I love this topic.
Here is my 2c.
I built my first boat back in the late 70's, launched it the early 80's.
Back in those days a lot of people were living the " dream", and homebuilt boats could be seen on many a driveway.
Those were " the days"...it really was...you could sail anywhere, anchor
anywhere, no mooring
fields, you could still get a 12 month cruising permit
in the B'mas for around $25. There were no marine
patrols chasing you away from an anchorage...no Coast guard boardings....and marina fee's were around 0.50c/ft.
There was no GPS
and people had to actually learn some rudimentary sailing and navigation
skills. Back in the day, we had working lighthouses, beacons, WOM ( High Seas operator) was around...If you sailed off shore, you learned to use a sextant
People that were sailing were a certain " breed" if you wish. Mass marketing
of sailboats had not arrived. The Morgan
OI 41 was considered to be " the" ultimate liveaboard boat, especially in the charter trade
, which was still in it's infancy then.
came along.....it had limited use....but still....it provided a newbie with some navigational aids...then Satnav arrived.....better, yet, not so good.
arrived. As well as sat phones, ...refrigeration, air conditioning
, cell phones, etc, etc, etc.
Boats became more modern and more expensive.....but sailed less...."floating condo's" they were termed. The modern day sailboat is a marvel of " modern" day conveniences...a/c...microwave ovens..the list is endless....every convenience you want...electric toilets...you name it....
With all the conveniences came all the new rules and new restrictions. Mooring
fields, requiring a daily fee, limited cruising permits, holding tanks
requiring a pump
out fee, limited anchorage spots...the list is long....Marina fees
now running $16-25/ft per day, if you can still find marina's. Many marina's have been converted to " condo's" where you can actually " buy" the slip.
Yes, the liveaboard lifestyle is a dying lifestyle. Yes, you can still find a few spots here and there that support a liveaboard community...but they are far and few between
Many area marina's allow only a limited number of " liveaboards" but charge accordingly.
I'm sure this topic will have ardent supporters on both sides of the fence. The liveaboard lifestyle is still attainable, but nothing like the " old days".
You have to have realistic " expectations". Walk around the docks and talk to other liveaboards and get their take on the matter.
Besides all of the above, yearly maintenance
, haulouts, etc, require an arm and a leg..and a huge wad of cash.
Last but not least, is " hurricane" insurance
All told, it's not an " inexpensive" lifestyle at all. At a marina, you may have to park a long way from your boat, do your laundry
elsewhere, fetch your mail from a post office...etc..etc..etc..and your marina neighbor is an unknown.....and he/she will be a mere 5' from you.
When it rains, it may be a long, wet walk to your car.....with a handful of groceries...
Ok, I have lived this lifestyle for a long time, and have endured the many ups and downs, but I have grown into it. Starting from scratch today, will take a giant leap of faith.
Welcome to the club !!!