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Old 01-24-2013, 11:27 AM   #1
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Workin', wishin' and plannin'

Hi all! This is our first post! We've been reading and learning from all of you for several months, though. Time to come out of the closet!

Both of us were brought up on and around boats, Helen in CT and myself on the Severn River near Annapolis. We've owned up to a 40' Beneteau cruising sailboat.

Our long-range plan is to buy a pre-owned, low-time trawler large enough to live on comfortably long-term while moving around to keep warm. To us that looks like a boat in the 45-65 foot range. Nordhavn and Kadey single-screw is our current bent re. quality and fuel efficiency, fit and finish.

Helen is an OB/GYN and I've been in fine jewelry all my life. We're hoping to find part-time emplyement at both ends of our Winter/Summer "commute" to keep up our skills and relationships and have some income. We currently live and work in Ft. Lauderdale.

We're going to attend Trawler Fest at the Bahia Mar next week and look forward to meeting any of you interested in sharing your insights!

Best,

Rich and Helen
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:32 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard.
What does it men keep warm?
I haven't been warm for 30 years.

Sounds like you are on the right track. Keep the dream alive.

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Old 01-24-2013, 11:38 AM   #3
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Warm means...

Warm to us means uprooting yourself from CT and moving to Ft. Lauderdale. Warm means having to ask "Where's my damn leather coat?" once a year when you get on an airplane to visit the kids. It means no snow tires, cords of firewood or gloves - except to scuba dive!

R & H
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Warm? Hell it's -20 here now!
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:04 PM   #5
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Gotta love

Gotta love anyone with "Rufus T. Firefly as his monniker". Tells a lot. Helen's maiden name was "Spalding". So "Hurray for Captain Spalding" get's a lot of airtime at our house!
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:50 PM   #6
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Rich and Helen-when you are at the Trawlerfest-stop at the Kadey-Krogen area and introduce yourselves to Greg Kaufman-he is their marketing head and a very good, helpful guy. He will give you a good intro to the Krogen family.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:52 PM   #7
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Might want to start looking early as preparing and becoming a live aboard is not as simple as most think as many marinas to do allow live a boards, most boats are not live aboard ready and most people are not live aboard ready. The first couple of years are make or break as there are pluses and minuses. We did not make the first year as there where a few surprises. A large % donít last the fist year as the boat and they are not prepared that average is maybe 5 years and then there are us old die Hards.

We bought the Eagle 17 years ago while we were both working, and became a live aboard 15 years ago after we up graded and remodeled her. We had no plans on being a live aboard it just happened. Now that we been a live aboard we will not move back to a permanently dirt dewelling and if we do we would rent/rather than buy as we like to be mobile, live light and not keeping up with the neighbors.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:41 PM   #8
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Keep some dirt

Helen is already hedging our bet saying that she would like to keep a "small" home somewhere. She seems to have at least the psychological need to own some dirt somewhere. We'll have to see how that plays out.

Do you see some common reasons that folks "drop out" of liveaboard life? I would guess that foremost is underestimating the money it takes to maintain the boat and sustain an "acceptable" lifestyle. I would also guess that some folks somehow get the bejesus scared out of them by wave or weather?
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:56 PM   #9
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Do you see some common reasons that folks "drop out" of liveaboard life? I would guess that foremost is underestimating the money it takes to maintain the boat and sustain an "acceptable" lifestyle. I would also guess that some folks somehow get the bejesus scared out of them by wave or weather?[/QUOTE]

I would think it is about the room you have on a boat.

If you are used to living in a large house and move onto a boat.
There is not a lot of room for things.
After you factor in tools and spares i.e. necessities.
There is not a lot of room left.

Sell it store it or give it away.

Do you really need all that stuff you have anyway?

SD
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich and Helen View Post
Helen is already hedging our bet saying that she would like to keep a "small" home somewhere. She seems to have at least the psychological need to own some dirt somewhere. We'll have to see how that plays out.

