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Old 19-04-2010, 20:11   #1
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The Choice: Buy a Liveaboard or Rent Cheaply

And cheap is a relative term here on the California coast.
I will never be able to afford to buy a house near where I work (OK, I suppose I could, but I'd rather not live in gangland), so I'm wondering what the downside could be with living aboard a roomy boat for under 50K. Marina fees are about $300 a month and I figure up to 2K in annual maintenance.
I'm into sailboats, but there's a 35 foot powerboat that I could use as a home.
What do you suggest? Keep on renting cheaply (1K and up) or buy a boat?
To be honest, I probably would only take the boat out every once in a while to keep the diesels in shape.
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Old 19-04-2010, 20:30   #2
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Well, guess I did not check them all, but I was researching liveaboard marinas in CA and did not find anything for $300/month near the coast. At least not SF and south. Maybe up the delta from SF Bay or far north CA.

Mind if I ask what part of CA?
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Old 19-04-2010, 20:49   #3
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A sedan bridge power boat of 35 ft will have the living space of a large jail cell. More important than the money is how comfortable are you living in a box?
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Old 19-04-2010, 20:58   #4
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Moss Landing is the marina. They are much less expensive than other marinas.
The boat has a flybridge and two cabins, nearly full size fridge, a sundeck, and apparently a lot more space than most; certainly more space than a 35 foot sailboat.
I live in a tiny studio apartment as it is, to save rent money. Tired of renting craphouses for 2K a month nearby.
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Old 19-04-2010, 21:00   #5
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Living on a boat really isn't that cheap. You can live on land much cheaper. Renting a room and eating top ramen you could keep land bills to $500 a month and never have to do a single captial investment.

All that being said, I'm quite happy on the water and wouldn't trade it in for anything at the moment. Money is there to spend it on things that make your life better, imho.

I forget the exact quote, but something like "I spent all my money and boats, women, and liquor. The rest was wasted."
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Old 19-04-2010, 21:16   #6
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Hi Rebel, I forgot to add in liveaboard fees, but that still brings it to under $500/mo. in marina fees. I have a wife and a dog, so I can't do the room thing. Minimum rent I can get is about a grand per month. The capital investment might be worth it for having a room with a view right on the water and the opportunity to make friends with sailboats that I can crew on from time to time.
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Old 19-04-2010, 21:20   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snort View Post
Hi Rebel, I forgot to add in liveaboard fees, but that still brings it to under $500/mo. in marina fees. I have a wife and a dog, so I can't do the room thing. Minimum rent I can get is about a grand per month. The capital investment might be worth it for having a room with a view right on the water and the opportunity to make friends with sailboats that I can crew on from time to time.
It sounds like you've got your mind made up, or at least pretty much want to do it. I've never regretted moving onto the boat although the first three weeks my wife and I nearly went bonkers.

I actually have some of my old blog posts from a few years ago when we moved onboard. My wife's blog is on there too; feel free to hit us up if you have any particular questions.

Rebel Heart - The boat and her crew - Eric's Blog
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Old 19-04-2010, 21:43   #8
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I was just looking at your blog! Very good info and I'll be reading more tonight. We used to live down in Carlsbad and getting a slip in Oceanside was a wait of something like 9 years. Insane!
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Old 19-04-2010, 21:53   #9
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Look around for a Sedan or Sundeck with GASOLINE engines if you are not going to be getting underway. They cost a bunch to operate but not much to buy. Go to yachtworld advanced search and put in your specifications.

In Fl a Mainship 36 to 40 range next to me sold real cheap because of the gas engines. Very roomy inside and nice. No cockpit to fish from and I suspect not too good at sea in rough water, (looked topheavy) but for what you want this might just be the ticket.

A few slips down was a huge old gas powered pre Hatteras that was VERY roomy, almost elegant inside and it was had for around 10k. Even if it has to be towed to our mooring, what the hell, you want a wharf queen anyway.

I just jumped over to YW and there are some power boats approching 40 feet pre 1975 that would be just great and quite a few newer ones in the 36 range varying in price from 20k to 50 where I cut it off. All in Calif. Power boats, as a general rule have MUCH more living space than sail foot for foot.
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Old 19-04-2010, 23:41   #10
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Hey, I'm not American so I dunno squat about you, your country or the colour of your money (Ours is purple and orange).

But finances and investments I do know a little about.

You want to spend $50,000 to save $1,530 per month.

The problems (amongst many) is that the $50,000 capital outlay is diminishing each year where pout in a propper investment would be appreciating each year.

To sell the boat again will loses say 5%, $2,500 PA. Invested it would gain (more than) 5%, $2,500 per year = difference $5,000

I don't think an accountant would like the idea at all. Worse still if you need to borrow the $50.
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Old 20-04-2010, 00:18   #11
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Where are you getting 5% return these days?
From a financial point of view you're probably right, but as a lifestyle, it may be worth it to trade in the little room with no view for the natural surroundings I can find by the water.
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Old 20-04-2010, 05:37   #12
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Moss Landing is a beautiful place. That's even taking into consideration the towers across the road. It will be foggy, and chilly, but many love that weather. I know I use to love it. Where will you be most happy? Take that into your financial calculations. I know I would take a wee bit of a loss to enjoy my surroundings, and be happy.........i2f
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Old 20-04-2010, 06:06   #13
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My total liveaboard cost is $1500/month, but if you subtract the boat payment and leave only the marina fees (including liveaboard fee) - it's only $500. The $500 is rent thrown away, but the other $1,000 is equity in the boat (if you consider a boat an investment - and right now it looks as good as any house, frankly).

It all depends on how you want to calculate it.
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Old 20-04-2010, 06:50   #14
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Two issues - Capital Asset value and cash flow.

Leave the $50k capital in investments and it grows. Put it in a boat and it shrinks.

$1500 cash flow to rent is all gone.
$1500 cash flow on marina fees and boat maintenance is also gone.

In 5 years you took $50k and made it $40-45k rather than about $60k

But you live on the water...
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Old 20-04-2010, 07:16   #15
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You say u want to stay under 50, these prices are LISTED prices. Lengthe of time on market means a lot as to what u offer. I just guess at near 3 bucks a gallon for gas, considering they pull around 10 to 30 gallons an hour they are very negociable.

1973 Chris-Craft Coho Tri-Cabin FB Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com=

1979 Chris-Craft 380 Corinthian Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

1986 Sea Ray 390 Express Cruiser Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

1989 Silverton Express Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

look at this big bitc h no one can afford to afford to operate:

1977 Chris Craft 410 Motor Yacht Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

ugly on the outside but roomy on the inside and I am sure can be had for less than 20k:

1970 Gran Mariner Coastal Cruiser Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Here is a non seaworthy boat, I suspect lightly built but LOTS of living space. Bank wants to scrub their books and get their write off. I would start at 2/3's their minimum bit.

1987 Harbor Master 470 Flybridge Houseboat Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

remember, the less you invest (purchase + improvements) the sooner you start pocketing cash.

You really have a good idea from what I saw in Calif a few years back on real estate.
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