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post #1 of 20 Old 07-07-2018 Thread Starter
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Talking Hello!

I am new to this forum.



My soon to be husband and I are wanting to purchase a boat to live aboard.

I am more new to this than he is -- I have never spent a day on a boat, but we have his mother and step father to guide us as they live aboard one. He has spent lots of time aboard hers.

We have not even tried to secure financing on a boat, know what exact boat we want yet, etc. because we are in our initial stages of research.

We live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but wouldn't mind new friends from further away to tell us their, "been there, done that" stories so we can make sure decisions as we search out marinas, a more than likely used boat which and from where, how to do the financing properly, how to move the boat from one marina to another, insurance, etc.



I'm hoping somebody with experience can help guide us.
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-08-2018
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Re: Hello!

Welcome aboard. You are not the first nor will you be the last to want to live aboard a sailboat. Having said that there are so many paths and possibilities and only you two can decide once you begin to understand the possibilities and the hurdles you must pass. And there are many hurdles and many ways to "live aboard."

Begin by reading... this forum and the many books out there... plus now there are a bunch of YouTubes done by couples who have done what you are thinking about. No two paths will be the same despite they all having to pass through similar decisions and learning curves. Ask intelligent questions right here... if you can't find the answers by reading and watching/
The members here are knowledgeable and generous with their time and most are more than willing to help. However no one can help without more information about your situation and goal.

Good luck!

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #3 of 20 Old 07-08-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Hello!

Which books do you recommend?

Current hurdles: searching for live aboard marinas in Dallas-Fort Worth.

-His- job has him tied to Farmer's Branch, whereas I could go wherever, whenever -- as I am working towards becoming an accountant with my own business.

What appeals me is it is much cheaper than most current housing prices ($200,000+ for a 'starter home', even used in my area), as well as I genuinely have a love for the beach and water. While, granted, we are kind of tied up here due to his work, perhaps he will find employment where we are not so far north in Texas and more south on the coast (so with this, we will have to look for larger boats as some have length minimums of 40-45 I have seen). We also would live with a lot less clutter of a normal home since it's a micro-home, and I think it would make us spend extremely wisely through life on what we actually have as needs vs. wants.

I have the understanding repairs are very costly, and I'm the handy one between he and I, so I really want to understand what wear and tear I need to look out for when purchasing a used boat, what I might be able to do whereas what a professional would have to do, etc so we do not get too in over our heads if we find a dream boat but are not wise enough to see the imperfections and problems.

I'm going to ask an incredibly stupid question but what is covered under comprehensive boat insurance plans? Is it as if the boat is a car or is it as if the boat is a house? What would the insurance cover if we had a high-end insurance? (Since I'm sure it would cost more for better coverage).
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-08-2018
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I am in a similar position. I have been researching for the past five to seven years as I have prepared for semi-retirement and creating the time to get aboard.

I read for years: Maiden Voyage; Maiden Trip; Blue Water, Green Skipper; Fastnet: Force 10; Sailing Alone Around the World. Three years ago, I took my wife on a cruise and learn sailing course / charter from Vancouver British Columbia and earned my Canadian Yachting Association Bareboat Skippers Certificate. I've chartered twice, including a week in the Florida Keys.

I have spent hours and hours reading used boat reviews, particularly by the late boat surveyor and marine architect, Bob Hornor. I made a list of top 10 preferred boat choices, my dreamboat list. I watched hours and hours of sailing instructional videos on Amazon Prime and rules of the road for boating navigation and right-of-way. I watched hours and hours of various peoples sailing vlogs.

I am hoping to purchase soon and begin living aboard all or part of the year.

That is some of the process I have gone through in the last few years, too feel more ready and able. Good luck with your search and adventure, and maybe we will meet up somewhere soon, in a distant anchorage for drinks.
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post #5 of 20 Old 07-08-2018 Thread Starter
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Talking Re: Hello!

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwesterner View Post
I am in a similar position. I have been researching for the past five to seven years as I have prepared for semi-retirement and creating the time to get aboard.

I read for years: Maiden Voyage; Maiden Trip; Blue Water, Green Skipper; Fastnet: Force 10; Sailing Alone Around the World. Three years ago, I took my wife on a cruise and learn sailing course / charter from Vancouver British Columbia and earned my Canadian Yachting Association Bareboat Skippers Certificate. I've chartered twice, including a week in the Florida Keys.

I have spent hours and hours reading used boat reviews, particularly by the late boat surveyor and marine architect, Bob Hornor. I made a list of top 10 preferred boat choices, my dreamboat list. I watched hours and hours of sailing instructional videos on Amazon Prime and rules of the road for boating navigation and right-of-way. I watched hours and hours of various peoples sailing vlogs.

I am hoping to purchase soon and begin living aboard all or part of the year.

