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Old 12-23-2014, 12:06 PM   #21
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I've been living aboard for 14 months now. I typically take the boat out at least a couple times a month and all summer.

One of the reasons I decided to live on the boat was I was sick of schlepping stuff to and from a cabin in the San Juans. Each trip, no matter how short, required a ton of work...loading the car, unloading the car, loading the boat, unloading the boat, loading the golf cart, unloading the golf cart, putting everything away in the house. Too much work for short trips.

Living on the boat makes it easy to get away. Everything is already aboard. I can normally be underway in 10-15 minutes from deciding to go.

Here are a few things that contribute to being able to cruise on a liveaboard.
  • Living alone. Working around someone elses schedule would complicate taking the boat out.
  • Eliminating clutter. Keep surfaces free of stuff so you don't have to stow everything when getting underway. Buying a big enough boat is important in this regard.
  • Owning an easy boat to run. Pilothouse doors that I can get to the dock from, and a bow thruster, make maneuvering easy. Easy maneuvering means more time spent using the boat.
  • Fuel and water capacity. Having enough that I'm not constantly worried about it (or having to fill up) makes spontaneous nights away from the dock easy.
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:27 PM   #22
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Wow - what a great selection of responses - thank you so much!

What everyone says makes sense. I am single (for now) and so spontaneity shouldn't be an issue. I can see the benefit of avoiding clutter build up so getting ready to leave is easy - hopefully I can do that.

I will be working (commuting) and living aboard for many years - I'm not close to retirement yet. So this is certainly a lifestyle choice. The comments some of you have made about the work involved in getting ready for a trip resonate with me. I currently live an hour from my boat (need to stay here so my daughter finishes her last year at high school). The work involved in getting ready to go out even for a weekend is significant. I love the comment about spending $200 on groceries for a weekend away - that is entirely my MO. I never understand how I can spend more than an entire week's worth of groceries for one weekend!

So I like the idea of being mostly ready to go with a stocked fridge - just taking off when I want. Also - living aboard will allow me to have the size and type of boat I couldn't have if I were having to pay for accommodation on the dirt as well. I'm looking at displacement boats in the 46-50' range. Defever 49 pilothouse is a strong contender. I recently got very serious about a Hatteras 48 LRC too.

Thanks again for all the comments. I can see that in the end it's about what I choose to do. I suppose deep down I'm a little concerned that the novelty will wear off. None of you can help me with that!

Richard
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:38 PM   #23
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We have lived aboard for a couple years now. (1.5 in a sailboat, now in a trawler) and I concur with some of the ideas here... you find yourself making excuses for not going out (tired from work, chores to do, family you have to go see, etc).. but we use one idea already mentioned. We have to start up every 2 weeks for a pump out.. and since the engines are started and should be run at least up to temp.... it turns into at least a jaunt around at the minimum...

as for knick-knacks (whose wife doesn't have them?) Lock-tite sells a blue gummy putty like material... holds things great.. so she can have her smaller ones in place and they don;t move. Of course, the added benefit of a trawler over sailboat is vastly less heeling... so things sit quite well without moving.. if you have to put things away on a trawler, maybe you are in too rough of water?
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:35 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by tmiller1116 View Post
We have lived aboard for a couple years now. (1.5 in a sailboat, now in a trawler) and I concur with some of the ideas here... you find yourself making excuses for not going out (tired from work, chores to do, family you have to go see, etc).. but we use one idea already mentioned. We have to start up every 2 weeks for a pump out.. and since the engines are started and should be run at least up to temp.... it turns into at least a jaunt around at the minimum...

as for knick-knacks (whose wife doesn't have them?) Lock-tite sells a blue gummy putty like material... holds things great.. so she can have her smaller ones in place and they don;t move. Of course, the added benefit of a trawler over sailboat is vastly less heeling... so things sit quite well without moving.. if you have to put things away on a trawler, maybe you are in too rough of water?
The pumpout suggestion makes some sense - once underway there are places I could get to to anchor within an hour - so I could see combining a pumpout visit with a quick overnight at anchor. I do see risk in that approach too. I know from personal experience that there's little worse than a full holding tank!

