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Old 07-08-2020, 05:47   #31
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

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I feel chartering tells you about as much on whether you will like cruising and living on a boat as renting a vacation rental does about whether you will like living in a tent.
Good one.

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Old 07-08-2020, 10:30   #32
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

[QUOTE=river251;3203133]Scorpius – thanks much. Do you mainly anchor out? I’m watching the Old Seadog videos, thanks to you guys. He always anchors out, but then he is always traveling, not living in a marina. Being in New Mexico, it’s hard to spend a lot of time checking out boats, etc. I will crew at least once before deciding to sell my abode in NM. It’s a big step. My plans change daily. I have thought today that it would be great to be in a Marina in New York City during summer, for the jazz scene, and go south for the winter and cruise the Caribbean. We’ll see what I think of tomorrow. I bet it’s hard to find a marina slip in NYC.


We pretty well always anchor out - although we will occasionally stay at a marina overnight if we want to do a lot of shopping and laundry, have a nice restaurant meal for a change, etc. We prefer anchoring out for the quiet and privacy - and paying for a slip every night is just too expensive.

There are many different livaboard lifestyles:
1. Take a long-term contract on a slip and live there, rarely if ever, going out. This is surprisingly common.
2. Take a long-term contract on a slip, live there mostly, and use it as a base to go out on shorter trips, exploring the area and learning to sail. Multi-day trips are certainly possible and recommended as you get more familiar, comfortable, and experienced with the lifestyle.
3. Travel pretty well continuously, almost always anchoring out as the daily rates for slips (at least around here) make tying up every or most nights cost prohibitive.
4. Anchor somewhere and just live there - dinghying ashore every time you wish to do anything. This is certainly the most economical option but IMO it's a miserable existence with all of the drawbacks of living aboard and non of the benefits. Also, the authorities in many jurisdictions take a dim view of this lifestyle and "encourage" its practitioners to "move along".

Option 3 is our chosen lifestyle. It's cost effective and given the 17,500 mile coastline of British Columbia to which we are currently restricted by COVID-19, we have plenty of places to explore and enjoy. However, again due to COVID-19, that's not available to you.

I could see buying a boat on the east coast and sailing north and south each year pushed by the seasons: summer in New England, winters in Florida. I wouldn't consider doing that on the west coast though as the Pacific coasts of Washington state, Oregon, and Northern California are just too challenging - especially coming north against the prevailing wind.

Stay in touch if you wish.
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Old 07-08-2020, 16:23   #33
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

[QUOTE=Scorpius;3203389]
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Originally Posted by river251 View Post
Scorpius Ė thanks much. Do you mainly anchor out? Iím watching the Old Seadog videos, thanks to you guys. He always anchors out, but then he is always traveling, not living in a marina. Being in New Mexico, itís hard to spend a lot of time checking out boats, etc. I will crew at least once before deciding to sell my abode in NM. Itís a big step. My plans change daily. I have thought today that it would be great to be in a Marina in New York City during summer, for the jazz scene, and go south for the winter and cruise the Caribbean. Weíll see what I think of tomorrow. I bet itís hard to find a marina slip in NYC.


We pretty well always anchor out - although we will occasionally stay at a marina overnight if we want to do a lot of shopping and laundry, have a nice restaurant meal for a change, etc. We prefer anchoring out for the quiet and privacy - and paying for a slip every night is just too expensive.

There are many different livaboard lifestyles:
1. Take a long-term contract on a slip and live there, rarely if ever, going out. This is surprisingly common.
2. Take a long-term contract on a slip, live there mostly, and use it as a base to go out on shorter trips, exploring the area and learning to sail. Multi-day trips are certainly possible and recommended as you get more familiar, comfortable, and experienced with the lifestyle.
3. Travel pretty well continuously, almost always anchoring out as the daily rates for slips (at least around here) make tying up every or most nights cost prohibitive.
4. Anchor somewhere and just live there - dinghying ashore every time you wish to do anything. This is certainly the most economical option but IMO it's a miserable existence with all of the drawbacks of living aboard and non of the benefits. Also, the authorities in many jurisdictions take a dim view of this lifestyle and "encourage" its practitioners to "move along".

