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Old 12-12-2007, 10:58   #1
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1st-Timer seeks advice

All advice welcomed-

I am considering a live aboard lifestyle of the Annie Hill (Voyaging on a Small Income) type...but will probably stay put at the marina mostly, with excursions to Chesapeake Bay and FL Keys, possibly on out to the Bahamas...

A motorboat would probably be more comfy, but the call of a "real" sailboat is just too strong.

Any advice on practical (basic but reliable), roomy boats (I'm 6'4") ?

Any hardcore / full-time liveaboards out there that can confirm or deny the possibility of actually living the sailboat lifestyle on a small budget?

I am soooo ready to sell the house and retire NOW instead of in another 20 years.

Thanks,
Don't Panic
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:03   #2
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Don't Panic, Yes it can work, but, having read Annie Hill's book, I have to say allot of her wisdom does not apply to my lifestyle. It is really about your ability to have self control, and recognize the difference between need and want. As a retired over the road driver myself (Moved on to other parts of the industry), you will probably find live aboard lifestyle a very comfortable transition.
As for what boat, from a Condo sleeper to a Catalina 30 would be an easy transition, and the boat will be small enough to easily take out single handed, while providing plenty of living space.
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:06   #3
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My wife and I had a Catalina 30 before we purchased our current sailboat. It was a great boat and we both loved it. I wish I could afford to keep 2 boats as I would have never sold it. It was very reliable, economical, etc.
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:12   #4
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Check marinas first

Don't Panic, I am not familiar with marinas in the JAX area, but you might want to start by finding a marina that suits you that allows "liveaboards" as many do not. And when you find one that does, chat up the folks living there - they will be your best source of local knowledge.
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:20   #5
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Don't Panic, I am not familiar with marinas in the JAX area, but you might want to start by finding a marina that suits you that allows "liveaboards" as many do not. And when you find one that does, chat up the folks living there - they will be your best source of local knowledge.
Good advice!
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:24   #6
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The difference between land and boat isn't much when it comes to enjoying yourself on a budget. Some people need a lot of money to be happy, and others don't. On land it means the difference between a pimped out plasma TV and XBOX 360, and on the water maybe it's a chart plotter and a new engine.

The simple boats tend to be the ones going out most often. Keep that in mind.
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:38   #7
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Thanks to all -

I know of a marina in Newport News, VA (my old hometown) that allows liveaboards, close to all the cheap/free amenities I need.

I will have shore power,etc... Spartan to most equals luxury to me, so my main concern as a novice is getting a brand/model that is a great bang for the buck.

If I go now, I can count on about $2k/mo...no more job, or I can wait and save up for
a sturdier pension...but maybe that's enough...???...
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:40   #8
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Here's a silly little no-sound video I took of my cabin, after maybe a week of living aboard. My fiancee has a blog on our site with a lot of her feelings about moving onboard as well; that might be handy as far as a woman's point of view is concerned.

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Old 12-12-2007, 12:05   #9
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Now I'm not a liveaboard but a wanta be. I would buy me a Catalina 30 for my boat. If you want to bad enough you can live for even less that $2,000 per month. The reason I say you can live on less than 2 grand is that I raised a family on less than $1,200 working on ranches. Put the kid thru high school. It all depends on the toys you have to have and trying to stay up with the Smith and Jone's. If you like to party then get the gals to buy the drinks.

Go far it you will be just fine.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:14   #10
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Lostmt - I'm with you.

I've more than doubled my salary in the last ten years, but my fixed monthly expenses have only risen from $1300 -> $1700. I try to remind people that spending money is the inverse of having money. If you spend it, you don't have it anymore.

Spending money as a way of indicating to others that you have money always seems so very bass ackwards to me. If you want to show how much money you have, print out your bank statements and pin them on your shirt.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:24   #11
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There are only two types of people who care how much money you have. You, and those who you are generally trying to get away from. If the slip fees are paid, there is food on the table, and the boat works, the rest is fluff in my opinion. That said, a little fluff can make a real difference in quality of life as you get older. That leads back to identifying the difference between want and need.
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Old 12-12-2007, 13:33   #12
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Lostmt - I'm with you.

I've more than doubled my salary in the last ten years, but my fixed monthly expenses have only risen from $1300 -> $1700. I try to remind people that spending money is the inverse of having money. If you spend it, you don't have it anymore.

Spending money as a way of indicating to others that you have money always seems so very bass ackwards to me. If you want to show how much money you have, print out your bank statements and pin them on your shirt.
EXACTLY!
As an experienced "budget" cruiser friend once opined: "It ain't what you make; it's what you DON'T spend."
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Old 12-12-2007, 13:34   #13
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Rebel Heart and Kai Nui thanks for agreeing with me on my post. I tin to kill a thread what I make a post.

I don't know about the fluff at 63 now and never had any. Maybe I need to check into a hotel to get some. lol

Take care and happy sailing
David
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Old 12-12-2007, 15:09   #14
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So Don't Panic, yes, you can live on $2000/mo. Just be relatively sure that's what you want to do. Then go for it! Sounds like trucking is something you could get back into if after a few years you change your mind. Lots of folks on these boards seem to have IT jobs where their job content changes all the time so they are afraid to take off for a few years to experiment. Doesn't seem you would face that problem too quickly.

BTW, there is a 30-something couple who have lived on their catamaran called Dream Catcher for 4-5 years now, mostly in the Bahamas. They write an amusing log at Dream Catcher - Welcome! If you look back a few years into their logs, they once decided to go to truck-driving school as a means to have a skill to make extra money. They weren't too clear on why, but after taking the classes they never really drove trucks; must not have been as glamourous a job as they thought!
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Old 12-12-2007, 19:25   #15
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Really appreciate the encouragement-

Will follow up on the advice, seems like the Catalina 30 gets a lot of respect...

Hope this isn't heresy...but just in case you had to live on a power boat (mostly at the dock)...any thoughts?


Take Care and Thanks for the kind words.
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