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Old 29-09-2012, 20:12   #1
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Seriously Considering Living Aboard in NYC and Need Advice

I'm considering it because I have a power boat which is Chicago, and while transporting it to NYC would be expensive, my rent paying for an annual slip would be 3 times cheaper than what I pay for my current apt.
I've dreamt of living on a boat my whole life, and it would be awesome in the summer/spring/fall for many obvious reasons, but I'm concerned about winter. I'm also concerned about the possible hidden costs of living on a boat. I'm also not sure I have a realistic perception of the amount and cost of maintenance involved. I'm afraid I'm romanticizing the idea and it might cloud my judgement.
The boat itself I think is very livable, in terms of the amount of space I'd have and the comfort onboard. It's a 42' Burnscraft, but remodeled extensively inside with brand new appliances and brand new engine.
Also, I would be living alone on the boat, but with a cat.
What do you guys think? Is it possible? Would it be a good choice?
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Old 29-09-2012, 20:22   #2
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Re: Seriously Considering Living Aboard in NYC and Need Advice

I think I'm a little confused or not understanding.

You are saying you already own the power boat in Chicago but you aren't sure of the costs for maintenance? If you already own the boat I would think you already have an idea of what it is costing you. If you are asking if the costs go up to maintain the boat because you are living on board, then not generally. In fact, living on a boat, using the systems, keeping it dry and ventilated should reduce your maintenance costs.

Is that what you were asking?

Not any hidden costs that I can think of. You will have the costs of the slip and any live aboard extras that your marina may charge. You will have the regular boat maintenance costs and your regular living expenses. Otherwise that pretty much covers it.
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Old 29-09-2012, 20:30   #3
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Re: Seriously Considering Living Aboard in NYC and Need Advice

I had better explain the situation a bit further - my parents bought a houseboat when I was 9, on the Illinois river, and I spent a ton of time boating with them until my teen years, through 3 different boats. This boat is the last one they bought, when I was 16, but due to changing life circumstances we barely ever used it (I've been on it on the water twice).

Having been a kid, I really don't know the maintenance costs involved. My family also never had a boat on the water in the winter, so I'm not sure of what's involved in winterizing a liveaboard.

I'm 23 now and living in Manhattan, and my dad recently called me up and offered me the boat if I wanted to live on it in the city, and I'm sorely tempted and want to get a more realistic view of the costs, time, maintenance, practicality, etc.
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Old 29-09-2012, 20:42   #4
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Re: Seriously Considering Living Aboard in NYC and Need Advice

maybe you should talk to your dad! he is probably gonna be your number one crewmember if you have to move the boat,fitting a diesel heater works well if the boat is insulated properly.
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Old 29-09-2012, 20:49   #5
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Re: Seriously Considering Living Aboard in NYC and Need Advice

Have you checked marina prices and availability of slips around the city? Not a lot of options.

Regarding costs for boat maintenance. You will need to haul it out of the water every year or so to paint the bottom. Cost for hauling is by the foot for regular boats. Due to the width of a houseboat not sure if there are extra charges. Guess about $2000 for this job.

Other maintenance depends on what the boat is made of and what condition it's in. Boat like this would have same type of maintenance and repairs as a house but usually a little more often and a few extras thrown in.

Then there is engine maintenance but doesn't sound like you'll be going anywhere with it so maybe not an issue. Also would not want to venture out into NY Harbor with the style of houseboats I know. The combined wakes from all the ferries and other water traffic might even sink a houseboat.
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Old 29-09-2012, 20:55   #6
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Re: Seriously Considering Living Aboard in NYC and Need Advice

Sorry if I was unclear again, the first boat we bought was a houseboat, but this is a 42' yacht that I'm not nearly as familiar with, and I'd definitely want to be taking it out pretty frequently, at least in summer. The boat is very similar to this one: Google Image Result for http://www.boatsville.com/boatpics/166216/photo1.jpg
Also, I'm thinking it'll be Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, which would be a 15 min commute to the office for me, and they have liveaboard slips available. It would come out to the equivalent of 600/mo rent, whereas I pay 1800 for my apartment currently.
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Old 29-09-2012, 20:59   #7
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Re: Seriously Considering Living Aboard in NYC and Need Advice

hey, just wrote you a long reply but I think it got caught in the spam filter as I included a link to a picture of the type of boat. Sorry if I was unclear again, my family's first boat was a houseboat, and I spent many years on it in the summers, but this is a 42' burnscraft sedan bridge yacht that I'm not nearly as familiar with as that houseboat.

