Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-02-2014, 07:35   #16
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Seattle
Boat: 1989 52' PT Overseas Yachtfisher
Posts: 92
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

Don't be so quick to cross motoryachts off your list. All this chatter about how a MY will eat 500 gal of fuel to go a couple of hundred miles may be true, depending on the size/type of boat that is being discussed. Many trawlers are cruising the worlds oceans, and not just coastal cruising.

We live on a 52' yachtfisher that has a 1000+ mile range at 6 knots. It's comfortable, has all the amenities of home (washer/dryer combo, large hot water supply, room for family, internet, etc) and we cruise her all over Puget Sound. Retirement plans are to head south the Canal, up the East coast, then perhaps to the Med. Time will tell....

We looked at mono and multi-hulls, both power and sail. Monohull sailboats were ruled out pretty quickly; the express- style cabin can be claustrophobic with the lack of natural light, and the lack of a truly protected helm station were the main factors.

Whatever you choose, enjoy the journey, and don't focus on the acquisition of the vessel. You already have the bigger hurdle overcome- the ability to "unjunk" your life and downsize.
__________________

__________________
Marine Insurance Guru and tuna fishing addict!
Pau Hana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 08:15   #17
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Panama City Fl
Boat: Sea Ray Sundancer 300
Posts: 17
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

Given your plans (south Pacific, Caribbean, South America, etc) and your budget ($3500/month) you are pretty much limited to sail.

Your budget won't cover fuel costs, much less luxuries like food.

Best advice here - charter for a week or two and see how it feels. Good luck!
__________________

__________________
Bud man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 08:40   #18
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 337
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

Your dream is compleat lay attainable. I would start by going aboard as many 100k boats as you can. Sail, motor sail and trailer types. I am positive you will find one that moves you. Super good deals are out there on used boats if you have cash. Spend half or less of your cash on the boat leaving the other half for upgrades and main trance. Go cruising first , to find out what you want to change. then you will not waste money on stuff you will not us
It sounds like you and your hubby are perfect candidates for this life style, fun loving, adaptable etc. the diving adventures that you can have with your own boat in the Caribbean area are going to be insane.
I started out 8 years ago refitting a IF36 sailboat. Now just bought a Schucker 436 that also needs a complete refit. Why a new old boat. I want more comforts. I laugh when talking to old boat friends and bring up " I need a washer dryer, ac, water maker, ac in sleeping cabin .
I am so excited about your new adventure. Keep a open mind, listen to the nay Sayers for the potential mine fields, listen to the dreamers and " gor for it". Types as well
__________________
brantleychuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 09:42   #19
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Paradise
Boat: Various
Posts: 2,359
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

Ok, this is a forum made up of sailors and those on motorboats. Often neither does a very good job of looking objectively at the other. Sailors think that's the only way to go instead of looking at your post and desires.

You can do it on a motorboat. There are many excellent trawlers available. And they get very good fuel usage. Single engine with some form of wing engine might be best although some of us prefer sticking with twins. It is fairly easy to find a 2 stateroom, 2 head MY in the 30'-50' size range. As to the costs of operating being higher, that all depends and at any rate is a matter of degree. There is maintenance cost to sailing as well. Getting a good survey on a MY is essential and if you do have some ability to provide some of the basic service yourself it really helps keep the cost down. Also many of the MY's in that range have 1000+ nm range with some going as high as 3000 nm.

You mentioned Sea Ray and I would probably advise against that direction as most Sea Rays would use more fuel and are less used for long range cruising and more for shorter coastal cruising.

That said too, you might try some sailing and motoring just to see what you really think from experience.
__________________
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 10:38   #20
Registered User
 
psneeld's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Avalon, NJ
Boat: Albin 40 double cabin Trawler
Posts: 1,831
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Hedtke View Post
Something to consider when deciding on power vs sail is how you "fit in" with the various groups of boaters (each type has several different subsets-big, little, fast, slow, elegant, like mine...) Not to put too fine a point on it, but do you like hanging out with "stink potters" or "rag baggers"? Do you prefer to hang out with folks that hire most of their on board work, or do you like doing your own work (and smelling faintly of diesel all the time?)

In the earlier posts there are several comments about fuel useage. Fuel consumption depends on how big your boat is, how fast it goes, and the hull type (displacement, semi-displacement, planing, cat, etc.) We have a 38' sailboat that uses 1 GPH @ hull speed of about 6.5 kts in flat water. A similar sized, single screw trawler will get similar mileage. The trawler will have significantly more interior space, but has more windage with all of the associated problems.

