View Poll Results: Is living aboard full time for you?
I currently live aboard and love it. 30 40.54%
I currently live aboard and hate it. 0 0%
I have never lived aboard, but want to 22 29.73%
I have never lived aboard, and never will. 6 8.11%
I have lived aboard in the past, and will again. 16 21.62%
I have lived aboard in the past, and never will again. 0 0%
Voters: 74. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-16-2018, 04:22 PM   #1
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Liveaboard Poll

Hello All,

For several years now, I've been thinking about selling out and becoming a full time cruising liveaboard. It's the main reason I joined this site, in fact. Much of the time, I'm completely in love with the idea, and am convinced that the lifestyle would suit me very well. Sometimes, especially in the frozen wastes of northern American winters, I feel like I'm wasting my life away in the cold grayness, when I could be somewhere comfortable and colorful, cozily nestled in my floating home.

Other times, I get discouraged with the idea. I'll tell myself that it's too expensive, that it's too poor of an investment, that I should keep my house, my shrubs, my car, and all of my junk, that it's way too much work being a liveaboard anyway. I should just stay where I am. That's the safe decision.

There are a million reasons to go for it, and a million reasons not to. I don't know if I'll ever make a decision.

So, in the interests of learning from those of you who have already made this decision, I'd like to know what your choice was. Feel free to elaborate.

Thanks!
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:00 PM   #2
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I moved aboard as an interim measure during a divorce. Sixteen years later I am still here. I feel I am healthier and find life more enjoyable and worth living on my boat. I sold my house and have a great job, so great I am still working at 70. My health is very good as well.
I own everything outright including my dock and my expenses are less than I paid in property tax alone back when I owned a house.
I find that I can live large on 35 to 40% of my income and am thinking of retiring and heading south next year as the company I work for will pay me for another 3 years after I hang it up.
The best idea is to get a boat that you can live with in comfort and not aspire to something too large that will break you down financially and physically.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:05 PM   #3
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Dave,
We're in between. We live aboard full time but we don't wander much (except weekends) as we have to do the 9-5 grind.

It is a lot of work but we do like it more than the dirt house option (right now).
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayfarer View Post
I'll tell myself that it's too expensive, that it's too poor of an investment, that I should keep my house, my shrubs, my car, and all of my junk, that it's way too much work being a liveaboard anyway. I should just stay where I am. That's the safe decision.

!

Live aboard on the hook for two years now.
In Australia, homes are quite expensive, waterfront ones more so.
Rates, electricity, water, shitty neighbours, barking dogs, traffic noise that you are stuck with. Cars, toys, rampant consumerism and appearance so as to impress others as so many feel the need to do and the costs for dirt dwellers is higher again.
Compared to the median dirt dweller paying off their home, our costs are about 1/3rd of what they pay
Compared to the houses with the views we enjoy , our costs are about 1/30th of what they pay.

As far as an investment, sure, the boat itself is not one but it has given us back hours, days, years of not working to support the dirt dweller lifestyle and allowed us to retire young.
Those hours, days, years gained back, with the one I love, are priceless so for us the boat truly is the best investment we could ever have made.

You never get your hours back and no one gets off this planet alive.
Use your hours wisely.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:57 PM   #5
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My wife and I moved aboard a 36 Grand Banks as a 6-month experiment. We now live aboard a 46 Grand Banks and it is the start of year 8 of the "6-month experiment." We both love it and it does seem to keep us fit and healthy. So, start with a limited time experiment before going full in. Maybe like us you'll keep experimenting the years away.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:58 PM   #6
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I've never lived aboard. I have been on my bost for 8 months while doing the Great Loop. IMO, living aboard is great if you're cruising. If it's a floating condo 11+ months a year, I think the novelty will wear off.

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Old 04-16-2018, 07:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by The Other Gary View Post
I moved aboard as an interim measure during a divorce. Sixteen years later I am still here. I feel I am healthier and find life more enjoyable and worth living on my boat. I sold my house and have a great job, so great I am still working at 70. My health is very good as well.
I own everything outright including my dock and my expenses are less than I paid in property tax alone back when I owned a house.
I find that I can live large on 35 to 40% of my income and am thinking of retiring and heading south next year as the company I work for will pay me for another 3 years after I hang it up.
The best idea is to get a boat that you can live with in comfort and not aspire to something too large that will break you down financially and physically.
Thanks Gary. I'm glad to hear it's working out well for you. I feel like living aboard would help me to be more active and healthy. As it stands now, I'm far too comfortable, and it's really easy to be lazy.

My career puts me in a similar position, in that it doesn't matter where I live. I can keep on the move, and keep working.

