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Old 05-29-2018, 08:16 PM   #1
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New aspiring boat-owner in Vancouver

Hello everyone, and thank you for (collectively) creating such a welcoming and friendly space for boat owners and enthusiasts to join together. I'm typically one to "lurk" on forums as a part of my boat search/research process, but I felt the time was right to come out of the shadows and to introduce myself!

My wife and I lead fairly unconventional lives, with both of us working remotely (in entirely separate fields) and traveling for work together whenever, and wherever possible. We like to lead somewhat nomadic lives, usually traveling for weeks or months at a time for work, or spending winters in warmer climates, especially since we have a permanent home-base in Vancouver. We seldom take conventional "vacations", since we usually prefer to just immerse ourselves in whatever community we find ourselves in, working from our laptops, and enjoy the sights and local culture when we're not working.

We both have a deep-seated love of the ocean, and have always dreamed (even prior to meeting one another) of being on, and spending time in, the ocean. I grew up surfing and practically living in the water, and my wife is little different.

With the addition of our new (now 2 year old) daughter, we're wanting to keep our nomadic lifestyle while being more practical about the challenges in packing and moving around with a child. Dragging luggage through the London Underground or through random airports is hard enough with 2 minimalist-packing adults, let alone with a plethora of "must-have" stuffed toys and children's books.

Once my better-half broached the idea of moving into boating, the idea stuck, and neither of us have thought of anything else since. Both of our life-long dreams of being on the ocean took hold, and we have spent the better part of the past year researching, studying, and finding out as much as we possibly can.

In a few weeks we're beginning our first sailing course, and have taken virtually every NauticEd course we're allowed to take. We've been practicing knots, quizzing each other randomly throughout the day on random things that we know should become second-nature, and have been browsing YachtWorld to see what we like, and what we don't like, in a boat.

Through all of that though, we're being realistic, and while we both feel the allure of sailing, the practicality and convenience of a powered boat makes the most sense at this stage in our lives. I personally don't fancy the idea of having to worry about a toddler while wrestling with lines and sails in rough seas. Sailing may be a part of our future once our daughter is in her teens, but neither of us feel comfortable with living aboard a sailboat with a child younger than that.

Our plan is to live aboard for the bulk of the year, traveling up and down the West Coast, continuing our usual cozy and minimalist lifestyle, working our regular remote jobs as we go, taking our time and not being in any hurry to get anywhere. The idea is to enjoy a varying buffet of locales, introducing our daughter to new experiences, and being able to bring our home with us as we go without needing to constantly pack and unpack.

I have a ton of questions, many of which are seemingly impossible to find concrete answers to since many of them are wholly subjective. In my experience I find the best way to find something out is to just ask someone knowledgable for help. So that's my hope with joining this forum, is to be able to ask those questions, and perhaps maybe contribute a little back for those things I'm able to answer.

I apologize for the verbose rant (to butcher a phrase, I'm a man of too many words sometimes), but I figure if there's a welcome mat category, there's no better time to introduce myself and my family properly!

I look forward to asking some friendly advice about a number of topics, especially around live aboard needs, motoring along the West Coast, challenges in working aboard while underway, semi-displacement vs trawler, and other flame-war-worthy topics.

Thank you for listening, and for creating such a welcoming community that an Internet-hermit such as myself felt comfortable enough to join your ranks.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:22 PM   #2
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By the way, I'm not new to the Internet by any stretch of the imagination...through experience I just find it useful, when people ask for more information about myself, to be able to send them the link to my inaugural post as a way of introduction.

If you made it this far congratulations, and sorry for the rampant verbosity!
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:34 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:26 PM   #4
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:54 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum; from another nomadic, BC born, semi-minimalist. I think I can safely say we are all ocean lovers here.

Enjoy the journey of making your dream a reality. Keep your mind open to the various options, and you'll know when you find the right boat for you. There's plenty of information on the forum to help decide whether it is is in the right condition for you.

