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Old 16-11-2016, 06:51   #106
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Originally Posted by BoxHome View Post
Yup, user Stu Jackson mentioned that and I've read about that in different places and Quora. I'd still prefer a smaller boat. For maintenance, for coziness, etc.

By smaller I mean around 26 feet instead of >30 feet

I wouldn't want to get a large ship just because there's a requirement in the marina. That beats my entire purpose of being compact.

Definitely need to take good care of that aspect and research well before anything.
Hi BoxHome,

Besides the issue of minimum size requirements at marinas for living aboard you will run into some practical limitations in a smaller boat, especially if you plan to cruise or anchor away from the dock for any period of time.

The biggest will be storage, not just personal items like clothing which it sounds like you have already managed but food, water, boat stores (fuel, tools, essential engine spares, etc) and waste. At a dock not so much of a problem but off the grid it can add up, not just in space but in weight which can become a problem on a smaller boat. Too much weight on a small boat, unless it is already heavy displacement and designed for the additional weight, can be a problem not just for performance but also stability, buoyancy and safety of the boat.

Some rough approximations:

Water - one gallon per person per day bare minimum for drinking and cooking. That assumes the ocean water around you is clean enough for washing.

Waste - At sea waste can go overboard but in the bay of course not so you need to install a holding tank for sewage or install a composting head. Either will use a bit of room.

Food - Figure 3-5 lbs/person/day.

Engine - Will vary a lot depending on whether you get a boat with an inboard or outboard. With an inboard, if going any further than a few miles from the dock you should carry a basic set of tools: wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, etc and spare parts: belts, filters, etc. Even if you have an outboard a basic tool set is essential. Either engine you will have to account for fuel storage.

I know you have experience living in very small places but don't forget to take into consideration that a boat has to include room for a complete life support system in addition to living space for the occupants.
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Old 16-11-2016, 07:57   #107
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I'm still trying to wrap my head around this. We get it that you can live in a small space but why the intense drive to go smaller? So far you haven't articulated why you want to go smaller other than you can.

Also, I've stayed in a pod hotel before and it would be huge compared to the cabin on typical 25-27' monohull.

More importantly, if you actually want to take the boat out and cruise, size is not only about the interior living space. A larger boat will be faster and more comfortable in rough conditions and all things being equal more seaworthy.

So to reiterate a64pilot's question: Why are you so focused on the smallest boat possible?
Go back and read his post a few back. He articulated it very well. MHO
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Old 16-11-2016, 08:14   #108
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Go back and read his post a few back. He articulated it very well. MHO
Which post are you referring to?

I re-read the last 4 pages and he says he can live in a small space but doesn't articulate why.

If it's just to prove that it can be done, good for him and I have no objection if that's the reason but without that understanding of why, it's hard to provide good feedback as he shoots down very reasonable ideas as being too large without a clear idea of what he is trying to accomplish.
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Old 16-11-2016, 09:25   #109
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Which post are you referring to?

I re-read the last 4 pages and he says he can live in a small space but doesn't articulate why.

If it's just to prove that it can be done, good for him and I have no objection if that's the reason but without that understanding of why, it's hard to provide good feedback as he shoots down very reasonable ideas as being too large without a clear idea of what he is trying to accomplish.
It was post100. Not to be a protagonist, why does a couple want 5 bedrooms?
Chalk it up to a matter of choice. Given what part of the would they would be coming from may also be a factor?
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Old 16-11-2016, 09:39   #110
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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@liveaboard60 Just to soothe your worries. We are looking to minimize expenses so we can live a clean, healthy and luxurious life in a small space.

It's just I think that to do that in a 26' boat will cost more money and not work as well or be as safe as a 30ish ft boat that already has the required systems in place.
Unless you want to live like you do living in a tent, then a 26' boat would likely work OK, maybe. But you still have the sanitation issue to deal with.
Just think about trying to safely heat a 26' boat, or have some form of head, sink to wash dishes, prepare food, cook, carry enough water to last a few days, room to mount enough Solar to get by, a battery bank large enough, the problems go on and on.
Heck you can live in a car, most that do, don't I believe do so by choice though.

I know people do live on tiny boats, had a Lady try in our Marina, lasted not long and that was in Spring when the Wx was wonderful.


4 or so more ft of boat and it all becomes do-able, in my opinion is all.
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Old 16-11-2016, 09:41   #111
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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It was post100. Not to be a protagonist, why does a couple want 5 bedrooms?
Chalk it up to a matter of choice. Given what part of the would they would be coming from may also be a factor?
Yep, I read post #100. Still don't see a reason articulated. Reading between the lines, I can make a guess that he might be trying to prove how small of a space he can live in but nothing in the post suggests a reason for refusing to live in a slightly larger space.

If it's the expenses, as has been pointed out, there isn't much difference in cost but it will make life a lot easier fitting in at a marina (assuming you can find a liveaboard slip). If the extra space is really that bad, put up a curtain and don't use half the cabin.

No idea why a couple would want 5 bedrooms but how did we jump from a 30-35' boat to a 5 bedroom house being equivalent? Even a 50' boat is smaller than most 1 bedroom apartments.
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Old 16-11-2016, 10:30   #112
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Water - one gallon per person per day bare minimum for drinking and cooking. That assumes the ocean water around you is clean enough for washing.

Waste - At sea waste can go overboard but in the bay of course not so you need to install a holding tank for sewage or install a composting head. Either will use a bit of room.

Probably two of the significant differences, compared small capsule/pod/box (whatever) homes on land... which I assume include built-in plumbing, hot and cold running water for bathing and cooking, and toilet facilities connected to a sewage system? Without walking down the hall somewhere as in an old B&B?

