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Old 09-22-2021, 01:17 PM   #1
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Full-time Liveaboard For A Newbie

Hi Liveaboards!


I'm a total newbie when it comes to a full-time liveaboard. Naturally, I have a couple of millions of questions to ask. Perhaps, I'll ask a few questions to start with:


I'm from San Diego, CA and love water such as surfing. Oftentimes I fantasize to be near the water all the time. Now that I have $50,000 cash on hand....


1) I wonder if this budget is realistic to buy a boat soley for full-time liveaboard?


2) If yes, which type of boat is ideal to buy that's comfortable for two adults and a large dog?


3) What's the maximum price should I purchase a boat (new or used) and save remaining cash for the rest of all other start up expenses?


4) What's the total average monthly expenses for a full-time liveaboard should I be expecting?


5) Should I take a boating class and/or earn certificate?


Of course I'm skipping many more questions but if you feel other questions should've been asked, let me know!


Happy boating!
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Old 09-22-2021, 01:47 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard.
We are fulltime live aboards on the East Coast.
A lot of the answers will depend upon your experience and comfort zone.
We have people at our dock that call the marina to change their batteries.
Some people wont go anywhere without a licensed captain at the helm.

My advice is learn as much as you can, be self sufficient, gather tools as there are no break down lanes in the water. Tag sales are great for picking up old tools.

I would never again buy a new boat. Some people dont feel this way, again preference. A new boat NEVER guarantees no issues. Warranty claims may be free but may take 2 months to get resolved.
Our boat is almost 40 yrs old with ford lehmans. Sure we have a little upkeep, but it is part of the life style. There are no electric fuel modules or computers to break down.
As far as expenses ? We burn a total of 6 GPH with a 8 kt cruise and travel every weekend somewhere, very efficient trawler. Some boats go 30 kts but burn 60 GPH and break down a lot more. High HP engines self destruct, turbos need rebuilding etc...

On our 41' President, my wife and I have no dirt home and we use our aft cabin as storage and a dressing room. 2 state rooms are great for that. Diesel and propane fireplaces keep the boat nice and warm.
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Old 09-22-2021, 02:29 PM   #3
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your single biggest issue is finding a marina that will take you and finding insurance for a boat that's less than 50k
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Old 09-22-2021, 04:11 PM   #4
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There is of course the no marina option.

Money saved to be spent on more capable vessel.
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Old 09-22-2021, 05:52 PM   #5
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Progressive had no issue adding my under 50k boat to my policies.

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...... and finding insurance for a boat that's less than 50k
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Old 09-22-2021, 06:33 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard. Actually it isn’t the price that will be the problem for insurance it will be the age of the boat, big enough to liveaboard and less than $50K will mean it will be old. Old means it will be more difficult to insure. Also finding a liveaboard marina in SoCal isn’t easy.

Definitely take boating classes. If you don’t have much if any experience then insurance will most likely require that you hire a captain to train you.
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Old 09-22-2021, 06:35 PM   #7
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There is of course the no marina option.

Money saved to be spent on more capable vessel.
He is in Southern California, not a lot of anchoring out there long term.
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:30 AM   #8
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If all you want to do is liveaboard , and have no extensive travel plans the best boat would be one designed and purpose built to do that, a houseboat.
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Old 09-24-2021, 07:19 AM   #9
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He is in Southern California, not a lot of anchoring out there long term.
Having a look its a rather unhospitable part of the world isn't it
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:33 AM   #10
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Are you looking for a floating apartment that never leaves the slip? Or are you looking for a functioning cruising boat to use on a regular basis. These are very different things. The former can be had cheap. The latter tends to be very expensive.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:43 AM   #11
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Having a look its a rather unhospitable part of the world isn't it
Ha Ha, opinions vary, but some would say that is true.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:46 AM   #12
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The problem is that you are going to have to hunt for a slip that will allow liveaboards. Compounding that problem is that you want to live aboard a boat that is going to be pretty long in the tooth and in need of deferred maintenance catching up based on your $50K budget.

San Diego has a lot of marinas but they are all privately owned.
They can pick and choose who and what boats they allow for liveaboards since there are more wanna be liveaboards than liveaboard slips available.

I don't want to shatter your dream but I think you have your work cut out for you finding a slip and a boat that will be accepted.

