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Old 09-07-2013, 20:05   #16
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Re: Moving to a liveaboard boat with a 6 year old

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I wouldn't touch a boat that I need to keep afloat lol. It needs to inherently keep itself afloat. The rest we need to budget for.
If you find a boat that repairs itself please let me know.
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:24   #17
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Re: Moving to a liveaboard boat with a 6 year old

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 and I.

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
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:41   #18
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Re: Moving to a liveaboard boat with a 6 year old

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If you find a boat that repairs itself please let me know.
Just as soon as I have registered the patent for it you will be the first to know lol.
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Old 10-07-2013, 20:08   #19
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Re: Moving to a liveaboard boat with a 6 year old

Our daughter was six in 1982 and our son was six in 1985. We've lived aboard boats that we financed and have kept afloat since 1971. Both of our children attended public schools while we lived aboard and they excelled. Your question seemed to center upon "likes & dislikes". We were very pleased to find that the small dimensions of our home led to good communication and a close family relationship. I don't have specific dislikes, but I do have concerns. We developed a strict regimen of accountability for when and where life jackets were worn; where the limits existed for our children to be on deck and exposed to the hazards of running rigging; and which parent was the one who was aware of the relationship between the children and risk. Our children are now off in houses, not doing their parents thing as is the nature for children, but they have wonderful rememberances of their life abooard and cruising on the boat. You have some great opportunities for your future and the furture of your six year old!
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Old 10-07-2013, 20:56   #20
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Re: Moving to a liveaboard boat with a 6 year old

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shanedennis thank you so much for the information, I will check into that as soon as I'm able. My husband had already intended on having the survey done.
I think, based on all the threads throughout the internet, that there will be many folks waiting for your report on how boat finance companies such as Newcoast ďdonít careĒ if your boat loan will be used to finance a liveaboard. So many have reported being turned down because of their living intentions that this is indeed ground breaking news and the answer to a dilemma that has confounded so many looking to live their dream.

Best of luck and please report back as soon as you can.
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Old 10-07-2013, 23:19   #21
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I don't remember any question on the financing application regarding living aboard. When we purchased the boat we lived on land, of course.

I do not remember answering any direct questions to the effect. Perhaps it is simply a matter of keeping your land address until after the boat is financed and using your rent/mortgage in the calculations rather than your boat payment. "Normal" people will assume you are going to use the boat for coastal cruising.

They seemed to bend over backwards to give me the money. For example, one of the requirements was USCGS registration, a requirement I could not meet because I am not a US citizen. They waived the requirement and accepted state registration.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:52   #22
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Re: Moving to a liveaboard boat with a 6 year old

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I don't remember any question on the financing application regarding living aboard. When we purchased the boat we lived on land, of course.

I do not remember answering any direct questions to the effect. Perhaps it is simply a matter of keeping your land address until after the boat is financed and using your rent/mortgage in the calculations rather than your boat payment. "Normal" people will assume you are going to use the boat for coastal cruising.

They seemed to bend over backwards to give me the money. For example, one of the requirements was USCGS registration, a requirement I could not meet because I am not a US citizen. They waived the requirement and accepted state registration.
Iím certainly not trying to be argumentative but your scenario seems to be very different than the norm.

The purpose of the requirement for USCG documentation is so they can file a First Preferred Ships Mortgage against it. Very unusual for them not to do that particularly considering that most boat loan companies will not even loan to non-US citizens.

Read the fine print in the mortgage agreement and see if it says anything about living aboard.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:22   #23
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Re: Moving to a liveaboard boat with a 6 year old

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I don't remember any question on the financing application regarding living aboard. When we purchased the boat we lived on land, of course.
The loan application asks a question called, "street address." If you don't have one, getting financing is exponentially more difficult. Banks are hesitant about loaning assets to someone who can just untie a cleat knot and float away with there money.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:56   #24
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Re: Moving to a liveaboard boat with a 6 year old

We have not financed a boat purchase since the eighties and, at that time, we were not subject to any documentation or non-liveaboard requirements. I do remember some difficulties that we encountered when trying to finance our first liveaboard boat in 1971 and the problems we had at that time seem absurd today. I recall one loan officer at a bank that turned us down giving us the advice that we should buy a house first and think about the choices of a boat after having owned the house. We also found that many banks would not consider the income of the wife as an asset because her income would be lost if she became pregnant. Ironically, if we were not married and in partnership with the purchase they would count her income as there was not the risk of pregnancy. Thankfully times have changed!
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:13   #25
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There was no liveaboard exclusion in the boat loan. I think the key is applying for the loan while you still have a land address.

