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Old 07-24-2020, 10:14 AM   #21
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whats the consensus of pop yachts? seem like there are cheaper boats on there but have read a decent amount of bad reviews. Anyone use them to actually purchase a boat?



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Old 07-24-2020, 10:15 AM   #22
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I think I've said this multiple times I don't know everything and have a lot to learn.. kinda the whole reason I am asking questions and stated that multiple times, If I knew it all I wouldn't be on here.



any suggestions?



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Mr. Ps,

Lots, some take money and some take time: charters, boat shows/Trawlerfests, seminars, forums. etc

Never is the adage more true than with boats: you get what you pay for. Taking the time to understand what suits your purpose is key. You have listed numerous parameters some of which are boat size, purchase price, floating office, your heights which lead me to conclude you need to spend some time on different boats and understand what you are getting for the size and money, how practical each one is for living and working, how difficult or easy are they to maintain?

For the latter as an aspiring DIY, you need to be a mechanic, plumber, electrician, general handy man, etc. With your size can you fit in the required engine spaces, bilge areas, nooks and crannies and change impellers, filters, hoses, repair plumbing and electrics, replace failed equipment, etc.
Regarding specific questions

#1You do not want to be "stuck" on your boat in a hurricane. You need to plan for hurricanes. Nowadays the weather forecasting for hurricanes is excellent and gives lots of advance notice to execute plans.

#2 For the ballpark purchase price you have tabled, far more important than the brand or year is how has the boat been treated over time. While boats generally add a level of complexity for living/working afloat an area that will require special attention and setup is likely appropriate internet access.

#3 Can't provide any input on this.

#4 The answers to this will evolve on your learning curve.
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Old 07-24-2020, 12:13 PM   #23
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Mr. Ps,

Lots, some take money and some take time: charters, boat shows/Trawlerfests, seminars, forums. etc

Never is the adage more true than with boats: you get what you pay for. Taking the time to understand what suits your purpose is key. You have listed numerous parameters some of which are boat size, purchase price, floating office, your heights which lead me to conclude you need to spend some time on different boats and understand what you are getting for the size and money, how practical each one is for living and working, how difficult or easy are they to maintain?

For the latter as an aspiring DIY, you need to be a mechanic, plumber, electrician, general handy man, etc. With your size can you fit in the required engine spaces, bilge areas, nooks and crannies and change impellers, filters, hoses, repair plumbing and electrics, replace failed equipment, etc.
Regarding specific questions

#1You do not want to be "stuck" on your boat in a hurricane. You need to plan for hurricanes. Nowadays the weather forecasting for hurricanes is excellent and gives lots of advance notice to execute plans.

#2 For the ballpark purchase price you have tabled, far more important than the brand or year is how has the boat been treated over time. While boats generally add a level of complexity for living/working afloat an area that will require special attention and setup is likely appropriate internet access.

#3 Can't provide any input on this.

#4 The answers to this will evolve on your learning curve.


agree 100%, thanks!

Currently making a list of boats within a few hours and hopefully start looking at them and getting that hands on feel.



With regards to internet, I am assuming we will need to be someone close to shore to use. Wouldn't expect to get great service 30 miles off. I've looked at signal boosters and we already have a back up hotspot that we use when we travel just in case.



One of the items we were talking about last night was safety equipment, something that we kinda over looked at first until we started trying to break this whole thing down ever farther.



current list is:

1 EPRIB

2 PLB

vhf radio

possibly HF radio

emergency life raft these seem to be a little pricey with the cheapest one I could find was right around 1200

grab and go jacket pack

2 type 1 PFD's



looking at boats that already come with radios/electronics but some will defiantly need to be upgraded.



Do you need to be a member for a certain amount of time before posting links? Tried to post some links and was told the post needed to be approved first. Would really like to post some links for the boats we are looking at and kinda keep a running journal of things.



Thanks
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Old 07-24-2020, 12:47 PM   #24
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Good thing you're thinking about safety equipment, Psquared!
Add Fire extinguishers and emergency alert devices (flares and the like) to your list.
About the life raft. Not sure this is the place where you necessarily want to buy the cheapest one you can find. Take time to compare your requirements (# of passengers, cruising areas, etc) to the rafts on offer. Furthermore, inflatable life rafts typically should be serviced by an authorized agent every three years. This is not cheap. Could be 15-25% of the price of the life raft every three years. So, you might want to start with which brands have service centers reasonably close to you...and what they charge for routine service. Could be that a better quality and initially more expensive life raft turns out to be cheaper in the long term, given the right service pricing!