Your budget is certainly adequate, but will not support a "fancy" yacht. Consider buying a well cared for and equipped used boat. They exist. New is fine, but you shouldn't consider a new boat to be trouble free. Boats are built in very small quantity compared to autos for instance, and all have teething problems because of that. No matter what boat you end up with, I would suggest taking a few months close to a marine store and service facility until you can get it shaken down and ready to head out. The remote areas (aka prime cruising grounds) are not the place to be sorting out plumbing, rigging, electronics. Don't forget to acquire spare parts too.

I'm glad you are planning to bring the lab too. We would not go if it meant leaving our poodle behind. Have fun!
My Albin 40 has a 34' WLL and goes 6.3 knots burning 1.9 GPH and gets on average 3.3NMPG. That's about as efficient as she gets...maybe 4.0 NMPG if I dropped closer to 5 knots.

She's about average with some trawlers more and some less efficient. Speed kills in trawler and sailboats if you really try and push them but fortunately their designers were smart enough to put smaller engines usually in them so you can only get so wasteful.
__________________
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 11:34   #21
Registered User
 
azhootie's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 10
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

Thank you ALL for your awesome responses. We are definitely the type who will want to take our boat to the various locations that I mentioned. Whilst we are definitely "dreamers" we are also "doers" ... picking up and moving to South Africa sight unseen is something that most of my friends would never consider but we decided it would be an awesome experience and we have never regretted it. I do miss many things about the conveniences of the US (there are no 24 hour grocery stores....they all close by 9pm at the latest, ya can't buy alcohol at stores after 6pm and not at all on Sundays, no drive through atm's, and there are SO many food/drink products that we're accustomed to that we can't get here...those are just a few of the differences). We've happily and fairly easily adapted.

We decided when we moved here that we were never returning to the US to live. We've been researching places where we could live comfortably and dive to our hearts content such as Honduras, Belize, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Panama, etc when my husband said "what if we just bought a boat, lived on it, and visited any of those places we want to go to?" and whilst I hadn't really considered it before, I embraced the idea and have been reading all I can about it.

We do have additional savings and my 401K (which I can't withdraw without tax implications) for emergencies but it does sound like for what we want to do without dipping into savings, we should look for a less expensive boat than what I was initially considering and more than likely something with a sail. I will revisit monohull sailboats but it seems like a catamaran might be the way to go.

At least we've got over a year to figure it out!

How old is too old in the boating world? Again, I know there is no right answer but and there are many factors involved but I see boats that were built in the 80s that look nice .... are they even worth considering or should I be looking at something built in the last 10 years or so? Oh and we've always planned on used....new is too pricey!

Thanks again to each of you!!!
__________________
azhootie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 11:41   #22
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,307
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhootie View Post

Budget/Finances
Our plan is to sell our home (currently being rented) in the US and use the proceeds to pay cash for a boat. Our estimate is we would have about $200K for that purchase. Our monthly income, once my husband retires, will be right around $3500 per month. I am pretty sure we can find a nice boat for that price (more questions about that in a moment) but is $3500 enough to sustain this type of life?
I'm not going to read all the replies as I've read lots of these over the years.

I don't see why you can not do what you want to. The only thing I would suggest is that you aim to spend less on the more in order to have more money per month.

Good luck!
__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 11:45   #23
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,342
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

It sounds like you have thought it out well. A cat would be great for your needs. Much more fuel efficient than a motor vessel. (although some trawlers may come close) The stability of the multihull will be good for your dog also. Getting a cat that doesnt need alot of fixing for under $200k might be a challenge as there are fewer cats on the market than monos. But it's likely do able. For a couple and a dog a 38-42 ft cat is more than enough. Cat's motor well, so if you want just sail when it's convenient! If this is your plan, than make sure the cat you get has decent HP engines... some can be a bit marginal in a strong blow.
There are nice trawlers around for your budget also.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 11:59   #24
Registered User
 
azhootie's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 10
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
It sounds like you have thought it out well. A cat would be great for your needs. Much more fuel efficient than a motor vessel. (although some trawlers may come close) The stability of the multihull will be good for your dog also. Getting a cat that doesnt need alot of fixing for under $200k might be a challenge as there are fewer cats on the market than monos. But it's likely do able. For a couple and a dog a 38-42 ft cat is more than enough. Cat's motor well, so if you want just sail when it's convenient! If this is your plan, than make sure the cat you get has decent HP engines... some can be a bit marginal in a strong blow.
There are nice trawlers around for your budget also.
please pardon my ignorance but when I think of trawlers, stinky fishy boats come to mind. There obviously must be liveaboard types because this is not the first time I've seen them mentioned. What brands and age might you suggest? and are they suitable to visit places like fiji? thank you!!
__________________
azhootie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 12:19   #25
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,373
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

HI Azhootie and welcome to the forum.

