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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Working from my office...on a sailboat? Yeah!! (I want-to and need advice)...
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Thread: Working from my office...on a sailboat? Yeah!! (I want-to and need advice)... Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-30-2011 01:48 PM
smackdaddy (Preface: Yes, I know this is an old thread - like I give a damn.)

I have a related question for you corporate tax dudes out there...what are the implications of having a boat owned by a corporation and using it as a primary satellite office for that business?

It looks like I might have a long-term project coming in that will require a good deal of time in the LA area. If that happens, I might seriously consider buying a boat and using that as our "West Coast Office". Then, if I want to use it for personal fun, I'd just personally pay a charter fee to the corporation. Win/Win.

Sounds pretty simple - but I'm sure there are all kinds of IRS flags on this kind of thing. What do you guys think?
10-04-2009 07:04 AM
CaptainForce Wind Majic, Thanks for you timely wisdom. We currently receive our "snail" mail once a month; walk or bicycle to the laundromat and anchor out most nights. We go to a library when we need a printer..... I was considering taking on an additional monthly bill with the purchase of an air card for my laptop. Your post cleared my head,- what was I thinking! I'll make a one time purchase of a better wifi antennae and that will do. Thanks, Aythya crew
10-03-2009 07:45 PM
wind_magic J,

Few thoughts.

First, I know this is complete heresy to the "connected", but I encourage you to really think critically about your "need" for high speed Internet access and all the rest. I know you are used to having it, and I know you think you need it because most cruisers used to think they needed it, but I believe that if you really think through the things that you do everyday you might find that it is much less of a need than it is a desire. Yes, I know you like to sit and browse the web at high speed, see your email come in the instant it was sent to you, and all the rest, and it is very easy to justify in your own mind because you're used to it, it is an easy thing to get used to, anyone who is online thinks they need high speed access 24/7 who has had it for any length of time, the same as they think they need a cellular telephone after having one for any length of time. But do you need that, really ?

The reason I mention this is because you may not be aware of it but there are ways to live very far afield if you can think critically about what it is you are doing and trying to do. It is easy (and lazy) to just assume that you need bazillabits of speed, when what you might really need is a server run by someone else attached to a high speed link, access to your email a few times a day instead of constantly, fax access a few times a month instead of every minute of the day like you imagine, snail mail delivered weekly instead of daily, etc. Most people don't really want to take the time to think critically about it, it is easier to just say you need high speed access all the time, just like saying you need your own washer/drier is easier than planning trips to the laundromat, or saying you need your own [insert tool] instead of just renting or borrowing it occasionally. If you can think in more detail about what it is you actually need access for you might find you suddenly have a whole lot more options available to you.

One example is email. You are probably used to having your email light up in an instant whenever something comes in, and you probably think you need that to happen to be responsive in a reasonable amount of time, but do you, really ? Yes, there are very rare occasions in most people's lives when a few minutes might make a difference, but how often does that really happen ? Most people can actually read their email a few times a day, or even just twice a day, or once a day, and if you can get down to reading your email once a day suddenly all kinds of options open up for you that you may not have thought about. If you can read and respond to email just once a day with periods of higher activity at times when you are in a marina, for example, then you can start using HF radio and commercial service providers and Pactor modems to send receive emails most of the time, and that means you can essentially be anywhere on the earth because the range of those communications mechanisms are very far, much further than any kind of cellular style access or even satellite based access which sometimes has dark spots around the globe. Suddenly, just by changing your own mind about what you "need", you have opened up a lot more possibilities.

The same thing is true of almost everything you are considering. Another simple example would be a printer, a laser printer, you probably assume you need that all the time, that it always has to be up so that you can print just by clicking a button. But is that really true ? If so then you need constant A/C power and need to be hooked to a dock, probably, because laser printers use a lot of electricity even when they are not printing. But what if you could just reach over and turn the printer on and allow it to warm up whenever you needed to use it, then suddenly you don't need to be connected to A/C power all the time, you can use solar panels, wind generators, etc, because the load isn't constant it is only when you need it. What if you take that one step further and realize that the only time you usually need to print something on a laser is when you are sending it via snail mail, etc, and then you might realize that you don't need a laser printer on your boat at all, what you need is access to a laser printer at the physical location where you typically mail things, or that you need a laser printer on shore somewhere, etc. Maybe you eventually realize you don't even need that, that you can turn things into PDF's and email them instead of printing them, doing away with the laser printer altogether.

