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Old 12-07-2018, 18:50   #31
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

Lauren,
You need to PM Sailorchic, she is a little older than you, but has as a single female been living the minimalist life on a sailboat for years.
Then there is Zeehag, also a little older but has been doing it for years, but on a much bigger boat.
I can only assume you would learn more from these Ladies, than from us old men, cause surely you may have some different things to have to deal with, and they have been there.
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Old 12-07-2018, 20:50   #32
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

Lauren...

Ditto a64. Also talk to "boat_alexandra" (sean) here on this forum. Recently sailed around the world without engine on very limited resources. Great guy.

Good Luck
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Old 12-07-2018, 23:49   #33
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

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Originally Posted by edge0302 View Post
Hi, NCGun, thanks for the welcome!

The further I can get away from the U.S. the better, Iím sick of it.

Lauren
kinda what we did, except back when W was elected the second time....oh how I'd trade those days back now

Anyway, there's absolutely nothing wrong with your plan, except the budget. In brutal honesty, that budget is what most of us are using to buy our next dinghy (without motor).... If I had any advice for you, since you are ready to go mentally already, as they say, pack a grip and split for the coast. I'd head south to florida. Find a job onshore that you already do to earn money and save hard. Meantime, do that old dockwalk every weekend or day off....there are tons of people who need crew (paid and unpaid) for the day, weekend... find some sympathetic like minded folks who'll take you out sailing in exchange for cooking lunch, and learn learn learn; you'll need those skills later. You'll be right there when any boat deals might come up, you might learn some boat-related skills that will make you money later on. You might even consider a job for a year or two crewing on bigger yachts. There are lots of resources online, but basically, the pay is very good once you get some skills, and it's often tax free and all expense paid. So you can sock away more money than you think in a year, doing it on the water in warm places to boot. I had an ex who did that for a few years, worked her way up the food chain to chief stewardess on some 60 meter thing, and made enough to open a business! Look on Crewfinder or sites like that and see what skills/certificates you might need.... anyway, gotta go back to my morning coffee now. Good luck!
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Old 13-07-2018, 01:55   #34
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

So Lauren,

I think that focusing on raising cash like a madwoman and purchasing a boat in better condition can get you to your goal more quickly/easily than buying fast-and-cheap and spending Lord-knows-how-long on a torn-up boat on which you'll have to spend many times the purchase price and countless hours of effort to refurbish. You have a learning curve to travel to do this right anyway; no sense in rushing a boat purchase when you don't yet have any idea what will suit you.

