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Old 10-08-2019, 10:13   #1
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hello! new liveaboard couple w lots of questions

Hi!

We (Joyce, 57 and Will, 62) are buying a special 35 ft used Dufour 4800 and selling everything (currently living in Massachusetts) to embark on major sailing adventures!

Plan to take her around northeast U.S. for next 1-2 years, maybe Caribbean, then we'll see. Perhaps upgrade to another boat and hit the Med.

Anyway, we do have many questions!

1) Since this is an older, starter boat, we don't want lots of insurance. What do people recommend / least expensive and good agencies?

2) We will need a marina starting in November where we won't freeze and where they have a vibrant liveaboard sailing community - maybe Virginia Beach or Newport? Carolinas? Any suggestions please where the slips might be available and economical?

3) Do people always use lawyers for purchase agreements for these transactions? We will be paying cash, about $35k ....

4) Anyone have ideas for health insurance purchasable for under 60 year olds that isn't a narrow network / HMO? My only options as Mass resident are HMOs that require providers in mass ...


Thanks so much - I know it is a lot!!
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:37   #2
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Re: hello! new liveaboard couple w lots of questions

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Joyce & Will.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:50   #3
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Re: hello! new liveaboard couple w lots of questions

Hi Joyce and Will,


Welcome to the forum and to the liveaboard life.


Below some comments based on my experience. Others may offer a different take.













Quote:
Originally Posted by joycemango View Post
Hi!

We (Joyce, 57 and Will, 62) are buying a special 35 ft used Dufour 4800 and selling everything (currently living in Massachusetts) to embark on major sailing adventures!

Plan to take her around northeast U.S. for next 1-2 years, maybe Caribbean, then we'll see. Perhaps upgrade to another boat and hit the Med.

Anyway, we do have many questions!

1) Since this is an older, starter boat, we don't want lots of insurance. What do people recommend / least expensive and good agencies?


I ended up with liability only when BoatUS doubled my premium after years insuring with them and no claims. So far I have saved enough to pay for half the boat but others have found better rates. Search the forum and you will find several long, detailed discussions on insurance.


2) We will need a marina starting in November where we won't freeze and where they have a vibrant liveaboard sailing community - maybe Virginia Beach or Newport? Carolinas? Any suggestions please where the slips might be available and economical?


I know you're coming from MA (I split my time between MA and FL) but in my opinion it gets pretty darned cold in the Carolinas. Even down to south GA you can plan on more than a few sub freezing days. From what I hear the liveaboard community also tends to shrink in the winter in those areas. If you're looking for warm or at least less cold and a significant year round liveaboard community I would start with Brunswick GA and look from there and farther south.

3) Do people always use lawyers for purchase agreements for these transactions? We will be paying cash, about $35k ....


Depends on where and from whom you buy. I never have used a lawyer but I bought directly from owners. In the process I got to learn enough about the sellers that I felt comfortable paying for the boat without legal hassles. if you buy through a broker you will have some protection IE deposits held in escrow until closing, etc but if you're concerned you can deal with one of the companies that offers a documentation service and title insurance but it will come at a cost.


4) Anyone have ideas for health insurance purchasable for under 60 year olds that isn't a narrow network / HMO? My only options as Mass resident are HMOs that require providers in mass ...


Lots and lots. We used a Blue Cross managed plan but now are older and have to use Medicare as our primary and the other as secondary. I think there are plenty of options but be prepared to pay A LOT for the insurance. Even if you get minimal coverage with a giant deductible it will be thousands.







Thanks so much - I know it is a lot!!
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:55   #4
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Re: hello! new liveaboard couple w lots of questions

Get a survey and probably use a broker for the paperwork. The boat has to pass a survey to get insurance and you need to be sure there aren't liens against the boat.


Obamacare I guess. I use the VA because I'm in the #1 priority.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:23   #5
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Re: hello! new liveaboard couple w lots of questions

I would suggest just liability insurance (it is hard to make successful claims on an older, cheaper boat), no need to use lawyers, just check for liens) and try to get as far south as possible, ideally all the way to the Caribbean.

Another piece of caution - it takes time to get to know a boat, make it look nice and well equipped. May be a few years. Do you really want a starter boat? You may want to go to your dream boat immediately. By the way, I see nothing wrong with this size boat, it will serve you perfectly. My point is more along the lines of do you want to go through the trouble of fixing two boats next 10 years instead of one?
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Old 10-08-2019, 15:12   #6
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Re: hello! new liveaboard couple w lots of questions

I don't have any answers to your questions, but I did want to comment. We live in western MA, and 13 years ago we had a couple of friends do what you're talking about. At the time I thought they were crazy. LOL They sold everything; a nice country property, cars, motorcycles, all of it. Bought an IP31. They just came back to land after 12 years on the boat. I recently checked in with them, and they have had no regrets. Enjoyed the boating years, maybe not done. At the time I knew nothing about boats other than some small power boat operation 40 years ago. Now we're your age and we've recently thought about this cruising possibility (probably due to being overwhelmed with the responsibility of taking care of a parent with dementia for over 3 years). Right now it sounds nice to be able to downsize and just worry about what's on the boat. So anyway, this past winter we bought a pocket cruiser that needed a lot of work (Montgomery 17). We fixed it over the winter while learning all about it, and we've been sailing the heck out of it since the beginning of June. We're having a blast sailing (inland fresh water). Now we need to get a ride on the ocean and see if we like that. So anyway, your plan sounds exciting; good luck!
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Old 10-08-2019, 15:59   #7
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Re: hello! new liveaboard couple w lots of questions

Thanks so much everyone, this is really helpful! I should have mentioned that this boat is not really a starter boat - she is gorgeous and a dream - a rare, rare specimen that's both racer (still winning local races in CT) yet comfortable inside (takes charters out (specially made back in early 80s for the Dufour CEO). We are really excited and honored to take her on. We will likely need to take a 2nd boat on because we are not wanting to cross Atlantic yet want to sail Med.

Thanks again, more to come!
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Old 10-08-2019, 16:41   #8
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Re: hello! new liveaboard couple w lots of questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by joycemango View Post
Thanks so much everyone, this is really helpful! I should have mentioned that this boat is not really a starter boat - she is gorgeous and a dream - a rare, rare specimen that's both racer (still winning local races in CT) yet comfortable inside (takes charters out (specially made back in early 80s for the Dufour CEO). We are really excited and honored to take her on. We will likely need to take a 2nd boat on because we are not wanting to cross Atlantic yet want to sail Med.

Thanks again, more to come!
Joyce, your plan sounds practicable to me, and the boat completely suitable if as described.

As a long term cruiser, I'd like to add one bit of general advise here: Don't make detailed long term plans about your cruising future! At your stage of experience, you simply don't have a clue as to how your sailing life will develop, about what your feelings about trans oceanic passages will be or about what parts of t he lifestyle you will or will not enjoy. These things morph continually as you wend your way through the learning curve.

Flexibility is the hallmark of the successful long term cruiser, and trying to stick to some pre ordained plan the route to tears. Buy the boat, sail the hell out of it, don't succumb to the urge to change much about her for at least a year (this oft repeated mantra about "making her yours" leads to lots of wasted money and effort), and get as far from snow and ice as possible. Living aboard in cold climates is a lot different than living in a house in similar conditions, and we don't like it much... so we left Tasmania in May and are now some 1100 miles further north and still making steady progress towards the sun. We've done this sort of migration for years now... with a portable home there is no need to suffer climates you don't like!

Good luck with it and enjoy...it's a great life!

Jim
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