SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Living Aboard (
-   -   Young liveaboard after Navy (

SeaSalt 03-25-2013 01:39 PM

Young liveaboard after Navy
Hello all,I figured I would get the best answer in this section and I will probably be spending most of my time here.

At the moment i'm only 18 years old,I recently had this idea that I just want to start living aboard all of a sudden,And it hasn't came off my mind since.

I don't really plan on getting a full-time job and waiting until i'm retired to liveaboard..So I had this plan(I don't know if it's a good one that's what i'm here to ask) that if I enroll in the Navy for maybe 4-6 years to save enough money for a older 30-34' Catalina,Would that even be possible.Now I would obviously need some other sort of income when I leave the Navy but that's what I need help with to.

Also the one thing I can never get answered and which I would really want to know is after my 4 years in the Navy,Would I recieve any of the "Benefits after 4 years enlisted in the Navy" or would I have to live in a actual house.Also this might be a stupid question but when I read about the "Navy unemployement plan" it says they offer up to $400 a month while unemployed. Would I get that as a Liveaboard because that would help alot..

chucklesR 03-25-2013 01:55 PM

Re: Young liveaboard after Navy
SeaSalt, welcome to sailnet.

I'm retired Navy.
USN programs change all the time, the only way to get all the facts is to get them from a recruiter - and even then get them in writing, then check 'em by looking them up on the internet. Not saying recruiters lie, I'm saying even they get it wrong.

As to whether you can save money over 4-6 years to buy a boat - even when you name a brand and size - the answer is it depends. If you select a rate (job) the is mostly sea deployed you can save most of your paycheck, but that's not much at first. How much you can save depends on how well you resist the temptations dangled in front of young sailors in foreign ports :)

As to unemployment - keep in mind that ALL unemployment benefits are given based on the assumption you are actively looking for a job - and have terms that are not that long.
The other benefits for veterans are extremely dependent on your service, other than those that are wounded most vets with only one term get nothing.

benesailor 03-25-2013 02:57 PM

Re: Young liveaboard after Navy
Seasalt, Welcome...

Your plan is entirely possible. It would take a tremendous amount of discipline on your part to save the money then move on after 4 or 6 yrs of service. As far as i know there is no "unemployment plan" after service (other than unemployment payments for 6 months), for any branch. (I was a recruiter for 6 1/2 years) If you complete at least 3 years of service you qualify for the Post 911 GI bill (google). Which does pay a small monthly stipend (E-5 Basic Allowance for Housing, single rate) WHILE you are attending college. (That's 9 months a year) I doubt you could pay marina fees and live aboard and go to college full time and work a job. It's possible though.

Do 4 yrs, get the Post 911 GI Bill, go to college and start a great career or... maybe do 20 years in the service, travel, see the world, buy a nice sailboat and get it outfitted. Then when you retire you can travel the world with a pension coming in.

At one point i was just like you; i was going to do 6 years in the service and move on with my life. Yet, 24 yrs later i'm still in. I'm on the second phase of my life. When i retire in about 6 years the boat will be ready, the kids will be out of the house and the wife and i can sail off into the sunset. Whatever route you take you must plan, be responsible, make contacts and friends and enjoy life as it comes along. I have no regrets for the sacrifices and freedoms that i gave up early in my career. Now that i am at the sunset of my career i am having more fun than ever. (and more time to sail).

Joining the military is a commitment not to be taken lightly. Once you have taken your oath you are giving your life over to the military. Please pick a Rate/AFSC/MOS (Jobs) that is highly portable to the outside world, it will help you tremendously. There is not a high need for infantry, but, If you become a registered nurse you can work anywhere you want and make decent money.

You don't need to be in the military to buy a boat. A friend of mine bought a Catalina 30 for 3k and outfitted it as he needed to. If you work hard you can do the same.

Do your research, talk to people.

Best of luck, i'm sure you will get lots of input from everyone on sailnet!! Cheers

benesailor 03-25-2013 02:59 PM

Re: Young liveaboard after Navy
chucklesR, By the way

Thanks for your service, always a pleasure to meet another lifer..

AirborneSF 03-25-2013 03:38 PM

Re: Young liveaboard after Navy
Sea Salt, go active duty, they will let you live on one of theirs, might be a tad over 30-35 ft. 20 years, come out and get paid the rest of your life, and THEN live aboard. My, 02.

jimgo 03-25-2013 05:02 PM

Re: Young liveaboard after Navy
Bene, you stole my thunder, but I'll say it anyway - thank you to both Chuck and you for your service. We are a better country for it!

