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Old 21-06-2021, 00:23   #1
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Could use some guidance

INTRO;
Hello there, I am new to this forum, but I wanted to throw my hat into the ring and get a consensus on a choice that I am in the middle of making. I am 32, (be 33 in a week and some change), disabled vet (meaning my income is paid by the VA), and since I am now finally financially unburdened from my younger mistakes and prior marriages, and the VA has finally worked out suitable care/health management, I want to begin the process of uprooting from the shackles of normalcy. I currently reside in California, though I am a native of Tennessee. Anyone who has lived in Ca undoubtedly knows how insane the Cost-of-Living is in this state, versus almost every other state. However, simply returning home to the south just does not really pique my interest anymore either.
It has been a long-time dream of mine to live free’er or I should say more mobile. I do enjoy some of the qualities of life that being rooted provides, like decent internet, reliable hot showers, and good Chinese delivery. That said, the crossroads I am currently facing is the choice between a liveabord sailboat or an RV (mainly a truck and 5th wheel rig). I grew up in a single-wide, lived in the barracks/deployment hooches, and have since rented rooms or small studios, so I am fairly used to compact living or not having large spaces for lots of belongings. The need or ability to live small is not a new idea to me, nor does it scare me off. Where I am torn is between my comfortability and love of the land, and my insatiable curiosity of the sea.

EXPERIENCE/HISTORY;
Sailing - I took my ASA 101, 103, 104, 105/106, 113, & 118 out of Santa Cruz back in 2017, and have since then (health provided) been able to sail with friends of family to stay somewhat current on the common practice and principles.

RVing – I have an old camper and have stayed in it for a few months out of the summer up in the Shasta mountains during them blistering summer heat waves/fires. Used to drive a tow truck after the service and enjoyed long hauls and road trips.

MY UNDERSTANDING;
What draws me to the idea of a liveaboard sailboat is the freedom to go virtually anywhere in the world, the ability to make said sailboat self-sufficient (solar, desalinator, fishing, etc..), and the ability to leave the U.S. freely, and be totally unhooked from the world or people I should say. That being said, I do realize how costly a boat can be. First the purchase, old mechanic proverb “Good is never cheap, Cheap is never good”, pretty much translatable into anything in this world. I know a good liveaboard will cost me a pretty dollar upfront and then there’s upkeep which is a bit more costly than say, an RV rig. Getting the boat into a self-sufficient stage if it isn’t already there, and then cost of things breaking down or needing to be replaced. All those things do not scare me, simply due to the ability to check out from society and just sail off whenever I’m feeling like it (so long as the boat is fit haha). The drawback I face is the physical aspect, how demanding it can be, and how often will I actually set sail for new lands being that it is just me onboard?

What draws me to the idea of an RV rig, is the comfortableness level I possess. I have towed trailers 45ft.+, behind a flatbed Pete with the owner’s dually loaded on the back, across the country. I have more experience turning wrenches on trucks/autos, engines, and my own old camper, that nothing is really new to me in that area. Being able to take my rig and home on the road and boondock it out in the middle of the desert is just as appealing. The drawbacks though are a little more mental and financial, rather than physical. I would be forced to remain in the states9or Canada/Mexico), paying outlandishly stupid insurance and fuel costs (unless of course I kept the bulk of my travels in the southern states). While the trailer could be made fairly self-sufficient, the truck could not operate on wind and solar to keep me going, which further limits my escape. There are plenty of parks and federal lands to camp, but not a single piece of land isn't owned in this country, unlike the sea. Physically I have no concerns about being able to handle this lifestyle.

CLOSING;
My end goal for this is to seek knowledge and advice from those seasoned above me, who care to share their wisdom and experience. I've heard there’s some form of rivalry between the RV’ers and Boaters of the world, but the idea of being able to stake my claim to a home of my own and take it with me is a love I think both sides share and can hopefully offer me insight on which I may be better suited towards.