That is some of the process I have gone through in the last few years, too feel more ready and able. Good luck with your search and adventure, and maybe we will meet up somewhere soon, in a distant anchorage for drinks.
Thanks for the boat recommendations! It looks like I have some watching to do on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Vlogs. Do you have a recommended series of people or do you just take a little bit from everybody's input?

We also plan on living all of the year, unless of course in times of necessity (major boat technical difficulties or weather).

Last edited by Olive49093; 07-08-2018 at 07:01 PM. Reason: (How much of the year we would live on board)
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Re: Hello!

Olive,
You seem to be in a place to recalibrate aspects of your lives. One thing to very seriously consider is a source of income...work... which you can do aboard... using the internet. But there are other options. I know of a couple who made Pizzas on board and had a roaring business! But that was down in the islands.

Living aboard is less expensive than on dirt... but you hare very much paired down... like an RV or a tiny home. Living in a marina is expensive and convenient if you still work ashore... where the jobs are. You could even work for the marina or in the boat yard.

If you are off the grid and cruising... that's a whole other ball of wax. Which one is it? Or are you going to do both?

As far as reading... I would use Reese... Sailing Illustrated - The Sailor's Bible. It's a fabulous reference book about all things sailing. Most vids are about cutting the lines and sailing off as opposed to just living aboard in a marina.

Marina recreational insurance has 2 components... Comprehensive and Liability. The later cover you for your negligence and damage to others... the former covers your boat and may include your personal property. You select the coverage, the deductible and the limits.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #7 of 20 Old 07-08-2018
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There are some great sailing instructional videos available and included with Amazon Prime. Just search "sailing instruction". There is one called "Rules of the Road" that covers all of the rules of right away at sea and navigational AIDS. There is a wonderful introductory video called "Sailing with Penny......". She is an Australian sailing instructor. I believe that the video series is called "Sailing with Confidence". I will copy down some of the exact titles I found helpful, when I get on my Amazon account later.

I found it helpful to purchase the American Sailing Association course study books for the beginning ASA sailing courses. Whether you actually take any of the courses or not, the first couple of introductory course guides have a lot of basics, on the parts of a sailboat, the theory of sailing, nautical terms, and navigation. They will be good references to have.
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-08-2018
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Re: Hello!

There are a lot of factors to consider.

While living on a boat is generally much cheaper than living on land, living on the boat will seriously limit where you can live and what jobs you can have.

Even in areas that have a lot of coastline and dockage, not all marinas will allow liveaboards and most will significantly limit liveaboards to a certain percentage of their slips.

If you live someplace where you anchor out instead of at a marina, your costs will be lower (no slip rental!) but your logistical complications will increase massively as you will not have power to plug into, and will have to figure out what type of dinghy will bring you to shore and back to your boat/home and how much time that will add to your daily travels.

Doing laundry will be a major production.

So if you envision yourself living in a marina with a power hookup, you should start by considering what areas have the kind of marinas you would want to stay in but also have some of the type of jobs you would want, and then research the marinas in that area to see what the slip fees are and whether liveaboard slips are available and how much extra they charge for that. It's probably easier to find the area that meets those criteria before finding the boat in that area. Finding the right boat is probably the easiest part if you find the right coastal area to live in.
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-08-2018
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Re: Hello!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olive49093 View Post
Thanks for the boat recommendations! .......

We also plan on living all of the year, unless of course in times of necessity (major boat technical difficulties or weather).
Yes, you need some in-land family or friends who will be willing to take you in when a hurricane comes near the Texas coast, as they have, from time to time.

For video-blogs or vlogs, I like "Sailing Zatara". They have a lot more money to do it well, than I will ever have. But they sold their house, bought a mono-hull, home schooled the kids on board and traveled. Then they upgraded to a larger catamaran. Our income levels are such that I have to laugh when they talk about ways they have to economize, as they are installing a washer and dryer, water maker, scuba tank compressor, and dedicated silent generators to power all of their appliances.

For a look at the other end of the spectrum, check out a small privately produced film, "Hold Fast" on Youtube. It is not intended as an example of how to go to sea, but it is an interesting look at one group's experience.
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-08-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Hello!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
Olive,
You seem to be in a place to recalibrate aspects of your lives. One thing to very seriously consider is a source of income...work... which you can do aboard... using the internet. But there are other options. I know of a couple who made Pizzas on board and had a roaring business! But that was down in the islands.



If you are off the grid and cruising... that's a whole other ball of wax. Which one is it? Or are you going to do both?

