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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard > Interested in liveaboard vessels. Advice?
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-15-2013 01:14 AM
Dauntless Brent
Re: Interested in liveaboard vessels. Advice?

Just want to add to what a few others have said on here. I have a 29' that I'm in the process of moving onto. Let me share what I have found so far. I took my time and decided to go with the 29' due to the fact that I can single hand and still afford the up keep. Whatever the boat you decide to go with, you will sink a bunch of money into it (unless brand new). Also keep be prepared to sell or give away a good chunk of your belongings, you will live in an area about the size of a 10x12 bedroom. Good luck on your search.
06-15-2013 12:19 AM
elspru
Re: Interested in liveaboard vessels. Advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingNwing View Post
What a great summary! May I quote you?

sure thing, all my content is creative commons, attribution, share-alike. Creative Commons ? Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported ? CC BY-SA 3.0

oh and btw, I'm actually a little offended by the derogatory use of camping. Personally I actually prefer camping over living at home, the scenery, fresh air, stars, nature is all way more worthwhile than cars/roads/buildings to me. Also I love swimming in cold lakes just as much as warm ones.
cooking on a fire, and really everything else that comes with it.
Even at home, in this apartment we have, am sleeping on the floor on a camping mat, as I find mattresses too soft and uncomfortable.

Though ya, I'm aware that females in particular have er higher standards for comfort, indeed likely due to being more sensitive -- is why we're likely going to have a hot shower on the boat for my wife. I guess for me the only thing I don't like about the camping experience is the bug bites, and being near the water where it's windy is the best way to avoid them, so naturally a sailboat is the best solution.
Internet also, though ya, guess I don't really miss it when I'm camping. Am kinda looking forward to having slower internet, as we'd be able to watch fewer "shows".
Though am certainly planning on getting data/satellite internet on the boat,
at least for email and occasional forum use.
06-13-2013 08:39 AM
wingNwing
Re: Interested in liveaboard vessels. Advice?

For general boat selection, as others have said, you should be able to find something in the $20-$30K range easily for that size, depending on age and condition. Or less: here's a Catalina 27 for $5000: For Sale: Catalina 27- $5000 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums Whatever you choose, determine what makes you feel like you're camping out and address that, otherwise your dream will be short-lived.

Some people believe it best to buy an inexpensive boat and then put in the systems *they* want, if you have the time and skills, you end up with a boat that you know intimately, and learn a lot in the process. This is great if your plans call for living at the dock for a couple of years before heading out (maybe while waiting for that big promotion?) Others prefer getting a boat with many/most of the systems already in place - it may be cheaper in the long run, but you miss the knowledge & control gained.

Can you take a liveaboard/learn to sail course? That will give you familiarity with big boats and their systems, and a better sense of what you're getting into.

Cruising will cost as much or as little as you want, depending on how often you stay in marinas vs anchored out; how complex your boat systems are and how much of the maintenance you do yourself; and what shoreside entertainments you enjoy. Here's our budget for two people cruising the ICW from the Chesapeake to Florida on a 33-footer: The "Life Afloat" Archives: Cost of Living ... Afloat but realize that about $1000 of that is discretionary as ChucklesR pointed out in an earlier thread: if you don't have money for fuel, you sail; if you don't have money for dinners out, you cook aboard; if you don't have money for marinas; you anchor out; and if you don't have money for entertainment, you play cards in the cockpit.
06-13-2013 08:13 AM
wingNwing
Re: Interested in liveaboard vessels. Advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elspru View Post

Another aspect is that being on a travelling sailboat isn't so much about luxury of the body, unless very cozy simple living is your version of bodily luxury, it's more about luxury of the soul and mind, having many different experiences, seeing beautiful scenery, interacting with new people.

.
What a great summary! May I quote you?
06-13-2013 05:08 AM
arvicola-amphibius
Re: Interested in liveaboard vessels. Advice?

Whatever you choose, it must be quick and simple to rig to go sailing
otherwise you will just hang around the marina.

