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Living on a Boat

Old 12-03-2015, 02:12 PM
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Default Living on a Boat

So I've searched around and I can't seem to find any thoughts on what we're talking about doing. I saw a thread about someone's Son wanting to live on a boat but that isn't quite it.

We're both in our mid 20s and make really good money, however we both love the ocean (so do the pups). I've found that we seem to be spending alot of time at Marina's just walking around and hanging out. We have a few friends that live there as well.

Anyways, we're currently renting. We've been trying to buy a house for a few years but haven't had much luck finding what we want. We were at one of the local Marina's today and they had a 53' Houseboat looking thing for sale for $59k which got me thinking, we could buy one of these and the payment would be 1/4 of what we pay for rent. Now, this boat would not have to be powerful or what not, because it probably would not move if we found a nice Marina/Yacht basin to stay at.

What kind of costs would we be looking at to do this?
What about the dogs?

It would have to be fairly large to live on, but we don't need much (we're happy with the 900 sq ft apartment). We toured the 53' and it felt like a good size. Sorry for the ramble, just curious as to if anyone else does this.
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:25 PM
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Don't know much about it, but I would say you need to find a way to make it work. You're only in your mid-20s with essentially no responsibilities once.

Boat's are never a good investment. ROI, when talking about life experiences, is not measured in dollars though.
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:36 PM
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You want the facts or the reality..

Most buy a yacht for the inside size, but their like you and the thing don't hardly ever leave the dock. Makes a nice second home, slip rent, paying someone to wash it, all the extra's and I lived in mine for a year in New Bern. Single I don't think I could of had any more fun between there and Morehead City..

Cost really comes in when you run them and I realized I bought the wrong toy very quickly after I got it. If I had of bought a sail boat I more than likely would still own it. Wanted to go offshore fishing, bought the Fountain, didn't have time for the yacht so sold it.

My advice go with at least a 43 foot sail boat. I partied on more of those than I did the yacht and the one thing you learn about living aboard quick is it ain't how fast you get there, its the trip thats the fun.

You can travel with a sail very cheap compared to a Yacht like I had, and I adv about .4 mpg when up and running, about 1.4 doing about 6 kts.

Upkeep is twice on the twin motor boats than a 35 hp sail and your dealing with one headache ver two.

The only other way to go is trawler. Their nice. One motor, little more breathing room than a sail kinda a go between the sail and the yacht.

Two people and two dogs can live comfortable on a 40 foot sail seen 4 on some 34s and 36s but you start to get into breathing room once you pass a 42 footer.

Cost.
Just what ever slip rent is and you can call and find that out easy.

Between electric and slip rent mine run about 400 a month but I travel so won't there but every other weekend. Then anyway.

Have to admit I loved every minuet of it. Morning coffee, stepping out at night on the docks, the best part is sleeping on a boat. You get use to the lines catching up to the drift and its a rocking motion you will never forget once experienced. Peaceful easy feeling, hearing the sail lines hitting the mask in the mornings, seagulls doing their thing, drop a line fish right beside the boat.

With it being two, I'd say, let mama pick what she wants more than your views. . You can get use to anything, shes the one that has to tend to the insides and make it a home.

Most of the guys on here hate sails cause the ego thing and it don't go fast enough to be cool but your not talking about wanting a fast boat. There is nothing about living aboard that is fast pace.

We've had 15 or so people chaired out on the dock, having a cookout call them dock parties and weekends are fun to see the locals come, they always got something going on and if you don't like to party and socialize your missing a great time living aboard.

Need to have a little cash put back but remember to think simple cause you'll learn that word quick once your on the boat.

I'd say go for it. One of the best times I have had, and it actually taught me what I wanted in life while I was there.
Still love sitting on my dock now, still do the fire pit thing like I did there, remembering that year, and would I do it all again if the timing were right. .

HELL YA.

Keep us updated on your plans and go for your dreams.
You won't be alone.

If you can't sit for hours and enjoy a view like that, you'll get tired of it quick.

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Last edited by liveaboard74; 12-03-2015 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:41 PM
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I lived aboard for about a year. 38' Sailbote. Just me & my Jack Russell.
I couldn't deal with the winters on the boat, and wasn't in the position to sail south to avoid the cold.
Looks like you're south already, so that's not a big deal.