Maybe I can give an objective opinion since I've owned a couple of power boats and several sailboats.

Power vs Sail

You can generally divide large power boats into two classes, go fast and suck fuel, go slow and sip fuel. The go slow kind are often referred to as trawler types because of hull design and often the look/style of the boat. They don't necessarily look like a fishing or commercial trawler, just not sleek, streamlined and fast like a Searay. Think of a more traditional look, usually more boxy shape.

A large yacht style trawler can give you ocean crossing range but fewer choices and they tend to be expensive. Also, even sipping fuel you can spend a LOT of money to cross an ocean.

I can say from experience I much prefer sail at sea. Power boats tend to roll much more at sea, even with stabilizer systems. Sailboats the sail will steady the boat and you will have much less rolling around.


My thoughts on air conditioning.

I lived aboard for several years in the Caribbean and 98% of the time was OK without air. BUT, that 2% of the time I would have sold my first born child for the air. Yes usually at anchor it's cool enough but you will end up at a marina occasionally and there's also those windless nights when it starts getting hot AND THEN, the mosquitos and other biting insects find you. Then you're faced with the choice of being eaten alive or sealing yourself into the cabin and dying of heat stroke. Well, maybe I exaggerate slightly but I have pulled anchor in the middle of the night and motored out of a harbor to get away from the bugs.

One note, to use air con at anchor you will have to add a generator. Just takes to much power to run air con from batteries or engines.

Shower

I have a separate shower stall in one head on my current boat and love it. Glad to give up the extra space.

Budget

In general I think you are very realistic. Will in some degree depend on your abilities in DIY repair and maintenance. If you have to pay a pro to fix everything that breaks you better bank a good chunk of that $200K and go for a smaller, better boat. By the way, to steal a line from Indiana Jones, it's not the years it's the mileage. Newer can be beat up, older can be better maintained. Sure in general a new boat will usually be in better shape but don't depend on it.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 12:28   #26
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

Azhootie, I did take the time reading through all the responses above and I think you've received much good advice. With your comment about living well with little ownership of "stuff"; I believe you could be successful and comfortable in a sailboat, catamaran, trawler, motoryacht, etc. of your choice.

I used to scuba, but after many years of cruising, without all the gear associated with the tanks and fills, we are very satisfied with excellent snorkeling areas; although, I'm sure you could be successful with the suba gear too. The water needs with the desire for a washing machine would likely make a watermaker a necessity. This, along with your desire for AC will best be achieved with a ca 7KW diesel generator. We do not have the washing machine or watermaker. We cruise in lower latitudes with excellent weather and rinse out a small volume of clothing and we can get by with a laundry service (often very cheap) or our own trip to a coin laundry twice a month for sheets or volume. We do freely use our generator at anchor for up to four hours a day for cooking, some AC and other comforts and then sometimes we don't use the generator for a couple of weeks. The change and availability is nice.

You asked about the acceptable age of a vessel. I believe there are well kept older boats from the late sixties to eighties that are sound; however, the best old boats are sought after for their value and rarely reach the market. My own 41' ketch that is a 1973 boat with refits and been well maintained for 29 years already has a list of interested buyers and I have no interest in selling. Many well preserved boats are in higher latitudes were they see less use, being hauled out for most of each year. There are often good buys where I'm located this week in Fort Lauderdale where many retirees take on the cruising dream for a few years and then sell out to return to land. I would not discount an opportunity due to the age of a boat, but I would rely on a good surveyor's report.

We never "downsized", but moved aboard fresh out of college when all we owned could fit in a small car. Now, 43 years later, we are still enjoying the freedoms of non-ownership. The best case to be made for your success is that you can fit all your needed belongings into two suitcases and two carry-ons.

