Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-04-2017, 13:55   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 11
Hello Liveabords

First let me introduce myself and thank you in advance for putting up with my utter ignorance on the subject matter!

My name is Ken. I live in the Cincinnati, OH area. My wife and I have two daughters, the youngest of which plans to move out of the house in the next 12-18 months. We have always encouraged the girls to get out and see the world before life catches up to them. Well, now that our responsibilities (as far as the girls go) are greatly diminished...we are going to follow our own advice. The Jones's win...we give!

My wife and I are both in our late 40's and in above average health. We aren't going to be winning any marathons any time soon, but are in pretty good shape.

Our plan is to sell everything, quit our jobs, buy a 40-50 Gibson Houseboat and then live aboard on the Stock Island area just north of Key West. We are not interested in a sailboat.

My ideal scenario would be to take up residence at the Safe Harbour Marina, but I am having a hard time determining what the slip rental is. We are not interested in anchoring or mooring fields just yet (baby steps!)

This is a really big piece of the whole puzzle.

We will work in the bar\restaurant\hospitality industry in Key West, as I try to get an IT job with the Naval base. Either career paths should be viable for the lifestyle we plan on living (or not...you tell me

I have soooo many questions:

Does anyone know what the going rate for long-term slip rental is in the Stock Island? Geiger Key Marina is another option, and is well within budget...however, I would really like to be closer to Key West, as I don't want to bring a vehicle.

Should I buy the boat here and cruise down, or have it shipped? Or, would it make sense to buy a boat in Florida?

What do insurance costs look like for a boat in the keys? I bet they are a tad bit more than the $20 a month I pay for my pontoon on our local lake. Also, for full disclosure...my boating experience is limited to our 150 lake on a 24 foot pontoon.

Also, if you could please advise me of any pitfalls you see with this plan, please let me know.

Thank You so much in advance!

Smooth Sailing,

Ken
__________________

kendaukcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2017, 15:25   #2
cruiser

Join Date: Jan 2017
Boat: Retired from CF
Posts: 13,304
Re: Hello Liveabords

I'd make the geographic move, line up work etc while living inexpensively on land, then start shopping for the boat and gently make the transition to liveaboard.

To me, too many moving parts, everything changing all at once, multiple people under varying levels of stress, just sounds like making the whole process more "challenging" than it needs to be.

Just my 2Ę, my family's not such a tight-knit battle-hardened fine-tuned machine ready to turn on a dime. . .
__________________

john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2017, 16:27   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 11
Re: Hello Liveabords

Thank you for the input! There are a couple of reasons we want to live aboard:

It is more financially viable. Renting an apartment in the Key West Area is going to run about $2-3K a month. Living aboard should cost half that.

Also, I like the idea of being mobile in the event of a hurricane. I also would really love to take her out fishing during my time off.

My wife is completely on board with the idea. I know, I am pretty shocked too
kendaukcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2017, 18:02   #4
cruiser

Join Date: Jan 2017
Boat: Retired from CF
Posts: 13,304
Re: Hello Liveabords

I just think staging the various parts of the transition will help prevent too many unforseen shocks, and getting employment for both of you, schools and childcare etc should probably be the first priority.

I think also you may need more specific research to get a realistic handle on the cost of living aboard, especially in a resortish area.
john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2017, 19:02   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 11
Re: Hello Liveabords

Sorry, I may not have been very clear. There will be no schools or child care. It will just be my wife and I. No kids.

The purpose of this post is trying to get as much of the cost realized as humanly possible.
kendaukcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2017, 19:19   #6
Registered User
 
markpierce's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Central California
Boat: M/V Carquinez Coot
Posts: 3,652
Re: Hello Liveabords

Don't believe a houseboat is suitable for transiting open waters.
__________________
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-04-2017, 03:32   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
GordMay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 38,198
Images: 241
Re: Hello Liveabords

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Ken.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-04-2017, 03:49   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 7,534
Re: Hello Liveabords

Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Don't believe a houseboat is suitable for transiting open waters.
As long as he doesn't go out to the open ocean he's not really in open waters.