Do you see some common reasons that folks "drop out" of liveaboard life? I would guess that foremost is underestimating the money it takes to maintain the boat and sustain an "acceptable" lifestyle. I would also guess that some folks somehow get the bejesus scared out of them by wave or weather?
Females are usually the first to move off the boat due to long isolated dark walks to the boat, use marina facilities, and normal daily routine. Most live aboard boats are bigger and newbies want a view so are out on the end where the dock is not well protected. Also the tide can be a big factor especially the further north you go so the ramps are steep. Some models/lay out make it very difficult to get on and off the boat.

The creature comforts and limited recourses, air conditioning, electricity, heat, refrigeration, sanitation, space/storage water, are also factors and take getting use to. The boats slip/dock, the marina location/facilities are factors for many females.

Important that the SO/Female in most if not all decisions has to have the final final say, and you have to help and/or due the majority of the normal domestic chores, which is the reason I due the laundry, grocery shopping and carry most things to/from the boat. Remeber she is the admerail and you are what ever?
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:02 PM   #11
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Thanks

Dear Phil,

That is a thought-provoking and insightful response and I thank you so much for it.

Rich
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:45 PM   #12
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There are so many variables...you need to narrow your wants and desires...then run them by someone who has had a similar experience living aboard...most other "opinions" will share insight but are only tiny pieces of the puzzle.

I've lived aboard 3 times...once in Ft Lauderdale on a 30 foot sailboat...once in Annapolis on a 37 foot sportfish and once in Jersey on my 40 trawler (and now making the winter run back and forth to the South.)

Each circumstance was a different boat, different climate, different needs, different points in life.....most boaters never get there and even the dreamers can't imagine.

Forums tend to be short clips of opinions...so when you narrow things down...best to private message those you have come to trust or talk on the phone...one liners and short paragraphs tend to get confusing...
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rich and Helen View Post

Do you see some common reasons that folks "drop out" of liveaboard life?
In the twelve years or so we've been on the dock we're on now there have been numerous liveaboards on the same dock. All but one couple gave it up. The maximum liveaboard time was about seven or eight years, with most calling it quits after two to four.

The reasons varied, but the most common that I recall hearing were:

Tired of the cramped quarters and never-changing view of other boats around them. This seemed to be the biggest complaint. People simply got fed up with living in a tiny space.

Tired of having only the footprint of the boat to call your own. No yard, no garage, no trees, etc.

Tired of working on their "house" all the time. Not that all boats don't require ongoing work but with a home that isn't the boat you can get away from the boat and its never-ending list of chores. When you live on it the chores, repairs, etc. are always staring you in the face.

Dealing with power outages (not that many, though) and water shutoffs (frequently) during the winter.

The inconvenience of dealing with holding tanks/toilets/showers.

The escalating cost of moorage, electricity, and insurance (required in our marina).

Fed up with the long trek to and from the boat as Phil alludes to in his post.

The insecurity of leaving their car in the parking lot. Several of them experienced car break-ins during their liveaboard time.

Some people complained about almost all these things. But the most common comment we heard as these folks moved off was, "We're so glad to get out of that cave."

To my knowledge, none of them ever returned to the live-aboard lifestyle even though most of them kept the boat, at least for awhile. But most of them sold their boats, too, after a bit. One of them, a big 1950s Chris Craft, is still for sale on our dock almost three years after the liveaboard fellow moved off of it.

And of the liveaboard couples we've known who gave up the lifestyle, only one of them continued to use their boat after they'd moved off of it, mainly because they had a long-running charter business with it (which they quit doing last year and the boat is now up for sale).

The one couple who continues to live aboard after about three or four years has sold their 35-foot boat and bought a 50+foot schooner in another part of the harbor. The husband works for Foss tugs so their living location is actually pretty convenient for them.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:58 PM   #14
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Greetings,
The only comment I can add is a bit conflicting. Personally, I feel no yard, no garage, no trees would be an advantage. Just my XX square feet of responsibility. I'm currently sitting on the dirt with no furnace and parts on order (I hope) with it being -15. I hope the woodpile holds out. Yes, same thing goes for a boat. Just sayin'. Lots of things to consider either asea or ashore.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:40 AM   #15
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Rich and Helen,

Good luck with that plan, I wish you well. HWMO and I have a similar plan - we are currently in the process of turfing out the sh1t, the boat is coming out tomorrow to have her bottom wiped, and then we move aboard in April...