Everything on a boat can be improved by this process, by being critical, by constantly re-evaluating what it is you are doing, how you are doing it, what your real needs are vs. what is just convenient, etc. You may assume you need a high speed desktop computer so that it is really fast, but do you ? When do you actually need that speed, are you just writing Word documents ? Maybe what you really need is a very slow small computer that can run off of a few watts of power to do your work on a day-to-day basis and then have the desktop sitting around turned off and use it only when you absolutely have to have the speed for working on video editing or something similar. Maybe you don't actually need a fast computer at all.

This all probably sounds very annoying, because when you are used to being online with lots of bandwidth, lots of processing power, etc, you just start to assume it is non-negotiable. But if you can make it negotiable and start opening your mind up to the possibilities you can greatly increase the amount of freedom you have by letting go of just a few of the things that may have solidified themselves into techno-dogma in your mind.

I am writing all of this because you seem open to examining your own motivations about technology and convenience as evidenced by your approach to transportation in your original post, many cruisers can't give up the car, but you seem open to the idea. This all assumes you are even interested in cruising instead of simply living aboard at a marina. I just throw all of this out there as something to think about, maybe you don't need high speed connections and all the other stuff as much as you think you do!
10-03-2009 09:38 AM
mccary I would add some points... first, my disclosure. I do not live aboard and with the exception of my in-laws now at my house the thought of living aboard hasn't entered my equation. My points relate life style and work requirements. I would ask what you do computer wise? Do you have lots of uploads (as in gigabytes of files to upload)? Do you require more computer than a laptop? Aircards (and the new WiFi cards from cell companies that allow several computers to connect to the cellular Internet), but ALL of these cards have limits on bandwidth. Those limits are pretty high for normal users but not sufficient for high volume users (I am a photographer and uploads several gigabytes a month). Also, do you have needs beyond simple computer/printer setup? I wonder about the space required for all the items for an office. As to FAX, I use a fax service that you can send and receive via email. It is as quick and very reliable.

And lastly, how much sailing do you anticipate? It seems that the people I know who live/work aboard seem to sail less.
09-30-2009 12:34 PM
BrightWolf
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieselboy View Post
I offer myself to go to places for any of you and shoot pics or get information on the Houston /clear lake area. Im in the area and i am down there more than i am home so.. I also need to pay back the the big debt i have to this site for all the help every on here has given to me.
COOL!! I will let my husband know and will get back to you!

Missy of Brightwolf
09-30-2009 12:11 PM
dieselboy
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightWolf View Post
Jonnie:

Don't forget you can buy a boat in any one place on the eastern side of Mexico and without too much trouble move or get it moved to your chosen marina. So, you can plan on/intend to live in Houston (for instance) and still buy your boat from Miami (another example). Just something else to keep in mind.

My husband and I are in the same situation you are. Planning/hoping to move aboard within the next few years. I have REALLY enjoyed reading this whole thread, it was packed with so much wonderful info! I think Houston sounds very much like it holds almost everything we would want. We are thinking more seriously about that destination.

We are also planning on being "snow birds". You say you live in Chicago now. I think the Intercoastal waterway goes up to Chicago from the Gulf of Mexico. I know I have read about folks sailing up there to get away from some of the heat and humidity and also from the hurricanes...all those H's (LOL)! So, you don't have to choose just one place to live, you can have a home base in one location and then move around as you see fit from there. We plan to head north in the spring and not head south again until after hurricane season is over. At that point, we might be heading south to the Bahamas or something.

Those were the only things I could think of to add to the discussion. Best of luck and hope to see you out there!!

Missy of BrightWolf
I offer myself to go to places for any of you and shoot pics or get information on the Houston /clear lake area. Im in the area and i am down there more than i am home so.. I also need to pay back the the big debt i have to this site for all the help every on here has given to me.
09-30-2009 10:55 AM
BrightWolf Jonnie:

Don't forget you can buy a boat in any one place on the eastern side of Mexico and without too much trouble move or get it moved to your chosen marina. So, you can plan on/intend to live in Houston (for instance) and still buy your boat from Miami (another example). Just something else to keep in mind.

My husband and I are in the same situation you are. Planning/hoping to move aboard within the next few years. I have REALLY enjoyed reading this whole thread, it was packed with so much wonderful info! I think Houston sounds very much like it holds almost everything we would want. We are thinking more seriously about that destination.

We are also planning on being "snow birds". You say you live in Chicago now. I think the Intercoastal waterway goes up to Chicago from the Gulf of Mexico. I know I have read about folks sailing up there to get away from some of the heat and humidity and also from the hurricanes...all those H's (LOL)! So, you don't have to choose just one place to live, you can have a home base in one location and then move around as you see fit from there. We plan to head north in the spring and not head south again until after hurricane season is over. At that point, we might be heading south to the Bahamas or something.

Those were the only things I could think of to add to the discussion. Best of luck and hope to see you out there!!

