my uniforms in my VW bus and changed at the hangar when I got to the squadron. Later lived aboard during the latter building stages of our Westsail kit but our jobs didn't require fancy clothes, mainly Levis and shirts. Those that did have corporate jobs had some kind of additional storage space. The favorite was a panel van that doubled as a closet, tool and equipment storage, and heavy duty hauler. These vans were largely parking lot queens but the owners did drive them when the need arose and to keep them from looking like abandoned vehicles. Last year when the boat was in Alameda, found a storage place two blocks from the boat. Made living and working aboard way easier as I could clean out sections of the boat to work on it and just store stuff like inflatable dinghy that wasn't needed at that time.

Living aboard does slow the pace of work on the boat. We were still making the interior when we launched though most of the large installs were done. Still had to fit all the doors and drawers and a lot of shelving, fiddles, and trim. The pace of progress slowed as much because the pressure was off to get the boat ready to go in the water and the press of a greater amount of outside work as much as just the inertia of living in a work space. We'd been living in a VW bus and moving aboard as one section of the boat was semi completed. Takes a lot of tolerance for sawdust and helps if you are young and stupid like we were.

Living aboard did free up a bunch of money to keep the project moving, however. We had to keep our acquisition of the detritus under control and lived pretty much as we did once we went cruising. Having the projects constantly in our face, cut down on our extracurricular activities and expenses as we worked to get the boat ready to cruise. The earlier and longer you live aboard will make the transition to the cruising life way less eventful. We bought a lot of stuff at garage sales, etc and tried them out on board. If they didn't work, we passed them along to other people and it didn't cost us much. If we did like something, we built a space for it to go.

If your rehab of the boat doesn't involve tearing out large sections of the interior, I'd be inclined to go for it. You'll find ways to cope with the requirements of your jobs. Don't expect to do a lot of sailing, however. You'll have too many projects to do that immediately.
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Old 19-07-2011, 12:10   #5
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pirate Re: Marina Just Called, My Livaboard Slip is Available!

Greetings,
As a working professional that has lived aboard for the past eleven years and has been a full time telecommuter for the past 4, I can tell you, there is concern about business attire clothing from a space perspective. Trying to hang the 'office' clothes and keep them from absorbing the boat smells we all know so well can be difficult, but is doable. My wife (now ex) was also a working professional and her clothing needs were much more substantial than mine. We dedicated about 3/4 of the closet and drawer space to her.

Also, I can second that living aboard greatly slows down major projects. It's hard to tear the boat apart to install/upgrade equipment, re-varnish, etc. when you need to cook dinner in the same space in a few hours. Any lengthy projects that require haul out would be best done before moving onboard. I've spent a month in dry dock and you get tired of walking uphill in your living room, using the land based facilities to shower, etc, and hauling yourself up and down a ladder regardless of the weather.

From a cost perspective, by the time I add up my boat payment, marina rent and liveaboard fees, electric bill, internet service, cable, insurance, storage unit, and wear and tear on the boat systems from constant use, it is comparable to living in a house you're paying a mortgage on. A common misconception is that living aboard is cheap. It's not as cheap as you'd think when you're tied to a dock and still working for a living.

But in the end, I wouldn't want to live any other way.

~NJ
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Old 19-07-2011, 12:18   #6
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Re: Marina Just Called, My Livaboard Slip is Available!

So far some great advise. Fortunatly there is not any major work planned for the interior and the rest of the boat is about there, mast redone, rigging new, new windless, rewiring boat now, new top end on the Perkings, 6 new Trojan T145's and new Maxwell charger inverter, new pumps........still need refrigeration but that is pretty easy addiding the the existing cold box. One of my mental blocks is that with the high stress work I do, my boat and sailing, have always been my retreat and get away. Really wonder how it will be living in my getaway. I've read about the 15 minute rule and keeping the boat organized, ready to pull out for a day sail or week in Catalina and as a dress rehersal for when we are actually out there cruising.

What if......What if......What if........

