View Poll Results: Is living aboard full time for you?
I currently live aboard and love it. 30 40.54%
I currently live aboard and hate it. 0 0%
I have never lived aboard, but want to 22 29.73%
I have never lived aboard, and never will. 6 8.11%
I have lived aboard in the past, and will again. 16 21.62%
I have lived aboard in the past, and never will again. 0 0%
Voters: 74. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-17-2018, 12:44 PM   #21
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Living Aboard and Cruising Full Time

My wife and I moved about 4 years ago and have never looked back.

We downsized from a 4,400 SF house to 600 SF on the boat. It's been great.

When we first moved aboard we didn't do anything with the house or all our stuff.

After about 6 months we removed from the house what we wanted to keep, (mostly artwork) and hired an estate sale company. The next time we saw the house, it was empty.

We then waited another year with the house sitting empty before we put the house on the market. A week later it was sold.

We have found it very liberating not to have all the stuff to manage, clean, insure, and take care of. Surprising, the size of the boat has not been an issue at all.

The one thing we miss is the garage for parking our cars. The car is now 400 feet away in the parking lot at the head of the dock. That's about it.

A couple of thoughts to consider if thinking of living aboard full time.

1) We made a point to have a boat with a queen size walk around bed. No climbing over each other to get in and out of bed.
2) We have a full size household washer and dryer on board.
3) Since our boat is an offshore trawler, the living space are divided up. The salon, galley, pilothouse, etc are all different spaces. It might be harder if you were always living in one large open room.
4) It's nice to have a good size holding tank (ours is 150 gallons) and water tanks (we have 1,200 gallons plus watermaker).
5) When you want to go cruising, you don't have to pack up and go to the boat and when you return, you don't have to pack up and drive home. Everything you have / own is with you all the time. No need to wonder if that particular item is at home or on the boat.

Just our thoughts.

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Old 04-17-2018, 01:20 PM   #22
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Living on a boat is simply a personal life style choice. It certainly has goods and bads.

It's akin to living in a small waterfront apartment that moves locations and costs a LOT more to maintain.

The upsides:
Simple lifestyle with minimal possessions
Easy to move around and enjoy different area.
Being on the water all the time

Some of the downsides:
Simple lifestyle with minimal possessions
Hard to move around town, shop, travel.
Being on the water all the time.

It really depends what one wants.

Wont work for me because:
I want a garage with all my tools and junk.
I like other water toys, windsurfer, kayak and small runabout, all which are harder to launch from a boat.
I like to keep up with flying. (Could do if the boat didn't move too far from the hangar)
I like the creature comforts of a dirt home, easier to move around and just more room to do things.

I can see boat living to be very attractive, but for me, it's gonna be part time.
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:06 PM   #23
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. At this point, 90% of poll participants have a positive opinion of living aboard full time. 80% of those people have actual first hand experience living aboard.

I'm surprised to see such a high percentage with a favorable view. I thought there would be more naysayers.

To answer some questions asked of me, I'm single and don't have any pets. I'm not in danger of being in a relationship any time soon, and there are no children in my future. I really don't have much keeping me in my current location except inertia. I've lived in this area my whole life, and I've been in this house for 10 years now.

When I talk to people in person about wanting to live aboard, they all think I'm crazy. 'Why would you want to do that??' they ask. 'What are you gonna do all day??' 'You mean you'll have to pump out your poop tank?' 'What do you mean you won't have a car? How could you possibly live without a car??'

Just about every one of them has told me to just get a boat and keep the house, or to buy a second house, or to buy a house on the water somewhere. My father keeps telling me that I should buy a giant diesel truck and a trailerable boat and take it around that way. It's really difficult to explain to people why I'm not interested in any of those options. I don't want MORE things to take care of. Living aboard is just such an alien concept to so many people. They just can't understand it. The idea of selling my house is as shocking to them as if I wanted to remove my nipples with a cheese grater, and replace them with beehives.
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:28 PM   #24
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I have always wanted to live aboard, and fortunately met a great girl with a boat. I've lived aboard now for about a year-and-a-half, but she has lived on Loafer for over 9 years (we both have day jobs).

I love it, and she shows no signs of live-aboard fatigue. Nearly every time we come home, she skips down the dock and says "Let's live here!"

