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Old 02-17-2016, 03:01 PM   #81
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We could have done the trip in a sailboat but every one we looked at was like a cave. The trawler allowed a nice view out the large windows that was not possible in a sailboat.
I get it. I am a sailor and love sailing and sailboats. However, I am also middle-aged and am starting to have back problems. I am looking to make the move to a trawler. Up here in the PNW, most sailboats spend much more time under power than under sail anyway.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:03 PM   #82
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I don't want to discourage you and probably $1k/month can be done. However, I am fiscally cautious and think that if something can go wrong, it probably will. If I was you, I would try and pencil out all of your expected costs, get them as close as you can, then add 50% for the unexpected.
You may not have seen all of my posts but I did mention a couple of times that I'd have $10k to $20k held back just for major repairs.

Thanks again for responding.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:03 PM   #83
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Scurvy, you were looking for a comparison:

Lets say in a year you travel 2500 NM.

We had a 42" sailboat it burned 1.8 gal/hr for 5.5 knots.
If you motored the entire distance thats 818 gallons.
If you sailed just 1/3 of it now you're at 540 gallons.

Our trawler burns 6.4 gallons/hr for 8 knots.
the same distance would be 2000 gallons.

Assuming gas will go back to $4 a gallon thats $2,160 vs. $8,000
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:16 PM   #84
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Scurvy, you were looking for a comparison:

Lets say in a year you travel 2500 NM.

We had a 42" sailboat it burned 1.8 gal/hr for 5.5 knots.
If you motored the entire distance thats 818 gallons.
If you sailed just 1/3 of it now you're at 540 gallons.

Our trawler burns 6.4 gallons/hr for 8 knots.
the same distance would be 2000 gallons.

Assuming gas will go back to $4 a gallon thats $2,160 vs. $8,000
So that breaks down to $180 a month for fuel vs. $667 a month with the trawler. That's quite a difference and I'm guessing it'd be even less for a 32' boat that's going to require about half as many HP to move.

Can you give me an example of your itinerary that would be 2500 NM? I'm not at all familiar with distances between popular areas like the keys vs. Bahamas or Caribbean trips.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:19 PM   #85
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IMO - Have really good dink. Anchor with a really good anchor close to shore where items such as laundry, food, fuel, sundries... etc are readily available. Make sure the boat you purchase is in very good condition to begin with. Live aboard and take slow motoring excursions as desired. Then the costs of dockage are eliminated. Insurance is not required by law (I believe in most states). Only your desires, daily needs are what costs... along with at least some boat maintenance. I'm confident with frugal actions you could then live on $1K per month or even less!


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Old 02-17-2016, 03:22 PM   #86
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Well sir, welcome aboard from Texas! As far as your search/question.......I see no reason why not..........but, a question: Is that Peculiar Mo? Just curious.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:31 PM   #87
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IMO - Have really good dink. Anchor with a really good anchor close to shore where items such as laundry, food, fuel, sundries... etc are readily available. Make sure the boat you purchase is in very good condition to begin with. Live aboard and take slow motoring excursions as desired. Then the costs of dockage are eliminated. Insurance is not required by law (I believe in most states). Only your desires, daily needs are what costs... along with at least some boat maintenance. I'm confident with frugal actions you could then live on $1K per month or even less!


Happy Boat-Life Daze!! - Art
You get it, Art, and I'll dance to that.

I know that a lot of people who boat like their booze, their Cuban cigars as well as eating out a lot and shopping. I don't do any of that anymore.

Years ago, I drank like a fish, enjoyed expensive cigars and fine dining. I can remember waking up and not knowing how I got home, if my car (or Harley) was even in the garage and if they were, what kind of shape they were in. Let's just say that I liked to party a lot. That's when I decided it was time to give it all up.

All that I want to do right now is to simplify my life and just enjoy being out there, taking it all in.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:39 PM   #88
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Have an iPad? I's suggest downloading Garmin BlueChart. Its a really nice program to generate routes and see distances, fuel consumption etc.

