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Old 09-01-2008, 14:05   #1
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Trying to figure out some things

We visited Hawaii last month. My wife and I have been wanting to move there for some time. We have friends that live there who just purchased a condo for around 600,000. To go with the crazy price of this condo they pay around 650 a month for homeowners association. So I had an Idea.

Lets buy a boat and live on it in Hawaii. We are not planning on doing this right away, (waiting for the real estate market to come back) but I am trying to find out all I can about living on a boat. At first the idea was just to live in Hawaii and tool around on the weekends, do a lot of fishing, scuba, that sort of thing. The more I think about the more I like the Idea of doing a lot of sailing, possibly taking off a couple months a year and see where we could end up.

I grew up around boats (power boats) and am very good at repairs, but I am trying to grasp what living on a boat full time would entail. I have been looking for boats on the internet. We are thinking we will spend around 2 - 3 hundred thousand. I have found a lot of very nice, very large boats in that price range.

I have so many questions. What is the largest boat that my wife and I could sail. Could I easily and afford ably find a slip that would accommodate a 60 to 80 foot boat? Do I need a boat that large to live comfortably? What would insurance be like on a boat of that size?

Some of the places I have seen boats that I liked for sale are really far away. I am not at all opposed to getting a boat in a really far off place and learning to sail on the long trip back. Could I hire someone to sail the boat back with me? Turkey seems to have a lot of nice boats for sale, is this a good idea? Do I want a wooden boat? If not what kind of hull should I be looking for?

Sorry to ramble on, but any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Scott
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Old 09-01-2008, 16:42   #2
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Quote:
Lets buy a boat and live on it in Hawaii.
We have a few members fro Hawaii here. I think you'll find it's not a live aboard friendly place. Not many places to keep boats where you are allowed to live on them.

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Some of the places I have seen boats that I liked for sale are really far away. I am not at all opposed to getting a boat in a really far off place and learning to sail on the long trip back.
The logistics of buying a boat takes a good amount of time. I would say about a month when done locally (close to home). When you do it a long way away it adds up to a lot of hotel bills and extra calls and perhaps as many as two sets of plane
tickets as well as shipping a lot of overweight packages (a ton easily). Used boats usually need a few things done to them before you set out to far away places. That will add more expenses and more time.

Rent the Video with Martin Short and Kurt Russle "Captain Ron". It's funny but if you take out the really funny stuff there is a lot to be said for it. The make all the hard stuff look too easy but still worth a look.

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Could I hire someone to sail the boat back with me? Turkey seems to have a lot of nice boats for sale, is this a good idea?
The good news is you can hire anyone to do anything any place. You might not want to be stuck on a boat with them though. You really don't want to learn to operate a sailboat under these condition. There is a better than not chance you wife would dump you (if she is mostly normal). This is big huge changes done really fast in a place you don't understand at all. You need to ease into the reality a bit before you sail off. It does require a fair amount of money and the process to learn takes time even for really smart people. There is a whole lot to learn but it can be all fun if you do it in a way that can be fun.

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Do I want a wooden boat?
Not if you have to ask. There is a reason they don't make many any more. The work of maintaining a modern boat is tremendous. A wood boat takes even more than that.


Better Plan:

Go some place really super nice and take a crewed charter for a whole week. They do all the work and you go along for the ride just you two and a crew. See how good it can possibly be first. Then take the wife to a nice place and go through some ASA or US Sailing courses. The first three will get you going. They are for adults not kids so you can enjoy it all in some nice place and you both learn all this stuff. Now you are getting used to the idea as well as your wife (not getting your wife used to the idea is worse than sharks).

Now you are getting more familiar and the whole time you are reading all the stories and things here on Cruisers Forum. Finding all the really grat place you never heard of yet. Now you can think about buying a boat because you have answered a lot of questions and developed a sense for what you really could do and would enjoy. Then you pull out the $600,000 (you'll need food too) and head off into the sunset.
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Old 09-01-2008, 17:46   #3
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And then...

I'll second all that Paul has said and go further.

After some really nice crewed charters and sailing courses have a look round for a really cheap charter (still in a nice place). One of those that is so cheap it is bound to have problems (but not so many you cannot sail).

Take out the boat and see what it is like when things start to go wrong.

Do this a few times and you will have a good idea of what you want.
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Old 09-01-2008, 18:36   #4
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I actually admire your naive comments. It's refreshing to remember an earlier time.
The ugly truth is not anywhere like that. When I spent a little over a year at the Pearl Harbor Navy Base in the mid '60's, you could anchor in the Keehee Lagoon off the shopping center. You were in the landing pattern of the airport, but at least it was free. Nowadays, there's nowhere to anchor where you will be welcome. The marina question is about 40 years late.
The suppressed news won't tell you about the month of April. According to other reports, there's a "Kill a Haole" day. Whether it's true or not, I don't know, but I personally got beat up in 1967 for looking sideways at a couple of locals in a pickup who cut me off on my motorcycle near the Dole pineapple plant in Waikiki.

My recommendation? Go cruising in Mexico if it's close.
Start small until you know that's what you really want.

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Old 09-01-2008, 18:43   #5
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I live in Dallas so I don't get much of a chance to get to the ocean, any ocean. This is what I am wanting to change. If we do this I would agree that it would take my wife some getting comfortable to it. I however think it would be a perfect fit for me.

If I paid cash for a boat and refinanced it down the road would the buying experience still take so long? From it sounds like, buying thousands of miles away might not be cost effective. I did see a marina in Hawaii that welcomed live aboards, but the slip sizes were to small to accommodate large boats. I think that there was one that charged around 1,200 a month, but did not say anything about living on the boat.

