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Old 09-09-2021, 05:20 AM   #1
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Looking for rookie stories...

I've been curious to hear stories from the people that have sold all and decided to become liveaboards and cruisers.. Really would like to hear the tales of people that were mostly inexperienced when they made the leap and did it on a reasonable budget.
We are getting closer to the purchase of a vessel here in the Northeast and whenever I post an inquiry on this forum someone is always sure to bring up something I haven't previously thought of.

Thanks!
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Old 09-09-2021, 08:38 AM   #2
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Living aboard has a certain appeal. We have only taken our boat South a couple times for the Winter months and really enjoyed it. Hope to do it again maybe next year. The problem you might want to factor in is if you sell your house and buy a boat is it maybe very difficult to reverse the process, Boats tend to depreciate and houses have recently really appreciated. I think you can get a good feel of living aboard by cruising down the ICW and hanging out in the South for the Winter to see if you like it.
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Old 09-09-2021, 08:45 AM   #3
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Living aboard has a certain appeal. We have only taken our boat South a couple times for the Winter months and really enjoyed it. Hope to do it again maybe next year. The problem you might want to factor in is if you sell your house and buy a boat is it maybe very difficult to reverse the process, Boats tend to depreciate and houses have recently really appreciated. I think you can get a good feel of living aboard by cruising down the ICW and hanging out in the South for the Winter to see if you like it.
We've definitely scaled our plan back just a little, decided to hang on to the house for a couple more years but buy a trawler closer to home to use and learn on. Possibly live aboard for the season and commute to work. Possibly short term rental the house. But in the meantime we are still getting rid of everything and downsizing, to prepare for our eventual leap.
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Old 09-09-2021, 04:10 PM   #4
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I would suggest to anyone considering living aboard to start out with weekends and vacations. After a while into work into longer stays, like a month. Then for an entire season. That is how we did it. I think if we dove straight into consecutive months from 'jump' it would have turned out very badly.

Even with that, we are on our second year of 5-6 months on, 6-7 months off.
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Old 09-09-2021, 04:30 PM   #5
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My solution to losing the appreciation of the house after I sold it was to keep investing the amount I was paying for the mortgage pricipal. I sold the house, upped my 401K contribution to offset the loss of the appreciation of the house.
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Old 09-11-2021, 07:17 PM   #6
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I would suggest to anyone considering living aboard to start out with weekends and vacations. After a while into work into longer stays, like a month. Then for an entire season. That is how we did it. I think if we dove straight into consecutive months from 'jump' it would have turned out very badly.

Even with that, we are on our second year of 5-6 months on, 6-7 months off.
Speak for yourself,i jumped right in first day without a hiccup,within the first week of owning boat i had every thing I needed on board everything else in storage at my moms,and never looked back,that was Halloween day i brought Broadbill up from Rhode island and proceeded to strip foc'sle for insulation,so that is just your opinion,mine is totally opposite just go for it live live as it comes its more enjoyable that planning everything living on an itinerary that is for old boring people
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Old 09-11-2021, 09:20 PM   #7
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Well Iím somewhere between the last two posts. I jumped in at the deep end, but I had my share of hiccups.

Iíd owned a boat before but this was my first time living aboard. Iíve since sold the house and downsized significantly. Iím not particularly wealthy, and spent less than 100k on my boat, some of which is still financed.

I tried to share the good with the bad in my blog, which is at mvsylphide.com in case you havenít read it.
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Old 09-12-2021, 01:59 AM   #8
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As one of the "old boring people" Lostsailor13 identified, one thing learned in life, boring or not, is not "burning bridges". Living aboard is not for everyone, I never will except for vacation length periods, but I`d not want to sell the house I live in, only to find I wanted to return to it. I rather like having both at one time,and the luxury of choice.
As they say, one man`s fish is another man`s "poisson".
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Old 09-12-2021, 06:19 PM   #9
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Looking for rookie stories...

Iíll take a guess that LostSailor is not married.

I am not by nature a patient man, but I know what it takes to succeed in any individual strategy in my marriage. Jumping in with both feet ainít it.
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Old 09-12-2021, 06:40 PM   #10
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A lot depends on knowledge and experience when you make the decision to live aboard.

Some people should really take it slow, some not so much.

For every "I jumped into it" story, I be I have seen a dozen end in all sorts of disasters.
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Old 09-12-2021, 06:50 PM   #11
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A different perspective...

I moved onboard full time when I bought my big 65 footer. I think that's the best way to own a big boat because it needs constant attention that you can only give when you are always there, even if living at a marina and commuting to a normal shoreside job.