As far as boats go, I dream of lavish superyachts as much as the next guy. Realistically, though, I want something manageable that I can single hand easily.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Gabe n Em View Post
Dave,
We're in between. We live aboard full time but we don't wander much (except weekends) as we have to do the 9-5 grind.

It is a lot of work but we do like it more than the dirt house option (right now).
Thanks for the feedback guys. My schedule would let me move around quite a bit, thankfully. I work 5-7 months a year in 30 day increments, which leaves me lots of time off, and in nice big chunks. It's really pretty ideal for cruising.

While I do like my Dirt Castle very much, I've been here for 10 years now, and I don't really like the idea of spending the rest of my life here.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:21 PM   #9
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We moved aboard in May of 2011 and have never looked back. We live in the Pacific North West and do not "cruise" as some on the east coast do (I envy that somewhat). We generally stay put through the winter with occasional weekend or week-long cruises. During the summer months we tend to get out and about more, spent two months cruising last year since that was the first summer we were both retired. This year I will probably go back to work since I seem to have jumped a bit too soon into the retirement thing.

Anyway, there are certainly differences from living in a house. Electrical power (30-amp vs. 200-amp) and lack of insulation (during winter anyway) being the biggest. But we are spending WAY less and have WAY less junk that we ever did in a house and I think that is a good thing. Other things as well but those were the two big adjustments for us.

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Old 04-16-2018, 07:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
Live aboard on the hook for two years now.
In Australia, homes are quite expensive, waterfront ones more so.
Rates, electricity, water, shitty neighbours, barking dogs, traffic noise that you are stuck with. Cars, toys, rampant consumerism and appearance so as to impress others as so many feel the need to do and the costs for dirt dwellers is higher again.
Compared to the median dirt dweller paying off their home, our costs are about 1/3rd of what they pay
Compared to the houses with the views we enjoy , our costs are about 1/30th of what they pay.

As far as an investment, sure, the boat itself is not one but it has given us back hours, days, years of not working to support the dirt dweller lifestyle and allowed us to retire young.
Those hours, days, years gained back, with the one I love, are priceless so for us the boat truly is the best investment we could ever have made.

You never get your hours back and no one gets off this planet alive.
Use your hours wisely.
Thanks for that Simi. From what I can gather, I think I could get away with a pretty even exchange as far as costs ashore vs. costs afloat. I live in a modest house that wasn't very expensive. If anything, I'm assuming my costs afloat would be a bit more than ashore, so cost cutting isn't necessarily a goal. It just needs to be financially sustainable.

Downsizing, and being more self sufficient are definitely both goals, however.

You're absolutely right in saying you don't get your hours back. As it stands right now, I feel I could definitely be using many more of my hours much more wisely.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by hmason View Post
My wife and I moved aboard a 36 Grand Banks as a 6-month experiment. We now live aboard a 46 Grand Banks and it is the start of year 8 of the "6-month experiment." We both love it and it does seem to keep us fit and healthy. So, start with a limited time experiment before going full in. Maybe like us you'll keep experimenting the years away.
Thanks Howard. Testimonials like this one are the sort of thing that warm my heart and make me want to go for it.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
I've never lived aboard. I have been on my bost for 8 months while doing the Great Loop. IMO, living aboard is great if you're cruising. If it's a floating condo 11+ months a year, I think the novelty will wear off.

Ted
Thanks Ted. I think you're right. I know liveaboards have a tendency to get stuck in one place, but I don't think I'd fall into that trap for very long. Ultimately it's the cruising aspect of boating that I've always loved most. Somehow I'm always happier when I'm on my way somewhere. Otherwise, it's just a tiny house with a wonky toilet, right?
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:48 PM   #13
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I've lived aboard for over a year, three different times. Everytime, it was my spouse who pulled the plug. I would happily live aboard until I died.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:30 PM   #14
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I sold my house in 1996 to buy my first apartment building in Seattle. I had a 5 year live aboard plan. I am still living aboard, not because it’s cheap, because I like it. My wife likes it as well, she did make me buy a bigger boat twice. It would have been a big mistake to have moved aboard and not maintained ownership in land. Had I done that I would never have been able to buy back in. Living on a boat has prevented me from wasting money on material things that I really didn’t need. By not spending money on useless home items I have managed to save enough to buy more apartments. Every one needs a hobby and ours is traveling, both with and with out the boat. Not everyone can live like we do but not being owned by material possessions has been really enjoyable.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:44 PM   #15
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Perhaps I answered too hastily, failing to recognize the possibility of living aboard part time (which is my aspiration -- in fact, I never expected to get married, but have been for 30 great years, and instead intended to buy a 42' sport fisher and to live singly and happily there for all of my days) but not full time (which I would not like), but I noticed among the responses that (so far at least) no one wishes they didn't now or ever live aboard. The thing is, I like being at my house, and cannot replicate all of the pleasures my house offers on any boat I can afford. (In fairness, I feel exactly the same way about my boat -- I like being on the boat and cannot replicate all of that pleasure in my house, even though it is a waterfront house).

