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Old 08-17-2018, 07:11 PM   #1
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Talking Stuff People Don't Tell You About Moving Aboard!

Everyone tells you about the normal stuff of maintaining a boat, but no one ever tells you about:

- Bulkhead doors. Every door that leads into a head has a lip about 6 inches off the floor. Make sure you step OVER them, because if you don't you'll find yourself going head first into the head itself.

- Get in shape, because you'll be doing a lot of walking. Walking from the parking lot to the boat, walking from the boat to the bath house, walking down to the green area to walk the dog. Walk, Walk, Walk.

- Speaking of bath houses, you better like community bathing if you don't want to use your boat. You'll get REAL intimate with the neighbors. You'll shower one after the other, get dressed together, and you'll even poop at the same time sometimes! I think my neighbor may need a colonoscopy cause something might have gotten stuck.

- If you do choose to use your boat, flush your vacuum toilet a few times to get used to it before you go ahead and sit down. It was quite a surprise how loud it was, and I might have added a little to the flush.

- Better like stairs. Stairs to get on the boat, stairs to go down to the salon, even more stairs going down to the aft cabin, up/down into the galley, its all stairs!

- Compartments. If you're an organized/OCD person, a boat may be for you! For the love of pete, there are 17 THOUSAND compartments on a boat. Sometimes there's even compartments inside compartments.

- Get a helmet because you'll be hitting your head, alot. On the engine room roof, on the bed when you're getting something out of the drawers underneath it, on the that damn bulkhead door to the head.

- BIRDS! If you have a low startle point, don't go walking the docks at night. Those dang blue heron birds love to roost on the dock lines and inevitable SQUAAAAAWWWWK and take off flying just as you approach and don't see them.

- Speaking of startle points, when out on your dinghy idling through the marina, that body you see floating up from under the sailboat isn't a dead person. It's probably just a diver cleaning a bottom. Bout flipped my dinghy on that one.

- If you have motion sickness, or get dizzy easily, living aboard is not for you. Even though we're in highly protected waters with barely even a ripple, when the wind blows the boats move back and forth. One boat moving one direction and another moving the other direction can get pretty dizzing pretty quickly, especially when you're below deck looking out a port hole the size of a coffee can.


... and that's just two days worth of observation.
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:56 PM   #2
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Ahh, you are getting the real experience now! Next, laundry.....
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:01 PM   #3
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sounds like you need a better boat and a better marina
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:02 PM   #4
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Ahh, you are getting the real experience now! Next, laundry.....
We bring our laundry to a little asian lady who washes, dry's, folds, and packages for 81 cents a pound. We've been doing that since we moved into the RV.

We tip her very well! It's awesome.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:23 PM   #5
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Everyone tells you about the normal stuff of maintaining a boat, but no one ever tells you about:
Please allow me to comment even if I do not live aboard full time.

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Bulkhead doors. Every door that leads into a head has a lip about 6 inches off the floor. Make sure you step OVER them, because if you don't you'll find yourself going head first into the head itself.
The doors I have aboard are sliding suspended door, no lip

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Get in shape, because you'll be doing a lot of walking. Walking from the parking lot to the boat, walking from the boat to the bath house, walking down to the green area to walk the dog. Walk, Walk, Walk.
Indeed, last year we spent a month aboard and I lost 12 pounds going up and down on the stairs when going through locks etc.

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Speaking of bath houses, you better like community bathing if you don't want to use your boat. You'll get REAL intimate with the neighbors. You'll shower one after the other, get dressed together, and you'll even poop at the same time sometimes! I think my neighbor may need a colonoscopy cause something might have gotten stuck.
No way, using my boat head and shower, not marina facilities.

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If you do choose to use your boat, flush your vacuum toilet a few times to get used to it before you go ahead and sit down. It was quite a surprise how loud it was, and I might have added a little to the flush.
Indeed head pump is loud but I don't see this as a stopper, flush form 5sec and it is done.

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Better like stairs. Stairs to get on the boat, stairs to go down to the salon, even more stairs going down to the aft cabin, /down into the galley, its all stairs!
In my case only stairs are to go on the aft deck or flybridge, to go from aft cabin to salon is 1 step and from salon to galley and bow dining is 1 step.

