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Old 02-02-2021, 23:14   #1
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Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

Hi everyone, I'm quite new to the whole owning a boat thing and am currently looking at the possibility of buying some kind of vessel that the family can live on for some time. I live in Australia and find the idea of living aboard a boat very interesting for the challenges and fun it may bring.
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Old 02-02-2021, 23:46   #2
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Re: Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

I am sure you will get a lot of advise from experienced people here. I think a lot will depend on how you want to live on your boat and what your comfort expectations are and also whether you/wife/kids have work or school commitments daily. Living at anchor can be done but if you have a schedule to keep it can get tiring and difficult as the weather is not always in your favor. In Marinas it sometimes is difficult as not all want Live on board people especially right now and Marinas cost a fasir bit of money but walking on and off the boat is nice and regular showers will keep the wife happy. Location is also a question , may be you have to put a few more details down. Have fun and good luck
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Old 03-02-2021, 02:00   #3
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Re: Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, familyboatman.
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Old 03-02-2021, 02:36   #4
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Re: Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

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Originally Posted by SV DINGO View Post
I am sure you will get a lot of advise from experienced people here. I think a lot will depend on how you want to live on your boat and what your comfort expectations are and also whether you/wife/kids have work or school commitments daily. Living at anchor can be done but if you have a schedule to keep it can get tiring and difficult as the weather is not always in your favor. In Marinas it sometimes is difficult as not all want Live on board people especially right now and Marinas cost a fasir bit of money but walking on and off the boat is nice and regular showers will keep the wife happy. Location is also a question , may be you have to put a few more details down. Have fun and good luck
Thanks very much. Right now the boat is more like having options . i dont even know if its possible to do what i want. which is basically to be able to travel when wanted around on the ocean. I have to delve into all the regulations and become more experienced with what regular live aboards probably just take for granted.

I have a fair amount of experience with building but not really in the boat/saline type conditions. right now im looking at getting a commercial fishing boat or ferry and converting it to personal living, but again I need more experience to know if thats a good idea or not
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:39   #5
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Re: Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

If you want a boat on which you can "travel around when you want on the ocean," you'll look for something different than something you can just live aboard on at a marina. If you want to settle into a marina for a few years, put down some roots, and then suddenly decide to move to another coastal city where you'll live in a marina and put down roots, you might do better buying a house at each location and making a little money with each move.
If your primary objective is to travel the ocean, you need to set your sights on that and pursue it with laser focus. It's not something to do carelessly or with a boat ill-prepared because you were just using it as a wet house. While getting the boat and yourself ready for ocean travel, you'll spend plenty of time living at marinas and moorings.
I hope I don't sound discouraging. What you want to do is possible--it'll just be a lot more possible if you define better to yourself what it is you want to accomplish.
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:00   #6
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Re: Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

Greetings FamilyBoatman,
You'll find dozens upon dozens of posts on this topic, but before you go down that worm hole, you really need to define your parameters and this will guide you towards a design of boat that will fit your needs/wants.

These parameters will include (but not limited to):
*Size of crew: will they each need private quarters?
*Destinations: local coastal hopping or offshore to distant lands
*Ease of sailing: some boats are more complicated than others
*Ease of handling: some boats handle getting in and out of marinas better than others; also the ease of single-handing/dock line handling
*Amenities: doe you require creature comforts or will the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) work for you?
*COST: how much are you willing to pay for a boat and all of the upkeep?
*Catamaran vs monohull? Do you envision a floating condominium or to you see yourself heeled over at 20 degrees with the rail in the water and a grin on your face? (heeling isn't for everyone)
*Heavy weather capabilities: it happens and you need to feel confident in your boat.
*Maintenance: can you do your own repairs? There is a learning curve and you will get it, all boats require work, older ones can be more so.
*Storage and tankage: does it have the capacity that will work for your needs?
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:13   #7
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Re: Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

Quote: "i dont even know if its possible to do what i want. which is basically to be able to travel when wanted around on the ocean"

I think you need to define your expectations with greater precision. What particular ocean are you thinking about? What will be your travelling speed? You are in Oz now, you say. Is Straits of Belle Isle on your list of places to visit? Is the Solent?

You'll not be doing much travelling on the ocean in a ferry. A retired ferry that would be obtainable within the budget of most private citizens would amount to no more than a barge and would not be safe to take on the ocean.

A retired fishing vessel - yes, but the fuel costs involved in any serious travelling at say, oh, 10 knots (which is a representative speed of such vessels) would be prohibitive for most people, particularly because ocean travel tends to militate against holding income producing employment.

