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  #1  
Old 07-29-2009
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Another liveaboard family in the making?

Greetings all, first time poster, long time reader. What an incredible community. I'd have posted this in the "intros" section, but I have a whole slough of questions about living aboard still (most of my initial questions have been answered by Cap'n Google and your forum here, the two of whom seem to be old mates).

Here's our situation. Family of four - Me, the wife, the boy (18 months), and the wolf (9 year old dog ~80 lbs, mostly fur ). Currently we're lubbers in LA, pissing away perfectly good income on an apartment when we could be putting it into an awesome boat. My wife just got a tremendous job opportunity in DC, and we're about 90% certain we're moving there to take it. We want to take this opportunity to break from land and the huge pile of junk we've accumulated! Life here has been getting more and more complicated - we just want to simplify what we can, and put some energy and money towards something beautiful and fun, instead of another landlord's pocket.

Goals are primarily to own something, and to be paying for something that's OURS, instead of someone else's. A top goal of mine is to have a boat we can cruise on, it's been a lifelong dream of mine to sail all over this great blue world. Her job is due to last about a year and a half, during which time I will be raising our son, working occasional odd jobs, working on the boat, and honing my sailing skills so that when her job is done with, we can take a nice long cruise somewhere. I know there are costs to boat ownership, and I am prepared to sacrifice that money and labor to Poseidon for the opportunities it brings. I'm hardworking, a very fast learner, and as one born and raised in San Diego, I know a thing or two about boats and the ocean, though I'm certainly no salty sailor. (I've taken two or three sailing courses in my youth, involving sub 20' boats and catamarans on the open ocean) Mainly this means basic proficiency with sailing, knots, terminology, courtesy, and fiberglass repair (mostly done on surfboards).

In discussing my dreams with Admiral SWMBO, the ideas of ownership and the freedom from clutter have really taken hold, though the idea of sailing far and wide just doesn't seem real/possible to her yet (though I am confident it will eventually dawn upon her as a real possibility), but it is certainly something she would like to do. The sacrifices at first seemed daunting, but we have both been very encouraged by reading the experiences of those who have already taken the plunge so to speak.

Now, onward to my questions.

How long does a 15 gallon holding tank take to fill up? Anyone have any experience with treatment systems? Are they a real bear to integrate? Are they really sanitary/environmentally sound?

Any suggestions for vaccum cleaners? I was thinking a mini-wet/dry shopvac. With our dog, it's a necessity.

Aftermarket shipborne heaters and AC - what sort of price range can I expect to find on these? Where can I begin looking? Are there any used ones out there?

Speaking of heating - I've read that most people use propane, electricity, and diesel heaters. No love for the old fashioned wood stove? Does this have more to do with fuel storage than anything else?

Sailing to DC - the boat I'm hoping to buy is in Florida, and I'll have to sail it there. I won't purchase it unless it's up to snuff, but it was surveyed a year ago and since, well maintained. How can I find bridge clearances for the Chesapeake and Potomac?

Speaking of the boat I'd like to buy, anyone ever lived aboard a Kettenburg 40'? Anyone in the Tampa Bay area feel like having a look over it with me when I fly out? Know of any good third-party surveyors that I can trust? If anyone wants to sail to DC with me, I'm open to the suggestion, and could sure use the company!

Home-entertainment systems - I'm lucky to have an HD projector and awesome surround sound here in my apartment, I know those will have to go. ...but has anyone set up a flat-panel HDTV and small surround speakers? Any suggestions about what's better in the confined spaces of a boat?

Computers - should I stick with my laptop only? Or try to integrate a desktop in somewhere, using the TV as a monitor? Should I chuck my Playstation3 in favor of a blu-ray drive for the computer?

Mooring in DC - Eventually we'd like a slip, but we're willing to live "on the hook" for awhile until we sort that out... I read here that you can moor for free or very cheap for up to two weeks at a time off the gangplank marina; does that mean we'll need to find another place to stay for one or two nights a week? Where else could we moor in or around DC?

Toolkit - I'm going to need to pair down my set of tools. What do you think are the essentials I'll need to bring? (preliminary list: Sander, drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, jigsaw, worklight, wrenches, drivers, planer, torque-wrench, hammer, ball-pein hammer, rubber mallet, steel drift, wood chisel)

Any good car parking solutions in DC or Arlington that don't require a slip at the marina?

Any good DC area DIY yards where I can haul her and work on it when I need to?

Building a bimini - how hard is this? Anyone done it? I'd like to give it a go, any advice?

