Live Aboard Series Part 1

Starting the journey.

Because we started this journey three years ago and we have overcome all the major obstacles, I thought this would be a great time to share our experiences in the life-changing decision to move aboard a sailboat.  Because of all the details, I am going to break our adventure into a series of articles.  Perhaps we can help some of you that might have had the same idea, and save you some heartache in the end.  Please enjoy and feel free to email me with your thoughts.

Several years ago, when the economy started to crash (around early 2006), the wife and I started to notice a drop off in business at our office.  We run the business together and I handle all the finances, so something like that is noticed early on.  It became apparent to

Downturnus that things were headed downhill in the economy and we would need to make changes somewhere.  We would need to tighten our belts at the office and cut back on wasteful spending.  We ended up having to let our employee go and take over her duties ourselves.  It was at that time that we started on a path that, although we didn’t know it at the time, would end up with the two of us becoming liveaboards on a sailboat.

The purging.

Moving aboard a sailboat is not a decision that is taken lightly.  There are many things that you have to factor into your decision.  The most obvious being where you are going to put all your “stuff”.  All that clutter that you have accumulated over the years, and if you are our age (early 50’s) then you have probably accumulated a LOT of stuff!  If you are like us, you may have had a household full of furnishings and a storage unit, too.

Other things that you have to plan for are things like where you work and finding a suitable marina that is close enough for the commute and that will allow live aboards.  You have to have a sailboat that is suitable and comfortable.  After all, you have already pruned your life down to the necessities, so you need to have a vessel that is at least nice and comfortable.  You also have to make sure that you have a vessel that is sound.  Lastly you have to tolerate all those that are close to you giving their opinion on your life and your decision.  There will be those that think your decision is really cool and those that think you are being stupid/irrational/immature/[insert comment here].  They will probably have no idea what they are talking about and no real basis for their comments, but you can be sure that a lot of people close to you will chime in whether asked for their opinion or not.

In the coming articles I will attempt to address those things that we have gone through and the problems above.  I’ll address how we solved the issues that confronted us and give ideas on how any and all roadblocks can be solved.  After all, there are tens of thousands of people either living aboard or cruising/voyaging all the time.  Either way they are all living on their sailboats.  It can be done and it is not that difficult.  It can also be MUCH less expensive as a way of life.  And after you have made the leap, you can untie from the dock at a moment’s notice and sail your home to where ever you want.  And what a backyard view!  Then you can sail back, tie up, and get ready for Monday.  The worst part of living aboard is when you have to get off the boat and get back to work!

Stay tuned and we’ll attempt to walk you through some steps that may end up helping you sidestep some of the near-disasters that we went through.

 

Part 2 – Choosing a Boat

Getting started. Early on in the process of becoming a liveaboard, you will need to start the process of finding a boat.  Some people opt for a powerboat and some opt for a sailboat.  It is a choice based on personal preference, along with financial considerations.  For the sake of this article, I will be …

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Part 3 – Picking the Marina

Now that you have made the decision to move aboard, gotten rid of all those things that are unnecessary, chosen your boat, the time has come to pick a marina. Most marinas in our neck of the woods, the west coast, have a certain number of “live aboard” slips available.  Normally these slips will cost around …

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