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Old 07-06-2013, 12:50 PM   #61
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I was an officer in the navy many years ago. I only lived aboard ship while we were on deployment. Otherwise, I lived in an apartment when the ship was in port. I don't think that living on a trawler or houseboat would even compare with being onboard a naval vessel. I shared a stateroom with one other officer. It wasn't huge, but there was more than enough storage for my clothes. But, on the other hand, I wore khakis every day and only needed enough civilian clothes to go on liberty a few days every few weeks. Living alone on a small boat wouldn't even compare. Even though I was in the navy, I don't think that really gives me much of an idea as to what the maintenance requirements of a boat would be.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:20 PM   #62
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A really NICE trawler can be had for $75k. It would cost at least double that for a marginal condo with a view, but no actual access to the water. And that view would be only of a channel, not the actual bay. But, on the other hand, in ten years, the condo would be worth more than you originally bought it for, while the trawler might be worth half of what you bought it for. But, on the other and, during those ten years, most of your condo payments would have been towards tax and interest, so the only actual equity would be in the appreciation. You won't get back any of the taxes and interest you paid, so that part is a pure expense.

If you bought a condo for $150k, your minimum payments would be around $1,000/mo. In ten years, you would have paid around $120k, plus HOA dues, and some maintenance. A small amount of that would have gone against the actual mortgage. If you sold it and pocketed the equity, you may have still spent the same amount as if you had bought a boat that depreciated.

Unless you have enough money to pay a house off, for the first ten or fifteen years, you are really just renting it from the bank.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:48 PM   #63
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Most liveaboards were boaters already therefore the financial comparison is owning a house and boat vs. owning just a boat, instead of paying for a house vs. paying for a boat. For a boater who's willing to live-aboard, it's no secret that living on your boat and selling or renting your home is the cheaper route.

So Tuffy you situation is different but you seem to have your $ calculations on track. Although I don't know about a $150k condo. I thought homes of that price point can only be found in other countries. I watch the TV show "House Hunters International"

Good luck to you.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:55 PM   #64
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Here is an example of a condo on the water in Corpus Christi, with sale pending of $110K.

Corpus Christi Texas Homes for Sale & Corpus Christi Real Estate - Zillow

1 bed, 1 bath, no garage, 3rd floor. Ain't much. You can see the channel, but not the bay, and can't actually touch the water. It is like going to a party but being made to sit in the corner for being bad. If you want a condo with a deck that actually backs up to the water, you will spend twice this much. A house on a channel in Corpus will be $350K and upwards. It looks to me like if all you are going to do is sit inside the house, then you are wasting your money on a house on the water. But, if you are going to sit in the backyard so you can see the water, then you might as well get something that is really on the water, and not just the channel.

Do you agree with me then that compared to buying a house or a condo, that even allowing for depreciation of the boat, that living on the boat still costs less, or did I misunderstand you?
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:55 PM   #65
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A former member of this forum would say that the annual cost of boat maintenance and ownership is "about 10% of the purchase price". That assumes that the boat was paid with cash and is not mortgaged.

I have found the 10% estimate is about right. You may go a few years without much expenditures then a generator will need work or replacement, etc.
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Old 07-06-2013, 03:01 PM   #66
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So if I bought a boat for $50,000, I might pay as much as $5,000 per year on maintenance? Wow, that is a lot! If that is paid in addition to marina fees, you are getting close to the mortgage of a moderately priced house quickly.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:14 PM   #67
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So if I bought a boat for $50,000, I might pay as much as $5,000 per year on maintenance? Wow, that is a lot! If that is paid in addition to marina fees, you are getting close to the mortgage of a moderately priced house quickly.
That 10% number, while for a segment of boating is just that....

That's like saying the cost of maintaining a home is a certain percentage of the original cost...but in reality that number can be all over the map depending on the home, location, how you decide to landscape it, pools and hot tubs, etc...etc...etc...

The number can be anything you want it to be but will never be lower than your basic slip rent and a few more dollars for miscellaneous. It varies greatly from how you use the boat to how you take care of things to how or even if you fix things yourself.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:37 PM   #68
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Here is an example of a condo on the water in Corpus Christi, with sale pending of $110K.

