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newuser 01-04-2004 09:55 AM

Help…Logistics of Moving Aboard!
My wife and I are planning to retire on a live-aboard on the east coast. We currently reside in Arizona and are planning
for retirement around September, 2004.
I need to come up with a plan of how and when to sell all of our “stuff”, our house, etc. How do I divest myself
of all this crap? Should I pack up a travel trailer and go to Florida to look for a boat?
There must be others out there who have done something similar…how did you do it?


bob-m 01-04-2004 05:25 PM

Help…Logistics of Moving Aboard!

You have asked two questions: 1) how do I get rid of all my "crap"? 2) how to find the boat?

After doing it myself and watching may others prepare to live aboard, the answer to your first question is easy. You simply go thru all of your belonging and remove everything that: a) is a family heirloom and can''t be replaced b)items that will be used onboard. EVERYTHING else should be sold, given to your kids or donated to charity. Everyone I know that decided to store home furnishings, etc, later regretted doing so. When (if) you return to land, your tastes, priorities and needs will have changed. It''s best to start from scratch.

As to your second question, you need to provide more info. What is your sailing experience, do you have your choices narrowed down to a few boats, etc.


DuaneIsing 01-05-2004 02:08 AM

Help…Logistics of Moving Aboard!

One book which might appeal to you is "The Cruising Life" by Jim Trefethen. "The Voyager''s Handbook" by Beth Leonard is also very good.

Good luck.


newuser 01-05-2004 08:15 AM

Help…Logistics of Moving Aboard!
Sound advice Bob thanks.

As far as experience goes I''ve only about 2 years sailing experience on Lake Pleasant here in Arizona. I have a 25 ft. Venture trailer sailer.

I figured once I had a boat I''d get an instructor to show me how to sail it offshore or in coastal waters. Rather than use one of the sailing schools and their boats, I''d prefer to learn on the actual boat I''m going to be sailing.

I''ve been cruising the brokers online and have decided what I need in a boat - accomodations, electronics, etc. I''m a little scared of starting the purchase procedure via the internet. Buying something that big, site unseen... I''ve seen some boats for sale online for a long time - what''s wrong with them that they haven''t sold?

This is definitely something I want to do but I am a little intimidated by it all.


newuser 01-05-2004 08:17 AM

Help…Logistics of Moving Aboard!
Thanks Duane, I''ll check them out.


bob-m 01-05-2004 08:53 AM

Help…Logistics of Moving Aboard!

Let me back-up a little. With your limited sailing experience it might not be wise to sell everything just yet. All sailors dream of sailing away, but the cruising life style isn''t for everyone. I''ve known alot of good folks that decided after 6-12 months that it just wasn''t for them. Some find it boring, others find it too primative of a life style, while others don''t want to deal with maintaining a liveaboard vessel.

Please understand that I don''t want to discourage you in any way. My wife & I cruised for 12 years and only stopped for health reasons. We loved it, as do many others. I guess I should qualify my earlier suggestion by saying "if you are truely committed to cruising for a long period of time and are truely prepared" .

A better idea might be to buy a camper, as you suggested, and move to the east coast. Spend some time on the Chesapeake or Pamlico and see if cruising is truely want you want to do. This would also give you an opportunity to take your time in selecting a boat that fits your needs.
Living out of a camper is very similar to living aboard, without the maintenance headaches and costs. (We have lived in a camper for the last 6 months).

The boat you have now would be a good day-sailor for those areas. Buying a larger boat and selling everything might not be that wise, until you have "tested the waters".


c172guy 01-05-2004 10:48 AM

Help…Logistics of Moving Aboard!
My wife and I are going to live aboard soon. We bought a Pearson 323. I suggest that you read Sensible Cruising the Thoreau approach. We have spent several days on the boat and it seems big enough for a couple though not big enough to carry a lot of scuba gear etc.
Buying a boat is hard!!! We looked for two years and still made mistakes. I recommend that you find a good coastal cruiser and costal sail for a year or two. At least that''s our plan. Then if we really like cruising we''ll buy a blue water boat. With our P-323 we can afford to walk away even if it''s a total loss. With a good blue water boat we couldn''t afford the loss.
We have seen some live aboards that look awfully rough.... not much more than a homeless person. Some of them seem happy some seem trapped with few options. Living on a boat at a marina full time without enough money is not something that we wish to experience.
Boats aren''t easy to sell!!!! Especially if you expect to recover most of your investment. That''s why it would be wise to check out the lifestyle in a reversible manner before making the full commitment. There is a couple at our marina that bought a new Catalina 320 to cruise. The family situation changed and they are having trouble selling the boat. It''s sad to see their boat all ready to go and they can''t.. They had been planning a cruising retirement for years.

