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Old 04-12-2011, 17:14   #31
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Re: Preparing Yourself for a Liveaboard Lifestyle

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
I live aboard my boat, and I do NOT have the skills to install these things, and to maintain the solar panels. I have a good friend who lives on the hook with solar panels. He is constantly having to repair one of the three panels. He had to design and place the supporting brackets for them. He's had people accidentally disconnect the panels while they were on his boat, sometimes damaging the connections.

He has the skill to do these things, and I do not. I also know what he went through installing his refrigeration, and I know that I do not have those skills.

It may not seem like a lot of skills to you, but it can EASILY be more than some given individual has. I'm trying to help this person out, having recently gone through the same life style change and facing the same challenges she will be facing. I know a LOT of women who would not have the skills needed. It has been my experience that when someone does something on my boat I'm not capable of doing, they are drawing on years of experience with tools, electrical, etc. that I don't have.

I'm not trying to argue with you here, but having just gone through this process, I know that it's really important to be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot do.
Well, I went through the process too. Not only moving aboard, but building the boat first. Many people seem to overestimate how much skill is required. (Or underestimate what they are capable of.)

Boats are not rocket science. IMO that is a myth prepetuated by tradesmen who like to charge 3x the going rate because it's "MARINE".

Maintaining solar panels? If they are installed even half way properly, maintainance is as complicated as giving them a wipe with a damp cloth every so often.
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Old 04-12-2011, 17:16   #32
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Wow, thanks for all the helpful advice! Keep it coming.

Vancouver BC
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Old 04-12-2011, 17:31   #33
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Re: Preparing Yourself for a Liveaboard Lifestyle

There is no point in doing things the hard way from day one. At the start, try living in a marina. You will have shore power, water at the dock and shower facilities. It will be easier and less difficult to come and go. Then, when and if you decide to go cruising you will have a handle on the massive amount of information you need to internalize to safely go from here to there. Do not go past the sea bouy until you know the sailor's craft. If, after a Winter in the marina, you decide that cruising is not your cup of tea, no harm done. It will be easier to sell the boat and easier to move on.
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Old 04-12-2011, 17:44   #34
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Must haves in the summer in south. Tarp to cover the main cabin. You would be surprised ho well it works. A bimini if you are sailing to get out of the sun. It's been many years since we lived aboard but we used to be able to get block ice which lasted much longer. Would also suggest a wind soc to draw any breeze into the boat. All the best.
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Old 04-12-2011, 18:40   #35
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Re: Preparing Yourself for a Liveaboard Lifestyle

Best advice is read on here on C.F..
BIG difference between marina living and all else so that is where to start.

Cozy up to ohers that are living as you hope to; learn from them.
Learn to live simply ,you will realize your goals sooner.

Remember that your boat may be your home, but it will never be a house.
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Old 04-12-2011, 18:52   #36
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Re: Preparing Yourself for a Liveaboard Lifestyle

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Originally Posted by Sam Plan B View Post
There is no point in doing things the hard way from day one. At the start, try living in a marina. You will have shore power, water at the dock and shower facilities. It will be easier and less difficult to come and go. Then, when and if you decide to go cruising you will have a handle on the massive amount of information you need to internalize to safely go from here to there. Do not go past the sea bouy until you know the sailor's craft. If, after a Winter in the marina, you decide that cruising is not your cup of tea, no harm done. It will be easier to sell the boat and easier to move on.
Very good advice.
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Old 04-12-2011, 19:09   #37
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Re: Preparing Yourself for a Liveaboard Lifestyle

[QUOTE=speakeasy;831255] Also, one quickly learns that a number of things on a boat are in finite quantities and conservation is a must, water, fuel, electricity, and food if away from civilization.

Wouldn't be wonderful if the whole world could learn this lesson.
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Old 04-12-2011, 19:17   #38
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Re: Preparing Yourself for a Liveaboard Lifestyle

I'm pretty sure the whole world is about to get that lesson in a harsh way. A good time to be relatively self-sufficient and frugal.
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Old 04-12-2011, 20:17   #39
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Re: Preparing Yourself for a Liveaboard Lifestyle

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Well, I went through the process too. Not only moving aboard, but building the boat first. Many people seem to overestimate how much skill is required. (Or underestimate what they are capable of.)

Boats are not rocket science. IMO that is a myth prepetuated by tradesmen who like to charge 3x the going rate because it's "MARINE".

Maintaining solar panels? If they are installed even half way properly, maintainance is as complicated as giving them a wipe with a damp cloth every so often.