Corpus Christi Texas Homes for Sale & Corpus Christi Real Estate - Zillow

1 bed, 1 bath, no garage, 3rd floor. Ain't much. You can see the channel, but not the bay, and can't actually touch the water. It is like going to a party but being made to sit in the corner for being bad. If you want a condo with a deck that actually backs up to the water, you will spend twice this much. A house on a channel in Corpus will be $350K and upwards. It looks to me like if all you are going to do is sit inside the house, then you are wasting your money on a house on the water. But, if you are going to sit in the backyard so you can see the water, then you might as well get something that is really on the water, and not just the channel.

Do you agree with me then that compared to buying a house or a condo, that even allowing for depreciation of the boat, that living on the boat still costs less, or did I misunderstand you?
I agree with you. I've always been under the impression that it is cheaper to live on a boat than a house if your desire is to live near the water, but that link of yours may just change my mind. That condo looks like a good value.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:47 PM   #69
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10% is far from an etched in stone amount as indicated however it is a fairly safe estimate for budgetary purposes. Keep in mind that number is a guesstimate to be averaged over several years. Like many things in boating it depends on a variety of parameters.

A gentleman in my marina lives aboard a rather nice 40' houseboat. Talking with him a few times he states he doesn't spend 10% annually, however he agrees its a good starting guesstimate. Another marina friend has a 35' classic woodie cruiser that looks like a piece of fine furniture and he feels 20% is a more accurate number.

For my purposes it will be pretty accurate, if averaged out over several years of course.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:08 PM   #70
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..... If that is paid in addition to marina fees, you are getting close to the mortgage of a moderately priced house quickly.
The 10% estimate includes marina fees. It doesn't include any financing one may have on their boat; monthly payments, interest, etc.

Craig is correct. Many years may pass to realize the 10% costs. You may enjoy your boat without serious expenditures for months or even years. Then, all of a sudden, you have to replace fuel tanks, repair decks, replace an engine, etc.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:37 PM   #71
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Sorry guys....10% is just a WAG....not even a starting place...it's like asking someone their medical costs a year.

If you do all your own work with stuff from Home Depot and you have a lot to do in one year...that's gonna be a lot different than at a upscale marina doing the work from their parts department.

If you have a house boat and throw up some FRG panels, buy furniture from Pier 4, throw away the water pump because you are always at the dock....it's NO WHERE"S CLOSE to the numbers of an active cruiser who doesn't lift a finger.....especially if you use throwaway window shakers and apartment fridges instead of $2000 Marineairrrr units and a $1200 Norcold ac/dc fridge.

Living aboard a run of the mill house boat in reasonable shape might cost $25000 dollars to purchase and not cost a penny in maintenance for years. Then it might cost $5000 in one year cause you want some improvements...but it's all up to the owner what they decide...not some fixed number.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:29 PM   #72
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A really NICE trawler can be had for $75k. It would cost at least double that for a marginal condo with a view, but no actual access to the water. And that view would be only of a channel, not the actual bay. But, on the other hand, in ten years, the condo would be worth more than you originally bought it for, while the trawler might be worth half of what you bought it for. But, on the other and, during those ten years, most of your condo payments would have been towards tax and interest, so the only actual equity would be in the appreciation. You won't get back any of the taxes and interest you paid, so that part is a pure expense.

If you bought a condo for $150k, your minimum payments would be around $1,000/mo. In ten years, you would have paid around $120k, plus HOA dues, and some maintenance. A small amount of that would have gone against the actual mortgage. If you sold it and pocketed the equity, you may have still spent the same amount as if you had bought a boat that depreciated.

Unless you have enough money to pay a house off, for the first ten or fifteen years, you are really just renting it from the bank.

I get all that! But a boat that cannot move, that's ridiculous!
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:31 PM   #73
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Sorry guys....10% is just a WAG....not even a starting place...it's like asking someone their medical costs a year.

If you do all your own work with stuff from Home Depot and you have a lot to do in one year...that's gonna be a lot different than at a upscale marina doing the work from their parts department.

If you have a house boat and throw up some FRG panels, buy furniture from Pier 4, throw away the water pump because you are always at the dock....it's NO WHERE"S CLOSE to the numbers of an active cruiser who doesn't lift a finger.....especially if you use throwaway window shakers and apartment fridges instead of $2000 Marineairrrr units and a $1200 Norcold ac/dc fridge.

Living aboard a run of the mill house boat in reasonable shape might cost $25000 dollars to purchase and not cost a penny in maintenance for years. Then it might cost $5000 in one year cause you want some improvements...but it's all up to the owner what they decide...not some fixed number.
Seriously! If I could buy a home for $25k and live in it for as little maintenance as that, I would be crazy not to do it. A guy could put away a pretty good nest egg living like that, and have a pretty good time in the process!

