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Old 03-29-2012
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Re: Looking at buying a Discovery 47'

Originally Posted by Jgbrown View Post
What is the benefit of steel then? Just curious mostly, glass makes the most sense for me.

I came across a blog for a sailor who lived on a trimaran at anchor here in Vancouver. I honestly didn't think that was possible around here. Reflecting on why I wanted this, I realized that I always wanted to live on a boat, because I wanted to sail and explore, not because I wanted to have a bigger place to sleep. I was looking at the 47' as a house that could be sailed even if it wasn't ideal. That is not what my interest really was, but an adaption of what I thought I needed( a house) and a compromise that could let me do something I was interested in, perhaps not even a very good one(I want to learn to solo) because I came across it and it solved a part of the equation I didn't know how to approach.

I also realized that I was being fixated on things I "needed", shore power, work shop space, secure parking etc. In reality I don't need those things. If the point was to live on a boat, then I should focus on that. I remember a line from my favorite book on sailing, about the way to learn to sail was to live in the boat and sail it in all conditions where you already were, deal with all the problems with what you have at hand, get used to the mildewing sails, the bad food and soggy sheets. Bearing in mind that it was written when wooden boats with no motor and no electricity were standard, the core of the idea still has merit. If I can't make it living at anchor, how can I expect to do so offshore.
I've started to find people who DO live at anchor here. Most of the people here living at anchor state the hardest thing is the travel required for showers, or finding a way to commute on land. Both of my primary destinations(work and school) are reasonably water accessible, and there are people who commute by kayak or dinghy. Both also have showers I can access almost 24/7. Also there are clean water taps I can easily fill up from.

If I am careful, I should be able to live quite comfortably at anchor. This totally changes the boats I am looking at, since a place to dock is no longer my main focus. It also takes out the largest portions of the day to day costs for me, cutting expenses allows for a lot of leeway in additional costs to live at anchor(fuel, pump outs, maintenance and upgrades etc). 1000$ a month should go a long way towards that.

I noticed at home I still live almost like I'm on my bike. I typically use less than 10l of water a day not counting showers. Food and water won't be a change from how I live now, and my options are opening up. Thank you again for the good advice.
JG, just a quick reality check - Working at a city job while living at anchor, particularly in a climate like ours, is very different from cruising - so different in fact that it might put you off cruising entirely. Rowing back & forth in the rain & cold would get old in a hurry. It's very difficult to maintain "city" or "office" clothes and grooming under those circumstances. Picture rowing ashore in a November rain with a couple of garbage bags of laundry, which you have to bicycle to the laundromat (if your bike hasn't been stolen). Every few days you'll have to up anchor just to go fill your water tanks. AFAIK there isn't anywhere near any anchorages where water is available to just anybody who stops by. The gas docks will quickly tire of seeing you if you aren't buying fuel from them regularly.

Living aboard here, even in a deluxe marina, requires adjustments and compromises that few are prepared to make once the reality hits home. Living at anchor multiplies them exponentially. This ain't the tropics.

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I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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