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Old 06-01-2011, 05:49   #1
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Need to Hear from Florida Liveaboards

This message is directed to those folks who live aboard YEAR ROUND in Florida.

I'd like to hear privately from you - my hubby is interested in moving the boat to Florida, and I'd like to get tips and advice from you all (good and bad).

Thanks very much in advance.

Toni
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:14   #2
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I'd like to hear privately from you
Toni

Doesn't this defeat the purpose of a forum? Would others in the community be interested or benefit from this information as well?
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:16   #3
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:21   #4
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We have lived aboard for 5 years in Florida. What would you like to know?
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:45   #5
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Doesn't this defeat the purpose of a forum? Would others in the community be interested or benefit from this information as well?

I personally only want to hear from those who have actually done it, not from someone who lives in Washington State, has never been to Florida, let alone lived aboard there, but is more than willing to tell me why it's a bad idea.

I thought I was putting my request politely, but obviously I have offended at least one person.
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:56   #6
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To demand exclusivity on a public board is not the way it's usually done unless there is private, personal info involved.

If you ask for Fla livaboard specifics you will likely get fla specifics. But so what if you get a few comments from Wash state? You're not paying for the bandwidth of this board.

What you are doing is keeping the rest of us from some potentially useful information. This is a place designed to SHARE information.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:03   #7
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What Gettnthere said. Even those who just pass through Florida are interested in anchoring regulations (which you can find on a search here), what marinas allow dinghys to tie up, where to walk a dog etc. All the things that make life aboard liveable. And if you are looking for the negatives of living aboard in FLorida, you definitely want to here from people who are elsewhere, they may be elsewhere because they stopped living aboard in FLorida.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:33   #8
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Besides which, you really can't control the information that you get in response to a question on a public forum like this. You just have to take it all in and filter out what you don't want.

Now, I don't liveaboard, but I do live in Florida. So if you have any questions that I might be able to answer, I would be glad to help. If you just want very general tips and advice...

Florida is very hot and humid in the summer. If you can't tolerate high humidity you will not like it here.

Florida has lots of bugs and crawling critters (spiders, roaches, lizards, snakes, that sort of thing, as well as, of course, our famous alligators). If you can't tolerate bugs, or the sight of lizards scurrying away as you walk down the sidewalk, you will not like it here. My sister refuses to visit because the sight of the little lizards that are everywhere "freaks her out".

Florida has no income tax. If you don't like paying income tax you will like it here very much.

Florida's sales tax is a little higher than most other places I've lived.

Florida has generally wonderful weather from about October through February. It rains a lot in March and April, and then through the summer you have afternoon thundershowers and the potential for hurricanes. Still, I had no need of a jacket coming in to work this morning. When I lived in Iowa I wore a heavy, sheepskin jacket most of Nov., Dec., and Jan.

Florida has a fairly high rate of property crimes, but a slightly lower than average rate (for the U.S.) of violent crimes. Like most anywhere that you might live, common sense precautions (like, not engaging in the drug trade!) will allow you to live a comfortably safe life.

Cost of living ranges from below average to well above average, depending on where you live. Some products are more (I find wine to be considerably more expensive here than it was in Colorado) and other things will be less (citrus fruits are very inexpensive, big surprise).

Obviously, Florida has miles and miles of coastline, which means lots of boats, boaters, marinas, and other facilities that cater to the boating community. Finding a marina that allows liveaboards is pretty easy, almost anywhere.

Here on the West coast, and throughout the Keys, the water is mostly pretty shallow. Hence a deep draft (6' or more) will limit where you can go and force you into the channels in a lot of places. I am currently looking for my next boat, and one hard and fast criteria I have is that it must not draw more than 5'.

Hope this helps. Again, if you have specific questions I would be happy to answer them.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:52   #9
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Denver you got many of the fine points, although you missed routine 3-hour delays on the airport tarmac (landing or taking off) while operations shut down for lightning in the rainy season. "The lightning capital of the world" being a problem for boats where there is no shelter or protection.

And of course, your boating insurance may ask you to remove the boat form the state during hurricane season entirely. Even if not, you'll need to make arrangements for a hurricane hole, and expect that's a routine part of FL life, just as blizzard preparation is up north.

Then of course depending on what part of Florida (Treasure Coast is very different from Tampa is very different from St. Aug is very different from....) some are infested with zombies, retirees with no situational awareness. High numbers of highway accidents, routine closings of I95 for same, and most recently while the state debates new ethics standards for elected officials, the USDA announced that Florida has led the nation "since 2000" in the number of federal corruption prosecutions.

