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Old 22-01-2022, 08:17   #31
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

Hi Paul, I'm on MindMyHouse. Good example of how it can work. There are a number of house sitter sites (we're members of two others). I'm begging to think about building a system modelled on something like MindMyHouse.

It's interesting you've run into problems around short-term rental restrictions. House sitting isn't typically a rental arrangement, since normally no money changes hands, but I can see how they could be caught up in the same prohibition.

MicHughV, it's unfortunate you've had that experience. It is not common in the house sitting world (I've never heard of an example), although it certainly happens with Airbnb-type rentals.

As Paul describes, a house, and in this case a boat sitting arrangement, entails a fair bit of research, communication and discussion/negotiation ahead of time. We almost always have a couple of video calls with homeowners, so we can both vet each other. I've turned down a few opportunities after this point when something just didn't feel right. I'm sure it happens the other way as well.
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Old 22-01-2022, 09:26   #32
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

No, I've never had a "boat sitter", but I've come to know some at the marina on other people's boats. Nice enough folk, but like to party.
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Old 22-01-2022, 09:30   #33
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

Hey, Mike. I am coming from a point of view of not knowing about house sitting. How it work? I’ve read in a few sites and they give the basics of what the sitter does but every where the word “free” is used. I am thinking that the sitter is increasing the cost as they are using electricity and other services. With boat sitting who would cover the extra costs?
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Old 22-01-2022, 10:07   #34
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

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Hey, Mike. I am coming from a point of view of not knowing about house sitting. How it work? I’ve read in a few sites and they give the basics of what the sitter does but every where the word “free” is used. I am thinking that the sitter is increasing the cost as they are using electricity and other services. With boat sitting who would cover the extra costs?
It's usually free in the sense that no money changes hands. The house sitter is not typically paid for their service, and the homeowner does not typically charge a fee (rent). It's an exchange of services which is usually considered equal. Homeowners (or house sitters) who do not see it as an equitable trade, have little reason to pursue house sitting, so it sorts itself out naturally.

That said, some homeowners do ask for compensation for utilities. It's rare (in my experience), but does happen. In these cases the common arrangement is that the house sitter pays 1/2 the utilities.
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Old 22-01-2022, 10:17   #35
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

My daughter does "dog sitting" from time to time. It's a paying gig, but it's a lot of work. You got to feed them, and some dogs (and their owner's) are really particular about this, dog meals requiring special treatment, etc.

Then you gotta clean up after them, so won't go there.

Then you gotta take them on walks, some are well behaved, others are not. A lot of dogs have particular sleeping habits. Old dogs can can be particularly obstinate.

Some dogs will bark at the slightest provocation.

Some dogs are outside dogs, and some are inside dogs.

All in all, she earns every cent she makes.
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Old 22-01-2022, 10:48   #36
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

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My daughter does "dog sitting" from time to time. It's a paying gig, but it's a lot of work. You got to feed them, and some dogs (and their owner's) are really particular about this, dog meals requiring special treatment, etc.

Then you gotta clean up after them, so won't go there.

Then you gotta take them on walks, some are well behaved, others are not. A lot of dogs have particular sleeping habits. Old dogs can can be particularly obstinate.

Some dogs will bark at the slightest provocation.

Some dogs are outside dogs, and some are inside dogs.

All in all, she earns every cent she makes.

Yes, I'm sure she does. Most house sits are also pet sits. This is part of the calculus in the exchange of services.

In my sits so far I've looked after lots of dogs and cats, but also horses, donkeys, fish and even parrots. So far no chickens, cows or pigs, but I'm sure that will come.
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Old 22-01-2022, 11:16   #37
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

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It's usually free in the sense that no money changes hands. The house sitter is not typically paid for their service, and the homeowner does not typically charge a fee (rent). It's an exchange of services which is usually considered equal. Homeowners (or house sitters) who do not see it as an equitable trade, have little reason to pursue house sitting, so it sorts itself out naturally.

That said, some homeowners do ask for compensation for utilities. It's rare (in my experience), but does happen. In these cases the common arrangement is that the house sitter pays 1/2 the utilities.
This is an interesting part.

For boat sitting, assuming a mooring, I think I would prefer the person had their own small kicker outboard and maybe a suitcase Honda generator to bring along.

I wouldn’t want a bunch of hours on my generator or my outboard messed up or prop messed up.

Rather, I wouldn’t want to have to trust that somebody wouldn’t do that stuff.

Does that sound unreasonable?
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Old 22-01-2022, 11:39   #38
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

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This is an interesting part.

For boat sitting, assuming a mooring, I think I would prefer the person had their own small kicker outboard and maybe a suitcase Honda generator to bring along.

I wouldn’t want a bunch of hours on my generator or my outboard messed up or prop messed up.

Rather, I wouldn’t want to have to trust that somebody wouldn’t do that stuff.

Does that sound unreasonable?
The nice thing about this life is, you as the owner or the sitter can decide whatever you want with regard to expectations. No one has to agree to anything they think undesirable.

I've never boat sat, so take my thoughts for what they're worth. My sense is that your stipulation would significantly reduce the number of people likely to respond to your offer. First off, sitting on a mooring is going to limit your potential sitter group. And even though I own my own OB and generator, I sure as heck don't want to be hauling them around with me in my little car. Maybe if I was travelling in an RV...

The other flag for me as a potential house sitter is your concern about normal usage of items. If a home, or boat, requires a generator, then its usage should be considered normal wear and tear. Damage due to negligence is never acceptable, and any sitter should compensate an owner if they do something stupid, but normal usage and wear is to be expected.
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Old 22-01-2022, 11:58   #39
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

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The nice thing about this life is, you as the owner or the sitter can decide whatever you want with regard to expectations. No one has to agree to anything they think undesirable.

