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Old 07-15-2011
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Wanted: Insight & Wisdom for Living Aboard

You may find this surprising, but a business degree in economics didn't instill a lot of common sense in me.

So, as I head down to Mobile Bay to live on the family sailboat (1985 O'Day 272), I'd welcome any communal help the internet can send my way!

Is there anything that you absolutely wouldn't have thought you would need until after you settled in? Any problems I might not foresee?


A little background...
I'm a 25 year old young lady with experience sailing JY15's with UTK on a rather crappy little lake in Knoxville, a summer sailing the Windwards in the Caribbean on a 52.2' Jeanneau, and of course as underling to Captain Dad on Percy Priest Lake in Nashville.

I'm a little out of practice, but *really hope* that intuition will make up for lack of practice.
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Old 07-15-2011
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Welcome,you will just have to settle in and adjust.marc
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Old 07-15-2011
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Thanks.

I'm sure it will be no problem at all. I'm actually really thrilled to be able to do this.

More than anything, I'm a little apprehensive about ocean sailing again. It's been quite a while, and while you get some skill with inconsistent and shifting wind on the lakes in TN, they're not nearly as strong or as consistent as coastal winds.

The only other time I've *lived* on a boat was with 10 other teens my age on a French Jeanneau. It definitely got really hot without A/C, so I'd just sleep up top or in the mainsail lazy bag.

Also, I think that the regulations in the Caribbean (or maybe because it was a French registered boat) didn't require the boat to have a septic tank? Learning how to sail there, it didn't make that big of an impact on me, but imagining how that would work out on lakes really grosses me out.
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Old 07-15-2011
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hi welcome to sailnet,yup sailing on the tn.river ponds sucks,my boat is on watts bar,mobile bay is quite big but very shallow and lots of abandoned oilwells,wrecks etc,the main channel is the only safe place to really be until you gain lots of local knowlege,i came across there 4 years ago,i hear that the dog river marina is pretty good if you need repairs etc,i prefer the area south of mobile or n.florida,living aboard a smaller boat you will find out soon how few things you really need or want to dig through to find something,i generally try store stuff in specific areas on the boat,safety gear,personl gear, food etc so i have a good idea where to start digging,what ever it is is bound to be on the bottem
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Old 07-15-2011
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Won't be sleeping on deck there I bet.marc
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Old 07-15-2011
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Do you intend to actively cruise on the boat? If so, do you have any particular area in mind? If cruising, you'll need certain types of things. If living on a floating apartment, there are other concerns. Either way, you need to have some basic, general plan. It doesn't have to be real specific, for instance, my basic plan is go north when it's hot, go south when it's cold. Once you have a handle on what you actually want, and expect to do, then you can make decisions on what you need to do it.
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Old 07-15-2011
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sawingonknots, I've been out skiing on Watts Bar a few times - it's actually really beautiful out there. I'm currently located in Knoxville and was just out on Melton Hill Lake last weekend. It seems like most of the lakes here in Knoxville are just fat rivers, although I might just be spoiled from sailing in Percy Priest.

The way you describe Mobile Bay kind of racks my nerves! I'm looking forward to some wide-open spaces, not a hidden obstacle course! I'm fine with reading charts, though, and I would imagine a fair amount of the bigger problems will have markers. And I'll be a bit overcautious, as I've been out of it for awhile, so I'm hoping I won't have to deal with any huge fiascos. Thanks for the heads up, though!

Marc, I like your brevity. Yeah, I've heard the mosquitoes are miserable, but I've got a bunch of army mosquito netting, so maybe I can rig up some kind of contraption?

PB, the main objective at this point is to make sure she's seaworthy in the next couple of weeks before I head down there, clean her up once I get down there and get settled in, and to get to know the channels in the area. Ideally within a month of living there, I'll be finding work in the area and taking her out at least every few days in the immediate area.

However, the family started in Nashville, got her on the Tombigbee, and motored her down there with the initial intent of using weekends and holidays to sail her around FL up towards Baltimore Harbor (we're big Orioles fans and have family in that area). I really like the Chesapeake area, and wouldn't mind taking a few small legs of the trip off pretty soon. However, I haven't done *any* planning for weather or anchorage at all, so I'll have to look into that more closely before I can do anything.
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Old 07-15-2011
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Boasun will become famous soon enough Boasun will become famous soon enough
Try to keep your meals down to One pan affairs.
If you are going to look for work in the area you are in; you will want to keep your Interview clothes simple but easy to shift into when needed.
bug repellent, netting and don't take any cardboard boxes onto your boat... vermin nest in them.
Mainly after a couple of months your original questions will be answered by expirience and you will have a new set of questions...
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it really sounds like your very sensible,you can proceed at your own pace,the tombigbee is a hoot,very stong currents,very very crooked, gobs of semi out -of-control tows and mamy mamy miles of no fuel or even a good place to anchor,if you do decide to head up it be very cautious because the tows take up the entire river and though i have great admiration for their skill if your in the wrong place at the wrong time.....,i always moniter ch.16 you can tell when their getting close by the clarity of their radios. moble bay and all the coastal chanels are always clearly marked just be very sure to stay within them because they are dredged chanels and abruptly shallow just outside,you should get aquainted with some local sailers as soon as possible,btw i'm planning to pass that way late this fall perhaps i'll give you a "holler",may the wind always be at your back and the path rise up to meet your feet
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Old 07-15-2011
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Boasun, thanks for the cardboard tip! I never would've known, and I'm certainly not a huge fan of vermin... I don't think I'll be looking for formal work, but I'm not the sort of girl that likes to just wear boat clothes and a bathing suit every day, either. I think I'll be able to fend for myself - I'm pretty good at getting around in heels and dresses.

sawingknots, Thanks for the heads up on the Bay. Definitely feel free to drop me a line whenever you're around there. I'll probably be in the same marina for a few months making plans and double checking them before I head anywhere else.
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