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Old 13-06-2017, 08:39   #1
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Total Newb, mainland US

Moved to mainland for school, originally from Hawaii. I was looking into a skoolie, but wasn't satisfied being on land all the time.
I'm almost done with college now, and it's time to look at my living situation. I'm frugal and am already comfortable living out of a backpack, so I'm extra excited to see a livaboard as a viable option. So the more common challenges won't really be so bad for me. Here are the things in currently looking at as challenges:
1. Buying a boat that isn't a lemon. What should I look out for?
2. Big dog living with me on a small boat. New potty training? Astroturf? Any success here?
3. Learning to sail properly. (Anyone know how to use a sextant? I never want to 100% rely on technology)
4. Work and money in different countries. (I'm an aircraft mechanic But am flexible)
5. Size of boat for safe world sailing.

I'll, of course, be obsessively reading through the threads here. But if you have answers readily available, I will gladly listen.

Mahalo!!!
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Old 13-06-2017, 09:05   #2
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Total Newb, mainland US

I can help you with celestial navigation, just not from my phone.

What coast are you going to after graduation? If you want a recommendation then the Carolinas or Puget Sound. Both have lots of cruising areas you can cut you teeth on before heading offshore. PS is year round sailing. Carolinas you probably want to stay put during Hurricane season. PS is closer to home for seeing family in HI. Carolinas are cheap to live and close to FL where boats are cheap.

North of the Carolinas the cruising becomes more seasonal due to weather. Most of the west coast has limited destinations in any given area so not so good for learning.

For a single-hander boat size offshore should be 20'min to 37'max.

Interests indicate 40k. Did you mean 401k or something else?

Boat choice is a long contenscious topic. Depends on where you want to go, how handy you are, crew size, risk tolerance, . . . Work through the preliminary questions before tacking that one.
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Old 13-06-2017, 09:33   #3
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Re: Total Newb, mainland US

Hi! Thanks for the reply!
Being closer to Hawaii would be a big plus, but am ultimately planning on worldwide travel. (Mayyybe just a pipe dream, but I sure hope not)

40k is a miniatures game. Quite nerdy. Haha. Would be great to go to their home base in London sometime.

Maybe it would be better to find a boat and move to the coast it's already on to start working on it to make it reliable enough for my standards. I'm VERY handy, and am trained in many engine types along with some electrical. Long term travel is the goal.
As far as crew size, I'm not sure. Probably something I can handle myself or with one out two other people, max. Maybe it's the antisocial part of me that wants to be at sea the most. Haha
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Old 13-06-2017, 09:45   #4
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Re: Total Newb, mainland US

Hi FoC and welcome.

You have some very broad questions your asking. Not unusual for a newbie (we were all newbies at one time or another) but you will get better and more detailed answers if you can do a little basic research on some of these issues so you have at least a basic understanding of what your're asking.

That being said, I'll add some answers, comments and questions back at you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fountainofclyde View Post
Moved to mainland for school, originally from Hawaii. I was looking into a skoolie, but wasn't satisfied being on land all the time.
I'm almost done with college now, and it's time to look at my living situation. I'm frugal and am already comfortable living out of a backpack, so I'm extra excited to see a livaboard as a viable option. So the more common challenges won't really be so bad for me. Here are the things in currently looking at as challenges:
1. Buying a boat that isn't a lemon. What should I look out for?

First it will depend on what size and type of boat you're buying, the budget you have available, your DIY skills to repair or install stuff, what equipment is on the boat, etc, etc, etc.

Some very, very rough guidlines.

1. Unless you want to spend years rebuilding a boat and spending more money than the boat is worth 99% of the time DO NOT buy cheap fixer upper. Of course like every rule there are exceptions but generally you have to be very knowledgeable or lucky to know that a boat is one of the rare exceptions.

2. Buy a boat that is structurally sound. How to determine that could be a long discussion all by itself but in very simplified terms, make sure the hull and deck are solid, no delamination (search on the forum for what this is, again a long discussion), keel attached, mast good.

