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Old 24-07-2014, 02:32   #1
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pirate Young Professional Liveaboards near Houston, TX


I hope someone hasn't already posted something like this before, but I haven't been able to find any similar topics in my searches.

I am practically totally ignorant to the boating world, and have only limited knowledge on the subject with what I have found in my extensive google searches (but both my parents were in the Navy, so that has to count for something right? ). I am totally mesmerized with the idea of being a liveaboard! I am almost done with school and my goal is to move to Texas when I have completed my degree. If I prove pleasing to the gods and am looked on with good fortune, I may be able to work almost anywhere and would love to live on the water if it was a viable option. I will be in my mid-twenties when I graduate and want to move somewhere where I can make friends/snatch a trophy husband with other young-professionals. My big question is: is there a sizable young-professional community around the clear lake/Kemah/Houston-adjacent areas, or are the boaters here mostly wealthy retirees and/or families? I plan to visit the area when I get a little closer to graduation, but would LOVE any input about areas on the coast (nearish to Houston) where there may be a sizable young-professional community.

I would like to spend as little $ as possible to buy a fixer-upper boat (one that floats would be great...) and restore it as I go. I have seen a few 26-30 footers for sale near Kemah, TX on craigslist for about $6,000-$9,000. Since I have to work on shore with other landlubbers, being able to sail is not necessary right away. I want to be able to go on sailing adventures eventually, but this boat will primarily be my and my dog's residence. If you have any good literature to refer me to about ... sailboats... that would be great!

I am a little worried about my dog living aboard the boat. He is very small (albeit slightly obese at the moment...) at about 30 pounds (his healthy weight is about 25, so he really is small), and ridiculously lazy. He lounges anywhere and everywhere at home, so lounging on a boat is probably pretty similar to lounging around on land (yes we go on daily walks to get back into our fighting weight...). Basically my greatest fear is that I will leave him on the boat for a couple of hours and a freak flash-hurricane/tsunami/Poseidon rises from the sea and engulfs him and the boat, and he is lost to the sea forever, and then I have to throw myself on a fire to be reunited with him in the afterlife. Obviously I would never leave my dog alone without climate control, food, water, his squishy cushion, the radio or TV on to keep him company, his toys, first aid, rescue flare, etc. but what have your experiences been like leaving a dog alone onboard. OBviously I don't plan on neglecting him and leaving him there alone for countless hours, but... getting down to brass tacks I cannot take him Everywhere I go (but he his polite and hypoallergenic so I don't see why not), and he will inevitably have to be left alone sometimes. What do you do to comfort your dog when he/she's left alone?

Also, my favorite food is crab. I am going to take full advantage of this opportunity and eat it: E.V.E.R.Y. D.A.Y. I don't know if this one leaves a lot of opportunity for you to give me advice (but you know I would appreciate it!) or if I am just gloating!

Thank you so much for your help!!!
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Old 24-07-2014, 03:14   #2
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Re: Young Professional Liveaboards near Houston, TX

Welcome to CF.......Why don' you get another dog to keep your first one company?
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Old 24-07-2014, 03:33   #3
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Re: Young Professional Liveaboards near Houston, TX

I would love another dog! But do you think 30 feet is too cramped for 2 little dogs? I legitimately have no idea. Thanks for responding! And I think I accidentally PM'd you this message, sorry! I don't know how to navigate this spaceship yet!
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Old 24-07-2014, 04:01   #4
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Re: Young Professional Liveaboards near Houston, TX

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, jlrowell.
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Old 24-07-2014, 04:11   #5
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Re: Young Professional Liveaboards near Houston, TX

Define young? Clear lake area is a mixed bag of sailors- plenty of older retired folks (they have the discretionary funds for those big new shiny boats), lot's of young families and yes, there are younger folks as well although they tend to be in the minority.

The marina you choose to berth in will have a lot to do with the age range of others. I have to say though that choosing to develop friendships with sailors based solely on age is going to limit your possible friendships. I have found plenty of older sailors to be "young at heart" and to be just as much fun as those closer to my age. To be sure, we have met some cranky old farts but we have met some cranky YOUNG ones too. For the most part, the older sailors are adventurous, fun loving, active and fit so I would not rule out a friendship with someone based on age alone. Sailing tends to attract some real characters and to dismiss someone based on age alone would be your loss.

The only time I have chosen my friends based on age was when I was in school.

