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Old 04-05-2016, 09:19 AM   #21
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We became a live aboard not intending and not knowing much. My wife found and bought the Eagle 21 years and we been a live aboard for 19 years as dock queen condo as it was the biggest boat we could afford. It was not live aboard ready so we had to add and up grade. Wr did not know we were a live aboard until we notice s LAB fee, live a board as we were staying and working on the boat so much.

For a full time live aboard thearea and the marina are equal or more important than the boat. Sanitation pump out marina facilities, toilet shower laundry and live a board friendly. The boat should be more live a aboard comfort, and easy getting on and off the boat. We have seen thousand of liv aboard come and go for a number of reasons. Mostly because the boat and Marian and they were not live a board ready.

So talk and walk the marinas and talk to the marinas, and live aboards.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:25 AM   #22
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Nice. Good info. Thank you.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:27 AM   #23
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Ok. Thank you all for your responses. I will be working full time. I make a little over 50 k year so I have some disposable income to fix a boat up. I'm mechanically inclined with combustible engines and I've owned rental properties where I've done all the work myself. I'm 42 years old, been single for 15 years, raised an 18 year old on my own, and have a zest for life. Geez, I feel like I'm filling out the "about me" section of an online dating site. Lol. WiFi and electric is a must at a marina. Freshwater because I'm more confident around freshwater having grown up on Lake Ontario and the finger lakes in NY. I prefer to fish and swim in freshwater. The reason I want to liveaboard is primarily because I'm a minamalist. I don't need much. I live in a 1000 Sq ft house right now and except for my weight room, it seems big to me. What else would be pertinent to helping me make a decision? This is good stuff, guys (and girls). Keep it coming!
What would be pertinent still is the following:

How much are you prepared to pay for the boat?

Do you want to just live on it or to also move around and enjoy the water oni it?

What type of work do you do and what kind of areas would your job skills be transferable to? This becomes important in choosing locations. Also, many jobs in Rochester, NY will not earn the same in some areas of the south.

How do you feel about a small land locked inland lake vs. a lake on a navigable river vs. coastal?

Why houseboat vs. cruiser or trawler?

Your question of those who have successfully done it vs those who haven't really depend very much on the answers to these questions. Those for whom living aboard has been a dismal failure will not be posting on this site or other boating sites. Only the survivors here. No different than those who purchased a trawler and found it to be the worst decision of their lives, lost it in foreclosure, it bankrupted them, and they don't ever want to see a boat again. They aren't here. Yet, they do exist.

This is a site composed only of those who have found they enjoyed boats and for whom it has become an important part of their lives. So, we're a very biased group and a narrow demographic when it comes to how our experiences have gone.

We still have no insight into why you want to do this. It sounds honestly like you've raised your teenager and now are looking for a major life change, but are you just looking for change for change's sake or is living on a boat something that has drawn you to it for years? Have you had great experiences on a boat or just longed from a distance? Still, why a houseboat? What appeals to you about it?

I see you having three choices for year round "houseboat" living and I would rent and try any of these options that appeal to you. 1-Inland River like the Cumberland or Tennessee. Still seasonal. 2-Inland landlocked lake like Lanier or Powell or Havasu. Still seasonal but warmer than Cumberland. There are rentals available in both #1 and #2 for you to try. 3-Trawler or cruiser along the coast. I'd suggest a charter along the west coast of FL to check that type living out. We're talking a 30-50' Grand Banks or similar type boat along the coast and capable of coastal cruising.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:48 AM   #24
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You said you have basically no boating experience so my suggestion would be to start a little smaller, maybe an outboard runabout type boat. Get some experience, and have some fun, see if you really like it.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:59 AM   #25
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Greetings,
Mr. 89. Two of the cons that immediately come to mind are increased hull fouling (barnacles/algae-weeds) and increased corrosion due to the salt atmosphere. One other thing to consider if you are planning a southern retreat is weather. Specifically hurricanes. Depending on where you locate, dangers could be the same in salt as well as in fresh water.

Edit: One thing that has not been mentioned yet, unless I missed it, is finding a location that even allows living aboard. Yet another thing to consider...

Another thought...Boating is not necessarily cheap. It can be IF carefully planned out but consider IF one puts all their eggs in one basket (boat) and that basket sinks, you will pretty well have to start over.

