Looking into living aboard - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 02-16-2010
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Relkin is on a distinguished road
Looking into living aboard

Hello All! I am really new to the idea of sailing/boating, but currently thinking about getting rid of a bunch of my things and trying to live aboard a boat.

Would anyone here have any suggestions as to what I should look into getting for a live aboard, what to expect to pay for in keeping the boat afloat, and any other suggestions for someone who hasn't ever piloted a boat before?

Also- I live in south-east Alaska- I hear there is a different type of boat suggested based off of which coast you live on.

Really appreciate any suggestions, thanks!!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 02-16-2010
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Well, first you should probably get some time on boats of various sorts... You don't even know if you could live on a boat. If you get seasick, and some people get really violently seasick, living on a boat is probably not such a good idea.

The costs can vary quite a bit... as can the boats. From what you've written, I am guessing you have a fairly limited budget, and as such, there are a lot of land-based amenities that you may find you have to give up when moving aboard.

The first of these amenities is space—most boats have fairly limited stowage and space—especially if you're only able to afford a smaller boat.

The second thing is many boats won't support the normal complement of "comforts" that many people are used to. Large screen TVs, satellite TV, cable TV, a big stereo system with CD changer, a big refrigerator, etc. Many boats don't have a complex electrical system and only support the basics when it comes to electronic gadgets and toys. Also, many electronics and gadgets don't do well in a small boat marine environment due to the proximity to salt water and high-humidity.

Most small boats don't have a decent shower. If you're living aboard, you'll probably end up using the bathroom at the marina for showering and most other things. Using the head on the boat means that you'll need to get the holding tank pumped out, and that can be a royal PITA in many places.

If you're used to having a big kitchen...that is generally going to be a problem. Most smaller sailboats have very small galleys. Some people can adapt to this and create amazing meals using very little space.

Costs:

Insurance: depends on the type and amount of coverage you want

Dock/slip space: Usually depends on the length/size of the boat

Haul out/maintenance costs: Again, usually size dependent.

Basic maintenance: Depends on the size of the boat and the complexity of the systems on the boat. Usually about 10% of the boat's original price a year... but will vary depending on how well the boat was maintained and how old it is. Major items like new sails and rigging, which are periodic, are not included in this budget. This is a lot more affordable if you do the work yourself. If you pay to have all the work done, you're going to pay significantly more than this.

More information will get you better answers...
__________________
Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.

Last edited by sailingdog; 02-16-2010 at 06:18 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 02-16-2010
nailbunnySPU's Avatar
Meat Popsicle
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: marylandish
Posts: 110
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 6
nailbunnySPU is on a distinguished road
Alaska presents additional problems. Many boats are not equipped to provide sufficient electricity to heat, sometimes an additional breaker needs to be run, a 30 amp shore power connection may not even be enough. May need to resort to non-electric heat and insulation measures.

Another point to consider is that a decent boat with a head and some amenities should really get surveyed for assurance of your investment. I don't know about alaska but here they charge $20 a foot.

25' boats are about as small as you'll find with a head and head room. I live on a 30 and have plenty of room. I live in maryland and run two electric space heaters.

I feel the best way to be prepared is to read all the posts in this forum and some besides. Check out boats on craigslist and start asking what's right for you. Will you be an adventure seeker who needs a blue water boat to go world cruising? Might you become a shoestring cruiser with the work ethic to build up your own offshore vessel? Could you be a daysailor who'll have fun with friends and come back at dark? Could you become a racer? Are you a single guy who's hit the skids and can't afford any other option?

Very often your first boat isn't the boat you're destined for, the ideal boat for learning is smaller than the ideal boat for living. Sailing classes are a good idea.

The internet has ample information to the point that with enough reading, there are few surprises. The key is to not go into the venture half-cocked and ignorant, as most yacht types you meet hate the careless fool even more than they hate the poor. They love nobody more than a doe-eyed student who patiently listens as they "educate" you. You can start by reading as many of the posts in this forum as you can.

