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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
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  #1  
Old 09-15-2009
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How Do You Like Living Aboard In Florida?

This is for you Florida folks. I live in L.A. and will be done working in a few years. I've been looking for cheaper places to retire which are also near the water so Florida naturally came to mind what with no state income tax. I understand the humidity since I grew up in Ohio, but I'm wondering about any other pros or cons you all could bring up. I see myself spending part of the year island hopping in the Bahamas or farther south and otherwise living aboard on the mainland so the eastern side is preferable to the Gulf side. I lived aboard my Cat 36 for a few years a while ago, so I know about that. Lastly, do you NEED A/C for the boat and what's up with all the bugs I keep hearing about? Thanks for any info,

Mike
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Old 09-15-2009
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Definitely AC!!! July and August are BRUTAL!!! We're on the gulf coast and it seems as though the yellow flies have been the biggest pests this summer! Sounds like you have a plan! Good luck to you!
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Old 09-15-2009
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A/c is a HUGE plus. We use house window units. We also use foam insulation board to build a box that directs the cold air in. 37FT. in front of me keeps his boat very cool with one unit. On my 46FT. cat I use 2 units to keep the whole boat cool. About $110.00 per unit for a comfy boat.

The humidity is quite different than Ohio, and it last longer too, and this is Jax Florida. I lived in St. Louis for years, and thereis a huge difference in the weather.....i2f
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Old 09-15-2009
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AC for sure if you can power it. Starting about June or so its pretty tough to get any sleep without it. We are on a 30 foot boat and have a 5500 btu window unit and it has a tough time during the day keeping it cool.

I don't think the bugs are as bad as everyone says. The mosquitoes and flies in North Dakota were way worse than here. The chiggers are kind of annoying if theres no breeze to keep them away.

The only downside to Florida I have found is that it is quite a bit harder to find work locally. The meat in Florida is quite bad too for some reason. Getting a good steak takes some effort.
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Old 09-15-2009
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MEAT? Some good marinade for several days will take the shoe leather, and turn it into something recognizable & delicious.........i2f
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Old 09-15-2009
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Bugs? Wait till you hear about "love bug season", the highway rest stops literally have drive-up hoses so folks can clean their windshields, you can't get from one station to the next and still see through the paste.

Other than that...this could be a good time to buy. Florida is mainly well oversold and overpopulated, i.e. there are something like 55,000 boats competing for 35,000 docks and slips on the old Coast (Dade/Broward) and many spot on the quieter West Coast have traffic just as bad as Seattle's famous I5.

Just remember, there was no "boom" in Florida or Texas until after cheap AC had been on the market. That might suggest something. And the lightning season might put a crimp in your sailing. July-September, you can expect deadly storms every afternoon, near enough.

On the other hand, February can look real nice to folks who don't mind wearing long sleeves. :-)
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Old 09-15-2009
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I can see where the aspect of no income tax would appeal to you, but for those living on a boat where they may actually use a marina periodically (or not), Florida probably has one of the highest costs of slippage in the country... maybe short of NYC.

My slip in Florida is going to run me about 700 dollars/month. That is paid upfront for the year, incidentally. You can go month-month, but you will pay more. This is on the west coast. On the easet coast, close to Ft Lauderdale and other areas, you might actually double this... asssuming you can get one at all!

Living on the hook is another matter. Still, while on the hook, you will need access to things ranging from groceries to yards, which means being in a fairly close proximity to a 'city', which means once again, you are pulling a ball or a marina.

The no-seeums are the killers in Florida. They can fit through regular mosquito netting. Bug spray can fix this, but we baically wore it 24-7 when outside. The exception is the winter when the bugs basically dissapear (well, more or less). The winter is awesome down there, but it is very crowded and you may have trouble pulling a ball or a slip.

Sounds like I am painting a bad picture of Florida, but I do not mean to. FL is great - with some exceptions. That is where we are going to base out of again, so I would not return if it were not nice. It has its nuiances, cost being one of them, but the tradeoffs are great wildlife, really being into the environment, great places to sail and anchor, and the gateway to the Bahamas and everything else. Go for it. You will enjoy it. Just take the checkbook and bug spray.

- CD
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Old 09-15-2009
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Oh yeah, I forgot one of your questions: I sure would not want to be in FL without Air conditioning. This is especailly true during the rainstorms which occur everyday in the summer - and you have to close up the boat.

- CD
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Old 09-16-2009
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If your living aboard and off to work each day from a marina, then I'd say the AC is essential. If your cruising and on the hook, you can probably get by without it. The gnats (no-se-ums), mosquitos, or yellow flies are localized and seasonal problems that are not an issue in vast areas and in no way exclusive to Florida. Ants and unusually large roaches can be a nuisance, but they can be controlled, especially if you treat your dock lines or you're on the hook. I don't think Florida would present anything that you could not adapt to,- we've been living aboard and cruising in Florida since 1972. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 09-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xsboats View Post
You guys are all wimps.When did you all start sailing! Questions about air conditioning are for p*****! Get real,you want to sail to Florida and are worried about air conditioning as opposed to the weather, the Gulf Stream ,etc... Why don't we whine about how much we have to spend to heat our boats at the South Pole! We are all sailors, right? Let's just deal with it! No wonder others think what they do of us when we sail their countries.At the risk of being banned from this website, I think we need to grow a pair and trim the jib!
I am wondering if you live on your boat in St. Augustine? If so are you living on the hook, or tied to the dock? As CF typed the dock, and the hook are 2 differnt things. I lived on the hook in Miami in August with no A/C, no problem. We sailed to GCS's, and within 24 hours put in an A/C unit. It wasn't the heat as much as the bugs.

Or is it you do lovely day sails, and go home to an air conditioned house, or apartment. The original poster was asking about living here, and not about how to get here. 2 different topics IMHO. ........i2f
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Last edited by Cruisingdad; 09-16-2009 at 03:18 PM. Reason: Editing out XSboats Quote of rbeing a potty mouth
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