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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 09:52 AM   #21
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Re: living on a boat



I got as far as "Park your cars in the lot at the convenience store at least 2 blocks from your house". They'd be vandalized, then stolen, then burned, then returned to me by the helpful local police dept.
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 11:49 AM   #22
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Re: living on a boat

Hey, it isn't all that bad.. but it's no nirvana either.* Living on a boat is like living in a motor home in a remote area, hours from a mechanic, service center, police and medical care.* *Yes, you can find live-aboard slips (or anchor in a bay as some in my community have done) but the maintenance issue doesnít go away.

In many areas the Coast Guard Auxiliary offers basic seamanship classes.* Ask in your community.* *You should also learn about anchorages in the waterways you expect to frequent (short stay/extended stay, fees).*

Sail boats usually have less cabin space than motor boats, but if you learn to sail you never Ďrun out of gasí.* Even if you do not intend to purchase a sail boat see if there is a sailing club near you that co-ops a boat.* You can learn to handle a boat with folks who are prepared to help you.* If you enjoy sailing you can easily transition to a motor boat and if you donít enjoy sailing you should consider whether retiring on a boat is wise.* Frankly, I could live on a sail boat but have no interest in operating one.. but sailing gives you a good pass/fail test on you ability to manage on water in weather.*

A well equipped boat today has a head that doesnít depend on a pump-out, it has solar panels to re-charge batteries, and electric systems that can run on the solar panels.* Thoughtfully provisioned it can sail for months without touching shore.* BUT there is no room for anything other than necessities.* No TV, and unless you have $$$ no sat phone or internet.

IMHO living on a boat isnít the answer to low-cost housing needs for retirees of any age.* If you have a nest egg growing on shore then sail for a couple years, sell the boat and you will have been there, done that.* ĎOld Saltí stories are lots of fun to share.*

If you really want a low cost retirement lifestyle, those who frequent the board can give you other options.
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 12:00 PM   #23
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Re: living on a boat

Just like the idea of retiring abroad--try it first!

In Washington State (probably BC, too), there are a great many places to hire a boat and wander around the San Juan Islands, Puget Sound, the inland waterway, etc. You can even (and probably should) hire a captain, too.

Beware boating there, though. Due to the nature of the area, there is a local hazard known as "deadheads", which are waterlogged logs that float just below the surface of the water. Many a boat has holed a hull in these waters due to a deadhead. In addition, there are so many rocks that poke up in the damndest places just waiting for you to find them with your hull.

Lots of serious safety issues with boats in the PNW. Lots of fun, too! Rent one or two.

Cheers,

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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 12:59 PM   #24
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Re: living on a boat

Yes, I hear there are lots of safety issues with deadheads in the Pacific NW.



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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 01:17 PM   #25
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Re: living on a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool Dood
Yes, I hear there are lots of safety issues with deadheads in the Pacific NW.
Bless those deadheads in the water and at the helm, they keep boatyards in green.
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 01:40 PM   #26
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Re: living on a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by claire
i am more or less a complete novice, so how does one go about learning how to operate a boat, navigate and all that. Is it difficult to learn? Also, what is better, a sailing boat or a motor boat...how big do you recommend the boat to be for 2 people? One more question, how expensive is it to learn boating, presuming one has to go on courses etc?
living on a boat is for people who love boats, water and nature. i actually get a feeling of landlock when not near water and after a few days will seek out the nearest river, lake or bathtub if need be. the lifestyle is relaxed, the people helpful and friendly. visit your nearest marina, preferably one that allows liveaboards and talk to the skippers there. they love talking about their boats and their lifestyle and probably will invite you aboard for a looksee.

as suggested, try it. get out on the water. you might find you get seasick and well, there goes that. try sail and power. taking to one does not preclude the other. i happen to love most all boats. some of my best times were on my little sunfish. for liveaboard, budget and capabilities, i'd personally go a full-displacement hull of the powered variety, but then, i'm both lazy and spoiled.

i don't know your budget for initial purchase but sounds like you will be looking at sailboats. keep in mind that one is not necessarily cheaper to keep than the other after purchase. the powerboat has a motor, but the sail usually also has motor as well as rigging and sail to boot. as sailboats have less beam, space is made up in length. whether power or sail, anything in the 34 to 42-foot should be quite comfortable. even 28 to 34 is doable. as space is relative, adding 1 foot to a boat is like putting on a 10x10-foot addition to a house.

