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Old 10-04-2014, 12:21 PM   #1
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Any Regrets?

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.
Any comments out there? I don't mean to start a firestorm, I am truly interested in the other side of the discussion.

We are both very practical engineers and would go into any decision like this with eyes wide open...

Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:31 PM   #2
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Going into our 4th year of liveaboard. No major regrets. We did get caught out in the Atlantic Ocean this week in rough seas. Our new microwave flew across the cabin and smashed to pieces; regretted that but probably my fault for not securing it better. During that offshore ride I regretted ever setting foot on a boat. Once we were safely in port and anchored, a scotch on the rocks in hand, all was well again. Try it, you'll like it if you are both into it as we are. Howard
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:41 PM   #3
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I lived aboard a 30' boat being single and when I met my future wife decided to move up into a good liveaboard. We found the GB42 perfect for us. It has an aft cabin and the mother-in-law plan with the V berth cabin and large head. This worked perfect for us and any guests we had aboard.

We lived aboard Heads Up for 20 years. I lived aboard the 30 for five. I would still be a live aboard of it wasn't for the teak decks needing replacement.

When you make that commitment to live aboard there has to be some rules you live by. One very important rule we had was once the boat had the necessities, anything new brought aboard, something old had to be tossed. Once a year we went through the cabinets and all drawers and tossed out old clothes we weren't wearing or items never used. This keeps the waterline up, better fuel economy and eliminates clutter.

We also shared cleaning and cooking. Once aboard the outdoors becomes important and we always spent time in the cockpit or on the dock. It's a great lifestyle.

Enjoy!!!
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:46 PM   #4
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I have lived aboard a Westsail 32 sailboat, a Morgan 46 sailboat, a Bluewater 47 Motoryacht and a C&C 57 sailboat. All the sailboats were in the Caribbean Sea or New England and Florida. The Bluewater was in Florida. I was in my 30's and 40's ans single when I did this. I am currently preparing to move aboard a Pilgrim 40 for hopefully a 2-3 year stint of living aboard and travel on the East Coast doing a snowbird thing. Living aboard is not for everyone! And living aboard while cruising is totally different than living aboard while carrying on a typical USA work/play lifestyle. My time living aboard in the Caribbean was the best time of my life. Other than family and friends back in the USA my whole world was in my boat and what I could see with my eyes. I did not miss all the stuff that didn't make it onto my little home one bit! I could literally change my whole life by raising the anchor and setting the sails, and did on more than one occasion! But I am a vagabond at heart and can live without many comforts that other, saner, folks desire. Living aboard a boat regardless of size and complexity will always have a flavor of camping out! Looking back I would have regretted living in a house in my hometown! I am returning to living aboard because I miss the lifestyle. It will be different because I am older, and the coastal cruising is better suited for me at this point. I wish you luck!
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Old 10-04-2014, 01:01 PM   #5
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From my experience, the people who moved back aboard did it for family or relationship reasons. Cruising and living aboard is a marriage amplifier. If your marriage is great, it'll become better. If there are problems, you can bet they'll come up.

Other than that, it's quite rare for people to regret the things they've tried in their life. However, the most common death-bed regret is NOT doing some of the things they could have done and not taking more risks.
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Old 10-04-2014, 01:38 PM   #6
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From my experience, the people who moved back aboard did it for family or relationship reasons. Cruising and living aboard is a marriage amplifier. If your marriage is great, it'll become better. If there are problems, you can bet they'll come up.
.
This really comes to light in cruising. I've seen the best couples split after starting a cruise. Some didn't make it from LA to Cabo San Lucas.
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:34 PM   #7
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THanks!

Thanks for all the comments- we have had many serious discussions about what "stuff" we really need to be content, and all the rest that can go.

We have to find the right vessel to make the jump, and are starting to explore this now.

Part of my discomfort is the unknown- what do you do about an address for driver's license, passports, etc. For some reason I am kind of hung up on the need to know all these little details. Kevin doesn't seem to have any concerns about this.

Can anyone recommend a good resource for "how to become a vagabond"?
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:55 PM   #8
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Autumn-I think there are several threads here on the address thing, a search should find them. In short, if you are on the move, it boils down to two options (1) use a family member's (or good friend's) address and have them update you on the mail, or (2) use an address service like St Brendan's Isle on the East Coast or Dockside Solutions on the West Coast. You can get details from their websites. In general, a fairly easy problem to solve.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:26 PM   #9
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Great!
Thank you.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:34 PM   #10
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I started messing around on the water with the Army driving and instructing on amphibians in the UK & Germany.
After the Army and starting a business just getting away from the office with the family on a 9 foot dinghy camping on riverbanks and islands was a brilliant family bonding time .
Trading up every couple of years as I could afford it, then after a divorce moving on a 33' motor cruiser and running the business while a full time live-aboard, that was in 1985 and I'm still living on board and no plans to go ashore.
Don't be afraid, by all means do the research, but set the date ! and don't procrastinate, put your personal stuff in storage and rent out your house to a, give you an income, b, have a way back if you don't like it.
You'll find live-aboards have a unique bond of friendship and are very sociable and friendly, as in all walks of life you get the odd arsehole but your bullshit detector will soon sniff them out and you move politely on.
Go for it and Good Luck.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:25 AM   #11
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Autum- I am glad you started the "any regrets" thread. I am on a 16 month plan to to sell it all and move aboard. My situation is a little different as I have a wonderful woman in my life that lives on the hard. I will spend some time there so actually a partial live aboard for me. I will be selling everything including a house in order to accomplish this dream. Anyone else done it this way? Going all in? Loosing out on future equity in a house? I am in my late 40's. Ok 49.