Many small boats haven't got much in this department. And on a boat, all of those come with additional systems (pumps, tanks, supply sources, etc.) so there's additional time, effort (travel back and forth for waste management and water supplies) and maintenance involved. Not like just turning on a faucet or flushing a toilet...

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Old 16-11-2016, 10:38   #113
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Yep, I read post #100. Still don't see a reason articulated. Reading between the lines, I can make a guess that he might be trying to prove how small of a space he can live in but nothing in the post suggests a reason for refusing to live in a slightly larger space.

If it's the expenses, as has been pointed out, there isn't much difference in cost but it will make life a lot easier fitting in at a marina (assuming you can find a liveaboard slip). If the extra space is really that bad, put up a curtain and don't use half the cabin.

No idea why a couple would want 5 bedrooms but how did we jump from a 30-35' boat to a 5 bedroom house being equivalent? Even a 50' boat is smaller than most 1 bedroom apartments.
Just a question of matter of choice. I don't want to live off the grid or in a 4000 sq. foot house. I don't think his reasons are any of our business.
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Old 16-11-2016, 10:44   #114
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Just a question of matter of choice. I don't want to live off the grid or in a 4000 sq. foot house. I don't think his reasons are any of our business.
Again, where did the 4000sft house come from? They never suggested it and no one responded that they need one.

They were the ones who asked for our advice. Hard to give good advice without knowing what they are trying to accomplish.
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Old 16-11-2016, 10:52   #115
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Yep, I read post #100. Still don't see a reason articulated. Reading between the lines, I can make a guess that he might be trying to prove how small of a space he can live in but nothing in the post suggests a reason for refusing to live in a slightly larger space.

If it's the expenses, as has been pointed out, there isn't much difference in cost but it will make life a lot easier fitting in at a marina (assuming you can find a liveaboard slip). If the extra space is really that bad, put up a curtain and don't use half the cabin.

No idea why a couple would want 5 bedrooms but how did we jump from a 30-35' boat to a 5 bedroom house being equivalent? Even a 50' boat is smaller than most 1 bedroom apartments.
I think the desire for the smallest boat possible has to do with economy more than anything. It is true that larger boats cost more to maintain than smaller boats but the extremes at both ends are unwise. I'm a fan of smaller boats, but too small creates more problems than it solves. I guess 2 people could live on & cruise a Flicka but it would be really tough to carry everything necessary for safe successful cruising. I think it might be hard for the inexperienced to realize how much one needs to carry to cruise safely. I also think it's hard for someone who has not been on a lot of boats to understand how much interior volume can differ between boats of the same length. Here's a book that I think the OP could relate to & will help with choosing his first cruising sailboat.

Sensible Cruising: The Thoreau Approach : A Philosophic and Practical Approach to Cruising by Don Casey €” Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists
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Old 16-11-2016, 11:06   #116
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Again, where did the 4000sft house come from? They never suggested it and no one responded that they need one.

They were the ones who asked for our advice. Hard to give good advice without knowing what they are trying to accomplish.
If you can't make the parallel? It is their choice. Not mine or yours.
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Old 16-11-2016, 11:51   #117
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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I think the desire for the smallest boat possible has to do with economy more than anything. It is true that larger boats cost more to maintain than smaller boats but the extremes at both ends are unwise. I'm a fan of smaller boats, but too small creates more problems than it solves. I guess 2 people could live on & cruise a Flicka but it would be really tough to carry everything necessary for safe successful cruising. I think it might be hard for the inexperienced to realize how much one needs to carry to cruise safely. I also think it's hard for someone who has not been on a lot of boats to understand how much interior volume can differ between boats of the same length. Here's a book that I think the OP could relate to & will help with choosing his first cruising sailboat.

Sensible Cruising: The Thoreau Approach : A Philosophic and Practical Approach to Cruising by Don Casey — Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists
Quite possible but haven't heard it from the OP. Reminds me of the old saying "penny wise, pound foolish".

The cost to move up to an old 30-35' sailboat (or houseboat or power cruiser) will be negligible in the big picture (a lot of marinas charge you for a minimum length even if you are shorter) but will be much more viable than a 25' sailboat if they plan to actually cruise. If they don't plan to travel, lots of cheap larger boats will stay afloat that meet the size requirements for liveaboard.

Side note: What's the going rate for a monthly marina slip in cali? I know in popular areas on the east coast, that could eat up the entire $1000/month budget. Still cheaper than a house in SanFran but not dirt cheap either (assuming they can actually get a liveaboard slip).

I'm all for the living small but there come a point of diminishing returns.
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Old 16-11-2016, 12:12   #118
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

Speaking of saving money this weeks Active Captain News Letter's deal of the week is the Weems & Plath SOS Distress Light. Great deal if you're as tired of buying flares as I am.

ActiveCaptain Product of the Week
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Old 16-11-2016, 12:46   #119
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

I have that "flare" it is nothing more than an LED flashlight and a piece of orange plastic for the day signal. I have it to satisfy a legal requirement but as an emergency signaling device in my opinion it's a joke. Keep your pyro flares, I will buy some Solas one when we leave
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Old 16-11-2016, 14:23   #120
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Side note: What's the going rate for a monthly marina slip in cali? I know in popular areas on the east coast, that could eat up the entire $1000/month budget. Still cheaper than a house in SanFran but not dirt cheap either (assuming they can actually get a liveaboard slip).
Berkeley Marina (for instance) is about $10/foot/month berth rental (plus utilities) and a $200/month liveaboard fee.
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