I also agree with the post earlier that gave the advice of spending less than the 200K on the purchase and leaving a good sum for refit and upgrades as well as a banked emergency fund. You can easily cruise with the monthly allowance that you have alotted. This is especially true if you take marinas for a week or monthly rate and shop for deals. For example, where I am now located in Ft. Lauderdale there are daily rates for my 41' boat that range from $46 to $185 and monthly rates that range from $400 to $3,000. We frequently anchor out, but also find that we can enjoy an inexpensive marina at times.
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 14:07   #27
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Dartmouth, UK
Boat: Rival 41
Posts: 12
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhootie View Post
Thank you ALL for your awesome responses. We are definitely the type who will want to take our boat to the various locations that I mentioned. Whilst we are definitely "dreamers" we are also "doers" ... picking up and moving to South Africa sight unseen is something that most of my friends would never consider but we decided it would be an awesome experience and we have never regretted it. I do miss many things about the conveniences of the US (there are no 24 hour grocery stores....they all close by 9pm at the latest, ya can't buy alcohol at stores after 6pm and not at all on Sundays, no drive through atm's, and there are SO many food/drink products that we're accustomed to that we can't get here...those are just a few of the differences). We've happily and fairly easily adapted.

We decided when we moved here that we were never returning to the US to live. We've been researching places where we could live comfortably and dive to our hearts content such as Honduras, Belize, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Panama, etc when my husband said "what if we just bought a boat, lived on it, and visited any of those places we want to go to?" and whilst I hadn't really considered it before, I embraced the idea and have been reading all I can about it.

We do have additional savings and my 401K (which I can't withdraw without tax implications) for emergencies but it does sound like for what we want to do without dipping into savings, we should look for a less expensive boat than what I was initially considering and more than likely something with a sail. I will revisit monohull sailboats but it seems like a catamaran might be the way to go.

At least we've got over a year to figure it out!

How old is too old in the boating world? Again, I know there is no right answer but and there are many factors involved but I see boats that were built in the 80s that look nice .... are they even worth considering or should I be looking at something built in the last 10 years or so? Oh and we've always planned on used....new is too pricey!

Thanks again to each of you!!!
Dear azhootie

Quick Answer : YES ! To me it sounds as though you will have (mostly) a fabulous time if you embrace the sail-away/live-aboard lifestyle. We have had monohulls for the last 30 years and for the last 20 have lived on board for a goodly portion of the year. Currently we are looking at moving to living and work on board full time and hence the look at cats. I (female) love it - there is 'im, me and the boxer (no. 5 over 30 years - they love it too !)

I say "mostly" as I am sure that you have dives or days in the apartment where life is not perfect !

I cannot understand why some people list all the disadvantages/changes as though they were insurmountable. Perhaps they want to keep the life to themselves ?

You have plainly done a great job on your analysis to date. I would suggest a few more questions :

1) What is your objective (good diving, nice weather, visiting new places, ocean-crossing ...) ? List in order of importance ?
2) Where do you plan to start from ? (I say this as SA is a long way from easier cruising grounds)

All these will govern what you buy. I would fully agree that having the option to sail is very important if you want to go some distance and save money. Doesn't mean you can't use your engine (although be sure that a pure motor-boat will be much quieter and more comfortable under power than a sailing boat/motor-sailor under engine).


Re Boat Age
What age is too old ? Oh dear - how long is a piece of string ? Quite often older boats are built with a heavier specification, better quality ... Our 41 mono-hull is built to Lloyds spec. But how well had a boat been maintained ? I saw a Prout 50 in Guatemala priced at $300k - very old and looks wonderful. How the boat has been cared for is v important - but that doesn't just include the varnish and upholstery - what does the engine look like ?. What are the engine hours ? Most specs don't list the kind of detail you want - WHEN is a good question. When did they last replace ... When did they last service ... If you are purchasing at 100k to 200k then detail is one of the important bits (sorry teaching grandmother/daughter (since you're about 10 yrs younger than me !) You will find a huge difference in the creature-comforts - new to older.

What should you buy ?
From our experience, you learn a lot with each boat - mainly about what you DON'T like -whether it would be a boat which sails well ..., or a boat which is short on space, or has really uncomfortable upright uphostery. If you are looking at doing this longer term I would suggest 2 things :

1) Don't expect to buy your ultimate boat first-off. Consider buying a lower spec to learn what you like.
2) Buy a well-known make so that it is relatively easy to sell-on when you have more info on what you want longer-term.

Very best wishes ! Feel free to PM me - 'tis only a personal opinion but I LOVE living aboard/sailing or even motoring !

