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Old 03-10-2016, 10:15 AM   #1
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Greetings from the South Bay

Greetings, y'all.

I've been a lurker on here for a while and realized that I never posted an introduction. I'm Chris, and my wife, son, and I are working towards becoming liveaboards and, eventually, cruisers. We understand that it's not an easy course we take, but the rewards are beyond measure.

I began detailing our plans in a blog as a way to assuage our family's fears and concerns. I also thought that there were (probably) other people going through similar trials and tribulations on their path towards this lifestyle, so I try to go into details that the media I've been using for research (the book Essentials of Living Aboard A Boat by Mark Nicholas and various forums, including this one) and lay down a trail of bait fish for others to follow (as breadcrumbs disappear due to the seagulls).

Here's the link in case you're interested:
Leaving Land

Thank you all for the wonderful community you've built, and I'll see you out there soon!
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:10 PM   #2
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Welcome! Used to sail and fish a lot on friends' boats out of King Harbor. Old buddy lives in Hermosa and we go to Old Tony's on the pier about every time I'm out there.

We read a few books on living aboard before we made the jump, but I don't think the one you mentioned. The ones we did read tended to be purely based on what had worked for the author, and not necessarily the way we wanted to (and eventually did) live. The same held true in talking with several full tie cruisers we knew. People can be quite strong in their opinions, like if you don't do it their way it is completely wrong (present company included!). So we took bits and pieces that seemed relevant to us and invented and learned as we went.

The most valuable thing we did was to do a lot of extended chartering, which helped us determine if "the life" was really for us, and which was essential in understanding determine what the things were we were looking for in a boat that would be our house and a full time cruiser.

Which brings up an important issue: living aboard at a fixed marina, or living aboard and cruising to distant ports full time. We ended up doing a couple of years doing the latter after we stopped full time cruising and it's two different things.

Good luck in your quest!
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Old 03-10-2016, 03:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misfit Wookiee View Post
Greetings, y'all.

I've been a lurker on here for a while and realized that I never posted an introduction. I'm Chris, and my wife, son, and I are working towards becoming liveaboards and, eventually, cruisers. We understand that it's not an easy course we take, but the rewards are beyond measure.

I began detailing our plans in a blog as a way to assuage our family's fears and concerns. I also thought that there were (probably) other people going through similar trials and tribulations on their path towards this lifestyle, so I try to go into details that the media I've been using for research (the book Essentials of Living Aboard A Boat by Mark Nicholas and various forums, including this one) and lay down a trail of bait fish for others to follow (as breadcrumbs disappear due to the seagulls).

Here's the link in case you're interested:
Leaving Land

Thank you all for the wonderful community you've built, and I'll see you out there soon!
Welcome and good luck....

My advice is use methodologies generated by some for their choosing their path if you like...but pay close attention that have lived aboard for decades versus new to the game...no matter how much they know about boats.

A good source of info is from one of our own.... certainly a good example of getting out there and doing/enjoying it.... Janice

Janice aboard Seaweed, trawler cruising on a nickel budget...

I am on my 3rd liveaboard spanning coming up on 4 decades (not all living aboard) on 3 distinctly different boats for different cruising styles (30' sail, 37' sportfish, 40' trawler). None would have been really the boat or style for any of the other periods so it's certainly no easy decision to decide on a particular style boat let alone particular boat.

Much of the advice given here is not from the liveaboard frame of mind...while for many things no big deal, but for others it would be a mistake to go with what a majority or "experienced" might suggest if it doesn't fit your needs from a liveaboard point of view.
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Old 03-11-2016, 02:17 PM   #4
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Living aboard tied to a dock is really living in an inconvenient shore side condo without a garage. I have tried that and found that after sixty plus years of living on land, it was OK but given a choice I would rather use it as a weekend cabin or go cruising. Going cruising to me means maintaining a land base for all my tools and toys. Many of the full time livaboards are trying to live near the water on the cheap. Just remember your boat loses value unlike a house so over time you have to factor in the loss of value as part of the cost of living aboard.
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Old 03-12-2016, 12:59 AM   #5
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Welcome!

We are late 30s, 9 year old son. I grew up boating and desperately wanted my son to have a similar experience on the water. For me it was 8-10 years of calculated budgeting and research before buying. I have to complete the majority of maintenance myself to keep us on budget. Currently saving up for overdue bottom paint.

We do not live aboard and instead average 2 weekends / month on board. Longest stay has been 10 days, on the hook in Catalina. We spend most of our time motoring around the LA/LBC harbor, some weekend overnights anchored at Whites. April though November one weekend / month in Catalina or Newport. I work fulltime in the field so cruising beyond 2-4 days is not possible.

We have discussed trying out 1 year living aboard in Long Beach. I feel as though the window of opportunity for my son is rapidly closing, so if we are going to do it, we need to make it happen in the next 1-2 years.