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Old 19-07-2011, 12:20   #7
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Re: Marina Just Called, My Livaboard Slip is Available!

i lived aboard and worked from 1990-2005. now i cruise. when i lived aboard i need3ed to look professional at work--intensive care nursing/emergency and management post anes care...i had a storage locker in the first marina i lived in, and after that , i kept the clothing in my boat or in a camper van i used to drive to work. was a bubble top and i could park it in hospital lots and keep it there if i needed to...and sleep in it if i needed.
showers werent a problem as i took them in the marina shower. when i worked in lost angeles, i kept the van in parking lot and had resident quarters for showering.
many options for living on board and working and still appearing somewhat professional. i wasnt the only one in my areas to be working and living on board-- was a kick to do it from a mooring ball... did that for many years-- 1999-2005. am in mazatlan now and work is a 4 letter word.


do not worry about what if--if ye do, you will never get out of the slip.
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Old 19-07-2011, 12:33   #8
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Re: Marina Just Called, My Livaboard Slip is Available!

My wife and I dressed professionally and lived aboard for many years; however, as we never had a house, we were not trying to adapt to a smaller space. With just the two adults in a 41' boat that does not need a major refit, I would take the liveaboard slip. With your size vessel it would be an easy step to suspend an added rod for hanging clothes in the unused quarter berth or v-berth. Boats that are well ventilated and lived aboard do not suffer the musty odors of those that are closed and unused. I realize that the final decision depends more on your adaptation to the sense of space and quality rather than the physical capability, good luck with your choice. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 19-07-2011, 12:36   #9
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Re: Marina Just Called, My Livaboard Slip is Available!

I find life aboard is stress relief in and of its self. I get to enjoy my morning coffee on the aft deck with an ocean breeze and watch the world come to life as I ease into my work day. And in the evening, I can hop in my hammock with a cocktail and watch the sunset.
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Old 19-07-2011, 12:57   #10
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Re: Marina Just Called, My Livaboard Slip is Available!

Yes to it's hard to work on the boat and have a professional wardrobe. Yes, you need to make sure the clothes lockers are ventilated or follow CaptForce's excellent advice. But we did it for several years, through British winters.

A key thing is to really think about the wardrobe, especially for women. For me (female), this meant:

(i) more separates and less suits
(ii) a range of 'change the look' accessories such as scarves which are very easy to store and look after and have a good impact disproportionate to hassle
(iii) having a basic colour scheme (probably black and white) which the scarves and jewellery jazz up, Otherwise you have clothese hwich can only be worn with this skirt, or that pair of trousers and that's a major pain
(iv) restrict the shoes. Let me say this again: restrict the shoes! For a long time I had three pairs of work shoes - all of them actually boots, all small and leather, 2 black, one brown and fleece lined. And actually that did for everything for years.

For a man (not that I know much about the species at this intimate level) rely on good shirts, good ties and one good pair of shoes.

This can feel a bit of a hardship and also a challenge at such short notice, but it is the way to manage corporate gear off a boat without paying loads extra for storage, costs and time of reaching that storage etc etc.

If you then do need to haul and have a really messy few weeks, then pack it away into a few bags and deposit with a kind friend while the mess is about. Also, at the height of our refit, I took a small office in town (self-employed management consultant with multiple clients and deadlines) just to cope with not having to tidy paper away all the time.

Fina;;y - the first answer is not necessarily the long time right answer. I mean that you don't have to get it 'right' the day you move on board. So - you keep storage for a while. So you shuttle to and from from the apartment for three months. So you install a wardrobe in your office. That's all good!

Go for it - the next month or so will hurt, but then it will be just great.
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Old 19-07-2011, 13:06   #11
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Re: Marina Just Called, My Livaboard Slip is Available!

