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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard > Downside of living aboard
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-16-2014 02:15 PM
Boogie Nights
Re: Downside of living aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailpower View Post
If you are only selling your book in the UK then it appears that your terminology will be fine.

If you are targeting a broader audience then substituting sailboat for yacht might have some merit. Or not.
Since the book is aimed at those wishing to try out living on the inland waterways network within the UK, I think my terminology is pretty safe.
So many people thought it would be a dream lifestyle, but it turns out, it's more of a nightmare for many.
I grew tired of the glossed over issue of this falsely promised life of wonderfulness, and noone was presenting the reality in a balanced viewpoint for would-be liveaboards. There was no reliable information point or guide book.

So I turned my blog of life on the inland waterways into a funny and factual book for people to use as a guide for how to do it and more importantly how NOT to do it.
Not pretentious at all, just down to earth honest gritty truth. (still in final edit so not available yet)

As I said in my first post, I'm no longer a pure liveaboard, (which happened to constant cruise within a large radius of London) but I live on a boat by the south coast instead. which happens to have a mast and sails and moves a fair bit, work allowing. The canal boat was more expensive than the yacht, which is another fallacy people have about sailing boats when they think of costs.
10-16-2014 01:10 PM
sailpower
Re: Downside of living aboard

If you are only selling your book in the UK then it appears that your terminology will be fine.

If you are targeting a broader audience then substituting sailboat for yacht might have some merit. Or not.
10-16-2014 03:50 AM
Boogie Nights Ah now that's a typical example of words being taken out of context

I live on a yacht but I don't call myself a liveaboard

I live on a yacht, I don't call my self a liveaboard.

I live on a boat but I don't call myself a liveaboard.

Which of the above phrases is least likely to offend a sensitive soul who finds the use of the word "yacht" either pompous or pretentious?

In the uk which is where i am, the use of the word yacht simply indicates "sail boat" and nothing more.

The reason for defining liveaboard and live on board a boat is that in the uk at least when you say "i liveaboard" it is assumed one lives on a Dutch barge that never moves or some other heavy displacement type floating static dwelling. The wording is subtle. But by saying i live on a boat or a yacht it is clearer to understand and then I don't spend the next half hour explaining that actually my houseboat moves.
10-15-2014 05:54 PM
CaptainForce
Re: Downside of living aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogie Nights View Post
I'm writing a book on this very subject.
..................................................
I live on a yacht, I dont call myself a liveaboard. there's a distinction between, someone who lives on a boat and someone who is a liveaboard.
................................................
While you're writing this book, keep in mind that the connotations for these terms are not universal. Many would think it pretentious to say that they live on a yacht. Many, like myself, crusie about frequently and consider themselves as liveaboards. We've been liveaboards and living on a boat for forty-three years
10-15-2014 04:46 PM
Boogie Nights
Re: Downside of living aboard

I'm writing a book on this very subject.

I lived on the inland waterways of Britain for a few years. I watched people come and go. some used the canal boats as a cheap means of accommodation. others wanted to live a dream of being on a boat, others wanted to travel the inland waterways. others were one step away fro homelessness and the canalboat they lived in was borderline floating raft.

I love living on a boat, but the inland waterways were not really my cup of tea. Im too young and too excitable.

I live on a yacht, I dont call myself a liveaboard. there's a distinction between, someone who lives on a boat and someone who is a liveaboard.

the former, is someone who keeps the boat in trim ad as few of their possessions cluttering the place. its a boat first. home second. the boat moves frequently and is used as a boat. It is always just 20 minutes from being seaworthy as everything is generally pre stowed or in a state of readiness.

liveaboards on the otherhand are quite static, often their boats don't move from one year to the next. they love being bythe water and the boat is oftena cheaper method of living than renting a flat or house.
You will often find single mature people going along this route. They may live in a motorboat or yacht. but generally its static.

I fall into the first category. I move, frequently. Although I keep the boat usually in the same marina, I head out for days and weekends and whenever I possibly can. just because I can and because I love sailing.

people ask me frequently, when are you going to move back to land, after 9 years of this, I can honestly say I don't see that happening within my current vision of my future. I say its not for everyone, living on a boat isnt an easy option. I know someone people try it, and realise they can't cope with certain elements of the life style.

dealing with your own toilet waste, dealing with expensive equipment, water pumps, frozen waterpipes in winter, diesel engine maintenance, fibreglass repairs, sails and sail repairs, safety equipment, the lack of personal space if sharing with a partner, the showers ashore, mildew and damp cupboards in winter, yearly or twice yearly haul outs for hull maintenance and so on.

it takes a certain kind of character to manage all of that, plus hold down a job plus have a social life. and then deal with friends or family who might not want to visit for whatever reason they find, but actually, they don't like cramped spaces or small beds or the sensation of movement all of the time...

there's many downsides to living on a boat, but for me at least, they are far outweighed by the positives.
10-11-2014 10:31 PM
SantaAna12
Re: Downside of living aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by xort View Post
You say tomato, I say tomato

If you are attracted to the life, try it and decide you don't like it; you failed to foresee the problems. Failure. Oh my god, FAILURE! kill yourself, you failed! Or is failure no longer accepted? Not PC to call it what it is. No more failing grades in school, everybody gets promoted.
I have been living aboard since 89. My opinion is this:
If you want to live aboard....then live aboard. This post is not how I live, and is not a common perspective from the many I have lived on the water with.
Failure my ass.
It just might get into your blood.
My advice: take what you need from this post, and definitely, leave the rest.
Good luck!
08-18-2014 03:28 PM
gravy26
Re: Downside of living aboard

