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Old 27-06-2008, 20:43   #1
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Location: Santiago, Chille
Boat: Shipless Devildog
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New Member, Hopefully Future Livaboard, Wanting Some Advice

So this may be a very high, possible unreachable dream, but I have recently been introduced to the idea of living aboard a boat full time. I am currently in the Marine Corps, living in Santiago, Chile, and therefore cannot start my ship living for at least another two years. I would like to start planning the "hows" and "wheres" of this little dream now though.
-First I have absolutely no sailing experience or anything regarding ocean travel, any advice on where to get lessons on the cheap, or if it would be insane to think I could learn enough in a few months, maybe a year, to do it myself.
-Second I really don't know how you would make money while living aboard. I like the gypsy lifestyle and would like to be able to move to a different port every few months. Any skills you think would be useful to try to obtain in my two year wait. I am going to try and get some online college in, any degree you may think more helpful than others. I do realize that computer related skills maybe more helpful than physical ones, but I personally tend to prefer any form of manual labor to computer work.
-Third, any suggestion on reading material to get me started, not a huge fan of reading but have started to enjoy more since going to Iraq.
-Last, and probably a little in advance, but what boat should I start out with, I have read a lot about Catamarans and I think I prefer one to a monohull, where would be a good place to look for a cheap, good, used one to start out with, what models. This is mainly to get an idea of the initial cost I would need to raise between now and then.
Any suggestions would be great.

Thanks Steve.

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Old 27-06-2008, 21:05   #2
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Location: Charlotte harbor, FL
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Keep reading and searching the forum. I am seeing more and more people sharing the same dream as you and asking the same questions that newbies ask. Plenty of information here. Welcome aboard.

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Old 28-06-2008, 07:08   #3
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Location: Traverse City, Mi, US
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Welcome, this is a great forum. Get a transfer to Jacksonville area and we will go sailing! I plan to be boatless about 7 more days.

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Old 28-06-2008, 08:25   #4
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My wife and I are selling it all and taking a few years to go sail our 42' Vagabon. Phase one is complete as the kids are off to college. Phase 2 will be to update the boats systems.
I get great info. from Cruisersforum so I am joining in. Target date 2/14/09.
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Old 28-06-2008, 09:15   #5
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Hi Steve,
You seem to be jumping the gun abit, first you should get some practical sailing in, join a yacht club, get out sailing and find out if it is for you, do some over night trips and heavy weather sailing, give it loads of time, sailing is not for everyone. My friend (Steve) here in Ireland, went out last year and bought a 30ft bilge keel from the UK, he had no sailing experience what so ever, I brought it back to Ireland for him on a night time crossing. (on you tube - sailing with dolphins dunmore east-) since he bought it he has never ventured out of the marina in Waterford, he starts the boat but never lets the ropes go...and last month I brought it around Ireland for 2 weeks because making an of shore trip scared him. it is now in a very scenic spot, Kerry. I myself an my partner + 2 dogs are renting out our house and getting a bigger live aboard, I looked at cat's but the cost in marinas is about double the cost in the med for example. I plan on making a living from chartering to (an get this) traditional Irish folk groups. they make money playing in resorts and go port to port playing. I think I'll call the first boat - the mean fiddler-. so my advice is to try before you buy. the happiest days in your life are "when you buy your first boat and when you sell it".
good luck.. Frank Deegan..sailing for 20 years ocean master.
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Old 28-06-2008, 11:51   #6
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There's a huge amount of information available to you in the forums here, but you have to find it first. A good way to delve into past discussions is by plugging a few well-chosen key words into the Cruisers Forum search engine. It will return a lot of really relevant information for you to mull over, and then the questions that you need to ask will become clear.

Here's a link to the CF search engine: Cruisers & Sailing Forum
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Old 01-07-2008, 15:12   #7
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Welcome to the forum. Frankdeegan is correct in so far as you need to get as much practical experience as possible. Unfortunately Santiago isn't so well located to facilitate that and the coming few months not the best for sailing. Now skiing is easily facilitated. Equally the nearest sailing opportunities to you are Vin de Mar and Algorrobo. They have yacht clubs. However I would think that the expat community is your best bet. Try and find those with yachting interests and offer to crew/learn with them.

Keep us informed of your progress


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Old 01-07-2008, 16:41   #8
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First off I would like to say thank you for serving from an MCJROTC cadet and all of us in the NFHS Raider battalion, and welcome to the Forum and that I know what you want to do,I have the same basic idea except I would do charters out of mine. If you want to start looking for a boat and trying to compare styles and research different brands and designs go to New and Used Yachts for Sale - and out in the specs such as location and size and cost and sail or power and you will get thousands of good used boats come up and from there you can look on designers webpages and see how much it costs to build a new one, also you could find a charter or two near you and go out on some mnos and multis see if the captains will let you help with the sails and stuff and you might get an idea of which one you like better but try it a few times do go on first impressions. If you hang out here at the forum you will learn alot but whatever you do don't post a thread about which is better monohulls or multihulls people will go crazy. If you ask what are some good boats (brand wise anyhow) on the multi section and mono section respactivley then you will get some good ideas of what boats do best, sorry if this seems long, but I hope you learn alot.
ad navigare est necessaria ad vitam
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Old 11-07-2008, 13:32   #9
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Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
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Aloha Devil Dog,
Welcome aboard! Thanks for serving. I recommend the book Start Sailing Right!, taking a course and getting with MWR to see if they have any sailing programs that you can start even if it is done when you are on R&R. Sounds like you're area is a bit remote.
Skills that are always in demand while you will be cruising are diesel mechanics, electrical engineering/electronics, welding (stainless fabrication), machining and electrician (wiring) skills. If you pick any of those or a combination and become proficient you'll always have work to do on other folks boats and can earn your way. A good reputation gets you all sorts of jobs.
Kind regards,

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