Well, since the fellow who has to repeatedly repair his solar panels has a degree in mechanical engineering and is a marine architect, I rather suspect that he knows what he's doing. He certainly has a whole lot more familiarity with tools than most women do (of course there are exceptions, and the OP may be one of them). I have not had a myth perpetuated on me by a tradesman, although one tried to. I've never had someone charge me 3X as much for a repair as on, say, my old home or my car. So my experience has not been your experience.

My experience has been that the people who know how to do these things have a background framework of skills and knowledge that is so familiar to them that they don't realize they have it.

I have that level of knowledge, to some extent, regarding how my boat handles. So when I ran aground yesterday I ignored the chorus of voices from the shore trying to tell me what to do. They meant well, but they did not have the experience I have handling my boat. Although we were motoring in, we used the headsail after a wind shift to get ourselves off (along with a rising tide). The people on shore were certain my boat would drift back into shallow water, but I knew how responsive my boat is. I knew I could keep it from doing that, and of course the anchor was kedged out to deeper water. But in the dark, the men on the shore couldn't see that.

There was some guy out there shouting at me that he had 40 years experience sailing ... but he had no experience on my boat, and he did not feel what was going on the way I did. I got us off, and we did not drift toward the shallows again but moved into deeper water.

If I'd had the luxury of time to explain to these people -- who truly were only trying to help but were sure I was doing the "wrong thing" (even though six men had six different suggestions, none as good as what I was doing) -- a lot of it would have come down to knowing how my boat handles on an instinctive level.

Same thing happens with tool handling and with construction skills. The experienced people know all sorts of tricks people newer to it don't have, and it makes a huge difference.

I hope this is a useful discussion for the OP and not just a "pissing contest," but this past year, that lack of background skills and knowledge is the story of my life. Someone will say "Oh, you can do this or that," but then as they think about it, they add steps, and tell me to watch out for this or that, and be sure to oil the tap before I put the threads into the hole I was supposed to drill in my mast, etc. They can go to the hardware store and buy just the right screw with just the right thread, know it will match their tap set, etc. ALL of that is new to me, and I was quite proud of myself when I went to the hardware store and came back with *exactly* the right specialty lock nut, both inside and outside diameters, right threading, right depth, etc. There's a whole lot of knowledge that goes into buying something as simple as the right nut.

IMO, people who dismiss the very real challenges of doing some of these tasks without background knowledge or experience either under-value what they know or have forgotten what it was like to be doing those things for the first time.

Perhaps the OP has the kinds of skills Zeehag has, but if she doesn't, she's either going to have to hire someone for things you (for instance) would not have to, or have a steep learning curve. I'm doing a combination of those two paths. For instance, I'm going to pay someone to show me how to install new cabin lights, and then I'll do the job myself.
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Old 04-12-2011, 21:07   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames

Well, since the fellow who has to repeatedly repair his solar panels has a degree in mechanical engineering and is a marine architect, I rather suspect that he knows what he's doing. He certainly has a whole lot more familiarity with tools than most women do (of course there are exceptions, and the OP may be one of them). I have not had a myth perpetuated on me by a tradesman, although one tried to. I've never had someone charge me 3X as much for a repair as on, say, my old home or my car. So my experience has not been your experience.

My experience has been that the people who know how to do these things have a background framework of skills and knowledge that is so familiar to them that they don't realize they have it.

I have that level of knowledge, to some extent, regarding how my boat handles. So when I ran aground yesterday I ignored the chorus of voices from the shore trying to tell me what to do. They meant well, but they did not have the experience I have handling my boat. Although we were motoring in, we used the headsail after a wind shift to get ourselves off (along with a rising tide). The people on shore were certain my boat would drift back into shallow water, but I knew how responsive my boat is. I knew I could keep it from doing that, and of course the anchor was kedged out to deeper water. But in the dark, the men on the shore couldn't see that.

There was some guy out there shouting at me that he had 40 years experience sailing ... but he had no experience on my boat, and he did not feel what was going on the way I did. I got us off, and we did not drift toward the shallows again but moved into deeper water.

If I'd had the luxury of time to explain to these people -- who truly were only trying to help but were sure I was doing the "wrong thing" (even though six men had six different suggestions, none as good as what I was doing) -- a lot of it would have come down to knowing how my boat handles on an instinctive level.

Same thing happens with tool handling and with construction skills. The experienced people know all sorts of tricks people newer to it don't have, and it makes a huge difference.