Option 3 is our chosen lifestyle. It's cost effective and given the 17,500 mile coastline of British Columbia to which we are currently restricted by COVID-19, we have plenty of places to explore and enjoy. However, again due to COVID-19, that's not available to you.

I could see buying a boat on the east coast and sailing north and south each year pushed by the seasons: summer in New England, winters in Florida. I wouldn't consider doing that on the west coast though as the Pacific coasts of Washington state, Oregon, and Northern California are just too challenging - especially coming north against the prevailing wind.

Stay in touch if you wish.
not a bad summary, and perhaps there is room for a thread on this ?

imho options 1 & 2 don't really count as 'live aboard'

we actually normally follow option 3, however in this new virus-world we find ourselves pretty much forced into option 4

however because we've picked an idyllic location it's the exact opposite of a 'miserable existence' !

cheers,
__________________
"home is where the anchor drops"...stuck at Lake Mac for a while due to medical problems...heading north soon...
maintaining social distancing !
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Old 07-08-2020, 20:58   #34
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Option 3 is what I had in mind. Snow birding it up and down the East coast with added trips gunkholing (such a descriptive term ) around the Gulf Coast states where I have several friends and family to visit.

I would like to limit my initial investment to less than $30,000, to buy. That would leave me funds to repair and refit what is needed before shoving off.
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Old 08-08-2020, 02:58   #35
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Consider a Cabo Rico 38. This Missouri landlocked 63 year old man singlehanded through the Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, then the Pacific Ocean. Ended up finishing circumnavigation with Filipina girlfriend who became my wife. There is a Cabo Rico Owners group on Facebook.
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Old 08-08-2020, 04:51   #36
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

You get very proficient very quickly. As long as you go nice and slow when in the tight spots (5% of the time) you are going to want as big as boat as possible. As a new sailor Iíd suggest in the 37-45í range. Over 40 get a bow thruster if you are going to spend a bunch of time in the marina. Under 35í boats are tiny, but if thatís what your budget allows and it gets you on the water, itís a fantastic option, you should do it.
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Old 08-08-2020, 06:44   #37
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Thanks Scorpius, option 3, constantly sailing, seems like my aspiration also. I mean, that would seem to be the point. Why use a boat as a poor example of a house? Cost maybe. Option 2, mostly in the marina, with shorter trips for learning and exploring, would be good until I am experienced.

Your environs there in BC sound wonderful. I've only seen pictures of the area but it's spectacular.

Thanks for critical info about sailing up and down the west coast vs the east coast. That is one of the big questions I'm having, is sailing good along the west US coast? The climate is less humid and more temperate. You answered that. Big help.

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Originally Posted by Scorpius View Post

Stay in touch if you wish.
I certainly will, thank you.
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Old 08-08-2020, 21:45   #38
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

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Consider a Cabo Rico 38. This Missouri landlocked 63 year old man singlehanded through the Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, then the Pacific Ocean. Ended up finishing circumnavigation with Filipina girlfriend who became my wife. There is a Cabo Rico Owners group on Facebook.

Thanks.
I'll add it to the short list.
Congratulations on having as good taste in boats as in women. I married a "show me state" girl, but the woman I dated just before we met was a Filipina. And my best friends girlfriend when we were in college was too.

I had planned to keep the boat on Beaver Lake, to familiarize ourselves with the boat, and to refurb anything that needs brought right. A short transport to the Arkansas river would have us on our way. I have heard some horror stories of boats responding to road transport, but is that the outlier or the norm. I've never owned anything large enough that I couldn't trailer it myself, so I am negotiating unfamiliar waters.
I have already started shopping for a marina slip. The waiting list is 2-4 years here.
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Old 10-08-2020, 07:52   #39
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

I live aboard on my first boat. Almost 2 years now. Iíve never owned a boat before this one. Iím 52. Hereís my advice:

1. Have a cash budget. Donít borrow money to own a boat. Include maintenance & upgrades. My ĎAll Iní budget was $150k. I bought a 20 year old boat for $120k & have put about $30k into it to get it Ďalmost newí. If you want to buy a project boat, you can get an older, cheaper boat, but for me, Iíd rather sail than work on a boat.