I do think it's important to keep some skin in terrestrial real estate...some day we'll be too old to deal with a 50-foot wooden trawler. SO, in that vein, I decided to rent my house out, rather than sell it. I guess the next check point for us will be in three years, when I have to decide if I'm going to sell or move into my house to avoid capital gains taxes.
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:31 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Seevee View Post
.

Wont work for me because:
I want a garage with all my tools and junk.
I like other water toys, windsurfer, kayak and small runabout, all which are harder to launch from a boat.
I like to keep up with flying. (Could do if the boat didn't move too far from the hangar)
I like the creature comforts of a dirt home, easier to move around and just more room to do things.

I can see boat living to be very attractive, but for me, it's gonna be part time.
You just need a bigger boat
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:40 PM   #26
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You just need a bigger boat
You are SO right! That would work!
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:38 AM   #27
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Liveaboard for me conjures images of a stationary boat with crap everywhere and docklines that are calcified to the pilings or cleats. If someone asks, we're full-time cruisers. Who also happen to live aboard. (No offense intended to those who do live aboard a boat that rarely moves.)
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:34 AM   #28
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Liveaboard for me conjures images of a stationary boat with crap everywhere and docklines that are calcified to the pilings or cleats. If someone asks, we're full-time cruisers. Who also happen to live aboard. (No offense intended to those who do live aboard a boat that rarely moves.)
This is just stereo typing. Sure those people exist just like the boat that never gets used and is totally covered in green growth. Most liveaboard in my area use there boats more than non liveaboards and keep their boats cleaner.
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:47 AM   #29
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Liveaboard Poll

Curious about family. We have three grown children (one in High School still in the house) so we’re close to a next step lifestyle change anyway.

While I would strongly consider the live aboard life at some point in the next five or ten years - I’m attracted to the cruising lifestyle with a PNW base and along with it the reduction of stuff and obligations - my wife is concerned about what happens when the kids come back for thanksgiving, weddings, with spouses and grandchildren and feels strongly they need a home to return to. A home with dirt under it. Some permanence if you will.

Our compromise has been the ‘big boat, small house’ plan. Sell the house in Seattle, put half the money in a smaller place further out (Gig Harbor or Olympia or Port Townsend, etc) and much of the remainder for a larger boat to go far on. Cash out so to speak but keep a house to live in or rent out when we’re cruising.

Seems like the best of both worlds. I don’t plan to stop working but I wouldn’t mind working less or starting a second act. This plan (on paper anyway) enables that lifestyle.

Curious what full time live-a-boards do with visiting/returning adult children.
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:40 PM   #30
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Curious about family.

Curious what full time live-a-boards do with visiting/returning adult children.
Our visiting children stay in rented accommodations. We love our kids but why maintain a house for the few occasions when they may visit. If they happen to be cash-strapped, why not just pay for their overnights? Way cheaper than keeping a house.
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Old 04-19-2018, 05:26 PM   #31
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Curious what full time live-a-boards do with visiting/returning adult children.
Part of the reason we sold the house. If there's no house, they can't come back. EZPZ
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Old 04-19-2018, 05:32 PM   #32
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. At this point, 90% of poll participants have a positive opinion of living aboard full time. 80% of those people have actual first hand experience living aboard.

I'm surprised to see such a high percentage with a favorable view. I thought there would be more naysayers.

To answer some questions asked of me, I'm single and don't have any pets. I'm not in danger of being in a relationship any time soon, and there are no children in my future. I really don't have much keeping me in my current location except inertia. I've lived in this area my whole life, and I've been in this house for 10 years now.

When I talk to people in person about wanting to live aboard, they all think I'm crazy. 'Why would you want to do that??' they ask. 'What are you gonna do all day??' 'You mean you'll have to pump out your poop tank?' 'What do you mean you won't have a car? How could you possibly live without a car??'

Just about every one of them has told me to just get a boat and keep the house, or to buy a second house, or to buy a house on the water somewhere. My father keeps telling me that I should buy a giant diesel truck and a trailerable boat and take it around that way. It's really difficult to explain to people why I'm not interested in any of those options. I don't want MORE things to take care of. Living aboard is just such an alien concept to so many people. They just can't understand it. The idea of selling my house is as shocking to them as if I wanted to remove my nipples with a cheese grater, and replace them with beehives.
Keep in mind that you can't take this group as reflective of all who have tried it. Those for whom it was a miserable failure are not likely here.

