Join Date: Jul 2006
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Not to be a wet blanket or anything, but a couple of things I haven't seen mentioned.
One, simply do the math. Purchase price of the boat, cost of moorage, maintenance, etc... don't underestimate this with a 50' boat. It won't be cheap. If the math works for you, sure. Just don't estimate this. And don't forget, there's a 'keeping up with the Jones's' part of the community in sailing as well. On land or at sea, it's your choice to get wrapped up in it or not.
It's not a bad idea to have a 'plan B' for emergencies. That might mean access to some sort of land accommodation. Could mean ownership, an emergency fund to rent for a year, etc... Why? Medical emergencies. Having done the cancer dance, it would really have been hell on a boat. I was within days of closing on a live aboard 'dream' boat just as I was hospitalized and diagnosed, and lucky to have not been a liveaboard when everything went down. San Diego has much better weather than our locale which would make a difference, but one should consider these things at the very least. Speaking only for myself, I'd certainly live aboard, and may do so in the future, but would want access to at least a small land living space.
Last thought... we have a set of friends who are circumnavigating and are in year two. The simply rented their house, and use the downstairs in-law apartment for themselves when/if they need to return home as they both have aging parents in the area.... This could also work for a 'plan B' space, and you'd keep some of your equity in a house. Sure, you might downsize the current place and use some of the proceeds for your boat... it's just the math thing again. Again, not to put a damper on your idea. It's great, works for many, and might be exactly the right choice for your family.