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Hey guys, I am super new to sailing and am looking to dive right into the liveaboard lifestyle. I am looking at getting a cat potentially a gemini 105 as my first liveaboard. First problem is that I am young 23 years old and will need to finance. I have looked at Essex for financing, does anyone have any past experience financing a liveaboard? as far as liveabords I like cats for space but wouldn't be opposed to a monohull, what are some spacious and comfortable monos?

My plan is to anchor the boat in the ICW/Ponce inlet area over the next 3-5 years as I master the art of sailing and concentrate on paying the boat off with my current job as well as other opportunity to utilize the boat for income. Once I learn sailing back and forth inside and out hopefully after first year I would like to offer charters overnight weekend trips as well as day sailing trips to generate some income to help accelerate paying the boat off. I will also be sailing the boat a lot in my own spare time up and down the coast of Florida until hopefully one day I can set sail and tackle the world. any advice is a great help as I am new to this. not looking to get a boat tomorrow but probably in the next 1-2 years. setting ail for the world is my 10 yr plan.

Thanks,
EJ
 

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... Once I learn sailing back and forth inside and out hopefully after first year I would like to offer charters overnight weekend trips as well as day sailing trips to generate some income to help accelerate paying the boat off. ...
Thanks,
EJ
Welcome to SailNet.

This is a nice dream. In order to offer charters in the U.S. you will need a USCG captain's license and along with that is a requirement for a certain amount of sea time that you might not be able to accumulate in a few years. There isn't much "sailing back and forth inside" the ICW. The ICW is mostly motoring.

You'll also need to be insured, and weekend charters and day sails may or may not cover the monthly insurance payments and if they don't cover the insurance, they won't cover your lien.

You should also look into your liability as a charter captain.

You might want to have a plan B such as living on the boat while holding down a normal job. There are more people out there trying to make their boats pay than there are customers. I have two trying in my own marina. It's not easy.

Good luck.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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My plan is to anchor the boat in the ICW/Ponce inlet area over the next 3-5 years as I master the art of sailing and concentrate on paying the boat off with my current job as well as other opportunity to utilize the boat for income.
You will find that Florida authorities will not look kindly on this plan. Anchoring rights are under a great deal of pressure in Florida. Hassles by local and state authorities are common.

Lots and lots of charter operations in Florida working off docks - the competition is stiff.
 

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dreams are nice,reality can be harsh.
not saying it can't be done, there are several living on the hook all around Ponce inlet in the ICW.their often viewed as squatters,if you would like more info about life aboard at anchor in the Ponce inlet area from someone who has been playing that game for quite a few years ,pm me I'll be in FL till spring, when I sail north.
Like this incident that happened a few years back..
http://cruisersnet.net/coments-from-fellow-cruisers-regarding-the-11310-msd-boarding-incident-in-volusia-county/

(A former DAB resident)
 

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That Drunk Guy
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Another problem you may run into is financing. You can only get financing on a boat if YOU have a permanent physical address. Banks like to know where you are in case you miss a payment, and they also like to know where their collateral (the boat) is. You for sure don't what to tell them you are living aboard... on top of that, most lending companies wont loan on a boat that is more than ten years old. So yeah...there are a few obstacles.
 

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Old enough to know better
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Being able to do charters sounds good in the dream, but once you put down the numbers, at best it will help pay for a boat, but will not make for even a modest living. About the only way it ever works is if you are retiring and have some steady investment income to live off of, but it does allow you to take a tax deduction from your expenses. The base captains license (OUPV or six pack) primary requirements are:

Age 18 or over
360 days underway experience
90 of those days in the last 3 years
Physical, drug test and eye exam
Valid CPR/First Aid card to Valid CPR/First Aid card (American Red Cross, Heart Assoc. or USCG Approved course)
Completion of the USCG exam
Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC Card )

So you will have to a full 360 days on the water of verifiable time out there. You can do it on your own boat, or work for someone. If working for someone else it is easy to get documentation required.

