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Old 19-08-2014, 22:20   #1
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New Adventures in Intentional Living

Soller, my groom-to-be, and I are getting married in a couple of weeks on a four-masted schooner on Lake Michigan.

We were having a nice dinner the other night, planning our life as a married couple, talking about our long-term plans and goals. My ideal had been, and honestly still is, to find some cheap but workable acreage on which to homestead. Soller's is to live on a boat.

Soller grew up sailing on the Great Lakes. I grew up as a southwestern desert nomad, surrounded by survivalist-bent Mormons. It's kind of a nice blend of backgrounds for an unconventional lifestyle.

A few years ago, Soller's dad built a tiny little '47 Chris Craft outboard reproduction. He just gave her to us, along with a year of in and out service, for our wedding gift. We love her and have spent as much time with her this summer as possible.

I have caught the bug. I love moving on the water. Nothing feels like it.

It's hard for me to fully embrace a transient lifestyle, though. I grew up suddenly moving around so much that it made it really difficult for me to form and maintain friendships. Now, my friendships are extremely valuable to me. My ideal for life is to grow, raise and forage as many friendships as possible,and as much food as possible. To waste as little as possible.

Also, we do not believe in credit, and are planning on living extremely frugally and saving aggresively for a few years to buy our home.

How do I integrate all of this into living on a boat?
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Old 20-08-2014, 04:38   #2
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Re: New Adventures in Intentional Living

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, SonnekSoller.
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Old 20-08-2014, 06:14   #3
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Re: New Adventures in Intentional Living

Nothing like actually giving it a try to see if you can make it work. That's what we're doing.


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Old 20-08-2014, 06:17   #4
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Re: New Adventures in Intentional Living

I like your ideas- you don't mention your ages and I guess that's not real important other than the time you have to make your dreams reality. What's your source of income? Would it be possible to live on the boat while working to save some money- I don't know the mooring cost or marina cost in MI but is it cheaper than rent? Could you do both- have acerage and then take the cold MI winters to cruise the warm water? Congradulations on your future
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Old 20-08-2014, 06:47   #5
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Re: New Adventures in Intentional Living

Hi SonnekSoller and welcome to the forum.

I might first that you are on a forum full of hard core boat bums cruisers and should be aware that answers and advise might possibly be biased towards that lifestyle.

That being said, living on a boat is not necessarily inconsistent with your lifestyle preferences. There are plenty of people that live on boats but stay in the same location, often for many years and build strong ties to the local community. Some do this just because they like living on a boat, some because there is a strong camaraderie among boaters, some as an interim step before leaving for a cruise or many other reasons. One might hesitate to call them cruisers but they would undeniably be part of the boating community.

However, even for families that do actually cruise and travel on their boats, it is common to make friends with other cruisers that you know and see as you travel. When I was full time live aboard and cruiser I had friends that I met in Florida that I later saw in the Bahamas, again in the Virgin Islands and back in Florida a couple of years later. Many cruisers that become close friends arrange to meet or even travel together.

Also, it might take a few years of work and saving but as someone mentioned, you can have both. I have a small piece of land in north Florida and a cruising sailboat so do have the option of alternating between land and sea. Now if I could just afford a place in the mountains somewhere.
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Old 20-08-2014, 06:56   #6
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Re: New Adventures in Intentional Living

Welcome to the community. Intentional sounds like the proper plan,- there's little accidental success! Keep us posted of your adventure!
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Old 20-08-2014, 07:03   #7
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Re: New Adventures in Intentional Living

If you are close enough to commute, it could be a great option.

We've been back stocking up the cruising kitty the last 3 yrs in the detroit area before heading out again. With a paid for boat, we pay around $3000/yr including winter haul out at a nice marina with all the facilities. In the winter we get a 6 month lease on an apartment. Net result is about $8-9k/yr in housing expenses and if needed we could cut that quite a bit.

Assuming you are close enough to commute from the marina, this is a nice option and the boat people tend to be easy to make friends with.

You could always try it for a year or two and see how you like it. Worst case it's not for you and you get the house. If you do like it and economics allows you could start cruising greater distances.
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Old 20-08-2014, 07:52   #8
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Re: New Adventures in Intentional Living

Welcome to CF! Not sure where you plan on living aboard or cruising but you will find there is a vibrant and fun community afloat filled with folks who have a common interest. You have only to reach out to them... CF is a good start! Phil
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Old 20-08-2014, 22:07   #9
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Re: New Adventures in Intentional Living

Ugh. I already love you all. I am on a tablet that's not letting me respond, but thank you all so much.
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Old 20-08-2014, 22:27   #10
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Re: New Adventures in Intentional Living

Can I guess - the tall ship "Windy". Out of Chicago. The only 4 masted schooner sailing. Not really traditional in many ways but pretty to see her on the waterfront.

I like the repro, use it as much as you can. If you are sticking around the Great Lakes/Chicago area there are lots of opportunities for sailing. Lessons are to be had. I don't know if I would try to keep a boat in that area - very expensive to rent dockage or mooring - you first have to grease the skids with the local graft collectors to even get on the waiting list.

Across the lake are some alternatives, Benton/St Joe, Michigan City, Muskeogon - to name a few. Or go much farther north to Door County The Beaver archipelago, Northport, Ludington.

Don't worry too much about credit. Hard to borrow money for a boat - you gotta prove you don't need the cash in order to get the cash. Better off buying old and cheap and fixing her up. Lots of candidates out there. But get your feet wet first. Get as much experience as you can, motor or sail. Take some Power Squadron courses during the winter to get some book skills.

Have fun, don't be afraid to get in over your head - many here did, why should they be the only crazy ones?
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Old 20-08-2014, 23:23   #11
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Re: New Adventures in Intentional Living

Thanks! Windy is a friendly gal. No pretentions about who she is. The Red Witch might have been prettier, but we needed more room. For family, and for the marching band. (No joke.)
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Old 12-09-2014, 19:56   #12
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Re: New Adventures in Intentional Living

Aloha and welcome aboard!
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