A few thoughts:
- You will get people poo-pooing houseboats but as long as you keep them within their design parameters, they are a great option to provide a lot of space for the money. Alternatively, consider a trawler or even a sailboat (you don't have to sail a sailboat).
- Make sure the boat is set up for salt water. A lot of house boats are designed for fresh water. I/O units are not good with salt water. Either want shaft drives or outboards that come completely out of the water. Look at the materials (inside and out) and check if it's really stainless steel or similar to stand up to salt water environment.
- Fishing trips are going to be fair weather if going outside sheltered waters.
- Running from hurricanes becomes problematic with shoreside jobs and insurance during hurricane season gets expensive.

I don't know the going marina rates but I do know that in the winter they are expensive. How much you might save and the availability with an annual contract is an unknown. Best option would be to give the marinas a call. It may be that they have a 2-3yr waiting list for permanent slips. Not sure.

Honestly, I would get jobs lined up ahead of time and no wishy washy offers. Get the pay & hours detailed. You may find it tough to make a living. The keys are not a cheap place to live.
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-04-2017, 03:55   #9
Registered User
 
Suijin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Bumping around the Caribbean
Boat: Valiant 40
Posts: 4,617
Re: Hello Liveabords

Quote:
Originally Posted by kendaukcat View Post
Also, I like the idea of being mobile in the event of a hurricane. I also would really love to take her out fishing during my time off.
Let's be clear about something. In the event of an impending hurricane, you're not going to head out in your Gibson houseboat to get out of the storm's path or find a hurricane hole. You're going to have her hauled, or spider-web secure her in her slip, and get out. A car will be the right form of mobility in that circumstance.

And you're probably going to want a car anyway, realistically, particularly given that you need to work but don't yet know where you're employment will be.
Suijin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-04-2017, 04:03   #10
Registered User
 
thomm225's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: VA Beach/Norfolk, VA
Boat: B27
Posts: 6,318
Re: Hello Liveabords

Quote:
Originally Posted by kendaukcat View Post
Thank you for the input! There are a couple of reasons we want to live aboard:

It is more financially viable. Renting an apartment in the Key West Area is going to run about $2-3K a month. Living aboard should cost half that.

Also, I like the idea of being mobile in the event of a hurricane. I also would really love to take her out fishing during my time off.

My wife is completely on board with the idea. I know, I am pretty shocked too
So at what point do you try and leave Key West with a hurricane on the way.

Many hurricanes head in the direction of Key West only to turn when they near land.

For you to have time to get away, you'd need to leave early. Then the question will be, which way to go? If it's a year with lots of hurricanes, you could be coming and going a lot.

That's the trouble with hurricanes, they are unpredictable

Why not pick another place with a navy base. There are limited options in Key West.
thomm225 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-04-2017, 06:07   #11
Registered User
 
MV Wanderlust's Avatar

Join Date: May 2016
Location: Palmetto, FL
Boat: "Wanderlust" -- 1999 Jefferson Rivanna 52'
Posts: 842
Images: 28
Re: Hello Liveabords

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
I'd make the geographic move, line up work etc while living inexpensively on land, then start shopping for the boat and gently make the transition to liveaboard.

To me, too many moving parts, everything changing all at once, multiple people under varying levels of stress, just sounds like making the whole process more "challenging" than it needs to be.
That. What he said. A whole lot of moving parts in your plan. Not that it can't work... but you're setting yourselves up for a bunch of stress all at the same time.
MV Wanderlust is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-04-2017, 08:39   #12
Registered User
 
GrowleyMonster's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: Bruce Roberts 44 Ofshore
Posts: 2,263
Re: Hello Liveabords

A houseboat is nice, for comfort at a dock or in a calm protected mooring. Lots of space. It is literally a house, with a hopefully more or less leakproof bottom, and an engine. Not roughing it at all, never feel like you are camping out. However, there are mobility issues. A fishing trip? You would be better served with an auxillary craft such as a skiff or whaler type boat that you can quickly get to a good fishing area without burning a bunch of fuel, and cast or troll or whatever unimpeded by a huge superstructure and ponderous maneuvering. For running from a hurricane, first choice is a good roadworthy car with a big trunk, leaving the boat tied up with plenty of slack in the lines and good chafing gear. Second, a nice big sailboat with a dependable and reasonably powerful diesel. Next, a trawler with a well maintained engine that can run economically for long distances without pit stops. lots of thirds and fourths and fifths etc but at the tail end of the list I would put a houseboat. You are very limited in what sea conditions you can navigate across open water safely. So you are giving up a lot, for luxurious digs. Whether it is worth it to you, or not, is the real question.

