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Old 07-04-2020, 12:12 PM   #1
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Hi, I'm new here

Hello everyone,

I'm Ross Ikle, a landlubber stuck in Denver, CO who is VERY ready to shed my land life and become a full-time liveaboard. I'm so happy to have found this forum.

I'm a single 56 year old guy who can work my Health/Life/Medicare/Supplemental brokerage from anywhere (in fact, I might start taking on additional states in the process). All I really need is a fairly solid internet connection in order to do ZOOM meetings with clients, rather than the old face-to-face model.

I have absolutely fallen in love with the Beneteau Swift Trawler 30, but have never stepped foot on one, so don't totally know for sure this is the boat I'll buy, but it sure is the front runner. So here's a question: given my intention to live at anchor full time (when I'm not cruising), is this a good first boat to buy? It's layout really works great for my needs, as I live in a small 650 SF apartment and spend 100% of my time either in my teeny home office cutout, in the kitchen, or in front of the TV, so smaller spaces work great for me.

I just don't know if I'm biting off too much from the jump. I can tell you that the overall monthly costs associated with moving to the water, from all the budgeting I've been researching, this move will actually save me quite a bit of money each month, though coming up with the downpayment might take me awhile.

There sure seems to be NO shortage of people doing this very move currently, and I'm extremely interested and excited about becoming a true boater. I know I can buy a boat for practically nothing out there these days, but haven't found any model that I like as much as the ST30. Of course, I can't buy one of these for practically nothing, so am really looking to you Sea Salts with tons of experience to throw out a couple of suggestions or ideas I might not have thought of.

Thanks for having me in the forum...I look forward to being here A LOT!
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Old 07-04-2020, 12:20 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. Personally I would not try to live aboard on a 30’ boat. I think it is too small, but that is just my opinion. My wife says I always need a bigger boat, and she is correct. What oart of the country are you looking to live in? Have you researched a slip for live aboard? Lots of things to look into. What is your boating background? Some insurance companies may require some formal training. A lot of insurance companies do not write live aboard insurance. Good luck with your dream.
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Old 07-04-2020, 12:27 PM   #3
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I might humbly suggest you rent or charter some 30-35' boats first to see if you can find yourself liking boating. You may find that you like the idea of living ON the water a lot, but not necessarily boating and all its complexities and costs. In that case, you would probably do better finding a larger, somewhat older and far less expensive boat to use, basically, as a houseboat. While the ST30 has a good amount of space for its length, I'm with Comodave on this, that you'd probably want something larger for year-around living.
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Old 07-04-2020, 12:41 PM   #4
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Thanks for the nudges in a smart direction. Maybe someone can answer this.

I have a somewhat (at least I think so) unusual personality in that I'm totally comfortable buying things sight unseen, as long as the product meets or exceeds my needs. For example, I'm on my second Subaru car (bought both brand new). In both cases, I purchased the cars without ever taking a test drive. Both times, my extensive research led me to vehicles I truly enjoy and hang on to for many years (traded in my 2006 for a 2019 model).

I know buying a boat is a totally different animal and I agree it is absolutely necessary to step onto the vessel and thoroughly consider it's size, feel, history and layout.

I'm not at all concerned about Insurance requirements, being an Insurance Broker myself, because I will absolutely be taking hands-on boater operation courses. I've already passed my online certification for CA. Also, I'm a freak about safety, so the USCG can come aboard at any time without me batting an eye.
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Old 07-04-2020, 12:48 PM   #5
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One-click shopping for cars is probably less risky than using the same mentality for buying a boat. This is because you have a lot of knowledge and experience with buying...and then selling cars. One thing that's the same with boat buying as car buying is that, for most typical "production" boats, you can expect the value to drop ~20-30% right after you sign. This kind of loss might be digestable if you find you've purchased the wrong car and want to immediately resell. With the amount of money involved in buying a new boat, however, the financial hit could be very painful for some.
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:34 PM   #6
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Hi and welcome, RR. You have a small obstacle to overcome with living in CO.
In your position I would connect with a broker on the coast which you see becoming
your new home location. They will know of various boats that you could visit over a
long weekend or two. You really need to see what is available and then explore the
liveaboard options in your chosen area. There are some places where it won't work.
There may be waiting lists you will need to get on, etc.

One of the many realities of living aboard is that certain areas have few such slips.

Having said that, I spent some of the best years of my life (so far) living aboard a
30-footer!
I hope you will someday be able to say something similar.
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:28 PM   #7
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I second the views of others. The Beneteau ST30 is too small for even a single guy to live aboard full time. Maybe a weekend but no more. It will have less than 1/3 the living space of your apartment. The fridge is probably a bar type, maybe 3 cu ft. You need at least 6 cu ft to pack enough for a week. When you are hanging out on the hook it isn't feasible to order take out or go to a grocery store daily.

Look for boats in the 35+ size range. Since this is your first boat, look for one ten years old or less. You don't want to do a lot of deferred maintenance or systems upgrades for your first boat.

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Old 07-05-2020, 07:01 PM   #8
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When you say 'live at anchor full time' do you mean that literally? Living on a boat in a marina is quite different from living aboard at anchor.
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:11 PM   #9
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In warm climes all year, the ST30 could work. I lived on a lot less as well as others here. But not full time at anchor....a couple days to a week is doable but will find carrying enough consumables on that boat might not lend to a relaxing lifestyle.

So I might say no problem at a marina....BUT, if you dont have handy storage nearby for hobby, watersports items and misc boat items such as parts, consumables, etc.....yes, definitely not a full time liveaboard boat in my mind...and I am on my 3rd liveaboard.
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