Dinghy's - is sail/row ok? Or is something with a motor really that crucial?

Winter - Ice. Freezing river. What, if any, mods do I need to do to my boat to account for this?

Firearm safety and storage aboard - where are the best places to keep the ship's armory?
_________________________________

Ok, I think that's about it for now. Sorry for the massive list. If something has been discussed to death on another thread, feel free to refer me or let me know what to search for. There's lots to wade through, and though I've found answers to many other questions already, I'm striking out on some of these.
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Old 07-29-2009
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Most of what you list looks to me to be workable, though I think I fell asleep about 1/2 way through! I am thinking about much the same as you.

Remember that a boat deprecates. If you get an old boat that is mostly or all the way deprecated at least it will stay about the same. I was lucky and sold my house before the housing bubble burst, I made a big chunk of change, but if you subtracted the property and school tax I really did not make much. Just remember that a boat will have double the maintenance of a house, and drop in value. As long as you are OK with that then you should be fine. Financing is tough in the boat market as well now.

Biggest issue is what does you spouse think? That is the biggest complicating factor. If she/he is not 100% on board you might want to rethink the whole thing. In my case I am divorced so it is not an issue. I think I finally have my children excited about the whole concept.

From reading here it looks as though DC has some good live-aboard options. The best marinas will be about an hour commute out of DC proper, but that will likely be true for an apartment that would be in a child friendly neighborhood anyway.

Just don't think it will be cheaper than a home or apartment. About the same I think. Tool thing I understand fully, what am I going to do with a big air compressor on a boat?, where will the table saw go? Waht do I do with my rolling tool chest? But I am planning on keeping my garage for at least a couple of years, in fact the only reason I am where I am now is that I can rent a garage.
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Old 07-29-2009
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Thanks for the reply miatapaul! I think I may have to get a small storage unit in DC to house some tools, though the drill press and other very large items will have to be sold.

We're leaning towards the Gangplank which will only be a mile and a half from where she'll be working, an easy metro ride or bike ride away.

The boat I'm hoping to buy is a 1960 Kettenburg 40', built in San Diego (just like me), from White Oak and Cedar. I like Fiberglass boats just fine, but there's something... I dunno, PRIMAL about wood. Tried and true, I guess. I just love wood, but if I can't snag this boat, I'll go for a different one. I've seen comparable boats going for over 30k, and this one's 20k, with a clear survey too. If I can maintain that value (and since it's bridging the gap from "old" to "classic", I think I can), I'll be thrilled!

As to whether the wife is 100% onboard... she's close. REAL close. Probably 95%, and getting closer every day. Once she sees the Ket in person, I think she'll close the gap. Those boats are PRETTY.

-K
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Old 07-29-2009
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My wife was not 100% on board initially but I already lived on my boat. I told here this is where I live and I am going cruising, get used to it or move on

We honeymooned by signing on as crew on a square rigged sail training ship for a three week voyage from Vancouver to Kailua-Kona Hawaii. She signed on for an additional three week voyage to Fiji then served as delivery crew to bring the 70 foot traditional schooner Spike Africa to Kauai from San Diego. She was well and truly hooked after her first taste of blue water sailing.

Living aboard in a marina is a different matter.

If you want to someday go cruising, do not borrow money. None. No mortgage to buy a boat. No credit card purchases of gear. Save and pay as you go. Forget the power tools. Rent (Or better yet borrow) what you need when you need it. Sell everything and put the money away. Then when you do cast off you won't have to worry about it.

Just my opinion based on twenty years of living aboard and cruising.

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Old 07-30-2009
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How long does a 15 gallon holding tank take to fill up? Anyone have any experience with treatment systems? Are they a real bear to integrate? Are they really sanitary/environmentally sound?

about a week or so if living aboard and you are carefull, but most marinas have bathrooms

Any suggestions for vaccum cleaners? I was thinking a mini-wet/dry shopvac. With our dog, it's a necessity.

thats what i have on board

Speaking of heating - I've read that most people use propane, electricity, and diesel heaters. No love for the old fashioned wood stove? Does this have more to do with fuel storage than anything else?

yup storage is a lot of it, ashes are more

Sailing to DC - the boat I'm hoping to buy is in Florida, and I'll have to sail it there. I won't purchase it unless it's up to snuff, but it was surveyed a year ago and since, well maintained. How can I find bridge clearances for the Chesapeake and Potomac?