I hope this is a useful discussion for the OP and not just a "pissing contest," but this past year, that lack of background skills and knowledge is the story of my life. Someone will say "Oh, you can do this or that," but then as they think about it, they add steps, and tell me to watch out for this or that, and be sure to oil the tap before I put the threads into the hole I was supposed to drill in my mast, etc. They can go to the hardware store and buy just the right screw with just the right thread, know it will match their tap set, etc. ALL of that is new to me, and I was quite proud of myself when I went to the hardware store and came back with *exactly* the right specialty lock nut, both inside and outside diameters, right threading, right depth, etc. There's a whole lot of knowledge that goes into buying something as simple as the right nut.

IMO, people who dismiss the very real challenges of doing some of these tasks without background knowledge or experience either under-value what they know or have forgotten what it was like to be doing those things for the first time.

Perhaps the OP has the kinds of skills Zeehag has, but if she doesn't, she's either going to have to hire someone for things you (for instance) would not have to, or have a steep learning curve. I'm doing a combination of those two paths. For instance, I'm going to pay someone to show me how to install new cabin lights, and then I'll do the job myself.
Yes, I do find this discussion extremely helpful. Do I have a background with electrical, plumbing or mechanics? No, but I have tackled many DIY projects and I inherited both my mother's toolbox and methodical approach to getting things done. I never walk into a home depot without my pad and paper to write down the detailed instructions I've queried the knowledgeable staff for. Some don't have the patience (or faith?) to explain to this young woman all the intricacies of the job, and others are extremely helpful and thrilled to be asked for their expertise. I've heard numerous times that women make great students because we are often easier able to admit our inadequacies and seek out more instruction from those in the know. A generalization, obviously but there is some truth in it. My ex boyfriend would never ask for directions and if there was a fix-it job he'd poorly executed, I'd have to re-fix it on the sly.
But... I've got off topic with our gender differences lol and it wasn't even something anyone brought up.....

I completely agree with you, Rakuflames, in regard to understanding what you are and are not capable of and calling the right person in when internet/book/tradesman advice is not enough. But, how wonderful that we live in a time where a world of information is at the touch of our fingers with the internet and forums such as this!
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Old 04-12-2011, 21:13   #41
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Btw- thank you for the warm welcome and the patience for my newbie ignorance

Happy Sails!!
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Old 04-12-2011, 21:44   #42
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Quote:
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Btw- thank you for the warm welcome and the patience for my newbie ignorance

Happy Sails!!
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Welcome to CF and I hope your liveaboard dream comes true.

You mentioned a couple of things that might be called "personal" lifestyle changes like how much space you have to store stuff.

The bigger difference and responsibility is keeping your new home afloat and in ship shape. Read, read, read as much as you can in the archives here.

A land house or attic can be pretty maintenance free - cut the grass every week in the summer, put a new roof on every 20 years, a new aircon or water heater or paint job on a similar cycle. An RV for example is a place you could live that would require oil changes and maintenance. A boat is another level or three higher in terms of maintenance and that is what you might be thinking about.

I told someone recently, "If the roof leaks on your house the floor gets wet. If the floor leaks on your boat house the roof gets wet."

I am with the others. Plan the budget to stay in a marina at least 6-9 months. Good cruising grounds nearby would be nice. Friends with large 45+ foot boats often take 2-3 days of hard work preparing for passage if they have been in one spot for longer than a month or so. It rarely is as easy as throwing off the lines and going sailing.
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Old 04-12-2011, 21:58   #43
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Re: Preparing Yourself for a Liveaboard Lifestyle

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Well, since the fellow who has to repeatedly repair his solar panels has a degree in mechanical engineering and is a marine architect, I rather suspect that he knows what he's doing. He certainly has a whole lot more familiarity with tools than most women do (of course there are exceptions, and the OP may be one of them).
As a longstanding member of the engineering tribe I can say that we, more than most people, have this thing for modifying the items we own, especially technical items, until they either crash from 'feature' overload or become unreliable because 'improvements' that have compromised other functions of the device.

Without knowing all the details of your acquaintance's installation I would hesitate to have an opinion either way. If it were a normal person having problems I would be more likely to blame the item.
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Old 04-12-2011, 22:59   #44
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Re: Preparing Yourself for a Liveaboard Lifestyle

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Well, since the fellow who has to repeatedly repair his solar panels has a degree in mechanical engineering and is a marine architect, I rather suspect that he knows what he's doing.
Solar is really, really, simple. If an engineer can't get it working reliably (unless he actually made his photovoltaic cells himself) then honestly, IMO he should hand back his degree.
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Old 05-12-2011, 00:17   #45
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Re: Preparing Yourself for a Liveaboard Lifestyle

would this work for coffee instead of black?

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