If you want to live aboard, I suggest you find a decent boat that you can pay cash for. Most lending sources are not going to lend to a liveaboard unless you have exceptional (think fico score of 825 or better) credit, lots of assets and a high paying stable job. If you don't have a fixed address, they have no way of finding you. With a house they might do it for lower credit, and employment.

But at your age, you don't need much room anyway, and if you live on the hook you will likely be single for the rest of your life, so just go small. Think low 30 foot range. All you need is a bit of solar to keep the beer cold right?! ;-)

Looks like Tenoch and I think a lot alike!
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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In your position here is what I would do if you are serious.

Forget starting with a cat even if you find a bargain that needs lots of work!

Get something like this Catalina 30 Sailboat 10k cash waved under his nose should buy it. A Catalina 30 is a comfortable liveaboard for 1/2 and more than capable of Caribbean cruising.

Live on the hook on beans and rice, work 2 jobs and build that kitty. Learn to sail and fix boat stuff. Keep a logbook and build those sailing days. If the dream dies you have a boat you can sell easily and not a half complete project.

Sail down to the USVI get your 6 pack. Get a girl friend who can cook. Get a job with Moorings/Sunsail/anycharter as a skipper cook combo and do a season. Keep building that kitty and keep looking for a catamaran/monohull bargain. Try and visit the skippered charter boat show.

Once you get your charter boat running you should be in the black in your second year. I know of quite a few couples doing this sort of thing who are getting by and some who are doing well.

JUST DON'T EVER WORK OUT YOUR EARNINGS ON A PER HOUR BASIS.

But you will have to learn to be nice to some total ****holes perhaps one charter in four.

I am sure you think of the the positives yourself.
 

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If the OP doesn't return, thank you all for contributing good information for the next person with the same dream.
 

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As a newbe here I find this living aboard quite interesting,I guess you never think of these kind of things and have no reason to.Do most people do it to escape the daily grind ? or is it a love of sailing ?
 

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In your position here is what I would do if you are serious.

Forget starting with a cat even if you find a bargain that needs lots of work!

Get something like this Catalina 30 Sailboat 10k cash waved under his nose should buy it. A Catalina 30 is a comfortable liveaboard for 1/2 and more than capable of Caribbean cruising.

Live on the hook on beans and rice, work 2 jobs and build that kitty. Learn to sail and fix boat stuff. Keep a logbook and build those sailing days. If the dream dies you have a boat you can sell easily and not a half complete project.

Sail down to the USVI get your 6 pack. Get a girl friend who can cook. Get a job with Moorings/Sunsail/anycharter as a skipper cook combo and do a season. Keep building that kitty and keep looking for a catamaran/monohull bargain. Try and visit the skippered charter boat show.

Once you get your charter boat running you should be in the black in your second year. I know of quite a few couples doing this sort of thing who are getting by and some who are doing well.

JUST DON'T EVER WORK OUT YOUR EARNINGS ON A PER HOUR BASIS.

But you will have to learn to be nice to some total ****holes perhaps one charter in four.

I am sure you think of the the positives yourself.
I was going to mention that you can make a living down in the islands, but the OP specifically stated Florida. But yes the islands makes it quite a bit easier to make a go of it.

if I was going to do it .. ..
oh yea, I am/did do it.
never mind.
You offer charters?

I do think living aboard is reasonable, some places are easier than others. Florida seems to be trying to clamp down on it, but certainly has the weather for it. Biggest problem seems to be derelict boats that have people who otherwise would be homeless living aboard.

God to see you back on the board, you seem to have been away for a while. Are you going to be coming back up to New York this spring?
 

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Eric,

Do not be discouraged your ambition is achievable but just a little harder than you imagine.

TQA's advice is on the money...work, save, learn to sail and get into the marine industry.

