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Old 12-01-2015, 17:22   #16
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Re: Leaving Land

What's with the name "accursed"? Sounds like maybe a heavy background story of bad luck? I am not superstituious but that seems a heavy one to get on a boat with. Just sayin'... :-)

On the other hand by coming here and going to similar forums like you are doing the best thing you can for yourself. While not at all insurmountable, buying, fitting, and sailing a sizeable boat has its learning curve. The two years you spend in saving funds sounds just about right for the reading and other forms of research that will result in a successful transition.
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Old 12-01-2015, 18:52   #17
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Re: Leaving Land

If it were me, and remember your first boat dosent really have to be your last..
Id do my best to find a boat to live on now, so the 1k per month is going into the boat or the slip and not being thrown away on an apartment. and there are many boats that you can pick up for a song or have the owner carry the paper on.
Even on the dock where we live now, there is a Westsail 32 for sale, the owner purchased it late in life and decided to do a re-fit on it.. pulled the mast, bought all new gear for the refit, and I believe installed a new motor. Last year he got to the point where he couldnt full-fill his dream, his family took him off the boat and they singed it over to the marina.. The harbormastor is asking 4 to 5 k for it.......
Now the W32 is not my slice of pie but for someone starting out, its not a bad choice, so in its condition, its a labor of love..
You'll find these type of boats everywhere, often for the taking......
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Old 12-01-2015, 19:24   #18
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Re: Leaving Land

Originally Posted by Randyonr3 View Post
Id do my best to find a boat to live on now, so the 1k per month is going into the boat or the slip and not being thrown away on an apartment. and there are many boats that you can pick up for a song or have the owner carry the paper on.
This is good advice, but remember our OP currently lives in Ottawa, Canada -- the coldest national capital in the world. There ain't no year-round live-a-boards there. However, our OP keeps hinting at a move to the west coast. It is certainly possible to live year-round.

In the short-term I think Ann's suggestion of a roomie is a good one. And I'm serious about reading. There are tons of good books out there. It almost doesn't matter what you read. I'm partial to the Pardey themes, but there are lots out there.

Do get connected with yacht clubs in Ottawa or out west. The cheapest way to sail is to sail on someone else's boat. Racing will teach you tons about sailing, and will get you actual time on a number of different boats.

Once you're stable, and have logged in some time on other boats, getting a cheap, solid, small cruising boat in the 26 to 30 foot range is a great step. Get out and cruise with this boat as much as possible. This boat will teach you many lessons about ownership. I learned that sailing is easy ... it's all the other parts of boat ownership that are hard.

As I say, you're at the beginning of an exciting road. Worthy things take time, practice and learning. Sounds like you've got the vision and the drive to make it happen. Take it one step at a time, don't get overwhelmed, and most importantly, have fun.
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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Old 12-01-2015, 20:48   #19
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Re: Leaving Land

Hi Accursed,

I'm in the same boat as you are, but down here in Windsor (pardon the aquatic puns...I can't help it.)

There is such a wealth of information here on CF, especially in the Liveaboard section. Between this and the various articles and publications you can find by being creative with Google, you'll learn everything you need to KNOW about this exciting alternative lifestyle. Won't give you any kind of experience whatsoever, but at least you know what you're getting yourself into. There's plenty of boats out there that aren't hunks of junk and can be had for next to nothing.
Myself, I'm currently working on locking down a 1975 Paceship PY26. I've read everything I can about this boat and found it to be a very decent ship with a great reputation. Add to that the fact that it's on of the even better built, Canadian models from before PY sold to AMF and I'm pretty much in love with her lol. Boating can be so hoaky
I know having a young person's income (I'm 31) can make buying and owning a boat seem daunting, but it's definitely doable with a little creativity. I'm renting as well right now, albeit at $500 a month not $1k (I used to rent in Ottawa. Stupidly expensive there) and I'm working full-time in customer service, so it's not like I'm a millionaire. Still, I've managed to get the PO of the Paceship to agree to do owner-financing, which is very helpful. $1000 down and $500 a month for the summer, and Intrepido will be mine! I'm going to take a 2nd, much more detailed look at her on Friday! As long as there's nothing obviously and catastrophically wrong, then I'm going to seal the deal.
As for a marina, I'm just waiting to hear back from the city about slip availability, but the last update on their website from last season says that they still had 25' slips available at the end of the season, so here's hoping. Down here, I'll be looking at about $1400 for the season for the slip, utilities incl. Works out to about $220 a month in rent from April until November. Sure ya gotta pay up front, but whatever. I can't wait to know how it feels to pay 6 months of rent with 2 cheques lol.