Thank y’all.
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Old 21-06-2021, 01:45   #2
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Re: Could use some guidance

Life begins where the land ends ,just go for it .⛵️⚓️
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Old 21-06-2021, 02:28   #3
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Re: Could use some guidance

Your arguments for the boat aren't very strong to make a decision based on it. You can just be as self-sufficient with fishing and hunting in a RV. Against sailing speaks the unavailability of easy Chinese take-outs.

From what you write, RV and Sailing are both viable options, so you have no trouble there with either.

To me, it really sounds as if you need to do a lot more soul-searching first. What kind of life do you really enjoy more? Here are some random things to consider:
  • Do you like having a truck? -> Plus for RV
  • Do you love having the sea as your personal swimming pool? -> Plus for sailing
  • Are you drawn to communities of strange people? -> Both RVers and yachties fit the bill, makes no difference
  • Do you enjoy fixing your vehicle in awkward places? -> A small plus for RV if you don't enjoy it
  • Do you expect to relocate often or rather enjoy one place before moving on? -> If you move a lot, the RV is more plan-able and easier, but if you cover a lot of distance, the gas might be a bigger factor
  • Do you want to travel outside the USA? -> Small plus for sailing
  • Is solar and wind generated power important to you? -> This might look like a big plus for sailing, but in reality I don't think it is. Add a few solar panes to the roof of your trailer (that's easier than on a boat) and you'll have more surface than on the average boat. Same benefit for similar or less costs. As for wind-generator, this is overrated. I run the numbers and I was able to get and awful lot of diesel for the price of the wind-generator. Don't let the eco-babble fool you, go only by what makes economic sense.
  • Do you want to become a salty old sailor giving the evil look to all those young whippersnapper? -> Plus for sailing
  • Do you like mountains and forests? -> Plus for RV
  • Overall costs? -> Plus for RV. I think, not having to deal with an marine environment will reduce the costs of getting and running things for the RV over time.
You see, things aren't that clear cut. And who says, you can't combine both lifestyles a little, eg by living in the RV and sometimes assisting people with sailing while doing deliveries?

A sailboat only makes sense, if you have a strong desire to be on the sea, otherwise it's all stupid because the sea breaks everything. An RV makes only sense, if you want to move around otherwise a cabin/homestead in the place you love would make more sense.
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Old 21-06-2021, 02:45   #4
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Re: Could use some guidance

Why does a truck limit you to the US/Canada/Mexico?
You can explore Middle& South America too. All the way down from Alaska to Patagonia...
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Old 21-06-2021, 02:57   #5
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Re: Could use some guidance

Similar choice.
Face rebuilt with titanium alloy but sailing experience.
I'm choosing salt air.

Had a van towing catamaran. Good enough. Principles being $1500 for van, $1400 for trailered vessel. Launch boat, retrieve boat.
Parking would become an issue during work years. Rust on van.
Deciding boat. Principle higher. But rust is dealt with daily. Salt great for humans. Ease of lift line and heave on.
I'd just hang around same area for years though, get to know the vessel control systems. Van boat combo a quicker adventure
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Old 21-06-2021, 04:13   #6
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Re: Could use some guidance

Choose both, but start with the RV lifestyle. Give yourself 2 or so years of RVing and then decide if you want to transition to sailing/cruising.

Pros:
Entry/Exit into RV lifestyle is much easier.
RV Internet solutions are reliable now, Internet at Sea is improving over time.
Solar experience/skills learned with RV will translate to sailing later.
You can use your mobility to shop for that perfect sailboat and have a home while you outfit.
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Old 21-06-2021, 04:54   #7
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pirate Re: Could use some guidance

Drive down to Mexico and look at some boats.. mix in some travel adventure with research, hear there's some decent cheapish boats down that way.
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Old 21-06-2021, 08:54   #8
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Re: Could use some guidance

Firstly, welcome home, Dyz.
I, like you and OP, have this restless schizophrenia for freerange life and mobility on land and sea. I'm 25+ years on than you, but same same. Also disabled vet. The VA has saved my life in countless ways. I have a 40ft toy hauler I lived in for a couple years as well as 44ft boat I also lived in for couple years (and currently docked in Oakland, so I get CA living). I'm planning to blue water cruise to Caribbean in a couple years, as soon as money allows (ie, sell everything else I have to support the lifestyle as long as possible). So, that's my personal context to reply to you here...

