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Old 02-14-2017, 09:35 AM   #1
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How did you figure out how much time to spend on board?

Wifey B: We talk all the time about choosing boats, but what about choosing lifestyles. Many of us have fallen somehow into what works for us. Others still searching. So the question of the day is for those who have figured it out, how did it happen, how did it all come together?
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:42 AM   #2
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For me it started 40 years ago when I wanted a bigger boat but couldn't afford a bigger boat and an apartment so I chose boats.


The only time I have been ashore really since is because of wife/family.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:52 AM   #3
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Wifey B: I'll answer first because we had no freaking idea. We knew we loved boating. We'd lived on the lake so we bought a home in FLL on the water, knowing we'd get a boat or boats shortly after.

So we went out a couple of times on small rentals and we bought a sport boat, but definitely not something to live on, just a bigger version of what we had on the lake. Wonderful though. We could go to the Bahamas or Miami or Key West or lots of places.

But there was all this other water out there.

So, we chartered. A Week. Three Weeks. A Month. Six Weeks. Two Months. We didn't know what would be right. Ok, now here's where my hubby's crazy theory came into play-The Theory of Pain.

Sounds insane but it sort of works. First charters we were always heading home too soon. Wished we had more time. We built up. Reached six weeks then a break then another trip. Two months was just a little much as we found ourselves thinking of home a lot the last couple of weeks. Home being friends and family and land house. Could it have been just taking the boat home? Perhaps, but then sometimes the boat might not be anywhere near home. Didn't want to have to end every six weeks back where we started.

We loved our land home more than we ever imagined we would when we moved to FL. It was the gathering place for all our close friends and family. Oh, no. Now split between two loves. So far, we continue to like to cruise six weeks, home three, but we'll boat some even at home. Maybe home four but a week of that in the Bahamas. Maybe eight weeks away when it's Alaska or somewhere. Maybe a month home or more for holidays. But we found the routine which is 2/3 of the time on a boat. It works for us.

A family of our closest friends lived in RI. They'd always owned a big boat, like 200', but never cruised long times. They enjoyed being with us though. So, they decided to downsize. 200' sounds nice but you can't get to marinas so have to anchor and tender in from long distances, cause the normal anchorage doesn't work either. They decided to charter a bit first. They were amazed how much they loved it suddenly, a different type of boating. The 200' had been more like a water hotel than a boat. They ended up figuring out their plan while having a boat built. They're a month on, a month off. They vary for holidays and certain times. But through trial and error found what worked for them.

You can't know what it will be like until you do it. How much time you've spent on the water in the past might help you. But I see most here tried it, liked it, kept doing it. The ones who tried it, didn't like it, stopped, don't come here but there are lots of them too. So, anything we can share for those thinking about it as to how we ended up as we are might help.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:59 AM   #4
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Not sure I could live aboard permanently. To me, being aboard (and cruising) is an adventure, vacation and very special. It's kind of like love and sex in your teens. Do it all the time and it becomes routine, regardless of how good it is. When I leave on a multiple week trip, I often don't sleep well the night before (anticipation and excitement). When I'm ready to get off the boat (and go home), it's been too long.

It's like going on vacation: Don't want to leave on the last day, it's great. Ready to go home, you stayed too long.

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Old 02-14-2017, 10:05 AM   #5
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Greetings,
Unlike some, others still have to work for a living so the amount of vacation and proximity to the boat will ultimately determine how much time is spent aboard. Not really that hard to figure out. Retirees or the independently wealthy will have other parameters. Live-a-boards, of course, will be aboard 24/7.
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:25 AM   #6
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Not sure I could live aboard permanently. To me, being aboard (and cruising) is an adventure, vacation and very special. It's kind of like love and sex in your teens. Do it all the time and it becomes routine, regardless of how good it is.



When I leave on a multiple week trip, I often don't sleep well the night before (anticipation and excitement). When I'm ready to get off the boat (and go home), it's been too long.

It's like going on vacation: Don't want to leave on the last day, it's great. Ready to go home, you stayed too long.

Ted
Wifey B: I think your last paragraph really sums up our feeling and you just don't know till you do it.

So how long for you is generally long enough?
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:32 AM   #7
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As RT mentioned, I still am working and will be a for awhile longer. So for us, weekends on the boat have been about all we could do other than maybe a week on the boat once a year. The other issue is that real life constantly gets in the way. Sick parents, deaths, weddings, graduations, work conferences, etc... all seem to get in the way of time on the boat.

Last year I took two weeks. It wasn't enough time. This year I will take another two weeks. It won't be long enough either. We have yet to get to the point where we have spent too long on the boat. I think my wife will hit that point before I do. My plan, such as it is, is to be able to take more time away from the office in a couple of years. At that time we can hopefully try 3 weeks.
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:45 AM   #8
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As RT mentioned, I still am working and will be a for awhile longer. So for us, weekends on the boat have been about all we could do other than maybe a week on the boat once a year. The other issue is that real life constantly gets in the way. Sick parents, deaths, weddings, graduations, work conferences, etc... all seem to get in the way of time on the boat.

