Author Topic: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?  (Read 14306 times)

Offline surfivor

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live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« on: November 19, 2014, 06:09:28 PM »
 This is an idea I got from a guy who has a boat ..

 Suppose you lived in Maine and you had a 27 foot sailboat. Would it make sense and be economical as well as reasonably safe if you could set off on the sailboat in the late summer/early fall and sail down the coast for the winter ? Perhaps you anchor off of the coast in various places, thereby you don't have to pay for a hotel or a campsite at least some of the time. You could anchor in some harbor or inlet and go ashore in a smaller boat. Perhaps you could bring a small folding bicycle. I would bring a surfboard of course.

  If you get down to Florida, the Caribbean, South America, etc, maybe you find someplace of the coast that is not too inhabited, maybe part of some island. You could do some gorilla gardening, pick coconuts, various fruits, citrus or what not; learn what is edible etc ... You could catch fish to eat etc.. maybe even catch some game somehow ... I guess you could bring a bow and arrow .. I think some kinds of pink oyster mushrooms grow like crazy where it is hot as well.

 Obviously there are costs, various hazards and things to be aware of, but it seems like an interesting idea ...


Offline Cedar

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 06:25:30 PM »
I know a bunch of people off Vancouver Island in BC who did it for years. Some were Americans, some were Brits.

Cedar

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 07:34:45 PM »
There's been several threads on this and using a sailboat as a BOV.  I love the idea, but some reality checks have been:
The peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is August through November 1.
Fresh water storage is finite and you either have to pay to resupply or have an expensive reverse osmosis system which requires fuel to run the generator (or more solar than will fit on a small boat).
There are still plenty of pirates in the Carribean.
Nothing is free in Florida, especially a place to sleep.

I still think it's a viable idea, but I got the impression it would be easier on the left coast due to differences in weather patterns, Coastline, and Baja being more adapted to the drifted lifestyle.

But hell, don't listen to me, I'm as land locked as they come (but my dad was a sailor,  sailed from Lake Erie to Oregon on a 26' Shark with a friend in his 20s, and many vacations involved boats when I was a boy).

Offline Cedar

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2014, 07:39:11 PM »
And boat repairs are expensive.
Want a free one? http://eugene.craigslist.org/zip/4764789397.html

Cedar

Offline soupbone

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2014, 08:43:17 PM »
This thread reminds me of an article I read in a yachting magazine in a doctor's office. It was a [humorous] poll on "Who was sexier, your boat or your Significant Other?" The response I remember was, "I don't know who is sexier, but I do know I've been f###ed by my boat a lot more than I have by my wife!!!"

Lesson learned: There's no such thing as a free lunch. Maintaining a boat, or managing one underway, is no easy matter - especially if you're going long distance cruising. One slight slip and you are in deep trouble. Even such little things as maintaining a watch 24 hrs/day can be almost overwhelming unless you have a trained crew. (More people = more supplies = bigger boat = more maintenance...) This would be especially true in a bug-out scenario when you would be on your own, so to speak. A 27' might not be comfortable - or safe - for ocean cruising, and if you use the Inland Waterway, you could find yourself landlocked. As a peacetime adventure, though, it is intriguing, but you will probably have to purchase your supplies - I don't think there is much "open range" along the Eastern Seaboard.

soupbone

Offline Ms. Albatross

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 09:21:28 PM »
This thread reminds me of an article I read in a yachting magazine in a doctor's office. It was a [humorous] poll on "Who was sexier, your boat or your Significant Other?" The response I remember was, "I don't know who is sexier, but I do know I've been f###ed by my boat a lot more than I have by my wife!!!"

soupbone

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Offline surfivor

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2014, 11:28:18 PM »
 I don't know alot on the topic. I asked this guy who seems knowledgable. He said maybe some engine maintenance but unless you hit something repairs should not be too bad and boats retain their value and do not depreciate like cars do.


 If a storm is approaching, you would have to take shelter in a bay or harbor. If the storm is really a bad one, I suppose there is a significant risk .. You would always have to keep a constant eye on the weather and be well aware of all harbors and bays and such places along the coast.

 How much does it cost to go through the panama canal ?