I'm definitely going to be taking it out often in the summer; what's the point otherwise? Though I am intimidated by the Hudson around Manhattan, it's a huge river with lots of traffic.

If I do this, I would most likely go with Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, it's near the PATH train and a 15 min commute to the office for me. They have liveaboard slips available and it would come out to be the equivalent of 600/mo rent, whereas I currently pay 1800 for my apartment.

Edit - Oh and also, I would definitely never take a houseboat in those waters! Ours sank on the Illinois river when it was docked and a barge going past damaged it with the force of the water jets from its engine
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Old 29-09-2012, 21:41   #8
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Re: Seriously Considering Living Aboard in NYC and Need Advice

Livable ,yes, and you are right that it will need to be converted to provide the heat needed during the winter months

I upgraded the electrical service on my 38 foot Chris-Craft to 50 amp and have added built-in forced air heaters
If you have 50 amp shore power available its an affordable way to make it livable
You can work on adding extra sunbrella covers on the outside windows and/or add heavy curtains to heep the heat in

btw The cat will love the boat
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Old 29-09-2012, 21:44   #9
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Re: Seriously Considering Living Aboard in NYC and Need Advice

I was envisioning having to 'shrink wrap' the boat over a wooden frame (with a door in it) for the winter. It's kind of intimidating!
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Old 30-09-2012, 00:05   #10
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Re: Seriously Considering Living Aboard in NYC and Need Advice

Clear shrink wrap works well. Several liveaboards at my marina (25 miles north of NYC) use it. It provides a buffer to outside cold reducing heating costs and greatly reducing condensation. If using fuels for heat you will need to vent it outside the wrap. Costs $500 at marinas up here. Liberty Park Marina is pretty well protected from all the wakes so you should be comfortable. Don't let the traffic intimidate you, just remember the big ships don't stop well so give them room to get past. You can be in Long Island Sound in an hour for weekends. Great Neck Bay is a nice place to anchor for the weekend and close. Lots of other places along Long Island north shore to go too.
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Old 30-09-2012, 01:24   #11
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Re: Seriously Considering Living Aboard in NYC and Need Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
maybe you should talk to your dad!
If the OP thought that would be the better option, she would have. I'm sure she'll handle what she can on her end without any need for suggestions of the obvious.
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Old 30-09-2012, 06:55   #12
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Spend some time at Liberty a landing and get to know the livaboards. . Most started the path similar to how you
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Old 30-09-2012, 07:19   #13
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Re: Seriously Considering Living Aboard in NYC and Need Advice

Ladyvee,
It can certainly be done. I lived in a marina in Weehawken and commuted across the Hudson everyday. Shrink wrap and forced air heaters work well - but the electric bill can be high. Not sur e how Liberty Landing meters and charges for electric. Also - do you have your own car? It is a long hike to public transportation from Liberty Landing. A nice marina though - with new shower facilities.
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Old 30-09-2012, 07:39   #14
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Re: Seriously Considering Living Aboard in NYC and Need Advice

Looked at the photos of the 42' Burn side. Much different than the houseboat I was thinking about and certainly fine for NY Harbor, the rivers and Long Island Sound.

Costs for a boat would include regular engine maintenance similar to what you would need for a car but some jobs will be more expensive. Like car engines for example, you need to change the oil on a regular basis but unlike cars you don't have the option of going to Jiffy Lube for a cheapo oil change. Plus I'm guessing the boat has 2 engines so double that.

The recommendation to get to know other boaters at the marina is excellent. If you ask around you will probably be able to get recommendations for mechanics to help you with the engine maintenance. Can sometimes save a lot of money if you can find an independent working on his own.

Otherwise just like a house you will have plumbing, electrical and other routine stuff to maintain but a little more than a house. Boats have two electrical systems, 12V battery power and 110V AC like your house. Boat plumbing is also a bit more complex since you have water tanks and a pump instead of getting water under pressure from the city.

If you are handy and can figure out how to do some of the basics you can save a lot of money.

The requirement to haul the boat out of the water to paint the bottom every year or so still stands.
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Old 30-09-2012, 07:40   #15
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Re: Seriously Considering Living Aboard in NYC and Need Advice

I don't have a car - I didn't realize Liberty Landing was so far from public transit. They said 5 blocks to the PATH on the phone, which sounds totally reasonable. I definitely still need to visit the marina.

Also, for electric they offer you a meter directly through their provider.
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