2500NM thats roughly what Houston to Jacksonville and back probably. Or a year up and down the eastern seaboard. Bahamas, well the tip of Grand Bahama is only 50 or 60 NM from the florida coast. But you could easily put 1200NM/2500NM or more traveling around the Caribbean in a year. Bahama to the Grenadines is over 1300NM.

Also keep in mind thats traveling time. You'll end up at anchor needing to charge batteries and want heat or AC, thats also going to cost you fuel.
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:48 PM   #89
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Well sir, welcome aboard from Texas! As far as your search/question.......I see no reason why not..........but, a question: Is that Peculiar Mo? Just curious.
Thank you, Wyoboater. Peculiar, Misssouri it is. Are you familiar with it or just thought the name was 'peculiar'. I'm about 20 minutes south of the southernmost city limits of Kansas City, Missouri.

Texas is a place I've considered for a home base. I have a long time friend that owns a vacation home in Galverston where he spends a lot of his free time.
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:15 PM   #90
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Yep, I'm an over the road trucker...have stopped at the Flying J there numerous times....really wasn't sure anyone actually LIVED there, lol! And, to think you're interested in the trawler world to boot.........WOW
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:17 PM   #91
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Oh yeah, we're in Clear Lake, just up the pond from Galveston.....we'd be neighbors...and Clear Lake (Kemah, Seabrook) are some other areas you might consider as a home base.
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:25 PM   #92
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Yep, I'm an over the road trucker...have stopped at the Flying J there numerous times....really wasn't sure anyone actually LIVED there, lol! And, to think you're interested in the trawler world to boot.........WOW
I know where Flying J is. My mailing address is Peculiar, Mo. but I'm actually about 6 miles north in the county. I'm only 1 mile south from the Raymore city limits at 58 highway and I-49. I've had a fascination with the sea every since I was a kid. I began keeping marine aquariums when I was 14, was introduced to SCUBA diving at 16 and the rest is history.

I'm still undecided as to whether it's going to be a trawler or sailboat. I'm saying the pros and cons. Stay safe.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:13 PM   #93
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I've found slips for a 36' boat in SW Flo.rida for under $500 a month ($11 a foot) plus $35 a month of for electricity. Living on the hook is free isn't it?
Hello Scurvy-yard-dog.

Yes, your budget can be as tight as $1k a month and have a good life at anchor, IF you have the infrastructure in place.

Definition of infrastructure: Ways to generate power and storage for said power. Think solar panels, a wind generator, plus a generator. AND batteries to store said power.

I think all of us have had those dreams of sailing off the horizon, visiting fabulous places, all for Free!!! Then the reality. The wind comes in three varieties: too much, too little or from the wrong direction. Thus the engine is running to get where you're going.

And those sails have bits that break, wear out, need tightening, replacement, etc. Sailing requires a physical stamina that for me went with the first round of chemo. I'm better now however life after the half century mark begins to slow.

My boat is my forever home. Seaweed was bought with the future in mind -- what would it take to make her better, more comfortable, safer, etc. not just today but in ten years. I'm eight years into the plan and have mostly covered all the critical items.

I have sufficient solar that it matters not if I am tied to a dock or at anchor. My life does not change. Were I to want to run the air conditioner, (I have a 5000 btu wall-banger) I'd have to install the already bought 55 amp alternator.

That's something I intend to do before summertime.

It was 7.5 years into this journey before I was self-sufficient with a level of decadence regarding power. On a budget things take time. The final solar panels were a gift! You have no idea what that meant to me. There is a level of joy now because I've achieved the goal of comfort off the grid with a reefer!

For literally years except when in a windy anchorage I was without a refrigerator. Hauling ice is just beneath hauling water as a not-fun part of life out here. It is physically demanding and when you (er, I!) need ice, it's so stinking hot I don't feel like going for it.