As someone who doesn't "live aboard" but spends 8 months a year cruising and 9 months on boats, it's a question that brings real thought. We have boat land and water homes. We don't have to choose one or the other. What would we do if we had to? Would it be live on land and own a smaller boat for local boating or live full time on a boat?

Living aboard for us requires certain conveniences. Others are trying to escape the things we don't want to give up. Space and head room is very important. I am tall and couldn't live in a situation I couldn't stand up straight. Both indoor and outdoor cooking ability. Then come the things many could do without but washer/dryer, dishwasher, and satellite tv and internet are important to you. I think you need to address what you would really miss if you had to give it up. You may have noticed several couples had to move up in size. Size provides the ability for more items that aren't absolute necessities but important to people.

It seemed to me in your initial post there were two benefits you were excited about. First, was living on a boat. Second, was getting out of cold winters. Getting away from the winters doesn't mean you have to live on a boat.

Many have maintained their land home, renting it for two reasons. One, to allow them to be sure living aboard is right for them. The other doesn't apply as much at your age and that is to have a home to come back to at retirement from boating time.

Another consideration is will you miss family and current friends. What will you miss most in relocation whether land or water?

It's not the same as living aboard but I'd still try chartering a boat in the size range you're considering and trying to visualize and think of what you do miss on it. Think of space. To me just assuming you're moving from a typical 3 bedroom home, how much do you use and for what do you use the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms. If you have a living and family room and two dining areas will you miss that at all? Most of us have some spaces in our homes we'd be fine without but others that we'd very much miss. Maybe even walk yourself through getting rid of stuff and figuring out how to get down to what would fit on a boat.

Then have Plan B. Whether six months or 20 years later if living aboard wasn't working, what would you do? I've known some that they still wouldn't want to live where they were living, so made it easier. Assuming a significant loss on the sale of the boat, could you purchase a home or condo or rent where you'd want to be?
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:30 PM   #33
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For Sale or trade for KK42
Totally redone 1907 four square . Lots of custom wood work . Could throw in a smaller trawler for the right deal
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:45 PM   #34
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Part of the reason we sold the house. If there's no house, they can't come back. EZPZ


Ha, maybe I need to rethink this ‘small house,big boat’ plan!

All hail the ‘no house, Nordhavn 62’ plan!
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:14 PM   #35
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Thanks for that BandB. Some thoughts below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
Keep in mind that you can't take this group as reflective of all who have tried it. Those for whom it was a miserable failure are not likely here.

This is definitely something I've considered. I would love to interview 100 people that tried it and quit. I'd love to know what went wrong and be able to learn from their experiences. I haven't been able to find too many of those people, though. I suspect it's a pretty high percentage of those who try it.

As someone who doesn't "live aboard" but spends 8 months a year cruising and 9 months on boats, it's a question that brings real thought. We have boat land and water homes. We don't have to choose one or the other. What would we do if we had to? Would it be live on land and own a smaller boat for local boating or live full time on a boat?

Living aboard for us requires certain conveniences. Others are trying to escape the things we don't want to give up. Space and head room is very important. I am tall and couldn't live in a situation I couldn't stand up straight. Both indoor and outdoor cooking ability. Then come the things many could do without but washer/dryer, dishwasher, and satellite tv and internet are important to you. I think you need to address what you would really miss if you had to give it up. You may have noticed several couples had to move up in size. Size provides the ability for more items that aren't absolute necessities but important to people.

I've spent a lot of time and soul searching in this department. I'm not particularly tall, in fact I'm a very average 5'10, so I've never met a boat that was too short. I am quite a portly chap, though, so I have met some that are too narrow. As far as creature comforts, I don't have (or miss) cable, so that would be no great loss. I can happily get my connection through cell providers, and since I don't plan to stray too far from the coast, I expect to have reasonable coverage, though I know there will be areas without. I don't love washing dishes, but that's certainly not any kind of obstacle. I think the things that I would miss most would be having lots of hot water, and a washer and dryer. Both of which can be fitted to the sort of boats I'd want.

It seemed to me in your initial post there were two benefits you were excited about. First, was living on a boat. Second, was getting out of cold winters. Getting away from the winters doesn't mean you have to live on a boat.

I guess it's more that I see myself wasting a lot of my time in a situation or environment that tends to make me unhappy, when I could be doing something that makes me happy. I love cruising. I don't have anywhere near as much experience as you, or in fact most people here, but I've done a pretty fair amount. Enough to know that It's my favorite way to spend my time. It combines my all of my favorite interests, travel/exploring new places, and boats.