Thread drift - It's generally just as easy for non-US citizen US permanent residents to get loans as US citizens as long as they are US permanent residents ("green" card holders). It is all about credit history. I can get loans more easily than most other US citizens with comparable income and assets because I have a long, near perfect credit history in the US.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:29   #26
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Re: Moving to a liveaboard boat with a 6 year old

pay cash for the boat if you can. also beware of needing to do work on a boat while living aboard .. speaking from experience. some jobs make a huge mess and you will spend much of your time cleaning up every afternoon so you can live in the boat.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:26   #27
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Many banks will write a small loan like 15k and treat it as a used vehicle loan. Right now with the economy banks want to write small loans to folks who can pay them back. It's small risk but safe. I think the harder loans would be $50k+++. Make some calls to your favorite banks and ask if they would treat a boat as a used vehicle. I agree a credit union would be my first choice too.

Be prepared to put down a minimum of 20% of the loan value and I think you'll be ok. Rates are cheap right now.
Good luck!
SC
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:26   #28
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Re: Moving to a liveaboard boat with a 6 year old

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I have some comments although I have always lothed the idea of living on either of the two boats I have owned. The first was a 30' Huner sailboat; my current boat is a 40' aftcabin Silverton with two heads, two showers, a davit crane to lift our dinghy into and out of...., plus many other ammenities such as almost 600 watts of solar.

My take on boating is a boat is a toy, not my home. As large as my 40 is, it is too damned small for my wife and I to live on.

Getting back to what you are now facing. Have you ever owned a boat of any kind? Have you enrolled in any boating safety and navigation classes? Have you considered where you plan to store all your belongings you now enjoy that will not fit on a boat? Have you thought of renting a boat for a vacation to gain experience?

My 40 has a lot of space and for the most part, a powerboat will offer greater space than one will find on a sailboat of equal length. But put that aside and assume the boat you plan to live aboard is rectangular and is 40' in length with a constant beam of 14 feet WHICH IT WILL NOT HAVE!

The above assumptions have a total living space of only 560 square feet!!!! How large is your current bathroom plus a closet??? And remember if its a sailboat, you have a cockpit that can hardly be assumed to be a living quarters.

Now I predict many of those who now live on a boat will take umbrage with this post. Sure, you and your family can do it but the transition could take a toll. I could go on but my basic message is to make the transistion in small steps to be sure this is what you want. JMHO

I live on my boat (a 31' Hunter) and I don't take umbrage with it at all. The GREAT majority of people want much more space than most people could afford to buy -- or want to have as a "boat."

I am constantly amazed that I don't miss the space, but I don't -- except for that miserable 8 days last winter when I was extremely sick with bronchitis. Most of the time I'm not on the boat. Even laid up with an injury, I still get off the boat, and when I do I so enjoy what I see. Last night, apparently, Anna Maria Island, just to the west of me, got pounded by a thunderstorm. The lightning display was fantastic, and we saw the strikes all the way to the ground, something I wouldn't have seen in a house in the same town. I wouldn't have spent a summer floating on bioluminescence.

*For me,* the joys of living aboard make the lack of space unnoticeable. Take the boat out and there's no lack of space!

But I do think that people who have romanticized this notion in their head for years *should* do a reality check first. I moved an Ice chest into my kitchen and stopped using the refrigerator. I found I preferred it in some ways. I like buying a few things every couple of days. I HATE grocery shopping for large amounts of food at once. I despise it. (I would like a bigger head.)
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:32   #29
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Re: Moving to a liveaboard boat with a 6 year old

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pay cash for the boat if you can. also beware of needing to do work on a boat while living aboard .. speaking from experience. some jobs make a huge mess and you will spend much of your time cleaning up every afternoon so you can live in the boat.

OMG -- replacing the diesel! I did not live aboard. i put the cat in the car, found motels that accepted cats, and traveled around Florida for five days. When I came back, it was done. (Well, I did stay in the area for two days so I could take my final measure of the man who was doing the work -- he was terrific.)

You know that that led to? I ended up going ZIP LINING. Yes. I still want to do it over a jungle, but doing it over a Florida swamp while "George" the alligator went out of his way to watch each person as we passed over, CLEARLY hopine we would drop, was ... entertainment I never would have had had I not moved on the boat.

It's not all the things you'll expect, but many wonderful things you never saw coming. IF it's your cup of tea.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:38   #30
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Thank you for the information, looking to get surveyor this week.
.

I highly recommend Lou Stahlberg 281-639-3014 as a surveyor. I have used him 4 times on various boats. He is exceedingly thorough, honest and fair. He is in League City.

As for children and living aboard, Marina Del Sol (Kemah/league City) has a disproportionate amount of live-aboards with children, at least as far as I can tell. I suggest you walk around and check them out. You will get good info.

Tony B
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