All of these conundrums, land or sea, have equal risks to manage, except risks are just greater on water. Everything about boating is frankly unnatural. But that doesn't matter a lick if you've got the calling in your soul, as I have had for the last 5 years of boat ownership, and that calling gets stronger every day. I also live in Utah, so the mountains are equally home. At this point, I'm just saying to myself, why choose? So, Play the long game but act as if it'll all end tomorrow; get a boat, get an RV, split your time, figure sht out, and get on with it.There are no wrong answers. Life is fckn short.
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Old 21-06-2021, 08:58   #9
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Re: Could use some guidance

Go with your gut and strongest desire. If it doesn’t work out try something else. Too easy to procrastinate forever meanwhile life passes you by. “ Life is what’s happening while you are busy making plans”
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Old 21-06-2021, 09:06   #10
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Re: Could use some guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Drive down to Mexico and look at some boats.. mix in some travel adventure with research, hear there's some decent cheapish boats down that way.
If it were me, I'd think of doing this too.
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Old 21-06-2021, 09:12   #11
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Re: Could use some guidance

At 32 you can always change your mind, whichever one you choose. So go for one or the other now.
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Old 21-06-2021, 09:35   #12
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Re: Could use some guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyzfunktionall View Post
INTRO;
Hello there, I am new to this forum, but I wanted to throw my hat into the ring and get a consensus on a choice that I am in the middle of making. I am 32, (be 33 in a week and some change), disabled vet (meaning my income is paid by the VA), and since I am now finally financially unburdened from my younger mistakes and prior marriages, and the VA has finally worked out suitable care/health management, I want to begin the process of uprooting from the shackles of normalcy. I currently reside in California, though I am a native of Tennessee. Anyone who has lived in Ca undoubtedly knows how insane the Cost-of-Living is in this state, versus almost every other state. However, simply returning home to the south just does not really pique my interest anymore either.
It has been a long-time dream of mine to live free’er or I should say more mobile. I do enjoy some of the qualities of life that being rooted provides, like decent internet, reliable hot showers, and good Chinese delivery. That said, the crossroads I am currently facing is the choice between a liveabord sailboat or an RV (mainly a truck and 5th wheel rig). I grew up in a single-wide, lived in the barracks/deployment hooches, and have since rented rooms or small studios, so I am fairly used to compact living or not having large spaces for lots of belongings. The need or ability to live small is not a new idea to me, nor does it scare me off. Where I am torn is between my comfortability and love of the land, and my insatiable curiosity of the sea.

EXPERIENCE/HISTORY;
Sailing - I took my ASA 101, 103, 104, 105/106, 113, & 118 out of Santa Cruz back in 2017, and have since then (health provided) been able to sail with friends of family to stay somewhat current on the common practice and principles.

RVing – I have an old camper and have stayed in it for a few months out of the summer up in the Shasta mountains during them blistering summer heat waves/fires. Used to drive a tow truck after the service and enjoyed long hauls and road trips.

MY UNDERSTANDING;
What draws me to the idea of a liveaboard sailboat is the freedom to go virtually anywhere in the world, the ability to make said sailboat self-sufficient (solar, desalinator, fishing, etc..), and the ability to leave the U.S. freely, and be totally unhooked from the world or people I should say. That being said, I do realize how costly a boat can be. First the purchase, old mechanic proverb “Good is never cheap, Cheap is never good”, pretty much translatable into anything in this world. I know a good liveaboard will cost me a pretty dollar upfront and then there’s upkeep which is a bit more costly than say, an RV rig. Getting the boat into a self-sufficient stage if it isn’t already there, and then cost of things breaking down or needing to be replaced. All those things do not scare me, simply due to the ability to check out from society and just sail off whenever I’m feeling like it (so long as the boat is fit haha). The drawback I face is the physical aspect, how demanding it can be, and how often will I actually set sail for new lands being that it is just me onboard?

