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Old 06-04-2009, 14:27   #1
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Hi, and some typical questions

Hi, I used to live aboard when I was young with my dad. It's almost 30 years later but I want to do it again now that I have kids. We lived in the Bahamas for years and it was a great time.

However, i don't have the same retirement advantage my father had and am looking to work while living aboard. (I'm an architect).

1. Where is a good place to live and work while living aboard?
2. Has anyone had experience working while sailing? I figure the technology has arrived to make it possible, but sometimes people don't like the perception that you aren't available (even if you are just as available if they called you at the office).
3. Roughly, what are the base expenses to consider while living aboard?

Right now I live in NYC so any change in living cost will probably go down. It can't get worse! (I hope).

Anyhow, I look forward to reading some of the posts - even if I can only live vicariously through you! hahaha
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Old 06-04-2009, 17:08   #2
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ooberman,

I am an architect as well and live in NYC. There is no reason why you can't do a lot of your work on board with internet access and small printer. I prefer 11x17 and for larger you can email to a plotter service. You also can do lots of product research online and the need for a library are disapearing. Samples and paper files are a problem. Where do you keep them?

Having clients is the number one issue bit once you have one, you can very well serve them from your boat. There are issues like field supervision / inspection and getting to meetings with client etc.

I suppose you could work from a marina and keep a care and work from the boat or even a small office near or in the marina. This certainly would cut down overhead.

The base expenses are:

1. Near your clients, public transport, a printing company
2. Only when I supported clients while on vacation sailing
3. live aboard dockage - $500-600 / mo (guess), insurance?, fuel for heating in the winter, storage of personal property that you can't take aboard, sell or give away and want to keep.

PM if you want to chat .
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Old 06-04-2009, 23:51   #3
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looking to work while living aboard. (I'm an architect).
Don't try to draw a straight line at sea.

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Old 07-04-2009, 01:17   #4
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Do you wish to liveaboard in the U.S., or travel the world? Do you expect to charge the going rate, or will you be willing to set your price to the area you are in? Are you residential? Commercial? Naval? Do you have a large portfolio of designs?

Some points/examples:

1) I know someone who is planning to build a boatyard in Panama. He will need to have an architect design a shop for him to build. Local rules being as they are, he could get away with the design of a foreign architect. Paying the rate that a U.S. or Can. architect charges would be many times that of what a local will charge.

2) Many people want to buy plans for building rural homes, cabins & barns, boats, etc. . If you had a large portfolio - your own website - you could sell plans to fellow americans, probably others.

3) Most exotic locations harbour "well-to-do" locals, whom are perpetually in a state of property development. If they own a marina or protected beachfront, dock, etc., you can trade moorage & money for your skills. Otherwise, it may be a straight cash deal. If they are happy with your work & price, they will surely pass your name to their circle of friends.

Remember, the "babyboomers" are retiring to many locations. The right website should make you available to them. Where you want to go, how long you want to stay are key considerations which only you can determine. Cost of living is dependant on where you are, how many you are & what you want. Best of luck in your planning & execution!
Mike
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Old 10-04-2009, 19:01   #5
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Aloha and Welcome aboard!

I hope you find the answers in the posts.

Kind regards,

JohnL
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Old 10-04-2009, 19:09   #6
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My wife and I lived aboard and worked regular day jobs from 1972 to 2002. We are still aboard, but retired and cruising more now. I don't see any conflict between professional goals and living aboard. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 14-04-2009, 13:05   #7
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Originally Posted by bangkaboat View Post
Do you wish to liveaboard in the U.S., or travel the world? Do you expect to charge the going rate, or will you be willing to set your price to the area you are in? Are you residential? Commercial? Naval? Do you have a large portfolio of designs?

Some points/examples:

1) I know someone who is planning to build a boatyard in Panama. He will need to have an architect design a shop for him to build. Local rules being as they are, he could get away with the design of a foreign architect. Paying the rate that a U.S. or Can. architect charges would be many times that of what a local will charge.

2) Many people want to buy plans for building rural homes, cabins & barns, boats, etc. . If you had a large portfolio - your own website - you could sell plans to fellow americans, probably others.

3) Most exotic locations harbour "well-to-do" locals, whom are perpetually in a state of property development. If they own a marina or protected beachfront, dock, etc., you can trade moorage & money for your skills. Otherwise, it may be a straight cash deal. If they are happy with your work & price, they will surely pass your name to their circle of friends.

Remember, the "babyboomers" are retiring to many locations. The right website should make you available to them. Where you want to go, how long you want to stay are key considerations which only you can determine. Cost of living is dependant on where you are, how many you are & what you want. Best of luck in your planning & execution!
Mike

Great points. I specialize in High-End Single family residential, but have done horse barns, hockey rinks, commercial (offices) and other building types. I'd charge whatever it would take to make the whole venture viable (and save a little for the future: Basically, make more than I spend).

The basic plan is to work as a draftsman in between jobs, so, technically, I can be anywhere and just email work back and forth. Ideally, I'd love to sail to the place I'd be designing a home. It takes a few months to do each stage of design, so I could sail to different locations and occasionally fly back to meet with the client or consultants. If need be, I could stay the 1-2 years it would take to complete a larger project.

The dream is to circumvent the globe, but sometimes I think I'd be happy to do South America, Pacific/Galapagos/various islands (possibly Australia/NZ except I have some reservations) and also cross the Atlantic to the Med and Scandinavia. Honestly, Asia/Africa scares me a little (pirates) - and I'd only do it with a group.

Or, there could be other scenarios that i haven't considered. I am in the information-gathering stage (and, frankly, the funds-acquisition stage!).

Thanks for the great ideas.

B
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Old 14-04-2009, 13:38   #8
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ooberman,

I am an architect as well and live in NYC. There is no reason why you can't do a lot of your work on board with internet access and small printer. I prefer 11x17 and for larger you can email to a plotter service. You also can do lots of product research online and the need for a library are disapearing. Samples and paper files are a problem. Where do you keep them?

Having clients is the number one issue bit once you have one, you can very well serve them from your boat. There are issues like field supervision / inspection and getting to meetings with client etc.

I suppose you could work from a marina and keep a care and work from the boat or even a small office near or in the marina. This certainly would cut down overhead.

The base expenses are:

1. Near your clients, public transport, a printing company
2. Only when I supported clients while on vacation sailing
3. live aboard dockage - $500-600 / mo (guess), insurance?, fuel for heating in the winter, storage of personal property that you can't take aboard, sell or give away and want to keep.

PM if you want to chat .
Yes, i figure so much can be done by internet. In fact, a Structural Engineer on one project lives in SC. We email or Skype and every month he flies up to NYC to have face-to-face meetings. It works well.
Also, we often use a draftsman in MI to do some details - I've never met the guy, but we get his work and he gets his check. For all I know he could be on a boat, too!
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