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Old 24-01-2019, 17:57   #16
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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Originally Posted by phsylent View Post
So the admiral and I are thinking of buying a vessel to move aboard. We are the kind of folk who under ideal circumstances would live in a small town 100mi away from a city but have the kind of degrees that find work in major metropolitan areas. We both have the sailing itch and in my case I've sailed, repaired, and rebuilt vessels since childhood. We already know the life aboard is for us as we consider any time not spent bare boat chartering to be a joint work trip. Thus a home that can be close for the commute but can get over the horizon as necessary is highly attractive to us.

At this point we've crunched the numbers and the gas savings alone from living at a marina would fully cover the slip cost for a vessel up to 80ft in places like Charleston, Tampa, and Houston.

So the task we find ourselves with now is seeing if we are using a reasonable specification when searching for boats.

Currently our spec is as follows:

New or used: Definitely used as the initial depreciation on these money pits is ruinous.

Hull material: Aluminum, synthetic core FRP, or solid FRP (After watching the speed at which balsa degrades first hand I'd only tolerate it on a new boat and I won't eat that much initial depreciation)

Rig: sloop, cutter, ketch, or yawl

Maneuverability: Has or can have thrusters fitted or is a catamaran.

Tacking angle: 100 degrees TWA

max speed: min 10kn through the water in 20kn TWS

light wind speed: min 50% TWS on most points of sail with all applicable canvas deployed.

Comfort under way: Able to go #2 sans excessive effort on a close haul in 20kn TWS. Able to at least mostly weather proof the cockpit. Ideally able to trim sails from the helm without needing foul-weather gear.

Age: Not a priority provided the hull and rigging has been well kept and insurance will cover it.

Accommodations: At least 4 cabins and 3 heads. Galley conducive to a dishwasher. Misc space for things like washer/dryers. (we want to start a family so space isn't particularly negotiable) A super stretch goal would be a tub in the master head but that's more a fantasy than a requirement

Dimensions: Sufficient to achieve the above goals but we're not in love with specific numbers.

ICW compliance: Dislike cruising the ICW so its a nice to have but not a make or break.

Draft: Less is best but its lower priority for us.

Price: we'd prefer to spend as few hundreds of thousands USD as possible but we're in a position to pay good money for a good vessel.

Mono or multi: all things being equal a catamaran but as long as she meets the rest of the above its a preference that's easily out weighed by a price differential.

Timeline: 2+ years. So we're not trying to choose the exact boat now rather we're trying to narrow the list of boats and sundries we need to become experts on and get a reality check long before money gets in the same post code as the table.

For reference our hypothetical ideal boat at present would be a used 5-10yr old seawind 1600 or neel 51. (unfortunately none of those exist yet or will exist in our desired time frame)

Also since boats depreciate we'd prefer not to start small and trade up later since that would only compound the losses.

Lastly while exceeding the spec would be nice. Its a game of diminishing returns which will quickly be out weighed by a less expensive option.

Looking forward to hearing what y'all think of all this.

Regards,
phsylent
Standard non sailor/cruiser/ live aboard list. But nothing wrong with that, but you are over thinking it IMO .
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Old 24-01-2019, 18:08   #17
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post

Just a perspective to consider as you make your choices. You're not the first person to consider this as a viable option. I'd be curious if anyone has made this work. How often did they actually get out sailing? More, or less than if they had a dedicated cruising boat for weekend cruising.
It really depends where you are. I lived in Victoria, BC on my boat in a marina for over 5 years - I'd never be able to afford to buy a place and it was the only way I was going to 'own' something I could live in. Bought the boat for 15k CAD and was paying around 600 a month for moorage right downtown - which was cheaper even than renting. Well, it would have been if I haven't been spending a lot of money on refitting

I managed to get out sailing probably 10-15 weekends in the year with one 'big' 2 -4 week trip as well in there per year.

I had to be super careful though about keeping everything shipshape - and the longer it is since you last went out, the harder it is to do! I used to salmon fish a lot off the boat a lot as well though, so I'd often go out on windless days and just troll around under motor. There were a lot of liveaboards on my dock and not many got out very often - as you said, it's quite a pain if you aren't careful getting everything put away etc!
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Old 24-01-2019, 18:21   #18
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
The reality is that living on a boat is different from sailing over the horizon.


If you really want a fast boat to sail on the weekends, get a sailboat. If you need a place to live in a big metropolitan area, get a condo.


