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Old 02-09-2014, 18:14   #31
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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Not excharter. Don't know much about storage. Current owner lived aboard for a few years and is a single guy so plenty of room for clothes and linens. :-). He moved the boat into a marina for hurricane season last year and stayed. There are couples living on much smaller boats. A 34' wouldn't be my first choice to live and work out of.
LOL, OK, YES, a single guy could live on it. Add in a S.O. with shoes, makeup, Hair products, clothing other then shorts and t-shirts, and it could get tight. Lord knows I've filled up my 34' boat. No I don't know how I did it either. There is always too little space aboard and I'm constantly taking things off the boat.

Agree that it is possible to live on much smaller boats too. But they are talking working on the boat also. That is hard to do on a 30' boat or even 34'. Could they do it, yes, but that boat is not ideal.
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Old 02-09-2014, 18:44   #32
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

@Jake11 it's worth listening to Sailorchic34. She is our resident live aboard and how to live frugally expert here, and certainly has BTDT plus the T-shirt. She is knowledgeable (if you ever have an electrical question, she will tell you more than most electricians knew existed) and is certainly someone I would not only listen to, but ask a lot of questions of her.

We have others here who are certainly also well qualified to assist.

As far as a Hunter 34 is concerned, your wife will probably love it, at first, and Hunters certainly have done a good job defining their market. Usability as any sort of charter boat is not what they are designed for. They make decent coastal cruisers, and are great at the dock with the amenities that many like.
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Old 03-09-2014, 00:11   #33
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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Here are the standard questions I ask people that are contemplating moving down here. Are you a type "A" go getter, hard charger? How patient are you when things are happening so slow you feel like you are literally watching evolution in front of your eyes? Do you have any cultural bias at all? Do you adapt well to change? Are you OK with understanding that many of the traffic laws of the VI are more like suggestions? Are you OK spending $8 for a gallon of milk? Can you be satisfied staring out the window for 12 hours because the utility company has had another failure and is shut down? Currently there is an Island wide shortage of Corona, not kidding. This is absolutely unacceptable!!!
Thanks again for the insight Rubi. I am amazed at the generosity and willingness of CF members to share wisdom!

The internet issue is a concern. I will have to analyze realistically how large of a data plan will be needed for the internet businesses.

Regarding your questions:

1. I would say I am a type A- or B+ go getter. Having said that, I am not afraid of hard work.

2. Patience? Well that is a virtue I am trying to make a virtue. Actually, I grew up in a small farm town, and miss the slower paced life often.

3. Cultural Bias? I hope not. For example, I have one son currently on a service mission in South Africa, and another son doing the same in Spain.

4. Regarding VI traffic law 'suggestions'? That is a great description. We were just there for a couple of weeks in July, and my wife commented on how I was starting to driving like a 'local', while she hung on with white knuckles for her life.

5. Regarding $8 milk? Yes food is pricey. We usually stay in a condo on Sapphire and buy our own food from Plaza Extra. My wife and I are health and fitness nuts of sorts, so we eat pretty basic, boring and clean (chicken, fish, lean beef, brown rice, sweet potatoes, oats, fruits and veges, etc.) Minimal processed, fast or junk food or even dairy. Point well taken though. I expect things to be more expensive indeed.

6. Regarding Utility outages.. well I am hoping with solar & wind and a quality separate house battery bank, we can keep the laptops cranking.

Sorry about the Coronas. Isn't there always a Corona commercial being filmed somewhere nearby where you can grab a few?
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Old 03-09-2014, 00:22   #34
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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@Jake11 it's worth listening to Sailorchic34. She is our resident live aboard and how to live frugally expert here, and certainly has BTDT plus the T-shirt. She is knowledgeable (if you ever have an electrical question, she will tell you more than most electricians knew existed) and is certainly someone I would not only listen to, but ask a lot of questions of her.

We have others here who are certainly also well qualified to assist.

As far as a Hunter 34 is concerned, your wife will probably love it, at first, and Hunters certainly have done a good job defining their market. Usability as any sort of charter boat is not what they are designed for. They make decent coastal cruisers, and are great at the dock with the amenities that many like.
Indeed, she seems to know her stuff! I really appreciate your insight as well! I am excited to learn and absorb info like a sponge.
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Old 03-09-2014, 00:48   #35
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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Ain't no such think as a turnkey boat. Every boat will need something.. Even a brand new boat. At the very least you'll need to change the raw water impeller. They tend to break/fail about 2 hours into your first or second sail.

You really have to factor in extra. Had a nice looking 40' ketch pull out of a slip at the marina I was staying at. The boat had sat for a few years. The SS prop shaft snapped in two while they were in the fairway. I got my trusty boat hook and grabbed the boat and moved it to the dock. That little oops cost a 30 mile tow to a yard.

I see too many folks splash on a coat of varnish and hire some kids to detail the boat. Looks good. Meanwhile it sat for years with lots of neglect. Most boats sit in the slips rotting away. Maybe not in the USVI, but pretty much everywhere else. 70% of the boats have not moved in a year. 50% have not moved in 3 years.