I would favor a trawler or a 45'+ sailboat. You can still have adequate living space if you don't need a hot tub, badminton court, etc. You don't HAVE to take a boat to sea just because it is designed to do so. I have seen some beautiful blue water boats used as dock queens. But, the capability is there, when needed, as long as equipment is checked and maintained.

A slip will be easier to find for a medium sized trawler or sailboat, than a big lumbering houseboat. I can't tell you what it will cost in the KW area, but I would not want to be pricing one for a houseboat.
__________________
GrowleyMonster
1976 electric Cal 2-27, MR WIGGLES
1979 Bruce Roberts Offshore 44, BRUTE FORCE
GrowleyMonster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-04-2017, 08:57   #13
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Jacksonville/ out cruising
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 30,121
Re: Hello Liveabords

There are so many people up North that for some reason or another want to live in KW, that its just not viable, or more likely very tough to do, unless you have bags of money in the bank.
Why not pick another area in Fl or the Gulf coast with more, better paying jobs and half the cost to live?
Second, a house boat is best on a lake, you wouldn't believe how rough it gets in a protected anchorage in a storm, your house boat won't likely survive, but in a Marina, with insurance it stands a much better chance, and its insured if it doesn't.
a64pilot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-04-2017, 11:44   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 11
Re: Hello Liveabords

Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Don't believe a houseboat is suitable for transiting open waters.
Sorry if I was not clear...I am not looking to take the boat across the Atlantic. I could never foresee a scenario where I would be out of shore's site.

I would just want to take it fishing every once in a while.
kendaukcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-04-2017, 12:01   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 11
Re: Hello Liveabords

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
As long as he doesn't go out to the open ocean he's not really in open waters.

A few thoughts:
- You will get people poo-pooing houseboats but as long as you keep them within their design parameters, they are a great option to provide a lot of space for the money. Alternatively, consider a trawler or even a sailboat (you don't have to sail a sailboat).
- Make sure the boat is set up for salt water. A lot of house boats are designed for fresh water. I/O units are not good with salt water. Either want shaft drives or outboards that come completely out of the water. Look at the materials (inside and out) and check if it's really stainless steel or similar to stand up to salt water environment.
- Fishing trips are going to be fair weather if going outside sheltered waters.
- Running from hurricanes becomes problematic with shoreside jobs and insurance during hurricane season gets expensive.

I don't know the going marina rates but I do know that in the winter they are expensive. How much you might save and the availability with an annual contract is an unknown. Best option would be to give the marinas a call. It may be that they have a 2-3yr waiting list for permanent slips. Not sure.

Honestly, I would get jobs lined up ahead of time and no wishy washy offers. Get the pay & hours detailed. You may find it tough to make a living. The keys are not a cheap place to live.
Now we are getting somewhere!!

Here is a boat I will be seeing in the area in the next couple of weeks:

https://cincinnati.craigslist.org/boa/6025070876.html

This boat is considerably cheaper than where I eventually want to be, but is the only Gibson I can take a look at within a short driving distance. I am not yet in the market, but want to get a feel for the type of boat I am looking for. I did ask the owner if the cooling system was self contained. Here was his answer:

Most fresh water boats will be recirculating and do not have a radiator but that can always be added.

I am not sure if he understood me thoroughly (seems to be a common thread All valid point about stainless steel and the like. I have looked at trawlers...they are either too expensive, too cramped, need too much work, or all three. I am not interested in a sailboat.

I expect there to be challenges with finding employment...and honestly, if I were a server or bartender with a hurricane on the way, my boat\home is going to be more valuable to me than a job. I would envision taking off days in advance for calmer seas. AT 20 mph cruising speed I can be 600-700 miles away in 3 days.

Am I out of line here?

I have tried emailing a couple of marinas but have not heard back. I will probably end up calling per your suggestion.

Thank You so much for your advice...it is greatly appreciated!


Ken
__________________

kendaukcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hello Hello ! robert.hudson88 Meets & Greets 8 22-03-2017 05:04
St Thomas or St John cruisers/liveabords bailout00 Fishing, Recreation & Fun 4 14-02-2013 11:21
Hello hello TonyQ Meets & Greets 2 03-01-2008 02:51
Hello Hello Can you hear me now??? olepedersen Meets & Greets 6 17-10-2006 05:04
Hello hello! CaptainRed Meets & Greets 2 21-07-2006 04:48

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:04.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.