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bobcat 05-25-2011 02:57 PM

Am I Crazy?!
Ok, I am going through a divorce, I need a place to live. I sailed a sabot when I was a boy and now I'm 59 and want to get back into sailing. Am I crazy to just go out and find a boat to live on that I don't know how to sail? Of course, I will get whatever education I need as I go along, but I'd rather put my money into a boat to live on that an apt with four blank walls to stare at. Would I be making a mistake to put money into a boat with no real experience? Of course I have already begun the research process and would have anything I bought surveyed. I have pretty much decided on a looking for a sailing cat that would be easy to handle by myself. I also live in Orange County, Ca where I know liveaborad slip space is hard to find. My ultimate plan is to become as familiar with the boat as I can and gain as much experience as I can on short cruises to Catalina and local harbors, then take off and go cruising in three to four years. Has anyone else ever gone through this? Any advice? Am I crazy?

Silvio 05-25-2011 03:15 PM

Welcome to the board.
Yours is not an uncommon desire and I am sure you will find others that have done what you discuss. Not crazy.
Do what you are comfortable doing.

Invest your time reading and researching then go for it. SailindDog posted an exceptional guide to boat buying that you can search for on this site.

I moved aboard my boat not by a divorce but when my job recalled me 1100 miles away from my wife and kids AFTER we rented out or house. Sh*t happens. I have remained sane by living on our boat, sailing after work, tinkering with the constant needs of the boat instead of staring at four blank walls getting depressed.

That is why the boat's name is the S.S.R.I.

Happy drugs!! It keeps the depression at bay. good luck!

bobcat 05-25-2011 04:59 PM

Thank you for the information. I know the feeling. I've been living in the UK for the past three months with one more month to go. Before that I've been traveling for my job vitrually 100% but always had weekend to come home to my wife. Now that I won't have that I also need to avoid depression and loneliness. I think keeping myself occupied by living on the boat and cruising will help. Of course I loved sailing my little sabot around the bay when I was young and have a very strong desire to get back into it. I'll check out the buying guide.

tattoosteve 05-25-2011 05:46 PM

i think people who live on land are the crazy ones!

Silvio 05-26-2011 08:39 AM

I hear ya Bobcat, lonliness sucks mroe than just about anything else. Here is my own observation about life on board while still working on land.

There is a tendancy to become a marina fixture, never loosing the dock lines and sailing. I see several live aboards that settle in and get quite comfortable never leaving the dock. I avoid this temptation by conciously keeping the boat ready to go on a moments notice. I keep everything stowed and if I leave dishes out to dry I start to feel too confined. I make a point to get out and sail at least once a week even if it is only going out in the bay after work and staying on the hook, coming back to the dock in the morning in time to shower and get to the office:) It's amazing what a night at anchor will do for my attitude in the office. Long weekends and holidays that I am not home with my family I take off and explore, going usually 50-100 miles or so in whatever direction coincides with the weather forecasts.

We bought our boat with the idea that I would be single handing it frequently and to that end all my lines are lead to the cockpit and I can manage docking with a mid line even in pretty stiff cross winds. I see some folks that buy the biggest most comfortable boat for living on at the dock only to discover that they need a crew to get it ina and out of the marina and therefore they never leave the dock.

My marina is very welcoming to live aboars and we have 6 - 10 at any time living aboard. Look for a place that you don't have to hide the fact that you live aboard. It is nice to have a real community at the marina where we get together for birthdays, retirements, and just 'cause it's nice weather for a cookout.

Fair winds and good luck,

Silvio 05-26-2011 08:41 AM


Originally Posted by tattoosteve (Post 734088)
i think people who live on land are the crazy ones!

It's hard to find a flaw with that reasoning:laugher

Ajax_MD 05-26-2011 09:24 AM


What you're trying to do is pretty difficult, but maybe that's what you need to occupy yourself and keep your mind busy with other things.

There's a lot to consider with a liveaboard boat-

Size, layout, total volume, then performance issues unless you plan on becoming a dock fixture. Silvio really nails it in my opinion. He has the right attitude. I don't know why anyone would want to become a barnacle at a marina.:rolleyes:

So once you choose a boat that meets your living and sailing criteria, you have to go shopping for that boat. Then, because it's your HOME, you have to get it surveyed to make sure it's safe and worth the cost of purchase. Then you have to transport it somehow to the marina where you intend to live. Then you have surely have to do at least some minor repairs.