 Suppose you bought a piece of land somewhere a little ways up a tidal river or innlet; you could sail up there from the ocean and anchor off your land and stay there. Since you stay in the boat, you would not need to build any big structure to stay in on the property. The property could be in a floodplain or otherwise problematic for living on, yet using a boat the land could be used for gardening. Possibly some land is cheaper if it has issues of that sort, but could be of use to you if you would stay there in a boat. I picture perhaps such a piece of land up a river a few miles in the Carolinas, Alabama, Texas, Florida, Missisipi, Georgia, or someplace .. sail down there from Maine and stay the winter .. plant sweet potatoes in the spring and sail back to Maine .. come back at the end of the summer to harvest the sweet potatoes. You could grow mushrooms and such as well. Some types of mushrooms might fruit when you are not around so you might have to have a local person in the area that harvests the mushrooms for you and takes care of that and give them some amount of free mushrooms or what not. They dry them out or sell them and you give them their cut. No way to know how many mushrooms they got, but you may get lucky and find someone who is honest etc



There also seems to be possibilities for guerrilla gardening in odd places such as islands or land that is hard to access without a boat etc
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 11:50:42 PM by surfivor »

Offline Barton

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2014, 07:35:47 PM »

 Suppose you lived in Maine and you had a 27 foot sailboat. Would it make sense and be economical as well as reasonably safe if you could set off on the sailboat in the late summer/early fall and sail down the coast for the winter ? Perhaps you anchor off of the coast in various places, thereby you don't have to pay for a hotel or a campsite at least some of the time. You could anchor in some harbor or inlet and go ashore in a smaller boat. Perhaps you could bring a small folding bicycle.
 

Been there, done that.  Some of the best memories that my wife and I have.   You may want to check out the Intra Coastal Waterway.  It is an inland route that can take you all the way to Texas.  Cape Hatteras can kick some serious butt and is called the Grave Yard of the Atlantic for a reason.  The ICW bypasses Hatteras.  One would want to gain a fair amount of sailing experience and put the boat through it's paces before venturing alone off shore.

Many municipalities have passed anchoring restrictions that force you to spend money on a mooring or marina slip when spending the night.  I still believe it can be done on the cheap, but realize there is a large group that head south each winter and the free anchorages are crowded.   

Offline hutchsteaders

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2014, 07:58:11 PM »
Sounds like a fun time!

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2014, 08:16:49 PM »
I don't know alot on the topic. I asked this guy who seems knowledgable. He said maybe some engine maintenance but unless you hit something repairs should not be too bad and boats retain their value and do not depreciate like cars do.
You know there's an expression commonly shared among boaters, don't you?  A boat is a hole in the water you throw money into. 

It's not just the motor or the generator or the batteries or the mold issues or the sump pumps or the electrical issues or the UV deterioration or the dry rot.  You're taking something and putting it in salt water, a substance that loves to exchange ions, which means corrosion, thus, every metal part is under constant attack.  They're never out of the sun, which means near-constant UV damage.

The fact they last as long as they do is miraculous, but it's at the expense of a lot of time keeping things clean, painted, lubricated, and replaced when they fail.  Fall behind and you're in trouble.  Rudder failure is never a good thing.  Neither are electrical issues that can cause fires due to corrosion on connections.  Keep up on it and you'll be fine.  It's just not "free livin'" like a lot of people dream about. 

Quote
How much does it cost to go through the panama canal ?
He went through in the mid-to-late 60s, so even if he ever mentioned it, it wouldn't be relevant anymore.  I know he went through some locks (either on the Erie Canal or Panama) along side huge cargo ships.  He said he could just see a sliver of sky in along side of them.  His mast didn't even reach the top of the canal at times.

Quote
Suppose you bought a piece of land somewhere a little ways up a tidal river or innlet; you could sail up there from the ocean and anchor off your land and stay there. Since you stay in the boat, you would not need to build any big structure to stay in on the property. The property could be in a floodplain or otherwise problematic for living on, yet using a boat the land could be used for gardening. Possibly some land is cheaper if it has issues of that sort, but could be of use to you if you would stay there in a boat. I picture perhaps such a piece of land up a river a few miles in the Carolinas, Alabama, Texas, Florida, Missisipi, Georgia, or someplace .. sail down there from Maine and stay the winter .. plant sweet potatoes in the spring and sail back to Maine .. come back at the end of the summer to harvest the sweet potatoes. You could grow mushrooms and such as well. Some types of mushrooms might fruit when you are not around so you might have to have a local person in the area that harvests the mushrooms for you and takes care of that and give them some amount of free mushrooms or what not. They dry them out or sell them and you give them their cut. No way to know how many mushrooms they got, but you may get lucky and find someone who is honest etc
Cool idea.  You might even be able to talk someone in to leasing their low, flood-prone land to you for a very reasonable price.

