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straightlinespeed
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March 10, 2020 7:44 pm  

Hello everyone, I've got a bit of a different scenario I would like to inquire about. My wife has the option to transfer her job to the USVI. However, we are not looking at living in a house, condo or otherwise. We are actually thinking about purchasing a Sailboat and living on that. We would own a vehicle so that we can get around the Islands as well. We know her main office would be on STT, but are not 100% sure she would have to be located there.

So we are curious if anyone can provide information on areas we can potentially anchor, moor, or dock. Names of the areas would be helpful so we can look into them as well. Rough monthly cost, if that info is known and any pros/cons you can provide. Thank you much.


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STTsailor
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March 11, 2020 8:52 am  

Plenty of places to anchor. That is not a problem.

Mooring balls are much harder to find but still can be located. Most are installed illegally  

Docking is expensive. About $1100 a month based on 12 months lease plus electric and water. Daily rates in the marinas run about 4-5$ per foot. 
USVI is quite expensive for boating. 


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STTsailor
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March 11, 2020 8:56 am  

Also you have to think about hurricane season. What is your plan if cat 3 boomer is on its way to STT? Will you sail away 200 miles out of harms way? Will you abandon your boat in the mangroves and try to find a hotel? 

you have to have plan in place for that likely possibility 


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Gator's Mom
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March 11, 2020 9:25 am  

How much do you already know about sailboats (and dinghies)?

Lots of people live on boats in the VI and it is a very particular lifestyle choice.

Dockage is priced per foot based on the length of your vessel. You'll pay extra for water, electric and wifi as a live aboard. To start, call Compass Point Marina on STT. Call Green Cay Marina on STX.  As a ball park, it will easily cost $1,000/month or more for a boat that's big enough to stand up in.

Mooring balls can vary in price but probably $300-600 per month depending on location and who the owner is. You can purchase or install your own mooring ball, but that's another discussion.

Anchoring is not advised though many do this. I wouldn't but some boats are worth less than others, too.

Don't forget to factor in insurance and maintenance - both are high in the Caribbean.

This post was modified 5 months ago by Gator's Mom

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singlefin
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March 11, 2020 9:37 am  

Can’t help you with any sailboat questions.

However, I’ve had several compliments over the years on how well my Dinghy performs.


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Alana33
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March 11, 2020 10:00 am  

Just rent an apartment.

it'll be so much easier in the long run.


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STTsailor
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March 11, 2020 11:24 am  

People who live on boats tend to either work from the boat or have no rigid schedules. Apartment works much better for these with places to be. 


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East Ender
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March 11, 2020 11:45 am  

Hello. straightline! SO, did you do the PMVs everyone suggested in February, 2017 when you initially asked? Is your wife still with the Feds? You say her office is on St Thomas but you don't know if she would have to be located there. Are you talking telecommuting? Or are you thinking you can zip around the VI in your sailboat?

Have you lived on a sailboat? There is definitely a sailing community in the VI and on your next PMV, you should make contact with them. Legally, you are not allowed to transfer moorings, you must get a permit yourself. The biggest live aboard communities are in Red Hook and Elephant Bay for St Thomas.

I knew two couples who successfully lived on their boats and worked on land in St Thomas. One spent a ton of money to dock at American Yacht Harbor, the other worked 8-5 jobs and got off their mooring weekends to sail. The other sailors I knew either ran charter boat businesses, were early retirees/adventurers, or were boaties who "got by". You do need a hurricane season plan...


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straightlinespeed
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April 9, 2020 5:29 pm  

Sorry for the delay, I totally forgot to come back and read the replies.

In short as East Ender asked, no we did not do the PMV's as mentioned and suggested, since other life events stopped us from making the move to live there for the time we wanted. 

We would be living in St. Thomas for 1yr to 2yr max stay. Yes my wife still works for the feds and the office is located on St. Thomas, but she is not sure if she would physically have to be at the office every day, or if she could telecommute from the boat. Visiting the other islands when need be would either be by ferry, (possibly the sailboat), or plane. We would own a car as well, so we would need to find a place to park it while living on the boat, which also comes into play.

The idea of the boat came about because we are close to being done with work and we thought we could moor or dock the boat and live on it. Make any needed repairs and upgrades however long that would take and then continue on our journey sailing. My wife has the option to transfer any time to St. Thomas and we thought that would be a good spot to do so for this part of our life. The costs of the mooring and marinas, doesnt make much sense. And as mentioned and other research its expensive as well for boat repairs and parts. So we may just skip the idea all together. We think it would be a fantastic start to the next part of our lives, but financially, not so sure, since it would just be her income mostly.

May I ask, what is the estimated minimum yearly income to live comfortably but simple?

Thanks for all the replies above!


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Afriend
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April 9, 2020 7:03 pm  

<<<...May I ask, what is the estimated minimum yearly income to live comfortably but simple?...>>>

Everyone’s idea of “comfortably but simple” is different so it is very difficult to give you a precise dollar amount without you providing some type of reference point of what those terms mean to you.  

I lived in the Caribbean for 15+ years and here is a good rule of thumb that I’ve suggested people contemplating moving use that has proven to be fairly accurate: Figure how much money it would take for you to live “comfortably but simple” where you now live and add 35% to that number.  The result will be close to what you need.  Now keep in mind that because you are planning to live on a boat you probably should add another 10% or 15% as a contingency for the higher maintenance costs you’ll incur to take care of your boat.


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straightlinespeed
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April 9, 2020 8:53 pm  

@afriend, Thanks for the reply. To be honest that is actually a tough question to think what I need here.

It may be easier if I just say we will roughly have about $65k/yr income.

