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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
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  #1  
Old 05-07-2010
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House VS Sailboat?

I have wanted to sell everything and get a CAT to live on; my wife doesn't understand how it can be done! Her first question to me is wont it gets boring, second is what do you do about a hurricane or a storm won’t the Lighting strike the boat? Can anyone help me out here to explain this to her? I told her if there was a storm coming you would have to watch where it is going then if it is a direct hit or not most of the time you can just sail your boat out of the PATH and wait! She says what do you do with your JOB? Well i am here now to ask all of you what do you do and how do you do it all on a Sailboat?

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  #2  
Old 05-07-2010
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eryka is on a distinguished road
Pretty broad question but I'll take a shot at it.

Living on a boat is like living in a very small condo with a great view and neighbors who share your interest in boating. Do you get bored? Yeah, what do you do with all the time you no longer have to spend cleaning leaves out of gutters or mowing the lawn?

If you have a job, you live in a marina and you have all the basic comforts associated with land life, like electricity, a car, a permanent address ... except on weekends you take your home and go sailing, or exploring. If there's no job you go on much longer explorations.

If there's a hurricane you can haul your boat onto land (safest, and many insurance companies will split the cost with you, because keeping their investment safe benefits them too)

You end up collecting more friends and experiences than possessions, in this life. Been living aboard full time & loving it for 8 years and counting.
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Old 05-07-2010
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I always considered my boat to be my second home. Even the IRS felt the same way. Eventuaslly it became my only home.

The major difference between a house and a boat is that you can change your scenery and neighbors anytime you have a mind to. This portability has allowed me to live on a NY lake, the Hudson River, the ICW, the Keys, and the Bahamas.

If you fancy the freedom to explore new places and adopt an independent , self-reliant lifestyle, then owning a boat is the way to go.

However, if having a feeling of stability and permanence is what you strive for, buy a second home somewhere. Boating's not for you.

As far as hurricanes, lightening strikes, and termites go, as a boat or homeowner, you still have to use your common sense and have good insurance.

Depending upon where you live, it may be possible to live aboard your boat and still keep your present job. As Eryka says, it's like living in a small condo. When you start cruising full-time, this will become your job. Given the demands and challenges of cruising, I doubt if you'll have much time to be bored.

Good luck!
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Old 05-07-2010
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Eryka hit it on the head... If you're working at a full-time job, the major difference between living aboard a boat and living in a small apartment is the location, view and who you pay rent to.
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Old 05-07-2010
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I fully support the idea of living aboard, whether to travel or just as an alternative to being on land, but there are a few other differences to keep in mind that we saw as negatives. We looked into moving onto a boat rather than buying our condo and what kept us off the boat were the following:

1. Unlike a house on land, your floating condo will need to be pulled from the water every year or two for maintenance, which may find you living in a parking lot, if the yard will even let you sleep on the boat. If they don't, you will be paying for a hotel.

2. Conditions on a boat are going to be more humid than in a house. This can make it feel colder in winter, and does impact the condition of your personal possessions (of course, having central AC and heat can alleviate this problem).

3. There is no guarantee that your marina may decide at some point to stop allowing liveaboard. Also, there are few marinas, at least in our area, that even allow liveaboards.

4. You will be using a marine head and will need to have it pumped out every now and again, even in winter.

5. Once we ran the numbers, it really wasn't going to save us much over the price of owning on land. The only practical marina for us charged an additional $600 per month for liveaboards - this was over and above the normal slip fees.

There are others, but these were the major ones for us. Ultimately, we decided on buying a condo on land in the city, which allows us to get by with a single car, then took the savings on the car and bought a 30 ft. sailboat to use on weekends, vacations, holidays, etc. Eventually, we will sell that boat to buy a bigger one for a sabbatical we are planning and rent our our condo while we are gone. Someday I could see moving aboard permanently (assuming we enjoy the experience while on sabbatical), but we would only do so for the ability to travel, not to just stay in one place.

Like I said, I think living aboard is a great lifestyle, and we intend to do so several years from now while on a sabbatical exploring the East Coast and Caribbean, but there are differences. As the positive differences have already been addressed (ones that I agree with), I'm not going to relist them. Just make sure you go into it with eyes wide open.

PS - Unless the boat is brand new and under warranty, I doubt you will get bored. Although you won't have to contend with yard work, boats require a lot more maintenance than a house, at least that has been our experience. Of course, I find a day working on the boat almost as enjoyable as a day sailing the boat (note that I said "almost").

Last edited by SVCarolena; 05-07-2010 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 05-07-2010
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The last conversaton I had with the gentleman docked next to me in ponce inlet florida we were discussing the cost of crusing and living the life.
some folks spend $30,000 a year some like myself spend $5-9000 a year.
How ? all manner of ways. you'll find your comfort level.
He put it like this. "It costs whatever you have" I don't have alot so I do it on very little, and I sail the same waters as others with apparently much more ! you can too. all you hve to do is do it.
The longest journey starts with a sigle step.
Live the dash
Check out todays issue of towndock.net you'll understand.
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Living aboard isn't for everyone. If you continue working, you haul your laundry to the nearest laundromat. There isn't space for an ironing board on the boat if your job requires a shirt and tie, but you can improvise using the dinette table with a thick towel while the iron is plugged into shore power.

Leather shoes, jackets, purses, etc. can become a mold breeding ground if you do not properly store them. I personally do not think leather should be on a boat unless it is to wrap the wheel or for lanyards.

You are going to find 7 different spots for the best place to stow your stuff before finding the ideal locker for it. You won't be bored - you'll be exhausted! If not divorced!

Having lived aboard for 15 years - you learn a lot, make great friends in your travels, and become more self sufficient!
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Old 05-08-2010
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or you put in a washer dryer combo and a watermaker and never haul laundry again ! (like I'm doing). not room for a irononig board ? sure there is , it's flat, put it anywhere.
leather items if stored properly and with a bit of desicent fare better, but not much worse than they do in the closet at the house in humid florida.
For every objection or inconvenice there is an answer, often several answers.
The only un-aswered question is why aren't you doing it ?
the answer - because you choose not to !

live the dash, it's all you'll ever have.
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Old 05-08-2010
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That biz about an extra fee for live aboards...is that common? I called a marina in Clear Lake, Texas and they just said there was a minimum 30' boat length.
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  #10  
Old 05-08-2010
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OK thanks to everyone replying! But maintenance like what, i understand things break and stuff but what all would need maintenance if you take care of it? Also I didnt see anyone that replied owning a Multihul CAT! I was thinking in getting one of those to live on that way you have more room then a Mono how do you live on a 30 ft. mono! Also in your travels have any of you talk to anyone that has went out in the water as a Hurricane was coming in to get away from it? I guess on a mono you cant out run it, i didn't think of that. I always thought of it as if you leave your boat dry docked during a storm like that; that it would be worse to do it that way then taken it out there in the waters? And I guess you all dive? Would you have to learn to do that to, what about eating, i am not big on sea food! I mostly eat salads burgers , pizzas, tuna, chicken, dogs, some steaks, eggs, cereal? What about TV , Internet, satellite? How many batteries can you hold on your boats? Or do you just rough it? We do have jobs we are only in our 40's I am the sailor! She would be my student, but i love storms have raced in a lot of them.. This sounds like a awesome idea!

She has all ways wanted a 230K home!
I just might throw a wrench in her idea!
I bet there is thousands of stars out there!
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