As for posting links...when I started, I think I had to get up around 25 posts or so...and then all of a sudden, I was allowed to post links.
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Old 07-24-2020, 03:42 PM   #25
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I think I've said this multiple times I don't know everything and have a lot to learn.. kinda the whole reason I am asking questions and stated that multiple times, If I knew it all I wouldn't be on here.

Welcome and good luck as you explore options.


You have noticed a distinct lack of enthusiasm for your idea. It has nothing to do with your or the idea of living aboard. This, and every other boating community I've been involved with for years, have seen a lot of folks who thought living on a boat would be great. Very very few actually make it and it usually ends badly. However, there are a few that do really well. For the most part they are folks that have had extensive experience with boating and cruising, but not always. I hope are are successful.


I'm in the opposite corner of the continental US so don't have any experience with Florida boating so can't offer much in the way of advice. I will say that there are few bargains in large boats. Inexpensive boats are inexpensive for a reason. However, even newer, more expensive boats are also much more expensive to maintain than most of us would like to admit.
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Old 07-24-2020, 04:28 PM   #26
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Ps,
Welcome and here's a few comments. For two tall people and a dog; yes 40-ish ft is a nice LOA especially if you're going to liveaboard. One risk in this venture if for example you get a boat that is too cramped and/or needs too much work, what can happen is the two of you get turned off to the whole boat-thing and it could leave a bad taste that lingers for many years...
To be honest, that price range is going to be pretty limiting but i agree if you could go to trawlerfest or boat shows and crawl around on a lot of boats, it will help you narrow your priorities and there are many tradeoffs.
In my experience I've been through a boat survey that revealed enough problems that we had to walk away from the deal. After that, we ended up significantly increasing our budget. We had to come up with more money initially but it worked well, as we landed in a boat where we could immediately spend more time cruising rather than down in the bilge
Trawlers in Florida use AC, so plan to have good AC like multiple reverse cycle units and they will need to be maintained.
Hurricanes: You'll simply learn hurricane-prep and if you're in a marina, they typically will help marina residents with a hurricane plan, like how to tie off, how many bow, stern, spring lines, whether to tie to your neighbor boat, etc...
Note you will need to get boat insurance that will allow you to stay in Florida year-round. It can be had but there are fewer companies insuring these days after various storms over the past several years. You'll have to budget for the insurance and they might require you get XX hours with a training captain when you get the boat.
EPIRBS/PLBs: Many folks opt for one or the other as they do sort of the same thing and they are expensive. a PLB can be attached to a flotation vest, whereas an EPIRB is larger and registered to the vessel, sometimes physically attached to the vessel.
Emergency Life Raft; well... these are more common for boaters that go at least several miles offshore so it depends on how your going to use the boat.

In general; Going directly to liveaboard is a big step. another option is to get a boat and start out by spending weekends on it to make sure it works for you.
That's enough rambling and probably more than you wanted to hear...
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Old 07-24-2020, 04:50 PM   #27
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good luck with your adventure. But if you plan to be in FL on a boat you will need AC as was mentioned above. If you are in a mooring field that means running the generator full time. Compare that fuel burn/cost with a monthly slip fee and you may not be paying much more for the slip. Just food for thought. And few $20-25k 40' boats have running generators .
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Old 07-24-2020, 05:00 PM   #28
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At your age I was too busy with my military career to even think of what you are contemplating, but as the career wound down, I felt I was in a position at age 42 to buy a trawler. I had no preconceived ideas about what I was going to do with it, but within a year, wife and I were living aboard it at a mooring. I envy you your apparent flexibility and willingness to jump into this idea. House flipping is not for either the faint of heart nor the lazy, and you sound like you are neither. Hopefully, this forum will help you with suggestions as you post links for possible purchases - the moderators look at these things to be they are on the up and up before letting them through for us to see. I think after you have been "messing about" in a boat you want to live aboard, you will agree that boat maintenance is a different animal than the kind of work necessary to rehab a house. Don't end up with a boat you have to spend so much time and money fixing up that it detracts from your other money-making activities. Soft-sided dinghy is the way to go so you don't get it banging into the mother ship and for possibly hoisting it aboard or at least into the air to prevent marine growth and theft. For a Florida boat, I would recommend a boat with at least two air conditioners providing you the ability to shift bunks to get a good night's sleep when the one in your regular sleeping quarters quits - it WILL. Lastly, get a boat with two heads for those times when the inevitable clog or other breakdown happens and puts one head down for a day or three. I will watch your progress with great interest and provide all the free advice I can to help.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:13 PM   #29
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We bought a trawler 3 years ago and fixed it up. Now we’re 31, so pretty much in the same situation as you. $20k is much too low. In the 40-foot range, $50k will get you a boat you can fix up. $20k will get you a boat that cannot be restored for any reasonable sum of money. We paid $80k and put $70ish k into it plus a couple years of hard labor. Did all the work ourselves. The result was good, but I’d never do it again: https://westinmhill.wixsite.com/rose-mary.