Sea Salt, I think you've gotten some good advice. Next you'll have to manage your expectations - are you expecting to buy a $5,000 boat, a $25,000 boat, or a $200,000 boat? Do you understand what each of those pricepoints (or whatever your desired/expected pricepoint) will buy you in a boat? Over the 4 years you think you'll be in, the math needed to hit that savings level works out very differently for each of those scenarios. Figure out what it will take each month to meet your expected savings, then look into how much you'll get paid each month (remember to subtract out taxes), and what you'll be left with once you set aside your boat money. What kind of lifestyle will that buy you? Are you OK with that? Those are very personal questions, and I can't answer them for you. If you REALLY want this, it may well be worth the sacrifice it takes. And, if you wind up changing your mind, you'll have a nice little nest egg to buy a car, or house, or... But, as Chuck and Bene said, you'll have to be disciplined, and having been your age (a long time ago), that can be very difficult, especially when a pretty girl comes along (and especially if she isn't as into the whole living-aboard-a-sailboat idea).

Once you're out and you have your boat, your next issue will be maintenance and slip fees. You'll either need a job for those (intentionally living off any kind of unemployment is, IIRC, a crime) or additional savings. In the end, it may still be cheaper than an apartment.

I'm not saying its right, not saying its wrong, just suggesting a framework by which you can evaluate the implications for you and your life. If you understand (as much as anyone can really understand) what you're in for and you're still willing to make the commitment, then it sounds like some of what you want isn't out of the question.

SeaSalt 03-25-2013 05:33 PM

Re: Young liveaboard after Navy
Thank you all for your quick and understanding advice.I was looking into the 20 years and I could see myself doing that.

airbornesf,Read my mind I was going to reply back and ask if that would be a good idea,But I guess you already said it, Thanks!

benesailor 03-25-2013 05:34 PM

Re: Young liveaboard after Navy
I started in the service with a guy that knew he wasn't going to do more than 6 years. We both had a great time and i have a life long friend.
Little did i know that he was penny pinching the whole time; given that we put down a LOT of beer. Yet, when he got out; he bought a nice used car and travelled the country for a year with a buddy from college. Camping, bumming a room from old service buddies and just having a good time. He must have saved about 15k; and that was in 1992. He had one goal in that year. Drink 55 gals of beer and 10 gals of liquor. He never achieved his goal boat real close. It was all about the fun.
He is now very successful with a beautiful family.
Lesson learned. He did what he wanted and had a great time!

Hope this helps

brokesailor 03-25-2013 05:46 PM

Young liveaboard after Navy
Sea salt: at the age of 18 I can't believe that you are already trying to figure out a scheme to have the government support your young able unemployed self. Get off your rump and contribute!

Philzy3985 03-25-2013 06:20 PM

Re: Young liveaboard after Navy
I can't speak to the Navy side of your plan, But as far as the liveaboard on 30-35ft sailboat and being young, I'll say you have to be incredibly disciplined with your money throughout the process of saving. Don't try to reach a benchmark of $20,000 and be done saving, because the boat will become your home and you'll have to dump more money into it to make it comfortable and functional. I paid $15,000 cash, but it took about 7 years since I was 19 and came up with the idea to do it. I worked through college, though, not Navy, and it took a full-time desk job, a service (valet parking) job (nights and weekends, 50 hrs a week) for 4 years until I had the money set aside. Just enough, too. And now my credit card is racked up with the immediate repairs and details I've put into my boat.

It's possible, but just realize it's not a fairytale. It's fun and enjoyable, but because it's "different" people make it difficult to do. As in, finding a boat, finding a slip, etc. Having a Navy background by then will surely work in your favor, it's admirable and people of all generations respect it, they want to give back a little and will probably help you through the hoops more than the average person. Also, you'll go into it with more marine and naval knowledge which wouldn't hurt.

See how long you go with the dream in your head, if it fades in a month then forget it because it takes more than that to commit to saving and saving and saving for an unknown payout. But if you're like me and other people that do it, the dream won't ever fade, and you'll never second guess what your put all your effort into.

Good luck. And think about getting a job afterwards, it's more realistic because you will have to work to sustain living on a boat.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:30 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome