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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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  #1  
Old 04-28-2012
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Question share with me, your words of wisdom

Ello all,

Pretty new at all this, gonna ask a vague question..

Im 20, work as a cook.
gradually learning to not spend $ on stuff not needed, have the willpower of an ox, and relatively a poor dude but with steady income and the usual bills.

Research research, and more research.. but no experience cept a 14' force 5.

however im super determined to live aboard at the local marina and i would like to purchase a slight fixer upper. prefer a catalina 27 due to their wide product and parts. i know about how much i want to spend ($6000-7500) and i know i want to work on this boat like its all i have.. cuz it will be. It will just be myself with the occasional visitor, for days i want to cruise.
Still want to take classes, or just go out and get the feel for sailing a bigger (than 14') boat.

anyways, sound possible? i think so if i save enough $. needs to be soon though, however thats all on my part. anyone been in my shoes? or have words of wisdom to share? open to all criticism, dont want to jump the gun.


thanks!
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Old 04-28-2012
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Re: share with me, your words of wisdom

Don't press the post button three times.

Other than that common sense works 99% of the time on boats, but the 1% time is often life threatening.

E.G. What is the FIRST thing you do if someone goes overboard on passage. Answer Press the MOB button on the GPS.
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Old 04-28-2012
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Re: share with me, your words of wisdom

computer messin up

and alright thanks!
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Old 04-28-2012
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Re: share with me, your words of wisdom

If you had a 2 grand now I know of a great Chrysler C-26 near you that you would be able to move aboard. I wouldn't spend much more then that on a boat incase you find the liveaboard life not what you really want. I Gave my step-son my old C-26 for him to live aboard and cruise but he gave up just after we left him in Fl.
You can have everything most people at your age needs while living aboard at a marina needs, it would just take a little time to adapt.

I say go for it while your young I wish I didnt wait 30 year before moving aboard.. good luck
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Old 04-28-2012
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Re: share with me, your words of wisdom

jay, it is certainly possible. I would caution you to search around and read existing forum threads on what the costs of owning and operating a boat are, including things you may not have considered like liability insurance (the marina may require it) and routine annual maintenance (bottom paint) as well as the ways to check out an old used boat before you even call a surveyor in. And about surveyors as well. Even on a cheap old boat, it may be money well spent.

By all means, pursue it, but just be sure you know what you are getting into before you make the jump.
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Old 04-28-2012
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Re: share with me, your words of wisdom

Let me be your Jedi master friend. I am 24, living on my first sailboat which I bought as a project, and am also pretty poor, monetarily speaking. First off, for the money your talking the boat you buy should be pretty much ready to go. Im serious. This is a buyers market and for $6,000 you should be able to find a 26-28' boat that is well equipped and for the most part ready to go say for minor things and cosmetics.
Or, you can do what I did.
You can spend $2900 on a boat you find off craigslist and you can buy that boat and realize you now have to rebuild practically the whole thing--- Having completed 2/3 of the entire process let me tell you that I have far exceeded $6,000.

So, you want to know my best piece of advice? Seriously?

Know what your looking at. Then, once you know, figure out if its in working condition. Lastly, if it is not, figure out how much it will cost to make it that way.

Now add up all of those costs and decide if the boat your looking at is worth it.
Look man, I've got ox will power too but I can say in a second that if I could go back knowing now what I didn't then I would have waited on a boat that was in better shape and required much less in renovations.
Here, please friend don't take my advice alone. I have done a shabby job of taking pictures of the entire process. I have left out a hundred or more pics of things I just neglected to take pictures of but here is my photobucket account. Please look through it, it has a lot of things you will find in the at your price range-- Such as what old sea cocks look like, bad wiring, corroded mast, bad standing rigging, before and after shots yadda yadda- good resource for a guy with your level of experience and depth of pocket.

Pictures by trisstanseth - Photobucket

You do not need classes. Understand your points of sail and sail trim and READ. READ lots. This and other websites are great and I learned a lot from them but the value of a Chapman or American Practical Navigator is not to be underestimated. Read stories of when things go wrong- That way if something similar should happen to you hopefully you will be able to get yourself out of the sticky situation.
Had I not read Voyaging Under Sail I probably would not have been so quick to alternate my tack after losing a chain plate in 20 knots, nor would I had probably been so quick to think to run my Jib line through the turnbuckles and then winch the line under the toe rail to support the mast.
So, read, read, and read some more. Also, go to your marina and look for the guys working on their boats. Ask questions, ask to look around. If you see something you don't know ask. This goes back to point one.
Point in case- I saw when I looked at my boat that the bottom 4" of my keel stepped mast was corroded. What I didn't realize at the time was that corrosion was a structural deficiency that would require me to take the entire mast out of my boat (haul out fees), chop off the corroded portion, re sheathe it (welding fees), and drop it back in. Whoops- Did not know what bad standing rigging looked like- mine looked good until you see the hairline cracks or the one or two strands of broke stainless thread sticking out signifying the need for an entire new rig set- up ($1500.00).
Do you know what a weathered main looks like? Can you tel if your sails are in good condition? I thought mine looked fine- did not know what UV damage looked like. First time I raised it in 20 knots it ripped the entire main. New main = $900.00
Does the electrical equipment work? That stuff gets pricey fast-- Since I am young and poor I bare bones it. No AC, no refrigeration. I have three cabin fans, 4 cabin lights, some gauges and meters and a solar panel with inverter for running my laptop and cell phone charger. The cost of setting that up? $1200.00.
Will your boat need a haul out? $150.00. Does it need to be painted on the bottom? First lets hope no barnacles have eaten through the gelcoat. $$$.
See, I can go on and on and on but it all comes down to knowing what to look for. See, I thought I had a good idea but NOW I KNOW. I know every nut and bolt of this boat and I still have issues (run away diesel at times, head sink pump not working, ice box doesn't self drain, main still shredded, cabin portholes needed, line, rode, EPIRB, not to mention a passport to even go somewhere.

Heres what I would do. I would either get a friend who KNOWS boats to go with you when shopping.
Or, I would pay a surveyor to survey any boat you were serious about buying.
Last, I would PM me or someone else here and ask very detailed questions with pics included if possible so I or someone else here can help you avoid making the same mistakes I, and I am sure others, have.

Good luck
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Old 04-28-2012
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Re: share with me, your words of wisdom

If I could go back and buy the same boat tomorrow I wouldn't offer a dime over $1200.00. My inexperience and the impetuosity if youth resulted in my over paying and subsequently over-working.
davidpm and Jgbrown like this.
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Old 04-29-2012
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Re: share with me, your words of wisdom

thanks guys for the good luck

MarioG: that sounds great. Im wondering as to why its so cheap though,, can you email me contact info so i can further inquire about it? Id like to check it out

Harborless: Thank you Obi Wan. Im glad that there's someone out there that took their time to share with me their struggles and to offer me detailed description of important things to look at. And i see the damage to your seacocks and the mast mustve been a pain! thanks for the photobucket pics
I will be hiring a survey no matter what.
I see you live in Jacksonville,,, As this is a new interest, better yet-lifestyle for me, I have no one to really help go along.. so i was wondering if youd be interested if i provided expenses to go out on the water one day so i can further hone my sailing skills, and so you could show me more of what to look out for, or what else you had to do.
You seem to have been in my shoes, so i figure you would be a better teacher than some random guy..
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Old 05-20-2012
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Re: share with me, your words of wisdom

I'm in the same boat as Harborless. Tuesday is the start of electric refitting... 1300$ in parts so far, not counting wiring! Then I can do all the sea-cocks that are sketchy, then rebuild the deck and de-laminated mast beam, replace the whole holding tank and head system... Then I can start making her livable. Once she's live-able I can go over the diesel, make sure that's all up to date, then I can start making her sail-able, and fix whatever else I find. All that I got for only about 20000$ counting moorage(no liveaboard technically allowed) for the year.
Then in a couple years I can sell her at a loss, and move up to the 33 I wanted. Or sail her away, not sure which!

I thought I was buying a boat that was completely refit last year, and have a very expensive survey to boot.
Next time I'm taking a good friend who knows boats along, and being much more patient.
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Old 05-20-2012
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Re: share with me, your words of wisdom

so it turns out its a major pain initially huh.,.. well i heard surveyors are sketchy people.. so ive been doing major research on the whole operations of the boat for what i would need to make it liveaboard friendly..
i recently got another job and will hope and pray i can sustain working those hours .. but it will all be for the better cuz in the piggy bank it all goes!!
as for now, ill practice my skills on the intracoastal in my dinghy .. seems like im the only one out there but people do stop when i turtle my force 5...
gotta work on that .. damn gusts
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