I've never boat sat, so take my thoughts for what they're worth. My sense is that your stipulation would significantly reduce the number of people likely to respond to your offer. First off, sitting on a mooring is going to limit your potential sitter group. And even though I own my own OB and generator, I sure as heck don't want to be hauling them around with me in my little car. Maybe if I was travelling in an RV...

The other flag for me as a potential house sitter is your concern about normal usage of items. If a home, or boat, requires a generator, then its usage should be considered normal wear and tear. Damage due to negligence is never acceptable, and any sitter should compensate an owner if they do something stupid, but normal usage and wear is to be expected.
Glad to have your response from a sitter perspective.

I’m surprised to hear a mooring would limit the potential sitter group. I personally love moorings. They deliver more of what I see a boat as bring for. Solitude and quiet. I don’t think I’d be interested in boating as a form of travel if I was restricted to crowded docks any more than I’m interested in hanging out in other crowded “campgrounds.” No privacy. No peace. Just neighbor after neighbor.

I hear you on the other parts however. What would protect me from someone ruining my outboard in this type of arrangement? I know the boat doesn’t need so much special attention, but outboards and generators are always crying out for attention. Plus non experienced people might hit rocks with the outboard prop like my ex did to ruin one of my old ones.

How could these type of situations be handled?

In my case, the whole boat runs on solar. The generators are for air conditioning. I wouldn’t run that 24/7 but would my sitters do that? Hard to know.
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Old 22-01-2022, 12:12   #40
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

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Glad to have your response from a sitter perspective.
Glad to help. But like I say, take it for what it's worth. I house sit. I've never boat sat.

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I’m surprised to hear a mooring would limit the potential sitter group. I personally love moorings. They deliver more of what I see a boat as bring for. Solitude and quiet. I don’t think I’d be interested in boating as a form of travel if I was restricted to crowded docks any more than I’m interested in hanging out in other crowded “campgrounds.” No privacy. No peace. Just neighbor after neighbor.
Oh I completely agree. I'd love your situation. But just think about how many cruisers here like sit on their own anchors or moorings for extended periods? Even in this group, you and I are somewhat odd . So I think your pool of potential sitters, especially ones with the necessary experience and skill, is going to be small.

But just like with a boat sale, you only need one person to say yes .

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I hear you on the other parts however. What would protect me from someone ruining my outboard in this type of arrangement? I know the boat doesn’t need so much special attention, but outboards and generators are always crying out for attention. Plus non experienced people might hit rocks with the outboard prop like my ex did to ruin one of my old ones.
Yes, that is a risk. This is why the vetting process is so important. I exect in the case of boat sitting, it would be even more so. And in your case, 2x that.

Nothing can fully protect you. As mentioned earlier, you could draft a written contract, but that doesn't fully protect you either. I think the best answer is that trust must be developed between owner and sitter. If this can't happen, then walk away (I have).
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Old 22-01-2022, 12:20   #41
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

When I was 20, I boatsat a Swan 59 for a season in the med (Dalmatian coast and Greece). The owners used it about 6 weeks total IIRC. It was a great opportunity. I had my choice of a flight home (or anywhere else I wanted to go) or short term apartment when the owners wanted the boat. It was fantastic.

The rules were simple:
1. I could not "use the boat". If the boat need to be moved in harbor, that was ok,... but no day sails with friends. When the boat was repositioned for their arrival... they hired a local captain, and I crewed the reposition.
2. Unlimited use of the dinghy
3. I was limited to 1 guest on the boat at a time. This is prob the most important issue that both sides are happy with. The owners knew and liked my GF,... so both sides happy right up front. My brother visited for a couple weeks with his GF,... I just cleared it with the owners before planning. Didn't sneak an extra guest for so much as an afternoon beer even once.
4. The boat was my home... use it as such. That said,... out of respect,... I never once slept in the master.

The owners were awesome. Great people. I was responsible and respectful (and didn't want to screw up what I felt was the opportunity of a lifetime). They had comfort knowing the boat had constant signs of life.

I still get Christmas cards from them,... and to this day they still thank me. They insist they wouldn't have slept if the boat wasn't in safe hands.

There is definitely a need. Finding the right person,...
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Old 22-01-2022, 14:28   #42
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

That's one side of the coin....but I remember a guy boat sitting on a boat a few down from me. For him, it was a free ride. The boat was often left open...or hatches left open in the rain...beer cans in the cockpit....parties...dirty clothes on the lifelines..etc..etc....often, the guy was not there for days on end.

Finding the right person is definitely a priority.
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Old 22-01-2022, 15:13   #43
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

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It's not a bad idea. Perhaps I will do some investigating in my free time (which I have a lot of these days). I can see it operating pretty much the same as the various house sitting services. There's not a lot of money in it, but it might be fun.

I started this thread just to see whether there was some interest in boat sitting. I've now received a number of incredibly generous offers through PMs, none of which I'm in a position to accept right now because I'm fully house-sit committed. Perhaps next winter though .

In any case, I'm encouraging any boat owners who are interested in the idea to post their offers here. Maybe there's the right person reading.
lmk if you want to explore the idea cha-ching
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Old 22-01-2022, 16:11   #44
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

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That's one side of the coin....but I remember a guy boat sitting on a boat a few down from me. For him, it was a free ride. The boat was often left open...or hatches left open in the rain...beer cans in the cockpit....parties...dirty clothes on the lifelines..etc..etc....often, the guy was not there for days on end.

Finding the right person is definitely a priority.

For your stories, it sounds like you really need to find a better home marina .
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Old 28-01-2022, 07:55   #45
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Re: Boat sitting -- making the connections

While looking for an AirBnB in S. FL I came across boats available for short term stays. For boat sitting, just make it available on AirBnB or equivalent site for an appropriate minimum duration.
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