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Compartments. If you're an organized/OCD person, a boat may be for you! For the love of pete, there are 17 THOUSAND compartments on a boat. Sometimes there's even compartments inside compartments.
This is more about optimization of space.

[QUOTE=toocoys;690260]Get a helmet because you'll be hitting your head, alot. On the engine room roof, on the bed when you're getting something out of the drawers underneath it, on the that damn bulkhead door to the head.

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BIRDS! If you have a low startle point, don't go walking the docks at night. Those dang blue heron birds love to roost on the dock lines and inevitable SQUAAAAAWWWWK and take off flying just as you approach and don't see them.
I love to get out in the middle of the night and see ducks and goose everywhere around, being among birds is one of the things that make me love to be aboard.

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Speaking of startle points, when out on your dinghy idling through the marina, that body you see floating up from under the sailboat isn't a dead person. It's probably just a diver cleaning a bottom. Bout flipped my dinghy on that one.
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If you have motion sickness, or get dizzy easily, living aboard is not for you. Even though we're in highly protected waters with barely even a ripple, when the wind blows the boats move back and forth. One boat moving one direction and another moving the other direction can get pretty dizzing pretty quickly, especially when you're below deck looking out a port hole the size of a coffee can.
Well I guess that being subject to sea sickness and having a boat is like to be subject to vertigo and live in a tree at 200 feet height, maybe not the right choice.

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... and that's just two days worth of observation.
I am sure you will find some other pleasure of boating, like opening your pressurized holding tank for a pump out and receiving a golden shower from your own boat, or tracing this damned water leak, or oil leak, or waking up in the morning with more dead bodies on the deck that you ever saw on the ground (speaking of insect of course), or getting to a remote destination and realize your holding tank is full and you have no way to pump out etc etc etc...

It is all part of the learning curve and not doing the same mistake twice, but at the end, being aboard is the most wonderful life you can get, when you wake up and watch the sun rising in the middle of nowhere, or watch the sunset and migrating birds coming from all directions around you, or just having a drink listening to mother nature music, or just relaxing somewhere on the rhythm of the waves

I just love it.

L
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:42 PM   #6
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I am sure you will find some other pleasure of boating, like opening your pressurized holding tank for a pump out and receiving a golden shower from your own boat,

Nope. No. No way. Nadda. Hell Naw.

I got us on a weekly pump out schedule. The Redfish Marine company came out today for our first pump out. They opened a little deck fitting, stuck the vacuum hose on it and it was all done inside of 10 minutes.

They'll be back ever Wednesday. LOL

Although I did empty my holding tank in my RV weekly, so I assume it would be the same. Never had a golden shower though.

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Old 08-17-2018, 08:53 PM   #7
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Ha just wait until you retrieve the anchor and the mud smells like dinosaur poop after eating bad burritos!
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:56 PM   #8
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Ha just wait until you retrieve the anchor and the mud smells like dinosaur poop after eating bad burritos!
LOL!!!!

I've never had a windlass before and I have to say that I quite enjoy it. No more back breaking work trying to get an anchor unstuck from the cement bottom of Galveston bay!
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:08 PM   #9
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Anywhere you bump your head,it only happens once or maybe twice. Your head soon learns.
Anchor windlass? Stepping around the head hitting issues, like what anchor,size (sorry), how much rode, rode type -chain,rope, combination, etc, is there a snubber on board, maybe in a compartment near the anchor, but you`ll only need one if your rode is all chain. Be kind to your windlass. Sometimes initial breakout is best done with the rode secured on a cleat and OFF the windlass, avoiding the risk of crunching the drive gears. Especially in concrete like mud!
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:27 PM   #10
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how much rode, rode type -chain,rope, combination, etc, is there a snubber on board, maybe in a compartment near the anchor, but you`ll only need one if your rode is all chain.

All rope except the last 10 feet or so attached to the anchor itself. I was wondering if I needed to change that out to all chain.
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:37 PM   #11
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All rope except the last 10 feet or so attached to the anchor itself. I was wondering if I needed to change that out to all chain.
Uh oh, we are in dangerous territory. Rule of thumb is at least the length of the boat in chain, after that it can be whatever you like.
Lots of boats have all chain, I have 80M, so use a snubber to ease shock when the chain takes up,on boat and windlass. Having mostly rope like your set up takes the shock.
Try what you have first,see if it works ok. You could read some anchor threads...maybe later. You`ve plenty of new stuff to get to grips with. Have you been out yet,the boat is there to enjoy,and you are lucky to have other TFers right nearby.
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:40 PM   #12
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All rope except the last 10 feet or so attached to the anchor itself. I was wondering if I needed to change that out to all chain.