Without a refrigerator you're going to be either grocery shopping more frequently or making adjustments. A way to store leftovers is awesome, and have I mentioned ice? I love that I have ice cubes at will. Cold tangerines are so refreshing too. And my little chicken sausages too are tucked in the reefer.

Unfortunately at Christmastime so too did those wonderful NY cheesecakes fit in there. And now they are in me and nothing fits. Gosh they were good though!

Eventually I'd like an autopilot. And a tuna-door. Those are the next two Big items and prior to either happening I'll be replacing my anchor chain. That's $500 for 150' of G4 1/4"

Remember that the larger/heavier the boat, the larger, bigger, sturdier the anchor tackle, lines, more bottom paint, etc. Smaller is less costly though few would be happy on a boat as small as mine.

Power boats have just one propulsion system to deal with. Sailboats have two, the sails and the engine. On this coast (Gulf of Mexico) and the east coast it is seldom enough that I see a sailboat actually sailing (without the engine in gear) that I write it down in my Log Book.

Quite often I see boats sailing with the engine running too.

Small diesels don't burn a lot of fuel. Fuel consumption is affected by weight of boat, waterline of boat, speed through water, currents (with or against you) and windage, hull shape, etc. All those things factor in.

The largest detriments to fuel economy are men and schedules. Oh, you may think not, however many men have this thing whereby they believe the throttle has one position -- all the way forward. Back off, take your boat at hull speed and you're going to be burning far less fuel.

Women like to get there early too. Being willing to forget the schedule is CRITICAL for safety too.

For instance, this weekend is an SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association) get-together at Gulfport. It starts tomorrow afternoon with dinner ashore and then a potluck on Saturday. Seaweed will NOT be at the Friday anchor out -- it won't work for my life.

Gulfport:


However Saturday I fully intend to bring the boat over to Gulfport provided the weather continues as is forecast. I'll spend the night anchored and then return to the dock on Sunday. To meet the schedule of being there Friday would put too much pressure on me. I won't do that.

Saturday is fine. And if I don't make it on Saturday there is always Sunday. This retirement thing is awesome. In the meantime I'll be installing my fuel polishing system tomorrow and will run it for several hours before leaving this dock. I want to make sure I've got all the water out of the diesel tank.

Also, be sure to remember that you spend most of your time sitting still. Can you see out while seated? If not, I would not be happy. Picture yourself stuck inside your boat in the middle of a thunder-boomer. Can you see to check on the world outside?

As for me, I love that I can sit down in my galley and watch the world. Dolphins, sheepshead, anhingas and more are right outside my window. I can see and hear it all. Just the other week I had a couple of visitors:



AT FIRST I would suggest you find a pier/dock and pay for the privilege of having that electric cord, a convenient way ashore and to get the feel of this life. Fellows on the dock will be able to help out with issues that come up and offer advice.

Life on the hook is solitary. I like the peace and tranquility however I missed the social interaction. That's why I pay $80 per month for 10 gigs of internet on my computer.

There's lots more however you'll need to read a bit too. Check out my website (blatant plug: Janice aboard Seaweed, trawler cruising on a nickel budget... ) and wander around. If any of the articles strike you or you've got questions, just make a comment at the bottom of that page. I do respond though it might take a day or two.

Tonight (well, tomorrow) I'll put up a new article. The Archives would be where I'd suggest you start. Each article or vignette is listed, with the first paragraph and topics touched upon. Those that interest, click the title and voila: you're there.

2013 Archive (article synopsis page) on janice142

2014 Archive (article synopsis page) on janice142

Janice142 Archive (article synopsis page)

2016 Archive (article synopsis page) on janice142

Life is great afloat. I love it.

With your mechanical skills you're in a good place. Make sure ABSOLUTELY that you have good access to the bits and pieces of your engine and batteries. If getting to stuff is difficult you will not do routine maintenance. Neither will any previous owner have done it either.

Just last week I was told "nobody" checks their batts once a month. Since I've been doing so since I bought Seaweed (Pi Day, 2008) I can only surmise his batteries are in a difficult to reach area and that is why HE doesn't check his.