I know it seems that you can combine the two you can have a giant boat, but my observation is that if you try to combine the two, you'll do a lot less sailing, and a lot more "living on a boat in a marina". Something else to consider: real estate tends to appreciate, while boats depreciate.



Just a perspective to consider as you make your choices.

So we actually considered all of this so let me address it:
The problem with a condo in the city is that as stated earlier we strongly dislike the experience of living in the city. We did it in college and its why we live so far away now. There is this feeling of never having any space and being unable to get away from the throngs of people no matter how big the place you live may be. We only find peace out in the country where we are now or on the water as we were when we cruised Tampa and Charleston. Even when anchored not but 300yds from downtown we still felt like we could breathe just as we can where the gravel roads begin. As best I can describe it its this sensation of being a world away while being physically nearby that we find so seductive about life aboard.

As far as depreciation is concerned its just a necessary trade off we're aware of and choose to deal with. It isn't ideal but the alternative choices of 2-3hrs of traffic daily or feeling like you are trapped and drowning in people are even less ideal.

Regards,
phsylent
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Old 24-01-2019, 18:27   #19
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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Originally Posted by alctel View Post
I had to be super careful though about keeping everything shipshape - and the longer it is since you last went out, the harder it is to do! I used to salmon fish a lot off the boat a lot as well though, so I'd often go out on windless days and just troll around under motor. There were a lot of liveaboards on my dock and not many got out very often - as you said, it's quite a pain if you aren't careful getting everything put away etc!
I'm not very worried about getting off the dock as our need to escape will without fail drive us into the sea frequently and as far as keeping everything in shape our budget already includes semi annual haul outs as well as scheduled+unscheduled maintenance. This plan and spec is the product of 2 years of research and exploration before joining CF.

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phsylent
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Old 24-01-2019, 18:33   #20
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Standard non sailor/cruiser/ live aboard list. But nothing wrong with that, but you are over thinking it IMO .
Probably a fair assessment but after I made the ill advised decision to go camping in the mountains without adequate planning and as a result watched a lack of tent stakes lead to tent tumble weeds rolling across the hill with occupants still screaming inside until they terminated their inglorious trip in a stream I decided that there is nothing wrong with over thinking things from the comfort of my chair.

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Old 24-01-2019, 19:49   #21
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
You spend almost $900 a month on gas for your commute! WOW!


Because that's about the low end for a slip in a marina around here, that will accommodate an 80' boat, and will allow full-time living aboard.
Don't come to Australia, more like $2000 for an 80 here.
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Old 24-01-2019, 19:54   #22
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

I would add Jacksonville to your list if you're looking to be close to a good sized city. It has a decent airport and a football team (if that sort of thing interests you). St. Augustine (about an hour south) is just a HUGE amount of fun, in addition.

South Carolina has really cracked down on liveaboards, I have read-might want to do some research before you pick that one.
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Old 24-01-2019, 19:58   #23
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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I would add Jacksonville to your list if you're looking to be close to a good sized city. It has a decent airport and a football team (if that sort of thing interests you). St. Augustine (about an hour south) is just a HUGE amount of fun, in addition.

South Carolina has really cracked down on liveaboards, I have read-might want to do some research before you pick that one.
Thanks! I'll check it all out.

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phsylent
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Old 24-01-2019, 20:58   #24
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

What do people mean when they say “live aboard”.
I read your list of requirements.
A nice cottage in the country near the water would work better. Your still going to be commuting.
Or perhaps a nice condo in a marina development with a dock to keep your boat on.

This forum has cruisers who travel far and wide on boats which are also thier homes. Which is something different to what many people think of when I hear the term liveaboard.

Finding a good dock which allows true livaboards is not easy.

I do know a few “liveaboards”. Some of them work here but live on boats in the bay. Unable to afford the high priced real estate on the income from service and tourist industry jobs available here.
A couple of them have quite nice big boats in the 80 ft range the tend to be old conversions and not sail boats.
It’s a tough lifestyle not always popular with other locals.

I would suggest you need to figure out your budget including the cost of where to dock and how to get to work.
Then look for boats which will fit your budget.
Getting everything on your list will require a very special boat and a very big budget.
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Old 24-01-2019, 20:59   #25
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

I surely feel for your reluctance to live in the city condo. I simply could not do that. I live in a so called luxury apt home. Unfortunately it’s turned into a less than luxury getto.

