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Old 09-02-2020, 06:14 PM   #1
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Considering 2-Year Live aboard

My wife and I are kicking around the idea of buying and living aboard a boat for a couple years - before we get to old. Me more than her. I have been away from boating for many years but grew up with boats, worked at a Marina during HS and college and know a bit about boats (such as you can always count on things to fix, boats depreciate and it is will be more expensive than you anticipate).

While we are currently on the West Coast we are primarily interested in cruising the East Coast from the West Indies to Maine. We don't care about speed and would rather trade that for range and efficiency. I'd say the odds of getting this done are about one in ten, but it's nice to dream.

I joined this forum to dig into the whole process a little deeper and figure out what I need to do to get this done.
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:39 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. Enjoy the search. Make a list of must haves, want to haves and must not haves in a boat. Then let the fun begin. Look at any boats you can and you will be able to define the list more. Good luck.
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Old 09-03-2020, 10:44 AM   #3
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Me more than her.
Congrats and welcome.

Involve her heavily in the shopping experience and pay heed to her wishes and opinions, otherwise it may be two months instead of two years

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Old 09-03-2020, 10:52 AM   #4
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30 years ago most marina’s didn’t know or cared if some on was living on a boat. Times have changed. Most marina’s know have limits and are at capacity with long wait lists. Include this fact in your dream. It could take you 5 years to find a place to park a liveaboard boat.
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:33 AM   #5
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Budget?
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Old 09-03-2020, 01:13 PM   #6
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Why would you leave the West coast to go East? Some of the best areas are in the PNW if you ask me.
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Old 09-03-2020, 03:39 PM   #7
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Why would you leave the West coast to go East? Some of the best areas are in the PNW if you ask me.
The problem is that the PNW is about the only place to cruise on the West Coast and that is seasonal. What do you do in the winter if you liveaboard? On the East Coast you can winter in the Keys or in S Florida and summer in Maine or any point in between.
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Old 09-03-2020, 04:21 PM   #8
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My wife and I are kicking around the idea of buying and living aboard a boat for a couple years - before we get to old. Me more than her. I have been away from boating for many years but grew up with boats, worked at a Marina during HS and college and know a bit about boats (such as you can always count on things to fix, boats depreciate and it is will be more expensive than you anticipate).

While we are currently on the West Coast we are primarily interested in cruising the East Coast from the West Indies to Maine. We don't care about speed and would rather trade that for range and efficiency. I'd say the odds of getting this done are about one in ten, but it's nice to dream.

I joined this forum to dig into the whole process a little deeper and figure out what I need to do to get this done.
Wifey B: Why?

You haven't boated in decades and she's not really interested. Doesn't sound like a recipe for success.

Get beyond the dream and what do you expect it to be like? I'd suggest you and your wife charter a couple or more boats for a week at a time and then perhaps that will give you both some clarity. Remember, one convinced against one's will, remains unconvinced still. Stole that one from hubby who stole from professor but it's so true and if you talk her into it with a hard sell or guilt, it won't last two years. She'll fly home for a couple of weeks which will turn into many more.

I love boating, love the water, but I see people like you who know nothing about living on a boat and cruising and all in involves deciding from afar it looks like a fun thing to do. It is fun, but only if you prepare and understand what you're in for.

How do you think she, at least somewhat a non-boater, is going to like it when you take your nice coastal cruiser and cross from Turks and Caicos to the Dominican Republic and the 3' seas turn to 5' seas with short periods and you bounce around like kids in a bounce house?

One advantage we have is that not just the two of us but all those who regularly cruise with us are avid boaters and use to boating off shore and prefer calm but deal fine with adverse conditions. Charter enough that you encounter some less pleasant seas.

I want to encourage boaters, but only if it's right for them. There are many here who have zero desire to boat from the West Indies to Maine unless you're limiting the West Indies to one country of the 13, the Bahamas. Some people start out thinking of circumnavigating and end up boating happily forever after within 300 miles of home. Many in your situation are happy coming down the coast and visiting the Bahamas and returning north once a year. Still step one is get the two of you on some boats and see then how you both feel.
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Old 09-03-2020, 04:53 PM   #9
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Welcome aboard!