Penny
__________________
pragmatist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 14:42   #28
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 596
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhootie View Post
Hello all,
...
What type of boat?
I've shared with you our budget, monthly income, and the type of life we'd like to lead. I was pretty sure I wanted a 38' to 44' motoryacht when I first started. Not sure why I am not keen on a sailboat, but for whatever reason, I'm just not. Different strokes for different folks. So I was focusing my searches on SeaRays and various other brands. However after reading this forum I am now leaning towards a catamaran (more open and airy, smoother ride on rougher seas according to the things I've read). I know there are catamarans in that price range but I'm not sure how old is "too old" ... obviously it depends on how much it was used and how well it was taken care of but is there a ball park year range I should be considering? Based on what we want to do is a catamaran a better choice than a motoryacht?
....
Read the following two books:
Amazon.com: Voyaging Under Power, 4th Edition eBook: Robert P. Beebe, Denis Umstot: Kindle Store

http://www.amazon.com/THE-TROLLER-YA...d_sim_kstore_1

I think you would be interested in these type of boats. Here is one of the 48 foot Diesel Ducks Trollers. There are other designs on that site as well.

Later,
Dan
__________________
dannc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 14:56   #29
Registered User
 
sailpower's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 784
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
Live Aboard Simulator

by L. Butler


Just for fun, park your cars in the lot of the convenience store at least 2 blocks from your house. (Make believe the sidewalk is a floating dock between your car and the house.

Move yourself and your family (if applicable) into 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. Measure the DECK space INSIDE your boat. Make sure the occupied house has no more space, or closet space, or drawer space.

Boats don't have room for beds, as such. Fold your Sealy Posturepedic up against a wall, it won't fit on a boat. Go to a hobby fabric store and buy a foam pad 5' 10" long and 4' wide AND NO MORE THAN 3" THICK. Cut it into a triangle so the little end is only 12" wide. This simulates the foam pad in the V-berth up in the pointy bow of the sailboat. Bring in the kitchen table from the kitchen you're not allowed to use. Put the pad UNDER the table, on the floor, so you can simulate the 3' of headroom over the pad.

Block off both long sides of the pad, and the pointy end so you have to climb aboard the V-berth from the wide end where your pillows will be. The hull blocks off the sides of a V-berth and you have to climb up over the end of it through a narrow opening (hatch to main cabin) on a boat. You'll climb over your mate's head to go to the potty in the night. No fun for either party. Test her mettle and resolve by getting up this way right after you go to bed at night. There are lots of things to do on a boat and you'll forget at least one of them, thinking about it lying in bed, like "Did I remember to tie off the dingy better?" or "Is that spring line (at the dock) or anchor line (anchored out) as tight as it should be?" Boaters who don't worry about things like this lying in bed are soon aground or on fire or the laughing stock of an anchorage. You need to find out how much climbing over her she will tolerate BEFORE you're stuck with a big boat and big marina bills and she refuses to sleep aboard it any more....

Bring a coleman stove into the bathroom and set it next to the bathroom sink. Your boat's sink is smaller, but we'll let you use the bathroom sink, anyway. Do all your cooking in the bathroom, WITHOUT using the bathroom power vent. If you have a boat vent, it'll be a useless 12v one that doesn't draw near the air your bathroom power vent draws to take away cooking odors. Leave the hall door open to simulate the open hatch. Take all the screens off your 2 bedroom windows. Leave the windows open to let in the bugs that will invade your boat at dusk. Of course, flies are attracted to cooking.

Borrow a 25 gallon drum mounted on a trailer. Flush your toilets into the drums. Trailer the drums to the convenience store to dump them when they get full. Turn off your sewer, you won't have one. This will simulate going to the pump out station every time the tiny drum is full. 25 gallons is actually LARGER than most holding tanks. They're more like 15 gallons on small sailboats under 40, because they were added to the boat after the law changed requiring them and there was no place to put it or a bigger one. They fill up really fast if you liveaboard!

Unless your boat is large enough to have a big head with full bath, make believe your showers/bathtubs don't work. Make a deal with someone next door to the convenience store to use THEIR bathroom for bathing at the OTHER end of the DOCK. (Marina rest room) If you use this rest room to potty, while you're there, make believe it has no paper towels or toilet paper. Bring your own. Bring your own soap and anything else you'd like to use there, too.

If your boat HAS a shower in its little head, we'll let you use the shower end of the bathtub, but only as much tub as the boat has FREE shower space for standing to shower. As the boat's shower drains into a little pan in the bilge, be sure to leave the soapy shower water in the bottom of the tub for a few days before draining it. Boat shower sumps always smell like spent soap growing exotic living organisms science hasn't actually discovered or named yet. Make sure your simulated V-berth is less than 3' from this soapy water for sleeping. The shower sump is under the passageway to the V-berth next to your pillows.

Run you whole house through a 20 amp breaker to simulate available dock power at the marina. If you're thinking of anchoring out, turn off the main breaker and make do with a boat battery and flashlights. Don't forget you have to heat your house on this 20A supply and try to keep the water from freezing in winter.

