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Old 08-04-2013, 03:51   #1
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I'm new to this but serious.

I have been looking at the aspect of living aboard for about 3 months now. I've read the blogs, read the books and researched what boats would be applicable for me. I'm a single guy with no kids, not looking for marriage and works enough to buy and maintain a 32-38ft boat in the next year (from what I can gather with my online and personal knowledge). My Uncle is a live-a-board in San Diego and has been for the past 15 years. He has nothing but good things to say about it. besides maintaining the ship itself I can't see a down side. I've been a mechanic for 20 years on V8 car engines and can do that work, I've also done wood work and pretty much anything you can name. I'm a bit shy on electronics but this I feel I can learn.
I'm a self sufficient man who has lived in small spaces (shared apts. rented rooms) and feels comfortable in them. I don't need much to live and keep my possesions to a minimum. I live a simple life and want to continue doing so. At the same time I would like to own something that could be mine. I've spent time on the water, mostly at dock, but for weeks at a time and have always loved it. the rocking of the boat, even in rough waters actually puts me to sleep.
I can't find a negative reason to not go through with this.
But like I said. I'm going to give this a year of thought and preparation before I actually commit. Over this year I will check out the harbors and docks around my area, research boats and take coast gaurd classes to prepare myself for actually owning and running a boat.
I'm looking for any information, any do's and don'ts, any tid bits of advice from the live-aboards that I may not know.

Thank you for all input. I look forward to it.
Patrick
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:48   #2
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Re: I'm new to this but serious.

Somewhere around here there is a thread named "It never hurts to ask" That was a woman looking for a freebie boat. She ended up with a boat she could live on if she paid the slip fees.

Try to find it - she got lots of good suggestions. If you think that is the life for you, why not just find a suitable boat to rent and try it for a year? Hell you could get lucky like the gal I mentioned and get a good boat to "boatsit" for just the slip payments.


If you like - go buy a boat. besides, If you try it first you'll find out which things you need to be on the lookout for when you buy. What's good and what's not.

good luck
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:36   #3
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Re: I'm new to this but serious.

Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you already have a pretty good plan.

As far as advice, do's and don'ts, kind of open ended question. Thousands of do's and don'ts, most of them common sense and the same sort of things you would keep in mind living in a house or anywhere else.

If you get boat specific there are also thousands of do's and don'ts, books and books written on the subject. Might do better to get a little more specific with the question.

One thing you may already know, S CA is one of the most expensive places in the country to keep a boat. A combination of a limited number of harbors and a large boating population creates a very unbalanced equation for supply and demand. If job allows and budget is tight you can do a lot better on the east coast, outside NY/New England and South FL where prices can easily match S CA.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:44   #4
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Re: I'm new to this but serious.

Welcome aboard, Patrick! Boats do require considerable maintenance, but so does a house. You'll "learn" your vessel soon enough, and will learn how to fix things as they break, and how to do your regular maintenance chores. It seems the people the most frustrated with boat maintenance are those who hope to use the boat on weekends and don't expect anything to be wrong with it every time they show up. You've got one good thing going already...all the knowledgable people on CF! Good luck!
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:30   #5
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Re: I'm new to this but serious.

Thank you all for your replies.
Thanks "car" but not what I'm looking to do.
Skipmac and Waterway thank you for your advice.
I'm not a sailor and dont plan to be right off. I'm looking for a motor boat to live on. I figure that would be the best idea. but again like I said I'm going to take a year to do it. in this year I plan to take coast guard courses and learn more. I am going to all the people I know who live aboard and talking to them and visiting them. This isnt a decision to take lightly. I have some experience driving boats but I wouldnt assume I could hand a Shelby Cobra when I've only driven a geo metro.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:43   #6
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Welcome to CF mate..
Small steps often get you there faster...
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:03   #7
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Re: I'm new to this but serious.

I'm just trying to take this step by step. I want to know everything before I take the proverbial plunge. I guess I'm cautious.
Thank you for answering my questions. I'll probably have more over the next year.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:29   #8
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Re: I'm new to this but serious.

I'm sorry folks but I am new to this page. I hope I didnt delete any ones messages. I just don't know how to get them yet.
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:14   #9
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Re: I'm new to this but serious.

My advice???

What are you waiting for?!?!?!? The season to REALLY enjoy it is here, and nothing says that you have to be "Skipper Bob" before you move onto a boat!!! Nobody said you have to take the boat out to the Channel Islands and back during a small craft warning before you start doing what you are dreaming to do.... Go find something, and move your stuff on her.... Tinker with all of the systems for a couple months.... You have enough common sense and experience not to sink at the dock... Invite dockmates over... maybe take her out for a 30 minute spin in the harbor with them at the helm... Then you... Then let 'em dock her... Next time you do it with them there... 3 months later take your boat past the breakwater and back... A Catalina mooring is 30 miles and feels like 1/2 way around the world... $30/night... Hell... If you were going to say sailboat, I'm probably going to sell the MdR boat soon... But you say Power... I say good on you!

