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Old 04-10-2019, 09:37 AM   #1
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New, unexpected chapter in my life...page one

Howdy~getting divorced at 51, not my choice, anyway, Iím looking to live aboard near our home and travel coastally when I can. I love sailing, but from what I gather, a Trawler is just better for my needs. I can use any and all advice. Never owned a boat, but am on the water a lot, smaller vessels. Budget likely $50k cash purchase with $2k a month budgeted for upkeep, slip, etc.
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:45 AM   #2
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Well...

Yours is a bit different story.

Most guys living on a boat seem to have been married and chose to live on the boat that they already had during their marriage.

First step is to go into this with your eyes wide open. Boats require more frequent repairs than a land home.

If you want some real insite into the lifestyle I’d join the liveaboard boats facebook group and visit www.liveaboard-boats.com These are sites/groups dedicated only to liveaboards on any style boat.

Then when you narrow things down to a trawler style boat, the guys here are the best at helping you choose one.
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:59 AM   #3
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I'm wondering why if you love sailing, you would rule out living on a sailboat?

A sailboat wouldn't be much slower than many trawlers and its probably much easier to find an almost turnkey sailboat for 50K.

If you are in Alexandria, VA, make sure you can find a place to berth you boat for live aboard use. Also, look into whether living on a boat, especially in the Winter, suits your intended new life style.

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Old 04-10-2019, 10:25 AM   #4
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Sorry to hear about your situation.


Start your search for a slip early. Many marinas shy away from liveaboards, especially in "high rent" districts and in some cases owning the actual slip is the best option. I live in your general area and have limited experience on the water on the upper Potomac but do most of my boating on the Bay and more northern tributaries. I have seen craiglist ads for boats that do include liveaboard status conveying with the purchase of the boat.


The new(ish) Wilson bridge has a significantly higher vertical clearance (76') than the old one so a pretty big sailboat is still a viable option. I once delivered a sailboat under the old bridge with a ~48' mast height and the old bridge was only 50' or 55' and it was unsettling to look up.


Best of luck to you in getting through this.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:36 AM   #5
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While foot for foot the trawler has more living space, a sailboat.can be more inexpensive to live on.


One giant factor is how handy you are at repairing ALL boat systems.


$50K and $2K a month puts you at the scrimp and save threshold in my experience aboard 3 different types of liveaboard. So leaning towards an older sailboat around 40 feet would be where I would start my thinking process.


But just a few personal desires can change most everything else except your bottom line.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:16 AM   #6
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Don't look at living aboard simply to save $$$. It won't work out as you expect. I speak from experience having just ended my 3rd multi-year liveaboard situation.



It's a life style choice not a financial choice. If you live aboard vs owning a home one unforeseen cost is that you are very likely to get left behind by the rising costs of home purchases.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:29 AM   #7
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Wow- Thanks!

Wow! Super responses- Thanks so much! I am a good all around handyman- been in the trades & feel confident I could handle most issues myself save a transmission or engine rebuild. Was thinking Trawler over sail, as itís a larger, more open space, and from what I can tell, fuel costs are about even with sail/rigging replacement so itís a financial wash. As Iíve 5-7 years before my kids are independent, this boat will likely see 75% dock time anyway. Plus, the Potomac is a lousy sailing river around DC- anything more than a 4í draft is stuck in the channel. There are a few live aboard marina options- great advice looking for a conveyance with sale!
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:38 PM   #8
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Might think about a sailing catamaran. I love the livability of a cat.
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:45 PM   #9
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Motorsailer is my vote as most sailors motorsail anyway.


But.....sailboats as liveaboatds are like living in a submarine...BUT.... They tend to be easier to heat and cool...with simpler systems if you wish. Sure, not absolutes, but possibilities.


Plus, rigging and sails don't have to be perfect. My friends 42 foot sailboat motors a knot or two faster (huge) and burns 1/2 the fuel because of the waterline length and hull shape If you aren't globetrotting, the sails and rigging can be sub par, just not dangerous and still be useful. A trawler engine if you are running a single better be dang good.
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:15 PM   #10
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Don’t do it at all - too many serious life changes to be considering adding a boat. Wait about a year and see where you are at in your life, then get back here for some good info.
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:23 PM   #11
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If you run into limited liveaboard options in Alexandria, you might also consider widening your marina search to nearby states like N. Carolina or Delaware... not only for availability but there might be tax advantages...... and yes my humble two cents is I agree a trawler would be more liveable.... though in that price range you'll have to go back in years a ways...
Have you looked on Yachtworld? ; go to their advanced search and you can enter all kinds of search parameters including region and price


p.s. XsBank makes a good point; a divorce is a traumatic time, might be good to sleep on a big change like this......
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:49 PM   #12
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I don't know if you are all-in at 50K, or if this is just the money to buy the boat. If you are all in at 50K, my suggestion would be a boat of 35-40K, leaving a contingency for repairs and other unforeseen expenses.

