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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
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  #1  
Old 04-11-2010
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Owning a boat long/cruising from long distance?

What are the challenges/issues with owning a boat and putting it in a slip while living a ways off (say, Tennessee, for instance), and hopping a plane every week or 2 to go sail?

This would be vs. purging everything here, moving to the water and doing it from there. I'm not sure I'm pure liveaboard material, and even if I moved to the water I would still want a place on the land. So if I can have a lower cost of living where I'm at and take advantage of ridiculous cheap ass airfare to fly down every week or two, live aboard while I'm there, learn to sail, and do some short trips, what are the costs and other issues to consider?
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Old 04-12-2010
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I've been living here in the States, off and on, since 2001. During this time I have kept my boat in Nassau or the Abacos. I fly over for 3 weeks a year, use it as my vacation home, then fly back home.

Airfares are fairly reasonable to Nassau, unlike the Abacos. However, dockage/moorings are much cheaper in the Abacos and you don't have the problems with theft that Nassau has become famous for. I have viewed my time in Abaco to be just a prelude until the time I can resume cruising again full-time.

I have thought about bringing my boat back to the States, but having a vacation "home" smack dab in the middle of paradise, ain't such a bad thing. I wouldn't save any money on dockage, etc., back in the States and would not have anywhere near as pretty to gunkhole around in.

The key to long-term storage in the Bahamas is to either buy a boat over there or pay the import duty. I bought my Hunter in Nassau and to previous owner paid the import duty. Now, for $100/year I can keep my boat here indefinitely and will never have to worry about purchasing a cruising permit.

Last edited by AlanBrown; 04-13-2010 at 10:38 AM. Reason: forgot a word
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Old 04-12-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utchuckd View Post
What are the challenges/issues with owning a boat and putting it in a slip while living a ways off (say, Tennessee, for instance), and hopping a plane every week or 2 to go sail?

This would be vs. purging everything here, moving to the water and doing it from there. I'm not sure I'm pure liveaboard material, and even if I moved to the water I would still want a place on the land. So if I can have a lower cost of living where I'm at and take advantage of ridiculous cheap ass airfare to fly down every week or two, live aboard while I'm there, learn to sail, and do some short trips, what are the costs and other issues to consider?
Depending on where you are and where your boat is cheap airfares may be non existent or if they are cheap now, some airline executive can change that with a stroke of his keyboard.

Next, most of us that own sailboats are not in the financial strata that can afford to pay someone else to keep our boat up for us. That means we do maintenance, lots of maintenance, ourselves. Traveling, at a not insignficant expense, to enjoy a long weekend on the boat might seem like a reasonable idea. Making the same trip to spend 3 days, sanding, scraping, painting, varnishing, cutless bearing replacing, ect, etc, etc, will probably rate differently on your valuation scale.

That said, I do know some folks that live at some fair distance from their boats. What I observe is they don't use them much. Even if they show up at the marina fairly often, the chores always seem to keep them at the dock, then they might get in a week long cruise each season and some short daysails.

If it were me, and I couldn't live within a mornings drive of the boat, I think I'd plan to do a long charter once a year and leave the maintenance, insurance and slip costs to others.

FWIW, after 5 years of driving only 4 hours to our boat, we've decided its too hard so we're moving the boat closer to us nearly doubling our annual slip expense, but reducing our drive by more than 1/2.

Good Luck.
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Old 04-21-2010
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Another consideration that I'm curious about - are there any out there that have their boat at a locale a flight away from "home" and cruise from place to place? If you're in a situation where you can take a flight once a month and have a week to cruise and relax, does anyone hop from port to port? I'm curious as to the logistical issues of finding marinas to accomodate you considering you're a transient, and the costs associated therewith. I'm currently in a situation where I'm planning to ship my boat at the end of this year and am contemplating a near-future CA or FL move (choosing the locale is a whole other discussion). If I haven't made the move before shipping the boat that is okay with me as I do have a schedule that would still allow me to travel and sail from a distance until I could make a more permanent move (job issue)...

I met a gentleman from Chicago over the winter at a Mack Boring 3-day diesel class - he keeps his boat in the Med (Croatia and Spain) and commutes over there a couple times a year for a month at a time. That's the extreme side of it...
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Old 04-21-2010
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I have met a couple of residents of the UK who keep their boats on the Long Island Sound. They overwinter their boats in CT and cruise LIS, Narraganset Bay, and points east in the summer. They assert that it's significantly cheaper than keeping a boat in the UK and the weather is pleasanter. The availablity of train service to and from NYC on both shores of the LIS is a bonus.
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Old 04-21-2010
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There was a 40-foot-ish Island Packet in the slip next to us in Annapolis, owned by a guy from Texas gulf coast. He claimed that the insurance savings from keeping his boat outside of the hurricane box more than paid for the cost of airfare to fly up and sail the Chesapeake about every 6 weeks through the season.
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