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Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Surfdog, Oct 3, 2013.
So... I'm thinking of living on a sail boat... Anyone living on boat want to tell me about it ?
Where do you put the garage?
Living as in keep the boat docked and using it as a home? Or living as in travel the world?
If I could work from the lake I love, I'd live on a houseboat there. Shoot, if i had a big cabin cruiser I'd live on that.
I will let you know in a year or two.
My uncle just recently moved to one of his rental houses after living on his sailboat for... oh, say 15 years. I also have met many people who were liveaboards. It takes a certain kind of person, but if you're one of those people, it's really wonderful. It's the same type of person that can live in one of the "tiny houses". If you can do without a lot of "things", it's great being able to take your house out for the weekend. People worry about space, but if you're a bachelor, or it's just you and a wife (on a large enough boat) you have to wonder... in your house, you have what, 2-4 bedrooms? Without children, what do you do with the extra bedrooms? The answer of course, is fill them with shit that you don't need and never use. How many bathrooms does the average house have? 2-3? Why do you need 3 shitters for one person? The only reason is convenience... when you're upstairs, you shit upstairs. When you're downstairs, you shit there. Solve that problem by not having 2 floors.
BUT, you have to take some things into consideration. First, it's not as cheap as most people think. Liveaboard costs in a large marina will run you about $400+/month. Then there's the cost of maintenance, which adds up to more than a small house usually. You also have to factor in haul-outs, zincs, bottom paint, deck coatings etc etc. It adds up.
If I were you, I'd try renting a boat for about 2 weeks. While it won't really give you an idea. Think long and hard before commiting. If you're "that" kind of person, it's a wonderful thing, with a lot of positive aspects. If you're not... it will be hell.
I lived on aboard my 26 foot sloop for three months one summer when I started my current job. We have a pretty good little club, with showers and all the trimmings. I was by myself, so it was really kind of cool. My car at the time was a large Dodge camper van. It acted as my closet/storage unit. If I was single, and we didn't have winters, I'd have stayed on the boat. I would toss everything into the V berth and spend my days off sailing. As one poster stated.....try it for a few weeks first.
Lived aboard my Westsail 32 for about 15yrs. LOVED it!!! Helped a lot being a bachelor. You DO have to trim back all your shit as there is limited space (although the Westsail had a huge amount of storage for its size)....which is actually a bonus. Loved sitting on deck reading, watching the sun go down. Quiet mornings without a ripple on the water....good times. Never knew it when there was a power outage as I was on 12v and solar panels. Installed a small refrigeration unit into the ice box after several years of using ice. That was my biggest improvement. Biggest downside was keeping a bike stored. Salt water and bikes are NOT a good combo. I think compared to renting a house it was a bit cheaper. Maintenance isn't too bad when you live aboard as long as you keep up with everything. Haul outs every 2-3 yrs were the biggest expense. Did my own zincs for years so no/minimal cost there. I will say it's a lot easier when your young and full of piss and vinegar....
a strong +1 on renting or somehow doing a trial run first, I bought a 27' Ericson years ago, tried living on it and it was not for me (despite a couple of years in the Navy living on a big boat before)...but had a LOT of fun sailing and had friends that loved living aboard and made it work.
this thread also reminds me of an adage I read somewhere (maybe here?) "If it flys, floats, or fux....rent it!"
I don't think it'd be for me full time for decades. But I'd sure like to spend a year or three floating around the world. I wouldn't mind eventually switching to a sailboat at a marina and a house on an airpark instead of a house on the water though
I've found that a vast majority of liveaboards are much more likely to move onto shore from their boat than the other way around. Once you get a few years behind you, it gets hard to crawl into V berths, under the deck to play with wiring at odd angles, etc. If you want to do it, don't wait until you're retired or similar, because it probably won't happen. Just my .02
I lived aboard for several years in my late teens/early 20s. Issues were limited storage, no place to work on cars, motorcycles, etc. Everything metal corrodes/rusts unless it is constantly cleaned.
The biggest down side was waking up to a foot of water over the deck:eek1. Boats leak. Pumps die at the worst possible time.
That said, I still love boats and would live aboard a suitable one.
I've lived aboard for 20+ years. Still do.
You need to appreciate living simply. You will adapt to not so much crap and clutter.
I live at a nice club with full amenities. Bar, restaurant, pool, hot tub, tennis, gym, laundry, onsite storage lockers, etc.
It makes a difference.
Still dislike doing laundry off the boat and having an offsite garage is not as convenient as an at home set up.
Go for it!
I live aboard part time. Total of about 2.5 years in the last 6 years. I couldn't do it if I didn't have a house to come home to where all my toys and tools are located. As others have said, it is a very minimalist lifestyle. Make sure you can do without. It's the ultimate extension of the "small house" movement. As in, not only is it small but it has no foundation. There are both good and bad attributes associated with that. Mostly good in my view since you can change your view anytime you want.
This is what we are looking to retire on, just have to get rid of our current boat.
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A Crealock 37 has been my dream boat for the last 25 years.
We found one, a 2002 model, cheap enough that we could do 2 boats for a bit. Two things kept us from buying it, no separate shower area and the lilliputian sized galley. If they would just shrink the starboard settee then they could add a foot to the head and enlarge the galley. Moving the sink more to the centerline would also be nice as they fill up when heeled to starboard.
I've spend a LOT of time with people that live full time on their boats. From what I've seen it helps if you drink a lot
Longest I've spent is six weeks. But I've spent hundreds and hundreds of weekends on them and many one and two week vacations.
I've always dreamed of living on one but these days I'm thinking a nice condo/town home on a canal with a 20ft center console would be nice.
Take the CC to dinner, drink your coffee while blasting on glass like water in the mornings, etc.etc...
As beautiful as that is my motto is "buy the smallest boat you can be comfortable on not the biggest one you can afford".
A separate shower is a must in a live aboard. IMO. I don't like wiping my ass with wet toilet paper. Galley, I don't really care. I'm far to lazy to cook.