For example, my pool table. I like having it at my house and it is a complete impossibility on any boat. Most other conveniences of my house could be replicated on a boat, but not without great expense. As another example, I can imagine the day when my joints don't allow me to go up and down stairs without undo effort. My house has an elevator (which I rarely use, but nice to have for Plan B). I told my wife that someday we will be using the boat's crane (which has a wireless remote) to take us from the dock and put us where we need to be. She says single story or elevator -- she is not being craned around. Also, there are the barbeques. my house has about 6, the boat only one. And forget about bon fires on a boat. Similarly, I really like soaking in the hot tub. For that, a bigger boat would do, but then I would probably need crew and I don't even like having a live-in house keeper. So, for me, I need both a house and a boat.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:01 AM   #16
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Let not fool anyone. Many people who try living on a boat are gone before the first year is up.

I have seen a lot of divorced men end up living on their boat. They enjoy it but usually find a woman and with in 3 years they are off the boat.

I see young couples who buy a boat and decide to live a board, then they get pregnant and shortly after move off the boat.

Then there is the summer couple, they come down to the boat in June and have so much fun they decide to stay because life on the dock is so munch more fun than home life. Some were between November and January they disappear never to be seen living on the boat again.

Here in the PNW we don’t consider you a true liveaboard until you have survived 2 winters on board.
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Old 04-17-2018, 06:48 AM   #17
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We've been summer live aboards (3-4 months) for 11 years. Don't cruise much anymore...expensive, boring and work. Recently changed marinas to a quiet, out of the way village to get away from the hubbub of summer transient boaters (vacationers and loopers). All the activity is fun for a while...and then it just gets annoying. We're always happy to get back aboard in the Spring....and happy to put it away in the Fall. We both begin to miss our hobbies and "stuff".
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:18 AM   #18
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For me, balance in life is important.

Living aboard whether you cruise or not needs balance.

If at ANY time you feel like something is more effort than its worth, then you start looking or wishing for something else.

The stronger the feeling and longer it takes to scratch that itch, the less happy you become.

Any one of dozens of things can start that feeling...as you can see by the replies.

I will be the first to say that living aboard should NOT be a lifestyle to save money....though if you do it right, it can be.

However, living on a boat is tough on most boats and equipment. The money and energy to keep things going starts tobtake its toll...cuising the boat hard, adds to that exponentially in some cases.

In my exoerience, the happiest liveaboards seem to fall into 2 categories.

The ones that have near nothing to lose and are great at going with any flow ...or the ones with enough money and flexibility to come and go from the boat any time they want.

Doesnt mean the rest arent happy, just that depending on a huge amount of circumstances, the stressors can add up and moving off seems like the greener grass to go to.

Most here are pretty smart and know everything I just said plus much more ( or partially/totally disagree) as it applies to most things in life.... just saying it out loud for some to follow along if they have never thought about it.

Is it? Wish I had that magic answer...

PS.... cant check a poll box as none or multiple fit....
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:00 AM   #19
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I'm moving aboard full time in Boston in the fall of this year. I CAN'T WAIT!! It's literally all that I think about, all day, every day. Lol. Will it be an easy transition? Probably not. Especially on a 30 foot boat but that's what makes it more appealing to me. Everyone is telling me that my boat is too small and the Camano is not a good liveaboard boat. Well, when I hear these comments they just make me smile more!

About my situation. I'm single, 36, no kids/pets. I'm in the prime of my career and plan to stay in Boston. I'm planning to rent out my house over the summer. Renting out my house is actually the one part of the equation that I AM nervous about! I have a beautiful house on a nice piece of property and I really hope I can find a nice family that will take care of it....Could be tough! I'm gonna use a realtor to properly screen and interview the tenants (then I'll do the final interview with any good candidates).

OP (Dave): Are you married? In a relationship? Pets? For me it's easy to make the liveaboard decision because I only have to worry about myself. Haha! As to the investment portion of it, I would never sell my home just to buy a bigger/nicer boat. As others have said, a boat is not a good investment and will never appreciate in value (although some brands will hold their value). Plus, your home is a safety net. If you don't like the liveaboard lifestyle then you move back.

If you're having second thoughts about it then you're probably not ready to do it. Good luck man.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:10 AM   #20
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For example, my pool table. I like having it at my house and it is a complete impossibility on any boat.
Never impossible


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