There's an amount of stigma of liveaboards as well (better to call yourself a full-time cruiser), and you'll have to steel yourself for a life of the endless barrage of numbskull questions like "you keeping warm?" "what you need is a friend with a kitchen/spare room/refrigerator", "why don't you get an air conditioner/bread maker/tv/cat/mini fridge/storage unit/SUV"

All told I feel the life is worth it and no harder than living in a house. If you value privacy and independence over amassing piles of stuff, if you have a love of water and wouldn't be better served by a RV, if you have a spirit of ingenuity and are prepared to trade some conveniences for others, if you're not emotionally attached to having a sewage system or septic tank, this is the life for you.

There are several ways to die that are unique to a marina or anchorage. Drunks take to drowning like cat hair to a suit. Cold water can freeze your muscles and give the grim reaper a pretty good shot at you, as can stray AC currents in a marina. There are so many ways that seacocks and cockpit drains and thru-hulls and anchors can bollocks up and lose your boat. Indeed, enough reading on the subject should instill you with a healthy fear of the various dangers. However, in my case the reality has been so much more tame, with my most trying times being fixing a burned up shore power cable in winter, sanding and painting the bottom myself, and finance.

Last edited by nailbunnySPU; 02-16-2010 at 07:22 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 02-16-2010
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: wherever
Posts: 5,262
Thanks: 8
Thanked 17 Times in 16 Posts
Rep Power: 11
xort has a spectacular aura about xort has a spectacular aura about xort has a spectacular aura about
Nigel Calder's "Cruising Handbook" would be a very good book to read to get a feel of what is involved with all the systems aboard a boat. Many of his discussions are centered around offshore cruising which you may not be interested in but they are still good concepts to understand.

You can call around to the marinas to see what their slip fees are. Same for insurance.
Plan on installing and using a diesel heater for the winter up there. You'll want to haul out every other year at a minimum to clean and repaint the bottom.

As an example of refitting costs, I bought a 1985 boat that the surveyor rated 'above normal' condition and I've spent an additional 25% of the purchase price on parts. Simple things like hoses and seacocks start to really add up. One seacock can run you $250. Head hose is $10/ft.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 02-16-2010
chrisncate's Avatar
Don't sail anymore
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 4,730
Thanks: 18
Thanked 30 Times in 30 Posts
Rep Power: 5
chrisncate is on a distinguished road
Buy the heaviest displacement glass hulled full keel cruiser that you can afford, and keep it under 32 feet (28 to 30 would be best).

Pay cash, or close to it.

Prepare to insulate the hull with 5 layers of 1 inch insulation foam, under wood hull planks.

Learn to sail it while living on it.

Grow a beard.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 02-16-2010
sailguy40's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 306
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 5
sailguy40 is on a distinguished road
I had intentions of using my boat for learning only, but it seems it may eventually become just a bit more. Its just how it worked out, I don't have much a choice unless I like to drive all the way home and waste my gas. Anyway, this boat I just bought last week, after laying in it today the thought came into my mind I would not have a problem if I ever wanted to live in it. Very cold outside but surprisingly warm inside it especially in the V berth. Although this boat does need interior work to be plush. If I were to live on it full time, I would pickup a portable ac unit, heater, small stove and porta potti. No harsh climates where I live, heat is a problem but thats what the portable ac is for and it would not have a problem cooling a small cabin. As for showers, I would just use the marina's showers.

Thing about me, I was one who lived in an 18-wheeler at one time for weeks at a time and never had a problem. The cabin in an 18-wheeler, although nice and plush is much smaller then that of a 25ft sailboat. Back then I was an over the road driver and made a good amount of money while doing that. Like the sailboat living, I guess its not for everyone but I personally never had a problem, the truck was really nice. For a large family with dogs and stuff, I doubt living aboard would ever work unless it was a huge 50ft yacht. For a single person or just a couple with no kids I think it would be much easier.

