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Old 10-08-2020, 16:32   #46
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Sailed around the world for 7 years, here is what I liked, being a cruiser not a sailor. The difference is that the boat is a means of transport not a hobby.

1. Got seasick first two years for 2 days when setting out. Used Stugeron
2. Enjoyed the safety of a centre cockpit, in my case a 48 year old Halberg Rassy Rasmus 35
3. Am fit and slim, just under 6 feet, 71 years.
4. Still making passages. Have 55gal water, same for diesel
5. Would never solo sail without a wind vane, in my case Hydrovane.
6. Use reliable ham grip files on any open water, else Internet for coastal
7. Use a CPT autopilot to make live enjoyable.
8. Fridge a must for same reason
9. All working on solar 390W
10. Solar shower
11. Vesper AIS, send/rec, required in Pucket and other places.
12. Navigation done with Windows tablet and Open CPN.
13. Sailed with hanked jib and storm sail 2 years, prefer roller furling on its own stay. Then was able to have Genoa and storm up in tandem. When winds picked up I only had to roll in Genoa. Main has 3 reefs, a must!
If you are able to be alone for 48 days and actually enjoy it, my longest solo ocean crossing, get started.
Never had any insurance, personal choice, but a life raft and required safety measures.
Werner
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Old 10-08-2020, 18:09   #47
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fore and Aft View Post
River 251 guys like yourself are really good for my business since they usually buy a yacht then 12-18 months later they are selling her again because the fantasy does not match the reality.
You should really charter any boat for a week and see if you can handle all the BS that goes with being afloat. For a newbie things like walking up to the showers and toilets at the marina, dragging anchor, being locked down below during a wet week, getting in and out of a dinghy to go ashore etc all start to wear you down. I also find if you are a tinkerer at home than being retired on a yacht without a workshop is hell for some guys.
The other thing is you really need to minimize your belongings if you are living on a yacht.
Cheers
Oh you are so right. My spousal unit and I moved into our Florida room first to get used to small size. First thing to find room for were all my tools. Then food. Finally some clothes too. It's been working out since '99
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Old 10-08-2020, 20:24   #48
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Short term chartering, crewing on other boats and taking sailing lessons will not greatly help in choosing whether you will find the live aboard life amenable. It takes months, if not years, to condition your mental state to a permanent live aboard mind set.
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Old 11-08-2020, 14:03   #49
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Stewie 12 has it right.
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Old 12-08-2020, 07:08   #50
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Jim "River251"
Welcome.

Your question is a good one and the replies are, for the most part, good advice, as I see it. Thanks for querying us.

I am in the sailing school and charter to start school of thought. And, living aboard is... um... different. I love it and you might, too.

I have been teaching sailing to adults since 1985 and for the last 20 years, advanced cruising/run-up-to-voyaging courses. Yours is the question asked in almost every class by at least one student. More importantly, we learn later that many, many of these students do cruise and some voyage. I have only had a few couples who declared it wasn't for them.

One last thing, I use as an analogy: A Caribbean charter is a bit like deciding you will like Florida after spending a week in a beachfront Florida resort. It is fun but it is not the real thing. The conversations you have with the charter skipper are what matter.

Keep well,
Norm
Cape Cod
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Old 19-08-2020, 16:36   #51
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Sofa King, thanks for the message. I've been away a bit, had to get my courses completely redone for online teaching this semester.

Yes, the money is the thing. College professors mostly don't make a lot. And I may be retiring soon here. But yes, you're right, I don't think it would be wise to get into this to try it and at the same time having it get me into hock. So, yeah I don't think I could afford to get into a boat like that cash, but may need to start a little more modestly. Yes, I would go as modern and new as I could, with as much ability to single hand it as I can afford. I think I'm inclined to maximize livability rather than blue water sailing, but I need to look at a lot of boats. I would like to sail the Atlantic, but that still needs some thinking. You are able to sail oceans and you're not in a small deep water boat. Maybe I could too and see if I like it. Thank you for the reply.

