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  #1  
Old 12-16-2012
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Question Your first boat

So I was reading through some other posts... I am wondering how many of you bought your first boat with a student loan... I have a few friends who did this and moved aboard instead of renting a place while they were at school. Any good stories or advice for those university students out there?
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Old 12-16-2012
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Re: Your first boat

I guess I must be a bit old fashioned, but I sincerely believe that every penny of student loans should be used exclusively toward student education - not buying a boat of any kind. I didn't borrow money from anyone to go to school - I worked 2 jobs and lots endured lots of hardships. And, anyone that believes they can live aboard a boat cheaper than they can live in a dorm obviously hasn't researched the cost of living aboard.

Just my opinion,

Gary
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Re: Your first boat

I generally agree with Gary, though it varies by area and school of course, and the the regulations with student loans. Student loans and school costs aren't what they used to be... My school has no dorms or housing assistance, and this city is VERY expensive to live in.

Here they are frustrating If I earn even close enough to pay for part of my education and housing costs they start cutting back on the loan. A truly odd situation that has left me perplexed for the years I've been at school, every year I get a loan they tell me that the loan leaves me with an unmet minimum need(and this is well below reality, being based on less expensive cities) of about 12, 000$. Yet if I earn 5000$ in a summer, they cut my loan back by 2000$ to counteract that income, leaving me again in a situation where even according to them, I haven't got enough money to live. Bizarre catch-22 in my books. Nevermind that according to the government, the poverty line for a single person is significantly more than the total from the loan and income if I got to keep both...

Or the time they simply made a paperwork error, and gave me my loan months late, after I paid tuition for two semesters with credit card cash advances, pulled out of a trip I did as a school project and incorrectly charged me payments and interest in the meantime they still haven't returned, nevermind the 28% interest on the cash advances. After hearing the check's in the mail for 3 months I decided to start taking steps towards being independant, at least with the boat if I get that situation again, I can put up with some months at anchor to save money.


I bought a boat to live on in the hopes of at least spending my rent money in a more positive way. The rat-infested room in a basement I had cost me 500$/month, plus the liabilities of subletting the other two rooms in the place, which in the end averaged out that it cost me closer to 800$/mo by the time I left. Add to that the fact that the docks are 100m from my school, negating the transportation costs and time(100$/month for a bus pass, or 120$/mo for insurance on my motorcycle) and it seemed like a good idea.

So run the numbers, and figure it out :-)
Double what you think the monthly expenses for the boat will be, and you'll be closer to right.

Maybe it makes cost effective sense, for me this year it has been an expensive lesson, counting in work and parts it has cost triple my past rent(1500$/mo at least) but if next year I can live at anchor and row in the few hundred meters, assuming they don't manage to pass the bills to re-write the shipping act and ban all live-aboards here, then the work and money I spent this year pays off, will mean it gets me a good return on the investment, and been a much better use of my money than giving it to a slumlord.

I understand the attraction of spending the money towards something tangible, I think it can be a financially responsible decision to make.
Especially since you'll spend years paying interest on it later. However it depends on the situation, if I had cheap dorms, I doubt I'd have gone down this road.
If it wasn't for my school's location right on the water I'm not sure if I'd pick a boat, I could have outfitted a van for a lot less expense(newer model van, composting toilet, good solar power system, water tanks, stove etc), and then go to and from the school with it as well.

Last edited by Jgbrown; 12-16-2012 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012
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Re: Your first boat

I agree with JGBrown - better off with a conversion van, or better yet, maybe an older, used motor-home. Lots more space than a sailboat, doesn't rock (unless you're doing something other than studying in the motor-home), no slip rent, and you can go anyplace there's a road.

Good Luck,

Gary
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Re: Your first boat

While student loans are to be used for education, it's certainly acceptable to use such loans to pay for room and board while at school. Sometimes it's in a dorm, sometimes in an off campus apartment....so I guess it stands to reason that it could be on a sailboat.
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Re: Your first boat

At Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ in the 70s we had an old cruise ship as an upperclassmen dorm, anchored at the dock below Castle Point Terrace. They finally got rid of it because the upkeep was way more than shore side dorms.

Gary H. Lucas

Last edited by GaryHLucas; 12-16-2012 at 08:39 PM. Reason: spelling
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Re: Your first boat

As a fellow Canadian student I feel ya when you say its expensive to live and be a student.

Average student is supposed to work 20 hours a week, and somehow pay over 10 grand in tuition, 2 grand in books, manage to feed ourselves (estimate 200$/month) and shelter (roughly 450 a month in Ottawa slumming it)

annually, this is ~$20 000, or $365 a week, or $19.00 an hour. Good thing minimum wage is only half of that.

I work two bartending jobs, make slightly more, but have a few added costs: Student bank loans of an additional 2000$ a year in interest, cellphone (roughly 1000$).

they wonder why there is an increase of students dropping out or defaulting on their loans these days.
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Old 12-17-2012
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Re: Your first boat

I haven't bought a boat using borrowed money (which might be a good idea if the boat saved you money, so make sure that you can dock/anchor for very little and have a good access to land), but I have lived on a boat (4.2 tonnes displacement) while writing my PhD thesis. I loved it, but the space is limited. If you need lots of books and materials, it might get quite tight. But now days you can have almost everything electronic, if you don't mind reading ebooks. You will be living close to the nature, so you will not do much studying and researching when it starts to blow hard. Generally you won't get much sleep in bad weather unless you find yourself well protected spot, but those are much to often expensive.
Ad buying the boat. You probably will buy cheap, that means the boat will need a lot of work. You might get away with simple refit in the beginning (leaks, electricity, living quarters, cooking, washing, toilet).
So my suggestion is: make a real good plan (find out how much the boat will cost including refit, find place where you can stay, find out about your access to land, where to get water, etc.) or be prepared to spend lots of very valuable time taking care of your basic needs like shelter and hygiene. If you are preparing for an intensive studying rather then just getting a degree, I wouldn't do it, unless you have plenty of time (6 months to 1 year) to get everything setup and get used to it.
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Old 12-17-2012
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Re: Your first boat

Armani, if you are landlocked in Denver right now, when and where do you plan to go to college and live on a boat? Where is a big question.
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Old 12-17-2012
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Re: Your first boat

My advice is don't do it. You will be essentially paying for that loan for 10 or 20 years or more? Boats are money pits... My personal advice is don't take out loans for your schooling, I know too many people with masters degrees who live at home with mom and dad working part time to make their loan payments. When I went to college, if I didn't have the money to pay for it, I took a semester off and worked multiple jobs until I could. I left school debt free, it was hard enough getting started on my own, I can't imagine having to pay student loans. None of my jobs have ever cared where my diploma came from, as a matter of fact, my first job was more impressed with the fact that I had worked my @ss off to get to that point.
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