One thing I haven't mentioned is the fact that I am retired military, and I can rent a center console bay boat from NAS CC. That means I can take out a nice bay boat without having to buy, store, and maintain it. I also have access to nice sailboats without having to buy, store, and maintain.

That makes the houseboat idea all the more attractive. A great view of the water, a great place to relax, plenty of room for a grill, a real refrigerator. And then on the weekend I can go fishing or sailing on nicer boats that I don't even own. What a deal! Thanks for the suggestion of getting a houseboat.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:39 PM   #74
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Now you're talkin'! We just took the long way around of helping you decide what you want a "boat" to do. You really don't want a boat. So a floating club house, whether under its own power or not, fits the bill. In that case psneeld's suggestion of using bits and pieces from the big box store will work and you can throw out that notion of 10% annually for maintenance. Great! Good luck. Let us know how it turns out!
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:51 PM   #75
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You guys are better than going to see a psychologist. You are right. I don't want to buy a trawler to go boating in. I want to be free to go fishing and sailing on boats that I wouldn't really want to live on. I just want to live on the water in something that isn't going to tie me down, for less money than buying a real house. How cool would it be to sit on deck and do work on my computer rather than be in the office, or walk down to the commercial shrimp boats and buy a couple pounds of shrimp to throw in a pot of boiling water?
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:55 AM   #76
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With the desire of simply living on the water , not heroicaly putting up a river or canal , there is zero need for a "trawler".

A house boat will be far cheaper and frankly a better place to live.

IF some use is desired a gasoline boat like a 36 Uniflite can be had for $5,000 to $10,000 and will cost the same in a slip as any other 36 ft boat.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:34 PM   #77
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Can't help a lifetimes worth of keen observation, telling the truth and being stationed near many towns when in the USCG that have tried to throw out all the "vagrant" boaters...

We've got a number of dock rats whom to lesser degrees meet your description but to your point, they are friendly, know everyone and they watch out for your boat. A totally acceptable trade off.

What pisses me off are the guys who have boats in the marina(12-15 year wait list) that never take the boat out. I bet 30% of the boats have not left the slip in 2 years. That is disgusting. Put they pay their fees so the marina can't touch them.

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As one who'd entertain the idea of berthing at your marina I couldn't agree more. 15 years is a bit longer than I'm willing to wait though. I hate dining at the eateries with a marina view there seeing basically what amounts to derelict boats in potential vacant slips.
I think the problem here is you 2 guys are in California where there are limited numbers of natural inlets and locations for marinas,....so they are in short supply??

In other areas of the US, there are many more marinas, and nowadays slip space and rental rates are more negotiable with the current depressed boating economy.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:37 PM   #78
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Who in their right mind would want a boat that could not move? Buy a condo overlooking the water!
Much more expensive proposition,...the condo on land. I'll give you a fine example a little later.

Actually Keith came up with some excellent reasoning as well
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Depending on the paint, you can get longer times. I go five years using Petit Trinidad. Assuming you even bother, just get it towed once every 5 years to and from the shipyard.

Let's see, boat vs. condo...no property tax, no association fees, no school taxes, no mud taxes, easier to move the boat, better neighbors, closer to the water...the list goes on.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:48 PM   #79
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My liveaboard neighbor has his "ducks lined up." Besides the houseboat for living, he has an adjacent sailboat which, unfortunately, hasn't been out for five years.

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Old 03-02-2014, 09:54 PM   #80
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A really NICE trawler can be had for $75k. It would cost at least double that for a marginal condo with a view, but no actual access to the water. And that view would be only of a channel, not the actual bay. But, on the other hand, in ten years, the condo would be worth more than you originally bought it for, while the trawler might be worth half of what you bought it for. But, on the other and, during those ten years, most of your condo payments would have been towards tax and interest, so the only actual equity would be in the appreciation. You won't get back any of the taxes and interest you paid, so that part is a pure expense.

If you bought a condo for $150k, your minimum payments would be around $1,000/mo. In ten years, you would have paid around $120k, plus HOA dues, and some maintenance. A small amount of that would have gone against the actual mortgage. If you sold it and pocketed the equity, you may have still spent the same amount as if you had bought a boat that depreciated.

Unless you have enough money to pay a house off, for the first ten or fifteen years, you are really just renting it from the bank.
SPOT on !!
Something for all those real estate 'investors' to consider.
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