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  #11  
Old 10-15-2010
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If I was going to simply park in a marina and live there, I wouldn't choose a sailboat as the platform. Some kind of motorboat, like a trawler or cockpit motoryacht, or a houseboat would be my choice.

Sailboats are dynamic working machines, and don't make the greatest "floating condos". You'd be investing a lot of your money in a working sail rig/sails/etc, that would rarely get used and would be in the way. The layout of a motoryacht or houseboat is much better for a mostly stationary liveaboard situation.

That wouldn't mean you'd have to give up on letting the kids learn to sail and play around on the water. You'd just get them some kayaks and sailing dinghies and they could have a blast.

All that said, if I was going to be parked in the marina all the time, personally I'd prefer to live ashore. I love boats and sailing and all that, but a big part of the attraction is the ability to roam around freely. Being stationary would wear out quickly for me. I'd be looking at the open houses in no time.

Also, keep in mind that it is much easier to live and cruise aboard a boat, when you are fully unplugged from shoreside society. It is more difficult when you have a foot on shore and one on the boat, especially when it involves kids. You will still be plugged into school systems and related activities, not to mention work. A lot of those shoreside things you'll still have to do will be logistically more difficult from a boat and marina. Maybe it will feel less hectic, maybe not?

There are certainly folks who do it, and hopefully you'll hear from some. I'm just hoping you'll go into it with your eyes wide open, fully realizing the implications. That can be hard to do if you have little or no boating experience.

Just as a random example, do you understand how the toilet plumbing works on a boat? You will need to keep all the "waste" in a tank on your boat. When it fills up, you will have to have the tank pumped out at a pump out station. Depending the size of the tank, with a family of four, you may get 3-5 days between pump outs. And you will always be fretting about the status of that tank -- will it max-out at 2 am one morning, with no more flushes until you can pump it out the day after tomorrow?

Anyway, I am not trying to persuade you one way or the other. But it doesn't sound to me like you have a true appreciation for the realities you will face. Liveaboard life looks perfectly idyllic from a distance, but it actually requires a fair bit of hard work -- just like life ashore. There are plenty of costs, too, so don't assume that it's a no/low-cost existence -- boats, slips, maintenance are all expensive, just like a house ashore.

Best of luck to you.
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  #12  
Old 10-15-2010
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JRP—

If you're living aboard in a marina, you can often use the marina's facilities, and then reserve the on-board head for emergency use only... that will make it go a lot further between pumpouts. Some marinas also have pumpout facilities at them, which simplifies things.
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Old 10-15-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
If I was going to simply park in a marina and live there, I wouldn't choose a sailboat as the platform. Some kind of motorboat, like a trawler or cockpit motoryacht, or a houseboat would be my choice.
maybe worth noting that the sailboat community is significantly (imho) less 'party oriented' than the powerboaters... if i had young children i would feel much more comfortable in the sailboat docks. while im sure this isnt always the case (you may find a laid back power dock), as a rule of thumb it seems to hold true.

so the kids can still have uncrowded play dates and parties and such, you may even consider a combination of a boat and 'dockaminium'

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Last edited by Faster; 10-19-2010 at 10:46 PM. Reason: fix quote
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  #14  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
JRP—

If you're living aboard in a marina, you can often use the marina's facilities, and then reserve the on-board head for emergency use only... that will make it go a lot further between pumpouts. Some marinas also have pumpout facilities at them, which simplifies things.
Dan,

That works okay for adults (sometimes), but with young kids you're not going to be schlepping off to the bathhouse every time someone needs to go potty (about 20 times a day). And anytime they do go to the bathhouse, you'll have to accompany them because the bathhouse is a public bathroom and parents don't send their young kids off alone to such places. So the logistics of using the bathhouse end up being another one of those unforeseen complications that may not sound like such a big deal for a weekend but that day in and day out become one of Dante's inner circles...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickMick View Post

maybe worth noting that the sailboat community is significantly (imho) less 'party oriented' than the powerboaters... if i had young children i would feel much more comfortable in the sailboat docks. while im sure this isnt always the case (you may find a laid back power dock), as a rule of thumb it seems to hold true.

so the kids can still have uncrowded play dates and parties and such, you may even consider a combination of a boat and 'dockaminium'

Properties for sale in COVE DOCKAMINIUM, Deerfield of South East Florida
I guess it depends on the marina. At ours, the powerboats and sailboats are not necessarily segregated.

And I'm not talking about hanging with the "Searay" crowd either. A lot of the folks on trawlers and motoryachts are just aged sailors that want to stay on the water but can no longer manage the workings of sail.
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gotta love it any time you can work 'schlepping' into a conversation! lol. in TX to discourage illegal dumping they have reduced the cost of pump out to 5bucks, and my current marina even has a service that will bring the m/v pooper pumpout right to your slip for a service fee.

edit--between schlepping and the 'sea ray crowd' you are cracking me up. thats interesting about the non-segregation. at my place the p/b'ers are all in covered slips--except one yahoo w/a 28' pontoon that needs a 40' slip (which he still crashes into) to dock w/o incident.
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Q: you know what the difference is between a catamaran and a pontoon boat?
A: about $100k, three trucker hats, 6 fishing poles and 5 cases of PBR.
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I think it's a great idea! I wish my parents had done something similar (and I think they do too). I am 26 and I just started living aboard a few weeks ago. It has been a blast, and I'm sure it will only get better, despite the approaching winter. I've spent a lot more money fitting out my boat than I imagined I would at the start -- be wary of that. I think these expendatures are nearing their end, however, and I"ll be able to get by with a budget comparable to what I was paying ashore for my apartment (with a roommate! now I have privacy). I read two books before starting this adventure: The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat (by Mark Nicholas, who occasionally posts on this forum), and All In The Same Boat (by Tom Neale). I think you should read both, but particularly the latter, as it is about a family of 4 that bought a boat and started living aboard and cruising. I think you'll get a lot out of it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
Q: you know what the difference is between a catamaran and a pontoon boat?
A: about $100k, three trucker hats, 6 fishing poles and 5 cases of PBR.
he he he... uhhh wait a sec... ive got 6 fishin poles... only one trucker hat... no PBR, but i am a sucker for this:

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Yup...ran across a big (72') powerboat that was named Retired Sailor III... beautiful boat...but not one I'd own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
I guess it depends on the marina. At ours, the powerboats and sailboats are not necessarily segregated.

And I'm not talking about hanging with the "Searay" crowd either. A lot of the folks on trawlers and motoryachts are just aged sailors that want to stay on the water but can no longer manage the workings of sail.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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