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Old 02-06-2006, 05:59   #1
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Why Liveaborad?

I'm always amused to scan the 'Boats For Sale' ads. How many say "Great Liveaboard"? Sure the boats may be that but the question people don't ask is "Where and why"? Here on the B.C. coast liveaboards located away from the cities are scarcer than hens teeth. Yes one can find a spot up the Fraser River or near Vancouver but to me those places are too polluted and too close to too many people ie. noise/crime. North of Vancouver the chances of finding a permanent liveaboard spot are scarce because of local burocracy/predjudice. There seems to be some sort of bylaw from some level of government that allows a marina owner to have a 'caretaker' who can liveaboard in some marinas.
We spend our time 'livingaboard' stern tied to a big fir tree in as small and safe a cove as we can find. Over the years we know where this secret spots are. We spend sometimes a couple of weeks just soaking in the beauty and peace then move on leaving no trace behind.
Anyway, for me the point of livingaboard is to get away from people, even other live aboards. We're not anti-social by any means but when I see five boats rafted up in a beuatiful secluded cove with a 24 hr three day party in full swing I have no interest in becoming the sixth.

From what I have seen over the years very few 'liveabords' actually ever move their boats from the dock. They make life as comfortable as they can living in a hundred or so square foot space where leaks are the norm. In or near cities they pay as much for moorage and services as an apartment dweller does but without as much privacy. Their 'neighbors' living four feet beside them may or may not be 'their line of country'.
So why liveaboard if the reason is not to use the boat to go somewhere in it?

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Old 02-06-2006, 06:13   #2
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I am in complete agreement with you. While we love sailing and boats in general, the sailboat is a means to get us to secluded, beautiful locations to soak up the peace and serinity. We have absoultley no desire to live at a dock, I would never leave my secuded New England home if that was all there was to sailing.

We are hoping to leave in the fall of 07 to start our trip.

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Old 02-06-2006, 07:06   #3
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Liveaboard and sailaway


I don't where on the B.C. Coast you live but I am sure that Vancouver BC has similar high cost housing problems as San Francisco CA.

Because of the high cost of housing in the San Francisco Bay area, the liveaboard option is a viable one. It is a good alternative to either living with one or more room-mates to share the expenses or paying $1,000.00 plus per month for a single studio apartment.
The fact that most Bay area marinas have filled their liveaboard quotas (waiting lists of 2 years are normal) proves that liveaboard slips fulfill a need.

In my own case; I am getting ready to turn left out of the Gate in 2010 and, in order to save as much money as possible, I have just sold my place and am moving aboard later this month. That move alone will save me approx. $2,000.00 per month in mortgage an property taxes. Most of this money will go into a savings account. Yes, I will probably sail less than I am used to, but I can look forward to sailing every day once I reach my goal.

And the other good reason to move aboard my boat is; I sleep so much better!

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Old 02-06-2006, 07:39   #4
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We also considered the "aluminum condiminium" option... otherwise known as full-time RV life. Ya get to cover more ground more quickly...

But for us we decided that if you have to stay put for an extended period, the view of a marina from the cockpit is a MUCH nicer one than the view of that 1978 Winnebago with the barking pit bulls ...

How else could we afford a waterfront home? OK - without moving to Costa Rica I mean....
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Old 03-06-2006, 06:50   #5
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I've been living aboard my boat for 1 month less than I've owned it (about 6 years). It is the only way that I was going to be able to afford the boat that I would need for cruising. It IS difficult having one boat fullfill so many functions (liveaboard w/work committments, cruiser, recreational sailing) - but life is a challange anyway.

I sail my boat more often than 90% of the boats in the same marina. Most of the time I single hand it. Sometimes, I just don't feel like securing everything, unbuttoning everything and taking her out for a few hours. Other times, I can't get out of the slip fast enough. I do try to keep the boat 'ready to go' - less than 1/2 hour from decision to out of the slip.

There are times that I like being around people - and times I don't. Having my boat allows me the option of deciding what *I* want. Yes, I do live in a marina - it isn't cheap, but it isn't expensive either. With 1 bdrm / studio apartments running over $1000/mth (plus utils), this works for me (remember that I still have to go to work). If I were retired - then the ballgame changes.

Mark - RV's can't be parked (usually) on streets / parking lots - the police will bust ya. And have you seen what they charge in an RV park??!!?? OYE! Fortunately, there are still plenty of places where you can take your boat and anchor for free - but they are starting to try and take these options away too . Those that are in charge just do not like it when people don't conform.

okay - time to toss this soapbox into the dumpster.
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Old 03-06-2006, 20:16   #6
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Originally Posted by lilly[FONT=Verdana
Anyway, for me the point of livingaboard is to get away from people, even other live aboards. We're not anti-social by any means but when I see five boats rafted up in a beuatiful secluded cove with a 24 hr three day party in full swing I have no interest in becoming the sixth. [/FONT]
The answer to your question is right here. YOU think the point of living aboard is to get away from people, but not everybody shares your opinion.

I lived aboard for a year before I went cruising. I could have been paying a mortgage on a house and a boat all that time, or I could have sold the house, used the money to pay for the boat, and saved a bunch of interest payments. I was living aboard to save money and have substantially more time on the boat to get it ready.

Getting away from people had nothing to do with it. If you want to get away from people, there are plenty of places in Alaska where I could build a cabin and have no neighbors for miles around.

When I am done cruising, why should I move into an apartment? I will still have my boat with all my stuff in it. I can keep the boat, sail when I want (not when somebody else thinks I should), stay at the dock when I want, and spend almost no effort at all moving house.

My experience is that most people who live aboard do sail their boats, but maybe not every weekend. If you're working full time, you have the same considerations as somebody living on land. Just because you want to take it easy this weekend doesn't mean you have to give up your boat.

b.t.w. If you live aboard at a marina, your dock neighbors may well think your boat never goes anywhere because they come on Friday and see your boat exactly where it was the previous Sunday. They don't know where you were Monday through Thursday... You can only count on the live-aboards and the marina security guard (if any) to know which boats REALLY never go anywhere.
Mark S.
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:45   #7
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Mark - much more eloquently put than mine - and right on. Great observation on dock mates - knew that, just never codified it.
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Old 04-06-2006, 19:11   #8
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The cost of living issue aside, living aboard is a very comfortable lifestyle. FOr those of us who like order, and are realistic in how much space we actually live in, boats are very efficient. In a 1500 square foot house, how much time do you spend in each square foot? We have lived aboard for over 8 years, and the only downside has been for my wife who loves gardening. THe space, and the privicy has never been an issue. In the last year, projects have prevented me from taking the boat out, but prior to that we were out at least a couple of times a month. Talking about privacy, we have a very close community in this harbor, but everyone pretty much minds their own business. In houses I have owned, the neighbors have parties all night long on a regular basis, the neighbors are also concerned about what I do with my yard, what projects I am working on etc. etc... I own my boat. I am not required by federal law to have a mail box in a certain location at a certain height. I do not have mortgage on my boat, and if I did, it would be far less than that of a home in this area (nothing local under $450000) If my neighbors do get on my nerves, I can relocate in a matter of minutes.
As for motor homes, the local RV park is charging over $30 per day. It costs a heck of allot more to travel in a motor home, and you are very limited as to where can park it when not in use.
Finally, a quote from Water World, "This place doesn't move right" (refering to dry land)

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