TrentePieds has a sister ship that has "done the Pacific" from British Columbia to New Zealand. The floor space in her main cabin is about 30 square feet, and the floor space in her "bedroom" (fore cabin) is about
TWO square feet. Could you live in such a small space?

Lots to think about. But for the thinking to be fruitful it has to be really structured. You have to be ruthlessly frank about how your own psyche functions so you can define where your tolerance limits are. You have to be ruthlessly frank about how your own body functions, and what its ineluctable physical requirements are, so you can select a boat (or modify a boat) so it is able to meet those requirements. Since you are talking about your family, the same assessments need to be made in regard to each family member. AND the dog - if one is involved :-)

Here is a drawing of Tortuga's boat:

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/tartan-4100

Print it out and keep it before you while you consider carefully each of the points Tortuga has made in post #6

All the best to you.

TrentePieds
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Old 03-02-2021, 12:27   #8
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Re: Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

Hi dude, you know, we actually share the same dream
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Old 03-02-2021, 16:38   #9
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Re: Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

Family Boat man as a marine surveyor here in Australia I tell you at the lower end of the market most trawlers or ex ferry's are pretty well flogged or reaching the end of their life. Good condition trawlers are not cheap and cost a fair bit to maintain.
Member Simi 60 will have a better insight to trawler life in Australia.

Cheers
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Old 03-02-2021, 16:48   #10
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Re: Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
Quote: "i dont even know if its possible to do what i want. which is basically to be able to travel when wanted around on the ocean"

I think you need to define your expectations with greater precision. What particular ocean are you thinking about? What will be your travelling speed? You are in Oz now, you say. Is Straits of Belle Isle on your list of places to visit? Is the Solent?

You'll not be doing much travelling on the ocean in a ferry. A retired ferry that would be obtainable within the budget of most private citizens would amount to no more than a barge and would not be safe to take on the ocean.

A retired fishing vessel - yes, but the fuel costs involved in any serious travelling at say, oh, 10 knots (which is a representative speed of such vessels) would be prohibitive for most people, particularly because ocean travel tends to militate against holding income producing employment.

TrentePieds has a sister ship that has "done the Pacific" from British Columbia to New Zealand. The floor space in her main cabin is about 30 square feet, and the floor space in her "bedroom" (fore cabin) is about
TWO square feet. Could you live in such a small space?

Lots to think about. But for the thinking to be fruitful it has to be really structured. You have to be ruthlessly frank about how your own psyche functions so you can define where your tolerance limits are. You have to be ruthlessly frank about how your own body functions, and what its ineluctable physical requirements are, so you can select a boat (or modify a boat) so it is able to meet those requirements. Since you are talking about your family, the same assessments need to be made in regard to each family member. AND the dog - if one is involved :-)

Here is a drawing of Tortuga's boat:

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/tartan-4100

Print it out and keep it before you while you consider carefully each of the points Tortuga has made in post #6

All the best to you.

TrentePieds
Hi TrentePieds, that is a lot of good information you have given. How is one supposed to be able to tell if a vessel can travel the ocean? Is there a rating on it or do you just learn to look at it and realize its limitations?

The ferry in question I was looking at was used to go from the mainland to islands off the coast maybe ~30KM . But the thing is if such a large boat (~100 feet) is "out of survey" I am guessing the cost to pass survey could be quite large compared to smaller boats which is why many private citizens do not actually consider such vessels. Someone I was talking to recently was talking about a 70M long vessel that has sold for $1 a couple times because the cost to make it pass survey is over a million dollars and no one seems able to do it.

Anyways if I can be more specific I consider the following requirements for the boat :-

* 4 cabins with space for at least double beds
* ~20m2 of other floor space, kitchen, sitting room, etc
* Able to travel the ocean, speed not really a concern but safety is. I don't really have any specific places we want to go yet, but I don't really want to be limited either.
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Old 03-02-2021, 17:02   #11
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Re: Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

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Originally Posted by Fore and Aft View Post
Family Boat man as a marine surveyor here in Australia I tell you at the lower end of the market most trawlers or ex ferry's are pretty well flogged or reaching the end of their life. Good condition trawlers are not cheap and cost a fair bit to maintain.
Member Simi 60 will have a better insight to trawler life in Australia.