Turn off the water main valve in front of your house. Run a hose from your neighbor's lawn spigot over to your lawn spigot and get all your water from there. Try to keep the hose from freezing all winter.

As your boat won't have a laundry, disconnect yours. Go to a boat supply place, like West Marine, and buy you a dock cart. Haul ALL your supplies, laundry, garbage, etc., between the car at the convenience store and house in this cart. Once a week, haul your outboard motor to the car, leave it a day then haul it back to the house in the cart, to simulate boat problems that require boat parts to be removed/replaced on your dock. If ANYTHING ever comes out of that cart between the convenience store and the house, put it in your garage and forget about it. (This simulates losing it over the side of the dock, where it sank in 23' of water with a mud bottom or was dragged off by the current.)

Each morning, about 5AM, have someone you don't know very well run a weedeater back and forth under your bedroom windows to simulate the fishermen leaving the marina to go fishing. Have him slam trunk lids, doors, blow car horns and bang some heavy pans together from 4AM to 5AM before lighting off the weedeater. (Simulates loading boats with booze and fishing gear and gas cans.) Once a week, have him bang the running weedeater into your bedroom wall to simulate the idiot who drove his boat into the one you're sleeping in because he was half asleep leaving the dock. Put a rope over a big hook in the ceiling over your bed. Put a sheet of plywood under your pad with a place to hook a rope to one side or the other. Hook one end of the rope to the plywood hook and the other end out where he can pull on it. As soon as he shuts off the weedeater, have him pull hard 9 times on the rope to tilt your bed at least 30 degrees. (This simulates the wakes of the fishermen blasting off trying to beat each other to the fishing.) Anytime there is a storm in your area, have someone constantly pull on the rope. It's rough riding storms in the marina or anchored out! If your boat is a sailboat, install a big wire from the top of the tallest tree to your electrical ground in the house to simulate mast lightning strikes in the marina or to give you the thought of potential lightning strikes.

Each time you go out, or think of going boating away from your marina, disconnect the neighbor's water hose, your electric wires, all the umbilicals your new boat will use to make life more bearable in the marina.

Use bottled drinking water for 2 days for everything. Get one of those 5 gallon jugs with the airpump on top from a bottled water company. This is your boat's at sea water system simulator. You'll learn to conserve water this way. Of course, not having the marina's AC power supply, you'll be lighting and all from a car battery, your only source of power. If you own or can borrow a generator, feel free to leave it running to provide AC power up to the limit of the generator. If you're thinking about a 30' sailboat, you won't have room for a generator so don't use it.

Any extra family members must be sleeping on the settees in the main cabin or in the quarter berth under the cockpit, unless you intend to get a boat over 40-something feet with an aft cabin. Smaller boats have quarter berths. Cut a pad out of the same pad material that is no more than 2' wide by 6' long. Get a cardboard box from an appliance store that a SMALL refridgerator came in. Put the pad in the box, cut to fit, and make sure only one end of the box is open. The box can be no more than 2 feet above the pad. Quarter berths are really tight. Make them sleep in there, with little or no air circulation. That's what sleeping in a quarterberth is all about.

Of course, to simulate sleeping anchored out for the weekend, no heat or air conditioning will be used and all windows will be open without screens so the bugs can get in.

In the mornings, everybody gets up and goes out on the patio to enjoy the sunrise. Then, one person at a time goes back inside to dress, shave, clean themselves in the tiny cabin unless you're a family of nudists who don't mind looking at each other in the buff. You can't get dressed in the stinky little head with the door closed on a sailboat. Hell, there's barely room to bend over so you can sit on the commode. So, everyone will dress in the main cabin, one at a time.

Boat tables are 2' x 4' and mounted next to the settee. There's no room for chairs in a boat. So, eat off a 2' x 4' space on that kitchen table you slept under while sitting on a couch (settee simulator). You can also go out with breakfast and sit on the patio (cockpit), if you like.

Ok, breakfast is over. Crank up the lawnmower under the window for 2 hours. It's time to recharge the batteries from last night's usage and to freeze the coldplate in the boat's icebox which runs off a compressor on the engine. Get everybody to clean up your little hovel. Don't forget to make the beds from ONE END ONLY. You can't get to the other 3 sides of a boat bed pad.

All hands go outside and washdown the first fiberglass UPS truck that passes by. That's about how big the deck is on your 35' sailboat that needs to have the ocean cleaned off it daily or it'll turn the white fiberglass all brown like the UPS truck. Now, doesn't the UPS truck look nice like your main deck?