Stowage is important - if you are living aboard you will accumulate clutter and need to be able to get it out of the way quickly and secured so it does not go crashing around.

Easy handling under power, and not too much windage in the way of high topsides and other general clutter like excessively big solar arrays - so you can get in and out of your dock solo.

For one person a good 30 foot seaboat is a better proposition than a floating trailer home.
06-13-2013 01:21 AM
elspru
Re: Interested in liveaboard vessels. Advice?

I guess it's possible to "live the lifestyle" differently by different people. Just sending a bit of a mixed message, when you say you'd like to sail the carribean, but then talk about monthly fees over a thousand a month that hinge on getting a land-bound payraise.

There are basically 2 kinds of liveaboards to my knowldge, ones that stay at the dock, and simply live on a boat. And ones that travel around using their boat as a vessel while living on it.

The ones that stay at the dock typically have land-bound jobs, with only 2 weeks off a year or what not, sometimes simply getting a boat cause it's one of the cheapest living options much like an RV.

To get to the Caribbean from virginia is 850 nautical miles, even if you sail 24 hours a day, it'll take at least a week if going a reasonable 4 knots, realistically you're going to want to sleep, take in the scenery and maybe stop somewhere at times. It's true that the boat can sail while you're sleeping, though at least technically (though for blue-water single-handers often not realistically) there should be someone on watch at all times when you aren't at anchor.

Lin and Larry Pardey work about 6 months a year, and sail another 6 months, which is probably a good ideal balance to achieve. Getting a job or having skill that you can do or use just about anywhere is great, like an online freelancing, authorship, or boat repair/maintenance.

Another aspect is that being on a travelling sailboat isn't so much about luxury of the body, unless very cozy simple living is your version of bodily luxury, it's more about luxury of the soul and mind, having many different experiences, seeing beautiful scenery, interacting with new people.

Anyways point being frugal, simple, minimalist is the lifestyle of the travelling sailing live-aboard -- at least in my mind from what I gather.

I'm not yet a liveaboard but been working towards it for years. Got enough saved up for a boat already, but still acquiring some more skills. and good to have extra cash for necessary liveaboard equipment i.e. here in toronto, canada, an agitator, wood stove, hot water heater and other winterization equipment.

Around here a slip-fee for even a 37 footer is under $600 a month at the east end of town, electricity included. haul outs I don't expect more than twice a year, mostly for bottom maintenance that can't be done in the water. pump outs aren't necessary if you have a compost toilet. maintenance sure has some cost, and upgrades sometimes, but don't really need much when simple living.

Engines, roller-furlers and many recent sailing inventions are indeed "luxuries" so can be done without. The traveling sailors sometimes forgo an engine, in favour of having better sails, and no propeller drag, oars and anchors for those odd calms.

Lin and Larry did an anecdotal survey, found the people that been cruising around the world the longest actually have relatively small boats under 30 feet or just under.
Likely since they are easier to single-hand and have lower maintenance cost.

Also sure you're young and possibly debt free, perhaps it's best to keep it that way, if not best to make it that way, save up for an entry level boat under $10,000 perhaps, that way if you crash or break it, won't be too big a loss, and would be easier to sell.

Wouldn't want your dream hung-up due to lack of some promotions, nor due to working so much on land you don't have time or energy for the boat.

Skills are important, sailing a keelboat is much different from sailing a dinghy, while the actual sailing part has the same foundation and names, the details differ as there are many more components on a keelboat.

I've got my white sail III (for sailing dinghies), and keelboat crusiing standard (allows renting or co-oping sailboats). This year am crewing on race boats at a club, lets me see different boats, their setup, and learn about how they are sailed. Also lets me get used to the various procedures that are a standard part of sailing a boat, such as docking and undocking.

next year planning to take part in a co-op sailing program at the club, where can take out a club boat myself or with family, and at that point my wife and I can make a more final decision about whether we're going to be living a board or not -- I'm certainly hoping yes.

