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post #1 of 124 Old 08-03-2014 Thread Starter
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Liveaboard woman alone

Hello,

Lately, I have been pondering more and more the prospect of buying a sailboat and liveaboard. The reality is I couldn't be more clueless about what it means to liveaboard.
I didn't grow up and lived next to the sea. The idea of living on a sailboat is not driven by some life long dream to sail around the world, although if I ever get experienced enough that's surely something I would go for. I love exploring the land through trekking and have done solo long distance trekking. But the water is a different ball game.
I had a sailing course last year and few day sails. And the week before I started the course I was on a sail boat for the first time. That's it as my sailing experience so far.
One first aspect that I had to consider with this was: can I still do my job from a sailboat? I just need good internet to do it and I am not location bound apart from occasional meetings. After some research I think I answered that question. Although I still wonder if I wouldn't get seasick staring at my laptop for hours with the sailboat rocking on a windy day and if I wouldn't feel claustrophobic.
So my questions are: what would be the major obstacles and challenges for a woman alone to live on a sailboat, and sail a boat. Yes, I would do the necessary education and practice and experience, so this is not something I jump into overnight. Learning about diesel engines, electronics, navigation, charting, sailboat maintenance and repair, solar panels, weather, climate, currents, sailing certificates, etc. All these are possible, these do not scare me. But I don't think its as simple as that.
What would you see as serious obstacles and challenges?
So, (in theory) I would live on a sailboat, the first years I would mostly stay put in marinas with the evening/weekend trips out for gaining experience, and sail as well from marina to marina. In future, venture to further locations once I am confident enough.
Am I missing something here? I am a 44 year old woman and also know sailing a boat does require strength and stamina.
I am not looking for a "go for it!" , "you can do it!" , I am looking for a reality check. I will step into this gradually. I want to prepare and learn as much as I can in order to make this experience actually enjoyable. Ignorance and naivety does the opposite.
Thank you!
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post #2 of 124 Old 08-03-2014
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Re: Liveaboard woman alone

You are missing living in a 8' x 10' x 6' high room that contains your stove, icebox, sink, living room, toilet, and shower. How do you empty the sewage from your holding tank? Taking your laundry in the rain, heat, or snow to the Laundromat. Filling your icebox or water tanks also in the elements. Were do you take a shower? Aboard? Then you use more water. Denise30 has a discussion on going to the bathroom while handling her boat by herself.
Annie Hill, Lin and Larry Pardey are only a few of the many people that lived on a boat. Click on any web site or blog to read some accounts of current live aboards.
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post #3 of 124 Old 08-03-2014
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Re: Liveaboard woman alone

Don't worry about reading the Pardey's stuff, it has nothing to do with what you are talking about. There is a learning curve to living aboard but how steep depends a great deal on where and your own expectations and comfort level. So first question ..... where would you like to do this.

PS. Anybody with an independent mindset and minimal mechanical aptitude can do it.

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post #4 of 124 Old 08-03-2014
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Re: Liveaboard woman alone

Here are a couple of links of women who live on board.
Liz Clark and the Voyage of Swell
WhiteSpotPirates - YouTube

And why would it be any different for a woman versus a man?
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post #5 of 124 Old 08-03-2014
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Re: Liveaboard woman alone

Welcome Pakea, I think you can probably do anything you set your mind to do.
While there may be some gender related challenges..safety/security come to mind? But these are no different than a living alone on dirt. No?

Most of the challenges are logistical in nature.

What is your motivation to live on a sailboat at this time?

In order for the members here to give you their best advice it would be helpful if you provided a little more info. For instance, You don't say where on planet earth you're thinking of doing this. At Anchor, Mooring, or in a Marina?

That's going to be a key factor in how easy, difficult, or cost effective it would be. And I think it will help members give you some pointers.

For instance...Are you somewhere that has winter?

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post #6 of 124 Old 08-03-2014
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Re: Liveaboard woman alone

If I were actually living aboard I'd be a Dock Dolly. if there was no honey dipper boat service at times when the boat can't move. LOL I'd get a porta pottie Most marinas have laundry facilities or one could find a pick up and drop off service. But I see nothing wrong with hanging panties on the rigging! (so long as the colors are nautical)

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #7 of 124 Old 08-03-2014
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Re: Liveaboard woman alone

Consider the Salish sea. (Curve of Time ,Singe woman, six kids explore the coast) Many women live aboard and sail here. Some even build their own vessels Affordable marinas .sheltered anchorage all over. WiFi is common in the south at least. Winter harshness is overblown to keep the hoards away and Mexico is a few weeks downhill when you're ready for more adventure. Lots of good older boats for sale by lots of good older sailors passing the belaying pin and moving to Arizona.
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post #8 of 124 Old 08-03-2014
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Re: Liveaboard woman alone

My boat was next to a guy who had moved up from a 25 to 30' boat. He and his fiancé were planning on living aboard. They lived in an apartment so over the winter they marked out their kitchen and used no more than what they would have on the boat for eating and cooking.
They moved into one small room for all living, sleeping and storage. They survived the winter so they figured they were ready for live aboard life. Sounds like a good way to learn if you can live in small quarters.
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post #9 of 124 Old 08-03-2014
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Re: Liveaboard woman alone

Ms. O30 , whats a Dock Dolly ? Paikea it would help if you told us where you plan to live aboard . Just off hand to start with IMO do not get a pet of any kind . One thing to think of some marinas have the foot rule, my marina's min. is 30' , also when you sing up for the slip you need to tell them you plan to liveaborad , it will be extra $ but then you will be leagle. Good luck .
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post #10 of 124 Old 08-03-2014
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Re: Liveaboard woman alone

oh the boat I mean would be a dock dolly. Kinda like a car that sits on a trailer at car show.. a trailer dolly. sits and looks pretty but doesn't really get used.

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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