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  #11  
Old 03-05-2012
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Re: How to live aboard? possible?

I'm sure this is a very easily feasible move. I moved aboard a 30' when I was 25 years old with about your same budget (adjusted for inflation from forty years ago). I've always had more discretionary income while living aboard than my colleagues with the same jobs and incomes. I have a 23 year old nephew living aboard in NE Florida on a 22' Catalina. Liveaboard slips are more readily available in the SE US than many other areas. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 03-05-2012
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Re: How to live aboard? possible?

JD, I would suggest aiming at 28' because that seems to be the point where you can get a separate head compartment with a shower "hose" in it. Having a real head, even a cramped one, makes a big difference especially if you have company out for the day.

That's also about the point where you're more likely to find an inboard than an outboard. Something like a Pearson26 with a long shaft 9.9 outboard can be lived on--but folks also live in compact cars, The extra two feet makes a big difference, and the inboard engine makes a big difference in the amount of power available to move the boat, to use for electrics, and in keeping the prop in the water during rough weather. its a big difference.

On learning to sail, there's nothing the same as doing it. I'd suggest taking alook online or at your library's reference desk asking for some help. There are a number of good books on buying old boats and which models are better bets (Practical Sailor has at least two volumes in large paperbound sizes) and the Florida libraries are very good at bringing in books on loan from other branches all over the state--and all over the US. Or you can find them to buy, used, on Amazon etc.

The books will give you a clue about the names for things. If someone says "release the sheet" and you go "Huh?" you aren't as valuable as someone who knows what a sheet is one a boat. Some of the theory about sailing trim won't make any sense on paper--but it will make some of it make sense faster when you're on the boat.

And these days, there are DVDs for everything! There must be some decent "learning to sail" dvds out there.

I suggest all that stuff because it will be fairly easy and certain to get started with them. But your best bet is to troll the docks. Put on some deck shoes or non-marking non-skid sneakers. A pair of sailing gloves because ropes can burn. Find out when the local clubs have "beer can races" casual racing series in the evenings or on weekends, and literally, walk the docks an hour before the race starting time saying "Hi, I'm ex-Navy and I know knowing about sail boats but want to learn. Does anyone need a willing hand?" aka "Railmeat" on the bigger boats, those are the guys used as human ballast sitting on the rail. Don't need to know anything except how to get to the other side FAST when the boat tacks.

I know guys who have literally grabbed a ride in a 3-day race that way, with a sign on their back and chest advertising what they were. Sometimes a boat simply NEEDS CREW and the guys they were counting on don't show up. Showing up on time really counts when the boat has to leave to make the race.

Now, some of the guys who take you out will be real "TypeA" freaks that shout all the time and teach you nothing. But some of them will be real enthusiasts, who are quite happy to teach newbs how to sail. You will find them, if you look and ask. Don't be shy about it, because they need crew too!
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Old 03-06-2012
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Re: How to live aboard? possible?

JD I'm 22 and putting the finishing touches on my boat right now (well, as the weather allows, we're averaging about 30 degree days but Thursday will hit 58 so I'm planning to get working early).

I found a 1975 ODay 27 at a good rate and in good shape. Many are in the $5-$8k range. There is about 6' head room (but I'm 6' 3" but I can stand upright under the companionway hatch to stretch a bit at least).

I'll only be spending summer on it as I live in the north east and not yet equipped for winter living. Slip fees in my area are $110-$140/ft in the summer so I'm certainly envious of your slip rates.

I'm a newbie sailor (I've spent only a few dozen hours in a rhodes 19 and a couple ASA courses in a 34') and imagine I'll catch on to the operation of the boat quite quickly (or at least have a lot of opportunity to practice) once I'm on the water. I'm sure it won't be hard to find someone to teach you a few things about your boat in exchange for them getting to play on it too.

In the meantime I've bought several good books and am going through every square inch of the boat to become not only familiar with this particular boat, but sailboats in general. I'm learning a lot as I read through and follow guides (like those by MaineSail) for buffing topsides, new bottom paint, refitting deck hardware, new gas tank, etc. etc. Also try to find a mentor. I often to speak to a guy (I'd name him but I don't want to share him! ) that often shares his experiences if I find conflicting opinions on forums.

