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Old 08-03-2021, 09:39   #1
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Bewildered newbie

Greetings! I'm very much a baby beginner in the world of boats, but I'm excited about learning.

I stumbled into this fascinating field because my family (husband, brother and myself) began recently looking seriously into what we're going to do with our lives when our kids are out of the nest, which will happen in three years or so. My husband's job is remote and therefore portable; I do work that I can find anywhere I go. So we have a pretty wide range.

We had originally intended to live full time in the Netherlands, where we have close friends. Somebody suggested we start looking at houseboats or floating homes, which are popular there, and so we did, and fell in love with the idea of living on the water. After a little while, my husband mentioned that while he's happy to spend a lot of time in the Netherlands he'd prefer to bounce around some -- a few months there, a few months in the Caribbean, a few in the northeastern United States, etc -- and so we began to consider boats that actually MOVE, so that we can take our home with us when we travel.**

We're all senior citizens or nearly so (my husband and I are in our fifties, my brother in his seventies), so we're not looking for anything too strenuous to work with. We'll stick to power boats rather than sailing vessels, I think. The two biggest challenges we face are needing a boat built for accessibility (at the moment, we can all walk; we cannot assume that will be true for the duration of our life on board) and having too many people! In addition to the three of us who will be living there, we've got three young adult children who may be visiting at any time, possibly with partners, and so we're going to need something that will fit a bunch of us in a pinch.

I would love anything you can suggest in terms of resources for learning about the liveaboard life and what I'll need to know in order to evaluate, buy, and then run/live in our boat when we get it! I'm a sponge soaking up information for the moment. We know we don't want a pure floating house; were looking at the range from houseboats to Dutch barges to the lower end motor yachts. Because of the accessibility issues, we may need to get our own built or refurbished for us from the hull up... I've never seen an accessible boat in any of those categories before.

In any case, I'm very happy to be here! I can't wait to learn from you all.

(**I'm not stupid enough to try and pilot *anything* across the Atlantic myself, even if we get one which is made for those distances; whatever we get, if we bring it back and forth with us across oceans we will either hire crew to sail it there or get it shipped if it's not made for blue water on its own. So please don't be alarmed that I talk about locations on opposite sides of an ocean in the same breath that I'm talking about being a novice and looking at houseboats and Dutch barges... I do know better to think that either of those, or I myself for that matter, have any business out in the middle of the Atlantic on our own.)
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Old 08-03-2021, 12:07   #2
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Re: Bewildered newbie

Welcome.
I think it would be best you look around directly in Holland. It has one of the most bustling used boat markets in Europe. Just walk the docks on sunny afternoons, speak to the owner and you'll quickly get a first idea what kind of boat captures your heart.
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Old 09-03-2021, 19:28   #3
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Re: Bewildered newbie

Hi and welcome from Ontario Canada

You sound as if you've put a bit of thought into your plan. Kudos to you

My daughter has mobility issues and I'm forever looking for ways to make my ancient (hope she can't hear me) production boat more mobility friendly. Feel free to DM me if you'd like some more thought on the matter.

Keep us posted on your adventures as they unfold

Fair winds
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Old 09-03-2021, 19:54   #4
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If your looking at motor yachts that can do Europe to the Caribe your looking at big bucks to get there under its own steam or big bucks for shipping twice a year.
You'd be better off just getting two modest boats and keep one in Europe and the other in the Caribe and fly back and forth.
November to June in the Caribe then hauled out for the hurricane season and July to November in say the Med then haul out for the winter.. in actual fact a canal/estuary boat may be ideal and you can cruise the canals of Europe or coast hop the Med.
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Old 09-03-2021, 21:13   #5
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Re: Bewildered newbie

Welcome aboard CF.

You could consider doing the traveling sequentially, because peniches are ideal for doing all the canals, except those of England, which require "narrow boats". It is quite relaxing, and generally beautiful.

Then, see if you're still interested, and consider something like Boatie's plan, above, or possibly a long range type motor yacht.

As to living aboard, that's like living in a studio apartment. People's spending patterns don't change very much, house payments become marina fees, and homeowners insurance becomes boat insurance (maybe higher premiums), and maintenance costs need to be factored in and not deferred (because boats can sink.

Ann
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Old 10-03-2021, 03:38   #6
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Re: Bewildered newbie

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Naomi.
What boatman61, and Ann said.
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Old 10-03-2021, 03:47   #7
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Re: Bewildered newbie

Dear Naomi,
If you are in Holland and would like to sit down to discuss these plans I am happy to do so. I live part time on my boat which I also take with me to other places. Have been a boat owner for around 10 years.
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Old 10-03-2021, 03:48   #8
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Re: Bewildered newbie

Dear Naomi,
If you are in Holland and would like to sit down to discuss these plans I am happy to do so. I live part time on my boat which I also take with me to other places. Have been a boat owner for around 10 years.
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Old 10-03-2021, 03:49   #9
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Re: Bewildered newbie

Dear Naomi,
If you are in Holland and would like to sit down to discuss these plans I am happy to do so. I live part time on my boat which I also take with me to other places. Have been a boat owner for around 10 years.
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