What draws me to the idea of an RV rig, is the comfortableness level I possess. I have towed trailers 45ft.+, behind a flatbed Pete with the owner’s dually loaded on the back, across the country. I have more experience turning wrenches on trucks/autos, engines, and my own old camper, that nothing is really new to me in that area. Being able to take my rig and home on the road and boondock it out in the middle of the desert is just as appealing. The drawbacks though are a little more mental and financial, rather than physical. I would be forced to remain in the states9or Canada/Mexico), paying outlandishly stupid insurance and fuel costs (unless of course I kept the bulk of my travels in the southern states). While the trailer could be made fairly self-sufficient, the truck could not operate on wind and solar to keep me going, which further limits my escape. There are plenty of parks and federal lands to camp, but not a single piece of land isn't owned in this country, unlike the sea. Physically I have no concerns about being able to handle this lifestyle.

CLOSING;
My end goal for this is to seek knowledge and advice from those seasoned above me, who care to share their wisdom and experience. I've heard there’s some form of rivalry between the RV’ers and Boaters of the world, but the idea of being able to stake my claim to a home of my own and take it with me is a love I think both sides share and can hopefully offer me insight on which I may be better suited towards.

Thank y’all.
Thanks for your thoughtful comments on your interest and your experience.
Welcome to the Forum.
I'd say that since you know how to sail and have done so quite a bit,
The traps you may encounter would be getting lock into moorage somewhere.
Being stuck in a marina isn't usually that much fun if you want to sail and soul search.
Maybe an extended passage as a crew member would be good.
You can then explore more boat choices, have some more experienced cruisers share their experiences and knowledge about these choices you'd like to make.

Purchasing a vessel is a pretty large decision especially if it's a large boat.
Resale eventually may happen, and it's good to look at the value a boat may keep, say 10 yrs out, after you've put lots of sea miles on it.
I'm happy for your uncumbered lifestyle choice.
It's well worth the time.
Cheers,
SV Cloud Duster
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Old 21-06-2021, 09:39   #13
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Re: Could use some guidance

my experience has been that all your plans will change the minute you walk out the door..

talkin' about it on a cruising forum.....is 'jes that....talk..

Let your feet do your talking for you.....

but for most people....they never make it off the front porch...they just talk...

most everybody that is " out there" march to their own drummer....their experiences, will not be yours...you need to make your experiences...there will be ups....there will be downs..no tellin'.....what tomorrow will hold...somebody else's likes may be your dislikes...

So do yourself a big favor, open the door and start walking...no more talking !!!
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Old 21-06-2021, 10:06   #14
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Re: Could use some guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Drive down to Mexico and look at some boats.. mix in some travel adventure with research, hear there's some decent cheapish boats down that way.
Sounds like a good plan - dip your toe in the water before you jump right in. Do you get motion sickness by the way...?
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Old 21-06-2021, 10:21   #15
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Re: Could use some guidance

Things to consider?

Faraway at sea, there is no respite from really bad weather.
If your boat sinks, consider how you would do compared to the Robert Redford character in All Is Lost.
You cannot get out and walk or flag down a ride.
No motels down the road with a real bed and shower.
No 24 hour diners.
Road side assistance or call boxes not an option.
No respite from hurricane force winds.
No underpass to rest under in bad weather.
No opportunity for human contact.
You could be very much alone for a very long time.


Although not in an rv I have driven across the U.S. many times, and almost always knew I could just pull over and rest if I became too weary. And I almost always had radio reception and even contact via a CB.

While you site lots of sailing course work, seems you need lots more experience sailing and perhaps reading about actual horrific experiences at sea to make an informed decision.
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