With that in mind, if I were twenty-seven, and I wanted to dive in, this would be my twelve-step program:
  1. If you have a car, sell it, along with the rest of your stuff. Set aside $1,000; combine the remainder with your 3k. Buy a van. Use some of the cash you set aside to do whatever you need to do to make it habitable, and drive it to a coast city with a good-sized marina.
  2. Live in the van, get a full-time job (if at the marina, even better). Get a gym membership so that you can shower. Now the majority of you income can be saved. It will build quickly w/out rent to pay.
  3. Work out the practicalities of van living: feeding yourself, storage, urgent calls of nature in the middle of the night (or keep the van parked near some 24-hr. business that has a bathroom).
  4. Rent a post office box for mail.
  5. In spare time, read that Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere that GrowleyMonster recommended. It has got many people started off in the right direction. The other title, The Essentials of Living on a Boat looks good, too.
  6. Begin taking classes: ASA (American Sailing Association) 101 (Basic Keelboat Sailing) and ASA 103 (Basic Coastal Cruising) will give you guided hands-on instruction. Your instructors are often experienced people with local knowledge who can give you great advice, e.g., on the practicability of anchoring long-term in that area, or examples of boats not covered in John Vigor's book that could suit your needs. They can get you networked with other people to help you: friends who are looking for short-term crew, or a boat you might look at.
  7. Walk the docks, talk to people and make friends. Don't be shy about letting others know about your sailing ambitions. You will likely be invited to go out with them on their boats. Learning on OPB (other people's boats) is a great way to apply your ASA skills and gain more experience and considerable local knowledge. It's a great apprenticeship. You may end up racing, going on weekend island trips, etc. These experiences will build the confidence you'll need to do it yourself later, and hey, friends, right?
  8. Watch your savings grow for a few months, and smile when you read the ads on Yachtworld.com (you can start playing w/ that site after you finish Vigor's book) as you realize that now your options are expanding with every new paycheck.
  9. Learn which marinas in your area allow live-aboards: not all marinas do, and those that do often have a waiting list, because they limit live-aboards to a small percentage of their total number of slips. Know how much it will cost to keep a boat there, with and without the additional live-aboard fee (surprise!). Until you secure a live-aboard slip, you're only sleeping on the boat a couple of nights a week, and living in the van the rest of the time. If you're caught as a "sneak-aboard," you could be ejected from the marina.
  10. Now you know enough to begin looking for a weekender (24- to 27-footer with simple systems) that you can own, live on and learn on. (That Catalina 27 is still a great bet).
  11. Don't make a commitment to a seller until you have arranged for a place to keep the boat. If the boat comes with a transferable slip (means you get to keep the boat in the marina it's in already) that you can afford and which allows live-aboards, great.
  12. Get some of those sailing friends you've made to help you move the boat to its new home. It's always good to have a crewman or two to help with dock lines, piloting (they have local knowledge), soft docking, etc. Keep in touch with them for when it's time to do anything, from repair to daysailing. They love to help others in the lifestyle.
Now you're on your own small sailboat and can focus on making her seaworthy and a comfortable home, and what your "get away" impulse is really saying about modern western civilization, yourself, or your relation to it. Leaving the U.S. and making a living somewhere else is a challenge that requires a separate plan.

Good luck, and stay connected here.
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Old 13-07-2018, 02:14   #35
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

Great advice Starbuck
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Old 13-07-2018, 03:13   #36
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

Lauren, you might find this useful:

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Old 13-07-2018, 04:53   #37
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

First off let me say that having dreams is wonderful. Having dreams fail is very painful.
Lets just say for a moment that you can buy a liveaboard boat for $3,000. What are you going to get for that money. A 30 - 40 year old boat that has been neglected by the previous owners in the worst way and is at the end of its useful lifespan. Do we really think the sails, equipment, and systems are going to be in useable condition. No.. I just sold a boat that I bought after hurricane Irma for $2,000, a 35 Pearson that had minimal damage and the previous owner had spent a lot of money and time on the boat before I got it. A nice little boat. I fixed some things and sold it for $12,000. The new owner spent two weeks in my marina getting the boat seaworthy and making the basics work in order to leave and sail from St Maarten to St Croix where he was leaving the boat. He was the cheapest guy I had ever met, and he knew boats and how to fix things without hiring anyone. He spent about $4,000 and bought used sails and the cheapest components possible. The electrical system worked, the toilet flushed and he had refrigeration. THE BASICS and he was in the boat $16,000.
The person who started this post is talking about living on this boat, where? Not in any marina I can think of in the world. That costs lots of money.
What we are really talking about here is camping in a smelly old, cramped cave with nothing that works and a constant stream of bills and problems that can be seriously depressing if you do not have the money to fix anything. That does not sound like living the dream to me
I see all these people on here giving all this encouraging advise when really we should be telling the truth about the hardships and aggravation of owning a boat so the Op gets a realistic idea about their unrealistic dream. Then MAYBE they can make plans that have some chance of becoming reality. I think some of us on here like to speak just to make ourselves seem smarter than we are, and to hear the sound of our own voices. Me I am not that smart and I know it, and I like to listen way more than I need to speak.
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Old 13-07-2018, 04:59   #38
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbuck View Post
Leaving the U.S. and making a living somewhere else is a challenge that requires a separate plan.
If you're going to learn a skill and mostly do business with other cruisers, that's one thing that you can often do without a great deal of trouble.