Cheers
I just looked up Simi 60 and they have a lovely boat that looks quite roomy. In regards to trawlers/ferry's what should I be most concerned with? The type of hull? Whether the engine/mechanics are working? What are the typical biggest costs in getting such things to pass survey after they have been flogged?
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Old 03-02-2021, 17:17   #12
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Re: Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

FBM on older boats you are going to find high hour engines and worn out equipment. Take that 70m boat your talking about. The cost of replacing engines on that would be huge, then you have the expense of all new safety gear and life rafts, equipment, bilge pump system to every compartment, batteries, not to mention compulsory insurance because the vessel is longer than 15m. Then you have the structural condition after years of hard use. Then the marina surveyors fees to inspect the boat. I am not sure of your budget but you should ring a few marinas or slips in your area pretending to want a marina berth or taking the boat out of the water for the size boat you are thinking about. Be prepared for some big numbers. One yard I know charges around $60 a foot for a slip and antifoul so thats about $13,800 for your 70m boat! Thats every 18-24 months you will be getting that done! That price does not include anodes or any other issues you are bound to find.
You are better off forgetting about a boat in survey and just have the boat for domestic use. Way cheaper.
Cheers
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Old 03-02-2021, 17:27   #13
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Re: Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

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Originally Posted by Fore and Aft View Post
FBM on older boats you are going to find high hour engines and worn out equipment. Take that 70m boat your talking about. The cost of replacing engines on that would be huge, then you have the expense of all new safety gear and life rafts, equipment, bilge pump system to every compartment, batteries, not to mention compulsory insurance because the vessel is longer than 15m. Then you have the structural condition after years of hard use. Then the marina surveyors fees to inspect the boat. I am not sure of your budget but you should ring a few marinas or slips in your area pretending to want a marina berth or taking the boat out of the water for the size boat you are thinking about. Be prepared for some big numbers. One yard I know charges around $60 a foot for a slip and antifoul so thats about $13,800 for your 70m boat! Thats every 18-24 months you will be getting that done! That price does not include anodes or any other issues you are bound to find.
You are better off forgetting about a boat in survey and just have the boat for domestic use. Way cheaper.
Cheers
There is no way I would want to get a 70M long boat! Even the ~30M steel hull ferry I thought was a good deal (its actually a boat I travelled on once to the island in question as a kid) is bordering on me having anxiety.

Excuse my very newbie ignorance but could you explain the difference between "domestic use" and a boat in survey? Like a ferry or trawler that is not in survey can be classified as for domestic use and that is cheaper to obtain or? I thought all boats had to pass some "Survey" to be able to be used.
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Old 03-02-2021, 17:44   #14
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Re: Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

FBM a boat in survey can take paying passengers or be used for commercial purposes. A private vessel is just that and can only be used for your own pleasure. What ever boat you buy will need to be surveyed out of the water for insurance. That way the insurance company knows the condition of the vessel and if they want to insure it. Marine insurance is nothing like car insurance and do not be surprised if most of them do not want to insure an old 30 meter steel boat skippered by a newbie. Where you keep the boat also reflects in your insurance premium.
Old steel boats can also be money pits. One yard I know charges $500 an hour for sandblasting, then there is the cost of paint an its application. I bet that boat your thinking about is going to need some work!
Cheers
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Old 03-02-2021, 17:56   #15
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Re: Hi, I want a liveaboard boat for the family

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Originally Posted by Fore and Aft View Post
FBM a boat in survey can take paying passengers or be used for commercial purposes. A private vessel is just that and can only be used for your own pleasure. What ever boat you buy will need to be surveyed out of the water for insurance. That way the insurance company knows the condition of the vessel and if they want to insure it. Marine insurance is nothing like car insurance and do not be surprised if most of them do not want to insure an old 30 meter steel boat skippered by a newbie. Where you keep the boat also reflects in your insurance premium.
Old steel boats can also be money pits. One yard I know charges $500 an hour for sandblasting, then there is the cost of paint an its application. I bet that boat your thinking about is going to need some work!
Cheers
That is some very good information for a newbie like myself, so thanks a lot. I find it kind of funny to think about myself skippering such a large boat and then ending up on the news for sinking it or whatever. Can you determine if you can get insurance before purchase? What is the typical path way to buying a boat, finding one, doing a survey on your own cost, working out if you can get insurance and then purchasing it?

If you make changes to the interior of a boat for "domestic use" does that have to be registered somewhere or have an engineer or something go over it? For instance a ferry typically has lots of seats for passengers that I would like to just remove and put up some walls/whatever for cabins instead.
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