For example you are probably going to have to provide a recent photo of your boat in order to get a slip in a private marina so that the marina can determine if your boat's appearance matches the market demographic they are wanting to attract.
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:58 AM   #13
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For example you are probably going to have to provide a recent photo of your boat in order to get a slip in a private marina so that the marina can determine if your boat's appearance matches the market demographic they are wanting to attract.

This better than the RV world where no matter now excellent your motorhome or trailer looks, beyound a certain year, all are cut off from available sites.
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Old 09-25-2021, 11:22 AM   #14
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Good luck in your search. We just started the liveaboard lifestyle and love it already.

Definitely take boating classes.. knowledge is power and always a good idea to understand more about boating and the water. Plus some insurances require some sort of training.

Alot of your questions are really an opinion thing.. one person's idea of space needed is not the same as others. For me I like a little elbow room, but I would also be looking at assessbility for the dog.. how easy is to get them on and off? If it's difficult those potty breaks are going to get old fast.

I would definitely be looking at the cost of moorage in your area it really varies and is some times hard to come by especially live aboard. Maybe talk with people at marinas in your area to see if they are willing to share). Our moorage goes up and down because electric is metered. So we have moorage, live aboard fees and electric)

You need to figure out as much as possible what kind of boating you want to do.. are you going to sail or even motor about or do you just want to live on the water and could get by with a houseboat. I know that may be hard to figure out.. do you have any friends that have boats that you could go on a trip with to try and see what you like?
We were thinking that we wanted power because we had had a loaned sailboat for awhile before we owned our first power boat and liked the power better for our needs. But we weren't quite sure and had considered a catamaran.. so we went on one with family and the trip was all it took to decide we definitely wanted power.

Hope you can make the transition.. we are certainly glad we did!
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Old 09-26-2021, 11:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
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4) What's the total average monthly expenses for a full-time liveaboard should I be expecting?
What's the total average monthly expenses for living on the land? The answers are exactly the same...


It can range from very little to more than most people can even imagine. It all depends entirely on where you want to live, what sort of abode you want to live in, and what kind of a lifestyle you want to maintain.


No one can give you a meaningful answer to these kinds of questions without a LOT more information about just exactly what sort of life you expect, and what kind of a budget you have in mind.
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Old 09-26-2021, 04:31 PM   #16
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Short answer: unrealistic.
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Old 09-26-2021, 04:52 PM   #17
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If you want to live aboard an older boat, leave S. Cal. Probably leaving California in general is a good idea. Some marinas in tourist areas are happy to find boat that buy dockage year round. But there's probably few jobs. In less populated areas, sometimes you can find a private dock that is less picky and less expensive. But it takes some searching. I did it for many years in better times. Now I own a private dock.
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Old 09-26-2021, 05:27 PM   #18
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Take it from a old X liveaboard 50k is no budget.
200K is just a starting point.
Finding a liveaboard slip in SoCal is just a dream.
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Old 09-28-2021, 10:08 PM   #19
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Thanks everyone for your insights!

As for 'no marina option':

1) When is a licensed captain required?

2) Is it still hard to find a dock in Southern California just for a refill/dump items?

3) It seems that I would need more capable vessel for no marina option. What type of vessels would be the minimum?

4) Would traveling along the coast between California and Florida thru Panama Canal be a good route for 'no marina option'?

5) Does this route has a lot of anchoring spots? If not, which route is ideal for a long term anchoring?
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Old 09-28-2021, 10:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sideburn View Post
Thanks everyone for your insights!

As for 'no marina option':

1) When is a licensed captain required?

2) Is it still hard to find a dock in Southern California just for a refill/dump items?

3) It seems that I would need more capable vessel for no marina option. What type of vessels would be the minimum?

4) Would traveling along the coast between California and Florida thru Panama Canal be a good route for 'no marina option'?

5) Does this route has a lot of anchoring spots? If not, which route is ideal for a long term anchoring?
Traveling from California to Florida by boat will take a well found, good condition and well equipped, boat along with an experienced crew. Anchorages along the west coast are very limited and pretty far apart so the boat will need some long legs, lots of fuel capacity. This is not something for a new boater. I agree with a post above that leaving California if you want to liveaboard is a good idea. Anyway good luck.
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