2. Buy the biggest, newest boat you can afford. I live on a Catalina 42 Mk2. Newer boats have lines led to the cockpit, and are designed to single/short hand, vs Older boats. I solo sail all the time- one thing I found invaluable is a bow thruster - purists will scoff, but itís saved me in the marina from whacking into pilings & other vessels. It also helps when backing up- find a boat that backs up well! Marina living requires some tricky maneuvering at times. Also, Itís got 2 heads. Having an extra Head as a live aboard is something I would not do without- for guests & as a Ďback upí - things break all the time on boats.

3. Decide what type of sailing you want to do. If you are dead set on crossing oceans on a regular basis, or rounding the horns, sign up as crew with OPO- Offshore Passage Opportunities. After 10 days on the open ocean, youíll have a MUCH better idea of what you want in a boat. My vessel is great for 90% of what I want to do- living comfortably and Island hopping. Iíll take a comfortable, open cockpit as a compromise, over a tight, blue water boat for living on a daily basis any day. I can certainly make a passage across the ocean-, as well- as evidence, youíll find my boat in Australia & Europe, but Weather and timing are key for a safe passage, and again, if I were to explore high latitudes, Iíd opt for a tighter, cramped boat in the name of safety, but not for daily living. Iím 6í1Ē, 245lb., so headroom, and room in general is very important as a live aboard. This also eliminates any boat under 34íí- I know people who live aboard smaller boats. Itís like camping. IT can be done, but doesnít appeal to me on. Permanent basis.

Hope this helps, and YES, Itís a somewhat daunting move, but, if youíre ok with learning how to Ďwalkí again & love learning and overcoming challenges, itís a TON of FUN! Hope this helps!
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Old 10-08-2020, 08:53   #40
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Jim
Buyers market in the northeast, not sellerís.
Crewing is very different than taking the helmótake sailing lessons for keelboats. In the Caribbean all year and Boston Harbor in summer the Black Rock Sailing School is an example of a 3-day fairly intensive course In Colgate 26s that will let you know if you Like the mechanics of sailing. Learning to do things in nice conditions must be reinforced by then learning to practice them in big wind and seas is crucial because the weather can change dramatically from when you pushed off.
For live-aboarding I found the closest normal life examples are tiny houses and camping, the former having the advantage of learning how small mechanical systems work (for Diesel engine maintenance take a specific hands-on-an-engine course so you will know the basics like how to bleed air out of a stopped engine. But on a boat I never think of it as camping because I want to have just enough amenities and great food to feel comfortable. So constant pressure hot water showers and good size galley and fridge are critical to me.
If you have the money and want to travel to where you will [think you want to] sail then yes it is easier to buy a boat there. Here in Maine and other sailing Meccas in the US I would never suggest that because you can find tremendous sailing conditions and learning situations every day. It is rare that someoneís first boat is the right boat; it may take several purchases to find the great fit for you. Iíd want to be in a US sailing center to be able to look at, and try out, lots of boats, with a friend who will let you take all the reins at helm while they are there for support. Sailing is not rocket surgery but each boat is different. Very quickly Iíd like to know how well the boat sails (once trimmed) with your hand off the wheel for instance.
Once you know the boat you really want, Iíd be in a place like here (buyerís market) where it is not exorbitant to spend a little extra and have it as close to fully equipped and as well cared for as possible because those dollars to upgrade have been spent by the previous owner (and not Re-coupable) versus the full rate youíll pay to add them. Autopilot, dinghy, radar and life raft and so on can really add up.
I love the weather/atmospherics and storms and fog for aesthetic reasons; that is convenient for a sailor whereas motion sickness is not. A calm head is obviously helpful demeanor-wise as things do happen at sea and youíll have to compromise on your solutions sometimes.
A final note: Lovesail.org is where I found my sailing partner, sing hallelujah. Cheers, Will
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Old 10-08-2020, 09:00   #41
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Hi Jim, if I may recommend a way to get all of your answers and some great knowledge and experience, find a GOOD sailing school that specializes in cruising type sailing. As a US Sailing instructor, we trained people just Like you to be able to sail the world it you want to go that far. Or just sail the bays and coastal waters, and live aboard. But professional training will get you answers and experience in the fastest and safest way possible. You can start with Basic Keelboat, and the next class is basic cruising on 30í+ sized inboard diesels with live aboard amenities. The school that I taught for for many years, Club Nautique in San Francisco, would let students spend the night on boats in the class. Usually either 2wk ends or 4 days during the week. For Basic Cruising. Then 4 days Bareboat Cruising on 36-42í ocean cruise equipped boats. Then If you want, on to ocean classes. In N. CA waters this is serious sailing and excellent experience for most areas of the world. Of course you can stop at any lever that you want. We even do offshore classed from SFO to Hawaii and back! Yeah, it all costs money but the first part of the training through Bareboat is really quite affordable.

