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Any sailors here? Want to retire and live aboard!
Old 05-28-2014, 05:14 PM   #1
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Any sailors here? Want to retire and live aboard!

Hi everyone,

I've been dreaming of retiring and sailing the world for my whole life (as far as I can remember!). My savings plan has been going pretty well, and I think I can manage it in the next 5-10 years... the goal is to be on the water full-time by 2020.

I'm not married, so there's not much holding me back right now. If anyone has advice about retiring to the live-aboard lifestyle, I'd be grateful.

Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:28 PM   #2
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Before you invest in the hole in the water in which you throw money, you should run a simulation. Live Aboard Simulator
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:46 PM   #3
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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That's pretty dire! I've been dreaming about it for so long that I think I'm probably in, even if it means I have to work a bit longer to afford it. I've been thinking about a catamaran, though, because they seem to have a bit more living space. The lack of headroom over the beds in the berths I hadn't really considered before, though.
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liveaboard_frank View Post
That's pretty dire! I've been dreaming about it for so long that I think I'm probably in, even if it means I have to work a bit longer to afford it. I've been thinking about a catamaran, though, because they seem to have a bit more living space. The lack of headroom over the beds in the berths I hadn't really considered before, though.
Yeah, that write-up is harsh! I might try on a big cat myself some day. Big means more comfortable, but also more bucks to own and operate. But I'll start with a boat sitting gig, I think.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:13 PM   #5
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I'm a sailor, and like distance racing, but not inclined to live aboard at length. I've known people who live on boats full time and seasonally (5-6 months/yr), but rarely if ever take their boats out. That's a whole different lifestyle and proposition compared to living aboard and "sailing the world" as you know. Not sure there are many here, but Google and you'll find lots written about liveaboard sailors like Lin & Larry Pardey: Newsletters & Cruising Tips | Sailing Newsletters & Cruising Tips. Good luck, I envy your goal.
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:38 AM   #6
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I love the romantic image of living in an eccentric marina community (or communities) ala Travis McGee or Doc Ford but I suspect it only exists in novels for most of us. As to sailing the world living aboard, sounds more like a brief adventure rather than a lifestyle. There do seem to be a few people suited to it but wouldn't you be more likely to find them in boating forums?
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:44 AM   #7
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Have you done much sailing? We have a similar plan but for now we have been sailing a small 17 foot Montgomery sailboat for fun. It fits on a trailer and yet has a 600 pound lead keel and a small cabin. We have taken it on one week sailing camping trips and it is very fun (but slow, only about 6 knots on a beam reach).

We bought it slightly used (2 times) for half price and over the past 7 years have sunk about $300 total into it including storage fees. That works out to around $43 a year so if it is a hole you throw money in, it is pretty shallow.

Now our house, that is a hole I have thrown a lot of money in. Paid $300,000, worth $250,000 now, spent $100,000 over the past decade on upgrades and it could use paint, carpet and a new roof. We also pay about $6,000 a year on property, fire and flood insurance.
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Old 05-29-2014, 01:09 PM   #8
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Hi liveboard_frank,

I lived aboard a 42' sailboat (Brewer 12.8) while my family (wife and two kids) sailed Florida, Bahamas, and US east coast up to North Carolina. We spent 10 months doing this after I retired in 2012.

I've also sailed a Bavaria 46 from Antigua to Europe.

It is a great life. If you don't mind a bit of isolation from mainstream civilization and you like to do mechanical repairs on the boat, it doesn't get much better, IMHO.

Living aboard a sailboat and cruising can also be surprisingly affordable. Even with the frequent equipment failures/upgrades required, one can match almost any budget to cruising. The big budget variables are size of boat, complexity of systems, owner's ability to do repairs, % of time on hook vs slip, % of meals eaten aboard vs at restaurants.

By tweaking those variables one can cruise on less than $1,000 a month or well over $10,000 a month.

BTW, living on a boat in a marina long-term really has little in common with cruising. Many of those boats haven't left the dock in years and they are really just floating condos. Nothing wrong with that bit a whole different experience than long-range travel by boat.

Good luck! PM me if you have specific questions.
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:02 PM   #9
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I too have had this "sail the world" dream and lived aboard an old Pearson 35 years ago when I was single. Boats range wildly in terms of price. Mine was less than 15k in current dollars and I got that when I sold it 3 years later. Total cost was about 6k per year (less than 1br apartment in the area) and about 150 hrs of maintenance per year as well, which I think is reasonable for about any 35' boat in fair shape, old or new.

I can't overstate how important simple systems are to enjoying boat ownership. Once you get to the point of electric winches, it's too late IMO. Passive tech is the way to go. Big water tanks instead of water makers, 200W of PV panels on the rails instead of a generator, a 1 gallon camp shower (can heat water on single burner stove) in the cockpit (removable curtain) instead of a shower stall, etc. The mild inconvenience during the usage of each simple technology is greatly offset by not having to fix complex systems.

A "sail around the world" boat and a great loop or Bahamas boat are very different things. I would spend at least 10 years enjoying a Bahamas boat and really learning the life before buying a round the world boat.

If I was a single guy wanting to do this and was in fair shape, I'd find a decent shape "classic plastic" to try it out. If your budget allows, then a used Pacific Seacraft is a very nice boat. I love those canoe sterns too. I've always tended toward the heavy displacement / CCA era overhangs boats. I would stay under 35' LOA and stick to a sloop.

Writing this, I wonder why I lost the burning desire for this life. Living 11 hrs from the ocean doesn't help. Marriage really didn't either. Living aboard was absolutely a blast. I had a million dollar view with a geo metro budget and remember waking up to a great blue heron in my cockpit one morning. I sat in the cabin and drank my coffee until it left. I forget who said it, but there really isn't much anything better than "messing about with boats".
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:28 PM   #10
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I forget who said it, but there really isn't much anything better than "messing about with boats".
"Nice? It's the only thing," said the Water Rat solemnly as he leant forward for his stroke. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolute nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." Ratty from The Wind in the Willows.
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