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Old 25-01-2019, 11:59   #31
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

If I duplicate others I apologize. After reading the first few I gave up. Seems to me that you are interested in housing not sailing. Large sailboats are still sail boats and living aboard is more like camping than you realize. Limited storage and tight quarters are not comparable to a 2 bedroom apartment much less a house.
On the other hand, if sailing is your interest, your specs are far beyond experienced couples. Starting large will still not duplicate a house, will incur high slip rentals and will present sailing issues even for an expert couple. Have I forgotten to mention that new or used, boat maintenance costs dwarf house costs? Well they do and the bigger the boat, the greater the costs!
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Old 25-01-2019, 12:46   #32
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

Originally Posted by heron237 View Post
take some sailing lessons and call me in two years, your father
WTF ??? Youíve got some kind of attitude.
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Old 25-01-2019, 13:13   #33
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

Originally Posted by RSH View Post
I would add Jacksonville to your list if you're looking to be close to a good sized city. It has a decent airport and a football team (if that sort of thing interests you). St. Augustine (about an hour south) is just a HUGE amount of fun, in addition.

agree .. lots of good folks in Jax and a few nice marinas as well. we lived aboard there a few years back and enjoyed it a lot. you won't get the nice clear water of South Florida but then again you won't get the insanity either
some of the best times of my life were spent on a boat. it just took a long time to realize it

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Old 25-01-2019, 13:17   #34
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

Great dream!

Jenn and I had a similar dream on a much smaller scale (no kids, so we could get a much smaller boat. We live aboard our 31-footer for 4 months each summer.

On slip fees: why a slip? We rent a mooring in Northeast Harbor, ME for a fraction of what the slip fee would be. We have onboard solar to run the fridge. A larger boat could probably run AC and hot water and electrical appliances also with larger solar panels. We have about a 5 minute dinghy ride to the marina dock. A faster dinghy would do it in 2 minutes. Life on the mooring is also quieter than in the slips, and, on one-boat ball moorings, the boat points into the wind in storms rather than banging around the slip in bad weather surrounding by the noisy docklines/fenders of the neighboring boats. We enjoy the privacy, the 360 degree water views, the closeness to harbor wildlife (seals, eagles, ospreys, loons) and better views of the sunsets than in the slips.

On the commuting costs: When we were working back in 2012, Jenn and I commuted in different directions and needed two good cars. When we figured commuting mileage costs, we used the IRS figure of 50-something cents a mile, which includes purchase, depreciation, maintenance and insurance in addition to gas. We commuted a total of 120 miles each day and the annual costs were sobering. It sounds like your mileage is a lot higher if you're using $900 in gas only so your total car costs are much higher than ours.

Good luck with the dream and selecting just the right boat. Maybe also consider well-built custom yachts. We have friends in Canada who very patiently searched and found a wonderful boat, a 55-foot Bill Garden designed schooner. The boat was only about 5 years old and had never been sailed (the owner's health failed shortly after completion). The owner was a master wood-worker and the interior is gorgeous. The boat was also designed for single-handling so it is very easy to manage. The kicker is that they were patient and got the boat for a small fraction of the building costs, a real find.
Jenn & Terry
North Conway, New Hampshire
Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
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Old 25-01-2019, 13:40   #35
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

Adding a few items to consider (apologize if I'm duplicating):

-Life on a dock can be like living in a fishbowl.
-Sounds like you'll be quite connected to the dock with power cords, water hoses, fenders, lines.... Be prepared to spend the time needed to safely disengage everything.... And then connect it all back up when returning from your weekend sail... Especially if weather turns bad and you're doing this in the dark, wind, and rain.
-Speaking of which, are you and the "admiral"... with just the two of you and a very large to safely get off the dock and then return to the dock in any kind of weather without additional help?
-When researching marinas make sure, if there are bridges you need to pass under to get to said marina, that your mast (given the size of your boat) will clear any fixed bridges. That also goes for any traveling on the intracoastal. I know you said you don't like the intracoastal, but at times, with weather changes, one needs to come in for safety reasons. Mast height limits travel on the intracoastal. Just be aware of that.
-Pumpouts for your three toilets while tied to the dock??
-You're planning on living on the boat and working, what are your hurricane plans for keeping your boat safe if you need to pull and/or move your boat.

