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Old 27-06-2019, 10:07   #1
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Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

I've got this idea on my mind and it would be great to get some input from anyone with experience.

(Preface/Backstory, you can skip this part)
Last year in Grenada, I rented a docked sailboat from Air BnB and really enjoyed sleeping on the boat itself. During my stay a boat pulled up in the next slip, these 38 year old folks just had just arrived from Holland. My mind was blown, I didn't know that you could sail yourself across the ocean on such a small boat (36"?). This idea excited me greatly. Later in that trip, I met the crew of SV Delos and Expedition Drenched on a SCUBA outing. That was my first introduction to the world of youtube sailors. No, I don't want to chase the dream of being a youtuber, but that opened my eyes to alternate lifestyles. My end goal would be to comfortably cross an ocean or two and have a great less stressful life / have a great adventure.

(The real bit)
So here I am in Canada, where I seem to only live for the warm season (which only lasts for about 4 months). The rest of the time I am moderately depressed about having to deal with life in the cold and just waiting for the warm weather to come back. I've also been working almost non stop for the past 14 years in a career I don't really care for (but its easy and good money). I am fed up with this lifestyle and think I should do something about it.
I think maybe I could achieve my dream of working less and traveling around warm water, diving all along the way.

My income / expenses are as follows:
2 Condos worth of annual mortgage and maintenance fees: -$34,400
Property tax (very high estimate) : -$8,000
Condo insurance (estimate): -$2,000

Rental income of property A: $26,400
Rental income of property B: $31,000

This leaves me with $13,000 in income I could live off of during the colder months and return back home during the warmer months to work, bringing in about $12,000 - $20,000. A low total of $25,000 to live off of per year.
I also made rough calculations of monthly liveaboard expenses, about $15,000 per year of cruising, living frugally and putting aside 3% of the boat's price per year towards maintenance.

Is this realistic or will it end up becoming a pipe dream at this rate? All input welcome.

These ended up being a lot more words than I had intended, thanks for taking the time to read (if you did).

-midlife crisis
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Old 27-06-2019, 10:13   #2
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Re: Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

Not likely with any degree of comfort and security.

A friend of mine spent H-season living on fish he speared anchored far from civilization, but just the carrying costs of his 70' single-handed boat was likely more than that monthly budget.

Just one $8000 fix required adds up to many months of that very abstract 3% factor.

And you need to have it ready in the bank, or you may be grounded, causing your living costs budget to also skyrocket.

Keep working and saving while you become competent in the dozens of skill areas required.
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Old 27-06-2019, 10:25   #3
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Re: Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

Welcome to the forum. I'm in Edmonton, so I get what you are saying about the winters. It's the main reason I'm chasing the same dream.
That said, I think your finances are too tight. My recommendation(basically what we did) would be to dedicate 5 years. Make as much money as you can, spend as little as possible. At the end of the 5 years you can have a nice bank account ready for moving aboard.
We also got a lake boat to practice on, to build knowledge and to keep the dream alive. It is currently for sale:-)
We have hit the end of our 5 years, and in the process of buying now.
Good luck whatever you decide, and if you are close by come out for a sail on wabamun.
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Old 27-06-2019, 10:33   #4
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Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

I think you can do it, if you can if finances make you, extend your work by a month or two and pump up the Kitty.
I take it that you have rental income, but also a few months of work income too?
Then if I understand it, you have to go home to Canada every so often anyway to keep your medical Insurence?

Now Iím talking smaller boat in a low cost of living area, Gulf Coast of US for example and not Ft. Lauderdale.

However this life style is not likely to build assets towards a future retirement, it will be hand to mouth existence, so while you can do it, should you?
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Old 27-06-2019, 10:39   #5
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Re: Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

There are a lot of threads on this sort of lower budget cruising. I think it is doable, depending on the type of boat you have, and how modest your expectations are as to the financial standard of living, and purchasing power.

Some people can live very happily on rice, pasta and fish, and a couple of good books. Diving, swimming, fishing and sailing. That said, the boat is the key. A 25 foot sailboat is much more doable than a 35 foot sailboat. It depends again on your expectations, and what it takes to make you happy in life. I believe the boat chosen, and also your expectations, are the key.