Enough advice from me. Good luck selling your house and have fun on the journey.



Most important of all is to remember the boat you buy doesn't necessarily have to have "everything" you require. She does have to be a good base to work with. Much like a house, you can make improvements and spiffy her up. Nearly eight years ago I bought an inadequate boat with one battery, zero solar, no wind generator, a pretend 11 pound Danforth knock-off anchor, plastic coated chain of indeterminate age, half- rotted dock lines and the ugliest curtains this side of a house of ill repute. She did have structure and since then, well, I love my home scurvy and am so fortunate to have her. She's nearly perfect except for the stuff that is broken, needs upgrading, fixing or changing.
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:40 PM   #94
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Wow Janice... Just WOW! What a Thoughtfully Great Post!

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Old 02-19-2016, 06:31 AM   #95
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Janice, that was a well thought out and informative post, as always.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:16 AM   #96
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Hello Scurvy-yard-dog.

Yes, your budget can be as tight as $1k a month and have a good life at anchor, IF you have the infrastructure in place.

Definition of infrastructure: Ways to generate power and storage for said power. Think solar panels, a wind generator, plus a generator. AND batteries to store said power.

I think all of us have had those dreams of sailing off the horizon, visiting fabulous places, all for Free!!! Then the reality. The wind comes in three varieties: too much, too little or from the wrong direction. Thus the engine is running to get where you're going.

And those sails have bits that break, wear out, need tightening, replacement, etc. Sailing requires a physical stamina that for me went with the first round of chemo. I'm better now however life after the half century mark begins to slow.

My boat is my forever home. Seaweed was bought with the future in mind -- what would it take to make her better, more comfortable, safer, etc. not just today but in ten years. I'm eight years into the plan and have mostly covered all the critical items.

I have sufficient solar that it matters not if I am tied to a dock or at anchor. My life does not change. Were I to want to run the air conditioner, (I have a 5000 btu wall-banger) I'd have to install the already bought 55 amp alternator.

That's something I intend to do before summertime.

It was 7.5 years into this journey before I was self-sufficient with a level of decadence regarding power. On a budget things take time. The final solar panels were a gift! You have no idea what that meant to me. There is a level of joy now because I've achieved the goal of comfort off the grid with a reefer!

For literally years except when in a windy anchorage I was without a refrigerator. Hauling ice is just beneath hauling water as a not-fun part of life out here. It is physically demanding and when you (er, I!) need ice, it's so stinking hot I don't feel like going for it.

Without a refrigerator you're going to be either grocery shopping more frequently or making adjustments. A way to store leftovers is awesome, and have I mentioned ice? I love that I have ice cubes at will. Cold tangerines are so refreshing too. And my little chicken sausages too are tucked in the reefer.

Unfortunately at Christmastime so too did those wonderful NY cheesecakes fit in there. And now they are in me and nothing fits. Gosh they were good though!

Eventually I'd like an autopilot. And a tuna-door. Those are the next two Big items and prior to either happening I'll be replacing my anchor chain. That's $500 for 150' of G4 1/4"

Remember that the larger/heavier the boat, the larger, bigger, sturdier the anchor tackle, lines, more bottom paint, etc. Smaller is less costly though few would be happy on a boat as small as mine.

Power boats have just one propulsion system to deal with. Sailboats have two, the sails and the engine. On this coast (Gulf of Mexico) and the east coast it is seldom enough that I see a sailboat actually sailing (without the engine in gear) that I write it down in my Log Book.

Quite often I see boats sailing with the engine running too.

Small diesels don't burn a lot of fuel. Fuel consumption is affected by weight of boat, waterline of boat, speed through water, currents (with or against you) and windage, hull shape, etc. All those things factor in.

The largest detriments to fuel economy are men and schedules. Oh, you may think not, however many men have this thing whereby they believe the throttle has one position -- all the way forward. Back off, take your boat at hull speed and you're going to be burning far less fuel.

