Re: Living Aboard!
The best time to get started on the dream is now, when you're young, and free of attachments, so congrats!. Best thing you can do is, as has been recommended, crew a boat and learn the ins and outs of sailing, but you can also delve deeper into your dream of living aboard by searching for boats, figuring out what you want, and visualizing yourself in your dream. Yachtworld.com is a great place to waste/spend time searching for your new girl. If you're going to sail the ocean eventually, you might want to look at full-keeled boats over fin-keeled boats. I'm not sure how tall you are, but you'll want a boat that accommodates your height.
One thing to keep in mind when looking at boats is your stuff: you have more than you think. Some people can live aboard comfortably in smaller boat (26 ft), but most single liveaboards are in the 30-36 footer range. In addition to all the spare parts and tools you must keep aboard for your safety, you'll also need all of your cooking supplies: food, spices, pots and pans; your compliment of sails (you can't exactly put those in space bags); clothes (start paring down now if you have a full closet); and forms of entertainment. wingNwing will back me up when I say if you like to read books, get used to eReading. Nothing takes up more space then a slew of books. If you're a film buff, you might want to look into renting, or online movie services. Every inch of space you have becomes precious.
You'll want your boating life to feel like land-living but on the water. By that I mean you don't want to have the camping feel, as that'll get old fast. Most people who have showers aboard their boats rarely use them, as condensation is a problem, even when the water is turned off, but you may still want a boat with a showering option (boats 30 feet plus will most likely have this option). If you can afford a boat with a refrigeration system (and the power supply to "handle" it) go for it. Nothing gets old faster than having to constantly haul ice into your boat to keep your food cold. I think you get the general idea. Look for a boat with some creature comforts and you'll be less likely to long for land living.
Keep us updated with your progress!
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