Then you have to learn to sail a big boat, move aboard, learn to live a life with fewer material posessions in limited space...

I don't liveaboard, but I've been carefully researching this because living aboard for a little while might be in my near future.

There are a lot of factors to consider, but maybe the planning and the do-ing will help you through your troubles.

deniseO30 05-26-2011 09:30 AM

Bobcat, until you get emotionally stabilized, living on a boat may be almost the same as the apt, staring at the walls. People coming out of relationships often fall into very deep depression. Some take years to find their selves, some never do.
Taking on a boat that needs fixing may be emotionally equal to having a demanding Mistress! If boating is a passion and sailing may be too, you could be on the right track but I'd hate to think your jumping from one bad situation into another. Hopefully you will find emotional support in single friends and family on your "side" of the divorce. Being single and middle age is a tough nutshell to be in, and it's very very difficult to break out of it. I sincerely hope you can keep yourself upbeat about life and not let problems (that we don't know about) bring you down. I've met more then a few live aboard guys and some just seem more like hermits then productive members of society.. Not that's a bad thing! Jus saying... :)

travlin-easy 05-26-2011 10:45 AM

I'm going to approach this from a different perspective. I'm currently not a live-a-board, but if my health holds up I intend to become one in October of 2012. However, if some doctor tells me that I have a catastrophic disease, then I'll be a live-a-board a week later.

My longest time spent living aboard was during a 10-day cruise I took from Havre de Grace, MD to Virginia Beach, VA. It was a neat trip, but I was essentially living aboard a Catalina 27, which after a week, seemed a bit cramped for cabin space.

My new boat, a 33 Morgan Out Island, is far more spacious, yet it's still small enough that I can readily handle it by myself. I intend to set sail in early October of next year and take the boat to Marathon Key, FL, then to Key West, the Dry Tortugas, maybe across to the Bahamas or down to Cozumel, Mexico before heading back to Maryland 7 months later. My wife thinks I totally nuts. "What the Hell is a 70-year-old man thinking?" She frequently asks. Well, I'm thinking about palm trees, snow-white sand, turquoise waters and balmy temperatures. What I no longer want to do is rake leaves, shovel snow, slide around on ice-covered roadways, and work my a$$ into an early grave. At age 70 I still work 5 to 7 days a week as an entertainer (musician/singer), and I soon hope to make some changes along those lines. Playing and singing at Tiki Bars in the Florida Keys during the dead of winter makes a lot more sense to me than performing at an Italian Restaurant in the middle of a Baltimore blizzard.

Now, I'm not yet in the throes of divorce, and after nearly 50 years with the same woman the chances of that are probably pretty slim, though I'm sure it has crossed both our minds during the past half-century. I'm fairly confident that my loving spouse will NOT be going with me on that trip, but she may fly down for an occasional visit now and then. Because of this, I'll be somewhat in the same situation as the OP, living a fairly lonely life aboard, watching TV, reading, doing a little fishing and sailing when the weather cooperates, and of course, playing music and singing to the ladies at the Tiki Bars. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing it will be a bit of a lonely lifestyle.

Now, if "absence makes the heart grow fonder," as the old saying goes, I suspect the old gal will get a house sitter, hop on a plane, and head south sometime after Christmas to visit an old man living aboard his boat. With luck, she'll spend a couple months, then head home to await my arrival about the end of May. At least I'm hoping that's how things will turn out.

Good luck on your venture, and I sincerely hope everything works out well for you in the not too distant future.

Gary :cool:

sailhog 05-26-2011 10:46 AM

Ditto what Denise said.

One additional thing to think about.... a divorced sailor friend of mine who lives aboard his Catalina 320 has found it difficult to talk the ladies he meets in bars to come back to his boat with him. The minute they hear "I live on a boat," they think, "Hopeless dreamer," or worse, "Wharf rat."

Now that you're divorced, you're going to want to have as many meaningless, tawdry, one-night stands as you can possibly manage. This is the dream of every married man. What you need to do is to focus exclusively on this aspect of your new life and not mess it up by taking on the unnecessarily difficult task of talking the ladies into the V-berth when they would much rather be talked into a regular bedroom. I don't mean to sound too brass-tacks about it, but just sayin....

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