Women like to get there early too. Being willing to forget the schedule is CRITICAL for safety too.

For instance, this weekend is an SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association) get-together at Gulfport. It starts tomorrow afternoon with dinner ashore and then a potluck on Saturday. Seaweed will NOT be at the Friday anchor out -- it won't work for my life.

Gulfport:


However Saturday I fully intend to bring the boat over to Gulfport provided the weather continues as is forecast. I'll spend the night anchored and then return to the dock on Sunday. To meet the schedule of being there Friday would put too much pressure on me. I won't do that.

Saturday is fine. And if I don't make it on Saturday there is always Sunday. This retirement thing is awesome. In the meantime I'll be installing my fuel polishing system tomorrow and will run it for several hours before leaving this dock. I want to make sure I've got all the water out of the diesel tank.

Also, be sure to remember that you spend most of your time sitting still. Can you see out while seated? If not, I would not be happy. Picture yourself stuck inside your boat in the middle of a thunder-boomer. Can you see to check on the world outside?

As for me, I love that I can sit down in my galley and watch the world. Dolphins, sheepshead, anhingas and more are right outside my window. I can see and hear it all. Just the other week I had a couple of visitors:



AT FIRST I would suggest you find a pier/dock and pay for the privilege of having that electric cord, a convenient way ashore and to get the feel of this life. Fellows on the dock will be able to help out with issues that come up and offer advice.

Life on the hook is solitary. I like the peace and tranquility however I missed the social interaction. That's why I pay $80 per month for 10 gigs of internet on my computer.

There's lots more however you'll need to read a bit too. Check out my website (blatant plug: Janice aboard Seaweed, trawler cruising on a nickel budget... ) and wander around. If any of the articles strike you or you've got questions, just make a comment at the bottom of that page. I do respond though it might take a day or two.

Tonight (well, tomorrow) I'll put up a new article. The Archives would be where I'd suggest you start. Each article or vignette is listed, with the first paragraph and topics touched upon. Those that interest, click the title and voila: you're there.

2013 Archive (article synopsis page) on janice142

2014 Archive (article synopsis page) on janice142

Janice142 Archive (article synopsis page)

2016 Archive (article synopsis page) on janice142

Life is great afloat. I love it.

With your mechanical skills you're in a good place. Make sure ABSOLUTELY that you have good access to the bits and pieces of your engine and batteries. If getting to stuff is difficult you will not do routine maintenance. Neither will any previous owner have done it either.

Just last week I was told "nobody" checks their batts once a month. Since I've been doing so since I bought Seaweed (Pi Day, 2008) I can only surmise his batteries are in a difficult to reach area and that is why HE doesn't check his.

Enough advice from me. Good luck selling your house and have fun on the journey.



Most important of all is to remember the boat you buy doesn't necessarily have to have "everything" you require. She does have to be a good base to work with. Much like a house, you can make improvements and spiffy her up. Nearly eight years ago I bought an inadequate boat with one battery, zero solar, no wind generator, a pretend 11 pound Danforth knock-off anchor, plastic coated chain of indeterminate age, half- rotted dock lines and the ugliest curtains this side of a house of ill repute. She did have structure and since then, well, I love my home scurvy and am so fortunate to have her. She's nearly perfect except for the stuff that is broken, needs upgrading, fixing or changing.
This is an amazing piece of writing, Janice. First let me say that I'm sorry to hear about your cancer. I lost my 84 year old mom to cancer a year ago and know how much energy it can drain from a person.

I reached that half century mark 13 years ago and had to have open heart surgery 4 years ago this coming May. I had to have 6 bypasses, which I've never even heard of before, but by the grace of God there was no heart muscle damage. I worked out on the treadmill, was lifting weights again and had shed 60 pounds and then cancer struck my mom.

I consider myself a strong person but everything has left me with little desire to get off my butt and do anything. I'm too sedentary and feel that I need a change of scenery, something to make my life new and exciting again. The lure of the seas has sparked a desire within me but I don't know if my health will allow me to meet the physical challenges of living that way.

