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Discussion Starter #1
Hello ladies and gentlemen of the sailing community,

I am new here and only created a profile on this forum, and basically the reason I am writing this post is to ask for advice from some of the more experience people out here.

First, some background to why I am interested in boats. I have always been fascinated with the oceans, and love being on the water on a boat. I have lived all my life by some ocean or the other, and so I can pretty much say boats have been an interest to me since I was young.

That said, the main idea I am trying to get straight in my mind is the following. I am interested in buying a decent sail boat, something to the maximum cost of $100,000. It has to be a boat that I can also live on when moored in the marina. I intend to use this as a permanent living space for a few years, since at the moment, the place I live and work has very expensive housing, I pay something around $16,000 per year between house rent and utilities, so I was wondering if I could use my savings to buy the boat, and spend a portion of what I spend now for rent and such, to live on and to maintain the boat, and pay for fuel, repairs and mooring. The city I intend to move to will have much more expensive house rents and utility costs, so on the long run I believe the investment will pay off, at least for the next few years while I am still single and can afford to spend my time on the boat.

So what do you guys say? Is the life on a boat fun? Or something that should be avoided? Does my idea make sense? What boat would you recommend for a newbie to the sailing world, to live on comfortably, and to learn the ropes of sailing, and hopefully someday to sail on bigger waters and go on week long cruises?

And, if all of this sound silly, do mention why you think so, any and all feedback is appreciated.

Cheers :)

PS: I will be paying for the boat from savings, so if $100,000 is a bit too much for a newbie boat, I would be more than happy to pay less and invest the rest into something else :p
 

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100k can buy a lot of boat, which may be a little much for a novice but only you can judge that. It also doesn't mean that you can't buy your own boat, and sail with other people on either your own, or other boats to learn. And the classes out there offered are a great step into it (101, etc).

Not sure where you're looking to live in, but just get an idea of what the rates are going to be, etc. As long as you're under $1300 a month, then you're coming out cheaper than what you're paying now, which should be doable in most places I imagine. Most places charge by the length of your boat, which could also factor in. While you might be tempted to buy the biggest and bestest that your 100k can get, make sure to take a realistic approach, check out as many as you can to see how you get around inside, try to make a mental picture of everything you will want to have with you on board, as there will be less space than your current living space (I can only assume).

Definitely check the forums on here, and other sites, with questions and comments regarding the boats you might consider. When you're talking that money, it should go without saying to have a professional survey done of a boat that you are strongly considering.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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I think you could make it work. We lived on our boat in the NYC area at least partly because apartments in convenient locations were incredibly expensive. First thing to do is check out space availability and cost (for boats of different sizes) in marinas that are convenient to where you work. Once you know you can get a dock at an acceptable price you can start thinning about a boat. I don't think you need to spend anywhere near $100k for a boat that would be perfectly comfortable for one or two people to live on.
 

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That said, the main idea I am trying to get straight in my mind is the following. I am interested in buying a decent sail boat, something to the maximum cost of $100,000. It has to be a boat that I can also live on when moored in the marina. I intend to use this as a permanent living space for a few years, since at the moment, the place I live and work has very expensive housing, I pay something around $16,000 per year between house rent and utilities, so I was wondering if I could use my savings to buy the boat, and spend a portion of what I spend now for rent and such, to live on and to maintain the boat, and pay for fuel, repairs and mooring. The city I intend to move to will have much more expensive house rents and utility costs, so on the long run I believe the investment will pay off, at least for the next few years while I am still single and can afford to spend my time on the boat.

So what do you guys say? Is the life on a boat fun? Or something that should be avoided? Does my idea make sense? What boat would you recommend for a newbie to the sailing world, to live on comfortably, and to learn the ropes of sailing, and hopefully someday to sail on bigger waters and go on week long cruises?
Buying a boat to beat land based housing costs is likely not going to work. You did not say what city you plan to move to, but Even with no boat payment, slip and electric, sometimes water and a liveaboard fees can easily get to $1K a month or more, especially in a sailing center like Annapolis, Marina del Rey, South FL, etc. If you are looking at NYC and can stay on the cheap at Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken, NJ....slip alone is going to cost you a boat payment and will rock and roll you all night. Been there, done that. But compared to a condo in Hoboken or Jersey City, you may come out ahead.

IF you can stand being an hour away from walmart, places like the northern neck of VA or Oriental, NC will be half or more of that $1K.

Living on a boat is very unlike living in a house. It CAN be fun, but it is often challenging, stressful and you are almost living in a glass house, so you always have people "peeking" in - sometimes even aboard. Then you have slipmates, as living on a mooring presents it's own set of challenges, who may or may not be good neighbors.

We, the wife and I, found it to be one of the greatest things we have ever done, and this was in a marina that set the rules as they went along, a decent marina makes a difference. You have to be flexible and very willing to experience new things. Like getting up in the middle of the night to check lines, that don't sound right...or not screaming or falling off the pier, at 2am while walking to the bathroom and being startled by a heron or kingfisher who was as startled as you were. Getting water in the winter was a challenge for us, as marina manager ignored the schedule he set, leaving several piers with out water....no, it had not frozen, he just liked being in control.

For a single guy, you can buy a LOT of boat right now for a hundred $K. Were it me, I would look for the best $45-50K boat I could find, and be sure to look at dozens of boats with at least three brokers, and set the rest aside or in the bank. The mass produced boats are fine for what you want and a 35-36' would be just dandy...that size usually gets you a decent berth, a decent head and enough kitchen to "bachelor" it for long term.

