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Old 22-09-2017, 22:51   #1
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May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

Hello all,

This idea came to me the last time I was in Brighton, UK, teaching: the local marina there has some vessels for lease/rent.

I live on the South Coast, near Nowra. I own an 8m plate boat with twin E-TECs, and my partner and I had bought it to modify to make (as she put it) a liveaboard for 1.5 people (she is small, and see herself as an infrequent visitor!).

I went up to Sydney to look at a 52' converted trawler (with Gardner 6L3B) but my wise partner suggested that I rent, or lease, a boat to try living aboard as a less expensive first step. As long as I have wi-fi, I can work anywhere (I am a writer).

As I expect to be on my own mostly, I would not want to voyage far; and am an intermediate-experienced boater (and I volunteer with Marine Rescue) so am capable of looking after your boat.

So are there any livaboards in my approximate area (say, Sydney to Eden) who want a break, some money, and the loan of a car? And timing can suit you, too; I will be fairly busy up to Christmas/NY, but after that the schedule is open. Probably a crazy idea, but 'noting ventured, nothing gained".
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Old 23-09-2017, 00:59   #2
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Re: May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

Kit_L,

The OFFICIAL line, as I recently discovered, is that you cannot live aboard a boat anywhere in NSW.

Crazy hey?

So you may find responses a little guarded. There are people doing it, but they are doing it quietly.

From my very recent research, it looks like Tasmania or Queensland are the best chances of finding an "official" live-aboard location in Australia. South Australia is not all that easy, there are places, but they are not officially endorsed with a few minor exceptions.

As for your plans, a 52 foot trawler is approximately double the length of your 8 meter boat and therefore 8 (yes, eight) times the nominal size. The livable space on a boat goes up with the cube of the length, or close enough to it. So keep that in mind when you try boats out for comparisons, the space relationships are not linear.

Happy boat-home hunting.

P.S. I was chatting to dad the other day, who lived aboard in Sydney Harbour 60 years ago. His boat registration was HB69, the HB denoted House Boat, though the boat itself was an early H28 without mast or rigging. Anyway, fancy that, an officially endorsed permit to live on Sydney Harbour in a boat! I don't think those registrations exist any more.

Matt
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Old 23-09-2017, 02:23   #3
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Re: May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

Well, officially I would not be "living aboard"; I would be transiting, to somewhere!

And I really probed that 52 footer when I went aboard, and I concluded that 50+ feet is a kind of luxury that I want! Eight times the volume, approximately, as you say, and I appreciated that volume not for space to put stuff in, but space to enjoy, as it is. I have had quite the succession of smaller boats, yachts and power boats and love the feeling of an open pilot house.
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Old 23-09-2017, 02:36   #4
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May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

Yep, and 8 times the maintenance and labour and costs.


Sorry to bring practicalities into it.
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Old 23-09-2017, 02:44   #5
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Re: May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

No, please don't be sorry: it's reality. Probably not eight times, though; I just paid $6,000 for two major services on my E-TECs...

Overall, I think we can agree: twice the length? A lot more than double maintenance and labour!
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Old 23-09-2017, 03:21   #6
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Re: May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

I wonder how outboard maintenance costs compare with diesels? My gut feel is that inboard diesels would be cheaper to service and maintain.
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Old 23-09-2017, 03:22   #7
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Re: May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

As an interesting comparison, I felt that a neighbouring 32 foot motor boat had about the same living space as my 42 foot sailing boat.
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Old 23-09-2017, 03:46   #8
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Re: May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

"I wonder how outboard maintenance costs compare with diesels?"

This is a deep question; if one is thinking total costs, this is the first of interesting pair of articles, by a marine surveyer:

Part one: Marine Engines : Power Options - Gas Versus Diesel
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Old 23-09-2017, 05:30   #9
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Re: May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

I can't put my finger on anything specific but that article didn't quite ring true to me.

In fairness, he likely knows more than me, but I don't feel he is quite on the money with diesels. I wish I could be more specific.
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Old 23-09-2017, 06:35   #10
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Re: May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

Short story: diesels produce more torque for a given dollar amount of equivalent fuel and, assuming low stress design, are relatively low maintenance IF used regularly. Many liveaboards are not. His experiences suggest that if used/not used this way, diesels do not last that much longer than gas engines and, when they do need rebuilding, are much more expensive. So his perspective is a 'whole of engine life' one, rather than a snapshot.

For a lazy Gardner-type of engine, big and heavy, used regularly and maintained? I know which I would prefer. All his points are worth considering, though, I feel.
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Old 23-09-2017, 08:48   #11
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Re: May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
I wonder how outboard maintenance costs compare with diesels? My gut feel is that inboard diesels would be cheaper to service and maintain.
Ooohhh....so funny..."cheaper"....ROTFL!!!
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Old 23-09-2017, 12:14   #12
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Re: May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
Ooohhh....so funny..."cheaper"....ROTFL!!!


Having a bad time with your diesel by some chance?
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Old 23-09-2017, 12:21   #13
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Re: May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

I have difficulty understanding why your government (of NSW) would feel it necessary to constrain people's freedom in this respect. What interest is it to them?
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Old 23-09-2017, 12:24   #14
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Re: May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

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I have difficulty understanding why your government would feel it necessary to constrain people's freedom in this respect. What interest is it to them?


You will get the conspiracy theorists going with that question.

Anyway, it's only one state in the country, albeit the most populous and with some of the better waterways.
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Old 23-09-2017, 13:21   #15
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Re: May I rent your liveaboard for a period?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
I can't put my finger on anything specific but that article didn't quite ring true to me.

In fairness, he likely knows more than me, but I don't feel he is quite on the money with diesels. I wish I could be more specific.
The article does "not ring true" to me either. It is oriented towards performance power boats. The sailing world is much different.

First he talks about turbo charged diesels. IMO not a good choice for a diesel. Turbos kick in at higher engine speeds - if you don't drive the engine hard enough the turbo will "coke up" - build up exhaust products in the turbo. When you want the turbo boost it may not work due to the buildup.

Then he talks about light weight diesels where were a disaster for cars. GM tried to make a diesel engine out of a gas engine block. The block was way too light for the high compression loads.

He also talks about engine life of a diesel being comparable to a gas engine, saying that a diesel is only good for about 900 hours.

My Perkins 4-108 had 6500 hours on it when I replaced it and still ran well. The problem with it was oil blowing past the crankshaft seal due to both rings and the seal wear. As the rings wear the crankcase pressure increases and pushes the oil out the seal. My marinized Kubota tractor engine now has 4000 hours on it and has never had a significant problem.

So the author may have an issue with high performance power boats but his advice does not apply to slower revving, slower moving sailboats and trawlers.
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