I would love to purge all the dirt house possessions, simplify and save thousands month vs my current Southern California mortgage, utilities, home upkeep.
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:54 AM   #6
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We are late 30s, 9 year old son. I grew up boating and desperately wanted my son to have a similar experience on the water.

I would love to purge all the dirt house possessions, simplify and save thousands month vs my current Southern California mortgage, utilities, home upkeep.
I think you should be commended for making this sacrifice for your son. Most dads I know wouldn't even attempt it. (Just kidding!)
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:15 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the great welcome here.

Yeah, we understand that a boat isn't like a dirt home in that values go up. I actually had a specific blog post about that in relation to what said investment would give us in terms of experiences that a dirt home could not.

We have liveaboard friends that do the "floating condo" thing, and for the first portion of our time on the boat we'd be doing limited cruises (Catalina for sure, periodically down to San Diego to visit friends and family) because we'd still have our day jobs. Moving on board would actually drop our expenses, even with the potential for repairs to our floating home, enough to invest in a plan to produce residual income.

We're doing research on boats at present while we get a "floating nest egg" together, then we'll be looking at chartering and volunteering to watch friends' boats when they're away in order to ensure that we would be suited for the lifestyle. I've always felt at home on a boat, can't remember an instance of seasickness, and have lived in a mobile home before (although the one I lived in wasn't as mobile as a boat). We're being pragmatic about it in that we realize it's not all going to be sunsets and mai tais. There will be things we'll be going through (and I am a part of some liveaboard forums as well, so this isn't my only forum for research) but with our ingenuity and resolve I believe we'll be able to overcome those things that cross our path and enjoy the beauty that is the ocean.
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:47 AM   #8
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Hey Walt. For the first 12 months I'm confident my wife was convinced it was an excellent parenting sacrifice. However, the weekly shipments of boat parts from Amazon and ebay may have shifted her opinion.

Home ownership and appreciating vs a floating depreciation. I fully agree overall, but here in Southern California home prices are often 2x the monthly burn vs renting the same home. We purchased our home in 2004, 1/2 million USD for a 1100 sqft home 6 miles from the water, in desperate need of to the studs rehab, new roof, exterior, everything. We were recently married, dual income, but buying was a bit self destructive. 10% down, 5/1 ARM, second mortgage for 53k to avoid PMI. Our payments + taxes was $2,900 mo, while the larger home next door, turn key condition, rented for $1600 / mo. We hung on though 2008, barely, and have managed to lump payoff principle to the point we are a few hundred monthly below renting. We've spent over 200k fixing up without too much over improvement, much of which was DIY.

Right now our home, after sales commissions, is worth the same as when purchased in 2004. Poor market timing yes, but I do not see 2016 California RE as being much different than 2004. If I were 10 years older or younger my life path would have much better aligned with the market.

We could have lived aboard and channeled the same cashflow into a 250k boat payment and as of right now, be in the same, or possibly better financial position. Except a live aboard slip in 2004 was dam near impossible to get.

So, to the OP, which based on your blog, I'm assuming you are similar age range w kids, renting on land vs live aboard... I say go for it, I wish I had done it in my mid 20s.
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Old 03-12-2016, 02:34 PM   #9
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Home values don't always go up...unless you stay long enough though ups and downs in some areas.


Many liveaboard wannabees think living aboard is cheaper...only to find for them...not much even though others have found it a better and cheaper lifestyle.


Some of us would rather split their time up with things outside of home AND boat care. I only have the time, money and energy for one large asset...so I chose boat because come winter...I am outta New Jersey. Spent enough of my life doing very little in the cold. So a moveable house comes in handy.


If I had to liveaboard again in the winter in the Northeast (above Cape Hatteras) or the Great Lakes....I doubt I would. It might depend on the place...but usually marinas are lonely, cold, windy forbidding places in winter. Even with a job it starts to feel like work.
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Old 03-12-2016, 03:58 PM   #10
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One thing many boaters underestimate is the cost and/or time of maintaining a boat to decent standard of seaworthiness, comfort and cosmetics. These are the boats you see eventually deteriorate to near-derelict condition, or go permanently up on the hill. Cash cost all depends on your standards , your ability to do the work on your time and the cost of your time, and what it costs to have the work done properly by professionals in your area. And of course what big expensive items despite your best efforts, decide to go bang. One of my favorite sayings came from a very experienced professional captain " even as we sit here calmly tied to the dock, enjoying our drinks, things are breaking".
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Old 03-12-2016, 05:46 PM   #11
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Except a live aboard slip in 2004 was dam near impossible to get.
Is it different now?
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Old 03-12-2016, 05:53 PM   #12
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Is it different now?
There are some around us that are VERY liveaboard-friendly. One even allows access to all five of their marinas, including one down in San Diego that would be great for visiting the family and friends down thataway.
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