I know of an older retired couple, really GREAT people who live aboard their 40' sail boat. I suspect they're both on SS and don't have lots of $$. Chuck told me one time if their boat ever sank they'd be totally screwed because that boat and it's contents were all their worldly possessions.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:06 AM   #26
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Good info, people. All of you are extremely helpful. However, I don't understand what the reason I want to live full time on a boat has anything to do with anything. Can you explain why that's important? I've thought long and hard about it and I'm in the beginning of the beginning of planning stages to do it. I'm ready for the challenge and I'm committed.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:20 AM   #27
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A couple other things. The water just like land is zoned for the use and kind of boat. Most marinas have restriction as to weather live aboard are allowed, and what kind of boat is allowed, no project boats, and no barges and house boats that tended to be tied to the dock. So make sure you ask the marina.

Brackish water, fresh and salt mix is good compromise. We moor in brackish water. Fresh water is lighter than salt so the fresh floating on top, so the boat might be moored in fresh water.

Lastly even though you are not married now, it's still best to have a female prospective, as they tend to pay more attention to creature comfort and easy of walking to the boat getting on off the boat, get in out of the boat. If not tie one arm to you back and restrict you legs to half stride, if you can not the boat is not a good live aboard. My wife found and bought a great live a board boat. Females are usually the first to move off the boat.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:23 AM   #28
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Good info, people. All of you are extremely helpful. However, I don't understand what the reason I want to live full time on a boat has anything to do with anything. Can you explain why that's important? I've thought long and hard about it and I'm in the beginning of the beginning of planning stages to do it. I'm ready for the challenge and I'm committed.
Because your reason for wanting to do it has a very direct relationship to what boat and where would make sense as well as to whether you'll end up being happy doing it and find it meets your expectations.

Reasons we choose to do things correlate to how it works out for us.

Good luck with your plans.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:25 AM   #29
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Greetings,
Mr. 89. "...has anything to do with anything..." I think I understand your point. MY point is that at 42 years old you've lived on solid ground with a roof over your head and moving aboard a boat is a major lifestyle change. You're afloat man with all the differences, combinations and permutations that such a move suggests, as mentioned above and I'm sure below.

Yup, everyone has to live somewhere but IMHO, you will possibly face as many challenges moving aboard as you would moving to China. Language being the least of your worries.

That being said, go forth with your eyes open. Do your homework and enjoy yourself.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:36 AM   #30
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Perhaps the best litmus test would be to rent one on a lake for a week. Even if you do not move it you would have some idea what life might have in store for you.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:25 AM   #31
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Perhaps the best litmus test would be to rent one on a lake for a week. Even if you do not move it you would have some idea what life might have in store for you.
Look at go on and rent in the worse weather. There are far more live a board in the nice wrather, not many year around. Humidity condensation in thre boat is usually a concern problem. Its the cold rainy, windy winter months more do not make it through.

Being a live a board is not easy, and is expensive than living on the dirt. This surprises most newbies
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:42 AM   #32
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Edit: One thing that has not been mentioned yet, unless I missed it, is finding a location that even allows living aboard. Yet another thing to consider...
Meant to add that, too. JJ: many marinas don't allow liveaboards at all, some only after personal inspection (of both you and your boat), some do but charge an extra fee... and so forth. As you develop ideas on candidate locations, you could at the same time see what likely marinas might be useful in that area. You can review threads here for ideas, because the "where?" question has been asked before. Then you can also check activecaptain.com for reviews on specific marinas.


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However, I don't understand what the reason I want to live full time on a boat has anything to do with anything. Can you explain why that's important?
Different boats -- with different systems aboard -- answer the "why?" better than others... so it sometimes depends on what the "why?" is. Knowing that in turn makes it easier to help you focus on the types of boats that might speak best to your intentions.

If you look at everyone's avatar, for example, you'll see lots of boats that could (and maybe already do) qualify for living aboard... but many do that in much different ways... to meet the needs of individual owners and their intent.


Of course, then there's RT's avatar...




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Old 04-05-2016, 12:17 PM   #33
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Because your reason for wanting to do it has a very direct relationship to what boat and where would make sense as well as to whether you'll end up being happy doing it and find it meets your expectations.

Reasons we choose to do things correlate to how it works out for us.