It's amazing how easy it is to just say goodbye to possessions, and I am fairly sure that we will be fine without a garage to clean and a garden to prune... Not s sure about the dogs, tho!
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:59 AM   #16
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There are two kinds of liveaboards...."stay put" liveaboards and "cruisin'" liveaboards.

The stay putters may have to because of jobs, etc...and ultimately plan to cruise...or they are romantics that think liveaboarding is "cool" or some think it's a cheap way to live in an expensive but desirable place. The wannabe cruisers dwindle down when they just never seem to get to it because of kids, grandkids, mythical nest eggs....etc...etc. The romantics find out it's not as easy living as they thought or they are u[ north when living aboard in the summer is pretty neat but the winter can be a struggle. The ones that think it's a cheaper way to live were never really boaters in the first place so like many things in life...when something better comes along....they hit the road.

The true cruising liveaboards are few and far between....they are often the lasting ones as the things that pull them away from living aboard have been settled from the very beginning...the "problems" are often blessings and living is easy as long as money and health last.

Money and health kinda go hand in hand for some....cruising is a tad easier if you have the money to tie up when it warrants it and you just don't have the health, steam, or attitude to stay anchored out....that's when I may want to give it up.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:40 AM   #17
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What a great forum

I am taken with the use of this electronic media at its very best. The opportunity to cyberchat with a group experienced and eager to share is just wonderful. Thanks to the creator (of Trawler Forum).
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:04 PM   #18
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Warning long reply!


Since your are going to be a live aboard 100% of the time and cruising far less, I would advise to buy the biggest boat with the most creature comforts your budget will allows meet you requirements. Most long term live a boards have 50+ ft most of the whistles/bells, creature comforts, capacity and capability.

My wife found, wanted and made the final decision to buy the Eagle, I was not a happy camper as it was an ugly old slow trawler, but it was big had the must have features shw wanted, and we got a good deal. So now my wife can not complain. however her only complaint is it does not have a bath tube, but we could install on if we give up the small forth bedroom as the Eagle has a Webasto ever hot water heater. Also she really like the big open salon windows, and the Eagle being a wide body, so the whole beam is live a aboard space.

Its very important that each person has their own space/area so the do not disturb the other person. I have the ER and Bilge and she has the rest of the boat! Not really as we each have a extra bedroom, each have a bathroom, my wife the enclosed heated stern deck, I have the pilot house and we use the 4th small bed room as a misc storage area. Noise from/to the salon can not be heard from the Master State so we do not disturb each other sleep. I am an early to bed and getting up, and my wife is late to bed and late to get up.

All of our slip have been with in 100 ft of the marina gate, the boat is tied very close/secure to the dock, and I made steps with railing to get on off the boat. My wife has fallen in twice, both time her fault for dropping and reaching. Both time she is luck as I was there to pull her out. I had the marina install dock ladders at the bow and the stern of the boat. My wife refuses to walk a long distance down a floating/moving dock to the boat. So we have waited as long as 3 years for the right slip to open.

So when looking at boats also look at marinas, and talk to live a boards and boaters. Since some marinas have a waiting list might want to put your name on a few. You can pass on a slip!
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:28 PM   #19
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We live aboard for three months per year. By the end of that three months, we're both ready to head to the house. Our slip affords a beautiful, unobstructed view across a small bay off the stern. The bow faces a charming city park. We have transient slip neighbors on either side. If we were stuck in a large marina with boats on all sides, we'd have sold the boat years ago. Further, the sundeck configuration provides glorious outside space, so we're not struck in the "hole". Be very careful about size and configuration if full time live aboard is the goal. A 44' works for us for several months (occasional guests), but something in the 50+ range would be ideal. A 58 Hatteras Yachtfish or LRC comes to mind (both have decent sized outside space and a cockpit).
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:42 PM   #20
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One thing that doesn't get mentioned often is what living aboard does to the boat. When it is time to move off and sell, I'd guess the condition of the boat has suffered. Cooking odors, more than likely head odors, probably some custom storage, etc that a buyer might not want. Also, mechanical might be suspect if it has been a dock queen. When surfing the YW listings its often easy to spot these boats.
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