Jim


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofa King Fishy View Post
I live aboard on my first boat. Almost 2 years now. I’ve never owned a boat before this one. I’m 52. Here’s my advice:

1. Have a cash budget. Don’t borrow money to own a boat. Include maintenance & upgrades. My ‘All In’ budget was $150k. I bought a 20 year old boat for $120k & have put about $30k into it to get it ‘almost new’. If you want to buy a project boat, you can get an older, cheaper boat, but for me, I’d 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 it’s 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, It’s got 2 heads. Having an extra Head as a live aboard is something I would not do without- for guests & as a ‘back up’ - 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, you’ll 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. I’ll 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, you’ll 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, I’d opt for a tighter, cramped boat in the name of safety, but not for daily living. I’m 6’1”, 245lb., so headroom, and room in general is very important as a live aboard. This also eliminates any boat under 34’’- I know people who live aboard smaller boats. It’s like camping. IT can be done, but doesn’t appeal to me on. Permanent basis.

Hope this helps, and YES, It’s a somewhat daunting move, but, if you’re ok with learning how to ‘walk’ again & love learning and overcoming challenges, it’s a TON of FUN! Hope this helps!
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Old 19-08-2020, 16:43   #52
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Thanks for the msg wgerstmyer. Lovesail.org, eh? Well, we'll see.

Why do you think it is a seller's market down south but a buyer's market in the northeast?

Thanks for all the good info and food for thought.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wgerstmyer View Post
Jim
Buyers market in the northeast, not seller’s.
Crewing is very different than taking the helm—take 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 someone’s first boat is the right boat; it may take several purchases to find the great fit for you. I’d 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 I’d 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, I’d be in a place like here (buyer’s 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 you’ll 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 you’ll 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 19-08-2020, 16:48   #53
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Merrydolphin (great name!), thanks for the message. I did call some places in Florida, first a place for crewing, who recommended me to sailing schools. Either way, it was a week and $5K. I might be better off just buying a boat for $20K, letting my friend teach me to sail, get some experience with it (living and sailing), then see what I wanted to do, buy a better boat, or what.

How much are the sailing classes you are talking about? The ones in Florida were for 7 or 8 days, $5K, for the first class. Like I said, I have a teacher already, and I'd be tempted to put that $5K into a boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by merrydolphin View Post
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 30’+ 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 36-42’ 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 don’t work there anymore and this is not an ad.) just really like the program.
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Old 19-08-2020, 16:50   #54
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill_Giles View Post
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.
Bill, do you mean people who get smaller boats live on them longer? Not clear on what you meant. Thanks.

I'm still able to climb and jump around, though not like earlier. There will come a time though...
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Old 19-08-2020, 17:58   #55
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Thanks Leslie for the msg. I do plan to get some experience, perhaps chartering. I am still investigating costs.

I don't understand why docks don't have little gangplanks or gangways that can be extended to the boat to make getting on/off the boat easy. Maybe this is a sing I'm not up to the rigor :-).

May I ask, why did you guys give up sailing after a couple years and put your boat up for sale? Maybe you want to sell it to me? :-)

Thanks again.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Lesliesailsaway View Post
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 19-08-2020, 18:02   #56
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Thank you Scott. Much appreciated. Yes the consensus is getting some experience and I plan to. There is plenty of time since I will live to be 100.

I appreciate your thoughts on the experience. Thanks for mentioning specific ASA classes, I will now know what to look for.

Thanks! :-)


Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmc59 View Post
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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Old 19-08-2020, 18:08   #57
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Thanks much Werner. 390W is a fair bit of wattage. I have been looking at Halberg-Rassy, apparently quit respected. My friend pointed out toe me that a cat does not right itself. So the H-R and Morgans are on my list. Thanks for the great pointers. I think you said you're a cruiser, not a sailor.