My marina is $HIGH$, but it's only $550/mo... livaboard is usually 50% more, so $725/mo and you can order room service from the hotel bar and restaurant and have them bring it to your boat if you wanna go that far....

Do it now... You won't be sorry.....

Let us know if we can help you with boats...

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Old 08-04-2013, 12:25   #10
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My marina is $HIGH$, but it's only $550/mo... livaboard is usually 50% more, so $725/mo and you can order room service from the hotel bar and restaurant and have them bring it to your boat if you wanna go that far....
Hmmmm... maybe I should relocate....
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Old 08-04-2013, 13:28   #11
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Re: I'm new to this but serious.

You sound like you have a good handle on what you are intending to do and a better than average skill set to acheive it

Am not living aboard, but I would suggest before buying:-

a) checkout where you will be living / mooring the boat before buying - for availability and prices as well as for shoreside services (do you need 24/7 walkon access in a marina? parking? nearby shops? security for boat (and car?!)? access to public transport? - simply the dull stuff pretty much the same as living in a house!).

b) If you are considering buying away from your home port / area research how much it will cost (in fuel / crew or captain / aggro!), remembering that no boat is ever "ready to go", at least not on an extended trip. Will find that the further away a boat is the more it costs in cash and aggro, so that "bargain" may turn out not to be. IMO the ideal boat purchase is within a days sail of "home". and ideally in the same harbour! - not just on relocation costs but on buying visit / travel costs (likely you will kiss a lot of frogs - that is just boats!).

c) Internet and reading is very useful, but you also need hands and eyes on experiance of boats. the more the better. Poking in corners and asking "dumb" questions of everyone and anyone to get a handle on what is normal / expected imperfections and what is pig in a poke stuff! Boat Brokers and Vendors pretty much the same as in the S/h car trade - except sometimes (often?!) a little bit more forgetful about problems. and sometimes a lot more devious........caveat emptor.

Whilst you likely will get a survey for "the" boat, it is way cheaper for you to screen out the no hopers yourself rather than paying someone else hundreds of dollars each time to do that because you didn't get much past the curtains.......

All that means I would go boat shopping as soon as you can, even though not intending to buy yet. It's called being a tyrekicker! and I would include boats you likely would not buy due to design, size and especially condition (being worse than you would touch with a barge pole!) - you will nonetheless learn a lot of the common areas to look at and think about on all boats, especially on the POS boats - so you don't end up with a polished turd........

d) For the living aboard angle - I would think carefully whether you want a boat that will only be tied to the dock 24/7 (nothing wrong with that) or one you will be using at sea (at least now and again). As a motorboat gets older more of the value gets tied up in the Engines, ones that do work! Especially on the older end of the market likely will be discovering engines in various stages of last legs and owners with varying levels of skills and budgets to maintain (big old cheap boats tend to get bought by those without the budget to buy big new boats - the maintainence on the older is more expensive than the new one, 3 guesses how that often goes!). Obviously you being an engine guy is a big plus - nonetheless plenty of a boat engine does involve marine specific parts (and anything with "marine" in the title is wayyy more expensive than having "auto" written on the box!) so don't over assume that is one area of the boat that will be the easy / cheap bit for you to deal with.....all that a long way of saying is that if not leaving the dock then the value might be found in buying a boat with fooked engine(s), perhaps with one eye on fixing later - or not!

Anyway, a bit more of a ramble than I first intended.........
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:58   #12
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Re: I'm new to this but serious.

I would like to thank you all for your tips and advice. Over the next year I will be visiting marinas around my area in California including Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Long beach and any other coastal communities I can find along the way. I now bring with me a chunk of knowledge I didn't have before. I may be asking more questions once I start looking at "The one" over the next year. It is really nice to know that there is a community out there that is so helpful. Thank you all! and again any other tips are welcome. I'm going to Ventura harbor today to kind of kick around and talk to people. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again. Patrick.
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:01   #13
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Re: I'm new to this but serious.

Quote:
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Hmmmm... maybe I should relocate....
I haven't taken advantage of dockside service in all the years I've been there... But it IS available... Hit the bar and the pool a few times however!

If you ever wanted a Cali vacation, The Morgan sits unloved 99% of the time... You are more than welcome to her any time...
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:13   #14
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Re: I'm new to this but serious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VLKSLGN View Post
I would like to thank you all for your tips and advice. Over the next year I will be visiting marinas around my area in California including Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Long beach and any other coastal communities I can find along the way. I now bring with me a chunk of knowledge I didn't have before. I may be asking more questions once I start looking at "The one" over the next year. It is really nice to know that there is a community out there that is so helpful. Thank you all! and again any other tips are welcome. I'm going to Ventura harbor today to kind of kick around and talk to people. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again. Patrick.
Patrick...

You missed the closest marina to you... and the largest man made marina in the world.... Marina del Rey... All of the other marinas have good things too... Ventura is nice, but a long way from Catalina... Same with SD... LB can be had cheaper in some areas, but you get what you pay for...

Good luck! Hit us up with the questions!
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:13   #15
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Re: I'm new to this but serious.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Patrick.
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