I'm a pretty social guy and love people. I'd go crazy too without the internet and because I live alone out in the country, I have to rely on my cell phone (Sprint) for internet access. It keeps me sane but only scratches that itch for social interaction but doesn't really cure it.

I've tossed the sailboat vs. trawler issue around a lot and I'm at the point to where I know what's out there so I have some decisions to make. All of the information you provided is great. I've seen several mention 'easy access' to maintenance items and that's something that I would need to have.

Wind generators and solar panels are both things I would want and have looked at several boats that have had both. I don't know how big of a boat I really need.

I think I could comfortable in something around 30'. I've looked at boats in the 30' to 36' foot range and they appear as though they would work for me. My next step is to walk through one of them and see if it could work.

I've owned several pull type RV's and spent a lot of time in them traveling to just about every state to the south and west of Missouri. It's never bothered me to be in a confined space as long as I have the comforts and conveniences that make our lives easier like a refrigerator/freezer, heat, a place to cook, AC and a shower.

My family vacationed every year in travel trailers when I was growing up. We didn't have air-conditioning and the refrigerator was an icebox that we would place a huge block of ice in to keep things cold. There was no freezer. When we stopped for gas we always made sure they had block ice too.

There was no heat in the trailers either. That didn't come until much later in life. Our only heat source was a pile of blankets. I guess that's why we traveled around the desert southwest most years.

Hauling water, ice, groceries and other 'things' is something that I guess a lot of people don't think of when they visualize sailing the seas. I know I didn't but I quickly became aware of it as I poured over blogs and forums. I came to the realization that it's something that has got to be done for survival.

I have a lot of time to take everything into consideration. It's all going to be based on how long it takes the house to sell and the final selling price. I appreciate your reply and wish you the very best.

the Scurv.....
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:55 AM   #97
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Janice, that was a well thought out and informative post, as always.
Janice is a heroine to us. She's an example to us all of how to make our lives the best we can and ones that fit us. She's thankful for what she has rather than resentful of what isn't. She just always comes across as someone truly happy with her life as it is. Whether living on $1k per month or $100k per month, that's not a common thing. Such a goal for all of us to be more like her, to find happiness, to find contentment, to build a life that makes us comfortable. She makes her days special. Anyone who hasn't read more of her blog, I'd strongly encourage them to do so. Many thinks happiness in life is based on the cards dealt you. No, it's more based on how you play those cards and she plays hers beautifully.

She's also chosen what works for her, what she wants. Seaweed is right for her. I've read a lot of living on $1,000 a month and living on $500 a month on other sites, but very few of them really show one how to live inexpensively and happily as Janice shows. She is by far the best guide I have seen in that regard.
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Old 02-21-2016, 07:18 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scurvy-yard-dog View Post
I'm a pretty social guy and love people. I'd go crazy too without the internet and because I live alone out in the country, I have to rely on my cell phone (Sprint) for internet access. It keeps me sane but only scratches that itch for social interaction but doesn't really cure it.

I've tossed the sailboat vs. trawler issue around a lot and I'm at the point to where I know what's out there so I have some decisions to make. All of the information you provided is great. I've seen several mention 'easy access' to maintenance items and that's something that I would need to have.

SNIP

I've owned several pull type RV's and spent a lot of time in them traveling to just about every state to the south and west of Missouri. It's never bothered me to be in a confined space as long as I have the comforts and conveniences that make our lives easier like a refrigerator/freezer, heat, a place to cook, AC and a shower.

My family vacationed every year in travel trailers when I was growing up.
I'm sorry about your mom too Scurv and congratulate you. You've got great genes and can plan on living out here for many years with her longevity as a beacon...

As for social interaction, a marina can be just the ticket. There are lots of marina "types" just as there are a lot of RV park choices. Some upscale, most not-so-much... just because one marina isn't right for you doesn't mean all are bad.

