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Old 24-02-2019, 08:57   #1
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What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

About 5 years ago my wife and I had an idea of travelling the world on a sailing boat without ever having stepped aboard a sailing boat (familiar theme right). Tried a few local sailing weekends, loved it. Took a couple of courses, loved it. Bareboat Chartered a couple of times in the med and really loved it. So decided to go whole hog and sell up and go boat shopping. Then life got in the way....wife and I fell pregnant so our plans were put on hold.

2 years of learning to be a parent and 5 years on after that initial spark and my 5 year plan alarm bell has started ringing! So itís time to pick up where we left.

Back to the original point.... Apart from a boat and being able to sail, what are the most important skills and traits to learn before we jump in? My time and money are limited so I guess Iím trying to prioritised what I need to do to move forward.

All help and advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 24-02-2019, 09:51   #2
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Re: What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

You need patience, tenacity, and no fear of hard work.

And cash. The amout will depend on the above.

The rest can be learnt.
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Old 24-02-2019, 10:05   #3
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Re: What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

Sailing is easy. Itís all the other aspects of owning and living on a cruising-level boat that are hard .

Take the time to learn what you and your crew need and want in a cruising boat. I recommend buying an inexpensive, but sound and fully functional cruising boat, and get out there now. This will teach you what is important, and also start to develop those necessary skills, especially if you are a frugal cruiser with more time than money.
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Old 24-02-2019, 10:17   #4
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Re: What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

Books by Lisa Copeland and Lin and Larry Pardy are essential reads. The Copelands have kids. There are many other books an blogs.

Blogs. Start with interview with a cruiser. Follow the links to other blogs.

I lived aboard and cruised when 10-12 years old. It was wonderful.
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Old 24-02-2019, 10:54   #5
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Re: What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

For me, because of limited space, is to have good organization of all the stuff you need to live there, food, clothes, tools, spare parts etc etc. This will make for a neat easy to live in environment. It is a version of the Maire Kondo concepts so to speak. Everything has a home and it should live there.
That and have a Real Budget, and do your very best to stick to it, not that stuff doesnít happen and you go over the monthly budget from time to time, everyone does in real life.
And then have fun every day, because if itís not fun, why are you doing it?
Enjoy the lifestyle, everyday is your next adventure.
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Old 24-02-2019, 11:29   #6
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Re: What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

You need to actually do it

verify empirically you will enjoy long-term sailing life

and the compromises involved in going full-time

**before** investing a lot of time energy and money.

Chartering is one way if you don't have much freedom to just relocate.

Less expensive informal arrangement are possible, but you need to get enmeshed in a real world offline sailing community somewhere.

Learning to sail well should be first priority.

Then comes starting to learn all the DIY and maintenance skills to keep costs down.

All can be done while working jobs, saving capital, reading, dreaming.

None of which substitutes for getting onto the water in Other People's Boats as often as you can, for increasigly long periods.
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Old 24-02-2019, 11:59   #7
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Re: What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olly75 View Post
You need patience, tenacity, and no fear of hard work.

And cash. The amout will depend on the above.

The rest can be learnt.
I have all of those to some degree, maybe a bit less of the last one!
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Old 24-02-2019, 12:10   #8
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Re: What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Sailing is easy. Itís all the other aspects of owning and living on a cruising-level boat that are hard .
Exactly, Getting the white flappy thing up and down and the boat moving isnít difficult to do as badly as I do it and is something Iím sure weíll refine quickly once weíre out there. Besides, the kind of cruising we have in mind means we probably wonít be sailing much more than 10-15% of the time anyway. Itís the other 85% of the hard work Iím interested in
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Old 24-02-2019, 12:40   #9
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Re: What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Take the time to learn what you and your crew need and want in a cruising boat. I recommend buying an inexpensive, but sound and fully functional cruising boat, and get out there now. This will teach you what is important, and also start to develop those necessary skills, especially if you are a frugal cruiser with more time than money.
I might be wrong but the way I see it to really know what I want or need from a boat means spending extended amounts of time on different boats, work out what we do and donít like, then find a boat in our budget that has most of our wants/needs?

I remember as a kid learning to drive a car. I lived in a small village in the sticks miles away from my mates and couldnít wait to pass my test so Iíd have the freedom I craved! When I eventually got my licence, the car I wanted or needed wasnít the car I got but it did give me the freedom I wanted (until I blew the head gasket by driving like a prat)!

