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Old 12-10-2012, 00:00   #1
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Kids, pets, 2,300 miles, no boat and little money.

Yes, we are crazy and stupid. Yes, there will be days that we will be crappy with each other. But, we have always said one year at a time.

So, on December 29th we are packing 3 kids, a dog, clothes and very few personal possessions and moving from Ohio to California. We weren't going to do this for a few years but hubby's family is there and his grandmas teetering health has prompted us to make the leap.

Our dream was to buy a sailboat when the kids were gone. Well, if we are going to the coast...making the move anyways...changing our jobs...isn't it logical to think "hey, why don't we just try it out with the kids before we get locked onto land there?"

So, guess who is scouring the ads and websites trying to figure out if I can find someone who desperately needs to sell their boat (that's ready and has enough space for all of us to sleep) really...really cheap? And if you are wondering, that same person is also trying to figure out if/how to get a slip close by the San Luis Obispo area that would allow us as liveaboards with a dog and be family friendly since we have 3 kids. (Ages 10, 13, 14)! (my job is there)

::sigh::
My brain hurts. Lol
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:04   #2
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Re: Kids, pets, 2,300 miles, no boat and little money.

Buying a boat right away may not be a good idea.

Since you have family there chances are you'll be able to stay free or cheap till you get your feet.

Why not wait till the dust settles, your established in your new job then take a look round?

San Luis Obispo doesn't not look to be the centre of the boat buying universe. I'd even go so far as to hazard a guess that it's not even on the rim.

So, save your hared earned, get a bit more, then see what extra you can get out of the rellies?
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:17   #3
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Re: Kids, pets, 2,300 miles, no boat and little money.

Gypsy Soul,

have you thought instead of buying straight away, contact all the marinas in the area that you want to live, ask them if there's any boats that you can rent to live on with your family.

also place adds around on the internet in the locations that you want to move too for the same thing.

That would at least give you some room to move and time to settle where you are.

It might sound like a long shot (dog being the main issue), but times are tough for boat owners and berths and rent are not cheap so you might be able to score yourself a good deal that has a mutual benefit for someone else too.

even if you and the kids have to tidy there boat a bit for them to sweeten the deal, it might work out well, g'ees you could even tie some scrubbing brushes to the hounds feet and a feather duster to the tail so that he can help out too (haha)

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Old 12-10-2012, 02:05   #4
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Re: Kids, pets, 2,300 miles, no boat and little money.

No kidding! I lived in SLO County (Morro Bay, Cayucos, Cambria) for over 30 years. You're a bit too late for the way it used to be. Used to be that the bay was nearly littered with boats abandoned by a myriad of sailors who once had a dream then got slammed on their first rounding of Pt Conception. Scared straight that is.

Go talk to the MB Harbor Patrol. I don't know if Jim is still there but Kurt might be. Nice guys they could help get you started. Of course there is also the MBYC.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:15   #5
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Re: Kids, pets, 2,300 miles, no boat and little money.

As for marinas, there is the Morro State Park marina and the Avila mooring field. Most of the boats at State Park have been there for years and it seems there are always a couple for sale (listed) and a few more for sale (unlisted). At Avila, many of the boats are owned by distant owners who could be persuaded to part company if you are serious. Also at Avila is the dry storage yard on the hill behind where the old clubhouse used to be. (just before the Diablo Canyon entrance) You might inquire about that.

You could finagle a sweet deal at the State Park whereas the slip is transferred with the boat. That is an awesome small marina. Well located in a beautiful location of the beaten path.

Please please please I respectfully ask a favor. Lose the "big city attitude" if you have one. SLO CO has seen too much of that influx over the years.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:56   #6
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Re: Kids, pets, 2,300 miles, no boat and little money.

There is no such thing as a cheap boat. If you buy it Cheap, you will spend a lot of money making it right. Otherwise, you buy a boat that someone else has already "got right" and pay the difference. The only way to get anything slightly cheap, is to buy an older design and live with the smaller space that they "usually" provide.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:37   #7
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Thank all of you for the (kind) and great ideas. I thought about trying to find a rental as a temporary thing to give us a bit more time but I'm pretty sure that I would be laughed at. : p

Oh...there's no big city attitude here. : ) We have always avoided the big cities and opted for either rural nothingness or really small communities. We lived in the middle of Indianapolis, Indiana for some years and hated it. We prefer calm and quiet. (As much as possible with the kids)

Which brings me to my fears. I don't fear a fixer upper as long as it is in good enough condition that it doesnt leak and is liveable at the same time. At this point, we would prefer the older fixer-upper because of the simple fact that there is going to be a learning curve here and we are embracing all that it entails, figuring out how to restore/repair is a part of that. If after a year we decide it isn't working out for us then we would rather be elbows deep in something we have invested $20,000 vs something that we owe on.
; ). Ah...this started about my fears. I'm worried about other boaters. We don't want to be the annoying people that no one likes. Lol. There is a certain amount of chaos that comes with having the kids. Add that to the adjustments to living on a boat and I'm sure that the first month or two people will wish we weren't there.