So I too have elected to live aboard. It’s a whole different world living in the boat when it’s sub 0 deg f out there it’s -5 with -25 wind chill right now. Even for us who grew up in this crazy weather, it’s still cold outside. My dog (Australian Shepherd) is sitting here looking at me. She would love to go out but we have already been out for the night time walk. “We are in for the night so go curl up”.

You are into a boating area way above my pay scale so I can’t give you much help. As noted above continue to run the numbers, many don’t do this and quickly get into trouble. I don’t have a good feel of sailboat maintenance but I’d guess there is a considerable amount of time making things ship shape if you are going ocean sailing.

I’d think that AC would be about as important there as heat is here. Either plan on having it periodically serviced or learn to service it yourself. They aren’t cheap.

I really wanted a washer/dryer but there simply isn’t room on my boat. The marina has facilities just for the live aboards. The same goes for shower and bathroom. You can do this on the boat but don’t forget the pump outs. Sometimes they come to you but here we have to go to the fuel dock. Good for docking practice. It may be more than weekly and require some service. Always messy.

On board water when sailing. I’m going to add a water softener as our water is rock hard. Plus I have to add anti freeze in the winter so it takes awhile to wash this out. Water heater. These usually are not very big and a single shower can drain it for an hour or more. It’s possible to add a heat exchanger water heater to the cooling system of your generator. My manual even shows the hose routing for this. But it’s something you will have to do yourself or have someone do it. An onboard washer/dryer will use up your hot water unless you like cold water clothes wash. The admiral may not like this.

If you are not fluent in the area navigation, plan on at least some education on this. I’d be lost down there.

Dollars and cents wise I’m sure you can see the light of day better. It’s still a big move from a condo to a boat. One thing I did was to physically measure the space I actually used in this getto vs what I would have on the boat. I actually have slightly more space on the boat that I can use plus there is a bunk for my dog that I didn’t even count.

Along with this is consider what you will do with your condo “ things”. In my case I’ve already downsized over several years. I’ll keep some clothes a couple boxes of stuff, computer and minor household stuff I can use on the boat. All the furniture will go to the Vetrans. Everything else goes in the trash. It’s hard to do this but a while back I was sorting some stuff and came across a pile of boxes with four or more moving stickers on them. I never even opened them....in the trash they went. I have storage facilities arranged for my streetrod. My daily driver will have to weather the storm. There is a gas station with a touch free wash that you can get unlimited wash by the month $40. Hard to beat that.

Have a good night.
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Old 25-01-2019, 06:06   #26
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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Even when anchored not but 300yds from downtown we still felt like we could breathe just as we can where the gravel roads begin.
I can understand that completely. Last summer my wife and I were in the Miami Marine Stadium anchorage. We were sitting there, after sunset, enjoying a glass of wine, and looking at the lights of the city. We got to musing about how beautiful the lights of the city are at night, from an anchorage just 3/4ths of a mile away. And yet, when you're right in the middle of it, the city is noisy, smelly, loud, and crowded -- never mind the crime issues that Miami has.


So, yeah, I understand.
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Old 25-01-2019, 10:41   #27
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

When I bought my Hunter 49, it had been right after Hurricane Irma destroyed the Lagoon 440 I was going to have surveyed and buy in the USVI (the weekend the storm hit was the weekend we were flying down there). Turns out, looking at a monohull was a much better choice. Cats are great, but finding a marina to keep them is a serious problem out here near Los Angeles. Maintenance costs are always an issue (more boat means more potential problems), and getting the boat to the west coast was going to be a challenge. The monohull selection provided for more options too. Now, I'm a fan of the amel super maramu, and would look hard at that boat if I had more $$$.
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Old 25-01-2019, 10:48   #28
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

No mean to be contrary and this is just my perspective, but have you actually considered what life on a dock is like?

When people ask me what liveaboard life is like in a marina I tend to say it's exactly like living in a trailer park only everybody's closer together and it's harder to get a Camaro up on blocks. The economic mix of folks is a little different, but not too much different.

Don't get me wrong I much prefer living aboard, but dock life can be close quarters and you've repeatedly mentioned your dislike for city living.
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Old 25-01-2019, 10:56   #29
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

You are where I was many years ago. try: https://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/63749
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Old 25-01-2019, 11:54   #30
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

When I moved aboard, I made an iron-clad rule that I took the boat out at least once a week and that it was always ready to go within 15 minutes, and I did.


Decades later, on a much larger boat, it take longer to get going, but I still "make" myself go sailing on a regular basis. It's discipline. Boats that are festooned with deck lockers, bicycles, plants, and the like get out much less frequently.
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