So, here's the plan! First, at my job working full-time, after our good ol' Canadian taxes, I take home about $700 every 2 weeks, low ball.
So the plan is: Pay $1000 for boat deposit on 1/30 (payday). Give notice to vacate apartment on 02/01, using deposit to pay last month's rent. 02/13 (payday) I will call and cancel hydro and internet, and pay any outstanding balances. 03/01 Gotta pay $500 boat rent, and I will move into my mom's house TEMPORARILY until I can get the boat in the water, hopefully as close to April 1st as possible. At this point, I should have about $2000 put away to work with for the launch, which is actually included with the purchase of the boat. Still, I wanna repaint the hull below the water line.

The marina I'll be at (hopefully) is very ideally located right on the main bus line that takes me to work. So that's awesome.

I still haven't quite figured out what I'm going to do in the winter time. My marina isn't open year-round. But, I really want to do the winter aboard to prove to myself that I can do it, and because once I own a boat I won't be paying rent for an apartment anymore. I have a couple of people that would let me store the boat on the hard in their yards which is probably going to be what's going to happen. At least this will let me get used to being on the boat in frigid conditions AND let me work on her at the same time. So that's good.

Long-term (2 years max.) plan is to put away as much $$$ as I can while working on getting the boat kitted out for longer voyages, and working my customer service job. Then, I'm heading South. I'm a trained chef (I know I know...customer service. Taking a break from the professional kitchen.), and I'm planning on making a living down there offering private fine dining cruises to love-struck couples in tourist traps haha. I think I could probably make that work. I'm also planning on writing as much as I can about the experience, and about travelling in general. Who knows? Maybe that could provide some residual income as well.

Once you're out there, it doesn't take much to keep yourself afloat.

Anyway, not totally sure if this was helpful or not, but I guess it is always nice to know when you're not alone. Just get the knowledge you need, get the boat you can afford, and get out there. If it was meant to happen, everything else will fall into place. Always has for me.

Good luck and happy sails!
- Chrispyfish
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Old 23-01-2015, 09:48   #20
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Re: Leaving Land

I moved from Ottawa to Victoria, and now live on a boat. I wish you the best of luck - even on land Victoria beats the pants off of Ottawa
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Old 23-01-2015, 10:27   #21
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Re: Leaving Land

Welcome aboard. I had your dream many years ago. I moved to the northern BC coast for employment in the early seventies. I soon got into fishing and boating. Changed boats many times and enjoyed time on the water as it was available. Moved to Vancouver Island in the early eighties bought a commercial fishing boat with a salmon trolling licence for cheap. Worked in my trade in the winters and commercial fished in the summers. My first part time live aboard experience. I am retired now, living aboard a well appointed motorsailer. Living aboard does not mean you have to give up your computer. I spend the winters tied to the dock and use that time to prepare the boat for the following spring/summer/fall of coastal cruising. We have several full time liveaboards at this marina. They form the core of a very interesting community. Right now I am sitting in my boat looking out at the windy cloudy weather. Don't give up on your dream
The basis of accomplishment is in never quitting
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Old 23-01-2015, 18:01   #22
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Re: Leaving Land

Why not move to BC now? It doesn't sound like you have a hard to replace job. You might even find a job on or near the water. When I was young, I traded dock and boat work for the use of a sailboat. That led to becoming a crew member on a tug and so on. Many good things can happen.
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Old 23-01-2015, 18:22   #23
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Re: Leaving Land


I have a 26 footer... Small but liveable. I would suggest that you use half to sixty percent of your budget to buy the boat, and the balance for upgrades and the few things you undoubtedly will have to fix after you get it. My opinion is that a 32ft is ideal for one or two. A 25-27ft however will cost you a whole lot less, to buy and in regular maintenance. There are very seaworthy boats in that size range. See Sailboat Reviews of Offshore Cruising Yachts : You might get a cheaper one in Florida than in Canada, and you would have more choices. Make sure you have some money for a few surveys. Don't jump on the first one you see, though, you never know.. From shopping around for a while, I found that a decent boat generally goes for at least $10K to $17K. After that, the more you spend, the less repairs or upgrades you'll have to do, hopefully. Spend less than $10K and you basically are getting a project, which will take more time and money than you think.