Reading assignment:
https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...1-a-14905.html
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Old 09-03-2020, 10:02 PM   #10
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30 years ago most marina’s didn’t know or cared if some on was living on a boat. Times have changed. Most marina’s know have limits and are at capacity with long wait lists. Include this fact in your dream. It could take you 5 years to find a place to park a liveaboard boat.
Those are good points and, having friends who have lived on boats for years, I know hear what you are saying.

In any event, I was not as clear as I should have been. The idea is to live on the boat, but not stay in one place. A week here, a couple weeks there, maybe a month. Maybe that is crazy? My guess is it can be expensive
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Old 09-03-2020, 10:58 PM   #11
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Wifey B: Why?

You haven't boated in decades and she's not really interested. Doesn't sound like a recipe for success.

Get beyond the dream and what do you expect it to be like? I'd suggest you and your wife charter a couple or more boats for a week at a time and then perhaps that will give you both some clarity. Remember, one convinced against one's will, remains unconvinced still. Stole that one from hubby who stole from professor but it's so true and if you talk her into it with a hard sell or guilt, it won't last two years. She'll fly home for a couple of weeks which will turn into many more.

I love boating, love the water, but I see people like you who know nothing about living on a boat and cruising and all in involves deciding from afar it looks like a fun thing to do. It is fun, but only if you prepare and understand what you're in for.

How do you think she, at least somewhat a non-boater, is going to like it when you take your nice coastal cruiser and cross from Turks and Caicos to the Dominican Republic and the 3' seas turn to 5' seas with short periods and you bounce around like kids in a bounce house?

One advantage we have is that not just the two of us but all those who regularly cruise with us are avid boaters and use to boating off shore and prefer calm but deal fine with adverse conditions. Charter enough that you encounter some less pleasant seas.

I want to encourage boaters, but only if it's right for them. There are many here who have zero desire to boat from the West Indies to Maine unless you're limiting the West Indies to one country of the 13, the Bahamas. Some people start out thinking of circumnavigating and end up boating happily forever after within 300 miles of home. Many in your situation are happy coming down the coast and visiting the Bahamas and returning north once a year. Still step one is get the two of you on some boats and see then how you both feel.
Those are all very good points and you are correct that if the wife isn't happy and comfortable then going on an expedition of this nature would not end well. Dipping the toe in the water is probably the best course. As you suggested, chartering a boat in Florida for a few weeks would be a worth looking into or maybe we should find something here in San Diego/Newport Beach to buy/live on for a trial period.

As someone noted above I need to make a list of "must haves, want to haves and must not haves in a boat" and work from there. I'm not really thrilled about the idea of buying in CA and then selling and buying another boat on the east coast. That sounds like a hassle and a money loser to me.

The wife doesn't like rough seas. I took her sailing around Alcatraz in 20+ knot winds and very sloppy/seas when she was pregnant/sick with our first child years ago and I still hear about it That said, if she did not tell me that she was very interested in doing this, I wouldn't be thinking about it. I've been married too long to make that mistake.

Thank you for your thoughts and advice - and those of everyone else as well.
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:15 PM   #12
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Budget?
Given the list of "must haves" It has to be something like a small house if this will work. Been thinking about 59 GBs and 70 Marlows - used, not new
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:40 PM   #13
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People liveaboard year round in the Pacific NW and winter cruising can be great! We certainly don’t pull our boats out of the water for the winter. It’s not that cold, and most locals have good heaters. Avoid the winter winds that can kick up though ....

Yes, it’s warm and sunny in the summer, but boaters get out in the fall, winter, and spring too!
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Old 09-04-2020, 11:24 AM   #14
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Given the list of "must haves" It has to be something like a small house if this will work. Been thinking about 59 GBs and 70 Marlows - used, not new
I went from a 37' trawler to a 51' and found that the size/draught shut me out of many of my favourite routes, anchorages, free docks and many marinas between Ontario and the Bahamas.