The dogs will need to be walked.
I've dealt with liveaboards that let the dogs off the boat, and they just run up the dock to do their business, but that doesn't last long because of the excrement build up at the head of the dock.

The big issue on the boat is the head.
You'll be forced to either pump out regularly, or use the marinas.
Both scenarios get old.
Quickly.

That being said, if I was single again, I'd consider it.
Love sleeping on the boat.
Brushing my teeth out on deck before bed was a favorite ritual too.
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:02 PM
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You need to get a hold of this guy. He can tell you everything you never wanted to know.
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Dulcecita Lures View Post
You need to get a hold of this guy. He can tell you everything you never wanted to know.
Except his ship done sailed. O well.
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:25 PM
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We are a tad bit older than you, and we live aboard for about 4 months out of the year... We live on a 48 Trawler type of boat and I can tell you that the boat seems to get smaller each month we are on it. Like was mentioned before the biggest hassle is pumping the heads and we have at slip pump out... Dogs can present a problem but how large of problem depends on the marina... That's is the downside.... There is a lot upside and plenty of positive to living onboard... The views, your neighbors and just being on the water are all hard to beat
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:47 PM
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I considered it. This book pretty much talked me out of it. "The Essentials of Living About a Boat" by Mark Nicholas. Also the vibe at the various marinas varies a lot, so it depends on that too. Some are nice, some like a Jerry Springer show.
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:15 PM
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I used to have a 54' houseboat on a lake in Kentucky. not sure of actual living square footage as there was probably an 8' forward covered deck and 8' aft deck. width of actual "cabin" was probably 10' with 1' "aisles" down each side. that makes approx. 380 sq. ft of inside living space.

Given your age, you could probably make it work for several years. Biggest problem I see is no place to escape from your spouse, like a garage/workshop. Trust me, you need some escape time. Also, plans for kids?
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:32 AM
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Google sailing and cruising blogs. There are lots of video blogs and regular photo blogs that have detailed and honest entries.

I have been researching the hell out of it for the last 6 months. I am several years out but I plan on semi-retiring on a 40+ sailboat. Want to cruise the bahamas and south 4-6 months a year and fly back to VA to be around kids and future grandkids.

I plan this winter or spring buying a 27-30' sailboat keeping it at the weekend place and starting to take day trips----- over night trips---- couple days----- week long trips in the chesapeake bay mainly to see how we like it and how the fiance deals with it.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:47 AM
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We did 2 1/2 years cruising on a 55 Fleming. Great boat for that but after a while it seems mighty small. No regrets though.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Boataholic View Post
I used to have a 54' houseboat on a lake in Kentucky. not sure of actual living square footage as there was probably an 8' forward covered deck and 8' aft deck. width of actual "cabin" was probably 10' with 1' "aisles" down each side. that makes approx. 380 sq. ft of inside living space.

Given your age, you could probably make it work for several years. Biggest problem I see is no place to escape from your spouse, like a garage/workshop. Trust me, you need some escape time. Also, plans for kids?
That's what the dinghy/tender is for. A sailing dinghy is the best way for alone time, and it sharpens your sailing skills for when it's time to move the mother boat.

Lived aboard a 29' sailboat with no room, no fridge, no air conditioner, and very little income. It was back in the late 70's early 80's. Wouldn't trade those 3 years for anything. Spent 11 months (not at one time) in the Bahamas living off of seafood, sprouts, rice, and beans.
I'm 62 and as soon as the 2 teenagers are off to collage I'm going to hit the wife up with a plan for a 41' Morgan OutIslander if I can find one in restored shape. They don't sail near as well as the boat I had but are quite roomy. They were the choice of the charter fleets back when.

Ps Most marinas won't allow house boats. You don't want to be at the mercy of the few that do.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:25 AM
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First, this won't be a money saving proposition. month for month you'll find you are spending more or less the same.

there are many variables but don't count on saving $$$.

also comes down to what you want as far a boat. House boats are nice but they are nothing more than a floating mobile home, which is OK if that is what you are looking for. if you want and have the time get somethign that you can do some (even weekend) cruising on. to me one of the advantages of living aboard is that you can cruise with in your house.