WHOOSH 01-05-2004 11:50 PM

Help…Logistics of Moving Aboard!
I liked the advice given by C172 - why isn''t it we can''t use first names here, BTW? - and think there''s a LOT to recommend an incremental transition. One of the things most often missed by those eager to jump into a liveaboard/cruising situation - but who are looking at it from the outside, in - is that what can be simply stated ("We want to sell up and move aboard...") represents a huge undertaking in every way imagineable, including emotionally and psychologically.

Along with mulling the ''All or Nothing'' choice of purchasing a boat, I''d encourage you to think the same about living ashore. Perhaps taking it in steps - house, condo/apt, and finally boat - will allow the transition to be more digestable, more fun, and far less difficult. Just to offer one scenario, you could relocate to a rental on the SE U.S. coast somewhere (pick a place you''ve always wanted to spend some time in; who says this can''t be part of the adventure!?), and then boat shop with the goal of bringing her back to your own backyard (literally or figuratively speaking) to prep and then do short trips on, while testing your prep and adjusting to things. This sort of approach lacks the ''sizzle'' of diving in all at once, but perhaps offers more ''meat'' insofar as executing the plan with a minimum of stress and irreversible steps.

Just a thought...but this is one of those life decisions where you want to follow the carpenter''s maxum: measure twice, then cut once.

Good luck! Keep us posted...


DuaneIsing 01-06-2004 01:51 AM

Help…Logistics of Moving Aboard!
I find the responses to Ed Fatzinger''s post very interesting and commendable. When a question like this was posted over a year ago here on SailNet, I was one of the few advising measurable, reversible steps up to the goal.

It was vehemently posted by more than a few, however, that life is too short so just drop everything and go. Sounds like the moderates have the current majority. 8^)

Good luck, Ed. Lots of good advice here.


newuser 01-06-2004 10:20 AM

Help…Logistics of Moving Aboard!
I’m definitely getting some good advice here and I really appreciate it.

Although I’ve lived in Arizona for the last 30 years I was raised on the Chesapeake Bay.
There was always a boat in our family, power not sail. I’ve even done some commercial crabbing on the bay in my younger days.
So I’m a little familiar with on-board life. The living in cramped quarters and living with less materially wouldn’t bother either myself
or my wife. I was originally a carpenter, was hurt on the job and retrained in electronics. I’m a pretty good “handyman”, good with
tools and working with my hands. I’m confident I could handle most maintenance chores aboard. I don’t think we’ll have much of
a problem living aboard. It is getting there with a good plan that has me worried.

Bob gave some good advice about divesting myself of all the usual homeowner’s “Stuff”. I think I’ll set aside the guest room for stashing
away the things we’ll need on the boat. The furniture, etc. I’ll try to sell through the newspapers and yard sales. And of course, donations
to Goodwill, etc. I also see quite a few trips to the city dump. My neighbor suggested an auction so I think I’ll contact one of the estate auction
houses in the vicinity.

Once the house was sold, the plan would then be to pack up either a travel trailer or U-haul and head for, probably, Florida. I’d, hopefully, start
out with a particular boat or two in mind.

The internet is a great place to window shop. I’ve looked at a lot of boats and have decided on my main criteria: 35-45 ft. GPS, computer charting,
autopilot, Radar, depth, wind speed/direction , refrigeration instead of an icebox and probably a head with a holding tank. A wind generator or solar
panel would be nice but not a necessity as would an inverter.
Since my price range is below $100000 I’m looking at some older boats. Some of these boats have gone through some refurbishments, but generally
speaking could I pick up a 30 year old boat that would give me low maintenance service for 5 or 6 years? Or should I go with a smaller newer one?


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