I agree about the majority of sailboats being a challenge for a liveaboard young family, but you may want to look at the odd motorsailer which gives you the option to play with the sails if and when you want. Motorsailer owners tend to be the unconventional type who are willing to take the criticism fro both the sail and power boat fraternity.

btw - Nice first post.
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:47 PM   #6
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Perhaps your biggest challenge is going to be internet connectivity. It's available but it can get costly. It gets costly if you're in jobs that require you having access at all times. So, I'm asking the question of what level of internet and phone access do you both need?
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:25 AM   #7
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Cheers and welcome to TF. Share what you experience with us. We love photo’s.
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:49 AM   #8
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:09 AM   #9
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Perhaps your biggest challenge is going to be internet connectivity. It's available but it can get costly. It gets costly if you're in jobs that require you having access at all times. So, I'm asking the question of what level of internet and phone access do you both need?
Yeah that has been my concern too. Ideally we can do our work when in a marina, or close enough to shore to get cellular data. There are many things that we can do while offline too, so we might just schedule our work around that.

We're not hoping to rush into anything, since our search for the right boat (for us) may take some time, so hopefully by that time, SpaceX will have enough of their Starlink constellation up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starli..._constellation)
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:55 AM   #10
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Yeah that has been my concern too. Ideally we can do our work when in a marina, or close enough to shore to get cellular data. There are many things that we can do while offline too, so we might just schedule our work around that.

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Satellite internet and phone works well. It's expensive, but for those of us who must always have connectivity and who cruise outside the range of cell, it's a worthwhile choice.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:56 AM   #11
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Agreed BandB; I have a feeling this is the sort of thing we'll figure out as we go. Find a cadence that works for us, and balance life/work. I also feel it'll be more about setting our own expectations around time schedules, i.e. not having any. If we wanted to get someplace in a hurry, we'd fly or drive.

Our goal isn't to hurry from one port to another to meet a schedule, but more to enjoy our lives and the places we end up as we go.
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:38 AM   #12
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Agreed BandB; I have a feeling this is the sort of thing we'll figure out as we go. Find a cadence that works for us, and balance life/work. I also feel it'll be more about setting our own expectations around time schedules, i.e. not having any. If we wanted to get someplace in a hurry, we'd fly or drive.

Our goal isn't to hurry from one port to another to meet a schedule, but more to enjoy our lives and the places we end up as we go.
Yes, and it's between those ports you need to figure out if you need communication. In some cases, it's at the ports as well, especially if you're cruising long distances.

i'm just bringing communications up because it's probably a big key to how you both make your living. With adequate communications, location is irrelevant to doing business.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:13 PM   #13
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Welcome aboard! Like you, we lead somewhat non-traditional lives and we moved aboard our trawler when our daughter was two years old (six years ago). We also went from owning sailboats to the powerboat lifestyle for the first time. And we liveaboard in the Pacific NW, so we have a few things in common.

It really sounds like you have the right mentality (and philosophical approach to life in general) to make living aboard with a family truly rewarding. Which it is!

Have you mined YouTube for folks that are in "the same boat"? Well, at least in a similar boat. Quite a few TF members here are posting videos. Of course, there are a ton of blogs, too. One that might be of particular interest is s/v Yahtzee (editor of Three Sheets NW). Even though they live and cruise aboard a sailboat, they are currently in Alaska writing about the challenges of living and working aboard remotely while raising two boys. They can be quite inspirational! Rollin' With Yahtzee | Our family adventures living and cruising in Alaska

We don't "blog", but you can follow our Facebook page to get a glimpse of our lives: https://www.facebook.com/Pacific.NW.Boater/

Feel free to PM me with any questions.