If you find a boat that you think is a good deal, also look for the most expensive boats of that same year/length/model. The boat you buy will never be worth more than that. Each make and model has a maximum price you could ever sell for. It’s MUCH different than flipping houses, because houses appreciate.

Hope that helps!
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:51 PM   #30
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Thank you all for the wisdom and thoughts/suggestions. One of the main reason we are looking at a smaller cheaper boat is this is obsviously new to us. If we end up hating it after living aboard for 6 months it wont hurt the pocket book as much (hopefully) if we ended up buying a boat that is much more expensive. I was raised that you start out with the bottom of line equipment that will get you back and give you a chance to experience whatever you are doing after that you can then move up to something better. I could see why you wouldn't want to start off with the worst boat possible and try to make it work, 100% get that. If we have to bump our budget up then we will that 20k is simply just a starting point. Like many of you have said, we need to get out and touch and feel and see if it is something that we can actually live with. We do plan on spending some time in the great lakes doing weekend/week long shake downs once we actually get a boat, we aren't planning to simply buy and start living on it right away.



thanks again for all the suggestions and please don't hold back if there is something we are over looking and Im sure there is a ton of stuff we are please let us know more suggestions the better!
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Old 07-25-2020, 06:53 AM   #31
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I've been reading this thread with some interest but will admit upfront we do not live aboard full time. We have cruised for a couple months on our boat and similarly with our land yacht.
I would venture a guess that of the ones here that do live aboard full time and do the type cruising you mentioned, it is not on their first boat.
I think most of us enjoy boating, or thought we might, and jumped in and experimented and gained experience that forced us to trade our boats. I and many will advise people to think long and hard about how they intend to use it and what they must have, want to have and dont want before looking and trying to narrow it down.
My reaction is that it may be more practical to break your plan / dreams into a few readily attainable steps. For example.
A boat you could live aboard in a marina on the GreatLakes. Maybe not plan to live aboard initially while you do maintensnce and upgrades.
If all proves out that might be a boat you could live on in FL and do some coastal cruising or even complete a "Loop".
The step up to offshore cruising is a whole different animal in my mind (but no real experience on my end) and might need a different boat at that point.
I think at that point you and yours would be in a better position to decide if your "ultimate" dream was still valid and then decide if a different boat would be better suited to fulfill that expanded level of cruising.
I cant imagine ever wanting to spend full time on a mooring ball but I would not throw cold water on anyone that dreams of that lifestyle.
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Old 07-25-2020, 11:39 AM   #32
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Maybe I should be a little more specific, we do not plan to spend the rest of our lives on this boat it is an adventure we would like to do before we "settle" down and start a family. I personally couldn't imagine having 2 or three kids on a boat for 24 hours a day it sounds like hell. For those that do it god bless you! I never could. After 6 months or a year living on the boat if it turns into something that we want to do for the rest of our lives then we will cross that bridge when we get to it. Pun intended. We do not plan on living on a mooring ball the entire time, if the weather is nice and we can stay out there then 100% the idea is only to be there for a select period of time and then go out and see all the sights we want to see. Could we be there for a week or so maybe but I agree with all of you I dont want to spend 6 months there.