Personally, I think sailboats are cool and i have had many good times on them. But i always felt like i was in a cave when inside, and i don't know how to sail. A trawler is more my style. There is a super nice one in the classified section here.

make sure you and your wife are OK living close to one another. whatever smells, sounds, or habits each of you have make sure you love theirs and yours.


Whatever you choose it is FUN! Do it before you have kids
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Boataholic View Post
Given your age, you could probably make it work for several years. Biggest problem I see is no place to escape from your spouse, like a garage/workshop. Trust me, you need some escape time. Also, plans for kids?
That's exactly why we are looking into to doing this. We don't plan on having kids for atleast another 10 years or so. As far as escaping, the Yacht Basin I think we'd use is about 4 miles away from my workshop which would be about 30 min closer than it is now.


Originally Posted by CONCHY CRACKER View Post
Ps Most marinas won't allow house boats. You don't want to be at the mercy of the few that do.
I've seen that in quite a few Marina's I've looked at. I think the only option for me at this point is a Trawler. I'm not just a sailing type of person. I like to be able to fire it up and go reguardless of wind or what not.

Originally Posted by eseyoung View Post
First, this won't be a money saving proposition. month for month you'll find you are spending more or less the same.

there are many variables but don't count on saving $$$.

also comes down to what you want as far a boat. House boats are nice but they are nothing more than a floating mobile home, which is OK if that is what you are looking for. if you want and have the time get somethign that you can do some (even weekend) cruising on. to me one of the advantages of living aboard is that you can cruise with in your house.

Personally, I think sailboats are cool and i have had many good times on them. But i always felt like i was in a cave when inside, and i don't know how to sail. A trawler is more my style. There is a super nice one in the classified section here.

make sure you and your wife are OK living close to one another. whatever smells, sounds, or habits each of you have make sure you love theirs and yours.


Whatever you choose it is FUN! Do it before you have kids
You hit it right on the head, before we have kids let's do something, let's adventure. The great thing about being able to work from home as so long as I'm within 8-9 miles of a Verizon tower, I can work. I don't think we would move too often, maybe 3 months here and 3 months there. We already spend all the time together, except for when I go into the office 1 or 2 days a week. We've been like this since we got together 3 years ago.
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Old 12-04-2015, 04:56 PM
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Most of the time you will be at the docks or on the hook. Trawlers are not as sea kindly as sail boats. Sail boats have unlimited range. If you can afford to go with a trawler and you're going to be mostly hanging at the docks get a single, no electronics diesel engine boat. I've seen some that the diesel generator can be used to get you back if the main engine fails. Trawlers have a lot more room and there is a lot to be said for being able to sit up on the flybridge and kick back.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:01 PM
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Hell if I was 20ish again I'd do it. I'd get a trawler with enough room to live and enough motor to fish off of. Do it.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:15 PM
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I have some friends that live aboard in Fl. winters on a 44;trawler. It has the salon on the main deck and two staterooms in the bow. They knocked out the wall between the staterooms to open up space. One head for her one for him. They had a 40 ' Morgan out islander for summers up north but found sailboats like living in a cellar. They sold that and bought a 36' trawler for the summers up north. They have two small dogs that use a piece of indoor outdoor carpet on the stern between walks.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Hunky Dory View Post
I have some friends that live aboard in Fl. winters on a 44;trawler. It has the salon on the main deck and two staterooms in the bow. They knocked out the wall between the staterooms to open up space. One head for her one for him. They had a 40 ' Morgan out islander for summers up north but found sailboats like living in a cellar. They sold that and bought a 36' trawler for the summers up north. They have two small dogs that use a piece of indoor outdoor carpet on the stern between walks.
Never thought of it that way, but I'm from So. Fl, the land of no basements. Like I said, there's a lot to be said for the flybridge that only comes with the trawler.
Ps Don't even think about a motor sailer. They are NOT the best of both worlds. Quite the opposite.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:04 PM
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Parker posted this. Looks like a pretty nice rig for the money. In a different life I'd be all over this! I think you should do it. Have fun and do it all!
http://www.thehulltruth.com/boats-sa...e-trawler.html
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:07 PM
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I say do it! You live once, figure out how to make it happen. Regrets suck.
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