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BlueWaterWannaBe 02-17-2007 09:53 PM

Another beginner question....
I am 48, live in California and am a Divemaster (hobby). I am over all the traffic, office work and daily humdrum of life. I love boating and have been to the Greek Islands and Caribbeans. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to live aboard a boat/yacht and either work from there or just enjoy my travels. I want to live aboard as well as be in the bluewater going where ever the wind/charts take me.

I just want the simple life. I've been doing tons of reading on it and realize that there is so much to learn, but it's fun, so it is not scaring me off. I've researched marina's, schools, etc... I guess my question is....I don't know if I prefer a motor yacht or a sailboat. I know nothing of a sailboat so courses would be mandatory. For a motor yacht, the same would probably apply. It seems the majority of people have sailboats. They just seem like a lot of work but much less expensive.

I'm suggested to look into a 25 to 36 foot craft that is roomy. What would best be suitable to start researching and taking courses in? I really have no preference, but cost in maintenance and upkeep would weigh into the equation for the vessel.

Hope you can help!

Thank you.

cpcohen 02-18-2007 12:01 AM

You should wander the docks and talk to people and look at boats. That will teach you a lot, and help you figure out where you fit on the spectrum of (a) money, (b) liveaboard vs cruiser, (c) requirements for living space.

THere are no simple answers. Every decision involves a complicated trade-off.

Cruising (as opposed to living aboard) a motoryacht tends to be expensive -- the boats are pricey, and most of them use gobs of fuel under way.

Hence, most long-term _cruisers_ are on sailboats.

Liveaboards can go either way -- fuel costs aren't a major issue if the boat sits at the dock. And, per foot of length, most powerboats have much more interior room than most sailboats.

For sail training, anyplace on the coast will have a sailing school teaching ASA courses in "basic keelboat sailing" and/or "bareboat chartering". The US Power Squadrons have similar training for powerboats. That's where you should start.


BlueWaterWannaBe 02-18-2007 02:54 AM

Thank you Charles! One of the most obvious things to do "walk on a dock". If I miss something that easy to think of, I hope I don't forget my electric blanket.

Good advise! Cost will be a factor and I'll probably want to trim my "lifestyle" drastically, but I am tired of this lifestyle anyway and just prefer to live a simple, challenging and adventerous life now.

Thank you once again Charles!


Waymar83 02-18-2007 07:23 AM

The advice is good... talk to people who liveaboard.... visit their boats and make a mental note of what you like and don't like. keep a list of likes and dislikes. Its like buying a house...You don't need to know exactly what you want (but you gotta have a very good idea).

One really good point made is to figure out early on your intended use: is is this going to be a "houseboat" that rarily leaves the dock or are you going to sail regularly. Generally the wider the boat, the more comfortable belowdeck but they tend not to be as fast (may or may not be an issue) and have a higher fuel consumption.

If space and natural light are important, you can also look at catamarans but that is also a compromise (and more expensive too).

Sail vs motor is also a personal choice. A sailing week-end out on a sailboat essentially costs you the food (and cooking gas). I won't speculate what a week-end out on a comparably sized "motored" yacht costs in fuel alone.

Good luck with your search!

PBzeer 02-18-2007 08:03 AM

Deciding what you'll actually do, as opposed to what you would like to do, is probably the hardest part. The other decisions will follow, once that is taken care of. For instance, if time is not an issue, but money is, and you want to travel, then a sailboat is the better choice.

If you haven't checked the "Recommended Reading" thread yet, do so and read as much as you can to try to get an idea of the reality of it, rather than the "romantic" notion of it. It can be a wonderful and fullfilling life, but you need to know what you're getting into first.

Good luck,

sailingdog 02-18-2007 08:48 AM

I would also look at getting few issues of Living Aboard magazine. One boat that is bluewater capable, relatively reasonably priced and relatively roomy for its size is an Alberg 30. Up until just recently two couples who blog were living aboard their two Albergs, but one couple has since sold it and gotten a slightly larger boat.

Be aware that finding marinas with "liveaboard" slips is getting more and more difficult.

CapnHand 02-20-2007 08:08 AM

Two Docks
About 5 years ago I was in Mexico, extending one of my business trips to go diving in the Sea of Cortez. The charter captain said, "See that dock there and that other one beside it?".
"Know what they make?"
"A pair o' docks!"

Well, I may have been tired or had a bit too much sun but it struck me as really funny. My laughing turned out to be a mistake as it encouraged him to tell more bad jokes for the rest of the day.

There are many people dreaming of a simple life, living full time on a boat, cruising it around wherever they want to go. Most of them would drop everything today but they are daunted by how much they have to learn first. There's the paradox, seemingly contradictory but ringing true; there is much to learn about how to live with just the basics.

Paradoxically, those "basics" being a 36 foot yacht, tout garni.

I hope that you enjoy the learning. As in many other things, the voyage is the destination.

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