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Old 11-03-2014, 10:50 PM   #41
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Yes, you're correct, to a degree - in regards to houses going up in value (lets just forget the housing collapse). If the economy was predictable we'd all be rich. Besides the point though. I'm not going to wait until my 59 years old, tired, and on multiple medications to enjoy this!
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:50 PM   #42
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There are lots of wise words and the wisest of all in my opinion is rpeterson's.
Before you start make a 'wish' list of all the features you would like in a boat, then decide your cruising future ground, both immediate and as you get a little older, whichever group of boats fall into your category rent, and try out, different types of boat, ideally for a fortnight until you've got the nearest thing to your wish list.
While doing this go to night classes to learn engine maintenance.
I started preparation some 15 years before thinking 'what if', a divorce tipped the scales and I've been living aboard since 1985.
Good Luck and just go for it.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:43 AM   #43
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Binford-i prefer to think of my boat as a hull in the water that holds my soul.

The most amazing thing to me about boats, when you think about what a large, complex engineering project they are, is that almost all the "stuff" on a boat almost always works almost all the time. It's the "almost" that gets expensive!
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:57 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binford View Post
Houses go up in value. Boats go down in value.

That makes a house an investment and a boat the proverbial hole in the water into which one throws money.

I still love 'em though!
Out of 6 houses that I owned and lived in or for rental property....I lost money on all of them....more than several hundred thousand. So houses if timing is wrong when selling or circumstances are beyond your control , they are not always moneymaking investments.

It has also been proven that the money spent on improving and maintaining a home sometimes knocks that supposed investment value back to near nothing for some.

life has no guarantees and more and more making money on houses has fallen into that category too.
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Old 11-04-2014, 11:11 AM   #45
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My comment was made in the context of a presumed 30-something selling his house in a flat market, and buying a liveaboard trawler instead. The topic of this thread is regrets, right? Well, I believe there would be some regrets in that case because when that 30-something's retirement comes along in 30 years, what is that house likely to be worth compared with today, and what is that trawler likely to be worth?

That is looking merely at net-worth though. It could well be that in 30 years our 30-something friend is sitting on double his money in a paid-for house, but he never bought his boat. I could see regrets there too.

And since life's apparently over at 59, he'd be too late....
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Old 11-04-2014, 11:32 AM   #46
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We have been discussing "chucking it all" and buying a live-aboard on and off for two years now. This also means selling or trading in Autumn Dream- she is definitely NOT a liveaboard.
Seems like when work gets too aggravating and winter starts to set in, the discussions begin again.

One thing we don't hear often is from people who did it, regretted it, and moved back ashore. ...........
I recently read a magazine article about this very thing. The point of the article was, it's a bad idea to sell everything and move aboard a boat. The reason being that at some point in our lives we will no longer be able to handle the physical requirements of boating and we may need to be closer to medical care. I think the author makes a good point. We will all either die at sea or move back ashore.

The suggestion was to maintain a small home on land in an area close to shopping and medical care and rent it out until the time comes when you or your partner can no longer handle living on the boat. You will have income while you are boating and a place to come back to for your final years. No moving in with children or living in a small apartment in a bad part of town.
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Old 11-04-2014, 11:53 AM   #47
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There are lots of ways of looking at gains and losses. Try this one but keep in mind that I am making up numbers for example only.

Lets say your current mortgage is $1200/month. You sell your house and buy a boat with the equity. So now you own a boat that will depreciate.
Now consider that you live aboard in a marina for $300/month. You no longer have your $1200/month mortgage including taxes and insurance. Take the $900 difference and put it into some form of savings/investment. On the surface, the first thing you notice is that you now have $900/month going into 'equity' so to speak. Last month when you had your house only about $100/month went into equity.
Of course these are not real figures because real estate taxes vary from area to area as well as your mortgaged amount and how long your mortgage was for and at what point you are in it. However, you get the idea. Just something else to think about.
The reality is that your are trading your dream house for your dream boat.
Then there is always the possibility that your house could be in a neighborhood that vastly increases in value or becomes the 'hood'. Nothing in life is guaranteed.