BTW, zero regrets during that period, although I have to admit that since I was single at the time it did get a bit lonely during the time I was swinging at a mooring and rowing my "dingy" dinghy to shore. Life became more enjoyable when I started paying dockage and my friends could stop by. Now that I'm married I don't feel I would have those issues anymore.
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Old 09-12-2021, 07:16 PM   #12
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We have lived aboard in San Diego for two years. We spend 6+ months on Whidbey Island in Washington State. So far, we LOVE living aboard! We purchased a 41' 2009 Mainship Expedition in the Seattle area and had it trucked down here. We had lived on land in San Diego for 10 years but the cost of real estate here has gone crazy so this is a great way to have waterfront without the huge expense of a condo or home. We've owned about 8 boats in 25 years starting with a 27' Sea Ray so have moved up gradually.
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Old 09-13-2021, 11:08 AM   #13
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The jump all in idea....
I have not done it either way...just dreaming at this point, and my wife isn't fully on board with the idea either...
but I have thought about this from both sides
and this applies to either boating full time or full timing in an RV....
She's much more in the camp that IF and that's a big IF...If we were to do the full time thing, she would want to keep a home base, doing it part time...or perhaps renting the house out for a short while but it would give us something to come back to.

I'm of the opinion that anything we keep really just becomes an anchor keeping us close or pulling us back....which will detract from the fun of moving forward. It's kind of like hanging on the the worst parts of both worlds. The boat is neglegted when you go back home, the home is neglected when you're on the boat. When you're on the boat you're constantly wondering if the house is ok...or if there's a problem then you have to deal with it remote....

Also, the idea of staring out part time kinda steers a person to a smaller less capable and perhaps less comfortable boat, which changes the experience...maybe for the better but probably for the worse.

I'm of the opinion that a very careful all-in is the better approach. For a year...for 5 years...whatever.... and if you want to bail early because you find out it's not for you...then that's ok too.
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Old 09-13-2021, 01:42 PM   #14
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YouTube is full of them. "We just bought a boat...whooho! How hard can it be?" Just one example was the couple 9to5less.
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Old 09-13-2021, 03:37 PM   #15
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We’ve been living aboard going on 11 years. I love it and my wife loves it. That’s the key ingredient. If one of you doesn’t like it you are doomed. Best to find out beforehand. Use your own formula to find out. Good luck
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Old 09-14-2021, 02:32 PM   #16
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Great insights, thx!

Newby here considering the idea here as well, my wife is the catalyst and loves the idea, we have some time to think on it, as she retires in 3 yrs...

Downsizing is something we both feel we can do no problem, water conservation and less fresh food storage is our more difficult thought, as well as learning how to be a good safe boat user.. Haven't driven one much, so working on where to find the best education over the next couple of years.

Thx the great info on this community!
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Old 09-14-2021, 03:51 PM   #17
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My experience....there are boating geeks that started with a rubber ducky and a plastic battleship in the tub. They have never been away from water and boats but a few years over many. They have owned boats or had full access to boats since somewhere near high school. They have owned and used a few extensively. For this group, moving aboard has few surprises.

For those that really don't have much experience, have never cruised longer than overnight....or amazingly enough have never even owned a boat with a cabin and want to live aboard....

All I can say is....any dream can be shattered by the smallest detail. Those without enough experience can only learn vicariously through reading, visiting, watching you tube, etc...etc...

Unfortunately that's like watching national geographic about climbing mountains, running rapids, sailing an ocean...etc...etc.

Not saying one can't do it and like it.... but how many do you think will? It's not like living on land unless a few stars align. It is somewhere like living a bit more rustic and independent, not as bad as camping, but much more tolerant of inconvenience. Some adapt, many don't.
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Old 09-14-2021, 06:13 PM   #18
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thx for cautionary note

Good points psneeld,

I read this note as I was out on a mt bike ride, and it reminded me of how I have answered a similar question, can a fifty or sixty something move to the mountains and excel at a lifestyle of mt biking, skiing backcountry skiing etc without previous experience, I generally think not. These are skill, balance, decision intensive pastimes that are tough to pick up when you are in the second half of your life.
do you think the boat handling, navigation, captaining aspects are the biggest hurdle, or the minimalist lifestyle of small space living?
On that point, my wife and I spent a couple of months living from our panniers as we bike toured through europe, we lived in our VW campmobile for a year as we determined where we'd settle after a winter teaching skiing in Austria, and regularly take 3-5 day backcountry backpacking trips. Never slept on a boat though... !

Our thought here is similar to our campmobile year, spending quality time in the southeast where we have family (savannah, Charleston, pensacola) and the Caribbean to see where we may want to end up after 30 yrs in the mtn. Maybe BC as well, we have a daughter in Savanah and one in Squamish, BC.

Thx again, notes out to possible trainers...
Cheers!
Wade
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Old 09-14-2021, 06:21 PM   #19
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After 4 military survival courses in my 20s and 30s...not too much phased me....after another 10-20 years of living in better and better luxury...I wasn't sure how far I would and know plenty that wouldn't retro to those austere conditions.

The past is just that unless one is dead serious that the future is best if the past is relived.
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Old 09-17-2021, 11:21 AM   #20
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YouTube is full of them. "We just bought a boat...whooho! How hard can it be?" Just one example was the couple 9to5less.
HA I did watch those two, amazing!
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