NOAA it works just like google earth

Speaking of the boat I'd like to buy, anyone ever lived aboard a Kettenburg 40'? Anyone in the Tampa Bay area feel like having a look over it with me when I fly out? Know of any good third-party surveyors that I can trust? If anyone wants to sail to DC with me, I'm open to the suggestion, and could sure use the company!

if this is next month or so i will come along but be ready to hid from a storm

Home-entertainment systems - I'm lucky to have an HD projector and awesome surround sound here in my apartment, I know those will have to go. ...but has anyone set up a flat-panel HDTV and small surround speakers? Any suggestions about what's better in the confined spaces of a boat?

sorry its time to sell the projector and surround sound. the mount a lcd and use computer speakers for more sound

Computers - should I stick with my laptop only? Or try to integrate a desktop in somewhere, using the TV as a monitor? Should I chuck my Playstation3 in favor of a blu-ray drive for the computer?

yup laptops are nice because of the low draw, when you get the tv make sure it takes a computer input to use the laptop as your dvd player. then get a large usb extrenal drive for storage incase the lap top dies and to store movies. some do build purpose built computers using 12 volt car power supplies, i guess with a wire less mouse and keyboard and a mini tower it would work. here is the nice point, i make a pretty good boat sparky, with refences

Mooring in DC - Eventually we'd like a slip, but we're willing to live "on the hook" for awhile until we sort that out... I read here that you can moor for free or very cheap for up to two weeks at a time off the gangplank marina; does that mean we'll need to find another place to stay for one or two nights a week? Where else could we moor in or around DC?

dont forget annapolis and area, better parking and only an hour in traffic away

Toolkit - I'm going to need to pair down my set of tools. What do you think are the essentials I'll need to bring? (preliminary list: Sander, drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, jigsaw, worklight, wrenches, drivers, planer, torque-wrench, hammer, ball-pein hammer, rubber mallet, steel drift, wood chisel)

you need 3 tool kits
a mechanical one with wrenches and stuff
a wood kit, ie chisels and stuff
then the big kit with the stuff you dont need unless its a big job, this stays in storage


Dinghy's - is sail/row ok? Or is something with a motor really that crucial?

in annapolis get a slip, dinghy is not really needed, but get a motor if you will be going more than a mile a day

Winter - Ice. Freezing river. What, if any, mods do I need to do to my boat to account for this?

it does not get too bad down here normally, and most marinas put out deicers

Firearm safety and storage aboard - where are the best places to keep the ship's armory?

well then stay away from DC as you will go to jail in DC if they even find ammo on you, in your boat or in your car. i suggest you pair the collection down if its over 3 guns, or get a safe and bolt it in families house some where. virgina has shall issue CCW, maryland no way and DC i said it already

Last edited by scottyt; 07-30-2009 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 07-30-2009
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Just a thought - for local cruising. Perhaps this would work for you? Join a local Potomac sailing club for the Wednesday afternoon races ("canvas' fix)?

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Old 07-30-2009
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I've lived in DC for about ten years, and had a sailboat for the past three. I have not lived aboard, so I can't speak to those specifics, but I have done a lot of research. So here are my thoughts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by svartsvensk View Post
How long does a 15 gallon holding tank take to fill up? Anyone have any experience with treatment systems? Are they a real bear to integrate? Are they really sanitary/environmentally sound?

15 gal. won't last long with two adults and a child living aboard. It think a full week is pushing it. Treatment systems do work (such as Lectrasan) and are sound, but they require electricity and salt water. If you are in DC, the water is almost fresh.

Any suggestions for vaccum cleaners? I was thinking a mini-wet/dry shopvac. With our dog, it's a necessity.

That would work, but not on the hook unless you are running a generator or have a huge battery bank and an inverter. 12 volt vacs are fine for light cleaning, but probably won't handle the dog hair.

Aftermarket shipborne heaters and AC - what sort of price range can I expect to find on these? Where can I begin looking? Are there any used ones out there?

Couple thousand for the AC, maybe another grand for the heat. Install can be a rather simple one day job (assuming you already have a thruhull for the AC water supply) or a several day project that requires tearing appart the interior of the boat - depends on the boat and how you want to run the vents. Check any online chandlery, including Sailnet for prices. I would't go with a used AC, maybe a heater, but not AC. Plus, it would be hard to find one as people don't usually just tear them out of their boat to sell. I will say that AC in Washington is a must, and you will need to be at a marina to run it (or you will be running a generator 24/7).

Speaking of heating - I've read that most people use propane, electricity, and diesel heaters. No love for the old fashioned wood stove? Does this have more to do with fuel storage than anything else?