Just a few more things to consider. Good luck and keep dreaming!!!
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Old 25-01-2019, 14:11   #36
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

Every boat is a compromise.

Also, you seem don't choose the boat, the boat chooses you!

Your list of requirements is excellent. Now put it aside, and go view some actual real boats for sale in your area, in your price range.

You can have a great life and great adventures on any boat. The folks on Project Atticus are truly inspiring on their tiny boat (Seawind 30)( They seem to have just as much fun and adventure as the lovely couple on Cloudy Bay (HR 54) (

And try to remember, no boat is forever. Get what you need right now. Who knows what you'll want/need in the future. Too much of a good thing can easily spoil the fun.
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Old 25-01-2019, 14:53   #37
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

Originally Posted by Bill whitmore View Post
You are where I was many years ago. try:
Great vessel. Might buy a lottery ticket !!!
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Old 25-01-2019, 15:36   #38
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

Originally Posted by phsylent View Post

Currently our spec is as follows:

Maneuverability: Has or can have thrusters fitted or is a catamaran.
Tacking angle: 100 degrees TWA
max speed: min 10kn through the water in 20kn TWS
light wind speed: min 50% TWS
Accommodations: At least 4 cabins and 3 heads. Galley conducive to a dishwasher. Misc space for things like washer/dryers. (we want to start a family so space isn't particularly negotiable) A super stretch goal would be a tub in the master head but that's more a fantasy than a requirement
Dimensions: Sufficient to achieve the above goals but we're not in love with specific numbers.
ICW compliance: Dislike cruising the ICW so its a nice to have but not a make or break.
Draft: Less is best but its lower priority for us.
Price: we'd prefer to spend as few hundreds of thousands USD as possible but we're in a position to pay good money for a good vessel.
The subset above will be much better served by an older motorboat around 60 ft that will be a great live aboard, with all the amenities and capable of some decent passage making. If you miss sailing, you can try to have a Laser or a similar dinghy as tender.

Seriously, consider a powerboat (yacht) as well. Any sailboat will feel like camping due to some inherent limitations of the hull shape, climbing up and down the cockpit stairs and the cabin size. In a larger sailboat (or cat) you can fit more people but it is still camping. To get the apartment feeling, you need the large squarish rooms that you get on a yacht.
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Old 25-01-2019, 22:14   #39
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

If you are going to live aboard permanently, I would go for an multihull. It will travel into shallower areas to allow you to hide from storms, put you closer to shore in the lee of islands out of the swell, can be beached as required if suitable beaches are to be found, will get you from point a to point b more swiftly and without so much heeling, will not need to be slipped for a scrub and antifoul, and if you DO manage to ground it, it will not tip over and lie down, then fill on the next rising tide.

Mind you--I only lived aboard for a few years. Others who have never done so may offer you different advice. If passage making with only two aboard is your thing--then do not buy too large a vessel. A forty foot cat is a small floating apartment, not a mansion. It is far more affordable to buy and maintain. A forty foot monohull draws twice as much water, weights about twice as much, burns about twice as much diesel when the wind she no blow--and has to be slipped unless it is a bilge keeler. One can clean any hull using a hookah, but antifouling needs a dry hull.

Really large cats are available with all sorts of options, usually they have been professionally chartered, and they have been used a LOT. Expect to renew almost everything aboard. There is a sixty foot aluminium one in Queensland at the moment that I do not think has been completed--the guy wants about $280K Aus for it--maybe a little negotiable--and you can get it fitted out as you require.

It sounds as though you intend to charter this vessel or take passengers--or have a large family.

If chartering, a whole new situation emerges in regards to surveys and matsr's qualifications once the words "Hire" and "Reward" get into the mix.
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Old 26-01-2019, 08:27   #40
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

We are in the Houston area and although the water is no where close to the beautiful water of Florida, it looks more like chocolate milk, there are several nice marinas that allow live aboards. We have our boat at Waterford Harbor. There are many cats docked and they don’t charge extra for cats since they are all on the end T heads. It’s a 30 min drive to the Medical Center or Downtown depending on your profession. There are a number of live aboards that make the commute. Houston has a great economy and low cost of living. No state income tax either and you won’t be charged personal tax or use tax on the boat each year.