Ok, we're going to need some food, do the laundry, buy some boat parts that failed because the manufacturer's bean counters got cheap and used plastics and the wife wants to eat out, I'm fed up with cooking on the Coleman stove today. Let's make believe we're not at home, but in some exotic port like Ft Lauderdale, today on our cruise to Key West Before going ashore, plan on buying all the food you'll want to eat that will:

Fit into the Coleman Cooler on the floor
You can cook on the Coleman stove without an oven or all those fancy kitchen tools you don't have on the boat
Last you for 10 days, in case the wind drops and it takes more time than we planned at sea.
Plan meals carefully in a boat. We can't buy more than we can STORE, either!
You haven't washed clothes since you left home and everything is dirty. Even if it's not, pretend it is for the boater-away-from-home simulator. Put all the clothes in your simulated boat in a huge dufflebag so we can take it to the LAUNDRY! Manny's Marina HAS a laundromat, but the hot water heater is busted (for the last 8 months) and Manny has parts on order for it... saving Manny $$$$ on the electric bill! Don't forget to carry the big dufflebag with you on our excursion. God that bag stinks, doesn't it? ....PU!

Of course, we came here by BOAT, so we don't have a car. Some nice marinas have a shuttle bus, but they're not a taxi. The shuttle bus will only go to West Marine or the tourist traps, so we'll be either taking the city bus, if there is one or taxi cabs or shopping at the marina store which has almost nothing to buy at enormous prices.

Walk to the 7-11 store, where you have your car stored, but ignore the car. Make believe it isn't there. No one drove it to Ft Lauderdale for you. Use the payphone at the 7-11 and call a cab. Don't give the cab driver ANY instructions because in Ft Lauderdale you haven't the foggiest idea where West Marine is located or how to get there, unlike at home. We'll go to West Marine, first, because if we don't, the head back on the boat won't be working for a week because little Suzy broke a valve in it trying to flush some paper towels. This is your MOST important project today... that valve in the toilet!! After the cab drivers drives around for an hour looking for West Marine and asking his dispatcher how to get there, don't forget to UNLOAD your stuff from the cab, including the dirty clothes in the dufflebag. Then, go into West Marine and give the clerk a $100 bill, simulating the cost of toilet parts. Lexus parts are cheaper than toilet parts at West Marine. See for yourself! The valve she broke, the seals that will have to be replaced on the way into the valve will come to $100 easy. Tell the clerk you're using my liveaboard simulator and to take his girlfriend out to dinner on your $100 greenback. If you DO buy the boat, this'll come in handy when you DO need boat parts because he'll remember you for the great time his girlfriend gave him on your $100 tip. Hard-to-find boat parts will arrive in DAYS, not months like the rest of us. It's just a good political move while in simulation mode.

Call another cab from West Marine's phone, saving 50 cents on payphone charges. Load the cab with all your stuff, toilet parts, DIRTY CLOTHES then tell the cabbie to take you to the laundromat so we can wash the stinky clothes in the trunk. The luxury marina's laundry in Ft Lauderdale has a broken hot water heater. They're working on it, the girl at the store counter said yesterday. Mentioning the $12/ft you paid to park the boat at their dock won't get the laundry working before we leave for Key West. Do your laundry in the laundromat the cabbie found for you. Just because nobody speaks English in this neighborhood, don't worry. You'll be fine this time of day.

Call another cab to take us out of here to a supermarket. When you get there, resist the temptation to load up, because your boat has limited storage and very limited refridgeration space (remember? Coleman Cooler). Buy from the list we made early this morning. Another package of cookies is OK. Leave one of the kids guarding the pile of clean laundry just inside the supermarket's front door. We learned our lesson and DIDN'T forget and leave it in the cab, again!

Call another cab to take us back to the marina, loaded up with clean clothes and food and all-important boat parts. Isn't Ft Lauderdale beautiful from a cab? It's too late to go exploring, today. Maybe tomorrow. Don't forget to tell the cab to go to the 7-11 (marina parking lot) not your front door, since cabs don't float well.

Ok, haul all the stuff in the dock cart from the 7-11 store the two blocks to the boat bedroom. Wait 20 minutes before starting out for the house. This simulates waiting for someone to bring back a marina-owned dock cart from down the docks.... They always leave them outside their boats, until the marina crew get fed up with newbies like us asking why there aren't any carts and go down the docks to retrieve them.

Put all the stuff away, food and clothes, in the tiny drawer space provided. Have a beer on the patio (cockpit) and watch the sunset. THIS is living!

