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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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  #71  
Old 10-18-2013
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Re: Downside of living aboard

I see repeatedly unrealistic expectations... if I've heard once I've heard a dozen times about how the newbie is going to pull into the tree lined anchorage "drop the anchor" (and I've seen a danforth THROWN!) then kick back and open a brewsky. Really?

It's only been 5.5 years on this boat but I've yet to have that relaxed state of affairs though with the new engine (installing this coming week) perhaps I'll have more reliability. Yet most folks think that this is all easy, sunsets in paradise, cool breezes, full water tanks, and ... oh yes, the biggie: being welcomed into an anchorage after a passage -- forgetting that almost everyone already made that same journey and your accomplishment is just "one of many"

Janice aboard Seaweed, living the good life afloat...
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  #72  
Old 10-19-2013
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Re: Downside of living aboard

huh.
guess I'm doing it all wrong.
been sailing since I was 10 or 12 I guess,can't really remember. knew living and traveling by boat was my calling all along. The mistake I made was listening to others who could not understand that lifestyle. therefore they all discouraged me by telling me it was unrealistic and that I was foolish and would eventually grow up and realize that it was not possible or sustainable.
So,I spent years trying to conform to a land based existence,always feeling unfulfilled.
I tried all the " normal " stuff,college, army,trade school, working a job, small bussiness, volunteer, etc.
Always feeling lacking, empty, unfulfilled and as if I was wasting my life by not following my original dream.
always coming back to the water.
finally I stopped listening to others and followed my desire to be on the water.
first w/ a stinkpot then a series of sailboats, having figured out that motor boating was not economically within my grasp for the long run.
Every boat I ever acquired was either a boatyard cast off or a distressed vessel. the most I ever paid for a boat was $2000 my current boat. I've sailed and lived aboard my current boat w/ my family since my daughter was 2 or 3 she will be 10 come January,it's about all she has known.
we do have a house, cars,trucks, motor cycles, etc. and we have lived aboard in marinas when gainfully employed at 9-5 jobs, but mostly lived on the hook and dingied to shore and bicycle.
rowing and bicycling has probably kept me alive as b4 I made the change I was unhappy, and weighed almost 400lbs.
now I'm much happier and a good bit smaller!
Another advantage is I've had the chance to spend almost every day w/ my family and we got to see a perspective of the east coast of the US from Tampa to lake Erie, few get to see from a sailboat.
now we're back in Florida for the winter at the house and the only downside is we're not aboard.
The upside is we know what works for us,and look forward to working through a few things to get back aboard asap.
I now have a port in Florida, one in the Chesapeake in VA. one in NY. and soon one in MD.in the Chesapeake!
it's taken me a while to figure out what works for me/us, but we're doing it. for that I thank the lord unceasingly.
We strive to live simply, and stay focused and not be distracted by the shiny things that can rob us of our goal.
As for the vessel size, it's 32'CC only because we started w/ 4dogs and a 2yr old. I was quite happy w/ the 24' if not for the dogs, I would have kept it. the dogs have since all passed away and are planted along the east coast now. but I doubt we'll change vessels as it's paid for and after all the miles quite familiar.
As for systems and such. the further we sail, the less we need. manual water pumps, no pressure hot water and I'm considering getting rid of the washer/dryer,although I do enjoy the frigerator and icemaker! and solar has proven very dependable.
we have never had insurance but could if we wanted it's a couple hundred dollars a year for liability and a survey is NOT required through progressive (which is who we use for house, car,bike, etc)
the first trip up and down the coast we got a towUS unlimited but never needed or used it,except for piece of mind.
it's taken us a few years, but we've figured out what we like and more important, WHERE we like. I think that is the most important aspect, determining your likes as finding the places and people that you enjoy.
For us it's out of the way quiet small places for longer staying, and.
occasionally a week in sailing friendlier bigger places like Annapolis, Tampa, NY. but the traveling is the best.
I wish I would have figured it out earlier in life so I could have had more time to enjoy it,but I'll take what I got,and am thankful for it
One last thing, the longer I live it,the less I feel compelled to share what I have learned, sadly I feel I need to keep some things a secret so that others don't come along and ruin some of the aspects of the quiet, friendly, uncrowded places we like the best.
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Old 10-19-2013
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Re: Downside of living aboard

I hope you all can find the boats, people and special places that you enjoy, as life is a one short-term no do-over opportunity.
One of the last conversations I remember having w/ my grand father was of the adventures he had in his 96 years. I'll never forget what he told me.
he said of all the things he'd had the chance to do,his single regret was only that he didn't do more of it.
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  #74  
Old 10-19-2013
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Re: Downside of living aboard

The way to avoid failure is to sample it. Don't get married after one date.

The longest period we spent on any boat we owned was 13 weeks, and at that time it was a 52ft and nicely fitted with everything you can think of. About week 11, I was ready to get off, enjoy the amenities of living ashore (endless showers, no anchor watch for my house, no weather planning, no ferrying supplies by dingy, etc, etc) and dare I say enjoy going to work (not that you cannot work and live aboard too).

We love to sail. We cruise many weeks each year. We day sail whenever we can. We go south and charter in the winter for a week or 2. Every time I get on the boat, I'm happy and excited to sail and cruise.

We're not cut out to be live full time on board. The older I get, the more creature comforts matter.

I have friends that have lived aboard for 10 years, sailed west coast to Australia, now heading Panama to Europe. Older than us, but they love it. To each their own.

