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Living on a boat?

 
csdailey4
(@csdailey4)
Active Member

Does anyone out there live on a boat full time? I'd love to hear the in's and out's, where you dock or moore? What are the costs, where do you dock? Do you live in the USVI full time or sail throughout the caribbean? Any and all information would be very helpful. Thanks!!

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Topic starter Posted : November 2, 2008 1:53 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

hi
i lived on a boat when we were in the keys and i hated it, maybe it was because we were docked and didnt go anywhere. was never so glad to get back into a house. maybe if we had gone somewhere i would have something different to say. good luck in what you decide

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Posted : November 4, 2008 11:11 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

cs: There are people who live on boats full-time. Some work and some don't. Some leave in the summer and some stay year-around. Some live on a mooring and some on a dock. I will say, I have heard live-aboards complaining lately that the government is trying to get rid of them. Part of this is the gentrification of many of the marinas, some DPNR trying to regulate the wildlife sanctuary areas. If you already have a boat, sail it down and see for yourself. If you are thinking of buying one here, come down and talk to the boatie people.

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Posted : November 4, 2008 4:44 pm
csdailey4
(@csdailey4)
Active Member

Thanks for the feedback!

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Topic starter Posted : November 5, 2008 5:37 pm
hmgrindle
(@hmgrindle)
Active Member

Hey CS-

I currently live on a 27' Watkins in Long Bay with my Dad and my brother. It is cozy, to say the least! We are on a mooring ball, and the cost is $325 per year. I have been living on the boat for the past 4 months, and I am ready to move to land. You see, we have no water or electricity, no sails or a motor. We don't have a galley, either. I would say that if the the boat were larger and had the basic creature comforts, it would be a lot more bearable. I feel like I have been on an extended camping trip for the past few months. Don't even let me get started on the hurricane preparations we had to make for Omar a few weeks ago! (I holed up with a friend I work with on land)

I have met plenty of other boaties who really enjoy the lifestyle, but their boats are generally larger and have more creature comforts than mine has.

That being said, there is a certain freedom living aboard. I don't pay a WAPA bill, I don't pay rent, I don't get bothered by the mosquitos, and I get rocked to sleep each night by the motion of the water.

Bottom line: You're going to have to try it out to see if you like it. If you currently have a boat, try living on her for a week. If you don't have one, maybe try a bareboat charter. I don't know what your boating experience is, but you should have at least have some maintenance experience so you can fix the myriad of problems that sailor face daily.

PM me if you'd like more info.

Much love, Heather

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Posted : November 7, 2008 7:06 pm
antillean
(@antillean)
Advanced Member

I live on a boat at a mooring near Water Island. My wife and I have lived aboard for 11 years and we have been in STT for a couple of years now. StT is not blessed with too many comfortable anchorages that are suitable for a working life, but the area north-west of Water Island along West Gregori channel is an OK spot - there are about 40 boats there. It was a major hassle to get a mooring permit - took over a year and a lot of persistence: DPNR is not too focused on marine issues it seems. Some neighbors have simply evaded DPNR attention rather than do the proper paperwork, for up to a decade!

We like living aboard - the cheapest apartments go for better than $800 per month and power bills are very high, so we hear. There have been few hassles other than the permitting, and life on our mooring is cheap - we live on our ample solar panels and wind generator which we'd bought for cruising anyway. The mooring cost us a few hundred dollars of hardware, but it is much easier to sleep when the wind comes up! We KNOW we're not going anywhere with three big sand screws linked together with 1/2" chain and a 1 1/2" nylon pendant. Not that we would stay in a hurricane, but thunderstorms are no concern whatsoever.

We are not "permanent" here - just passing through. Though most would probably think a more-than-three-year stay is pretty long for sailors. We can always find an OK place to park our ugly old beater of a pickup truck, and have had almost no problems with people bothering the dinghy during the day. It is a good place for a cruiser to stop off for some needed income: we found it easy to get jobs at the $10/hour rate and with just a little more patience and some local work history, better job opportunities can quickly follow. Our sailboat is a 43'. This cruising stop has tradewind breezes, good hardware stores, clean seawater, just enough rain to keep the water tanks full, and plenty of grocery stores - what more could a sailor want (besides a change of scenery 🙂 )?

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Posted : November 8, 2008 1:58 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

csdaily forget the pmv have you spent any real time on a boat? It is really not for most people. Its great on vacation, we do it every couple of years, rent a boat for a week or two. When I come home I feel like my house is a mansion. We usually rent a 40' monohull because we can easily handle it. Just with the two of us it becomes very cramped very quickly. IMO a 40' monohull make a small studio feel huge. You have very little storage, take a shower is a pain and messy, the kitchen is a joke, etc... So please look into this one seriously. I love it for a vacation but could never imagine living full time on one, it is very much like camping unless of coarse you have the dough to afford a small yacht and all of its upkeep.

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Posted : November 8, 2008 4:16 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

I have known people who lived on their boat and never went anywhere and folks who left Friday afternoon after work and sailed around until Monday morning. I don't get the stay put part, but different strokes, I guess! I would think a 27' boat with three aboard would be cozy. 😮

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Posted : November 8, 2008 4:48 pm
Peggy
(@Peggy)
Advanced Member

We spent 7 years on 45 ft sloop in Elephant Bay with 3 teenagers, thanks to large cockpit it worked! Daughter would to hold on antenna so we could watch TV (better reception) loll.

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Posted : November 9, 2008 10:56 am
csdailey4
(@csdailey4)
Active Member

Wow!!! Great info from those who lived aboard for years!! We've spent much time on a sailboat and are on it every weekend, all weekend. We are very relaxed easygoing people. Boat living wouldn't be a problem for us, we lived in a 10x12 storage shed with just a small fridge, microwave and twin bed and space heater in the winter in Alaska. I think a boat 40' sailboat would be luxury compared to that. Anyway, feedback is great, don't be concerned if we can do it or not, I just want the information. THANKS!!! 😎

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Topic starter Posted : November 10, 2008 4:43 pm
goalusvi
(@goalusvi)
Advanced Member

I keep rereading Peggy's post and think she deserves an award. Two adults and three teens living on one boat . . . WOW!!!

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Posted : November 11, 2008 1:39 am
Peggy
(@Peggy)
Advanced Member

Speed1 is Dawn Treader in careening cove? My old eyes can't see that far from the water front.

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Posted : November 11, 2008 10:38 am
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