For liveaboard, you have to factor that all your tools, spares, extra lines,fender boards, Kayak or SUP paddles, paint, varnish, brushes, thinners, etc. will be aboard. As will all yours books, clothing, computers, etc. On the H34 with a single lazzerette without a genny, it would be tight.

I live on a OLD 34' boat and have tons of space compared to the H34, Three Lazzerrettes too. Guess what, all that space has stuff in it. OK Girls need more space for stuff. But you have to think about where everything you have will fit.

OK first rule, Repeat after me, There is no such thing as a turn key boat.
Ok Ok...There is no such thing as a turn key boat. I said it and appreciate your point. How about $60k for a boat with a $20k boat 'reserve'? The Hunter was just one that caught my eye, but I am open to any and all input. When the time comes, we plan on viewing many boats in the VI while staying on land, until finally submitting an offer contingent on a survey and sea trial.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:10   #36
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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Jake,
I am going to ask your forgiveness ahead of time here. If you only have $40k to spend on a boat and need to bust your hump to make another $40k, then you aren't competing.

There is a shortage of lawyers, so you can therefore price anywhere you want. Top attorneys make $500/hr or more and are BUSY, then attorney's scale down from there and they range from there all the way to $50/hr, and generally speaking the less expensive you are, the less business you have. You can charge more BECAUSE you are too busy to charge less, or you charge less because you need more clients. People who hire attorney's know this.

Chartering is a bit different, but the principle is the same. There is a shortage of customers for each type of charter. You cannot compete by under cutting the competition because there isn't lot of demand. The charters that are successful have gorgeous vacation platforms (yachts), provide great service, and charge top dollar. When the demand isn't high it comes down to "you get what you pay for". If you are hungry, then you can't afford to provide a great platform and great service. Have a great platform and charge "top dollar", and learn the service industry. You can learn a lot about how to run a charter by doing some time in food, beverage, and hospitality. Sailing is just the platform and one of the things that makes you more special than just a floating hotel IF the client loves sailing or at least loves the idea of sailing. If you aren't mid range or higher in price, then you are going to be passed by without even a query, but again...you have to have a platform and service that can command a good price.

Something you may wish to think about is joining a team as general council or at least as a member of the GC's team. This can often be done with very little face time, meetings can be teleconference or VTC. You can then work mostly your own hours except for meeting times.

As others have said, you don't do this to get rich, you do it because you love the life and are willing to scrape by. A lot of people think its going to be the Pirates of the Caribbean. It is in some regard, you have the freedom of the sea, some adventure when the seas get high, but did you look at them, I mean the pirates? They were all dirty and nasty people and generally a miserable bunch. No one got rich except a lucky few...for a little while.

Think more of living aboard as a floating home that you can hoist anchor and move your home from time to time, learn to be a great waitor and bartender and follow the seasons. Lots of places hire students and seasonal help, and once you have a job at a nice restaurant or tavern or night club, and you have proved your worth, they will invite you to come back next year and maybe even pay you a little extra and or give you the cherry shifts (Friday and Saturday 6pm to close, or weekend doubles all weekend). Then you can work 2 days a week hard, but have 5 days off to cruise.

Are you lawyerin' ? No, but you'll be making $500 or more in 2 days IF you are good.
Hello Scot,

Thank you for your input and suggestions! Perhaps you will be my first client at $500/hr? I am just kidding. Contrary to what Hollywood portrays, not all lawyers are rolling in dough. The reality is that the market/location we are in does not support such rates. We chose this place because it was an excellent place to raise kids and instill values. We have three amazing kids/young adults with no regrets. The point is that we have options now that we are kid free.

The smart thing would be to move to a location that pays premium rates for professional services and work like dogs at a time when income is increasing while expenses are decreasing.

On the other hand, we could do something completely loco and unexpected like move aboard in the Virgin Islands and cruise when not working!
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:26   #37
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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Hello Scot,

Thank you for your input and suggestions! Perhaps you will be my first client at $500/hr? I am just kidding. Contrary to what Hollywood portrays, not all lawyers are rolling in dough. The reality is that the market/location we are in does not support such rates. We chose this place because it was an excellent place to raise kids and instill values. We have three amazing kids/young adults with no regrets. The point is that we have options now that we are kid free.

The smart thing would be to move to a location that pays premium rates for professional services and work like dogs at a time when income is increasing while expenses are decreasing.

On the other hand, we could do something completely loco and unexpected like move aboard in the Virgin Islands and cruise when not working!
Hey jake,
Oh you moved to the Midwest huh? I moved back from living there for 8 years.

No I don't expect every lawyer to be a Boston Legal candidate

But I do have a lawyer, and he does charge $500/hr, and he's busy. Move to the coast, Connecticut is where I landed.