So, what do you really want in life and what are you willing to sacrifice to do it?
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:35 PM   #48
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We have been a livaboard since April and have no regrets at all. My wife now calls the boat a floating beach home. Don't like the view, fire up the engines and find a new view. The biggest issue for us was the downsizing. We gave away a lot of stuff to family and friends. Sort of seemed like we were giving our life away. We still have a storage unit that we are still trying to empty and get rid of that cost. It is hard.

But in order to start this new adventure in life we had to pick what was more important, stuff or living on the water. In all fairness though we do own our own dock.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:59 PM   #49
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I think financially living aboard is a difficult case to close. Real property appreciates. If you are renting a slip you're even further in a depreciation spiral. That being said, waterfront property appreciates even faster, so if you own your slip, and it's paying for itself from the savings gained from living aboard, you might be even further ahead.

BUT... I do business cases for a living. I don't live for a business case. You guys that live aboard make sacrifices, but in the end you're living your dream.
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:30 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billyfeet View Post
I could literally change my whole life by raising the anchor and setting the sails, and did on more than one occasion
This is true... even around the bend in a river offers a whole new view. And yes, with the windlass I do move even small bits simply because I can.

That lesson was one learned when I was a child. The difference when we got our manual windlass meant that instead of taking my dink to the better diving areas we'd move the whole boat.

A windlass makes a big difference in both my happiness quotient and in safety. If the anchor doesn't set well, physically hauling it in and trying again is simple. I realize you're a part of a couple Autumn, but consider you and yours are not getting any younger...

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My suggestion would be to NOT sell your present boat first. Live and cruise on it for at least a year or two. Then you will be in a better position to know what your final boat #1 will be.
TonyB is spot on. In looking at Autumn Dream, why not go with her for a time? Things that I considered "totally inadequate" (such as my Haier cube refrigerator) are still working, 6.5 years later. Sure, I'd like a sweet little Engel, but what I have is good enough.

You already have a boat so use her and put money into improving her. Financially you'll probably be better -- far better -- than swapping boats. And too, you'll be able to determine what makes you happiest.

Plus you'll know for certain what doesn't work at all.
If you've never traveled in your Autumn Dream I'd definitely keep her for the near term. Living at the dock is far different than being underway.

Out here, on the hook, I see life far more than when in a marina setting. I prefer anchoring -- even though it is extra work. After all, when the tide changes I have to reposition the sun screens.

It's a tough life Autumn, but somehow I manage.

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Binford-i prefer to think of my boat as a hull in the water that holds my soul.
Absolutely... I am happiest in my own world.

I like my stuff and it's all aboard Seaweed. I did not "give up" stuff though Autumn. What I did do is cherry pick out the very best. For instance, I cross-stitch. I got rid of my DMC floss, but kept the silks.

My sewing machine is a Featherweight. And yes, I do quilt aboard. My machine is small, light weight and fits in a dinette bench seat. I do not have a huge collection of fabric any more but I don't miss it either.

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So, what do you really want in life and what are you willing to sacrifice to do it?
Exactly. I gave up nothing. Okay, I did give up hot water on tap. I miss that.

And power is an ongoing issue. Still, after the financial debacle (aka two engine swaps in less than a year does not make a budget happy) it's less than a Boat Buck for total power autonomy. First things first though: I need to pay down the bills, you know?

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But in order to start this new adventure in life we had to pick what was more important, stuff or living on the water.
Life afloat is for me freedom. I could not be happy in one place forever so having a home that moves allows me to stay as long as I wish and yet be ready to leave at a moment's notice.

I am crazy about putting stuff away -- in a 23' boat I almost have to be if I don't want to live in total chaos. And I'm happy knowing that my home is a tranquil sanctuary. I don't need "more."

As mother used to say "The ideal boat sleeps two, feeds four and drinks six."

Still, when the engine cooperates (soon!) I will always be able to leave in less than 15 minutes. Decide it's time to move on? I've done it in five minutes from decision to anchor up and heading up the channel. Normally though it's about ten -- that's not rushing either.

Making sure the items aboard your boat won't move when rocked is important.

I know from experience the upper level of my DVDs on the bookcase in the galley will shift. That's why I figured out a way to add a fiddle and make them stay put. In normal conditions, I never had an issue. Then came Horseshoe Beach and beam seas, and, well, it wasn't pretty.

Each problem is solved in turn. And I keep lists.
For me, happiness is life afloat.