That and an open flame, I don't think most insurance companies would be happy with wood. Also, in DC good luck finding firewood - only source I know of is expensive delivery or those small packs at the grocery stores (very expensive).

Sailing to DC - the boat I'm hoping to buy is in Florida, and I'll have to sail it there. I won't purchase it unless it's up to snuff, but it was surveyed a year ago and since, well maintained. How can I find bridge clearances for the Chesapeake and Potomac?

Look at charts (including the free NOAA ones referenced above). However, you really need to think about the wisdom of buying an amost 50-year old wooden boat in FL then setting out for a 1220 mile trip to DC, most of which will be running the motor on the ICW. If the boat you are looking at is the one in Naples on Yachtworld, I'd keep looking. Wood is beautiful, but a ton of work and expensive to maintain. I know you have time, but I think you would do much better with fiberglass. I'd also be worried of taking that boat in bluewater once you are ready to cruise. I know you like it , but I would keep looking

Speaking of the boat I'd like to buy, anyone ever lived aboard a Kettenburg 40'? Anyone in the Tampa Bay area feel like having a look over it with me when I fly out? Know of any good third-party surveyors that I can trust? If anyone wants to sail to DC with me, I'm open to the suggestion, and could sure use the company!

See above comments.

Home-entertainment systems - I'm lucky to have an HD projector and awesome surround sound here in my apartment, I know those will have to go. ...but has anyone set up a flat-panel HDTV and small surround speakers? Any suggestions about what's better in the confined spaces of a boat?

Yes, you can probably find a small 12volt tv, but remember that it will use lots of power (again, need to be at the dock or running a generator). I'd consider using the laptop with a couple small speakers.

Computers - should I stick with my laptop only? Or try to integrate a desktop in somewhere, using the TV as a monitor? Should I chuck my Playstation3 in favor of a blu-ray drive for the computer?

Stick with the laptop, takes less space and much lower power usage.

Mooring in DC - Eventually we'd like a slip, but we're willing to live "on the hook" for awhile until we sort that out... I read here that you can moor for free or very cheap for up to two weeks at a time off the gangplank marina; does that mean we'll need to find another place to stay for one or two nights a week? Where else could we moor in or around DC?

Mooring in DC isn't a long term option. With the amount of law enforcement around here, they will quickly catch on if you are just moving the boat every few days. Also, assuming your wife will need to wear normal DC business atire for work, is she really going to want to shuttle back and forth in a dingy every day to get to and from work? How about in the frequent thunderstorms we have in DC? Gangplank is about the only live aboard in DC (others are further out), but liveaboard status is quite restricted, the waiting list is years, and it is very expensive. My wife and I looked into it several years ago and we determined that with all the fees we would proably be spending almost $1000 a month just for the marine (they do include parking for one car, which would normally cost $200 to $300 a month in DC. Because of the waiting list, most people get liveaboard status by purchasing a boat that already has it. Also, you won't be doing any real sailing from DC on a large boat - it is too shallow and the chanels are narrow, unless you motor miles down river. If you really want to live on the water and put money into something, look for a houseboat at Gangplank to go up for sale, then sell it and buy a sailboat when you are ready to cruise. However, even then, it will still cost close to the price of a small apartment. You should also be aware that there are several nightclubs around the marina, so it can get very loud and rowdy at night.

Toolkit - I'm going to need to pair down my set of tools. What do you think are the essentials I'll need to bring? (preliminary list: Sander, drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, jigsaw, worklight, wrenches, drivers, planer, torque-wrench, hammer, ball-pein hammer, rubber mallet, steel drift, wood chisel)

Depends on the boat, but a wood boat will require more tools and storage is always at a premium.

Any good car parking solutions in DC or Arlington that don't require a slip at the marina?

Yes, for a couple hundred a month.

Any good DC area DIY yards where I can haul her and work on it when I need to?

Not really, Ft. Washington about 20 miles down river will haul and let you do some work, but they are expensive and it is really shallow getting to the lift. Other than that, you need to head about 70 miles down river.

Building a bimini - how hard is this? Anyone done it? I'd like to give it a go, any advice?

Not too difficult, I'm building one now. Look at Sailrite.com - they sell kits. But a good stainless one, even do it your self, will cost close to a thousand for all the parts, not including the sewing machine.

Dinghy's - is sail/row ok? Or is something with a motor really that crucial?

Depends on how far you intend to go and in what weather. We have a motor on ours and it is very nice to have.