Last year I took two weeks. It wasn't enough time. This year I will take another two weeks. It won't be long enough either. We have yet to get to the point where we have spent too long on the boat. I think my wife will hit that point before I do. My plan, such as it is, is to be able to take more time away from the office in a couple of years. At that time we can hopefully try 3 weeks.
Wifey B: Prior to our retirement and move to FL, we never slept aboard but our use of a boat was afternoons, weekends, and two week vacations and none of those were ever enough.

Here's another thing we had to learn for ourselves. When we started, we said one night a week, we'd treat ourselves to get off the boat and stay in a nice resort hotel. Well, the time came. We could sleep in the nice bed we'd been enjoying or we could pack an overnight case and lug it up to the hotel and check in and go to the room and check things out and then sleep there on a bed probably not as comfy as the one on the boat. Now 3 1/2 years later, we've never gotten off the boat to sleep in a hotel even when docked at incredible resorts. We will use hotel gym and spa and other amenities. We'd rather be in our bed on the boat than the fanciest, most exotic hotel there is.
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Old 02-14-2017, 11:05 AM   #9
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We're coming up on 2 years aboard (liveaboards - cheating I know)

We took a month to come down to GA from MD this past spring. by the third week of cruising we were ready to sit still for a little while. Having the boat in "cruising mode" (versus "homey mode") was getting tiring. As soon as we stopped though, we both looked at each other and said we were ready to keep moving again. The itch is still there and the weekend-long trips aren't cutting it...
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Old 02-14-2017, 11:13 AM   #10
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I grew up on Lake Huron and had a rowboat when I was 5. Got a 7.5hp motor for it at age 7 and spent entire days on the water. I felt like I was the King of the World when I was screaming up and down the shoreline.


Got a Sailfish when I was about 11 and again, spent entire days sailing. That boat and I became like one. Unlike OC Diver I hadn't yet discovered sex so I got my thrills from sailing. The wind, the water, the boat heeled over--that was my joy.


Many years went by until I was in my 30's living in WA. I would find myself on weekends down by the docks watching people launch and recover their boats. One day the light went on and I discovered I needed a boat.


A 20' open bow boat was my new love and I spent days aboard and mucho dinero in gas bills.


Several years later I yearned for something I could overnight on so after a lengthy period of research and walking on boats I bought a Sea Ray 330 Sundancer. My new love. I was single and spent every possible weekend out on the water.


During this time period I charted 3 times in the San Juans, and grew to love that area. Our longest cruise was 2 weeks and we decided that was way too short.


Fast forward many years to 2009 and was looking for a bigger boat to take longer cruises on. I bought our current boat and, even though we're both retired, life gets in the way of taking cruises longer than a week or two.


My MIL is 101 years old and we love her. But after she's no longer with us we're heading down the Columbia, up around the coast, down the Strait of Juan de Fuca and up into the San Juan Islands and into Canadian waters. We'll spend about 3.5-4 months just cruising and relaxing. I can't wait.
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Old 02-14-2017, 11:19 AM   #11
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Wifey B: I think your last paragraph really sums up our feeling and you just don't know till you do it.

So how long for you is generally long enough?
It depends on the trip.

My Great Loop trip this summer will be an 8 month marathon with maybe 3 breaks of 1 to 2 weeks. Parameters force the time constraints. I have a couple other trips that will be like that planned for the future.

I like the 3 to 4 week Maryland to Florida snow bird trips. Really enjoyed the 8 day trip to Fort Pierce for the TF get together. Enjoy the 5 day local escapes to my favorite anchorages for some quiet kayak time.

I guess a month will be the general limit unless I decide to start spending summers in New England or the Great Lakes.

Ted
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Old 02-14-2017, 11:56 AM   #12
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Seven months and were abut ready to get home. We start the next Seven month trip in 40 or so days. Will be cruising with ASD up in Alaska and hope to meet up with a few of you. Look for us both on AIS and the first round is on us!
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Old 02-14-2017, 12:03 PM   #13
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It depends on the trip.

My Great Loop trip this summer will be an 8 month marathon with maybe 3 breaks of 1 to 2 weeks. Parameters force the time constraints. I have a couple other trips that will be like that planned for the future.

I like the 3 to 4 week Maryland to Florida snow bird trips. Really enjoyed the 8 day trip to Fort Pierce for the TF get together. Enjoy the 5 day local escapes to my favorite anchorages for some quiet kayak time.

I guess a month will be the general limit unless I decide to start spending summers in New England or the Great Lakes.

Ted
Wifey B: Yes, loop is climate forced. Our goat was entering the Erie Canal as soon as we could after opening so on May 2, we entered the Hudson. We left Chicago on October 12, but from the 1st to the 12th we didn't boat, just enjoyed Chicago. East Coast was something we've done and can do anytime. We've also cruised the Gulf a good bit. So, we stopped on Lake Pickwick and going to cruise the rivers some before finishing the loop.