I wouldnít say you Ďneedí to. Thatís more of a preference thing, and depends a lot on how you anchor. Try it out and see how it works, and if it does what you need it to, donít sweat it.

I used to run 50í of chain and 200í of three strand nylon. I never anchored overnight, the boat was light, and I always anchored in shallow, non-tidal waters where there was almost always a sandy or muddy bottom. I also had a planing hull, and didnít want to add the Great big lump of weight at the fore peak. It worked for me.

Thanks for posting this kind of thing, by the way. This is the kind of everyday stuff that people donít post, and I really appreciate the perspective.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:11 PM   #13
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BUGS: Especially the ones that die on your boat overnight and pile up on deck or glue their little dead bug bodies to the sidewalls. Mayflies, no-seeums, blind mosquitoes, etc. take your pick. If you are boating in the inland rivers in places like Kentucky or Tennessee with a covered slip, you will also become very intimate with SPIDER POOP. I had no idea that something so small could make such a big mess.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:16 PM   #14
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I wonder about humanity over most to keep provisions. Mechanical and structural I'll find. The excess humidity is one I want to see how yall live with for food and what will last.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:22 PM   #15
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I wonder about humanity over most to keep provisions. Mechanical and structural I'll find. The excess humidity is one I want to see how yall live with for food and what will last.
We've dealt with humidity already. Being on the bay in the RV, humidity was a real issue. We started by using those disposable humidity buckets placed in various areas but they didn't help. We finally learned about automatic dehumidifiers and bought a 30 pint.

When we first put the dehumidifier in the the RV we were emptying it nearly daily. After a while it would go for a few days before filling up, and now we only have to empty it once a week or so.

We just moved the 30 pint dehumidifier to the boat today. When I left for work this evening, humidity was down to 45% in the salon area. We have some smaller table top dehumidifiers that are in the smaller rooms of the boat and are about 3/4 after three days of use.

Between the 30 pint unit, the table top units, and the two A/C units I think we'll be ok.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:24 PM   #16
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BUGS: Especially the ones that die on your boat overnight and pile up on deck or glue their little dead bug bodies to the sidewalls. Mayflies, no-seeums, blind mosquitoes, etc. take your pick. If you are boating in the inland rivers in places like Kentucky or Tennessee with a covered slip, you will also become very intimate with SPIDER POOP. I had no idea that something so small could make such a big mess.
We just went through "may fly season". Little yellow flies that just seem to die mid flight. They were CAKED on the roof and deck of my Chris Craft.
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Old 08-18-2018, 07:55 AM   #17
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Since we learned most of those issues (and more) after years of doing charters of various lengths up to two weeks, we made it a point to avoid them almost entirely in the boat we selected to live aboard and cruise full time. That's a reason why I strongly urge people who are planning to do the same to charter a lot of different boats first. Everyone has different standards and tolerances for what is comfortable for full time living and cruising quarters.
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:27 AM   #18
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Headroom... It's sad when one of the criteria for buying a boat is headroom.
Always wanted a sailboat until I learned the ones I could stand upright inside were unaffordable for me. And I'm only 6'3".
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:51 AM   #19
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I lived aboard for five years and one of the good things is that you have to keep making sure you leave the dock and that you don’t keep bringing more onboard. I got in the habit of throwing a magazine out for each one I added. You know when you add too much weight when you start thinking of having the bottom paint line raised.
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Old 08-18-2018, 09:05 AM   #20
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"Those dang blue heron birds love to roost on the dock lines and inevitable SQUAAAAAWWWWK and take off flying just as you approach and don't see them."

Not that it really matters to you, but those are almost certainly black capped night herons.

I could be wrong, but from your list of "complaints", it does seem like maybe you are not a great candidate for the live aboard life! Don't want to discourage you, but many of your concerns look fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things, so, if they really bother you, maybe you might be better pursuing a different life style?
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