The costs have been higher than expected (and I didn't even have optimistic projections) and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight, but I'm loving it, and I'm going to love the adventures even more once she's in the water.

No matter what, I know I would regret not trying it more than I will ever regret trying it.

Just go for it, read all you can while keeping an eye out for good deals. Don't marry a particular model boat but instead try to see as many as you can so when a good deal pops up you are ready to pounce!
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Old 03-06-2012
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Re: How to live aboard? possible?

JD, I chose to go small and simple. I picked up a 25' catalina with a trailer in pristine condition for $5k. 6' 4" headroom with pop-top, simple systems, less maintenance, and mooring expense. It is more than adequate for weekend coastal cruising AND MOBILE... Florida or SoCal this winter? hmmmm? I learned a valuable lesson on a custom chopper years back. Keep it simple stupid and you will enjoy it versus maintain it. Just my opinion. Being ex-navy, how much room/amenities do you really NEED? My marina and gym both have awesome showers...
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Re: How to live aboard? possible?

I definitely thank all of you for you comments. Really puts some wind in my sails. I completely agree that 28ft sounds right about where i want to be. A Shower isnt needed. The marina will have one and when on the hook i can always use a solar shower. So MaineSail and Practical Sailor are two publications i should be researching? I've been wanting to get a few books, but havnt had the time yet between school and work. Also say I find something around 28 for about 7500. What would you think would be the things i should just expect to have to put some work into?
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Re: How to live aboard? possible?

MaineSail is a person that posts regularly here and on a few other forums. His howtos are at Compass Marine "How To" Articles Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com

For looking at the boats you should checkout Boat Inspection Trip Tips

For books I recommend This Old Boat (Don Casey - 2nd edition), Boat Owners Mechanical and Electrical Manual (Nigel Calder, 3rd edition), Boat Maintenance (Burr). Will at least help to get your feet wet, or rather keep them dry.

The way I look at it is you have plenty of years to gain experience and preferences and learn the cheaper ways to do things. For now, get a boat in decent shape (that happy middle of needing a little TLC so it isn't 100% turnkey and not needing to put in a ton of work) and just try to have the best first experience you can (this is what I keep telling myself as I'm facing very high slip rates). That way after the first season is done you can make the choice to cut out some luxuries later having been there and done that; as opposed to having a miserable first season in order to save some bucks.

It's just money right?
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Old 03-06-2012
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Re: How to live aboard? possible?

Yes, it certainly is possible. I live aboard a CS27 in Victoria B.C., a city that is very liveaboard friendly. I have owned boats as large as 35' but wanted a smaller boat to keep costs down - I am close to retirement. My minimums are standing headroom (helped by my height of 5'7"), a good galley, no need to convert seating to bunks and back each day, and an inboard diesel. I have been living aboard this boat for about 3 years now, year round without a problem.

There are many boats in your price range - Pearson, Hunter, Catalina and others that I am sure can be found in reasonable condition. Look for good basics - hull, deck, engine, rig. The rest isn't hard to do even while living aboard.

It can be less expensive living aboard, but if you want a boat it is to me more logical to live aboard rather than rent an apartment and have a boat as well.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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  #18  
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Re: How to live aboard? possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
My minimums are standing headroom (helped by my height of 5'7"), a good galley, no need to convert seating to bunks and back each day, and an inboard diesel.
You worded that well. I would say that is about exactly my need list. Adding only a head.
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Re: How to live aboard? possible?

Initial costs may be high, but once you have her sorted out the way you want,and can stop buying things , costs drop like a stone.
I've lived aboard for over 40 years, and costs are now minimal. Being in BC, getting adequate insulation and a good airtight woodstove were turning points.
I haven't paid moorage in decades; I stay anchored.
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Old 03-06-2012
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Re: How to live aboard? possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDRichlen View Post
You worded that well. I would say that is about exactly my need list. Adding only a head.
I have a head as well.
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