I will definitely check into all the places you guys mentioned and again, thank you. : )
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:47   #8
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Re: Kids, pets, 2,300 miles, no boat and little money.

Gypsy

Go for it. Yeah, it will take some adjusting. Yeah the kids will have to figure it out. Yeah, a boat is cramped compared to a house. Yeah, it will need fixing up

And so what? Life is what you make of it. If the two of you are resourceful and the family is adaptable - the issues can be solved

Let us know how you make out

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Old 12-10-2012, 06:57   #9
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Re: Kids, pets, 2,300 miles, no boat and little money.

I see a couple of problems here, the first of which has already been stated, no boat is cheap, ever.

Fixing up a boat while living on it is very difficult; with kids I'm not sure how you would go about it. Unless the boat is on the hard or at a slip and slips are expensive.

You will find it difficult (but not impossible) to keep your kids busy and bored kids on the water can be a whole different problem.

Just a couple of things to ponder, not of which are show stoppers if you are determined and this is something you really want to do. If so.. go for it.

Please keep us posted on your progress!
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:28   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khagan1227
I see a couple of problems here"

Just a couple

Just a couple? Lol I see a ton but throughout my years and all the plans I've tried to implement, I always end up flying through the situation by the seat of my pants. For better or worse...it has made me an optimist. ; )

I'm not so concerned about the boys. They are a little older (13 and 14) and are pretty good kids. They have this far been trustworthy so we tend to give them a little more freedom. No...we don't let them do anything they want but we have started to loosen the ropes. My daughter however, ...she is too young to be unsupervised and way too free spirited. I don't know where she gets that from.
::whistles::
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:28   #11
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Re: Kids, pets, 2,300 miles, no boat and little money.

Hey Gypsy,

Good luck with your project. Where there is will, there is way.

Avoid buying a 'very cheap boat' unless you are damn sure she is in good condition. It is a lot of work (and often a lot of money too) to get any boat from poor condition to good condition. If your funds are limited, do not bury any into projects you are not 100% in control of.

If your budget is tight and you are sure you want to try out boat living, consider looking for a boat in good condition and use some form of financing to get the balance. In the long run, paying back the debt may be cheaper than spending unknown amounts of money and time fixing things.

All the best,
b.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:46   #12
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Re: Kids, pets, 2,300 miles, no boat and little money.

You know usually I just roll my eyes when someone from the Midwest gets this crazy hair and wants to "go marine" with their family and pets. For some reason I am optimistic about your approach and believe it could happen. It will take a major adjustment for your kids and your hubby and you however:
Hold a family meeting. Explain to your kids what you want to do, that you would be living on the ocean (cool) but that you would loose a lot of personal space and it will be a lot like camping out. If you want to get ready for the prom or some special event, you may have to do it up the dock in some big common bathroom, and that going to sleep at night to may have to put up with your brothers snoring or horseplay. It will be like living in a small trailer, and it will be difficult at first not to get on each others nerves.
Everyone is going to have to work to keep the boat afloat. That may mean varishing, sewing, painting, plumbing. And about once a year you are going to have to get your home lifted out of the ocean and you will have stinky toliets and industrial dirt for a few weeks.During that time you may stay with grandma but during the day you will be sanding and or painting.
The good news is that your new home moves. It can take you to islands and let you see marine wildlife that noone else sees. You can fish off your front porch, and dive below your kitchen. The other day I saw 60 humpbacks at the entrance of the Straits of Juan De Fuca with the sun coming up. Never have heard of anyone seeing something similar...
So I think you have to get your family on board with this project first. Then start looking for boats. There are ways to find good boats in the price you have quoted. But it takes effort. What Barnie says has some merit too. Look at your slip rates, how much money would you be saving as apposed to a house on land, and say half of that could go to a loan on a boat. Renting or rent to own is not a bad option either. But get the family behind you first. You can't do it without them.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:07   #13
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Re: Kids, pets, 2,300 miles, no boat and little money.