It might not be doable because of the kids, but I have know folks who live-aboarded in Annapolis and commuted to the Washington D.C. area on a daily basis. If you don't want to drive it, there is Maryland Commuter Bus service as an option that goes right downtown D.C. from the Annapolis area.

Good luck and hope you stay an active member of this forum. There is a lot of great advice no matter what type of boat one owns!

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Old 04-10-2019, 08:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Portage_Bay View Post
Don't look at living aboard simply to save $$$. It won't work out as you expect. I speak from experience having just ended my 3rd multi-year liveaboard situation.



It's a life style choice not a financial choice. If you live aboard vs owning a home one unforeseen cost is that you are very likely to get left behind by the rising costs of home purchases.
Letís revisit this post.

I have lived aboard for 25+ years. My moorage, maintenance, and insurance cost have always added up to more than I charge for one of my two bedroom apartments. If saving money was the goal I would be better off renting from myself.

I ended up on my boat because I sold my house to have enough down payment for an apartment complex. If I had bought stocks instead of dirt I would have lost ground on being able to buy dirt again.

Living on a boat is a life style choice. Go to the www.liveaboard-boats.com for all the details.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:42 PM   #14
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I live cheaper on a boat than I could on land.......in MY situation.


I have done better in mutual funds than any home I have owned..... Again MY situations.


While many follow the "it's only for lifestyle" pattern, it is possible to be an inexpensive way to live..... Depending on YOUR situation.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:52 PM   #15
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I live cheaper on a boat than I could on land.......in MY situation.


I have done better in mutual funds than any home I have owned..... Again MY situations.


While many follow the "it's only for lifestyle" pattern, it is possible to be an inexpensive way to live..... Depending on YOUR situation.
You are not wrong, BUT.....

Its very hard to have an apples to apples comparison. If you really want to live cheap, buy an old RV and live on the side of the road, way cheaper than a boat.

And if I bought Amazon stock instead of that apartment complex I would be cruising the world in my Nordhavn 120.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:43 PM   #16
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Donít do it at all - too many serious life changes to be considering adding a boat. Wait about a year and see where you are at in your life, then get back here for some good info.
Ditto this advise. Been there done that etc. But, after itís all said and done, worked out just fine.
Boat shop for a good long while and see whats out there.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:11 AM   #17
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You are not wrong, BUT.....

Its very hard to have an apples to apples comparison. If you really want to live cheap, buy an old RV and live on the side of the road, way cheaper than a boat.

And if I bought Amazon stock instead of that apartment complex I would be cruising the world in my Nordhavn 120.
Absolutely, but a lot of people think only one version is correct.


Like you said difficult to nail down with so many variables, of which only some are controllable.


If so, focus on them as much as desires if saving money is near the top of the list.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:31 AM   #18
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Donít do it at all - too many serious life changes to be considering adding a boat. Wait about a year and see where you are at in your life, then get back here for some good info.
Above is a very valid point... I'd modify it my taking a year to look at as many boats as possible, maybe both sail & trawler; and explore marinas, location, live aboard ability and $.
Network and talk to live aboard and reevaluate budget given your learnings. Then make an informed decision based your expanded knowledge.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:45 AM   #19
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Greetings,
Getting back to the OP...
Mr. SKF. As others have said, not the best time to be considering buying a boat. You freely admit not leaving the dock much so your $2K per month maintenance etc. ($24K/yr) can rent you an awful lot of boats during boating season which in essence might be only 8 months giving you a "rental" budget of $3K/month.
An alternate use of this "spare" money might be vacations with the kids. Rent a boat in the Caribbean...
Not nice to remind you but, at some point you may have to consider a dating budget. A day out on the water just sailing around? Life goes on...

Just throwing some ideas out there and buying a boat is NOT one of them.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:16 AM   #20
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If it were me I would seriously look at a motorsailor. The Cape Dory 300 is a great boat for that. Very roomy and liveable. Here is one I looked at and almost bought. It is in your general area. https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/198...ailor-3200799/ Good Luck!
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