The details (like mail) are a bit of a hassle. Finding a place to receive mail when underway is the issue. In that regard any mobile person has the same problem. Right now I can go to the local post office and all mail comes to me at General Delivery. I've used marinas, SSCA cruising stations and even a dirt dweller's address I met (via VHF) along a river.

Renew your driver's license before you leave and when it comes due, deal with the problem then. In the meantime, enjoy life from the waterways.

I really ran on at the fingers. If you're eyes made it to the end, Thank you!
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:12 PM   #51
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I would be careful about trying out your liveaboard dream on your current boat or any small boat. Your wife might not like the the cramped living quarters and kill the dream. Heck, you might not like it either. So in this regard, I tend to agree with those that suggested chartering a suitable liveaboard boat.

A suggestion about real estate - consider selling your house and buying a multi-unit rental like a duplex or fourplex using your equity as a downpayment. Multi-units make more rental sense than single family homes. Buying a property for investment purposes is also not as hard as renting your home that you have an emotional attachment to. You can always sell the rental property if you decide to move back ashore.

Years ago, I read an article in our local boating newspaper about a couple that went cruising. They sold their house and when they were ready to move back to land five years later, they found out that home prices doubled, pricing them out of the market. I know - it could have gone the other way, but are you willing to take that chance?
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:40 PM   #52
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I would be careful about trying out your liveaboard dream on your current boat or any small boat. Your wife might not like the the cramped living quarters and kill the dream. Heck, you might not like it either. So in this regard, I tend to agree with those that suggested chartering a suitable liveaboard boat.

A suggestion about real estate - consider selling your house and buying a multi-unit rental like a duplex or fourplex using your equity as a downpayment. Multi-units make more rental sense than single family homes. Buying a property for investment purposes is also not as hard as renting your home that you have an emotional attachment to. You can always sell the rental property if you decide to move back ashore.

Years ago, I read an article in our local boating newspaper about a couple that went cruising. They sold their house and when they were ready to move back to land five years later, they found out that home prices doubled, pricing them out of the market. I know - it could have gone the other way, but are you willing to take that chance?
But in Detroit the price of homes probably dropped by half.

Not necessarily the best example...but one of many.

Just because you go cruising doesn't mean you close your eyes to what's going on in the world.

Just like living aboard and planning to do it for 20 years actively cruising...you better be funding an engine replacement, genset replacement, major appliance replacement fund along with the hauling, storage and living in a rental/motel while the work is done fund.

You better be tucking away for a replacement vehicle and possibly a tiny rental/buy in full condo/apartment/house when you choose to move ashore...in reality...whats different than living in a tiny apartment or on a boat when you get older? Not that much if it no longer needs to be seaworthy.

And you Don't have to tuck money away for flat out replacement or replacement ever if that is in the cards...no right answer...only what works for you.

....but every financial argument I have ever heard for living aboard or not can be shot full of holes because there's just an endless set of possibilities that are out there.

The trick is if you have some "absolutes"...those have to have a set of plans to assure them.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:24 AM   #53
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This thread is an interesting read to say the least. My decision to purchase a boat and be a liveaboard came after having a fiance leave, selling my house, changing jobs, and losing some close people in life. I'm not saying dump your house and move on to a boat, everything should be a calculated risk. Let's face it, the world could implode tomorrow...I'm not going to die wondering what it would have been like to do this or that.

Boats are not investments period. I think if you are wise with your money, your investments should support you if the decision came to live back on land. Real estate can be an investment but for the large majority is not. I'm no six figure income guy but the 99% in this country are the 99% for a reason...they suck at spending/saving money. Your porfolio should be diverse enough without a house thrown in the mix. The house should be a bonus and not an ATM as most have used it for in the past till the bubble popped. If you have everything invested in a house hoping it goes up in value to provide a nest egg in the future, you are on some thin ice.

Buy a Mainship and be happy!!!
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:18 AM   #54
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If you compare boat ownership with long term home ownership of course there are glaring differences.

But only if you take into account using your homes equity at some point.

My homes value means nothing to me. The value or money tied up in my house is unusable unless I sell it, or I suppose mortgage it. The ONLY benefit I get from my homes apreciated value is the fact that I pay more taxes to live in it.

If you look at a paid for house and a paid for boat and then started comparing costs I don't think the boat comes out too bad. Boats and homes both need maintenance. They both have taxes, and home property taxes are much higher than a boat in general.