Now, disassemble the toilet in your bathroom, take out the wax ring under it and put it back. Reassemble the toilet. This completes the simulation of putting the new valve in the head on the boat. Uh, uh, NO POWERVENT! GET YOUR HAND OFF THAT SWITCH! The whole boat smells like the inside of the holding tank for hours after fixing the toilet in a real boat, too! Spray some Lysol if you got it.

After getting up, tomorrow morning, from your V-Berth, take the whole family out to breakfast by WALKING to the nearest restaurant, then take a cab to any local park or attraction you like. We're off today to see the sights of Ft Lauderdale before heading out to sea again to Key West. Take a cab back home after dinner out and go to bed, exhausted, on your little foam pad under the table....

Get up this morning and disconnect all hoses, electrical wires, etc. Get ready for sea. Crank up the lawn mower under the open bedroom window for 4 hours while we motor out to find some wind. ONE responsible adult MUST be sitting on the hot patio all day, in shifts, on watch looking out for other boats, ships, etc. If you have a riding lawn mower, let the person on watch drive it around the yard all day to simulate driving the boat down the ICW in heavy traffic. About 2PM, turn off the engine and just have them sit on the mower steering it on the patio. We're under sail, now. Every hour or so, take everyone out in the yard with a big rope and have a tug-of-war to simulate the work involved with setting sail, changing sail, trimming sail. Make sure everyone gets all sweaty in the heat.

Sailors working on sailboats are always all sweaty or we're not going anywhere fast! Do this all day, today, all night, tonight, all day, tomorrow, all night tomorrow night and all day the following day until 5PM when you arrive at the next port you're going to. Make sure nobody in the family leaves the confines of the little bedroom or the patio during our trip. Make sure everyone conserves water, battery power, etc., things you'll want to conserve while being at sea on a trip somewhere. Everyone can go up to the 7-11 for an icecream as soon as we get the boat docked on day 3, the first time anyone has left the confines of the bedroom/patio in 3 days.

Now go buy that boat! I know you can't wait....

I think you missed the part about his background in nuclear submarines. After being underwater for 8-12 weeks at a time with a 150 of your closest friends, living on a boat is luxury.
__________________
sailpower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014, 15:14   #30
Registered User
 
Suijin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Annapolis MD; currently in Oriental NC
Boat: Valiant 40
Posts: 2,880
Re: Reality Check: Is the Liveaboard Lifestyle Possible for US?

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhootie View Post
How old is too old in the boating world? Again, I know there is no right answer but and there are many factors involved but I see boats that were built in the 80s that look nice .... are they even worth considering or should I be looking at something built in the last 10 years or so? Oh and we've always planned on used....new is too pricey!
The best scenario is that you find an immaculately kept 20-30 year old boat that has undergone a recent refit. A boat that age will have depreciated significantly, and the seller will take the hit for the recent refit, the cost of which you can only recoup a fraction of when you go to sell.

In general, things start to get expensive after 20 years. Hardware needs to be rebedded, the boat needs to be repowered with a new engine, it will need new electronics, navigation and communications equipment, new standing rigging (if sail) and so on. There are a lot of older boats on the market where all this has been done in recent years, and that's the boat you want if you are looking at an older boat. One that has been well kept says something about the previous owner and their willingness to give the boat what it needs year after year.

There are a number of manufacturers from the 80's who built super solid boats that have aged well, other than the above "bolt on" items that have needed to be replaced. Some research will start to turn up those brands for both sail and power. As an example I live on a Valiant 40, a venerable brick sh!thouse from 1986 that I found in excellent condition, following much the same formula as I outlined above. Other sailors with much newer boats come aboard and their eyes sorta glaze over and they murmur "wow, this thing is solid...and in amazing shape." So they are out there, well within your price range.

If you are dive fanatics then you're going to want two things; a stern platform (power) or sugar scoop (sail) that will make it easier to dive directly off the boat, and the capability to hoist/carry/stow a larger RIB and motor that will carry the pair of you and your dive gear to other locations.
__________________

__________________
Suijin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
liveaboard

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Useful Sea-Trial Tips and Tests Pelagic Boat Ownership & Making a Living 60 24-11-2012 19:15
Reality Check - How Much for Upkeep Per Year? jacket_fan Multihull Sailboats 28 24-08-2012 15:05
Reality Check: FL -> PR -> VI -> Beyond... Globalksp Atlantic & the Caribbean 37 25-04-2012 13:36
Preparing Yourself for a Liveaboard Lifestyle bajabound Liveaboard's Forum 51 07-12-2011 14:04



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:53.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.