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post #1 of 7 Old 04-26-2010 Thread Starter
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Liveaboard NY-CT

Hello all,

I would like to ask some advice from the community. I have wanted to live aboard for a long time and I have finally found myself in a position to make it happen I think. The one problem is that this is going to have to be a tight budget and I'd like to keep the boat cost around 5k if possible(could go higher). I think I could manage to live in a boat that was as small as 26 or 27 feet but ideally 29 or more. Is it possible to find a boat that will have standing headroom, a shower, decent sized bed, refrigeration, stove and can be sailed safely and reliably, in this price range? Any specific suggestions for boats to look into would be great.

Also, I am planning on moving on to this boat in the next month and living aboard on a permanent basis despite being a relative novice sailor at present. I am in the New York CT area and would want to dock her in that area which seems a little challenging as people around this area tend to turn their noses up at the idea of living aboard. Does anyone know a good marina in the westchester fairfield area that they would reccomend looking in to? Also, any ballpark estimate on what it would cost to fit the boat for living abord in the eastern climes over the winter? I think Id like to go with electric heat from the research Iv done.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. I guess I have asked a lot of questions here but ZI am mainly looking for suggestions of boats that might be good solid liveaboard boats at a low price point.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-26-2010
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I liveaboard here in western norway and it simply involves charisma. forget the snobs and think diligently . even ,here I kept a low profile and didint shout "im a liveaboard ,you &%&/&!"Use oil heater as electric is too £$£$. But use a small fan/heater to keep air circulation at same time. Thats a start if you have good shorepower. Keep air circulating is key...On a limited budget its a major lifestyle change.You must be willing and forceful .good luck,Luke!
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-26-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalos View Post
Hello all,

I would like to ask some advice from the community. I have wanted to live aboard for a long time and I have finally found myself in a position to make it happen I think. The one problem is that this is going to have to be a tight budget and I'd like to keep the boat cost around 5k if possible(could go higher).
A friend of mind bought an Islander 30 for 7,500 last fall but it is far from liveaboard comfortable. It has lots of leaks, a rotted out bulkhead and soft deck.It was an ex raceboat that was beaten pretty bad.

Another friend bought a Catalina 27 sold it and later a Catalina 30 each in the 15,000 range. Both boats had in my view significant issues and neither was fitted out for winter living.
It gets cold here and the wind can be high in the winter.
Have you been shopping yet in person and actually see what you get for 5,000? Looking at the pictures on a website is misleading.
Pilots Point East yard Westbrook, CT takes liveaboards but it costs probably 5,000 plus for the year for dockage.

Finding a place to put your dinghy and rowing to a mooring in the wind and waves and cold and ice while certainly doable would take a strong person.
There are so many practical items. How do you keep the head from freezing. How about fresh water?
It is all doable of course but !!!

Last edited by davidpm; 04-26-2010 at 11:06 PM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-26-2010
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I'd point out that many marinas have a minimum length for liveaboard status and many charge additional fees for livingaboard privileges. Many marinas are not open year round in the Northeastern United States, so you may not be able to liveaboard during the winter.

Many will not accept a $5000 sailboat as a liveaboard boat, either due to size or condition. Most marinas don't want to have what appears to be a derelict boat sitting in their facility, and most any boat that is large enough to meet their size requirements will look like a derelict at that price.

I'd also point out that most boats below 30' LOA do NOT HAVE A SHOWER, either in the head or separate. This is also true of many older boats that are greater than 30' LOA. Having a shower on a boat is a relatively recent development and is generally restricted to more recent, larger boats that have a pressure water system, hot water, and the room to fit a shower.

Most smaller, older boats, will not have refrigeration. Refrigeration is also a relatively new development in boats. Many long distance cruisers don't have refrigeration due to its expense and inherent unreliability. Some refrigeration systems are engine driven and ill suited to liveaboard use, since they would require you to run the engine to keep the refrigerator running. A 12 VDC system would be a better choice.

Adding heat to a boat will probably cost at least $500, if you do all the work yourself. Marine heating units are not inexpensive. Fitting one on a very small boat could also be an issue. You would also have to insulate the boat, since most boats are not insulated. Many small boats, especially older ones, do not have the necessary shore-power wiring to allow you to use a 110 VAC heater aboard, so that may be an additional cost to installing electric heat. Diesel heat is probably a much better idea, but is going to be even more expensive than electric heat. However, it will probably be more cost-effective over the long run.

Do you have any skills in terms of boat maintenance or repair? Can you do carpentry, fiberglass repair, plumbing, electrical work, mechanical work??? If not, then any modifications to your boat are going to be VERY VERY expensive, since most boatyards charge at least $80-100 per hour.

Also, do you have any plans for where to stay if you need to vacate your boat for any period of time, as many boatyards will not allow you to liveaboard if the boat is hauled out for repair.

These are just some of the considerations you have think about in order to liveaboard in the northeastern US.

Sailingdog

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post #5 of 7 Old 04-27-2010
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It happens in NY BUT under the radar in CT there are marinas that allow it

The issue will be 26' and UP is were you will need a real survey to even get basic Liability insurance which will be 100% required anyplace

In terms of cheep i would say outboard powered is the only chance you have

I have been working on my project boat from October 2009 and its NOT survey ready yet and while i could get insurance its not worth the paper its printed on if you were to need it



The mooring and row people i know took a hell of a beating this winter

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post #6 of 7 Old 05-04-2010
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I think you can find a decent live-aboard for around $25,000 much less and you're looking at something that will take a lot of work before putting it into the water. From what I have seen around here is the marinas are fairly tough about the boats they let in, especially for live-aboards. If you come in in some thing that looks like it will need to be towed out, your not going to get it into the marina. On the other hand if you have a nice looking boat that looks well maintained they might not care if you are living aboard or not. They will likely require a working motor, sanitation system that meets regulations, and has reliable rigging. They do not want an abandoned boat on there hands, and if all you have is $5,000 in it and something major goes wrong you might just abandon it as it will cost more than it is worth to just scrap it!

You might want to look at power boats as they are available fairly cheaply now with the high gas prices and poor economy. If you are just looking for something to live on. They give you a lot more space per foot as well. Then make friends with the locals and go sailing on there boats! I lived in a marina for over a year and only took the boat out a few times, but was out on the water every weekend and several times a week, on other people's boats. That was a long time ago, and I had a house boat, so it was not something you really wanted to take out.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-08-2010
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You could always just tie up in Newton Creek, I always see a few sailboats in there. Probably illegal, but hey...
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