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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys and gals,

I've been thinking about living aboard for the past few years, and now that I'm at the point in my life where it may be possible I'm getting a little more aggressive and trying figure out if it will actually work before I go any further.

First, let me give you a little background. I work offshore in the Gulf of Mexico oilfield on a sub sea construction vessel. I work/ live on the boat for 28 days and come home for 14, though sometime in the next 6 months I hope to be switching to even time so will probably be working a 28/28 or 21/21 schedule. I'm 21 and still technically live at home in PA, though I don't end up spending much time there...

My ideal plan (I know, nothing ever goes as planned) would be to live about for the next 3-4 years until my fiance is out of college. At that point I foresee buying a house and no longer living aboard. My idea/ dream of living aboard isn't a plan to save money. I have enough money saved and was looking at houses last fall through this spring. However, I keep coming back to the live aboard and feel like it's something I at least have to try now before it's much harder in the future when I'm tied down with more responsibilities. Maybe I'll hate it and have to boat for sale after 6 months or maybe I'll do it for the rest of my life... that's the mystery I feel I need to solve before I can move on :).

So I've started looking at boats (online), marina's, locations, etc... Before I really can start calculating costs I'm trying to figure out what size range of boats I should be looking at. Something in the 30-40' range, but I realize that's a huge difference. Things like a Refrigerator, HW, heat, AC are pretty important to me, because if I'm not comfortable then I know it won't last. Then tank size seems to become an issue with the smaller boats, although I don't plan on doing any major offshore trips... I also don't plan on being at the dock all that often, so being able to be away from a dock for at least a few days is important to me. I'm also a pretty avid diver (just did 20+ dives in the FL Keys last week) so spending a day or two offshore diving would probably be a regular occurrence. I would probably be docking the boat somewhere near Baltimore, MD and sailing the upper Chesapeake bay during the school year to be close to my fiance (goes to college in Bmore) then doing some low-key crusing down the coast in the few months I would be home during the summer.

Without doing any crazy number punching I'm thinking I could spend around 30k on a boat figuring plenty of extra money for repairs and upkeep. I realize in this price range I'm definitely looking at a boat that needs some work, but I don't want a POS. I'm very mechanically inclined and don't feel any repairs/ work needed I couldn't do myself.

So, what do ya'll think? Looking for advice, opinions, criticism, etc... Just trying to figure out if it's within reach or not....

Thanks,
Austin
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thank you everyone for the replies....


I have seriously thought of a trawler, but I think I would get bored with it... I currently own a 20' Center Console powerboat (set up for diving) and have owned a few small sailboats less than 20'. When on the sailboats it was as much about the journey as the destination, probably more. With the powerboat, although I enjoy going fast, it's almost always about getting from point A to B. I also don't like the idea of having to decide if I can afford to go on a trip by calculating the fuel consuption of a trawler...

MedSailer, Thanks for the advice on getting a Marina before a boat. I've read about people doing that and it seems to be the way to go. I thought about a mooring since I'll be gone for long periods of time, but I think that would get old pretty quick. If I'm not mistaken the boat would acutally be safer on a mooring when I'm gone? When I start looking into marina's I can see about the "liveaboard" status, since I'll be there less than half the time and I would hope to spend at least some of it away from the dock.

The more I look at different style and sizes of boats online I think I'll probably fall in the low 30' range. It seems like the 32-36' range is where they start to be more equiped for multi-day trips with bigger tanks, referigerators, etc...

Thanks,
Austin
 
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