Now happily back on a 38' that we have literally anchored in a drainage ditch on the ICW.
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:55 AM   #15
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Because some of the best cruising areas are on the East Coast. Have you ever heard of Canada? The Trent-Severn Canal? The Rideau Canal? Lake Champlain? Montreal? Quebec City? The Florida Keys? New England? Sheesh! No to mention all the cool, cloudy, rainy days you experience in the PNW.
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Why would you leave the West coast to go East? Some of the best areas are in the PNW if you ask me.
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:58 AM   #16
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Yeah, winter cruising with heaters required. Sounds like so much fun compared to the Florida Keys in the winter.
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People liveaboard year round in the Pacific NW and winter cruising can be great! We certainly donít pull our boats out of the water for the winter. Itís not that cold, and most locals have good heaters. Avoid the winter winds that can kick up though ....

Yes, itís warm and sunny in the summer, but boaters get out in the fall, winter, and spring too!
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Old 09-05-2020, 09:36 AM   #17
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It was my wife that wanted to live aboard. We decided to try it for 6 months. It’s now 10 years later and we are still aboard. It can be a great life.
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Old 09-05-2020, 01:26 PM   #18
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Well, I'll flog an American location I'd settle in if I had remained in the States after attending college and university there. My suggestion is kind of a compromise approach.

As another has suggested, the cruising waters in PNW/coastal BC/Alaskan Panhandle is second to none. And at my age - 72 - I'm not sure I'd want to live 365 on a boat now, when I was younger - absolutely. But I wouldn't mind living on the boat for 7 months of the year up here in God's land.

Since 1974 I have lived with 4 blocks but the majority of the time 1 block of the ocean. I find this gets me so close the ocean I see it everyday and I don't need a view from my living room for the remainder of the day.

If your marina is like mine (Comox), I find some couples are on their boat for months at a time, just tied up to the marina. Not the way I would want to do it but I can tell you they love doing it that way.

I have suggested this area - Whidbey Island - a number of times here at TF. To me it feels like Vancouver Island except downsized, the regular order of fries instead of supersize. It takes a couple of hours driving from top to bottom and about a half an hour drive across. It was where An Officer and a Gentleman was shot.

The island has bridge access at the North end and ferry access at the south end. On average, it is more expensive to live at the south end as many of the residents commute everyday on a ferry to go work at the Boeing plant.

It is rainy but not that bad. The Olympic Peninsula drains the clouds of most of their rain so by the time they drift across to Whidbey Island most of the precipitation has been dumped already. In fact, there is sort of a little desert roughly in the middle of the island.

Vancouver and Victoria is accessible to you to the North (once the plague is over) and Seattle is relatively close to you in the South. The "major" community is Oak Harbor which is a pleasant place to live and is the support town for Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

If it were me, knowing the great cruising grounds up here, I'd been living the majority of the time on the boat, but in Nov - March I'd being out doing day or two or three trips no more as the wind is a big factor during those months. And I would get something modest, a small home, a townhouse, a condo within a block or two of the water (cheaper) and live there during the off season.

Island living is a slower paced experience. But for me, Islands can be too small, Whidby and Vancouver Island are just right, enough things to do on the island to keep a person interested and active.

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Old 09-14-2020, 01:31 PM   #19
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Mitch L...

Good luck. Think you can find the boat (little house with all the comforts 59-70’) you want for about $1.5 million. Expect operating costs (i.e., maintenance, insurance, fuel, dockage and modest repairs) to run about $75,000 per year.

Consider the smallest boat that checks all your boxes. Something in the 50 foot range with two staterooms may be ideal for a couple to provide all of the comforts you expect.The trouble with bigger boats is that they can be limiting with draft and dockage since most marinas can accommodate a 50’ boat but getting toward 70’ may be challenging. Also, most moorings don’t do well trying to accommodate boats 60-70’ due to weight, windage and length.
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Old 09-14-2020, 01:57 PM   #20
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Sorta the same thing....

My SIL and her husband (both around 60) came into a fair amount of money from selling property. SIL said "I always wanted to have an RV and travel around for awhile." So they bought one. It was suggested that they get a used one and see how they liked it. SIL: "Nope, gotta have a brand new one." So they got one and a new (not used) car to tow behind it.

After about 3 months, SIL says "I can't live like this!"

So they took a big hit and sold the RV and bought another house. Didn't even want to keep the RV for occasional trips. They did keep the car though.

Imagine the same thing with a new boat.
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