Don't hesitate to haggle. I bought my boat for a few thousand less than advertised and paid it off over six weeks. Otherwise I could not have afforded it, but the previous owner accepted my offer.

As far as learning to sail, you could always hire someone to teach you on your own boat. This way you don't have to learn twice, once on someone else's boat then on yours...

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Old 24-01-2015, 08:59   #24
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Re: Leaving Land

I am also in the trades.. i jump into a 26ft McGregor in sf bay. And I'm loving it

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Old 25-01-2015, 00:38   #25
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Re: Leaving Land

Gil, & everyone,

The easy part's the sailing. At least to me, it's easy to make mistakes and learn from them. Harder is getting a realistic handle on maintenance. Plus, right now, the OP's land locked. Majorly. She is n't going to have sailing till the ice becomes water.

At some point, she needs to start learning about boats, and it ain't gonna happen in Ottawa in winter, except by books, blogs, U-Tube, etc. But hands-on experience is not in her future for a bit.

I liked the house sitting idea, but although it is common in Australia, I don't know how common it is in Ottawa. If it is a possibility there, then rent-free becomes possible, and once she has one good one, she'll be able to get references for the next. She'll learn what owners look for, etc.

However, getting a roomie, and starting saving, now, will give impetus to whatever plans the OP has, even if they change.

Good luck,

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 25-01-2015, 04:07   #26
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Re: Leaving Land

First of all, stop calling it a "dream" and start calling it a "plan". A plan is so much easier to organize than a dream.

Next, get some time on, in and around the water. Hang around local marinas every spare minute you have and talk to people. Opportunities will arise while you are walking the dock. Conversations will be had and friends will be made. It's inevitable. You owe it to yourself to meet everyone you can that has anything to do with boats.

Instead of apartment sitting look for people who want you to boat-sit. There may be plenty of people who would love to have you stay on their boat and keep things ship-shape while they are away from their boat.

When the air gets warmer and the sun takes a higher course in sky take a sailing course. Start with small boats and work your way up. The smaller the better because it really helps you with good sailing techniques if you have the right basics down.

I had a 25' Yamaha Mk II that a guy at a marina gave to me. That's right, he just signed it over to me and walked away. At that point I learned about diesel engines, transmissions, shaft drives, stuffing boxes, fiberglass repair, electrical wiring, sail refurbishment, stainless steel welding, painting, plumbing, thru-hulls, ablative paint, haul-out costs, yard fees, winches, running and standing rigging, electronics, woodwork, antennas, mast stepping, and a few other points of sail. But while I was learning those things I was taking a few days in between to learn how to cast off and sail away. Some of my worst and best sailing experiences revolved around that vessel.

Nobody here can tell you what the best boat is for you and your friend. There isn't a perfect boat waiting for you out there. But there are plenty out there that are a pretty good fit. When you step on board you will know which ones those are.
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Old 25-01-2015, 05:29   #27
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Re: Leaving Land

You can't do much where your located. You will not like living aboard in really cold weather. Take a trip out the BC and get good feel for the reality of your dream...not nearly so cold out west. Go in winter so you see the tough part of it. Summer is paradise, winter is painful but doable on a small vessel. When I lived aboard it was a great experience but a very real one.
As has been said, the sailing comes naturally, in stages..the life style and your adaptability to it is a different matter.
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Old 25-01-2015, 11:12   #28
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Leaving Land


I suggested Florida because the weather allows for many more opportunities for sailing. Boats here are two dimes a dozen. You can usually throw a pebble far enough to hit a boat for sale. Finding a room is easy in any college town, for around $400 a month. Sailing clubs are everywhere. Racers will take crew on week-ends. It would be also pretty easy to find boats leaving for the Bahamas for extended week-ends who might need a little help and willing to teach. In any case, it isn't rocket science.

Maintenance is certainly the problem, hence my suggestion of spending enough on the boat to avoid pitfalls; though there is no guarantee.

Once the boat is acquired, money starts flowing out... Just like paying rent. There is always something to fix. Not too big a deal as long as you plan for it and have some sort of income.


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Old 26-01-2015, 20:39   #29
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Re: Leaving Land

Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Gil, & everyone,

She is n't going to have sailing till the ice becomes water.

Good luck,


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I think these folks sail a might faster than I.

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