Now, with that being said. I have no idea what it takes to live there on average. So with that info is living in the VI's doable and if so on a 1-10 scale, 1 being no way and 10 being living good, roughly where would that put us. Ignoring the idea of living on a boat and assuming we will live on land, just to make it easier.


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Wolverine888
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April 10, 2020 12:25 pm  

Another option you may want to consider is purchasing a boat slip; at this time there is only one marina on St. Thomas, the Sapphire Beach Marina & Resort that has boat slips for sale, ranging in price from $47,000 to $75,000. These slips can easily rent for $1,000-1,200/mo when you are not using them.  Please contact me through my profile contact info if I can be of any further assistance in getting you the specific information on these boat slips.

This post was modified 4 months ago by Wolverine888

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East Ender
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April 10, 2020 12:38 pm  

I still think you should make a PMV when things are better. It is very tough telling someone what amount of money they need to live in the VI. First of all, life is very different there. If you are accustomed in the US to living in a 2000 square foot 3/2 house with a fenced yard, you will be surprised at your options on St Thomas. 500 square foot studio for $1300? Second, food costs are extraordinary, as is electricity. And then there are other things you don't think about. In the states, people are accustomed to ordering stuff from Amazon and it magically appears the next day on your porch. That doesn't happen in the VI. Amazon Prime is good for the music, the movies, and the free books, but you have to pay for shipping. Some folks adapt to the differences and some don't. The climate is nice...


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Afriend
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April 10, 2020 1:17 pm  

Again, it's difficult to tell whether your $65K/year income will suit your needs in the USVI's.  It all depends on your particular situation.  Is that your net income after taxes or is it your gross income before taxes?   There is a big difference in those two numbers.  

As I tried to point out in my previous reply the simple fact is that unless you now live in a very high end upper income community the cost of living in the Caribbean is going to be higher than what you are accustomed to.  So, if you feel that you can live "comfortable but simple" on $65K where you now reside than you'll end up living somewhat less comfortably and even simpler in the USVI's and to what degree that will be depends on which island you eventually decide to reside - St. John being the most expensive, St. Thomas being a little less costly and St. Croix being slightly less than STT (these are generalized comparisons).

I can tell you this, I know some people who can live on $65K/year and others who view that as only enough to subsist.  based on how you phrased your posts I suspect at that level (assuming your $65K is before taxes) you'll be living a more 'simple" life as you'll have very little left over after paying rent, food, utilities and other basic expenses for dining out, going on excursions, maintaining that boat (if you decide to buy one) and other minor luxuries - there won't be any high end extravagance in your lifestyle.

You'd best heed the advice to make a PMV to get a better feel for what life is like and how much it will really cost you to live in the Caribbean.  It may look like paradise but it is not heaven.  Not to sound crass but if you can't afford to do a PMV you'll probably have a very difficult time financially living in the Caribbean.

Good luck following your dream.

 

This post was modified 4 months ago by Afriend

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jaldeborgh
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April 10, 2020 2:37 pm  

The best advice I’ve seen here is the need for a PMV.  This gives you the opportunity to look at potential apartments, check out food prices and figure out things like do you need a car.  Everyone is different but one basic truth is that it’s difficult to lower your standard of living, this includes your wife’s expectations.

like most people, I’m amazed at the range of what different folks feel is a minimum amount to live on.  If you plan on living as if you’re on vacation, it’s safe to say $65k isn’t going to work for you and your wife.  There are tons of things to do but most cost money, either directly or indirectly.

You need to judge for yourself, and this requires a PMV.  Good luck in your search and hopefully you can make the USVI’s work.


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Exit Zero
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April 10, 2020 2:40 pm  

@wolverine888:

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Alana33
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April 11, 2020 11:59 am  

@Exit Zero

Wolverine does this time and time again when he KNOWS it's not allowed and has been called on it previously.

Doesn't show ethical standards.


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Ronnie
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April 17, 2020 11:28 am  

As a person working a federal job, is she allowed to live on a boat? I know they have restrictions.


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CruzanIron
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April 17, 2020 12:00 pm  
Posted by: @Alana33

@Exit Zero

Wolverine does this time and time again when he KNOWS it's not allowed and has been called on it previously.

Doesn't show ethical standards.

I find it funny how he just moved to the VI and acts like an expert in local real estate. 


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NorthsideKevin
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May 10, 2020 11:08 am  

@Alana33 Nor does he point out that the condo fees at Sapphire for those slips are the same as the Condos.  Huge.  More than the monthly payment if you financed.  Careful calculations needed.  And everyone knows you call Niles if you want a slip.  Or go to the docks and ask for him.

This post was modified 3 months ago by NorthsideKevin

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Alana33
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May 10, 2020 1:13 pm  
Posted by: @northsidekevin

@Alana33 Nor does he point out that the condo fees at Sapphire for those slips are the same as the Condos.  Huge.  More than the monthly payment if you financed.  Careful calculations needed.  And everyone knows you call Niles if you want a slip.  Or go to the docks and ask for him.

@northsidekevin

Plus Sapphire is NOT the ONLY marina on STT.

AYH, Benner Bay, Compass Pt., YHG, Crown Bay Marina and many other smaller ones.


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NorthsideKevin
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May 11, 2020 9:31 am  

I vote for the Patch!  


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Steven17
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May 24, 2020 5:36 am  

@northsidekevin

HUH ?


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Exit Zero
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May 24, 2020 12:02 pm  

The Patch is a small local Bar in the small boatyard in the Lagoon in Frydenhoj STT -- quite a reputation for camaraderie.


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NorthsideKevin
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May 26, 2020 12:59 pm  

Patch gone to come back.  Be here when it reach.  

Humphries.

This post was modified 3 months ago by NorthsideKevin

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