Just think, if you only had 3 billable hours each day, that'd be $1500/day gross. Not so bad. I don't make that much, but I am not a lawyer.
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Old 03-09-2014, 14:22   #38
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Thumbs up Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

Whilst I have been to the USVI and I have recently racked up a few good cruising miles, I give input as an older married man and not as an expert in the field of charter.
Your wife is right - hard to swallow eh? - but she's right! The biggest part of doing this is actually doing it. One day not long away one of you will get sick and life will change for ever. One of your family will really need you, and life will change for ever. The US will do something really stupid, and your life will change for ever. If she has a "free spirit" now, grasp it with both hands while you've still got both hands, you'll never look back to regret it. Look back with fondness when you've done it all and gone back to a building full of lawyers to grow old with your grand kids. I'll bet none of the plans you are so carefully considering now will be the story you tell them then.
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Old 03-09-2014, 17:01   #39
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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Hey jake,
Oh you moved to the Midwest huh? I moved back from living there for 8 years.

No I don't expect every lawyer to be a Boston Legal candidate

But I do have a lawyer, and he does charge $500/hr, and he's busy. Move to the coast, Connecticut is where I landed.

Just think, if you only had 3 billable hours each day, that'd be $1500/day gross. Not so bad. I don't make that much, but I am not a lawyer.
I have successfully avoided the legal system most of my life. My recent divorce being the exception. My (Ca) lawyer charges $400 an hour but pays for an office and 2 staff. When we went to court the hallways were filled with lawyers and clients.

My dad always said look at the shoes. Based on the shoes there were no millionaire lawyers in that corridor including my lawyer. I think "average" lawyering is a tough row to hoe...
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Old 03-09-2014, 18:43   #40
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

Agreed....I hired my lawyer because he's the best. And he's busy. I am sure this guy bills 6 hours a day for his time and he bills probably 6 hours a day for his para also. Seriously, when I call I have to say can I talk x y or z please just so I can get someone who isn't with a client, on site or at a court house.
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Old 03-09-2014, 18:51   #41
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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Whilst I have been to the USVI and I have recently racked up a few good cruising miles, I give input as an older married man and not as an expert in the field of charter.
Your wife is right - hard to swallow eh? - but she's right! The biggest part of doing this is actually doing it. One day not long away one of you will get sick and life will change for ever. One of your family will really need you, and life will change for ever. The US will do something really stupid, and your life will change for ever. If she has a "free spirit" now, grasp it with both hands while you've still got both hands, you'll never look back to regret it. Look back with fondness when you've done it all and gone back to a building full of lawyers to grow old with your grand kids. I'll bet none of the plans you are so carefully considering now will be the story you tell them then.
Fantazia,

Thank you so much for your comment! It really hits home. My wife is an amazing person that lights up the room wherever she goes. She has sacrificed so much for me, my education, my career, our kids... perhaps it is time I do something extraordinary for her. My my law degree is not going anywhere, and we can always come back to the daily grind. I know that you are right, and I appreciate your wisdom.
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Old 03-09-2014, 19:03   #42
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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I have successfully avoided the legal system most of my life. My recent divorce being the exception. My (Ca) lawyer charges $400 an hour but pays for an office and 2 staff. When we went to court the hallways were filled with lawyers and clients.

My dad always said look at the shoes. Based on the shoes there were no millionaire lawyers in that corridor including my lawyer. I think "average" lawyering is a tough row to hoe...
This may sound strange, but I avoid the legal system as well! I never go to court. My practice is almost entirely devoted to helping business owners get their affairs in order, minimize risk, protect assets and stay out of court.

Somebody has got to protect good people from those 'other' attorneys, right?
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Old 03-09-2014, 20:48   #43
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

Jake
Re-read Fantazia's comment. its possibly the most relevant here and certainly a reflection of our life.
We found our way to the Vi's and spent 9 happy, if somewhat trying, years around the charter industry.
Back in normal life now, with one regret,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, We should have done it sooner !
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:54   #44
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

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This may sound strange, but I avoid the legal system as well! I never go to court. My practice is almost entirely devoted to helping business owners get their affairs in order, minimize risk, protect assets and stay out of court.

Somebody has got to protect good people from those 'other' attorneys, right?
Jake,
That's why I had to hire the best lawyer, not someone to help push me through the system, but someone who would protect me from my ex. She is a devious women, and had already Mis-conducted herself legally, making false statements, etc etc. She was out to "get me" and quite frankly it's just her modus operandi. Even her family doesn't talk to her anymore, and they call me instead. Anyway, enough off topic, just wanted you to know why I needed the best lawyer, not to screw anyone but to be sure I didn't get screwed.

Sorry for the hijack.
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Old 06-09-2014, 21:43   #45
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Re: Selling Home and Law Practice to Livaboard in the USVI

living somewhere is a lot different than vacationing. A lot of people try it in the USVI and leave.
But you probably know that.
Earlier this year I tried for 2 weeks to get a USVI lawyer to take care of a corporate issue. I finally gave up and did it myself (I am a corporate lawyer but busy too). Throughout the region, lawyers are incredibly slow.
You should have no trouble keeping busy... Take the USVI bar
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