Yeah, I am a bit of a solitary guy. 48 days alone, well when I'm not teaching in the summer that often happens on my isolated little ranch out here in the desert already. Not the same I know, but the solitude will not be a bother. Then there is the internet and social life there of a sort. Thank you.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wmgysi View Post
Sailed around the world for 7 years, here is what I liked, being a cruiser not a sailor. The difference is that the boat is a means of transport not a hobby.

1. Got seasick first two years for 2 days when setting out. Used Stugeron
2. Enjoyed the safety of a centre cockpit, in my case a 48 year old Halberg Rassy Rasmus 35
3. Am fit and slim, just under 6 feet, 71 years.
4. Still making passages. Have 55gal water, same for diesel
5. Would never solo sail without a wind vane, in my case Hydrovane.
6. Use reliable ham grip files on any open water, else Internet for coastal
7. Use a CPT autopilot to make live enjoyable.
8. Fridge a must for same reason
9. All working on solar 390W
10. Solar shower
11. Vesper AIS, send/rec, required in Pucket and other places.
12. Navigation done with Windows tablet and Open CPN.
13. Sailed with hanked jib and storm sail 2 years, prefer roller furling on its own stay. Then was able to have Genoa and storm up in tandem. When winds picked up I only had to roll in Genoa. Main has 3 reefs, a must!
If you are able to be alone for 48 days and actually enjoy it, my longest solo ocean crossing, get started.
Never had any insurance, personal choice, but a life raft and required safety measures.
Werner
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Old 19-08-2020, 18:36   #58
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

Thanks Norman. I'm trying to see if I even like being on a boat in the ocean. But point taken about it not being the same to charter or crew as actually do it and I'm inclined to by a less expensive bot to try it. I can see where I could put money into chartering, lessons, etc. that would buy a boat nearly. My old girlfriend will be happy to go sailing with me and teach me. She lived aboard and sailed the Gulf for 12 years. So....

thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NormanMartin View Post
Jim "River251"
Welcome.

Your question is a good one and the replies are, for the most part, good advice, as I see it. Thanks for querying us.

I am in the sailing school and charter to start school of thought. And, living aboard is... um... different. I love it and you might, too.

I have been teaching sailing to adults since 1985 and for the last 20 years, advanced cruising/run-up-to-voyaging courses. Yours is the question asked in almost every class by at least one student. More importantly, we learn later that many, many of these students do cruise and some voyage. I have only had a few couples who declared it wasn't for them.

One last thing, I use as an analogy: A Caribbean charter is a bit like deciding you will like Florida after spending a week in a beachfront Florida resort. It is fun but it is not the real thing. The conversations you have with the charter skipper are what matter.

Keep well,
Norm
Cape Cod
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Old 19-08-2020, 18:57   #59
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

In New Mexico, you're best option for some sailing is on Elephant Butte Lake, which is about 2 hours north of you in Las Cruces.
Try before you buy.
Dinghy sailing is different from large monohull sailing is different from catamaran sailing...
Sail as many boats as you can. You'll like some way more than others.
Living aboard creates another set of needs and wants. Some boats are infinitely more comfortable than others.
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Old 19-08-2020, 19:11   #60
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Re: Hi, first question about living aboard life

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Originally Posted by snort View Post
In New Mexico, you're best option for some sailing is on Elephant Butte Lake, which is about 2 hours north of you in Las Cruces.
Try before you buy.
Dinghy sailing is different from large monohull sailing is different from catamaran sailing...
Sail as many boats as you can. You'll like some way more than others.
Living aboard creates another set of needs and wants. Some boats are infinitely more comfortable than others.
Yeah I go by Elephant Butte a lot when I drive to meetings in Albuquerque. Sometimes there is water in it :-).



Thanks snort. From youtube, it seems the cats are the roomiest and most comfortable. My friend tells me she won't sail one because they can't be knocked down and right themselves. I've been watching videos of upside down cats. Maybe it's not a real concern but I've no knowledge from which to judge.
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