An old (mid 80's) premium builder's boat, like Sabre would be decent as well. Just look and be sure to get your own survey.

Best of luck.
 

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..... happy to pay less and invest the rest into something else :p
I forgot, but this one is a biggie....never mistake a boat (or let a broker or dealer convince you), of any kind, with an "investment"...unless it is an Oyster, Hinckley, Swan, etc - it is a depreciating asset, and always will be.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey guys,

Thanks a lot for the feedback it is really helpful and enlightening.

Ok heres some more details. I live and work in Dubai, and house rents here are crazy. Like i said, my yearly rental fees are $16,000, and on top of that I pay around $500 per month utility bills, so another $6,000 a year for bills.

I intend to move to Sydney in 2 years for good, as I have a Permanent residency visa and intend to migrate there and build my life there, and having visited Sydney past February, I saw rents there are as crazy as Dubai if I want to live in the city and not in the suburbs.

So with this new piece of information, what would you guys recommend? I have been researching boats and a Hans Christian 42' or so sounds awesome, with enough space for living, and a nice deck for hanging out, and looks just like my dream boat. It is just an idea, a potential candidate so to speak, so some feedback on that is also appreciated, keeping in mind Id like to take up sailing as a hobby some day when I can afford to do it as often as I like to, and some lone cruises might be an option to consider also.

Looking forward to your amazing feedback :)
 

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Doesn't sail enough
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So what do you guys say? Is the life on a boat fun? Or something that should be avoided? Does my idea make sense?
Does having all your clothes smell like "boat" appeal to you? How about tracking down the leak that's dripping on your berth in a pouring rainstorm? Dealing with a cranky engine? Rebedding deck hardware? Painting bottom? Stitching torn sails? Walking up to the marina to take a shower?

Many of these things can potentially be solved by throwing money at them - at the expense of your budget-friendly housing solution.

And in fairness not all boats have to smell oppressively boaty - my first was way worse than the second, but I didn't live on it. I think my windbreaker still smells like boat.

I think it's an awesome idea at your stage in life. Just know what you're getting yourself into.
 

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One thing you have to keep in mind...high rent locations usually have high slip fees to go along with them. As mentioned above, before you do anything, check out local marinas where you might consider living and find out the costs. Not just the slip fee, but most charge for electricity, water and other amenities. Usually, the electric rates are bumped up to add a little extra profit for the marina.
Also, many marinas charge extra for live-aboards as well.
When you find out that the slip fees are higher than you expected and add to that the cramped living quarters you will have to live with, you will find that even a very small apartment will feel like a palace compared to a boat.

Some years ago, our family went to Seattle on vacation and while there, went to one of the local marinas to check out an in-water antique boat show. We also found out the typical slip fees for local marinas. We were absolutely floored as to what we saw for slip fees...basically 3-5 times higher than what we pay.
 

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Hey guys,

Thanks a lot for the feedback it is really helpful and enlightening.

Ok heres some more details. I live and work in Dubai, and house rents here are crazy. Like i said, my yearly rental fees are $16,000, and on top of that I pay around $500 per month utility bills, so another $6,000 a year for bills.

I intend to move to Sydney in 2 years for good, as I have a Permanent residency visa and intend to migrate there and build my life there, and having visited Sydney past February, I saw rents there are as crazy as Dubai if I want to live in the city and not in the suburbs.

So with this new piece of information, what would you guys recommend? I have been researching boats and a Hans Christian 42' or so sounds awesome, with enough space for living, and a nice deck for hanging out, and looks just like my dream boat. It is just an idea, a potential candidate so to speak, so some feedback on that is also appreciated, keeping in mind Id like to take up sailing as a hobby some day when I can afford to do it as often as I like to, and some lone cruises might be an option to consider also.

Looking forward to your amazing feedback :)
Sounds like a solid plan to me. But HC 42 is a LOT of Boat for a first time boat owner and someone who does not know how to sail. I would concentrate on a quality mid 30 foot boat as the biggest for a new boat owner. Hans Christian are nice, but are also known as a "leaky teaky" as in teak decks (most will have them) that tend to promote lots of leaks, and leaks often lead to smells and worse, mold. Not all of them will have teak decks and they may have been taken off and repaired by now. Keep in mind on a boat like that replacement of the teak decks may well cost as much as the boat is worth, and pulling teak off the decks and replacing with nonskid is going to be in the tens of thousands.

Smaller boats will have much smaller maintenance expenses. If you are after cost savings find the smallest boat you think you can fit in, not the biggest you can afford.

Also you will have to find out the rules for living aboard in marinas in Sydney. I am not aware of the rules, but here in the US it is very much different marina by marina, and state by state. Some places like California are required to keep a to no more than a certain % live aboard and may have multi-year long wait lists to get a good live aboard slip. Some places say no live aboard at all, but if you go in person they may make an exception if you look professional and have a clean boat that will not sit and rot. Other places will kick you out if are on board more than a few days a week. Some may require a physical address before renting a slip.

There are lots of expenses to living on a boat, that are not going to occur living on land. I doubt you will save money, but you will have a boat and fun for sure.

PS there is a live aboard section in the forums, as this is not really seamanship & navigation related.
 
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