Quote
There also seems to be possibilities for guerrilla gardening in odd places such as islands or land that is hard to access without a boat etc
Yep, but odds are only islands in rivers are going to grow normal crops since salt water intrusion on islands is going to rule out many crops, at least near the shore.

Online FreeLancer

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2014, 12:37:48 AM »
You know there's an expression commonly shared among boaters, don't you?  A boat is a hole in the water you throw money into. 

That, and the happiest days of boat ownership are the day it's purchased and the day it's sold. 

Offline surfivor

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2014, 03:33:08 PM »

 I know about the outer banks, though it is a popular surf spot. I saw a sailboat wash up on the beach in a storm ..

 It seems these sailboats can only do 5 mph most of the time, so it would take a week or more to go from Maine to Hatteras

Offline Barton

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2014, 03:27:30 PM »

 It seems these sailboats can only do 5 mph most of the time, so it would take a week or more to go from Maine to Hatteras

We mostly motored on the ICW with our 30 foot sailboat.  Seemed like we were fighting wind and current all the time.  The best day we ever had was 60 miles and that was from sun up to sun down.  We dropped anchor just as it was too dark to see.

Offline David in MN

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2014, 04:49:53 PM »
While not a sailboat, I've known people who lived on boats on the Mississippi to avoid our winter. River based boat living hasn't been as popular here as in Europe. I wish I still had contact with the distant uncle who lives on a barge, he'd be a good contact for you.

If ocean is a requirement, this midwesterner can't help much.

I've always liked the idea of any mobile home.

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2014, 04:57:13 PM »
I'm not against the idea, but do find it interesting that this thought of nomadic travel is being accepted much more than what is being discussed on another thread here on TSP. 

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Offline Gamer

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2014, 03:54:31 AM »
I almost bought a small yacht/cabin cruiser some years ago with the aim of living in it permanently on the English waterways system, but although a second-hand one is cheap, there's so much British Waterways Board red tape hassle that I never bothered.
For example an annual "residential licence" costs the earth, and it must be a proper houseboat, otherwise you're not allowed to live on the thing.
Of course, in a post-apocalypse world to hell with licences and stuff, I'd probably get something like this below, paint it in camo stripes and moor up a quiet backwater while the zombs are rioting and eating each other in the cities..


Offline keebler

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2014, 09:24:14 AM »
NOT me-!!--I spent 14 Years at sea in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club, including 5 in NATO, sailed the 7 seas, this is the last thing I would ever do. Around the world, over the top, thru Panama & the Suez canals, met many wonderful people been in 100's of fabulous Ports, more countries than I can still name. My Feet are planted firmly in the boonies of southern Va.
keeb.

Offline shambo

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2014, 01:58:09 PM »
NOT me-!!--I spent 14 Years at sea in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club, including 5 in NATO, sailed the 7 seas, this is the last thing I would ever do. Around the world, over the top, thru Panama & the Suez canals, met many wonderful people been in 100's of fabulous Ports, more countries than I can still name. My Feet are planted firmly in the boonies of southern Va.
keeb.
Wow!  I would like to talk with you for a couple weeks and hear your stories over a campfire and some quality adult beverages.  Maybe you could post some stories on this forum?

Offline keebler

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2014, 06:49:19 AM »
I have plenty camping spots on my land, fire ring, Picnic table, any thing from Tent to Casita camper, camper van, or 35 ft Motorhome. love them all go up there  See the universe & glad to be alive.
keeb. in southern Va. out in the boonies. permanent shore duty.
been here since June 84.
happy & free.

Offline Hiker

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2015, 07:26:36 PM »
This is actually a very timely question.  I am a big fan of Survivalist Scott B. Williams books.  I have read his books 'The Pulse'  and 'Bug Out'.   The scenarios he describes and how people react in them come off as being very realistic as to what would actually happen in those situations.

Williams is big into sailing and sea kayaking and just recently he came out with his new survival novel, 'Sailing the Apocalypse'.

Offline kmorgan

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2015, 10:28:27 PM »
This is an idea I got from a guy who has a boat ..

 Suppose you lived in Maine and you had a 27 foot sailboat. Would it make sense and be economical as well as reasonably safe if you could set off on the sailboat in the late summer/early fall and sail down the coast for the winter ? Perhaps you anchor off of the coast in various places, thereby you don't have to pay for a hotel or a campsite at least some of the time. You could anchor in some harbor or inlet and go ashore in a smaller boat. Perhaps you could bring a small folding bicycle. I would bring a surfboard of course.

