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Old 07-25-2010
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Considering Living Aboard

My wife and I are considering this lifestyle change and thinking that meeting and talking with those that have the experience would be a great place to start. Also seeing what size and style of boat we would need for our comfort. We are new to sailing but I have a lifetime of power boat and on the water experience.
Is there anyone on here in the Kemah/Clear Lake/Galveston area currently living aboard that wouldn't mind having us over for an afternoon to share their knowledge and experiences?

Thank You,
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Old 07-25-2010
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Hi David! We're a bit too far away to invite you over, but have been living aboard 8+ years now and loving it! As long as you're willing to downsize your possessions and collect experiences and friends instead of things; and expect to be in closer touch with nature and weather-related inconveniences than you were on land; its a wonderful adventure.

Boat size and type is very individual; Dan and I live on a 33-foot sailboat and that seems to be at the smaller end of the range for 2 people living in comfort in a climate that includes winter. One thing that may help is to start by determining what the dealbreakers are: what would make it feel like "camping out" if you had to do without it? TV? Onboard shower? Room for your favorite hobby? You really want to plan for this or long-term living aboard just won't work.

You might also check blogs of people that have been living aboard and/or cruising if that's your goal.
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Old 07-28-2010
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Check out my web site for some info:
Retire Onto A Sailboat
Bill Dietrich

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sailing vessel "Magnolia": 1973 Gulfstar 44 ketch motor-sailer
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Old 08-22-2010
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I have been living aboard for almost two years now and have no desire to go back in the opposite direction. I am a single guy and so the adjustment was much easier I think than for a couple but with the right desire and attitude anyone could make the adjustments.

I have to say that it is not for everyone and as the previous poster sail what might be good for some may not for others. One thing to keep in mind is that so many things that you take for granted will be tested. You will have to do things you never did before or take more time with what used to seem simple (like laundry). I look at each day like a process and it is about the process and journey more than anything.

I spent an entire year looking at different boats anywhere from monohull to catamaran. I look at 30 footers up to 50 footers. I look at different model in many different countries (England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Bahamas, US, etc.). I was looking at having room for at least two and found that for me, 38 ft was the smallest I would feel comfortable on and liked the 40-45 ft range.

I finally decided upon a single model, the Beneteau 440, and then compared each one available in every market in the world. I did not care where I ended up as long as I got a solid boat for the right price. I felt this boat could get me around the world so where ever I ended up I would outfit the boat and then explore new areas from that jumping off point.

Another major consideration is if you will life on the hook and cruise or if you plan to live at dock. Both have their different aspects, but living on the hook and/or cruising has more challenges than in the marina. I have done both and find the freedom on the hook to me more what I enjoy than living at the dock like a water front condo. I also stay in better shape.

I am happy to explore other aspects and answer any questions. Feel free to PM me to explore further if you wish.

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Old 08-22-2010
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If you pick a likely dock and ask around, you may find liveaboards, and they'll usually be quite glad to chat about it with you.
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Old 08-22-2010
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
If you pick a likely dock and ask around, you may find liveaboards, and they'll usually be quite glad to chat about it with you.
Dock liveaboards and those who choose to cruise and live on the hook have quiite different lifestyles. Some dock liveaboards may sail rarely or not at all but they will have good AC in Texas!

You might want to set your goals first before talking to people.
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Old 08-26-2010
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I would think that if you spend the day with someone you might want to do it on a boat similar to those you are looking at/in your price range... it might help you get a better feel for what you are looking at. There is probably a marina w/boats for sale that you could go climb around to see what is comfy for you.
I found (as a single guy w/occasional guests) that 30' gives me the space I need... a lot of that was predicated on headroom (6 4) as I found a lot of boats 27ish and smaller required a fair amount of hunching which I didnt think would be very tolerable for long periods of time.
Something else to consider is not just how many 'things' you can live w/o, but what amenities you are used to on your power boats you can live without (or need)... ie--genset.
While 30 is good for me, there wouldnt be much personal space/space to be alone for a bit with two, so i would think--personally-that i would need something with 2 cabins....maybe 35+
have fun, good luck--if youre ever in the metroplex you are welcome to come out to the lake....
How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean ~ Arthur C. Clarke

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