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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Old 09-15-2006
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mississippi/arkansas/intracoastal

Hello all,
Here's my Idea. Build a plywood boat, thinking 28 to 32 foot sharpie, or scow, and follow the good weather in the eastern U.S. mississippi/intracoastal/gulf/great lakes. My question is are there enough places where a liveaboard would be welcome long enough to park and work a few months at a time. When not working I'd explore all those gunkholes just explore.? There must be some places where a guy could stop a while make some money and then move on , Or am I just dreaming?
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A lot of it depends on what you do for work. If you're a medical doctor, I doubt it, but if you are a car mechanic, or some other highly portable profession, then it might be very possible.

Building a plywood boat is a fairly substantial task. How suitable the boat for the type of sailing you'll be doing is really dependent on the design of the boat you'll be building. Foam-cored construction might be a good option as well, and may be simpler and a bit easier than cold-molded wood construction. However, the cold-molded wood, if done properly, will generally make a stronger, more rigid and lighter boat.

You might also want to look at multihull plans, as they make very good gunkholing boats, given their very shallow draft.
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Old 09-15-2006
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I have the sharpie book, the dory book, buehler's backyard book, s.s. rabl's backyard book, and I think I can build from the info in these books. I haven't made a solid decicion on which boat. I am thinking maybe smaller even down to 22 feet. I want an easily driven hull to go up rivers, and that's why I'm considering the long sharpie. I like the egret in parker's book, and the 30 foot cruising sharpie in chapelle's boatbuilidng. And definitely like the multihulls, but thought they would not be good around a lot of river traffic. I'd like to do the coastal and river thing for a while , then maybe build george bueler's hagar or juno. And venture out a bit further. My I'm currently driving a forklift and thought I could find warehouse jobs along the waterlines. I'm pretty much a general laborer. Had some experience operating different equipment, some of specialized. Thought I might learn to dive and make some money scrubbing bottoms. I would be exercising frugal living, think I could get by on less than most people.
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Old 09-16-2006
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The multihulls are a bit more expensive to build, but handle very well, even with a very shallow draft. My boat has a 14" draft or so, with the centerboard up, and I've taken it out on the Atlantic, as well as up into the smaller bays and larger rivers. However, the smaller multihulls (any<35' loa) are definitely limited in the amount of stowage and living space they have.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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