  If you get down to Florida, the Caribbean, South America, etc, maybe you find someplace of the coast that is not too inhabited, maybe part of some island. You could do some gorilla gardening, pick coconuts, various fruits, citrus or what not; learn what is edible etc ... You could catch fish to eat etc.. maybe even catch some game somehow ... I guess you could bring a bow and arrow .. I think some kinds of pink oyster mushrooms grow like crazy where it is hot as well.

 Obviously there are costs, various hazards and things to be aware of, but it seems like an interesting idea ...

I would not recommend just anchoring off "some island off the coast of Florida" those "some islands" are privately owned! How would YOU like some itinerant stranger showing up on your front yard (or beach..) picking the fruit off your trees?? The biggest problem private islanders have seem to be boaters casually arriving at their "front door" and making camp! or just arriving for a day picnic.. I would be furious if that were MY home. This is 2015, not 1715! all those luscious tropical islands belong to someone.

Speaking as someone who HAS lived aboard- if you MUST get a boat, a sailboat is most economical and it is much easier to work on and/or replace a portable outboard motor than a big engine to a motorboat. Plus, if your engine fails- you have sails! Cheapest sailboat/best one in my opinion is an early 1960s fibreglass hull with a deep hull (for sea voyages, get a sea worthy boat- not a freshwater one) there used to be a POS sailboat maker "MacGregor" steer far clear of those. I moved one of those from San Diego to Los Angeles and the boat was SO cheap, I could feel the hull twist and turn out of shape with the pull and push of the waves at sea. It terrified me- it was such a piece of literal crap. As I sailed it pieces of it fell apart! Get a good well made, sturdy boat, just ask around or read forums on which one to buy. Buying a boat is like buying a horse: when you want one, you can't find one cheap- but when you HAVE one, you'll find a thousand people ready and willing to give one away for free. You also have to figure in regular $$$$$ for maintenance that cannot be ignored: painting the hull, etc etc upkeep on all sorts of odds and ends. Can you dive? you're going to need all kinds of skills to be a good sailor or pay someone the big bucks to perform basic repairs or even just to dive to retrieve your irreplaceable set of keys you dropped in the marina. Sailing is a skill. If you are a green horn it will show and obviously to other sailors and it can be a rather snobbish clicque-y group.

HOW TO FIND A GREAT BOAT SUPER CHEAP: Visit any marina (in CALIF try Newport Beach, Long Beach, etc I am not too sure on what's going on on East coast- there are plenty in FL that are not hard to find!) and even go out on a small boat to check out all the FOR SALE signs on boats that are on moorings (out on the water) as opposed to one's anchored in the marina. The moored ones way out in the water will go for a cheaper price as their owners may be more desperate: divorced men (hahah if they haven't made their old boat their new bachelor apartment!), or newly married men! who have to sell their "toys" now to support a family, some of the sellers can be desperate.

Getting a motorboat is asking for trouble unless you're an experienced master marine mechanic. I'd hate to be 9 miles off the coast with a dead motor.

Join a club, get reciprocal privileges with foreign marinas etc. A boat can be great and if you find a decent marina or cheap mooring it can be a 2nd home/vacation home. It gives you piece of mind IF the s h t f. I was good friends with a couple who "knew!" that "the S H T F" was gonna happen in 2k (hahhaha!) they loaded up their catamaran and moved to S America. Nice couple- although none too bright. The "end of the world as they knew it" never happened. I wonder whatever happened to those two?

Food with a boat: on a sailboat in the middle of the ocean far from any land or other boats it is NOT easy to catch fish- fish are attracted to all the chum those day sea-fishing boats put out and their engine noises. Fish like habitats: oil platforms, etc so you want to go to those for fish. Oh- and WATCH OUT for those GI-GAN-TIC ocean going vessels! ho-leee CRAP those things are huge! scared the ^&*O out of me one night... they can't stop nor will notice you so you MUST be out of their way at all times.

What IF SHTF?? will you be close to your life saving boat..? how will you get to it or will someone ELSE make use of it before YOU do??


Best place in tewokeqiqiki or whatever the anagram is: USA. This country has so many vast spaces, good for FARMING that are just sitting there, unused. Other nations do not have are arable land, our climate, anything. America is where other peoples CAME to TO farm- not other way round. There is soooo much lush forest land in USA a man could get lost for years and almost never be found if he's careful.

You have to think of food and water. On the sea, one can make do very meagerly with a solar still and dew. On a boat, every morning every surface is covered in moisture which is PURE water. Fish at sea are few and far between! like I said, look for habitat.