Missy of BrightWolf
09-29-2009 10:46 PM
Jonnie101 David -

Just caught both your posts as I was signing of - not insulted at all ... "fatal" is pretty permanent - and I take all comments (especially by long time members) under advisement and with respect. Great info about the Cataline (nope haven't been in either sizes - but I had no idea 5 feet more was TWICE as big ...that's impressive) ... 15K for a 30' seems like something I would consider ...but the whole maintenance issue is full of knowns for me ... (will answer more tomorrow ...)

Thanks again...

J.
09-29-2009 10:38 PM
Jonnie101 Jim - Great info - let me address some of your points...

Quote:
A simpler solution, and what I'll be using in my new marina, which has no WiFi, is the Nokia E71x. It's Nokia's version of the Black Berry with one important exception - it has a wireless router built in. With a Black Berry I'd have to buy a $65/month tethering option, with the Nokia I only have to buy a $15/month data option + a one time $89 fee for a phone upgrade.
What's the monthly - or is this unlocked and depending on your carrier?

Quote:
With cell phones why bother?
Depends on the carrier Jim - since I work from my place a reliable landline is helpful - but if I make the leap, I'll need an equally reliable cell carrier - but I'm looking at this separately (cell carriers can be great in some cities - terrible in others - all depends)

Quote:
In a boat you're VERY limited for storage space,

An alternative might be a storage bin on shore for things you don't use every day.
True - that's why I'm looking at storage and such ... just the basics - laptop, cell, tv ...clothes ...not much else...


Quote:
Now I know you said you're from Chicago, but I stop spending weekends on my boat when the temperature drops below 50 degrees at night. Boats have no insulation. You can see daylight between hatchboards. One, even two electric space heaters will only keep a boat so warm when it's sitting in 40 degree water and the air temp is in the 20's. And remember, when you crawl out from under that comforter you still have to walk down that cold, windy dock to the showers.
Good points - all - but if I get a decent enough boat - don't they have workable showers?

Quote:
If you're going to do this I'd think southern climates, but as someone else mentioned you'll have to deal with humidity.
Yup - I'm open to a lot - again, NY/Northeast was a preference - but not a must...

Quote:
Get any boat surveyed before you buy, and be careful of auctions. That bargain boat may not be a bargain after you add up what you needed to make it liveable. To see what I mean check out "Chip Ahoy"
MAN - that Chip Ahoy was a REAL EYE-OPENER... I urge anyone reading this in my same situation to read it asap... thanks much.

Quote:
All that said, good luck and welcome! Just curious, what kind of work do you do?
Thanks Jim - and I'm in web-development/internet (long story but that's the gist of it)

Quote:
What was your price range again?
There are some 35' boats a 6'2" guy can stand in and I can verify this personally.
Emag - again, I was looking at around 5-6K ...I see a lot of stuff around 25-27' in this range ...I'd like to go 30'+ but it seems once you go over that big 3-0 boats go up in price exponentially... (I'm weight this though ...might put things off perhaps a bit and save more money)


Quote:
Well he has the heat and humidity thing dead on. Boat prices are quite cheep down here. The clear lake dumps in to the Galveston bay which then dumps in to the gulf of Mexico all in short order.

All in all not a bad place.
LOL ..Diesel I could hear your Ten-Gallon hat accent in every word of your post!

Actually I've heard pretty good things about Houston (most of which you've mentioned) ...except - the humidity ... but it seems that big H is going to be anywhere the worthwhile places are... i like the idea of getting bargains there ...but I tend to wonder - seems like with the economy the place to find bargains might be in the "rich" areas around the "resort" type places in Florida (Palm Beach, Miami etc.etc.) ...I've heard this also - but who knows...

Hey thanks everyone ...

J.
09-29-2009 10:31 PM
davidpm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonnie101 View Post

- I'm looking to buy an older (say 70's to early 80's -but maintained) starter type 25-30' sail like a Catalina (they seem really reasonable these days - I see 'em - especially at this time of year - for anywhere from $2000 to about $10K or so...which is around the amount I want to spend - which leads me into the next bullet):
OK first thing you have to do is actually look at a Catalina 25 and a Catalina 30, as in call a broker and tell him you want to get inside both of these boats.
The 30 is twice the size of the 25 and feels even bigger.
The captain I sail with bought his C30 and paid about 15,000. It is not in very good shape.

I'm with you Jonnie. My wife and I lived aboard an O'day 22 for about two months but that was in the Keys when I was young and skinny.

Whatever you spend on the boat plan on spending at least 30% more in the next year in excess of the items you see you have to fix. The 30% is just for surprises not for sures.
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