Hi. Glad to hear you are thinking this through.
Its not the life for every parent, but it can be a great way of parenting. Last year my kids
and I sold our house, and early this year purchased a liveaboard
which is now our fulltime home. I had done liveaboard
previously in Darwin for a short time as a single
man. So at least I had some idea.
The drivers are something you need to get your head
around. What is it that you want to achieve? I wanted simpler living, less expenses, and more life experience and adventure for my kids
I am glad to say it is working out for us very well.
We do it on a 31' boat, with two big quarter berths and I take the V-berth. I think separate sleeping spaces are essential. I am also a fan of buying
no more boat than you need - smaller is easier and cheaper to keep. My kids are at adaptable ages (as is your child), though another year or two and the daughter would be teenage (and I reckon this change could have been a problem then).
I would seriously avoid financing
the boat. Face it - boats are not investments, they depreciate and can do it pretty rapidly. Better to buy within budget
and live with the constraints. You may also have some unusual expenses to cover for a while - like a storage
shed for maybe half to one year as you slowly whittle down your possessions even after having already done so when leaving the house. And, no matter what you buy, you will want to do some work and improvement on the boat. These things all add up. Having said that - this is way cheaper than living in a house.
Marina is the best situation I think - easy to do schools, shopping
, and just general living is easier in a step-on/step-off marina.
And the other thing I would say - if you do really want to do this, at some point you just have to take a leap of faith and give it a go. For my kids and I, it has been worth it, and we are now starting to build some modest miles and experience with a view of cruising at some point.
Let us know how you go. Best of luck.
Tony and kids