Good luck and happy adventures with your retirement. ( no I donít work there anymore and this is not an ad.) just really like the program.
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Old 10-08-2020, 10:56   #42
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

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I think 26' is too small for an older person to permanently live aboard, 34'-36' a better choice.

One of the things to be mindful of when you join senior citizenshiphood is declining mobility. Springing about like a monkey on a boat which has the motion characteristics of a bucking bull is not to be carelessly contemplated by older folks.
Great point. I was also looking at a listing of a 26' boat and the size issue makes sense.
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Old 10-08-2020, 12:16   #43
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Research shows that smaller boats stay longer as live aboards. That will become especially true as you get older and everything gets weightier. You can get machinery to help but that ups the expense and complication.
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Old 10-08-2020, 13:12   #44
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Hi Jim and welcome to the CF. This is a great forum, I've learned a lot from these folks. I, like yourself was a new sailor 3 years ago. I was never on a sailboat before I took my sailing lessons. It was a real eye opener for me.

Please do yourself a favor and charter a sailboat with a seasoned captain. You should experience it with someone who knows what they are doing to properly educate you. Heeling, the rocking of the boat in rough seas, and sea sickness is no joke. I don't want to discourage you but sailing is not for everyone and it is a huge investment.

Like everyone has already put forth here, sailing a small boat by yourself, it can be done but your safety is paramount. I'm 61 and have jumped onto many docks from our catamaran many times and not to mention running over the bow to jump off the cat to the dock more times then I care to think about, LOL

I have lived aboard for 2 years. It is also not for everyone. Provisioning for travel can be a challenge especially in doing a crossing. Then the cost of maintenance and being financially prepared for the "what if" break downs and repairs is critical to be well prepared.

We have enjoyed our time on the water. Sadly, our cat is for sale but I wouldn't of traded the experiences for anything.

Good luck to you.

Leslie
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Old 10-08-2020, 14:53   #45
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Hey Jim,
My wife and I just moved aboard full time a couple months ago. I"m 60. We started sailing 3 years ago and took a lot of ASA classes. We bought a Hunter 31 and it was great for weekends. If I was single that would be a good size boat. We moved up to a larger blue water cruising boat and plan to set sail in a couple of years. 2 aspects to consider, the living aboard part, and the sailing.
Living: It takes some getting used to. Lots of little inconveniences. Refrigerator is small, climbing in and out of boat can be a pain. We're in good shape and like the extra activity. But we are in love with boats, all kinds of boats so we don't mind.

Sailing: I think classes are a must unless you have a friend with a lot of experience to teach you. We have taken ASA up to 106. For a boat, it isn't the size as much as the type of boat. Our Hunter was too light to do ocean sailing. Coastal sailing was tough in rough seas. A full keel boat is a little harder to maneuver and dock but sailing will be better. You'll need autopilot, hydraulic or a wind vane to comfortably and safely single hand for any distance at all. I would get on some boats and see how you like it. Take ASA 101 and a docking class to get the basics down. Docking is something you need to get practice doing. It's the part of sailing many don't think about until they have to.
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