My honest advice, take it for what it's worth. This is about cruising, not about living aboard in a marina or a mooring, which is much less complicated.

- Dump the dog. My wife and I both had dogs, I love dogs, she loves dogs.
- Get a boat that fits what you want to do with it. Don't buy a coastal cruiser in crap shape to go offshore, and don't buy an offshore boat do sit in a marina.
- Find someone who WORKS AND SAILS ON BOATS. Not just a mechanic, not just a sailor, but someone who is competent in both areas to help you find something. Just text them before you go to visit a boat and buy them lunch afterwards. Unless you guys feel comfortable inspecting standing rigging and head plumbing yourselves, bring someone else.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:28   #14
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Re: Kids, pets, 2,300 miles, no boat and little money.

Given the mention of getting jobs and having little money my suspicion is that OP (and family - dog included!) ain't going anywhere in a hurry.

My advice is to accept the financial reality that you can't afford a boat that would allow 5 (and a half!) to live onboard in some comfort - and that was also capable of sailing over the horizon. And I sure as sh#t would not get a project boat!

My suggestion?......at the risk of committing heresy .........buy a liveaboard boat, likely a motorboat (with broken engines) that has not left the dock in many a year. and never will. The idea is that you get more living area for your buck. Then it's simply a question of numbers on whether you find somewhere to keep her that works for the life ashore. Won't be maintanence free - but when you know it don't need to last a lifetime then corners can be cut .

Not to say that you can't keep one eye on the horizon (with kids or without ) by buying a small sailing dinghy or even a small boat - as budget allows. Will learn a lot (all of you) which will benefit in future years for when you cast off lines (both in experiance and by saving cash when you buy "the boat").......whilst you put together the dollars to do so.

Other peoples lives are always easier to sort out than own .
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Old 12-10-2012, 14:30   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth
You know usually I just roll my eyes when someone from the Midwest gets this crazy hair and wants to "go marine" with their family and pets. For some reason I am optimistic about your approach and believe it could happen. It will take a major adjustment for your kids and your hubby and you however:
Hold a family meeting. Explain to your kids what you want to do, that you would be living on the ocean (cool) but that you would loose a lot of personal space and it will be a lot like camping out. If you want to get ready for the prom or some special event, you may have to do it up the dock in some big common bathroom, and that going to sleep at night to may have to put up with your brothers snoring or horseplay. It will be like living in a small trailer, and it will be difficult at first not to get on each others nerves.
Everyone is going to have to work to keep the boat afloat. That may mean varishing, sewing, painting, plumbing. And about once a year you are going to have to get your home lifted out of the ocean and you will have stinky toliets and industrial dirt for a few weeks.During that time you may stay with grandma but during the day you will be sanding and or painting.
The good news is that your new home moves. It can take you to islands and let you see marine wildlife that noone else sees. You can fish off your front porch, and dive below your kitchen. The other day I saw 60 humpbacks at the entrance of the Straits of Juan De Fuca with the sun coming up. Never have heard of anyone seeing something similar...
So I think you have to get your family on board with this project first. Then start looking for boats. There are ways to find good boats in the price you have quoted. But it takes effort. What Barnie says has some merit too. Look at your slip rates, how much money would you be saving as apposed to a house on land, and say half of that could go to a loan on a boat. Renting or rent to own is not a bad option either. But get the family behind you first. You can't do it without them.
What you described is beautiful and what I long to be able to experience. Everything...and I mean everything in life has its trade offs. There is no one perfect situation except what is perfect for ourselves. ; ) (if that makes sense)

I know that we can make the switch and so far everyone seems on board. Hubby has his reservations because he has never been on a boat outside of of a lake. I have many years ago but was young enough that I was just along for the fun of the ride and didn't care about the work that was involved. But, hey...everyone starts somewhere. He is willing to take a stab at it. Whether or not it will be long term sustainable (just because of family dynamics after a while with no personal space), will be determined. If not...we gave it a shot. The next 8-9 years will pass just as quickly as the last did and hubby and I can try it again with just the two of us. Regardless, we are in it together to chase each others dreams. He had even brought up the prospect of taking classes or trying to get certification for marine mechanic. We haven't looked that much into it yet but it tells me that his heart is with me and is willing to try. That's all I can ask. ; )
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