This said, I will actually be staying on my boat at least 3 nights out of the week probably starting next week. Plenty big enough for me. I for darn sure don't want to get off work, spend all evening working on my boat and then having to drive back home. When my boat gets fixed, I pull anchor and sail to southshore, stay in it there a few days out the week for a few months. So although I bought my boat to learn on without any intentions to live on it, I will be staying on it off and on. It basically will serve as my camp or second home or better yet my personal waterfront property The best thing, like this I can sail more often after work instead of only on the weekends. Not to mention I can get a feel for living aboard if I ever wanted to truely have a boat as my one home.

It could be a good idea to get a decent sized boat (mine is only 25ft but looks big to me) as I done, and learn how to sail with it. Then test live on it by spending an evening and night here and there. Then try a couple nights, I imagine if you don't get sick after that you can probably live aboard it. At least a few nights will give you an idea if its for you or not. I will let you know how I make out doing this. I doubt I have a problem, let the boat rock me to sleep
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 02-16-2010
huguley3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Stuart FL
Posts: 236
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
huguley3 is on a distinguished road
I heartily second the sentiment that the first boat you get is not likely to be the one your destined to have forever. I bought my current boat because it was cheap and simple. I have learned a lot about what i like and don't like about it. Much more so than reading what other people have found. The next boat in a few years will be much different and only a little bit bigger. So get the first boat as cheap as you can and learn everything you can from it. If you don't spend too much then you don't have to worry as much about the resale of it so it is a lot less worrisome to drill a hole in it.

I live in florida so a small space heater run off of shore power is sufficient to make the whole boat quite toasty. The next boat will have some sort of heater though as being attached to a dock is nice in some ways you start to get attached to it and lose your independence. Whether you have an rv or a boat independence and freedom is at least part of the point imho.
__________________
--

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
30' Islander Bahama
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 02-17-2010
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,998
Thanks: 5
Thanked 18 Times in 18 Posts
Rep Power: 11
wind_magic has a spectacular aura about wind_magic has a spectacular aura about wind_magic has a spectacular aura about
Relkin,

I think the hardest thing about being on a boat all the time has little to do with the boat, it is the life, that is what takes some getting used to. With that in mind, you can live the same life you would have on a boat now without ever even purchasing the boat, that helps to get you in the right frame of mind and moving in the right direction. You mentioned getting rid of a lot of your possessions, well, you can do that right now, you don't need a boat for that. Depending on if you plan to live at the dock or on the hook your life can be easy like condo living or much more challenging. Assuming you want to live at the dock not much else changes, you still have electricity, you can still use your vehicle, you can even have the standard services such as television cable if you want it, the biggest difference you will find is the amount of space you have. If you choose to live on the hook then you will have to make a lot more changes. Good luck, you got a lot of good advice above.

Disclaimer - I don't currently live on a boat.
__________________
What are you pretending not to know ?

Please support my
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 02-25-2010
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 44
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Soontobecruiser is on a distinguished road
I worked in Anchorage for 1 1/2 years. The marina at Seward had a 5 year waiting list. I am not sure about other locations but you might want to check into your area if you are planning to stay in Alaska.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 02-25-2010
blackjenner's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: in a condo
Posts: 250
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 5
blackjenner is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relkin View Post
Hello All! I am really new to the idea of sailing/boating, but currently thinking about getting rid of a bunch of my things and trying to live aboard a boat.

Would anyone here have any suggestions as to what I should look into getting for a live aboard, what to expect to pay for in keeping the boat afloat, and any other suggestions for someone who hasn't ever piloted a boat before?

Also- I live in south-east Alaska- I hear there is a different type of boat suggested based off of which coast you live on.

Really appreciate any suggestions, thanks!!
Read this.

Amazon.com: The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat (9780939837663): Mark Nicholas: Books

We purchased a copy a week ago and find it very up to date and informative.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Living aboard and learning to sail, or vice versa mark71565 Living Aboard 15 12-31-2008 02:23 AM
Reflections After One Year Living Aboard kmeeks Living Aboard 8 08-26-2006 03:26 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:18 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.