We took two breaks on the May to October run. We flew home June 26 and back on July 11 and we flew home on August 31 and back on September 19. So, as it turned out starting in NYC we were 8 weeks cruising, 2 weeks home, 7 weeks cruising, 3 weeks home, 6 weeks cruising then home for 4 weeks.
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:30 PM   #14
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Wifey B: Yes, loop is climate forced. Our goat was entering the Erie Canal as soon as we could after opening so on May 2, we entered the Hudson.
Funny, I've never heard of a vessel named Goat.

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Old 02-14-2017, 01:39 PM   #15
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Funny, I've never heard of a vessel named Goat.

Ted
Wifey B: Oh it wasn't a vessel. It was our pet goat leading the way.

I meant "goal." Have no idea why my phone chose "goat" and I didn't catch it.

I'll bet somewhere out there, there is a vessel named goat.

The Goat is arguably the most successful Sydney 38, winning the 2011 Sydney 38 National Regatta Titles in Melbourne, the 2007 Rolex Sydney Hobart One Design Class and the 2008 Sydney Gold Race Race, plus numerous club races and championships.
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:51 PM   #16
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Readily available cash helps make some these decisions easier.
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:56 PM   #17
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We started out in runabouts, and crewing on friends cruising sail boats. When I retired, we decided to experiment with larger power boats, working our way up to see what we actually liked.

The first boat was a Back Cove 29. We liked being able to go places, but it felt too much like camping, so 1-2 nights was the max on board. The important thing is that we liked cruising and wanted more, so changed boats.

Next was the Grand Banks 47. That took us much further, and in much greater comfort. I think 10 weeks was our max time on that boat in any one stretch, and we were maxed out at that point. But once again, we really liked cruising and wanted to go further and stay longer, so changed boats again.

I think we have found our comfort point now, both in terms of being able to go pretty much anywhere, and stay on board as long as we want. The boat is no longer the limiting factor. With that, we find ourselves on board for between 1-3 months, then home for a similar amount of time, then repeat. Over the course of a year we are on the boat approximately half our time, and that seems to work well.
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Old 02-14-2017, 02:37 PM   #18
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We started out in runabouts, and crewing on friends cruising sail boats. When I retired, we decided to experiment with larger power boats, working our way up to see what we actually liked.

The first boat was a Back Cove 29. We liked being able to go places, but it felt too much like camping, so 1-2 nights was the max on board. The important thing is that we liked cruising and wanted more, so changed boats.

Next was the Grand Banks 47. That took us much further, and in much greater comfort. I think 10 weeks was our max time on that boat in any one stretch, and we were maxed out at that point. But once again, we really liked cruising and wanted to go further and stay longer, so changed boats again.

I think we have found our comfort point now, both in terms of being able to go pretty much anywhere, and stay on board as long as we want. The boat is no longer the limiting factor. With that, we find ourselves on board for between 1-3 months, then home for a similar amount of time, then repeat. Over the course of a year we are on the boat approximately half our time, and that seems to work well.
Wifey B: I think many of us find the time we can enjoy being somewhat tied to how much the boat is like home, or a second home. I admit to being spoiled in many ways but worrying about water, how long I could shower, not wearing clean clothes every day, things like that just would really cause me to miss home. Also if the temperatures on the boat were sweltering or freezing, it would tire me sooner.

The 44' Riva in our avatar today (who knows what tomorrow brings) sleeps two and the bed is actually comfortable. I forget it does have a crew cabin. Don't know why on a boat that size, but we can sleep three with it. It only has 53 gallons of water. It's great if just the two of us want to make a quick run up or down the coast, often on the spur of the moment. However, I'd never want to spend weeks on it. Still if I just have a desire to eat dinner or spend a day in St. Augustine or somewhere, we can run up quickly. Including a fuel stop on the way, we can be to St. Augustine in about 8 hours since it cruises at 35 knots. Mostly a romantic getaway. But the most nights in a row we've ever spent on it is three I think.

My minimum living requirements: (This feels silly coming from a girl who lived in poverty as a child and had none of these but maybe why I want them even more.)

Daily shower and daily fresh, clean clothes.
Wash long hair every other day.
(Generally we shower together so needs to be large enough for two).

So, washing machine and dryer.
Way to cook and...don't yell...a dishwasher.

Heat and Air

Yes, I want the conveniences of home or else home gets more inviting and the boat less so.

Every person has their own living requirements but they increase proportionately to the amount of time to be spent aboard.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:04 PM   #19
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Yes, I want the conveniences of home or else home gets more inviting and the boat less so.

Every person has their own living requirements but they increase proportionately to the amount of time to be spent aboard.
I think that's true, but also recognize that lots of people love camping, love the challenge of living on less, etc. Power to them if that's what they like.
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Old 02-14-2017, 04:05 PM   #20
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Greetings,
Unlike some, others still have to work for a living so the amount of vacation and proximity to the boat will ultimately determine how much time is spent aboard. Not really that hard to figure out. Retirees or the independently wealthy will have other parameters. Live-a-boards, of course, will be aboard 24/7.
Indeed as both of us still working the time aboard is driven by vacation and weekends. Not to mention the weatherr that does not allow us on the waterr more than 6 months here.
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