 Islands are ALL populated- by people who like their privacy and DO NOT ENJOY uninvited visitors- at ALL.

to phrase a scene of a famous film we all watched as children "HEY! How'd you like it if someone picked YOUR apples!!"

Offline car54

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2015, 08:55:55 AM »
Back in the 70s my brother and I sailed all over the great lakes one summer. We picked up odd jobs in small towns along the coast in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Canada. We had a good time.

In the 80s we did some sailing around the Caribbean, Bahamas etc on a 36 foot sailboat. There is a whole community of people who live on boats. If you get into that lifestyle you will learn where to go, what to do and how to do it. Most people just migrate from one island to another, often in groups of friends they meet along the way.  Nearly all of those people have some form of income, whether a pension or some type of online business or they charter their boats or do seasonal work, though there is not much in the way of seasons except hurricane season in the Caribbean. 

With modern electronics, GPS, cell phones, satellite phones, better solar panels, wind generators etc it is much easier to live on board than even just ten years ago.  The thing is that when you are not actaully sailing, laying around you working in your boat. That's the lifestyle. That's what you do.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2017, 10:46:40 AM »
My wife and I are taking sailing lessons next month.  No immediate ambitions of owning a sailboat, but figure this allows some recreational opportunities for weekend rentals or possibly working as a crew on a someone else's boat.  It's not the cheapest thing, but it's a skill and the sailing school is highly regarded.

This doesn't apply to me perfectly based on my age and family, but there are some interesting points from the bug-out perspective.

http://ncrenegade.com/editorial/get-yourself-a-thirty-footer-and-go/

Offline outoforder2day

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2017, 12:50:25 PM »
Research the cruising lifestyle. (http://www.cruisingworld.com/)
Having a homestead, I would worry about my animals and the care of my property when I was away. I do know many people who live a lifestyle similar to this (RV) in retirement and I never got it. I also know some folks who have winter homes in the south (Florida, mostly). They don't have the repair costs, and basically have condos in both geographies so there's little to worry about maintenance wise.

All that being said, I do really want to take two years off at some point and do a circumnavigation with my family. It would allow me to show them the world from the water up. I think it would be an invaluably unique learning experience for my kids. Just need to find someone to take care of the homestead while I'm away.

Offline Carl

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2017, 01:29:14 PM »
  There are few places that one can land that aren't commercialized or inhabited.You pretty much must carry your own supplies and re-supply can be very costly. There are few fish and less drinkable water in open ocean and though power and communications are much better now,than in the past ,you are still mostly on your own.

  You are not likely to drown in an RV and have more interesting places to go. Bobby White ,a pilot I know has some videos of boat life .But bikini girls do not just magically appear.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTSilpLdXWo

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2017, 02:49:37 PM »
It will be a while before I have the expertise or even desire to travel across open ocean.

I'm a few miles from some of the largest sheltered marine water anyplace:



I think it could be great fun to take a couple weeks and travel someplace under my own skill. Maintaining indefinitely is a daunting mission, but like camping/backpacking, it could be fun for fixed durations.

Offline Redman

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2017, 03:50:22 AM »
And to go along with the hole in the water saying and the happiest days saying, Break Out Another Thousand.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2017, 09:25:11 AM »
And to go along with the hole in the water saying and the happiest days saying, Break Out Another Thousand.

In that context, paying around $300 to rent a newer and well equipped 39 footer for a whole weekend might not be unreasonable.
I'd rather do that a few times a year as a mini-vacation than pay that each month to moor and maintain a boat.

If the SHTF, I can always crew on some rich guy's yacht. - LOL

Offline Sailor

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2017, 02:44:56 PM »
Congrats Smurf on getting some sailing lessons, great idea in your part of the country. 

I have not lived aboard, but race a 20 foot Flying Scot on the weekends and bob around in a 26 foot boat in the gulf of Mexico during vacations. 

If you buy a boat buy one that has an established association and that has made thousands of boats.  This way parts and advice are very easy to find. 

Another thing, the smaller the boat the more it will get sailed.  Something like a Catalina 22, that has probably 15,000 boats in its class, and a very active fleet/association.  Easy to trailer them also.  Great to learn on in protected water. 

Run some wire up your back stay and start practicing CW with one hand and the other hand on the tiller!  :D

Offline Black November

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Re: live/retire on a sailboat part of the year ?
« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2017, 02:55:39 PM »
27 ft is pretty small to live in full time. I would recommend 30' to 40' sailboat. Something that has a decent sized shower. Larger than 40' and you would need a crew.