Nevertheless, there's lots of sun and balmy nights to be enjoyed if you're into that thing, and locate in the right area. And of course, cheap housing stock to be snapped up right now, if you don't mind waiting five or ten years for the values to rise again.

If you have kids, or plan to have kids, plan on private schools, the public ones keep scoring below par, way below par, year after year.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:43   #10
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Goodness gracious, such negativity even from Florida residents! We have lived aboard and sailed both coasts of Florida for 5 years. We cruise during the summer up one coast or the other and spend the winters here in the Keys. 99% of our time is anchored or on a mooring, marinas only to leave the boat to travel north to see the grandkids. We live in paradise. Love every minute of it! Enjoy both coasts (haven't done the Panhandle yet). Been as far north as Charleston, NC one summer.

I heard all the too humid, too hot, too many bugs, and 100s of other reasons I should not live in Florida when I lived in the godforsakenfrozenhellhole Northeast. Surprised to hear it from Florida residents though! :-) We cruise all summer long with no A/C and the only time we are too hot is when we are on the land shopping! We sit here in Boot Key Harbor right now with 250 other cruising boats almost none of which have or use built-in A/C or heat. Of course, we follow the sun and temps up and down the coast and would need A/C if we lived in a marina and heat if we lived further north in the winter.

If you love cruising and are not just going along because your husband wants it, you will probably love Florida. As Bob Bithchin' says "Attitude -The difference between and adventure and an ordeal." GRIN
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Old 06-01-2011, 13:02   #11
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Surprised to hear it from Florida residents though! :-)
Well, it's not too hot or too humid for ME! If it were I wouldn't live here. Personally, I love it. But I know that some people don't. My parents absolutely will not visit in the summertime, because my mother has difficulty breathing when it is extremely humid.

So, yeah, maybe I mentioned some of the negatives, but only because these are things that I think people should know about before moving down here. I remember reading some time back that nearly 2/3rds of the people who move to Florida, move away within 18 months. Mostly, the article said, it is because they visit in the winter and never consider what it's like in the summertime. After one summer they move away.

Hellosailor made a good point, that is also very positive, I guess depending on your point of view. That is that, if you have some cash, Florida real estate is going for bargain basement prices right now. You can buy a waterfront home on Tampa Bay for about half of what you would have paid 5 years ago. Of course, you may have to deal with the delays and headaches associated with buying a home that is in foreclosure, or that is a short sale. Still, in the end, if you can afford it, this is a GREAT time to be buying Florida real estate!
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Old 06-01-2011, 14:09   #12
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I personally only want to hear from those who have actually done it, not from someone who lives in Washington State, has never been to Florida, let alone lived aboard there, but is more than willing to tell me why it's a bad idea.

I thought I was putting my request politely, but obviously I have offended at least one person.
I am not in the least bit offended. My sincerest apologies if you are as a result of my questions.
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:35   #13
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Stay away from South Florida. The crime is crazy, people get murdered on a weekly basis. I lived there on a sailboat for 2 years then got the hell out. I'm from Denver suburbs where its nice and safe. Also don't expect to hear anyone speaking English. South Florida is a forging country. Have you seen the bumper sticker that says " will the last American to leave Miami bring the American flag" Ft Lauderdale is a little better but not much.
Depending on where your from this will either shock you and make you run away or it will be nothing new. Living there is different than going there on vacation.
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:07   #14
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Stay away from South Florida. The crime is crazy, people get murdered on a weekly basis. I lived there on a sailboat for 2 years then got the hell out. I'm from Denver suburbs where its nice and safe. Also don't expect to hear anyone speaking English. South Florida is a forging country. Have you seen the bumper sticker that says " will the last American to leave Miami bring the American flag" Ft Lauderdale is a little better but not much.
Depending on where your from this will either shock you and make you run away or it will be nothing new. Living there is different than going there on vacation.
Gez I did not relize it was so bad, it seems like just about any other big city place on the planet?- only warmer with nice clear water!
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:40   #15
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Gez I did not relize it was so bad, it seems like just about any other big city place on the planet?- only warmer with nice clear water!
It's not so bad. And it IS warmer, and the water IS nice and clear!

O2buster must be talking about Miami. Yeah, Miami is a big city, and it has all of the same problems as any other big city. The violent crime rate these days is not any worse than any other city its size, though. 20 years ago, or so, Miami had one of the highest violent crime rates in the country. It has dropped considerably since, and is now comparable to any other large city. Indeed, the violent crime rate throughout Florida has dropped rapidly during the last 20-25 years and is now a bit less than average, where it used to be above average.

Besides that, "South Florida" encompasses a pretty large area. Naples and Ft. Myers are in "South Florida", but are very nice areas that are quite safe.
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