Interesting article:
searoom.com/winter-liveaboards/
08-18-2014 11:16 AM
Acameronp
Re: Downside of living aboard

This is a great thread. My wife and I moved aboard our 29 ft Columbia 8.7 back in the early spring. ABSOLUTELY has come with its share of challenges, pitfalls and moister laden mornings. However, the live-a-board plan came with what I think most people fail to do. Plan.
Our dream is not a 29 foot boat on Lake Lanier. Its coastal cruising the ICW and beyond in our 40 footer. But before sinking a ton of money into such a monster, we started slow, and everything we do is designed around our final plan. I won't bore you with the details, but it looks a little like this:
Buy a comfortable, affordable, home, that has the potential to sail.
Sell most everything, keep enough for a 1 bedroom if all else fails.
Storage unit so we can swap summer/winter clothes, store food in bulk, keep the boat clutter free of non-daily use items.
Work hard, live off 1 income so we can bank the other. Monsters are expensive.
Live simply, get debt free. Isn't the end goal freedom anyway?
Pay cash for big boat. Bring to the lake and get to know every rivet, hose, clamp, nook and cranny.
Re-outfit to be a comfortable home, and potential to sail
Upgrade EVERYTHING.
Move to coast and see how many things still go wrong.

Everything we do is a plan. From the type of dog we got last year, to when our cars will be paid off, to taking celestial training classes and small engine repair. Honestly its a long slow process that is tough. However, in January were living in a home with a dream and a few hundred bucks in the cookie jar, far from the reality of living on our dream boat. A few months later we are now a little over a year away from being able to pay cash for our "big" boat and continue on with the next steps. (and we are not made of money) There are a thousand things I left off the list above but my point is that a plan will take you a long way. As you sailors know, what you do on a boat is not hurried, and is deliberate. If you want to live an extraordinary lifestyle, you have to make extraordinary changes in your thought process',
and you have to plot your course.
Believe me, I know we have many hurdles to over come and many mistakes to make, but so far our plan is working keeping in mind life is always a few steps forward and occasionally a few back.
08-16-2014 11:30 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Downside of living aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravy26 View Post
?..Also, for those LA's in the northeast, how do you manage the winters?

Is living onboard in the winter a real challenge?.
I've not done it, but know many who have. My slip neighbor did so last season for the first time.

Challenges:

Elements: you want to keep the snow and ice off your decks, so shrink wrapping or a custom cover are necessary, IMO. They definitely have a greenhouse affect and you'll be in shorts and t shirts in the cockpit on sunny days.

Heating: lots of options. None are really a good idea to leave on while you're away. So what keep things from freezing while you're not aboard? Some take their chances, some burn.

Sewage: some marinas provide no accommodation, so you'll always go ashore. A real PITA. Other bring a pump to you on a fixed schedule. This often requires that you route a hose from you pump out fitting to a place they can access,,whether you are there or not. My neighbor described how his slipped off once. Your imagination will suffice.

Fresh water: your probably going to hump it in jugs from shoreside, otherwise, go, without. The good news is, your storage tanks probably won't freeze, depending on water temps. At least they have enough mass to take a while and you'll likely be back with the heat in by then. It's your fresh water lines that may run near your hull that are in danger.

Finally, the biggie....... CONDENSATION: your boat will naturally be closed up with little air exchange. Everything from you exhaling, cooking, any flame, all produce enormous water vapor. That finds places to hide and mildew can be rampant.

If I were to live aboard in winter, I would absolutely, positively, mandatorily have a dehumidifier running 24/7. Hey, you could capture the condensate and use it to clean dishes.
08-16-2014 09:40 AM
4arch
Re: Downside of living aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravy26 View Post
Also, for those LA's in the northeast, how do you manage the winters?
Prepare for a higher heating bill than you imagine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravy26 View Post
Do you shrinkwrap it with a door?
Some people do, and it creates a nice greenhouse effect underneath. You can do clear shrinkwrap and not feel like you're as much in a cocoon. A cockpit enclosure can be used the same way. On sunny milder winter days it's possible to sit comfortably in an enclosed cockpit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravy26 View Post
Do your marinas use a bubbler system?
Most do, or will let the slipholder. However, it's really more for the protection of the docks than the boats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravy26 View Post
How about pumoput service? Is there a pumpout hose long enough to reach your slip?
If an area has enough of a critical mass of liveaboards a pumpout boat may run all winter or a marina may leave a self-serve pumpout station open. It depends on the marina and area. Either way you'll probably gravitate to the shoreside facilities more in the winter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravy26 View Post
Do you have to insulate the fresh water hose?
Most marinas turn the dock water off. Sometimes if you're close enough to the landside you can run a submerged hose where being underwater insulates it. Some marinas also may leave a self-serve water filling station available otherwise you have to bring your water in jerry jugs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravy26 View Post
What do you use for heat?
Electric, diesel, and propane are the most popular choices or some combination thereof. Each has its ups and downs which have been discussed at length here on other threads. As I mentioned above, heating an uninsulated boat is much more expensive than you'd think and condensation can become a real issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravy26 View Post
What about clearing the dock of snow? Does the marina do that?
Depends on the marina but generally yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravy26 View Post
Is living onboard in the winter a real challenge?
More challenging than living ashore but nothing you can't overcome if you know what to expect and are willing to accept the downsides.
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