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Old 10-26-2008, 07:57 PM   #1
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Living aboard-Things to think about.

Looks as if we will move aboard our Mainship 350 since we have not found another house that meets the admiral's specs. I'm wondering what we do about things like ; internet service, mail, paying bills, goods storage, etc. We plan to put most of our household stuff in storage, but I'm trying to compose a list of what I'll need to live aboard. We have a good slip with cable TV and parking close by, but I'm wondering if I'll be able to warm the boat sufficiently to be comfortable if the weather turns very cold. Our trawler has all the creature comforts but I worry that there's something that I haven't considered that will crop up and bite me.
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:25 AM   #2
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RE: Living aboard-Things to think about.

Hopefully someone who lives aboard in your NE climate can reply to the keeping warm part of your question. As to internet: ATT has a great high-spped wireless card for internet access. We pay all our bills online. Our son, who is a commercial diver and is gone a lot, has all his bills on automatic payment. The bank automatically MAILS THE RENT CHECK to his apartment complex as they are not set up to rec'v online payments. With all the available technologies, living aboard is now*easier and more comfortable than ever!

I'm not sure what you meant by "goods storage". ???

Only take as much personal stuff onboard as you would pack for a*2 week vacation. I know your wife may have a hard time with that but pass on that advice to her from me. *Lori
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:37 AM   #3
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RE: Living aboard-Things to think about.

And mail, just go to the nearest post office and get a PO Box. Most Marinas have WiFi now. And if no Wifi, get a card like Lori said. I lived aboard a Prairie 29 for 5 years and my GF(now my wife) lived on it with me for 2.5 of that. That model of a Mainship really isn't set up all that well for liveaboard(most boats aren't). The second stateroom would be a good resource/space for storing stuff. The biggest challenge is "clutter control". **** just starts to pile up. If it does pile up, then you either need to find a place for it...store it...or throw it away. If your wife has a shoe fetish, y'all might want to discuss her bringing only the necessary shoes....which literally amounts to about 30 pairs!!!!!! I personally think drawer space is important for being organized and most manufacturers do not put enough drawers or they put a whole bunch of teenie tiny drawers all over the place. Again, I think you are gonna have to find a system to neatly organize stuff in the guest stateroom. If y'all both work and both require nice clothes to work in, that tightens the challenge and you need to find a way to deal with that. Some people put clothes rods in their cars....maybe you could fashion one for the guest staterrom.

Food is also a challenge as you do not have a great amount of food storage.* Just realize that you will be shopping more if you like fresh stuff(fruit, veggies,etc) and you don't have a ton of freezer space.* Really, all you are doing is shrinking everything down.* And as long as you realize that and don't have any false expectations(which should be shrinking as well), y'all will do fine.

Good luck.* We had a great time living together on the boat and miss it.*


-- Edited by Baker at 09:42, 2008-10-27
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:25 PM   #4
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RE: Living aboard-Things to think about.

In cold climes there may/will be a time when heat, sanitation, domestic water, and AC power will be an issue.* The more you due the more you SO will tolerate living aboard.* Just getting on/off the boat, walking the dock, the ramps and the parking lot can be issues especially with the cold, rain, wind of winter and wearing heavier clothing.* What may seem simple and not an issue to you may/will become a big issue for her.*

*
The biggest error male SO make is assuming the SO will be able to continue the same domestic functions?* BIG BIG WRONG! *Its not things most males would even think about, like going to the bathroom, shower, laundry, grocery shopping* and just getting to and from can be taunting for an SO.* Look I tell males they personal have to be able to do everything on their tip toes, actually wearing heels, with one hand tied behind your back to make things equal.* Most SO will have one or both arms full, may be wearing street shoe/heels, and may not have the strength required.

*
All the live aboard males on our dock do the majority of the heavier domestic work and many times accompany their SO. Being a live aboard in cold climes can/is a lot more dangerous and demanding than living on the dirt.* So, its sort of like dating over again, the more you do to show your attention and the less your SO has to do the better the changes of living aboard.

*
On the PMM site under Live aboard there are several must read discussion. **I believe Keith wrote the best post.* So start*thinking about the basic little stuff first as those are the ones that will *wear on your SO and you..

*

*
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:03 AM   #5
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RE: Living aboard-Things to think about.

There is a magazine Living Aboard you might find it in a boating store, it deals with the issues of what else, living aboard. They may have a website.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:34 AM   #6
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RE: Living aboard-Things to think about.

As a past and future liveaboard, I can tell you it's great! You'll be kinda like a gypsy though, with no real street address, which everyone wants / has to have. I still owned property which I had rented out while I lived aboard, so when I went to the UPS store to get a mailbox, I had a street address for the paperwork. You HAVE to provide them with a valid street address to get the box (federal regulations post 9/11) so if you don't have an actual house, you could probably get away with the street address of the marina. Don't try to get your stuff delivered to the marina, because it may not be reliable. I had problems with the letter carrier refusing to deliver to ME at the marina, since I was not the business or an employee. Also, every time you buy something on the Internet, you'll get on a junk mail list. The UPS store (or other) mailbox service is great, because they can sign for packages, certified mail, etc.; receive faxes, motor freight shipments, and forward stuff to you if you're out cruising. A must have. One more tip... when you forward mail from whatever address you're using now, do not check the "permanent" address change box, use "temporary" for 6 months. If you check "permanent" they will sell your new address to the junk mailers.

Think about how you will handle your sewage. This is one of the main reasons others don't like liveaboards, too many over the years have just dumped raw sewage into their marina. We're lucky to have a little boat that comes around to our dock to pump us out. You could also leave the slip to go to a pumpout station, or use a Lectrasan if allowed. Something to think about.

Finally, I got really tired of poor TV reception, and with no cable at the dock, I finally installed a DirecTv system which was wonderful! I did put it on a Track-It TV mount, so it worked underway and when we arrived at new marinas. Now with so many stations already broadcasting in digital, that may not be as big a problem. My last trip down the coast proved that you can get crystal clear TV (and more channels to boot) via the digital converter box than we could ever get with any type of directional or omni tv antenna on the boat before.

Finally (for now!) if your marina doesn't have a good supply of dock carts, you'll probably want one of your own. Nothing's more frustrating than coming back from a grocery shopping trip and no dock carts in sight. Hunting around a hot marina in the summer for a dock cart while your frozen food melts in the car is not a good attitude adjuster.*
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:58 PM   #7
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RE: Living aboard-Things to think about.

Thanks for all the replies. We are making a stack of stuff in one corner of the house to take to the boat. The biggie will be reliable internet service. I must have it for work. The marina owner has a IS thru the local cable company and has a wireless router. He has said he did not mind if I piggy back on his service, but I worry about security as I will be paying all my bills online. I tried with a friends laptop once and picked up a "Capn Wire" wireless service, but don't know anything about them. An ATT card may be the way to go. Since we do not have pumpout, we will have to motor to another marina close by for that. I think storage will be the biggest thing. Learning to pare down what we need. Thanks again!
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Old 11-01-2008, 05:58 AM   #8
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RE: Living aboard-Things to think about.

If you're not in a "no discharge" zone, you might think about installing a Lectra-San to treat and dump your sewage each use. Sure more convenient than a trip to another marina weekly.
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