I am one of those guys that can fix nearly anything from electrical and mechanical to carpentry. I love working on my home,and rental properties, which is what I am doing a lot of the time now. With that said would working on a wooden boat really be that different? Probably a stupid question. Here are links for a couple of boats that interest me.
Bodrum Yard Ketch Gulet Cruiser for sale Turkey
YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale

I would like to know what you think about these boats. Thanks a lot for the feedback. I will probably spend the next five years learning about all of this and working it all out. You folks on this website are really helping me get a real jump start on all of this.
Thank you,
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Old 09-01-2008, 19:09   #6
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Aloha Scott,
As others have said, there are nearly zero opportunities to liveaboard here in Hawaii. Please do a search on this forum with the word "Hawaii" and you'll see lots of posts. I don't need to repeat all the suggestions others have made in this thread and in many others where your questions were asked. I was able to liveaboard illegally in the 80s on a military base but now I don't think that would be possible. Now, on some military installations it might be permitted. I don't know. I haven't checked but unless you are retired military you would not be eligible.
Things have gotten a bit better since Steve B was here but there still is some racial tension and animosity as I suppose there is no matter where you go.
Good luck in finding answers to all your questions and I'll say that there are a lot more very nice places to cruise that are much more boater friendly than Hawaii.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:43   #7
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If you want to live aboard consider Asia. Most Asian countries are still friendly to living aboard. If you want to stay closer to the good ol' USA consider the Caribbean. There are a few members here with experience in that region.

Frankly - Most US locations have plenty of people like you that would like to live aboard. San Diego, Hawaii, Florida etc. all sound like great places to plan a live aboard retirement. The problem is there are lot's of folks with the same idea. I knew a few liveaboards in Hawaii. Like all areas getting in is a matter of becoming an "insider" and then keeping a very low profile.

60-80 foot boat for a couple is a huge stretch IMO. Actually you do need to get some experience first and get a better understanding of operating a boat and what you "really" need to be comfortable and live aboard.

If what you want is a floating condo a catamaran is probably the better choice than a mono.
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:55   #8
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They seem to be far more expensive. What are the thoughts on the boats in the links I posted? I do know a lot of people in Hawaii, that is one of the things that makes it a choice. I don't know if I have a chance in any of the marinas, but I have a few friends that work for the government. Who knows.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:18   #9
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Hi again Scott,

If you know lots of people in Hawaii then have them call La Mariana and Ko'olina and ask about liveaboard slips. They should be able to provide you some good information about availability and cost.

Since your friends are working for the government you might want to mention that it is the government that has put so many restrictions on boating businesses that it is strangling Hawaii's boating economy. Maybe they don't work that high in government to make a difference? Just a thought.

JohnL

"They seem to be far more expensive. What are the thoughts on the boats in the links I posted? I do know a lot of people in Hawaii, that is one of the things that makes it a choice. I don't know if I have a chance in any of the marinas, but I have a few friends that work for the government. Who knows."
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:50   #10
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What are the thoughts on the boats in the links I posted?
At the prices quoted you will probably need a lot of money to really make them seaworthy and about $20,000 / year to just cover the bills after you paid for it. They don't lend themselves at all well for two people. A 10 cabin boat with a dinning room for 20 isn't really anything you even want to own. The second boat more than 35 years old with 110,000 lbs displacement is no light weight cruiser. They have some attractive aspects but deeper into the the boat may yield a lot of problems that get exceptionally expensive. The only way you could handle these boats yourself is with a paid captain and 2 deckhands to take the orders. The bottom paint for the boat in Turkey alone will probably average $8,000 per year. Slip fees maybe $12,000 in some marina out of the way that isn't popular. These are just some minor things.

You really want a boat that is only as large as required. The extra work that comes with these monsters is why they are for sale. I'm sure there were dreams of charter business to help pay the expenses. The boats that can work for a couple are more like fiberglass boats in the 36 to 45 ft range. You can afford them and handle them with two people recently retired.
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:49   #11
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Lived very comfortably on a Westsail 32. Couldn't imagine owning and sailing a boat larger than 45', as a couple. Suggest you set your sites at a reasonable length or have really DEEP pockets cause you'll get to the bottom of them real quick.

Hawaii is not a place to live aboard unless you can get into the Alawai, Ko'olina or Kailua/Kaneohe. The Alawai is a State marina in Waikiki. Waiting list is long and the State has let it deteriorate to a deplorable condition. Ko'olina, at the SW tip of Oahu, is a little out of the way but part of an upscale development. It's a really nice, well maintained, private marina with slip fees to match. Don't know about liveaboard but think they do have slips. Kailua Bay on the windward side may have some opportunities but you'll have to get someone who is familiar with the area.

I've lived here for nearly 40 years, raised our boys, and never had a problem. I feel much more trepidation anywhere else I've been. If you like Hawaii, suggest you wait about 2 years and then come back. You'll probably be able to buy that $600,000 condo for $400,000 and sell it in another 4-5 years for a $1,000,000. Resort property, isn't all Hawaii a resort, is bought with disposable income. When the economy sneezes, Hawaii real estate gets pnuemonia. It's just the opposite when the economy is doing well.

If you really want to pursue the live aboard dream, look at Mexico. They are building marinas like crazy in Baja though still having problems meeting demand. Slip prices are reasonable and the weather, outside the summer, is pretty decent.

Aloha
Peter O.
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Old 10-01-2008, 13:06   #12
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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
According to other reports, there's a "Kill a Haole" day. Whether it's true or not, I don't know, but I personally got beat up in 1967 for looking sideways at a couple of locals in a pickup who cut me off on my motorcycle near the Dole pineapple plant in Waikiki.

Steve B.
It's still true. I had a roommate from Hawaii while at the academy. I won't go into the nasty details. Suffice it to say that there is a degree of racism towards whites in Hawaii. Enough said.
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