besides coast guard auxilliary (my mom was communications officer at our local, how scarey was that) you will also find courses offered by your local power squadron www.usps.org with more expensive privately offered ones such as chapman www.chapman.org or various others, some land, some sea-based.

the public coursework should be inexpensive but regardless taking same highly recommended for your own safety as well as for others you might, um, run into. not all liveaboards cruise their boats. some are known as "dock queens" and simply love living on the water. so your intended use & budget will determine your boat selection. either way, learn all you can about what boat you are getting yourself into before you weigh anchor.

again, i recommend you post your question to the boating forums i previously listed as you will get highly targeted answers there. a new member on one who has his own website www.westerlynomad.blogspot.com is really doing it right. he is both impressive and inspirational and i highly recommend reviewing the website on his bebop. i think all the members of this forum will relate to bebop's owner jammer who states:

"Tired of everything that comes with modern life...being a corporate wage slave enriching a few peoples lives and not my own, I decided to do something about it. I'm moving onboard my boat and seeking some adventure."
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 01:56 PM   #27
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Re: living on a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by claire
Hi all - many thanks for all you the info you have kindly provided, i should explain that i am more or less a complete novice, so how does one go about learning how to operate a boat, navigate and all that. Is it difficult to learn? Also, what is better, a sailing boat or a motor boat, i dont think i would have the confidence to be boing roaming around the oceans so I think we would just need a run around, something which would we would be able to live on and get around the calm waters of the greek isles.

Also, how big do you recommend the boat to be for 2 people? 40 feet ish?

One more question, how expensive is it to learn boating, presuming one has to go on courses etc?

Looking forward to hearing from you all xxx
Hi Claire,

There is the hard way, and then there is the easy way. I think you mentioned thet you are a 32 year old single woman. IMO, your problems are over. Go hang around an upscale marina, or favored nearby bars. Meet people. Pretty soon you will know all about yachting, and also have a pretty good take on where different folks are going, how reliable and expert they are, and whether you might like to go along.

You could even consider finding work there- in a restaurant or a marine supplies store. A 32 year old educated woman should be an even trade for a 42-45 year quinto-millionare (even numerated in GBP* )

If you want to round out your skill set, take a course in emergency medicine. Doesn't take long, doesn't cost much, but can be very useful

Ha
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 05:19 PM   #28
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Re: living on a boat

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Originally Posted by HaHa
There is the hard way, and then there is the easy way. I think you mentioned thet you are a 32 year old single woman. IMO, your problems are over.
Geez, Mikey, what does the situation have to do with gender?

The Honolulu Yacht Club is desperate for hard-working suckers crew to sail their regattas and even their transoceanic races. Just showing up at the local marina or USCG Auxiliary would help a novice get all the experience they could handle.
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 07:48 PM   #29
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Re: living on a boat

In the American Sailing Association curriculum, you learn to sail in protected waters, then to navigate, then to do both in waters close to shore ("coastal cruising"). A followup course is "bareboat chartering", for going to some place like the Caribbean and renting a boat on your own. The courses for all that take less than a couple of weeks, if I recall correctly. They have many additional courses for specialized requirements.

Do those things first and you'll be set for more adventurous things. It's just like driving. You get comfortable in the closed course or parking lot, then on quiet roads, and only then in heavy traffic.

We met dozens of folks going up and down the east coast of the US and to the Bahamas who, like ourselves, started out with very little training or experience. We met a few who had zero training or experienced, and these folks did fine too. None seemed to have a harder time than the experienced folks. The new folks were usually extra attentive, while the "old hands" got complacent and made mistakes, ran aground, etc. because they were so much more experienced.

When you are paying close attention, and moving at 5-6 miles an hour, it's just not that big a deal. Not at all like learning to fly, and screaming towards the ground at 100mph when learning to land, or even approaching a narrow bridge in a car at 60mph.

The only real caution that the occasional newbie missed was to watch weather -- although there are always enough experienced folks around to help. (This problem was especially prevalent among the people who were taking 2-3 months off from a job, and they thought time was wasting. The ER's, who made up most of the fleet, took their time.)

For example, most folks won't make the ~15-20 hour crossing from Florida to the Bahamas unless there is no north component to the forecast winds and no winds greater than 15 knots forecast for the next 3-5 days. (I'm doing this from fading memory, so the numbers may be off.) It was common to wait weeks for such a "weather window".