3. If buying a boat with an inboard engine make sure the engine is good or be prepared to spend thousands or tens of thousands to replace it.

4. Most other stuff can be repaired or replaced and still be a good deal if the initial purchase is cheap enough. This includes sails, rigging, electronics and all the other stuff on the boat.



2. Big dog living with me on a small boat. New potty training? Astroturf? Any success here?

How small? Yes potty training. Most do use a bit of Astroturf.


3. Learning to sail properly. (Anyone know how to use a sextant? I never want to 100% rely on technology)

Even with a sextant you will need some technology.
Minimum an accurate time (radio or chronometer). Also paper charts that can get expensive and take room.


4. Work and money in different countries. (I'm an aircraft mechanic But am flexible)

Assume you have heard all the rhetoric in the US for many years about immigrants taking US jobs, green cards, etc. You will be the immigrant in other countries and they have the same rules. Even more so in third world countries. There are ways but you can't just show up and start working. Again, search on this forum for working on board. Many,
very long and detailed discussions on the issue.


5. Size of boat for safe world sailing.

Within reasonable limits is isn't the size it's the quality of the boat and the captain. Also, depends. If you're crossing big oceans then you have to have enough room for food, fuel, water and reserves. That usually means around 30' min.



I'll, of course, be obsessively reading through the threads here. But if you have answers readily available, I will gladly listen.

Mahalo!!!
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Old 13-06-2017, 09:45   #5
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Re: Total Newb, mainland US

Adelie steered you right.

1. Buying a boat that isn't a lemon. What should I look out for?

Sound hull, decent engine, good sail condition and rigging, good evidence of previous owner just generally caring about the boat. Tons of good info out there on how the survey a boat. You should have no issues hitting the ground running coming from the aviation mx world.

2. Big dog living with me on a small boat. New potty training? Astroturf? Any success here?

I lived with a 75lb Laika dog onboard my 27' for five years and cruised the east coast during that time. Manageable and it worked, but I never did get him trained to potty on astroturf. You may have better success. I tried to limit my passage lengths to under 36 hours, which is manageable at least on the east coast. Left him with the parents when we left for the islands. One of the hardest things I ever had to do, but both dog and owner were happier than if he had gone. YMMV.

3. Learning to sail properly. (Anyone know how to use a sextant? I never want to 100% rely on technology)

Still working on that one myself. Until then I'm content to rely on a GPS and 2 backups. If you're looking to sail far, paper charts can get really expensive. You may eventually find it financially expedient to buy a chartplotter and just have some small and medium scale charts for general areas. Or trade with cruisers along the way.

4. Work and money in different countries. (I'm an aircraft mechanic But am flexible)

Tough one unless you have the ability to work remotely, or are willing to do menial jobs within the US. Outside the US opens a whole different can of potential worms. I've done an IT job since moving aboard and has worked well for me. Project-based work that has finite completion dates and don't require being on-call or on standby if something comes up is ideal. Schedules don't work well out cruising, and land-based employers have different expectations than what the reality often is out cruising.

5. Size of boat for safe world sailing.

Lots of opinions on that one! I like Adelie's broad range given. If you know the boat and have given yourself enough time to make the dumbass mistakes before getting too far afield you'll be fine.

Good luck! It's an absolutely wonderful way to live.
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Old 13-06-2017, 10:01   #6
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Re: Total Newb, mainland US

Thanks! I'm still in the research phase... so this is incredibly helpful.

The pup is an 80lb dane mix. Loves the water. Should be easy for him, it's just the potty training that worries me. Haha

I was hoping to stay around 10k for the boat, understanding that it would take some work. Is that far far too low?

DEFINITELY planning on sticking around shore for a long while to get my dumbassery out.

Double gps seems wise.

I want to buy one, hop onboard and sail away, buuuut that's not realistic. Haha. Looking at some threads on work now and wow, looks complicated.
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