However when it comes to seeking employment in other countries, they are often quite protective when it comes to favoring their own nationals for employment opportunities. The better the job, the more protective they become...so it may not be a simple matter to get a job or work permit somewhere else.
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Old 13-07-2018, 05:40   #39
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

Teaching English being an exception.

But doesn't earn boat money in third world places pleasant to live, just enough to get by living as the locals do.
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Old 13-07-2018, 05:56   #40
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

A round of applause for Starbuck, Please :-)!

I have rarely seen a more succinct and unassailable "12 step programme" for running away to sea


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Old 13-07-2018, 06:27   #41
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

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Originally Posted by rourkeh View Post
First off let me say that having dreams is wonderful. Having dreams fail is very painful.
Lets just say for a moment that you can buy a liveaboard boat for $3,000. What are you going to get for that money. A 30 - 40 year old boat that has been neglected by the previous owners in the worst way and is at the end of its useful lifespan. Do we really think the sails, equipment, and systems are going to be in useable condition. No.. I just sold a boat that I bought after hurricane Irma for $2,000, a 35 Pearson that had minimal damage and the previous owner had spent a lot of money and time on the boat before I got it. A nice little boat. I fixed some things and sold it for $12,000. The new owner spent two weeks in my marina getting the boat seaworthy and making the basics work in order to leave and sail from St Maarten to St Croix where he was leaving the boat. He was the cheapest guy I had ever met, and he knew boats and how to fix things without hiring anyone. He spent about $4,000 and bought used sails and the cheapest components possible. The electrical system worked, the toilet flushed and he had refrigeration. THE BASICS and he was in the boat $16,000.
The person who started this post is talking about living on this boat, where? Not in any marina I can think of in the world. That costs lots of money.
What we are really talking about here is camping in a smelly old, cramped cave with nothing that works and a constant stream of bills and problems that can be seriously depressing if you do not have the money to fix anything. That does not sound like living the dream to me
I see all these people on here giving all this encouraging advise when really we should be telling the truth about the hardships and aggravation of owning a boat so the Op gets a realistic idea about their unrealistic dream. Then MAYBE they can make plans that have some chance of becoming reality. I think some of us on here like to speak just to make ourselves seem smarter than we are, and to hear the sound of our own voices. Me I am not that smart and I know it, and I like to listen way more than I need to speak.
Very good post. Reality based.
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Old 13-07-2018, 06:34   #42
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

I wouldn't say "unassailable". There is a lot of luck built into that plan.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
A round of applause for Starbuck, Please :-)!

I have rarely seen a more succinct and unassailable "12 step programme" for running away to sea


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Old 13-07-2018, 07:16   #43
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

It's entirely possible. Keep in mind that the majority opines from a perspective analogous to those who " camp " in a giant RV with all the bells and whistles, vs those go with a trusty old van and a camp stove...one costs heaps and one costs very little. Cruising is the same. If you are the latter type:

Get a solid, old small boat and focus on the basics. Hull, rig/sails, engine, ground takle. You'll need help from someone knowledgeable. Live on that and learn to run and maintain it back to front locally. Work boat jobs to gain knowledge and skills and slowly add what you need to broaden your horizon. Don't rush as safety is paramount with boats - the sea can be wonderful, but it can also be horrible out there. Preparation of both boat and crew are key.

No disrespect and to each his/her own, but the types that need to spend thousands on a dinghy alone are not going to help you along this path.

Incidentally, there are lots of good boats and places to cut your teeth in California, and work on boats. Eventually you can cruise S-mainland Mex is dirt cheap with beautiful anchorages, and there is work to be found.
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Old 16-07-2018, 08:51   #44
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

Captmikem
I like the idea of finding work as a deckhand on another boat. Certainly something Iíd be happier doing than anything on shore. I was already considering offering my own skills to the marina in the way of some maintenance if they wanted or actually applying for a position if there was one open. Sounds like there are other types of jobs that I don't know about yet and therefore haven't considered. Thank you M

Sailjumanji
Unfortunately, the jobs Iíve experience with on shore do not offer me the option to make money fast enough. To get to $10k, would take me a year or more while trying to maintain my life on land. I donít have that time.

