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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Old 08-01-2011
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Living the dream in Norfolk, VA

Hi everyone!

I have been checking this forum for months and have dreamed of living aboard a sailboat since I can remember. After graduating college, I have found a full time job and am ready to follow through with my dream. However, as a newbie, I do have some questions:

Just having started a full-time job I don't have much in savings. I have a pretty good credit score and have family that is eager to help me achieve my dream. Do you have any recommendations regarding where I should start looking for sailboats (specific marinas, private dealers, etc.)? Also, any info on getting qualified for financing would be fantastic.

I really love this forum and have spent a lot of time day dreaming because of all the great information on this site. Can't wait to be part of the community! Thanks
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Old 08-01-2011
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Congrats, now it is time to build your career. In the meantime, nothing wrong to work toward your dream

1. Use Yachtworld.com to do your initial search, read anything that is in you price range and above.
2. IF you are handy, it is a plus since those unloved boats are plenty around in the boat yards.
3. low balling is a bad word, but use it anyway. It is a buyer market. Walk away if you don't get what you want to pay.
4. Google is your friend.
5. Hang out the marina or sailing club. You don't need to own a boat to learn how to sail.
6. Be humble and work hard. No one dies due to hard work.
7. Report back with other questions.

Good luck.
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I am old school. Integrity is to do the right thing even when no one is watching.
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Old 08-02-2011
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Thanks for the help rockDAWG. I have been looking around Yachtworld and I can't seem to find anything newer than 1980 for under $20k. Is that about right? I don't mind an older boat that needs work but I would prefer to be in the later 80's or 90's. Am I being naive by thinking I can find a decent boat for around 20k?
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Old 08-02-2011
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You need to give us some details. What size range are you looking at? What have you looked at that has caught your eye?
What's important to you - live aboard amenities or good cruising capabilities or some kind of compromise of the two?
Just you living on board?
Where do you plan to keep it? Your budget is on the low side - have you factored in slip rent, taxes, insurance, maintenance?
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Old 08-02-2011
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Thanks for the reply.

I am looking at between 28-35ft. To be honest, I haven't found anything that has caught my eye yet. As for what is important to me- I don't need many amenities. A little head room (I am 6'2'') is about it. I'd eventually like to take it cruising up and down the east coast after some time fixing it up. It would just be me aboard. I plan on keeping it in Norfolk and have seen some slips for between $8-12 a foot. I have a little money put aside and currently spend $1000 on my apartment and feel that should be able to cover my boat finance, insurance and slip with extra left over for maintenance and upkeep. Does this sound feasible?
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Old 08-02-2011
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Have you thought about heat and AC? Are you going to cook onboard? Are you going to store cold and frozen food onboard? Do you want hot water?
A lot of boats don't have heat or AC? A lot of boats may only have an alcohol stove. OK for occasional use but I don't think you want that for full time use.
A lot of boats only have an ice box with no refrigeration. A lot of boats don't have water heaters.

How important are these things to you?
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Old 08-02-2011
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I would like these things of course, but they aren't deal breakers. The marinas I have found have decent amenities. Refrigeration would be nice. A/C and Heat are a necessity but am not opposed to just having a portable unit as I only have a window unit in my apartment now.

Realistically, what should I be looking at for a price range? I would like to keep my expenses (financing, slip fees, insurance) to under $900 a month. Is this an achievable goal?
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Old 08-02-2011
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Before you start looking for boats, get a handle on your finances. How much down payment can you afford? Talk to some lenders to find out what your monthly cost will be and how much down they will require. How many years are you willing to finance and the lender will agree to?
Before you buy, make sure there is an affordable (and conveient) slip available. Some marinas may have a waiting list.
Find out the property tax rate in the jurisdiction you want to keep your boat in.
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Old 08-02-2011
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One other thing...have you taken the required boating safety class?
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Old 08-02-2011
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Thanks for all your help! Also, yes I have taken the boating safety class.
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