I'm fairly knick-nack free, for now - no partner. As for too rough water? I hope so - I love to cruise the Pacific Coast up and down from San Francisco. It's rarely calm out there - and almost never predictable. I absolutely plan to get out on the coast as frequently as I can. There are lots of destinations inside the SF Bay too.

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Old 12-23-2014, 08:09 PM   #25
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9 months a year since 2010 on the upper Mississippi River. I'am out a couple times a week with the 38', either a couple hour trip up or down the river or anchor out, a lot of the time overnight. I also have a 17' cc that depending on the weather I'll be out in it almost everyday. To take the 38 only requires removing the power cords, cable TV coax and dock lines, the 17 is on a lift so the walk to f dock and the time to lower the lift is about equal. The river isn't that rough so nothing special to do inside to take a cruise, only the desire to go.
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:41 PM   #26
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What I cannot fathom is folks at anchor who run their engine to charge the batteries. Why not lift the anchor and toodle around? With a windlass it's simple. Nothing fancy and I might only go five miles (or even return to the same area) but at least the boat moved.

I do need to practice docking when the newest engine install is complete. Betsy (the 18hp Kubota) is in the holy place though no attached as of yet. Soon. Well, after the new year... it's a boat and stuff takes time.

Anyway, one of my favorite aphorisms is:
Until it leaves the dock, a boat is just substandard housing. Move it! Janet Groene.

Folks who want to move their boats do so. Often there is a level of fear to overcome. Experience helps with that and being paralyzed by it is not unknown. I suspect that's why some boats stay tied to a pier.
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Old 12-24-2014, 12:17 AM   #27
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Janice - I like your substandard housing comment. That's exactly where I don't want to be. As for fear - it's inertia and not fear that would keep me tied to a dock. Inertia can be more hard to overcome than fear, however!

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Old 12-24-2014, 09:54 AM   #28
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We have been living aboard full time for around 17 or 18 years or so.
We take the boat out about twice a month for day trip and an overnighter or two. It may not sound like much but around most marinas, that is a lot.
Twice a month is about average for the avid boater in most marinas. However, avid boaters are probably 5% of the total boaters in most marinas I have been in.
We can untie and be out of the slip in under 20 minutes at any given time except for when I undertake some big projects. The key is to keep the boat looking like a boat and not a house. Don't make any major design changes to the boat, like adding shelves and cabinets where the manufacturer did not intend them to be. Shelves and cabinets mean more stuff. More stuff means things to move to take the boat out. The more things to move, the less likely you are to take the boat out.
Other than stocking up for a long trip, our boat looks like the manufacturer intended it to look.
If we spontaneously decide to take the boat out here is the basic procedure: Other than the obvious like transfer the 120V to the inverter, disconnect power cables and dock lines, we take the two coffee pots and place them in the sink so they wont fall off the counter and that's it. No hanging flower pots or other non-necessary items that have to be moved around.
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Old 12-24-2014, 02:02 PM   #29
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Tony,

I would certainly consider twice a month to be a goal. If I could be out every other weekend I would feel good about how much I use the boat.

The message is coming through loud and clear from all of you - no clutter! On my own I think I can do that.

Richard
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:17 PM   #30
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When you liveaboard and this is your home do you feel different about taking guests aboard for an afternoon/evening cruise?


We took guests aboard our smaller express cruiser but that boat was not our home and other than some decorating touches it was not our personal space.
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:34 PM   #31
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No....

Any different than having guests in a dirt dwelling?
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Old 12-24-2014, 07:19 PM   #32
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When you liveaboard and this is your home do you feel different about taking guests aboard for an afternoon/evening cruise? ...........
Not at all. It may be our home, but it still a boat and that's why we bought it. We are very neat and organized and so even when unexpected company comes by, we are ready to take the boat out or just hang out and relax.

We don't see any difference in our attitude or behavior than we were when we were dirt dwellers.
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