Thanks, we will hopefully be looking at two or three boats next week. Can we post pictures on here or do we need to wait until x amount of posts like some forums?
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Old 07-25-2020, 11:57 AM   #33
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I lived aboard at a mooring ball in San Diego. We did not have air conditioning and suffered just a little in July. The rest of the time, sleeping in the cool nights was little problem. We then moved the boat to Panama City in May to a covered slip. By June we could stand it no longer and had to evacuate to a motel for a few days until we closed on our dirt home. Air conditioning was installed on the boat in short order. As you can see, we never lived aboard for prolonged periods dependent upon a generator to provide power for the air conditioning. We did cruise the boat in the following 25 years and spend many nights anchored with the genny providing power for the AC. The genny did fail us one sultry night, and we spent the evening until midnight topside letting things cool to the point we could get a little sleep before heading for a marina and shore power for a few days while the generator was repaired. My brother's GB42 has two generators, a 4KW which can run an AC unit to keep them cool in the aft cabin, and an 8KW which can run just about everything at once. He also has multiple AC units. Loss of generating power or the AC units due to some failure can cut a Florida cruise short.
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Old 07-25-2020, 12:58 PM   #34
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I lived aboard at a mooring ball in San Diego. We did not have air conditioning and suffered just a little in July. The rest of the time, sleeping in the cool nights was little problem. We then moved the boat to Panama City in May to a covered slip. By June we could stand it no longer and had to evacuate to a motel for a few days until we closed on our dirt home. Air conditioning was installed on the boat in short order. As you can see, we never lived aboard for prolonged periods dependent upon a generator to provide power for the air conditioning. We did cruise the boat in the following 25 years and spend many nights anchored with the genny providing power for the AC. The genny did fail us one sultry night, and we spent the evening until midnight topside letting things cool to the point we could get a little sleep before heading for a marina and shore power for a few days while the generator was repaired. My brother's GB42 has two generators, a 4KW which can run an AC unit to keep them cool in the aft cabin, and an 8KW which can run just about everything at once. He also has multiple AC units. Loss of generating power or the AC units due to some failure can cut a Florida cruise short.
thats one of the reasons we are looking at solar, I found one boat that comes with solar but it is a little older then id like but it does have a/c ( 3 units) a/c is a must for us and it seems like the best option is to find a boat that already has a/c rather then fitting a new unit to one.



Thanks
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Old 07-25-2020, 01:39 PM   #35
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thats one of the reasons we are looking at solar, I found one boat that comes with solar but it is a little older then id like but it does have a/c ( 3 units) a/c is a must for us and it seems like the best option is to find a boat that already has a/c rather then fitting a new unit to one.



Thanks
You are aware that solar cannot generate enough power (through its normal function of charging a bank of batteries) to run anything but a smallish AC unit via an inverter for more than a short time leaving nothing for any refrigeration and other power users, are you not?
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Old 07-25-2020, 05:02 PM   #36
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Psquared good luck in your hunt. I have been dreaming of simplifying life and moving aboard a boat when I retire from the military. It sounds like you have a good plan. Best of luck in your hunt for a new floating home and keep us posted!

I just turned 40 and my youngest is in high school. Nothing in the cards for me as far as a livaboard until she’s out of the house. I’ll live vicariously through y’all till then. Cheers!!
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Old 07-25-2020, 09:52 PM   #37
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You are aware that solar cannot generate enough power (through its normal function of charging a bank of batteries) to run anything but a smallish AC unit via an inverter for more than a short time leaving nothing for any refrigeration and other power users, are you not?

I wont be able to run the a/c / heat of the panels but the idea was to not have to run the generator(as much). also we would not be keeping the stock fridge unless it was energy efficient. also found a few that basic fridges that we could convert and draw about 30-40 amps a day id post the link but the last post I posted with a link still isnt up.
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Old 07-25-2020, 09:53 PM   #38
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Psquared good luck in your hunt. I have been dreaming of simplifying life and moving aboard a boat when I retire from the military. It sounds like you have a good plan. Best of luck in your hunt for a new floating home and keep us posted!

I just turned 40 and my youngest is in high school. Nothing in the cards for me as far as a livaboard until she’s out of the house. I’ll live vicariously through y’all till then. Cheers!!

thanks we are no where as close as i'd like to be, lets hope we can actually get this thing going.
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:57 AM   #39
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You might want to call the Ft Myers Yacht Basin dockmaster and discuss your plans on mooring there. Last winter their mooring field was pretty small and nearly full. There is a daily dinghy privledge fee to use bathrooms, laundry and such.
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:22 AM   #40
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I wont be able to run the a/c / heat of the panels but the idea was to not have to run the generator(as much). also we would not be keeping the stock fridge unless it was energy efficient. also found a few that basic fridges that we could convert and draw about 30-40 amps a day id post the link but the last post I posted with a link still isnt up.
Yes, you seem to have a good handle on the total boat energy issue. When I was looking into easing the refrigeration energy draw I came to the conclusion that a straight 12-volt DC reefer was the most energy efficient. So many available reefer units take 12-volts and change it to some form of AC with their on board inverters to power the compressor.
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