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Old 25-08-2013, 18:13   #1
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Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

First time on this board today. Looks like a nice 'crew' on here

I'm going to be retiring soon, 55 years old, and figured I wanted a little adventure instead of the rocking chair. Living on a boat sounded like it might...might... be the right adventure for my DW and I. But I know I need to formulate a plan to see.

We have no experience living on a boat, though. Well, actually we lived a week at a time on a houseboat a half a dozen times (wilderness lakes), but that hardly counts. I did live across A1A from the Atlantic growing up, so Florida / Caribbean would be my training ground. But all my time in Flordia, I only did day trips on big sail boats. Lots of ocean voyages on 30' or less power boats (day trips). Took the power squadron course when I was 14 and forgot everything, hehe. "Captained" a 16 foot cat in the ocean all of the time, though, since it was just a 3 minute walk from my house and a shove down the beach to get it launched.

How best can I dip my toe in living on a sailboat without jumping in with both feet? Optimally I'd like to get experience with the reality of living aboard a boat of the caliber I might end-up buying (40ish foot...something "comfortable"?). How long would it take to get the feel of it? How would I go about doing that? Are there any substitutes to actually living aboard?

Thanks. Looking forward to 'meeting' lots of folks here!

--Dale--
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Old 25-08-2013, 18:31   #2
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Re: Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

Try living in your kitchen for a week. I'm not being sarcastic, but you will be living (on a sailboat) in vastly differently organized quarters. Your galley and Yosaloon will become your kitchen & den; the head will be an eighth the size of your smallest bathroom, or close to that--beware if you or your DW have bad knees; your garage/shed will be one of the quarter berths, and so on.

Assuming you and your DW are similar ages, you're young enough to give it a go, just look around you and see what you want to retain and what to let go.

Ann
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Old 25-08-2013, 18:35   #3
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Re: Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

Living in a kitchen would indeed simulate the space you would have but the ideal would be to charter a boat for a week or two. Of course that will cost a good deal more than living in your kitchen but give you a better feel for living on a boat.

A cheaper compromise, rent an RV for a couple of weeks or so.
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Old 25-08-2013, 18:51   #4
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Re: Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

don't forget, anything small will move, constantly.
even at dock.
if you get seasick, dont bother.
oh, and your bathroom will stink, always.
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Old 25-08-2013, 18:56   #5
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Re: Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

My head doesn't stink, I dont piss everywhere, I clean it regularly, and replace the hoses when they get saturated.

As for the rest, check out this awesome liveaboard simulator at the link below!

Live Aboard Simulator
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Old 25-08-2013, 19:33   #6
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Re: Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
(...) Well, actually we lived a week at a time on a houseboat a half a dozen times (wilderness lakes), but that hardly counts. (...)
Well, I think it counts.

To me, living aboard is just like living in a small apartment. A very small one (but only because our boat is very small!)

See around if any of your friends have a boat that they would let you use say for a month so that you can get the feeling. Then remember the beginning often feels all pink (or black) and the emotions (of both kinds) wear off. The lifestyle grows on you (or not) and you either end up addicted or ... move on to the next best thing.

Go for it. You sound ripe.

Cheers,
barnakiel
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Old 25-08-2013, 20:22   #7
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Re: Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
First time on this board today. Looks like a nice 'crew' on here

I'm going to be retiring soon, 55 years old, and figured I wanted a little adventure instead of the rocking chair. Living on a boat sounded like it might...might... be the right adventure for my DW and I. But I know I need to formulate a plan to see.

We have no experience living on a boat, though. Well, actually we lived a week at a time on a houseboat a half a dozen times (wilderness lakes), but that hardly counts. I did live across A1A from the Atlantic growing up, so Florida / Caribbean would be my training ground. But all my time in Flordia, I only did day trips on big sail boats. Lots of ocean voyages on 30' or less power boats (day trips). Took the power squadron course when I was 14 and forgot everything, hehe. "Captained" a 16 foot cat in the ocean all of the time, though, since it was just a 3 minute walk from my house and a shove down the beach to get it launched.

How best can I dip my toe in living on a sailboat without jumping in with both feet? Optimally I'd like to get experience with the reality of living aboard a boat of the caliber I might end-up buying (40ish foot...something "comfortable"?). How long would it take to get the feel of it? How would I go about doing that? Are there any substitutes to actually living aboard?

Thanks. Looking forward to 'meeting' lots of folks here!

--Dale--

Dale, I'm 67 and coming up on living on my boat for three years. I was confident I could live with the space restrictions because ...

When our children were 8 and 5 we rented an RV and all four of us lived in it for two weeks.