Probably not the best analergy but I guess what Iím trying to say is that my budget will be one of the bigger defining factory of our boat/lifestyle choice. A boat thats in budget and people with a lot more cruising experience than me say is a good one for my purpose well thats more than good enough for me. Iím probably more adaptable than a boat. I like your advice, get out there now...and find out, thanks
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Old 24-02-2019, 12:55   #10
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Re: What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

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Books by Lisa Copeland and Lin and Larry Pardy are essential reads. The Copelands have kids. There are many other books an blogs.

Blogs. Start with interview with a cruiser. Follow the links to other blogs.

I lived aboard and cruised when 10-12 years old. It was wonderful.
Thanks, can you recommend any? Donít want to mention names but a few of the blogs/vlogs Iíve seen are either heavily edited or what Iíd imagine is ďrose tintedĒ. I kind of want the real nuts & bolts...and warts!

Added the books to my reading list.
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Old 24-02-2019, 13:37   #11
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Re: What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

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Originally Posted by Puddleduck View Post
I might be wrong but the way I see it to really know what I want or need from a boat means spending extended amounts of time on different boats, work out what we do and donít like, then find a boat in our budget that has most of our wants/needs? Ö
As Iím sure you already know, thereís no one right answer. Part of the challenge with this, as with anything in life, is to know what is best for you and yours. And we all know what free advice is really worth .

You want exposure to as many different boats as you can get, and as many cruisers as possible. You want to learn what is possible. But the downside of short exposures (like chartering or using a friendís boat) is that you never really have to deal with the nitty-gritty of constant maintenance and upkeep. You donít face the realities of insurance, moorage and storage, and a bunch of other factors that only comes with actual boat ownership. And it probably means you donít get to spend long periods actually out cruising. A week or two here and there is not the same as living and travelling on a boat for two, three or more months at a time.

Donít get me wrong, any experience is good. But for me, the best lessons began once I owned my first cruising-level boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddleduck View Post
Probably not the best analergy but I guess what Iím trying to say is that my budget will be one of the bigger defining factory of our boat/lifestyle choice. A boat thats in budget and people with a lot more cruising experience than me say is a good one for my purpose well thats more than good enough for me. Iím probably more adaptable than a boat. I like your advice, get out there now...and find out, thanks
Listening to people who know more is essential, but only you can learn what is important for you and yours. Ask ten cruisers a question and youíll get twelve different opinion. Listen to people, but figure out for yourself what you need.

The more actual experience you can get cruising for extended periods with your expected crew (partner, kids?), the better.
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Old 24-02-2019, 16:17   #12
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Re: What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

Well, a good contraception program helps you to keep to a time line!

But seriously, Mike O's advice is pretty good, so read it again and pay attention. There really are no shortcuts that work as well as personal experience, sailing and maintaining your own vessel of whatever size you can afford at the time.

Jim
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Old 24-02-2019, 18:24   #13
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Re: What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

We just returned to our marina, a dockmate asked about our outing. I replied, the most difficult thing about cruising is keeping the beer cooler full and the trash can empty...........

Sailing is the easy part.
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Old 24-02-2019, 19:10   #14
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Re: What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddleduck View Post
About 5 years ago my wife and I had an idea of travelling the world on a sailing boat without ever having stepped aboard a sailing boat (familiar theme right). Tried a few local sailing weekends, loved it. Took a couple of courses, loved it. Bareboat Chartered a couple of times in the med and really loved it. So decided to go whole hog and sell up and go boat shopping. Then life got in the way....wife and I fell pregnant so our plans were put on hold.

2 years of learning to be a parent and 5 years on after that initial spark and my 5 year plan alarm bell has started ringing! So itís time to pick up where we left.

Back to the original point.... Apart from a boat and being able to sail, what are the most important skills and traits to learn before we jump in? My time and money are limited so I guess Iím trying to prioritised what I need to do to move forward.

All help and advice is greatly appreciated!
Engine maintenance and head maintenance both lie ahead of sailing skills but not in that order...
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Old 24-02-2019, 22:32   #15
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Re: What does it take to become a liveaboard cruiser?

Being a very determined escapist helps a lot.
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