I say go for it Autumn! If you have been dreaming it, do it. Don't look back and regret not doing it.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:02 AM   #12
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Have done it 2X since my mid 40's.

A marriage in between put me back on the hard for a bit but that was only for 10 years...still used the boat a lot as a weekend condo and fished it pretty hard as it was a sportfish and diesel was still $2 or under a gallon.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:07 AM   #13
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Have done it 2X since my mid 40's.
Any regrets? Loosing future equity in house is my only BIG hang up.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:37 AM   #14
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Any regrets? Loosing future equity in house is my only BIG hang up.
You are making a big assumption on that. A lot of people are still underwater on their home purchases and there is the possibility of future price deflation not to mention real estate taxes, mortgage interest, home owners insurance, maintenance, landscaping and yard care, HOA fees, water, sewage, electricity and the like. IMHO, real estate is over hyped and over rated.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:49 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the comments- we have had many serious discussions about what "stuff" we really need to be content, and all the rest that can go.

We have to find the right vessel to make the jump, and are starting to explore this now.

Part of my discomfort is the unknown- what do you do about an address for driver's license, passports, etc. For some reason I am kind of hung up on the need to know all these little details. Kevin doesn't seem to have any concerns about this.

Can anyone recommend a good resource for "how to become a vagabond"?
There's a big difference between being a live aboard with a full time slip in one location, and becoming a traveling "vagabond". If you want to be a vagabond, check in with the America's Great Loop Cruiser association folks for insight.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:07 AM   #16
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I want to address the "living aboard is camping out." I never ever felt that way on my boat. I have two bedrooms, two baths, kitchen, living room, patio and an ocean sized pool. To put it in landlubber terms.

My only regret is I didn't cruise enough. I'm going to fix that now that I'm able to remodel the boat and get her in ship shape.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:26 AM   #17
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Any regrets? Loosing future equity in house is my only BIG hang up.
That is something liveaboards need to consider, but there is a flip side to that.

IF, and IF is a big word here...

If you choose to liveaboard as a permanent lifestyle then you have the same effect as a dirt home being paid off, IE free rent forever.

Yes, you have moorage, but you have costs associated with a dirt home as well, and I believe that a liveaboard lifestyle is probably comparable or lower in cost to a dirt home lifestyle.

The problem you face in choosing liveaboard (and not owning and paying off a dirt home over time) is that it is not generally practical to give up the liveaboard life and use the proceeds of the boat sale to fund a home purchase, although it is of course possible.

I think for most the key to liveaboard being viable is to do it later in life, keeping the dirt home, and "trying out" the liveaboard lifestyle.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:00 PM   #18
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I'm also considering selling everything (including the house) and buying a live-aboard.
I've herd mixed things about renting.. and based on what I've read about financing a 70's/80's era boat, it just seems like a headache I'd like to avoid.

There is always a rental management company, which I've herd some good things about (if you find the right one).. but without the equity from the house, there comes the boat loan, and/or a serious delay in your dream.

The biggest thing I've learned is that a house is just another possession. Yes, it retains it's value, and even increases, but you can't hold onto it forever or it will always hold you back. I'm going to detach from a lifestyle of, "possessions" and live where I want, when I want. The house is just a stepping stone.

Mowing the lawn, fixing the leaks, replacing the water heater, this, that... and then add a boat onto that? No way.

I'll be working on my boat via laptop and monitor arm, debt free. I couldn't ask for a better "retirement".

Hope it works out for you!
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:19 PM   #19
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I'm also considering selling everything (including the house) and buying a live-aboard.
I've herd mixed things about renting.. and based on what I've read about financing a 70's/80's era boat, it just seems like a headache I'd like to avoid.
Work with a specialty marine lender, and you shouldn't have any problems at all. We insure boats from 1902 to present, and (contrary to the populist brain trust) we see liens on older vessels all the time. The key is to NOT work with a lending institution that is not familiar with marine lending.

As for living aboard- I've been onboard for 5 years, my fiance for 4, and we both love it. Sure, there are times when the space of a conventional dwelling would be nice- but we've agreed that we'd much rather have the lack of space, of stuff, and the richer (not just monetarily) lifestyle we enjoy.

As said above- set your date and do it.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:43 PM   #20
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The biggest thing I've learned is that a house is just another possession. Yes, it retains it's value, and even increases, but you can't hold onto it forever or it will always hold you back. I'm going to detach from a lifestyle of, "possessions" and live where I want, when I want. The house is just a stepping stone.
part of my decision in based on down sizing possession. I never considered that the house is just another possession. Great point made there. Also, living where ever I want without being tied down sounds pretty darn good. Thanks for the great insight.
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