I think you'd have to be crazy not to take the jump! My girlfriend and I both are in the corporate america world per say. My girlfriend has a 8-5 job and has to dress accordingly everyday. All of her wardrobe is on the boat. I on the other hand own my own company and have to wear suit and tie daily. I also have the advantage though of keeping all of my dress clothes at the office. Tshirt and boards shorts with flip flops out the door, then at work into the suit and tie with dress shoes.. The money saved will be a nice added bonus. People say that it costs more living aboard and the wear and tear on your systems? I for one believe using those systems keep them in better shape then letting them sit for years on end with no use. Its also much easier to do small jobs and little of this and that in the evenings when you get "home" to the boat where as you would normally have to drive to the boat in the evenings and back home to get small projects completed. As for the smell it doesn't exist on a clean full time liveaboard boat. Clean as you go, and don't let diesel, oil, and water sit in your bilges. Our boat never has a drop of anything in the bilges, I check daily just to make sure. If the interior needed a refit I would think differently, but with a boat turn key it won't be a problem at all.

The best thing about living aboard is really living life! Sitting outside every evening and watching the birds pass by and seeing all kinds of different nature. Not pulling the car into the garage walking inside and sitting in front of the tv.

The downside is the walk to the facilities in the pouring down rain in the middle of winter when its 40 degrees out. Other than that I wouldn't change it for the world!

This coming from a full time liveaboard for 7 years..
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Old 19-07-2011, 13:14   #12
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Re: Marina Just Called, My Livaboard Slip is Available!

I ran a self storage facility for many years and some of my tenants lived alternative lifestyles, boats, RV's or in their car. Typically they wanted a medium sized unit and stored everything they needed there, taking out only what was necessary for the next few days. If you choose to do this here are a couple of tips, use pallets to keep everthing up off the cement floor, bug spray or bomb the unit periodically, drop by once a week and open up the unit so the air doesn't get musty, drape the clothing down about half way which keeps the dust etc off and allows for air movement. Finally make sure you pay your rent on time, most facilities make big bucks on late fees and always keep a record of payment.

Good luck
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Old 19-07-2011, 14:56   #13
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Re: Marina Just Called, My Livaboard Slip is Available!

Another voice saying Go For It! Especially if you have corporate jobs, coming back to a haven, like your boat, is a fantastic de-stresser. And you can definitely do it, if clothing is your biggest concern. Roaring Girl offers great advice that mirrors my experience as a "deskbound bureaucrat" in Washington, DC. In addition to her thoughts, we stored all our off-season clothing in oversize ziploc bags. (n.b., after dry cleaning, allow clothes to air for a few days before packing them away. Otherwise the plastic will retain the vapors from dry cleaning fluids, which are not good for clothing long-term.) My daily wear was mostly separates and blazers that I stored in the hanging locker on the boat, or folded on shelves . More formal clothing hung in the back of a panel van (a.k.a., my rolling storage locker). So did a change of shoes - I didn't try to walk the docks in heels! Small fishing-tackle boxes are great for jewelry if that's your style.

Enjoy!
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Old 19-07-2011, 17:38   #14
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Re: Marina Just Called, My Livaboard Slip is Available!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Peppers View Post
.................People say that it costs more living aboard and the wear and tear on your systems? I for one believe using those systems keep them in better shape then letting them sit for years on end with no use.........................
Since buying our first liveaboard boat in 1971 and having my current boat as my home since 1985, this wise observation from Captain Peppers resonates loud for me! I'm frequently surprised seeing "ragged out" boats that are twenty years newer than mine! Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 19-07-2011, 18:21   #15
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Lightbulb Why are you letting the marina screw up your schedule?

You just learned something: it's more likely going to take a year, instead of two, for a live-aboard opening at Shoreline Village. You jumped in early to be safe, but you really didn't expect a 10-month turnaround. This disrupts your plan.

If you pass this time, and it takes approx. another year for you to come to the top of the list again and for an opening, that coincides with your schedule, and gives you, psychologically, another year to complete your transition to dock life.

If it takes 18 mos., that's still in your timeframe.

I'd pass on it this time, and work my plan, more confident that my plan will work. You still have some down-sizing to do, and a lot of crap to get rid of (be honest: you do) and in the coming year, you can finish whatever boat projects would be a pain to do if you were living aboard.

Good Luck,
Jeff
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