That sounds excessively conservative to novices, but after a while, you start realizing that a 3-5 day weather forecast is really only good for a day, while a 24 hour forecast of good weather has a good chance of turning against you halfway across. So the only ones who make the 15-20 hour crossing with only a 24 hour weather window are novices who don't know any better and true experts who feel comfortable facing the bad weather that they might encounter, should the 24 hour out weather arrive earlier than predicted.

The simple secret there was never to make a schedule. You'll get there when you get there.

On the boat size -- a 40' boat is plenty for most couples. We spent several years on a 36' trawler, which had about the space of a 40' sailboat. 35-40' was probably about the average size of the full timers, although there were occasional 32' or so boats. Not too many were bigger -- they get too hard to handle with just 2 people, too costly, too costly to maintain, etc.

I don't know anything about sailing in Greece or the Med, but if you can find a place to start where it is all protected waters, like the US east coast Intracoastal Waterway from Norfolk VA to Miami (1200 miles), you can get a lot of experience before setting off alone into "blue water".

dory36
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 08:01 PM   #30
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Re: living on a boat

As much as I may seem to be pouring cold water on the OP's dreams what I want is for her to realize that living on the water is for the prepared. *I have seen several boat owners in deep water (so to speak), lost their investment because they bought a sinker or because of poor seamanship. *

I like a sailboat hull, it rides better. *Wood hulls don't last long in warm water. *Steel or fiberglass is manufacturer specific. *Every 6 months or so move from fresh to salt and back again, as good as a washdown.
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 08:13 PM   #31
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Re: living on a boat

Hulls last in accordance to maintenance. Wife and I lived 7 years on a 1967 40 foot Chris Craft Connie on the south west coast of Florida. (1993-2000)

We were continously bailing out new "plastic" boaters. (In all fairness, this was an owner issue, not the craft. Morons will be morons.)

While a wood boat will require more maintenance, our overall investment was much less. Like anything else, you pay for things one way or another........out of your pocket.........or with your own labor.

-tb.
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 09:39 PM   #32
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Re: living on a boat

If a couple could handle a 40' boat, how much boat could one person handle?

Also
I was browsing the sites mentioned above. I found this on choosing a boat. It kinda freaked me out.

Look at a boat and try to imagine putting it under a waterfall. With tons of water falling on it what's going to break, how is water going to get in?

Imagine dropping the boat off a fairly high dock, say 15 feet or more. Imagine dropping it at different angles, letting it land on its top, sides, bow, stern. What's going to break when you do that?

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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 09:52 PM   #33
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Re: living on a boat

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Originally Posted by mikew
It kinda freaked me out.
Now imagine you inside a boat doing those things...

I only experienced motion sickness when I couldn't see a horizon and was heaving/yawing/rolling more than 20 degrees.
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 09:55 PM   #34
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Re: living on a boat

Dory is wood-hulled, and built in 1971. Essentially zero problem with the hull, ~4-5 hours of yearly maint required on the cabin, especially around the windows and a few spots where rainwater would collect, like corners on the seats on the flybridge.

If we hired out the wood maintenance, we'd have paid probably $2000 a year.

Grand Banks made wood 36' boats in 1972 and switched to fiberglass in 1973. The cost difference today between a wood GB36 built in 1972 and a fiberglass model built in 1973, in the same shape and equipment, is probably $15,000 - 20,000 more for the fiberglass. *The benefit to fiberglass is that most people think you can defer the maintenance a year or so, although you still have to do the work. $2000 a year, $4000 every other year, or $6000 every third year, whatever. Pay now or pay later.

We woodie purists will tell you that if you manage to strike a submerged boulder or maybe have to cut open the hull to replace an engine and thus have to replace a large section of a wood boat hull, the replacement is 100% as good as the original, whereas if you have to replace an equivalent section of a molded hull, you'll worry forever about when that section will delaminate and sink your nice plastic boat.

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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 10:02 PM   #35
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Re: living on a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikew
If a couple could handle a 40' boat, how much boat could one person handle?
depends on the person, their nerve, their skills and the boat.

many think bigger is more difficult but others say bigger is easier. the bigger is easier argument looks in part at weight. a 25,000 lb boat is going to be blown around quicker than a 65,000 pounder. also with today's technology of bow and stern thrusters, you can practically dock these things sideways. but even with just a single engine, learning how your boat works, prop walk, testing for currents before final approach, understanding the use of spring lines, having a well thought out boat (lower helm, side doors, full walk around) set properly before coming into dock (lines ready, fenders out) and suddenly size becomes less an issue. this issue becomes more planning.