Good luck with your plans.
That is the exact answer to your question and DO NOT disregard it. We are not trying to pry into your personal business. How you plan on USING the boat will determine the type of boat you should consider. The biggest failure of any boat buying experience is the distance between expectations(the dream) and reality. If those two things are far apart, your venture will be a failure. If those two things are in line with each other, then your venture will have a good chance of being a success. All we are trying to do is get an idea of your expectations...hence this pervading question. If we get an idea of your expectations, then we can give you REAL answers. Until then, we are just shooting(a shotgun no less) in the dark.
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:23 PM   #34
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Another very important point that BandB brings up is "passion". The vast majority of us on here are VERY passionate about boating. I am getting ready to have to go to work on a PERFECT 75 degree cloudless day and the only thing I can think about is being on my boat. That PASSION is what has got us to this point in our boating careers. Our boats and what we do with them are an integral part of who we are. Being an airline pilot(probably like a doctor or a lawyer or anything that requires dues to be paid), the main thing that has got me to this point in my career is the passion I have for the career. There is no way in hell I would be here if it was just a flippant thought of a career choice. It is an integral part of who I am and the only way one would succeed on this career path.

Just something to think about.... Most of us have got here through a natural progression of boats and boating. Many of us it has been a part of our entire lives. I am not saying you should not try. I am just saying that question above is a very important one...
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:50 PM   #35
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Look at go on and rent in the worse weather. :
And rent the smallest and oldest rental you can find as it comes closest to what you'll be buying. You won't learn by renting an 85x16, but by renting a 32x12 you might.
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:51 PM   #36
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I live aboard because I love it. I love being on the boat, I love walking up and down the dock, I love waking up in the morning and drinking coffee while looking out at the marina or anchorage. Most of the time, I even enjoy working on the boat.

What don't I love? The cost of maintaining the boat in seaworthy condition is high. The lack of storage space can be a problem if you have other hobbies. Mail can be a hassle to deal with. The 30 amp dance. Dealing with the sanitation system.

There are several types of liveaboards I've observed...does one of these fit you?

The Dock Queen. A comfortable boat filled with stuff, not ready to go to sea. Basically a waterfront condo. The owners haven't left the dock in years.

The Cheapskate. Often adventuresome young people priced out of the real estate market and eager to try "tiny living". Typically a ~30 foot sailboat. Normally this group lives aboard for a relatively short time before realizing that living aboard isn't as romantic as they thought. Something about cold winters, condensation, long walks to the marina shower, etc.

The Boat Lover. They can't remember a time in their life without a boat. They can't imagine life without a boat. They are often working on boat projects, perhaps getting ready for their "someday" trip.

The Cruiser. Always on the move. The boat is ready to go to sea at any time. They might not even have a permanent moorage arrangement.

I'm a mix between "The Boat Lover" and "The Cruiser" and living aboard is working for me.

Other thoughts...

My boat (~40 feet long, 13 feet wide) is pretty comfortable as a one-person livaboard. It has a queen bed, good heat, a stall shower, a refrigerator and freezer, a gas range, a small guest room. But everything is tiny compared to a house or apartment—the floor space in the head is probably only a few square feet, my stateroom is not much bigger than the bed inside it, the galley/salon (kitchen/living room) is about the same size as a typical suburban bathroom. For similar annual money—probably more $$ up front, but much less in maintenance—I could have a much more spacious condo in the city. Why do I choose to live on the boat, then? Passion for boats and being on the water.

Logistics...Will you need a car? Where will you park it? Where will you get your mail? Where will you live when your boat is hauled out for maintenance? What will you do with sewage? Can you absorb large unexpected expenses?
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:59 PM   #37
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Are you overwhelmed yet???? You probably never thought living aboard would be so complicated. But the "complications" you are hearing are from successful liveaboards...the ones that live in "reality". The ones that marinas have no problems with. The people that go in blind don't last long...because of all of these complications are a rude awakening. I guess coming on here and asking these questions is a good start.

Another thing....while you may be single now, it is quite likely you could attract a significant other somewhere along the way. Something to keep in mind.
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:31 PM   #38
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This feedback is exactly what I am looking for. Thank you all for your time.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:15 PM   #39
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Actually on a boat...not sure there are any pros living on salt over cons.


Other than location, the types of food you can catch over the side and onboard sewage disposal to a point...the salt environment can be harsher on the boat.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:18 PM   #40
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OTOH, you can often go places. If you want to.





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