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Old 01-31-2009
Moon Shadow
 
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Moon Shadow - Looking for advise

My 33.5 Hunter is docked at a freshwater lake here in Missouri. My wife and I retire in March. We are in our mid 60's. We have toyed with the idea of keeping a boat in florida, with the idea of living on the boat for a couple months in the winter and perhaps sailing along the Florida Gulf Coast, the Florida Keys, etc... Also considering a larger boat--My wife fell if love with a 42' catalina mk11 2 cabin pulman last year when we were visiting in Florida. A very wife friendly boat. I have no idea what expense would be involved (after purchasing the boat). Would this boat be appropriate? We have mostly been freshwater sailors, except for 3 different weekly charters in the Florida Keys several years ago, and a week on Tampa Bay recently. What costs could I expect regarding dock fees, insurance, maintenance?
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Old 01-31-2009
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First of all, the Catalina would work for your planned area. The obvious costs would be from the longer length, but also the larger sizes of parts needed for a larger boat. If you're only going to be using it a few months a year, storing it on the hard would be a way to minimize your costs when away from the boat.
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Old 01-31-2009
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Moonshadow. I left Springfield, Missoui with my parents help when I was 5 years old and grew up in Ft. Lauderdale. 'been living on a sailboat since 1972. I can assure you that living on the boat can be less expensive than a house, but since I've never lived in a house as an adult, I'm no authority. If you're living aboard and going to work you need a fulltime liveaboard slip which can be difficult to find, but as retired fulltime cruisers you will not be turned away from an occasional slip for a month or two here and there. My wife and I are retired seasonal cruisers from Maine to the Bahamas and spend a lot of time on the hook, but frequent marinas as well. There is a huge difference in cost. Resort marinas can be expensive. We usually book a month at marinas that charge anywhere form $500 to $700/month. The locales that are in resort areas that are charging $1,200/month always have alternative anchorages or less expensive marinas away from the "grand strand" that suit us well. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
P.S. I forgot to address the insurance and maintenance questions. I only carry liability on my 1973 41' ketch because a Florida registered boat brings a high coverage. I'll take the risk out of pocket before paying 8% the value of my boat each year. There are ways to manage risks of a hurricane if you have the boat as a high priority and you are not taking care of a house, business, and extended family first. We have seeked a protective place for our vessel when any possibility of a hurricane is within three days. We've had four strikes with winds up to 110 for one, 80's for the other three, and zero damage. I probably spend a couple thousand a year on boat maintenance, but I own nothing ashore so it does seem minimal.

Last edited by CaptainForce; 01-31-2009 at 08:47 PM. Reason: post script
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Old 02-01-2009
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Moon Shadow

What in considered a "live a board?" I understand that some marina's consider you a live aboard if you stay overnight on your boat for two weeks or more?
A slip may be rented on a monthly or annual basis for a lesser fee and you may use your boat as often as you wish, but when you begin STAYING on the boat overnight for extended periods of time you pay a different fee?
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Old 02-03-2009
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Since I have a few friends that currently or previously have done the liveaboard thing (and had been considering it myself - it's a desirable option even now, but is definitely part of my retirement plan), I'll toss in an answer here.

Liveaboard rules are convoluted. In Southern California (where I derive much of my information, though I lived in Florida for most of my life) each marina has its own way of determining and enforcing liveaboard status. Some of the more strict marinas expressly forbid staying even one night on your boat (one has guards that nightly walk around and shine flashlights into the boats - if they catch you three times *total*, you're kicked out of the marina), others will have a rule such as "no more than 3 nights out of each week", and others may have rules similar to the "3 weeks out of the month" rule. It's worth checking around on marinas in the area you'd like to keep your boat to determine what their policies are. THEN check with people that are actually in that marina. Go there and walk around, meet the prospective neighbors, talk to people who are listing boats for sale: most marinas are interested primarily in having nice looking boats occupying the slips, and will be much more tolerant of occasional overnighters or seasonal cruisers when the boats are well maintained. They may be willing to not charge you liveaboard fees or only charge them for a portion of the year: but it's very dependent on the marina management.

There are also local laws to consider, but those are usually simple. ie., the boat must have adequate PFDs, fire extinguishers, and sanitary facilities.
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