Our advice, at least go out for a long cruise (months) before you commit to the lifestyle. It's not what you think it is, and it maybe great for you, maybe not.
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  #75  
Old 10-19-2013
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Re: Downside of living aboard


Our little boat is docked in the Hudson River and most days now we see south bound sailboats pulling up to the outer docks for the night. They are going and we are staying. A lot of times we end up talking on the docks and strange words come out of my mouth about when I am leaving and the boat I'm going to find to take me there.

Lately when I watch them leave it feels like a small panic and as if I'm split down the middle and the only way to put humpty dumpty back together is to sail out and head south. I don't know if I should wish this feeling would go away or if I should be thankful for it.
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Last edited by Sal Paradise; 10-19-2013 at 07:23 AM.
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  #76  
Old 10-19-2013
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Re: Downside of living aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sal Paradise View Post

Our little boat is docked in the Hudson River and most days now we see south bound sailboats pulling up to the outer docks for the night. They are going and we are staying. A lot of times we end up talking on the docks and strange words come out of my mouth about when I am leaving and the boat I'm going to find to take me there.

Lately when I watch them leave it feels like a small panic and as if I'm split down the middle and the only way to put humpty dumpty back together is to sail out and head south. I don't know if I should wish this feeling would go away or if I should be thankful for it.
is that Mariner's? How is it there? I have heard terrible things about the restaurant, but never anything about the docks there. I am looking for a reasonably quite spot. I am thinking either Shadows (basically across the river) or West Shore if I stay in the area.
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  #77  
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Re: Downside of living aboard

Yep. Its free to dock if you eat there. And I mean really free. Worth every penny too. :-)

Docks seem rickety but they put big boats on there in storms and its been there for decades.

Restaurant isnt great.The train is LOUD. If you go to Mariners PM me ...Shadows is way nicer, no idea what the sleepover policy is there.

If you come that far, Kingston is only 15 miles further and is a lot of fun
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Last edited by Sal Paradise; 10-19-2013 at 04:22 PM.
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  #78  
Old 10-20-2013
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Re: Downside of living aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by miatapaul View Post

Well I am not looking at 20 footers, but at low to mid thirties. I feel that is plenty of room, some have separate stall shower, but I am having trouble finding ones that do in boats that actually sail well. My thought is to be able to sail as often as I can, and I would have no interest in trying to get out on the water for an hour or two in a 50+ foot sailboat, too much work. I am willing to have less space to fill up with unnecessary possessions in the name of sailing more. I want something that when I come home from work I look at the tree tops and if they are swaying a bit, I can throw off the lines and go out for a few hours. No need for planing in advance, and small enough that I am comfortable with my somewhat limited experience. Anything bigger or more complicated will cost too much to maintain in both cash and time. So bigger is not necessarily better, just bigger. I think you are giving the impression that if you can't buy a very large boat, don't try to live on one. Heck Laura and Chuck have been living happily on an Albin Vega 27 for lots of years, and of course Lin and Larry have lived on sub 30 foot boats for decades. I don't think size is as important as actually having the correct attitude and expectations.

So yes I am looking for a day sailor that I can live on. Not a bad thing in my book. I don't need much space, and the kids will only be aboard for a weekend or so a month. (I am realistic that teenagers will have enough to do that they will not really want to spend a lot of time with there dad anymore, they used to come every weekend.) I won't be going too far off shore for several years yet. All I need is a boat to get out on the water, and just big enough for me to live on.

Now as far as not going out often, I have to say I have had many very good days sitting in the cockpit of a boat with a drink in my hand with a friend right at the dock or mooring. So a lot can be said about just wanting to be around the marina culture. Granted if that were the case I would not choose a sailboat.
I agree and I was surprised to see the words that you are responding to listed as my quote. Something was scrambled from post 44 to post 46 that has caused a couple of "mis-quotes".
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  #79  
Old 10-20-2013
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Re: Downside of living aboard

This is a pretty good post. I rarely feel the need to throw in my 2 cents, but I think this might help people that are on the fence about it.

Let me start off by saying that I have only been living aboard for a little over half a year now, and I love it. Granted I found a way to sort of cheat. I'm renting my boat, a 26' westerly, which I'm not sure I would trust sailing as the case were. But for me this was a lucky break, because it gives me the opportunity to try out living aboard without the downside of having to buy the boat first. This being said, I'm just waiting for the right boat to come along to go full in, on the hook, and cruise after it's fitted right.

Here is a question I think many would-be LA's should ask themselves. When you go camping, are you the car camping type with propane stove, giant heavy tent, cooler full of beer, who sets up camp near the car? Or are you like I was, small backpacking tent, or hammock, bottle of whiskey, hiked for at least 5 miles to get away from the crowds, and went about it in a very minimalist way, and could go for a week plus with a 40lb pack?

Now if you have never been camping, I suggest you try it, especially when the weather is going to be sour (i.e. raining for a weekend) because that is probably the cheapest way to see if you will like living in a small space, where if it's raining, you will get wet unless you stay inside the whole time. The first 2 weeks after moving aboard, it rained almost non-stop, and I loved every minute of it.
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Old 10-20-2013
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Re: Downside of living aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainForce View Post
I agree and I was surprised to see the words that you are responding to listed as my quote. Something was scrambled from post 44 to post 46 that has caused a couple of "mis-quotes".
Yup, not sure what happened!? Fixed it. I would never have expected those words out of your mouth!
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