Join Date: Feb 2011
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I'm currently preparing to begin my life as a live-aboard and it it because of reason 2. I had been recently starting to doubt my decision, my lunatic plan but reading this thread has given me fresh resolve, thanks bljones.
I live on the Island of Guernsey, which some of you may know as an EVIL TAX HAVEN, but hopefully you know it more as a beautiful and challenging boating destination. I've been referred to as a 'tax dodger' by many an ignorant (UK) mainlander. Ignorant because the only tax dodging here is by the mainland companies who register offices here to increase their profits and ironically, improve the pensions of many of the people who chastise us.
The presence of the banking industry and the mainland workers it brings over has caused the housing prices to steadily climb for years. You can't buy a house for less than £200k (USD 320k) now. For many local people under 35 it is now impossible to secure a mortgage, and financially crippling if you do manage it.
Some go to university in the UK (which we pay for), and then just stay and make a cheaper life there on the mainland. Those that do return, or those like myself who elected to work instead of go to Uni, find themselves with only two choices. Rent or live with your parents. I have been renting (luckily I found somewhere cheap and someone to share the rent with) for the last three years. It's dead money, just gone, I'll never see it again. I'm financially stuck. I can't afford to save if I rent, and I'd need to save a mighty big deposit to consider mortgaging my own property.
It's time for change, I have come up with a plan. A financial escape plan.
I've always liked living and traveling light. I dislike clutter and I take great pride in being able to fix and maintain things myself. I thought about the live-aboard option years ago but for some reason pooh-poohed it as ridiculous. Surely you can't actually do that, just, you know, not have a real home!?
Now I'm spending my weekends looking at boats, looking at boat accessories, consumables, inhaling whole articles, guides, discussion threads, how-tos, don't-dos, weighing up options, talking to brokers, stalking the marinas on the hunt for that perfect beamy sailing boat with a for sale sign hanging off it.
The thing is, berthing fees aren't cheap here. There's only one residential marina and they charge a premium, there's always demand for their berths and they know it, there's no haggling. Factor in that I am going to have to part-finance this boat and pay that off monthly too, it's not much cheaper than renting a single flat, and it's got a lot of downsides.
There's one major upside though. It might not be much cheaper, but it is cheaper. Enough that if I live frugally, spend wisely, repair don't replace, make and don't buy and work some extra hours I can actually save some money and in a few years, instead of having nothing but empty pockets I'll have my own boat, and maybe I'll just kick off and never come back, but it will be on my terms.