The comment about building further retirement assets is spot on though - it might be tough to change the lifestyle, the older you get. I believe the story often told is once people do that, they have no desire to go back to the rat race. They are much happier and more fulfilled with what they are doing.
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Old 27-06-2019, 10:48   #6
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Re: Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

Which is a good thing.

Long as you have the ability to rely on the more civilized countries that see decent housing and health care as a human right.
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Old 27-06-2019, 11:17   #7
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Re: Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

The specific boat and how much you can DIY drive the maintenance costs to a large extent. People definitely sail full time off of your budget, but they're seriously focused on minimizing costs and minimizing the risk of a large unexpected purchase coming up.

Also, I'm not sure where you're getting 3% as the annual maintenance cost of the boat. If you're paying for all repairs, 10% is a more realistic cost. It also won't be 10% every year, you might have 3 or 4% most years, then every 4 or 5 years you have 30% as you do a large refit. Smaller, cheaper boats will likely be a little cheaper to maintain in absolute numbers, but higher in a percentage basis (Sails for a $20k 36 footer cost the same as for a $100k 36 footer).

If you want to go extreme on saving money, ditch the engine, watermaker, and anything power that doesn't need to be (pressure water, winches, windlass, etc). Smaller boats are cheaper to maintain in general. Its certainly possible to live in an under 30 foot boat for the right person.
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Old 27-06-2019, 11:21   #8
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Re: Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
And you need to have it ready in the bank, or you may be grounded, causing your living costs budget to also skyrocket.

Keep working and saving while you become competent in the dozens of skill areas required.
I forgot to mention, I am currently learning to sail by joining a keelboat racing team and that trans oceanic cruising is my '5 year plan', while I get comfortable and work out the kinks. I also have enough savings I like to keep as a "bail out fund"

I plan on gaining much more experience before I set out. I am keen on helping out on boat deliveries before I fully dive right in.
Also, my retirement savings I think would be my 2 condo properties... if I can even make it that far.
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Old 27-06-2019, 12:21   #9
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Re: Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

Whew...those 2 condos sure dont pencil out very well. What can you sell them for?
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Old 27-06-2019, 12:34   #10
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Re: Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

Quote:
Originally Posted by avi_normal View Post
Is this realistic or will it end up becoming a pipe dream at this rate? All input welcome.
anything just about is possible

have you researched the costs or are you just assuming it will cost $X

One of major parts of your question is missing. That is what do you expect living on a boat is like and do you want it to be?
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Old 27-06-2019, 12:49   #11
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Re: Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Avi.
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Old 27-06-2019, 13:27   #12
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Re: Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Whew...those 2 condos sure dont pencil out very well. What can you sell them for?
I'm not sure what you mean, but I don't plan on selling them just yet as the market here is still rising.
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Old 27-06-2019, 13:30   #13
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Re: Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
anything just about is possible

have you researched the costs or are you just assuming it will cost $X

One of major parts of your question is missing. That is what do you expect living on a boat is like and do you want it to be?
Researched the costs as best I can. I can live frugally. I like camping and the idea of living off the grid. I expect boat living to be quite a bit of work, but I would like it to be relaxing. To cruise around warm locations , dive and work on personal creative work before coming back to Canada to make more money if I need it.
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Old 27-06-2019, 13:45   #14
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Re: Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

so what is you expected costs of living and cruising on a boat and the category breakdown

whether these work is really the answer to your original question
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Old 27-06-2019, 14:08   #15
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Re: Can I liveaboard off my rental property?

I think first - you have to pick between a catamaran or a monohull, and then decide on a size range. From there, it should be easier to rough estimate your expenses, etc. Generally, the smaller the boat, the cheaper to buy, operate and replace the inevitable needed components, etc. On the other side of the equation, a larger boat has more storage for food, water and energy, so it can go off the grid longer - and stock up, in bulk, more cheaply. A larger boat might offer the option of parking it in a marina, and working some kind of shore job, especially requiring changes of clothes, and neat appearance, etc.

A lot of these choices depend on how much money you have available - but I believe a good, bluewater capable, boat does not necessarily need to cost much, just be well selected, and have an owner who is willing to learn what's needed, etc.

As you've implied, no one knows the future - but sometimes the repetitive hours and stress gets to a point, that it actually becomes a real gamble you will actually reach retirement age in one piece, so to speak. I think a lot of people would be better off downsizing everything, and living life more. I'm headed that way.
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