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Old 17-06-2018, 10:54   #1
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My first year as a liveaboard

I moved on to my (previous) boat at the beginning of last June. I had just sold my apartment, and that in itself was a huge relief. Friends, colleagues and family were all asking what I was going to do. Not being one that is prone to a fanfare, I just said that I was moving on to the boat full time "for a bit", and that I would evaluate things from there. That way, if it did all turn out to be a disaster, I could bail out without an inquest.

So....

It hasn't been a disaster; far from it in fact. I upgraded to a different boat after a few months. That hadn't been planned in the short term, but the model of boat I had been looking at came up fairly locally (i.e. 100 NM away) and at the right sort of money, so after umming and ahhing for a few days, I decided that another might not come along so nearby for a while, and a deal was struck. Whilst only being 2 feet longer than the boat it replaced, it is far better suited as a liveaboard. I am very much in the camp of 'keep it simple'. and didn't want to go overly large in order to keep the marina costs down and the maintenance too.

The replacement boat has full standing headroom, good beam (8 feet), the galley is outwith the living area and has adequate ventilation and I have the forward vee berth as a separate sleeping area. Since I cruise in waters that tend to be rather rainy, and as the boat is in the water all year round, she handily has a small wheelhouse with inside helm position and an area that nav equipment can stay dry. The compromise is in the sailing. She doesn't point particularly high, being long, shallow keeled and with a fairly outboard genoa sheeting position, but she does well on all other points of sail, and I passage plan at 5 knots usually.

I still work, and commute Monday to Friday to my job, and it looks realistically like I will need to do that for another couple of years until the sprog finishes Uni. Then, the plan is to cast off the lines from the marina during the summer months and go cruising, returning for the winter to hunker down a bit and find some paying work to keep the kitty topped up.

No plans at all at this stage to return to land dwelling. In fact, last month I was doing some work in a rental that I own and stayed there for a couple of weeks, and it didn't feel at all 'right'. It was great to get back to the boat...

So for anyone who is thinking of doing something similar, I can attest to having 90% of a positive experience so far. The 10% is knocked off for the week of around 18 inches of snow on the pontoons, which to be fair, was a bit of a PITA to deal with. That's an unusual occurrence mind you.

You will need to be thoroughly OK with life in a very small space. Maybe set up camp in small bedroom for a couple of weeks as your total living space first, to see if you can hack it!

Peace.
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Old 17-06-2018, 11:10   #2
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Re: My first year as a liveaboard

We just passed our first year as well, and while it wasnít all it was supposed to be, maybe this year it will be.
We had a family emergency that killed the cruising for awhile.
I canít imagine so cold that it snows, you need to move where itís more warm
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Old 17-06-2018, 11:28   #3
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Re: My first year as a liveaboard

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I canít imagine so cold that it snows, you need to move where itís more warm

Yup, some of us do it bassackwards.


Here's my lovely's first sight of snow in 2016!!!
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Old 17-06-2018, 12:20   #4
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My first year as a liveaboard

We stayed way too late last year in Brunswick, Wife wanted to not leave until after Christmas.
We wonít do that this year.Click image for larger version

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Old 18-06-2018, 01:26   #5
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Re: My first year as a liveaboard

I am on my way north to warmer climes and because I left my summer cruising grounds a bit late this year it has been getting down into the sixties and I'm not enjoying it at all (the deep north is the tropical part of Australia) Can't imagine having to live aboard in a place where one needs to sweep the snow off the deck, probably still better than living ashore though.
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Old 18-06-2018, 04:37   #6
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Re: My first year as a liveaboard

Space requirements are so personalized. All my life, no matter whether I lived in efficiency apartments or five bedroom homes, I always "lived out of my bedroom," using it as an office, dining room, TV room, etc. Of course, the women in my life had problems with that but it made the transition to onboard living seamless. Ask me where my chart table is.
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Old 18-06-2018, 09:38   #7
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Re: My first year as a liveaboard

Please don't, tell anyone how nice it is, its our secret. Lol, good for you, enjoy and have fun.

Pop's
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Old 18-06-2018, 10:10   #8
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Re: My first year as a liveaboard

We lived aboard part time all year round for a couple of years before retiring.
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Old 18-06-2018, 12:38   #9
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Re: My first year as a liveaboard

In my second year of liveaboard. A Hatteras 53' cruiser diesel. Fuel expensive but the space is unreal. Chesapeake, Philadelphia, up to Mass in the summer. Head to NC, SC, Georgia, Florida in the Winter.

It's just me. Thought it would be too big but the extra space is great. Have the space for multiple guests and others.

I am thinking of experimenting with a small sail to see if I can get a couple of knots more in ideal conditions.

Anybody ever done something like this on a cruiser ?

Thanks
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Old 18-06-2018, 17:12   #10
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Re: My first year as a liveaboard

Congrats for taking the plunge!
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Old 21-06-2018, 09:46   #11
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Re: My first year as a liveaboard

Steve spring, what does the phrase ‘sprog finishes Uni’ mean? I am unfamiliar with this phrase.

You mentioned snow on the pontoons...are you speaking of the dock? Are you harbored in the Pacific Northwest or upper New England?

Congratulations on your new living arrangements...you never mention how much it is costing you a month....
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Old 21-06-2018, 09:59   #12
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Re: My first year as a liveaboard

alansmith:

"sprog" = child/children
"uni" = university

This is British usage.

It would be helpful if the OP included more data in his information pane.
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Old 21-06-2018, 10:19   #13
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Re: My first year as a liveaboard

We're just getting started. Still getting house ready to sell; but FOR SALE sign should be in yard within about 60 days. Boat was purchased in January, partially refitted, brought down 70 nm to new slip closer to land digs. The rest shall unfold soon. Very exciting.
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Old 21-06-2018, 10:21   #14
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Re: My first year as a liveaboard

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Steve spring, what does the phrase Ďsprog finishes Unií mean? I am unfamiliar with this phrase.

You mentioned snow on the pontoons...are you speaking of the dock? Are you harbored in the Pacific Northwest or upper New England?

Congratulations on your new living arrangements...you never mention how much it is costing you a month....
Sorry, this is most likely just a British slang. See above post for explanation.

I am based in the west of Scotland. The climate is mild and damp generally. Snow and ice occasionally, but never usually to much depth. Wonderful cruising grounds and uncrowded (most likely due to the weather!).

As for monthly costs... this would be very much boat dependant, and whether you were on the boat all the time, or a lot of the time at work (like me).
Marina costs for me are 300 GBP per month inc. electricity.

My plan going forward would be to live on the hook in the summer months, likely going in to a marina once a fortnight, to fuel and water, and do laundry. There are winter deals on the go from October until the end of March, when most folks have their boats lifted out and the marinas want to fill the berthing space.
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