Winter - Ice. Freezing river. What, if any, mods do I need to do to my boat to account for this?

None, most large marinas have deice systems here. if they don't you would need to get a bubbler and keep it pluged in to shore power.

Firearm safety and storage aboard - where are the best places to keep the ship's armory?

In storage, off the boat, particularly if you set foot in DC.
_________________________________

Ok, I think that's about it for now. Sorry for the massive list. If something has been discussed to death on another thread, feel free to refer me or let me know what to search for. There's lots to wade through, and though I've found answers to many other questions already, I'm striking out on some of these.
Look, you have a great dream and plan, but you really need to think this through. It is not as easy as you might think, and DC isn't really live aboard friendly. I love this city, and highly recomend you take the opportunity to live here, but I think you may be better off renting a small appartment and saving for the boat. If you can live frugally on land you will save money and it will be a good way to prepare for life on board. And if you live in the city, ditch the car and walk or use metro - you can always rent a car if you need it or join something like zipcar. Just my two cents.
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Old 07-30-2009
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Hi - you're asking a lot of the right questions. I've got a desk job in DC and currently live aboard a 33' sailboat in a marina, with spouse, no pets, no kids. We moved here from Michigan and jumped at the chance to ditch the house and the stuff and move aboard - sounds like your scenario - and never, never looked back.

Others have pointed out the problems with living aboard in DC - consider Annapolis area, 5 minutes to good sailing, 45 min to DC (much more during rush hour - BUT - there's a great commuter bus to downtown) many liveaboard-friendly marinas including several DIY. You'd be surrounded by a community of other boaters you can learn from.

Others have answered a lot of your specific questions; but here are a few more thoughts.

Heat/air conditioning - there are heat pump units that are 2-in-one, heat and cool using saltwater, around $2000. When the water temp gets into the low 40s, these aren't very efficient; most of the marina liveaboards supplement with small electric space heaters.

Use a laptop; for sound, install automobile stereo and play the laptop through it.

In season, you can get your holding tank pumped out by a pumpout boat that comes to you for $5. (and/or use the marina bathroom)

Costs: well, we would have had to find a place for the boat anyway, so it doesn't really compare. A high-end slip here will cost as much as a low-end apartment, figure $5-$10K/yr depending on size of boat and marina amenities. But then again, remember that you'll be doing every day what others pay to do on vacation! PM me if you do decide to go for it, we can put you in touch with others. Liveaboards with small kids are rarer, but they're there.
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Old 07-30-2009
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Ok, I have lived aboard with kids and two dogs. I made somewhat of the same plunge, but will give you my experience(s). They are very opinionated, but have been there and done that. Of interest (I hope) to you is that we are soon to do again, hopefully.

Now, here goes:

#1) 15g holding tank will not last long at all. I think ours was 25-30g for me and Kris and we could go through that easily in a week. Chase was in diapers. So add another user in (who probably will not flush economically), and I sincerely doubt you will make a week. And remember, you don't get the full 15 gallons. We always try to stop and pump out when ours is about 80% full. Because if you over pump and get poop/tp in the vent tube from the head, it is a absolute nightmare. In essense, I would add a blader or something to get to an easy 25-30g's of holding.

#2) The dog will be a major PITA. MAJOR. And you better make sure he/she can go up and down the steps on their own and get off the boat on their own. The dog, of everythign you have mentioned (except maybe the baot) will be the biggest headache. Sorry, it's true. Go check out the many cruising/LA with dog threads here. And let's also remember that even though that dog may be able to get on/off now... if they cannot in the future you are in for big trouble or may have to put the dog down early. We can discuss this in legth if you want, but between that and taking it out 2-3 times day and the sever restrictions on pets in even many marinas, and where they are going to go to the john when it is raining, icing or snowing, the ability to get on/off the boat and the dink, and the fact that most countries do not want them in their territorial waters (much less their shores) - you are in for an eye opener. Research this matter heavily. We ended up getting another dog, but I honestly regret it. I am pretty sure she will have to find another home before we get seriously cruising. And we have not even mentioned whether that dog will get sea sick. You won't know till you are out there. Research this heavily and use your heart AND YOUR HEAD in making the final decision.

#3) We use a small wet/dry vac which is close to a mandatory on a LA boat. You will have to run generator or large inverter to power.