Many have maintained their land home, renting it for two reasons. One, to allow them to be sure living aboard is right for them. The other doesn't apply as much at your age and that is to have a home to come back to at retirement from boating time.

Another consideration is will you miss family and current friends. What will you miss most in relocation whether land or water?

I think this has traditionally been part of the reason that I've never moved away to greener pastures. The vast majority of my family lives within 20 miles of me, and that's comforting. At this point, though, it's much less of a consideration. My father now lives in Florida. Almost all of my friends live out of state, or will be within the next few years. My sister is married and has a life of her own now, and I'm away from home for 5-7 months a year for work anyway. So I've gotten used to going long periods without seeing friends and family.

Actually, part of the reason I like the snowbird cruising idea is so that I can spend the summers back in the north with family. I'd also be able to offer them the occasional trip to warmer climes to visit me during the winter, which is nice.


It's not the same as living aboard but I'd still try chartering a boat in the size range you're considering and trying to visualize and think of what you do miss on it. Think of space. To me just assuming you're moving from a typical 3 bedroom home, how much do you use and for what do you use the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms. If you have a living and family room and two dining areas will you miss that at all? Most of us have some spaces in our homes we'd be fine without but others that we'd very much miss. Maybe even walk yourself through getting rid of stuff and figuring out how to get down to what would fit on a boat.

This is another subject I've considered many times. The idea of downsizing is one that really appeals to me. I have a 1300 square foot three bedroom house at the moment, and I don't use the vast majority of it. I have an office upstairs that I use once or twice a month, which could be replaced by a laptop and a binder. I have a guest bedroom that just turns into a place where my dad tends to overstay his welcome several times a year. I have a dining room I use once in a blue moon, an attic I haven't even looked into in a year, and a basement that's mostly empty. The two car garage is nothing more than a catch all for all of the nonsense I wouldn't need any more if I didn't have a house. The car, the lawnmower, the patio furniture, the snowblower, blahhh blah blah.

The chartering idea is one I have yet to try, but I fully intend to. Really, it's the closest I'll get to really being able to try it before I buy it.


Then have Plan B. Whether six months or 20 years later if living aboard wasn't working, what would you do? I've known some that they still wouldn't want to live where they were living, so made it easier. Assuming a significant loss on the sale of the boat, could you purchase a home or condo or rent where you'd want to be?

I guess this has been my main stumbling block. I didn't think twice about buying a house because... well... you're supposed to, right? The thought of giving up the safety net makes me nervous. In the end, though, even If I was left with no money at all at the end of it, I'm still relatively young, I still have a good job, and I could be back on my feet within a relatively short amount of time. Sure, I like my house, and I'm sure I'll miss it from time to time, but there are others.
PS: Is anyone keeping track of the record for longest post? I think I might have a contender here. I might even be giving ol' Marin a run for his money.
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:18 PM   #36
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Now that would be something to give Marin a run for his money but I think you are right
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:19 PM   #37
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For Sale or trade for KK42
Totally redone 1907 four square . Lots of custom wood work . Could throw in a smaller trawler for the right deal
Hello fellow old house owner! I'm in a 1917 model, myself. Also heavily laden with woodwork. I definitely see a common theme here. You're a man who loves a good covered porch. I respect that.
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:20 PM   #38
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We have twin daughters that are married and four grandkids.Their family lives are so busy that we do the visiting. We are about two hours away. If you build or buy it ( a big house ) doesn’t mean they will come and when they do it’s such a small percentage of the time . I think the bigger boat and smaller house to come home to after your done is the right move. I wouldn’t like the thought of something happening to me and my wife being stuck with dumping a boat to get our equity back to buy a house .
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:21 PM   #39
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Ha, maybe I need to rethink this ‘small house,big boat’ plan!

All hail the ‘no house, Nordhavn 62’ plan!
If there was any way I could afford a N62, I wouldn't even have to think about it
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:04 PM   #40
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Ok, I said we live aboard and love it....However the truth be told, I just fully retired last week and the house is being renovated to go on the market so we have been live aboards for all of 2 days. We LOVE being on the boat, we have spent lots of time aboard in the last few years and dreaming of this day, but we still have a lot of "stuff" to go through and get rid of. It's a process! My wife says...LOL
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