I found that I didn't mind the small space and the minimalist approach to having 'things.' It was the best vacation we had, and that was FOUR people in a space not much bigger than my living space on the boat.

This is what I suggest to people wondering if they can live aboard: rent an RV for a couple of weeks. Find out if that minimalism is freeing or a trap for you.
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Old 25-08-2013, 20:27   #8
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Re: Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

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Originally Posted by scoobert View Post
don't forget, anything small will move, constantly.
even at dock.
if you get seasick, dont bother.
oh, and your bathroom will stink, always.

Not necessarily. I live on my boat, and my head does not smell. I think living aboard may even help that as it is pumped and flushed once a week.
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Old 25-08-2013, 20:41   #9
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Re: Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

Living in a small space, you can either do it or not. We are three months in and loving it.
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Old 25-08-2013, 20:42   #10
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Re: Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

whats with all the small space stuff?
you can grab a lagoon 62, and have more room then many houses.
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Old 25-08-2013, 21:23   #11
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Re: Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

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whats with all the small space stuff?
you can grab a lagoon 62, and have more room then many houses.
Gee Scoobert, why go small-time and cheap. Instead of a pipsqueak 62' cat I think you need to pick up a 120' Feadship with a Bell Jet Ranger on the back and a Fountain 35 Lightening for a dinghy.
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Old 25-08-2013, 21:36   #12
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Re: Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

Welcome to CF sengsational,
Once you get used to it, you really do not NEED a lot of space. You just have to get your "wants" and your "needs" to match. we went form a normal house and all the stuff inside to a 16 x 20 cabin before moving onto our boat and we still took way too much stuff that we thought we needed. The Bahamas are just a short trip from FL and a good place to find out what you really need. 55 is a nice young age to start!!
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Old 26-08-2013, 07:03   #13
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Re: Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Dale.
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Old 26-08-2013, 11:56   #14
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Re: Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

Dale, you said you lived off of A1A when growing up. Where do you now live? My GF and I live on a 39' on Merritt Island going on 2 years. If you are close PM me and come see how it is as far as space. You need to think of what size and cost you are willing to spend to try this. If finances allow, 36 to 42 feet will give you room and a boat size the two of you can handle. If you want to go smaller you will have a lot less space. Even on a small boat you will like to have your own space once in a while, whether it is the cockpit or a berth.

Welcome aboard.

B and J
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Old 26-08-2013, 19:41   #15
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Re: Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
...Assuming you and your DW are similar ages, you're young enough to give it a go, just look around you and see what you want to retain and what to let go.
Yep, we are. And I'm someone who doesn't like to sit still, so the extra labor associated might not be so bad for me. I'm not so sure the galley will suit the DW, though. Gotta work on her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
...charter a boat for a week or two. Of course that will cost a good deal more than living in your kitchen but give you a better feel for living on a boat.

A cheaper compromise, rent an RV for a couple of weeks or so.
The RV is a great idea. The thought had crossed my mind, but I purposefully didn't mention it as an option to see if the collective wisdom here thought it was a reasonably similar set of living conditions. I think this will become one of my first concrete steps toward my goal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobert View Post
don't forget, anything small will move, constantly.
even at dock.
if you get seasick, dont bother.
oh, and your bathroom will stink, always.
When I was a kid, I never got seasick, ever. But I didn't feel very good in the straits of magellan. Underway in my BIL's 32' power boat I've always been fine, but one day we swung around on the anchor line for 12 hours in 4 foot seas, and I had to jump in the water to change it up. I wish I could say I was totally immune, but I'm not. I might need scopalamine if it gets rough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Well, I think it counts.
Good to know that the houseboat trips "count". I guess it's similar in that you are living in a small space, the heads tend to smell, things need maintenance, etc. The part that "doesn't really count" is that I was only aboard for a week or so each time. So I wonder how we would feel about it after weeks or months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
...Go for it. You sound ripe.
Thanks for the encouragement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
...This is what I suggest to people wondering if they can live aboard: rent an RV for a couple of weeks. Find out if that minimalism is freeing or a trap for you.
Thanks for the confirmation on the RV idea. It's a plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delancy View Post
That's a good one! Almost cured me of the desire, hehe. Almost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
The Bahamas are just a short trip from FL and a good place to find out what you really need. 55 is a nice young age to start!!
Yep, Although I'm in north carolina now, once I retire, I plan on vacation and family visits to Florida. And yes, no medical issues, so before those start kicking-in, I figured we needed to get going on this adventure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brutb View Post
Dale, you said you lived off of A1A when growing up. Where do you now live? My GF and I live on a 39' on Merritt Island going on 2 years. If you are close PM me and come see how it is as far as space.
Thanks! When the time gets closer I'll look you up!
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