Waterford Harbor Marina - Kemah, Texas
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Old 26-01-2019, 09:15   #41
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

Just a thought on 'big boats'. My experience is that the bigger the boat the more comfortable it is both in habour and underway but the less fun it is to sail. The problem is that bigger boats tend to need more power and therefore higher winds to drive them. Once you get to about 60ft you will theoretically have a top speed of 10kn+ but if there is enough wind to achieve it then it is not the sort of day you want be out sailing in! (most cruising boats make about 50% of wind speed as a max in anything other than ideal conditions)

Obviously a lot depends on design but I would say you should try comparing the experience you get in something mid 40's compared to mid 50's before deciding. If you really do need a 4 bed apartment may even be worth looking at a large trawler yacht plus a small 'weekender' as a sailboat for fun
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:32   #42
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

I work at an Ivy League university, and I'm very happily spending my first winter on a 33' power-boat in a New England marina. The cost of the 1970s era Egg Harbor (<$10,000) plus marina fees will still be less than an apartment would cost in our city. Next year, I will only have marina fees and boat maintenance.

A friend who has lived on both sail and power boats convinced me that the latter was preferable for live-aboard. I have huge windows and great light rather than having to walk down into a more confined and less light-filled space.

For a single person (with cats), this type and size boat is ideal.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:02   #43
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

I only glanced over many of the comments, but I can say this, you will not find many/any liveaboard marinas in Tampa. You might be able to get on a waiting list in St Petersburg Municipal, the Harborage Marina, Blind Pass Marina or farther south at Regatta Point or the Twin Dolphin. Your rush hour commute to Tampa would be horrendous..........
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:09   #44
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

Couldnít agree more. Any boat is a compromise and you want a racing live aboard 60-70í cruiser with a price tag of less than $1.5M (used)? And... still save money vs living ashore?... Let me know when you get one

My compromise was two boats: A Farr 40í racer - yeah, with 8-12 crew on board she can do 10 plus at ideal conditions (so in your case, hurry up with having kids ASAP. Youíll need many of them on board but youíll need to wait 20 or so years or adopt a set of siblings...

And for me, added a 44í CC Cruiser with all the condo luxury and a decent speed at very convenient style. Can cruise to warmer areas when the Northeast turned into a deep freezer for 4-5 months a year. And can carry enough telecommunications systems to allow me keep working and pay my fleet bills...

Would that cost monthly less than my Boston waterfront (on land) condo? - no way! But Iím happy with the options I have created. And the real freedom and happyness is the ability to choose the best options possible. It also help having my kids, friends and family with me on board - another endless source of fun!

Bottom line: be realistic. Iím all for living on board although I canít do it for more than 2-3 months a year. I would recommend getting Oyster 53, Island Packet 54++, Hallberg Rassy 53, Amel 55 and alike. Maybe Beneteau 55-57, Moody 52-56 DS would work as well. I think these can give you a reasonable balance between great on board living, manageable size and good sailing performance.

For your list, the minimum budget for purchasing and refitting should be $300-400K for a 10-15 years old or $500-800K for 5-10 years old.

Good luck!

QUOTE=alctel;2810009]Well it's good you have a wishlist of stuff rather than being 'I want a 50 foot boat!'

However I dunno what you'll find that does 10kn through the water with 20kn TWS, has a tacking angle of less than 100 degrees, and has light wind performance of half of TWS on all points of sail while having 4 cabins and 3 heads - the problem being the boats that have that many cabins/heads are often designed for charter, and therefore ain't always designed for sailing particularly well, especially in light wind conditions.

Edit: and as a racer, I think you'd find most of the boats that meet those space requirements unacceptably sluggish until you start getting into the huge, megabucks boat range.

Basically, you'll have to comprise on one or the other (if not both)[/QUOTE]
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:13   #45
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

I had a Halberg-Rassy and can recommend any size you can afford. Comfortable and capable of sailing anywhere you are brave enough to sail.
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