in any case, to my mind, all small pleasure boats (70 ft & under) crewed by less than three should be capable of being single-handed at least so that in an emergency one person can bring it home. of obvious and equal importance, if not single handed but if by couple instead, both partners should be equally adept in boat handling skills. safety first.
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 10:02 PM   #36
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Re: living on a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikew
If a couple could handle a 40' boat, how much boat could one person handle?
You can single hand a 40' boat with experience. It only gets tricky in close quarters, like docking and locking, but those are not things you do every day. (We docked maybe 20 times a year, and locked maybe 4-5 times a year.) When you do, you radio ahead and tell the dockmaster to meet you at the dock and give you a hand, call on people at the dock to help, or just muddle your way in.. Seldom a problem.

But a single hander in a 40' or bigger boat is sort of like a single occupant-driver in a Grayhound bus. I know lots of couples on 30-35' boats, only a few on 40'+. Never met a single hander on anything bigger than 35', although I am sure there are some out there.
Quote:
Also
I was browsing the sites mentioned above. I found this on choosing a boat. It kinda freaked me out.

Look at a boat and try to imagine putting it under a waterfall. With tons of water falling on it what's going to break, how is water going to get in?

Imagine dropping the boat off a fairly high dock, say 15 feet or more. Imagine dropping it at different angles, letting it land on its top, sides, bow, stern. What's going to break when you do that?

This is a strange comment. You always think about things that will fall when some jerk speeds by and leave a huge waks to rock you from side to side, etc., but those things don't seem like anything most people worry about, unless they are crossing an ocean, and likely to encounter awful weather they can't dodge or outrun. Most folks deal with such threats by being well north or south of the hurricane belt during hurricane season, being in a protected cove in a squall, etc. Those who cross the oceans chat constantly about weather and there is a constant stream of guidance about how to avoid weather at sea. (Have a radio that will pick up shortwave frequencies? Tune in to 12.359 MHz, uppse sideband, daily between about 2:30 and 3:30pm.)

Nevertheless, most seaworthy boats will take a heck of a lot more punishment than the occupants. Your laptop may be destroyed because you forgot to secure it before the wake or storm hit, but damage to the boat itself is usually low on the list of concerns.
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 10:07 PM   #37
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Re: living on a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I only experienced motion sickness when I couldn't see a horizon and was heaving/yawing/rolling more than 20 degrees.
i only got seasick once when i was about 13 and we were just hanging out at the dock having dinner.

the roughest seas i was in was when we were headed for a hurricane hole before the storm. one minute you could see the entire island and the next there was nothing in sight but water above your head, just above the flybridge. no chop though, just really big swells. i was about 16 & too stupid to be afraid. instead i was hanging out having a beer and a great time. i remember looking over to the ol'man. was the only time i ever saw him scared.
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 10:08 PM   #38
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Re: living on a boat

We just finished the Power Squadron's introductory course. *Final exam is Tuesday. *It's been very interesting, but we still don't know if we're going to buy a boat. *Would like to be qualified to charter once in a while.
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 10:22 PM   #39
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Re: living on a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by dory36
Never met a single hander on anything bigger than 35', although I am sure there are some out there.
i'm saving up for that krogen 48 so unless i find someone to join me, you might wanna put some extra fenders out if you see me heading in to dock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
Would like to be qualified to charter once in a while.
congrats on the coursework. and be careful with the chartering; boating can be very addictive.
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Re: living on a boat
Old 03-18-2006, 11:44 PM   #40
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Re: living on a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikew
If a couple could handle a 40' boat, how much boat could one person handle?

Also
I was browsing the sites mentioned above. I found this on choosing a boat. It kinda freaked me out.

Look at a boat and try to imagine putting it under a waterfall. With tons of water falling on it what's going to break, how is water going to get in?

Imagine dropping the boat off a fairly high dock, say 15 feet or more. Imagine dropping it at different angles, letting it land on its top, sides, bow, stern. What's going to break when you do that?

I've been on Coast Guard bartenders and cutters in big storms on the NW US Coast. These are very strong steel boats. Still they were well tested. I have my doubts about the ultimate survivability of most of what people go seafaring in. I don't think I would be comfortable in anything that I could afford. I donít mean this to apply to staying in the Mediterranean, or the inland passage on the east Coast with occasional trips to the Bahamas or even Cuba.

If people wonder what it is like to be at sea in a big storm, go see The Perfect Storm. There are storms that are not easy even for Destroyers.

Ha
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