Join Date: Nov 2002
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Living aboard and learning to sail, or vice versa
I think that first, you need to find out if you like sailing. Not the idea of, but the actual doing it. You "could" buy a boat, and tie it up at a marina, and just live on it, but a mobile home would be cheaper. So finding out if you want to sail, should, IMHO, be your first step. After all, sailing is more than just hoisting the sails and pointing the tiller.
As to the economics of living aboard, I believe a large factor there is how much you can and are willing to do, vis-a-vis, maintaining the boat. A second major part of that is, are you willing to live "on the hook"? Obviously, there is more to it than that, but I believe those are the main considerations in assessing how "cheap" it is to liveaboard.
Inherent in that is, your income source, ie: do you need to be "tied" to the land to maintain it? Or can you get by with the occasional foray to shore? I would suggest here that you get Jim Trefethen''s "The Cruising Life", as it deals mainly with the economic side of the equation. I found it a very helpful book in making my choice to retire to the liveaboard/cruising life.
Over all though, I think you really have to decide if you can be happy with the lifestyle. Not just the romance of the idea, but the day to day reality of it. To that end, message boards such as this, and getting out on the water are what "I think", you need to do at this point. By researching, as much as possible, you''ll find there is more to it, than you could ever have thought. Yet, you can also discover how gratifing it can be.
So, for what it''s worth, those are the opinions of someone who has been doing just that, in preperation for moving aboard, Fall of 2006.
Fair winds, and good luck,