Otherwise I already have an income that lets me have pretty much all free time, though it's currently limited to this province, it's already a lot better than most of my friends that are tied down to the city with their jobs. Eventually hoping on getting some more mobile and world-wide though there is plenty to do and see in the great lakes for now.

Also you're in Virginia got the famous chesapeake bay there, which many on this forum are in, so lots to the there also, even if you are land bound with a job, at least you have weekends, maybe sometimes you will have enough energy to get out from the dock for a spin around the bay.
06-06-2013 07:05 PM
SailorBrett
Re: Interested in liveaboard vessels. Advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailortrash View Post
Make sure this is what you want. I realize that this is your dream but a lot of people have the same dream then realize that they made a very expensive mistake. Please do not take this as me discouraging you.
Jared
This is solid advice, and something that I'm glad people on here are willing to give. Realistically I guessed that following my desire for a liveaboard lifestyle would cost at least about $1000/mo for slip fees, loan, electricity, insurance, pump outs, maintenance and upgrades, and sure enough after running the numbers (depending on what marina I look at) the numbers ran up anywhere from 1065 at its cheapest to just under 1400 at the most expensive, and that was for a boat that didn't have all the features I wanted.

Luckily for me, I'll be getting a couple pay raises in the near future that will enable this lifestyle comfortably

Thank you everyone for the solid advice. I'll be taking some of that advice in the near future to visit the marina and scout out some boats.
06-05-2013 05:55 PM
travlineasy
Re: Interested in liveaboard vessels. Advice?

I'm gonna toss my 2-cents into this, based upon my experiences during the past few years. First and foremost, get the biggest boat you can single-hand sail, which in my case was a 33 Morgan Out Island. This particular boat has been deemed by many live-aboards as first rate. Lots of beam, nearly 13 feet, lots of headroom, nearly 7 feet, relatively large galley, huge amount of storage space, built like a tank, but sails like a dream. It has a full keel, draws just under 4 feet, and contrary to popular belief, it's as fast as most boats in the same size and configuration category. I've had mine up to 10.1 MPH and was amazed how easily it handled in those conditions, winds of 30 MPH.

If you look around, particularly in your area and south, you'll find a few Morgan 33 O.I. sailboats for sale. Many are in great shape, some, however, are in horrible condition, so it pays to have them surveyed before purchasing. The boat is more than adequate for a couple to live aboard comfortably, and I know of at least two sailnet members that call them home. Mine is a 1973, powered with a Universal Atomic-4 gasoline engine, and I cannot say enough good things about the boat.

Good Luck,

Gary
06-05-2013 07:55 AM
sailortrash
Re: Interested in liveaboard vessels. Advice?

There is a huge amount of boats in that price range. Make sure this is what you want. I realize that this is your dream but a lot of people have the same dream then realize that they made a very expensive mistake. Please do not take this as me discouraging you. I love the liveaboard lifestyle but it just is not for everyone. I also would say that you need to tour any boat you can. Head down to your local marinas and chat people up and ask for a tour even if you know you cannot afford some of them. you will get to see different layouts so you will better know what you want. Shop around online and read as much as you can about the boats that peak your interest. Ask around on forums such as this one. When you go look at any boat make sure you can lie down in the cockpit and in the salon. Try to go as small as you can live with. Keep in mind that this is a simple kind of life when it comes to belongings. Try to buy stuff that is light, multi-use, and compact. Good luck and happy shopping.
Jared
06-04-2013 01:17 PM
deltaten
Re: Interested in liveaboard vessels. Advice?

Having just purchased a "liveaboard" (for my lites!) I can offer this opinion....
For the 50K budget...look into the 20K range for purchase, allow half the remaining $$ (15K) for re-fitting and set up; then you have the balance to *really* get ready and have $$ to live on for a year, pay slip/dock fees for a year and provide over-wintering pull-out/slip in and storage if required.

There's lotsa great boats with yer desires in mind available at that price point. Figure your minimum comfort level, luxury-wise and calculate other appointments from there.

Best,
Paul
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