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Old 06-28-2013
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Re: Downside of living aboard

As a footnote to those considering living aboard.

Unless you won the lottery, (meaning money DOES grow on trees for you), you almost certainly need to know how to do:

Plumbing - ability to install and maintain faucets, toilets, etc., up to and including full systems.
Electrical work - 12v & 110 install and maintain PUMPS, batteries, generators, solar panels, lights, engine starters / alternators, circuit breakers, volt meters / guages, and complete wiring systems. Did I mention PUMPS!? Know how to break down and rebuild.
Wood work - maintenance and modifications.
Engine maintenance - should understand your engine, specifically the entire fuel delivery system, the starting and stopping wiring and devices, and how to change the oil and bleed the fuel lines, at least. Ideally, you would also be the complete rebuild mechanic too.
Navigations systems - from GPS units to B&G or Furuno to onboard computer systems and radar systems, and satellite units too. You should know how the one(s) you have work, where their respective sensors are located, how to maintain those sensors, (thru hull speed / depth transducers, wind anemometer(s), etc), where any fuses are for these.

Not to mention all the "under way knowledge" you need, i.e., navigation, reading a chart, reading the wind the weather and the waves, how to set your sails, how much canvas to have up per the quantity of wind, etc.

Fiberglassing & gel coating would also be very very helpful, though you could live without those skills.

and generally be that "handy man" which so many say they are not.

You have to have very good diagnositic logic to be able to figure out why or what made such and such break....

So, livingaboard is not for everyone. Sure, some can live like a bum onboard a 20 something footer without any means of propulsion, but if you are actually going to be a "sailor" and liveaboard, you have to be prepared to get your hands dirty and dig in.

Sailing is approximately 80% maintenance of the boat, and if you are lucky, and, or, still have the energy, 20% actually sailing. :-)
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