Actually if you look at a "nice" boat and a "nice" home, and consider the money you have wrapped up in both you'll probably find that a house isn't such a good deal after all.

Think about this...

The difference between my boat, (which is a great liveaboard size) taxes, and my home taxes more than pays my boats moorage fees.
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Old 11-06-2014, 01:30 PM   #55
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Hi Janice-
Thank you for all the comments and information - I also found your web site and I am going to check it out. There is a lot of great information there! Autumn Dream is huge compared to your vessel, and everything is truly relative to what any person (or couple!) decides that they need.
For example, for us having a really comfortable place to sit is very important! and yes, I would need to have my portable sewing machine on board... We have a definitive list of MUST HAVES for living on board, and these are very different than the wants for a weekend or occasional week long cruise.

We totally agree on the windlass- last spring we installed a manual windlass and Kevin was absolutely thrilled with the result this boating season- it made anchoring and leaving so much easier for both of us. At 53 and 58, we are definitely aware that we are not as young as we used to be, though we know if we lived aboard, we would be in better shape than being the desk jockey's that we are now.

Our prior two boats were sailboats, and we are not "marina people". We keep Autumn dream on a mooring, and anchor when we take her out. We use her like a sailboat- very stingy with water and electricity usage. We don't like being at a slip - did that for one season with our Jeanneau Espace 1100 and it felt like living in a campground.

Mahal- "I" am "the wife"
Both of us are contemplating this change, and what we are willing to do vs. not willing. Much of it comes down to the "right boat" for how we want to live, can we afford it, and do we want to have this type of lifestyle? We know what we truly want and need to be happy and comfortable - it isn't much, but the list is firm - no compromises.

Right now we are keeping Autumn Dream, and when work permits (next boating season) we will be taking some longer cruises to see how she does. Work keeps getting in the way... Plans are in place to deal with that - but we cannot retire yet.
She does not meet the criteria for a live aboard for us, and that is OK. We are still dreaming and evaluating our long term options.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:40 PM   #56
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Interesting comparison, in this thread about the $$ comparing living on land and in a boat. My two cents, I have lived on land, had a career, owned houses, made money lost money. I have recently retired and am able to buy a boat which I have done, move aboard and cruise. So why wouldn't I?? Because I will loose equity in a house if I sell it?? I will loose money in depreciation on a boat?? If money is your motivation, stay on the hard in your house. And then at that magical age move into a rest home and play bingo. If you want a new life style and an adventure while you are able that most only dream of then forget about the $$, buy a boat move on it, pull up anchor and move on with your life and don't look back. It probably doesn't make sense, but what adventure does in life? Forget about trying to make $$ sense of it. It will drive you crazy and the bottom line is it probably doesn't make $$ sense. But do something crazy, you have worked hard for it and the opportunity to act crazy. You will regret it if you don't when you are setting at that bingo table...........
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Old 11-06-2014, 04:15 PM   #57
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No bingo!!!

For us - it is NOT about the money, or equity. It is not about comparing a boat to a house, or what is a good investment.
It is about the lifestyle choice... and what do we truly want to do? Stay here, use our boat during the short season, and travel? Dump it all, free ourselves of all the possessions that don't really mean anything to us and live aboard and cruise? ... and get away from winter?

Either way, no bingo is involved!

We just made an appointment to look at one of the potential options... because if we don't start looking, we will never decide.
We are not afraid to make major life changing decisions... this wouldn't be the first. But we are engineers, so unfortunately, there is a great deal of deliberation, almost getting to analysis paralysis at times...
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Old 11-06-2014, 04:23 PM   #58
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Engineers, I was raised by one. Lots of deliberation, irritating to one who loves to shoot from the hip (me). He got so much smarter as I got older, sure miss him.
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Old 11-06-2014, 04:53 PM   #59
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Thanks Autumn for the compliments re my website. I'm having a lot of fun with it. And another sewing fan on the waterways is always a good thing. I've got to get the tension on mine readjusted, again. She's a 1937 Singer and is a bit wonky.

I'm a couple decades younger and wonky too. We're well suited.
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:08 PM   #60
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Kevin-good points, most of which we have discovered as well. But you forgot the key point-Your boat moves when and where you want it to and a house doesn't.
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