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post #1 of 16 Old 08-17-2017 Thread Starter
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New to Living on a Boat

Hi everyone,

I am looking to purchase a sailboat to live in. I am new to boats. What should I look out for when purchasing a used boat? Are there any prerequisites I need to meet before making my purchase (boat license, boat operation, etc.)? I don't know how to operate a boat, I only plan to live in it and learn to operate it from experienced sailors in my free time.

I live in Portland, OR. I am concerned about storms, and harsh winters.


Thanks for all your help!
- Kevin
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-18-2017
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Re: New to Living on a Boat

1. you need money; what is your budget? what size boat?
2. do you have a suitable place to keep it?
3. prerequisites; learn to sail first.
4. since you intend to live on it, check all the through hulls.
5. no, you do not need a boat license to buy a boat; just $$.
6. you may need to operate the boat to take it away (from a marina?)
7. if you know an experienced sailor, invite him to go with you to see the boat first before you pay.
8. have the boat surveyed to find out any big faults.
9. storms are scary; all sailors try their best to avoid them!
10. you will need some source of heat for winter.

good luck!

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Last edited by David Chin; 08-18-2017 at 04:41 AM.
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-18-2017
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Re: New to Living on a Boat

Why buy a sailboat to live on? Sailboats are not comfortable dwellings. Get a more suitable craft like a house boat or a trawler.
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-18-2017
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Re: New to Living on a Boat

You may want to check out the blogs and websites for some of the people who have lived aboard sailboats in cold climates.
It sounds hard and it requires a special attitude, ingenuity and resourcefulness to do it. Sailboats are not usually insulated like a home is, with double walls and insulating material between the inner and outer walls. So, when you heat the inside and you breathe and perspire, moisture gathers on the walls (hull) and ceiling (deck) as condensation and then drips on your head and bedding making everything damp. The couple on Sailing Chance describe the measures they had to take to make the interior of their boat warm, and the measures they had to take to deal with the condensation. They wintered two winters in a marina in NY City and it sounds difficult. In Portland, you probably get less snow than in NY City. One of the biggest problems they encountered was dealing with the walls in the v-berth dripping condensation all over their bedding, making it wet to where they had to strip their bed each morning and hang sheets and the bedspread up to try and get it dry by the next bedtime. They finally covered the inside of the hull/wall with something. In addition to running ceramic heaters, they also ran a dehumidifier.

Sailing Chance: Nine ways to live aboard during winter
Nine Ways To Keep Your Sailboat Warm During Winter Aboard Sailing Chance

Sailing Chance: Surviving a blizzard at the marina.
Surviving our First Blizzard Aboard Sailing Chance


https://ny.curbed.com/2016/3/14/1122...-victoria-fine
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-26-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: New to Living on a Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Chin View Post
1. you need money; what is your budget? what size boat?
2. do you have a suitable place to keep it?
3. prerequisites; learn to sail first.
4. since you intend to live on it, check all the through hulls.
5. no, you do not need a boat license to buy a boat; just $$.
6. you may need to operate the boat to take it away (from a marina?)
7. if you know an experienced sailor, invite him to go with you to see the boat first before you pay.
8. have the boat surveyed to find out any big faults.
9. storms are scary; all sailors try their best to avoid them!
10. you will need some source of heat for winter.

good luck!
1. Under 5k for boat. Under $500 for live-aboard.
2. A local marina in Portland, OR.

Thank you for your advice. I will consider all that is mentioned. I hope future reader will see this and consider these as well.
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-26-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: New to Living on a Boat

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Originally Posted by jwing View Post
Why buy a sailboat to live on? Sailboats are not comfortable dwellings. Get a more suitable craft like a house boat or a trawler.
Cool. Will look into that. Sailboats are super cheap where I live.
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-26-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: New to Living on a Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwesterner View Post
You may want to check out the blogs and websites for some of the people who have lived aboard sailboats in cold climates.
It sounds hard and it requires a special attitude, ingenuity and resourcefulness to do it. Sailboats are not usually insulated like a home is, with double walls and insulating material between the inner and outer walls. So, when you heat the inside and you breathe and perspire, moisture gathers on the walls (hull) and ceiling (deck) as condensation and then drips on your head and bedding making everything damp. The couple on Sailing Chance describe the measures they had to take to make the interior of their boat warm, and the measures they had to take to deal with the condensation. They wintered two winters in a marina in NY City and it sounds difficult. In Portland, you probably get less snow than in NY City. One of the biggest problems they encountered was dealing with the walls in the v-berth dripping condensation all over their bedding, making it wet to where they had to strip their bed each morning and hang sheets and the bedspread up to try and get it dry by the next bedtime. They finally covered the inside of the hull/wall with something. In addition to running ceramic heaters, they also ran a dehumidifier.

Thank you for all your time. I love resources. I will make sure to read through all of these before my purchase.
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-04-2017
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Re: New to Living on a Boat

I would recommend 'The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat' by Mark Nicholas. A very informative book. I'm not even a sailor yet but I'm considering living aboard when I retire in a few years.
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-04-2017
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Re: New to Living on a Boat

5k will buy you either a tiny sailboat or a slightly larger one that is barely floating. Any houseboat under 5k will have serious issues. Any trawler for under 5k may be found in pieces in the local landfill.

Suggest you take a look at Marine Survey 101 which will give you an idea of what you may want to learn before you learn to sail (that's the easy part).
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The hysterical laughter you hear as you drive a way in your"new" boat ..... is the seller.
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-04-2017
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Re: New to Living on a Boat

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Originally Posted by midwesterner View Post
I've been living aboard near Toronto for 23 years, never had mold, mildew condensation or any of the other hardships, spent every day onboard with a pair of shorts and t-shirt. "Sailing Chance" didn't didn't have a clue.
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The hysterical laughter you hear as you drive a way in your"new" boat ..... is the seller.

Last edited by boatpoker; 09-04-2017 at 04:39 PM.
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