# 4) We have not lived aboard in the cold climate, but the current boat is in a lake and it get quite cold for us in the winter (below freezing). We use both the R/C air cond and heating, and a lot of space heaters. Your best bet though is probably getting a propane heater in liu of the r/c system in my opinio nas it will probably be more efficient and I would assume much cheaper to run especially in cold water. I think when the water temp is around 45-50 the r/c systems become very inefficient or may not hardly work at all. Space heaters are very inefficient and burn lot sof electricity. Also, they require a generator. You cannot run that all day on teh hook unless you are made of money and diesel. Forget the wood burning thing. This is a boat not a house.

#5) A Kettenburg 40'?? What in the world led you to that boat? No freaking way I would EVER consider an old wooden boat for my family of anything I was serious about. You need fiberglass or steel or something other than wood. We had this wooden boat in our marina that was always leaking (they all do). That thing was always trying to sink (they all do). It almost became a joke every morning on who got to call into the marina to pull out the pumps to keep her from hitting bottom. And if you get a wooden boat from FL where the water is salty and move to a brackish or low salt environment, that thing better have a bunch of bilge pumps!!! Forget the wooden boat idea. Avoid wood like the plague. Even concrete is better than some old wooden relic. The exception to this rule is a very well cared for wooden boat (when you get it) and you have lots of money. I must assume that one or both of these conditions is not you???

#6) If money is less of an object, get a LCD flat screen and bulkhead mount. We have one and it is better than watching on the lap top. If money is a bit more of an object, then just use the lap top. Unlike many others here, I am not opposed to TV (though we only watch movies in general and even then very little). However, it is nice to watch the weather before storms with the TV and hey... this is your home not a weekend getaway. Still, you will have a million things to spend money on and make sure the TV and sound system is very low on your priority list.

#7) Living on a mooring, in a cold climate, with a kid, dog, and a wife that has to go to work (or both of you going to work) is an absolute recipe for disaster. DOn't screw up what can be a great lifestyle. I know people that have made that work (without the cold weather... this is in S FL), but they are few and far between. Still, even they did not have a dog. You need a marina. In my opinion, unless everyone is made of tougher stuff than any LA (live aboard) I have ever heard of, you will burn out on that boat within a few months. Maybe weeks. Then you are broke, stuck on a boat, and liable for all the associated costs and frustrations of getting OUT of the lifestyle that you have locked yourself into. Remember, buying a boat is like buying a large piece of land in the country. It is a wonderful experience at first. Buying it is easy. But getting rid of it can be a very long and financially draining process.

#8) On the toolkit question: I have a full complement of hand tools (screw drivers of many lengths/sizes, 1/2 and 3/8 driver set in metric and american), a drill (both battery and electric but I have a large generator and inverter), a dremmel, a heat gun (for heat shrink), and a Jig Saw. With the jig saw, you can probably do anything you could do with many other tools - including a circular. I do not think a circular is necessary. It is nice, but not neccesary. The jig can do it all. And it is imporatnt to remember that space is a premium on a boat and you need to minimize your tools too for those that can use multi-purposes.

#9) I personally (and especially with a dog and kid and wife that works) NEVER get a dink without an engine.First time you gotta take that dog to take a crap in a rainstorm or the middle of the night in a blow and you will either be buying an engine or ditching the dog. And I believe that with a child, you need a way to get that child quickly to emergency services. Seconds last for hours when on a boat with a hurt or sick kiddo. Their safety takes precedence to ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you do.

#10) I do not want to start another gun debate, but just leave the guns at home. You should have a 12ga and probably a 25mm flare gun that would easily kill in close range. And on a boat you will be in close range. There are no 'Pirates of the Potomic' so at worst you will have some nut job board you in the middle of the night. But the odds of this happening are astronmically small. Your flare gun should be fine.

As far as the rest, I can get you one of the best surveyors I have ever known in FL. That's not an issue.

You are doing the same thing many of us have done - but you will find most have not done it with kids. Kids make it MUCH harder (and more enjoyable). But it does change the rules. We are here to help. Ask questions as you wish.

- CD

Here's some LA and sailing pics:

Mom with my oldest (at that time):



My wife and oldest son:



Chase watching TV (on a computer, incidentally... we used the computer at that time as flat screens were not an option)



One of our dogs:



The kids today:





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Last edited by Cruisingdad; 07-30-2009 at 01:37 PM.
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I'll tell ya, I love Kettenburgs, they're beautiful boats, there are 100's of ketts still here in SD, many have been restored to original beauty and if YOU can do it, you'll have a peice of classic art, however, having said that, I have to agree with CD, the Kett may not be the best choice for your first boat, the renovation and upgrade cost may cause hardship with your admiral and crew and that there could be a dream killer
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