You're going to have fun!
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:48 AM   #14
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Have you mined YouTube for folks that are in "the same boat"? Well, at least in a similar boat. Quite a few TF members here are posting videos. Of course, there are a ton of blogs, too. One that might be of particular interest is s/v Yahtzee (editor of Three Sheets NW). Even though they live and cruise aboard a sailboat, they are currently in Alaska writing about the challenges of living and working aboard remotely while raising two boys. They can be quite inspirational! Rollin' With Yahtzee | Our family adventures living and cruising in Alaska
Yeah, in fact YouTube has been an extremely valuable source of information I find. There's certainly a great deal of information you can find on various blogs, product web sites, etc. However, getting the anecdotal "a day in the life" from the perspective of someone actually living aboard and the challenges they face is a great way to compare & contrast the advantages or disadvantages of different boats, activities, areas, lifestyles, etc, etc.

Frankly right now we're flip-flopping between "Get the smallest boat we can get away with living in" vs "Get the largest boat we can reasonably afford". I imagine as somewhat new boaters, regardless of whatever training we take, experience matters the most, and less boat is probably easier to handle than more at this point.

In the PNW what are people's experiences with taking a shorter (i.e. 28-36 ft) motor boat through the Gulf Islands? I'd like to not be restricted to just hugging the coastline, and would like to be able to make our way over to Vancouver Island, or even down to Seattle & Portland. I'm just not sure how practical it is in these waters to do so with a low-30's LOA.
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:04 PM   #15
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A new boat, a new lifestyle, and a new child all at once seems like a lot to handle. When it becomes too much which of the 3 will suffer ?

Have you condsidered getting the boat but postponing the nomadic lifestyle for a bit ? Be based out of a marina for a few years....do the daytripper/weekend thing for a while while you learn the boat. It gives you a chance to make boater friends at your marina who will be a great resource, a semi stable environment for your child to socialize in, and a chance to develop your boating skills and experience.

Just something to think about.
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:10 PM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr. NM. "Get the smallest boat we can get away with living in" vs "Get the largest boat we can reasonably afford". Also consider getting the smallest boat you can reasonably afford. That will most probably get you into a newer vessel.


Also one MAJOR consideration is the minimum size vessel.


Carefully list ALL the "stuff" you'll want to have immediately at hand figure out how much storage space it will occupy THEN double that space!



That calculation might give you some idea of what size vessel is a good fit for your personalities and lifestyle.
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:16 PM   #17
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Chartering a boat for a week will also help you figure out what you like and don't like in a a boat....plus you can usually get a captain/teacher as part of the package for part or all of the week.

Formal instruction from a captain my help when it comes time to get insurance for your boat.
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:27 PM   #18
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Have you condsidered getting the boat but postponing the nomadic lifestyle for a bit ? Be based out of a marina for a few years....do the daytripper/weekend thing for a while while you learn the boat. It gives you a chance to make boater friends at your marina who will be a great resource, a semi stable environment for your child to socialize in, and a chance to develop your boating skills and experience.
Yeah certainly, that's the plan. We hope to get a marina slip in Vancouver itself (to be closer to the city) and treat it initially as a downtown waterfront condo that can occasionally go for weekend trips. As we get more experience, we'd like to venture out a bit more.

It's nice to see our idea validated by others though...there are times that one might wonder if they're being overly cautious, or if taking things in baby steps is a better idea.
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:42 PM   #19
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I've been a nomad, and a parent, but just couldn't imagine being both at the same time.
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:50 PM   #20
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I've been a nomad, and a parent, but just couldn't imagine being both at the same time.
Perhaps nomad is the wrong term, at least to start, but I see your point. We're hoping that as we ease into cruising (shorter distances at first, and venturing farther afield as everyone gets used to it more), we'll all increase our familiarity with it, and this will become "normal" to us.

We already travel fairly frequently, so that's baked into the DNA of our family. The biggest unknown is as several of you have mentioned, the large number of changes all at once.

We're not planning to sell everything and commit 100% to the boat full time to start, but rather transition over to the boat more and more as we all become more comfortable.
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