Re: Interested in liveaboard vessels. Advice?
I guess it's possible to "live the lifestyle" differently by different people. Just sending a bit of a mixed message, when you say you'd like to sail the carribean, but then talk about monthly fees over a thousand a month that hinge on getting a land-bound payraise.
There are basically 2 kinds of liveaboards to my knowldge, ones that stay at the dock, and simply live on a boat. And ones that travel around using their boat as a vessel while living on it.
The ones that stay at the dock typically have land-bound jobs, with only 2 weeks off a year or what not, sometimes simply getting a boat cause it's one of the cheapest living options much like an RV.
To get to the Caribbean from virginia is 850 nautical miles, even if you sail 24 hours a day, it'll take at least a week if going a reasonable 4 knots, realistically you're going to want to sleep, take in the scenery and maybe stop somewhere at times. It's true that the boat can sail while you're sleeping, though at least technically (though for blue-water single-handers often not realistically) there should be someone on watch at all times when you aren't at anchor.
Lin and Larry Pardey work about 6 months a year, and sail another 6 months, which is probably a good ideal balance to achieve. Getting a job or having skill that you can do or use just about anywhere is great, like an online freelancing, authorship, or boat repair/maintenance.
Another aspect is that being on a travelling sailboat isn't so much about luxury of the body, unless very cozy simple living is your version of bodily luxury, it's more about luxury of the soul and mind, having many different experiences, seeing beautiful scenery, interacting with new people.
Anyways point being frugal, simple, minimalist is the lifestyle of the travelling sailing live-aboard -- at least in my mind from what I gather.
I'm not yet a liveaboard but been working towards it for years. Got enough saved up for a boat already, but still acquiring some more skills. and good to have extra cash for necessary liveaboard equipment i.e. here in toronto, canada, an agitator, wood stove, hot water heater and other winterization equipment.
Around here a slip-fee for even a 37 footer is under $600 a month at the east end of town, electricity included. haul outs I don't expect more than twice a year, mostly for bottom maintenance that can't be done in the water. pump outs aren't necessary if you have a compost toilet. maintenance sure has some cost, and upgrades sometimes, but don't really need much when simple living.
Engines, roller-furlers and many recent sailing inventions are indeed "luxuries" so can be done without. The traveling sailors sometimes forgo an engine, in favour of having better sails, and no propeller drag, oars and anchors for those odd calms.
Lin and Larry did an anecdotal survey, found the people that been cruising around the world the longest actually have relatively small boats under 30 feet or just under.
Likely since they are easier to single-hand and have lower maintenance cost.
Also sure you're young and possibly debt free, perhaps it's best to keep it that way, if not best to make it that way, save up for an entry level boat under $10,000 perhaps, that way if you crash or break it, won't be too big a loss, and would be easier to sell.
Wouldn't want your dream hung-up due to lack of some promotions, nor due to working so much on land you don't have time or energy for the boat.
Skills are important, sailing a keelboat is much different from sailing a dinghy, while the actual sailing part has the same foundation and names, the details differ as there are many more components on a keelboat.
I've got my white sail III (for sailing dinghies), and keelboat crusiing standard (allows renting or co-oping sailboats). This year am crewing on race boats at a club, lets me see different boats, their setup, and learn about how they are sailed. Also lets me get used to the various procedures that are a standard part of sailing a boat, such as docking and undocking.
next year planning to take part in a co-op sailing program at the club, where can take out a club boat myself or with family, and at that point my wife and I can make a more final decision about whether we're going to be living a board or not -- I'm certainly hoping yes.
Otherwise I already have an income that lets me have pretty much all free time, though it's currently limited to this province, it's already a lot better than most of my friends that are tied down to the city with their jobs. Eventually hoping on getting some more mobile and world-wide though there is plenty to do and see in the great lakes for now.
Also you're in Virginia got the famous chesapeake bay there, which many on this forum are in, so lots to the there also, even if you are land bound with a job, at least you have weekends, maybe sometimes you will have enough energy to get out from the dock for a spin around the bay.
Last edited by elspru; 06-13-2013 at 12:30 AM.