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Old 08-08-2012, 20:18   #1
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My new dream to live aboard

About me: I am currently 17 and recently thought it would be great to live on a boat! I want to become a computer engineer and know I want to live in Florida(because I was born there) or California(because it is a great place for my career area). After college I want to live aboard as I have always loved the water and recently got to stay on my dads friends searay 340 sundancer for a couple of days which gave me the idea.

I have some questions:

-I know for my career that the average salary is around $85,000. What would be a good budget for amount to pay for a boat and everying else?

-I want either a power boat(with some type of flybridge) or a sailing catamaran. What would be better? The only special thing I would want is that it can have a place to put a wave runner. Also I would only do light amounts of cruising around the area.

-What would I look for at a slip to stay?

-What are important things I should know about living aboard?

thank you for any help!!!

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Old 09-08-2012, 03:19   #2
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Re: My new dream to live aboard

Before planning on buying a boat, get your career in focus first; get your degree FIRST! In the meantime, work on getting a USCG "6-pack captain's license". Take some courses in boating and in seamanship. Accrue a year's worth of sailing time as a crew member. You'll need to provide your sailing experience/time to the USCG, in order to get your license. There are several USCG requirements that need to be met; work on them. (Refer to the thread..."chartering in the Caribbean".) Engineering is no walk in the park. Once you have accomplished the above suggestions, you will have some answers to many of your questions.
As an Electrical Engineer, this is the best advice I can give. Good luck to your endeavors!

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Old 09-08-2012, 03:49   #3
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Re: My new dream to live aboard

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Michael.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:00   #4
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Re: My new dream to live aboard

Welcome aboard Michael and good luck with your plans.

Where are you planning to go to College? A presume you are a senior this year?

If you pursue computer engineering Silicon Valley could be a good choice. If you go this path take lots of math. The idea for you now is to become as competitive as possible for a good job. Excellent math fundamentals are critical in the computer, software and IT industries.

What you buy with your earnings comes later. Perhaps after paying off college debts.

Don't be discouraged but don't get the cart before the horse.
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:28   #5
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Re: My new dream to live aboard

Welcome aboard, Michael! Learn all you can, land the best job you can. You will probably find new opportunities as you start your career, especially if you're very good at what you do. If you're dead set on living the marina life, start simple, liveable and cheap. And get as much help as you can from people who've been there...this forum is a great start. Spend some time reading the liveaboard section archives and you'll gain some great insight. Good luck!
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:43   #6
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Welcome Michael,
As a Electrical Engineer that lives aboard in Florida and is a full time telecommuter, I can vouch that it is a great lifestyle. However, I strongly second Teknav's advice. Focus on your education first and use this dream as motivation on the days you feel like walking away or changing your major. Worry about location and the details of the boat after you have the sheep's skin in hand.

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Old 09-08-2012, 05:51   #7
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Re: My new dream to live aboard

Welcome aboard Michael!

I recommend you read the living aboard forum here. Ask lots of questions and never lose sight of your goal/dream. You can do it!
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:38   #8
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Re: My new dream to live aboard

My first bit of advice to any young person just beginning a career/life: Save and invest a minimum of 20% of whatever you earn, then think about what you can afford with what's left over.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:16   #9
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Re: My new dream to live aboard

Hey Michael, I'm a Systems Engineer living aboard in Florida. Would also mirror the other suggestions of: focus on your career first.

Florida has a decent tech market. SE Florida has a nice market, but is a PITA to liveaboard in. Tampa is fantastic, though traffic could be a bitch. Orlando has a nice market but would be a bit of a commute from the coast. There's some jobs in the Melbourne area and there's some nice liveaboard options there too. Jacksonville also has a nice tech market and should be good for liveaboards as well.

So you have a lot of options in Florida. California would be rougher simply because it's harder to liveaboard there.

Get settled into your career, try to do it without building up a lot of debt. Then pick up a smaller boat and get settled into the lifestyle. Once you do that and learn what you like and don't like and what kind of cruising you want to do, you can always trade up.

If you equally like software and systems engineering, you might want to go into software work. There seems to be more telecommute options for that which would give you more living options. But in the end, pick the path you enjoy most. Both require long work days.
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Old 10-08-2012, 14:36   #10
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Do not count your chickens before the eggs hatch. I know a CPA getting $15/hr and that is no where close to what he got five years ago. Get your degree and she how things play out.

Welcome aboard

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