As far as reading... I would use Reese... Sailing Illustrated - The Sailor's Bible. It's a fabulous reference book about all things sailing. Most vids are about cutting the lines and sailing off as opposed to just living aboard in a marina.
I am the very ambitious one that gets the zing of excitement at such an idea like the sailboat pizzeria. He works in a call center, so unless they bring that to telecommuting, he will always need shore hope to be self employed so wherever his employment takes him, we could go.
Currently, we live five hours north from the Texas gulf coast. We want to be able to purchase a boat, that should his employment bring him to the coast, we would not have to sell it and buy another to meet requirements so that's why when I started to read coastal marina requirements of 40-45', I am hypothesizing that would be the length to purchase.
We did think about purchasing a smaller, 35'-40' sailboat, but I am thinking the minimum requirement may be 40' to purchase for the future.
As for if it will be a sailboat, a trawler, a houseboat, etc. we are not sure. I am trying to learn as much as I can about them, because usually big decisions are left to me and I hustle to understand things extremely in depth especially with a life decision like this.
So, to answer your question currently only in a lake, until his employment possibly brings us to the coast.
P.S. I can't wait to get my hands onto that book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwesterner View Post
There are some great sailing instructional videos available and included with Amazon Prime. Just search "sailing instruction". There is one called "Rules of the Road" that covers all of the rules of right away at sea and navigational AIDS. There is a wonderful introductory video called "Sailing with Penny......". She is an Australian sailing instructor. I believe that the video series is called "Sailing with Confidence". I will copy down some of the exact titles I found helpful, when I get on my Amazon account later.

I found it helpful to purchase the American Sailing Association course study books for the beginning ASA sailing courses. Whether you actually take any of the courses or not, the first couple of introductory course guides have a lot of basics, on the parts of a sailboat, the theory of sailing, nautical terms, and navigation. They will be good references to have.
Great! Thanks! I didn't even know there were courses I could take. This will help me build confidence and meet others who sail.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyeterrier View Post
There are a lot of factors to consider.

While living on a boat is generally much cheaper than living on land, living on the boat will seriously limit where you can live and what jobs you can have.

Even in areas that have a lot of coastline and dockage, not all marinas will allow liveaboards and most will significantly limit liveaboards to a certain percentage of their slips.

If you live someplace where you anchor out instead of at a marina, your costs will be lower (no slip rental!) but your logistical complications will increase massively as you will not have power to plug into, and will have to figure out what type of dinghy will bring you to shore and back to your boat/home and how much time that will add to your daily travels.

Doing laundry will be a major production.

So if you envision yourself living in a marina with a power hookup, you should start by considering what areas have the kind of marinas you would want to stay in but also have some of the type of jobs you would want, and then research the marinas in that area to see what the slip fees are and whether liveaboard slips are available and how much extra they charge for that. It's probably easier to find the area that meets those criteria before finding the boat in that area. Finding the right boat is probably the easiest part if you find the right coastal area to live in.
This is very true. He doesn't want to leave his call center work, and I am going to be an accountant (currently in school for this). I have been telling him to look future forward, what his next employment could possibly look like or what he wants, but he is entirely content with his call center work.

Finding a slip that even allows liveaboards is incredibly difficult so far. It appears many bodies of water do not allow more than five days at a time, and they are special permits in some areas to prevent the folks going from boat to land two days of the week.

So, at dock we would have a plug in as I understand it, but would we also need an alternative power source running on board (the generator ran by gasoline? Again, I'm totally new with this and trying to get a grasp of things) as well, or would the marina that has a plug in entirely power the boat while at dock?

As for purchasing the boat, once we know which marina may allow live aboards, does anybody have experience here 'shipping' a liveaboard boat and how much it cost back when they did (and how far the boat traveled)?

We see a lot we like, but they're in Florida. We thought about sailing those to the coast of Texas and then shipping it upward if it would save money, but we aren't sure. Again, planning stages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwesterner View Post
Yes, you need some in-land family or friends who will be willing to take you in when a hurricane comes near the Texas coast, as they have, from time to time.

For video-blogs or vlogs, I like "Sailing Zatara". They have a lot more money to do it well, than I will ever have. But they sold their house, bought a mono-hull, home schooled the kids on board and traveled. Then they upgraded to a larger catamaran. Our income levels are such that I have to laugh when they talk about ways they have to economize, as they are installing a washer and dryer, water maker, scuba tank compressor, and dedicated silent generators to power all of their appliances.

For a look at the other end of the spectrum, check out a small privately produced film, "Hold Fast" on Youtube. It is not intended as an example of how to go to sea, but it is an interesting look at one group's experience.
Aha, at least I would be able to see how the rich and the realistic do it with these two sets of videos. The boat is meant to be our primary and only residence, so maybe someday we can upgrade to such a lavish sounding boat they have. Just maybe, lol, with the push of a winning lottery ticket. I guess I'll be on the Hold Fast spectrum.





You guys have been so helpful getting me started on this research.

Thank you.
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