Clear Lake is a great area and there is a wide variety of marinas with different "personalities" for you to choose from. The nice thing about living on boat is if you don't like the neighbors, its pretty easy to move the house!
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Old 24-07-2014, 13:41   #6
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Re: Young Professional Liveaboards near Houston, TX

I am so sorry! I didn't mean to offend anyone with respect the age thing. Of course there are wonderful people everywhere of all different kinds of ages! And I certainly have friends who are not in a similar age group. I live in the suburbs now where 80% of homes are filled with families. My neighbors are wonderful people with beautiful families, but sometimes it's hard to find other people who want to be adventurous and fun. And you're certainly right that being adventurous and fun are not characteristics that pertain only to the young! I only said what I said because my family and I lived in Laughlin, NV when I was in high school and many couples there were wealthy and retired, living in suburbs, and did not appreciate us kids (maybe for good reason ) and I guess I'm wondering if some marinas may be similar with wealthy, no-nonsense attitude, yacht owners who may not appreciate my presence.... I feel like I'm rambling, but I certainly appreciate all people. I just don't want to move somewhere I might not fit in, but it sounds like that will probably not be the case!
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Old 24-07-2014, 14:14   #7
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Re: Young Professional Liveaboards near Houston, TX

Kemah is a really nice area, and was our home port for 4 years before we went cruising.

We were in a slip at Watergate Marina. We enjoyed it there and made many good friends. However, once we sold our home and moved aboard, we were no longer welcome there, despite being in good standing with the marina after paying slip fees on time for 4 years. The problem - the marina implemented a rule that liveaboards are only allowed on boats of at least 40' length. We are 36'.

Different marinas have different rules, so you will need to do some research. Also, they may not be receptive to an old fixer-upper. Doing work on the boat that requires making noise, and making a mess (like sanding fiberglass) could cause problems with management and with your new neighbors.

Just some things to think about....

Best wishes with your plans,

New home | sailing away with R & B
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Old 31-07-2014, 11:17   #8
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Re: Young Professional Liveaboards near Houston, TX

hey there, i just wanted to say how much i enjoyed reading your post. i am doing the exact same thing as you. only, my boat isnt quite ready and my dog doesnt like swimming yet i was born in texas and have been stuck in florida pretty much my whole life and cant wait to go explore my home state. i was just curious as to how old you are? and to tell you a morgan 41' stern cockpit is the way to go
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Old 31-07-2014, 12:47   #9
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Re: Young Professional Liveaboards near Houston, TX

Nice post! You certainly can write an entertaining yarn.

For background, we (my Bride and I) are in our late 30s and live aboard full time in the Boston area. We have an Aussie cattle dog mix that weighs around 35 pounds that lives with us. She loves the boat much more than she liked our house when we used to own one.

We did a post on our blog about sailing with dogs that might have some useful info for you. There is also this post on the Monkey's Fist that has some information.

On buying a cheap boat, go onto Amazon and order Buy, Outfit, and Sail by Cap'n Fatty Goodlander right now! Best book to prepare you to buy a cheap boat and fix it up along the way. There are other books that you will likely acquire along the way but this is the only one that focuses on cheap, fixer-upper boats.

As far as picking marinas, look for a cheaper one. That's where you will find younger people generally. But you will be in the minority on the dock. Not that it matters. You will find there is much more mixing of age groups among boaters than in most aspects of life. You might also find that more younger boaters are on power boats than sailboats. Again, not a big deal. We have friends with both. It's nice to be able to jump on a power boat with a group of 12-15 people and fly over to an on the water restaurant/bar for a night out sometimes. We also raft up (tie multiple boats together in a quiet anchorage so you can walk from boat to boat, swim off the back of the boats and hang out) in large groups of 4 to 20 boats that will be a mix of young and old, sail and power. It doesn't matter. You are all on the water having a good time together. Besides, some of our older friends actually party harder than the younger ones.

As far as the boat, I would look at something between 27-30 feet. That's a good size to single hand and live on. Get a decent used dinghy or kayak for taking the pouch to shore.

Good luck and fair winds,


Oh, check out these girls. They might set a good example for you.
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Old 04-08-2014, 18:06   #10
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Re: Young Professional Liveaboards near Houston, TX

I tried posting something here this morning, but I guess it didn't go through. I'm 29 and live about a 1.5 hrs from Kemah. I spent my childhood summers around Kemah and Galveston, with fond memories. I hadn't been back to the area in quite sometime until about two years ago. I bought some corals from a guy down there (I'm a reef addict), and I was really surprised at how clean and new the Clear Lake/Friendswood area has become. It used to be kinda shady. I don't think you'll have any problems as a young professional. Lots of things to do.

What kind of work will you be doing?
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:30   #11
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Re: Young Professional Liveaboards near Houston, TX

Welcome aboard this forum. I enjoyed reading your post (good writing and humor).

To me, the most important issue is the ability to find a marina that will allow liveaboards. From what I have read here, some will not allow any, some will allow only those that appear profitable (big boats) and there are costs that may be low or high.

I wish you the best of luck. Your attitude sounds great and that is probably the key to your success!
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Old 22-08-2014, 17:19   #12
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Re: Young Professional Liveaboards near Houston, TX

Jlrowell, are you in the area now? We live in Kemah and are in the boating business. I would define us as "young professionals": we are both (almost in my case) 30 and are small business owners.

If be interested to hear what you've been looking at.

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