You're familiar with similar no doubt from the RV world. Having that experience of living in smaller quarters will be helpful. You can probably estimate how much space your stuff will require.

Hint: you have too much stuff. All of us do. Even me, on my boat I've got Stuff that needs to go. Lethargy and that it's stowed away keeps a 1937 antique sewing machine aboard. I need to drag it out, take pictures and find it a new home. The thing's worth $300 -- 2/3rds of the cost of the new anchor chain I want.

That's my motivation.

Once you find your Dream Boat, just remember you can make her your own. You can add solar panels. You could add a wind generator IF you're going to be some place with lots of wind. Though quite frankly, unless you're immediately heading down island I'd hold off on the wind genny for the short term.

The prices on solar have come way down from what it was decades ago. Remember this first though: until you're nearly ready to leave the dock there is no need to outfit for Off-the-Grid life. Many people spend literally tens of thousands of dollars and then discover they don't like this life.

Some prefer to marina hop. Others wish to remain in their marina community and simply venture out on weekends once or twice a season for a fishing trip. And a slim minority seldom visit marinas for more than a day or ten per year. Until you're SURE you want to cruise you'd be best off buying the boat that suits your current life, not the one you Might desire down the road.

Try it first before you dump untold $$$ into outfitting.

And good luck. Read, read, read, imagine, etc. One series I wrote that might inspire you begins with this piece:

Janice142 article Finding Your Boat (part 1)

All the best to you.

P.S. to BandB... thanks! You are correct. Happiness is a choice. I chose to focus on the good and truly my life is blessed.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:04 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janice142 View Post
I'm sorry about your mom too Scurv and congratulate you. You've got great genes and can plan on living out here for many years with her longevity as a beacon...

Hint: you have too much stuff. All of us do. Even me, on my boat I've got Stuff that needs to go. Lethargy and that it's stowed away keeps a 1937 antique sewing machine aboard. I need to drag it out, take pictures and find it a new home. The thing's worth $300 -- 2/3rds of the cost of the new anchor chain I want.

That's my motivation.

Once you find your Dream Boat, just remember you can make her your own. You can add solar panels. You could add a wind generator IF you're going to be some place with lots of wind. Though quite frankly, unless you're immediately heading down island I'd hold off on the wind genny for the short term.

The prices on solar have come way down from what it was decades ago. Remember this first though: until you're nearly ready to leave the dock there is no need to outfit for Off-the-Grid life. Many people spend literally tens of thousands of dollars and then discover they don't like this life.

Some prefer to marina hop. Others wish to remain in their marina community and simply venture out on weekends once or twice a season for a fishing trip. And a slim minority seldom visit marinas for more than a day or ten per year. Until you're SURE you want to cruise you'd be best off buying the boat that suits your current life, not the one you Might desire down the road.

Try it first before you dump untold $$$ into outfitting.

And good luck. Read, read, read, imagine, etc. One series I wrote that might inspire you begins with this piece:

Janice142 article Finding Your Boat (part 1)

All the best to you.

P.S. to BandB... thanks! You are correct. Happiness is a choice. I chose to focus on the good and truly my life is blessed.

Hi Janice. My mom was a strong woman and I have her to thank for who I am today.

That 'stuff' you're talking about is what I call 'clutter' and I do have some but I don't like it. If I'm not using it, I probably don't need it. If I think I need it, and haven't done anything with it in a years time, it's history.

I think the marina life would suit me just fine until I get my sea legs. Going out fishing or diving (snorkeling) would keep me happy and allow me to learn my boat, it's capabilities as well as mine.

After doing more research on wind generators, I'll probably stay away from them. I've read they can be noisy and as long as I'm not living off the grid, I'll be okay without solar too but if I had the chance to pick up a boat within my budget that already had panels, I'd go for it.

I can't say if I'd like the life or not. Right now I think I would and when I read other people's blogs, it only reinforces what I think my heart desires. Good luck with your journey.
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