Good Luck Phil
 

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your dream is not a folly, even though you feel that you may be diving off the deep end of the pool, what you will find is that there is a whole community of cruisers out there living that dream.I don't know if you have any skills ,I would suggest learning canvas work,varnishing,engine repair,or anything boat maintence related,because you can find work along the way in various marinas and if you are cruising outside of the states you can work on other cruisers boats because you will not be able to work in other countries without a work permit,but there is always repairs needed by other cruisers.I have lots of other advice for you if you want it ,pertaining to choosing the right boat and other things I picked up along the way. fair winds ' Everett 73'
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks everyone for the feedback it it much appreciated. I guess I didn't make myself clear in my post. I am not quitting my job and starting a charter sailing business, I simply want to gain as much experience as possible about sailing over the next 10 years or so and if chartering the boat to gain professional sailing experience is an option I will look into it. I currently work a job where I have a decent amount of freedom and its not even close to a 9-5. I know a lot about the marine industry, I grew up in it and my dad has been a private captain for 20+ years which has put me in a position to be more knowledgeable than the average 23 yr old. luckily I am young and in a position that im not tied down to anything no kids,wife,house, or any of that crap.
My plan to get into a liveabord in the next 2-3 years is to buy a house nothing special 100k range which I am already in the process of and pay vigorously on it for 2-3 years to get some solid equity and use that to put up as collateral for a boat. I would then keep my house generating rental income and pay on the boat with my current salary, its a little risky but Im willing to take a chance, no one ever lived the dream without taking a chance.

Any feedback on liveabords or opportunity to spend some time a weekend or so on someones boat let me know, Cheers.
 

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Yeah If chartering isn't an option because of regulation its not a big deal to me as its not the basis of my plan at all. just want to get out sail and see the world in the future and well ya got to start somewhere.
 

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Eric to have a dream ... you have got to dream .... seems as though you are still working it out as you go, Nothing to be ashamed of there. Lot of people like to give advice when they do not understand what a person is trying or going to do. Just remember listen to it all, to a degree, then make your own decisions. It is your life!!! So what if you fall a few times, you just have to get back up and try again.
Next time I am near New Symrna area I will try to look you up to see if I can help you out with some of the questions you may have.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Joe, Would love to buy a house with a dock but you just took the vaulue of the property from 100k to 400k I wish I could afford that but Im only 23 so I don't make money like that. I have a couple friends that live on the water so if i need temporary dockage I will have access to it. Also we have some marinas that aren't to expensive when it comes to storage for short term and pumping out and what not.
 

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Thanks everyone for the feedback it it much appreciated. I guess I didn't make myself clear in my post. I am not quitting my job and starting a charter sailing business, I simply want to gain as much experience as possible about sailing over the next 10 years or so and if chartering the boat to gain professional sailing experience is an option I will look into it. I currently work a job where I have a decent amount of freedom and its not even close to a 9-5. I know a lot about the marine industry, I grew up in it and my dad has been a private captain for 20+ years which has put me in a position to be more knowledgeable than the average 23 yr old. luckily I am young and in a position that im not tied down to anything no kids,wife,house, or any of that crap.
My plan to get into a liveabord in the next 2-3 years is to buy a house nothing special 100k range which I am already in the process of and pay vigorously on it for 2-3 years to get some solid equity and use that to put up as collateral for a boat. I would then keep my house generating rental income and pay on the boat with my current salary, its a little risky but Im willing to take a chance, no one ever lived the dream without taking a chance.

Any feedback on liveabords or opportunity to spend some time a weekend or so on someones boat let me know, Cheers.
I'm new to sailing but have been a landlord for 28 years and I would rethink your plan there.My reasoning applies to my area,Philly burbs,but I have a feeling it applies in a lot of places.Being a landlord is hands on IF you're looking to make money.Houses in 100 k price range rarely generate enough income to pay mortgage,repairs etc..Renters are rarely willing to do anything themselves.Plus there's no guarentee you'll get paid.I just got off the phone with a woman that owes me 2700,I was in court last friday with 2 others.Equity is rarely built up in the first couple of years,especially in these times.You'd be better off saving all of your money,settlement costs are high.I'm not knowledgeable about boat financing,but I doubt they'd want to be in second position on a house with no equity,especially since they'd have to pay off first position to get their money back,thats highly unlikely.You sound smart and you're doing your homework.I think you'll achieve your goal if you keep seeking knowledge and set reasonable goals
 
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