To clarify, I do not expect everything to work, in fact i'm specifically looking more closely at boats that have engine problems because of my past experience. Engine problems seem to drop the price of a boat drastically while the other systems have a better chance to be in good working order. I DO intend to have to repair some of it. Basically i don't want to put a mast on it and i don't want to patch a hull. More than that i'll fix with ease, up to and including replacing the inboard powerplant. Plus, I don't believe in luck, only my skills and ability to solve problems.

Boatpoker
Thank you so much, thatís a huge boost to my confidence! As for the mechanics, im already in the process, engines i have down no problem, 12v electrical was my specialty when i worked at a big rig repair shop, and most of what i don't really know yet is specifically boat related: fiberglass repair/maintenance, rigging, sail maintenance, etc. Thank you again, and i will be adding that to my reading list as well!

OldManMirage
I actually already saw two of those three! I have the whole east coast of craigslist sending me alerts when anything matching my search for ďsail boatĒ comes up lol.

Adelie
I agree, I've bought all my cars for under $1k, so there's no reason I cant buy a boat for less than $5k. Your signature made me laugh by the way =).

John61ct
Blue water is NOT in my immediate plans really. I just want a boat blue-water-capable, so when I have confidence enough in my skills to do it, I donít need to search for a different boat. My ďdecent incomeĒ pays for fuel, water, food, and maintenance. I'm a simple girl and dont need many luxuries. I can live quite comfortably on $12/hr or even less probably. Again teaching anything, english or otherwise, is not something i had considered, but in the event i would get stuck somewhere, might be enough to earn money for the part that i need or whatever it may be.


GrowleyMonster
That's exactly how i was already looking at it. While i repair the engine or replace the rigging in the slip, i still have a place to live that's not costing me money IN ADDITION to my boat/slip.

Starbuck,
I'm a little confused as to how living in the van in a parking lot is any different than living on a boat at anchorage that can't quite sail far and away yet. Not that it's not also something Iíve considered, I just donít think that particular expenditure of money is a step i need to take. I want to take steps A, B, and C, not steps A, 1, 2, B, and C. If i was on the boat, I would also negate the need to get a gym membership just for head access. As for the practicalities of van living, Iím a leg up. I go on week long motorcycle trips with only the pack on my back. Frankly, if i buy a thousand dollar tub that I will never sail but has the potential to, depending on how much work i put into it, Iím still better off than if i had bought yet another land vehicle. Other than that, a lot of those things i had been considering and some i hadn't so i'll have to work them into my plans as well.
Marina costs are comparatively half of what i'm used to paying for rent, at least the ones i've looked at so far.

Rourkeh
ď...camping in a smelly old, cramped cave with nothing that works and a constant stream of bills and problems that can be seriously depressing if you do not have the money to fix anything.Ē
At least this smelly, old, cramped cave floats. This is essentially identical to my living situation as it is, the main difference being Iím closer to my goal on the floating cave. I have more incentive to keep this one in better shape than my house because it'll stay with me for a long time. I hated my house and everything about it.

Cloroxbottle
I could imagine my medical training and mechanical know-how would come in handy in dealing with other cruisers and even in other countries, but hopefully by the time i'm there i have my business operating and don't really need to rely on those skills

Thank you, Caddy Shack, for putting into words what I had begun to suspect. Really what i'm most concerned about is whether it'll float and whether i can have sails on it right away. If i have to buy some used sails or even MAKE them, ill find a way to do it for cheaper than buying new. One of my hobbies is Historical European Martial Arts, which can be an EXTREMELY expensive hobby. The most important piece of equipment you can buy is gloves which start at $150. A GOOD sword, goes for over a grand. So i made my own sword for $20. Held up to everything the regenyeis did. My point is that everyone thinks money is some kind of magic, but it's not, knowledge is and it is THAT which i am after. With the right knowledge you can do anything.
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Old 16-07-2018, 09:53   #45
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Re: Making Plans to Live Aboard a Sailboat

Good luck to you, Lauren.
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