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Old 07-17-2019, 09:33 AM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,229 posts, read 1,360,218 times
Reputation: 6441

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Don't forget the cost and hassle of securing the boat, and all your belongings you keep on it, everytime a hurricane rolls through. Plus the cost of staying in a motel and eating at restaurants.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
9,275 posts, read 8,337,794 times
Reputation: 20191
I can answer this.

Basically you can 'dock' on a mooring ball for about $100 per month. Most live a boards have solar panels to run electronics.

You can buy a good sail boat to live on for way under $100K. At $20K you can buy a top of the line, large sailboat. Sailboats are a fraction of what motor yachts cost.

Unlike a house, a boat is not an asset. It depreciates.

Also, something sitting in salt water slowly is being eaten away. Every thing you buy for a boat is 10X what it costs on land.

The practical requirements.

Do you understand HOW to navigate? It isn't as simple as driving a boat. Depths vary everywhere. The Florida Keys are some of the trickiest places on the planet to boat. Not only that, you run aground you are fine $50 per square foot of any sea grass you dig up.

How about simple things like going to the grocery store. How are you going to provision the boat? It is very expensive to do this in a marina store.

If you are mooring, you need to dingy to the marina, uber to the grocery store, uber back, then dingy back out to the boat. Forget something? Oops.

What about laundry? Only BIG yachts have laundry on them because of the weight and water issue.

Need to see a doctor?

How about doing this in the pouring rain?

So maybe you'll stay in a marina instead of a mooring. Marinas by design are the hottest places on the planet. They are designed to keep the wind and waves out so forget about being able to sit on deck in the evenings. Not only will you sweat to death but get eaten alive by bugs.

How about hurricanes?

A boat cannot outrun a hurricane. Your best bet is to run it inland in a canal IF you can find space because everyone is looking.

My suggestion is to take one of the classes at Maritime Professional Training to get an entry level captain's license then rent a sailboat for a week in the Caribbean.

Living on a boat is not fun. It gets old really quick.
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:26 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,689 posts, read 40,062,283 times
Reputation: 23833
Many from Europe live on MotorSailers and ply the Alaska inland passage and over-winter in Canadian Gulf Islands.

https://www.boats.com/boats-for-sale/?class=sail-motor

There are certainly some benefits over RV life (as in QUIET and no crowds, no fees while in open water)... Few people spend much time a a mooring, they 'anchor - out' (free) and use a dinghy to commute to shore.

Yup...

Maintenance WILL be a major cost and time commitment.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Idaho
4,650 posts, read 4,486,616 times
Reputation: 9137
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Yup...

Maintenance WILL be a major cost and time commitment.
Absolutely spot on! Lived on a 9.5 meter sailboat, (Najade 900, built in Breman Germany for the North Sea), for twelve years and look back on that time as some of the best years of my life. A wonderful environment, friendly people, quiet and peaceful. However, had to have a storage garage for off-season clothing and whatnot. And routine maintenance? Boats are not inexpensive!
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:19 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,633 posts, read 3,693,281 times
Reputation: 12464
A local couple retired (Doctors) and bought a sailboat and sailed around the Caribean and then eventually to Portugal where they lived for a decade or so docked in a port. They bought a VW bus and traveled Europe and into North Africa on trips. They eventually sailed back to the US, sold the boat and bought a little house. Their money ran out but they had a number of good years and their health was good so they enjoyed it. I suppose there has to be a Plan B for when you can't manage the boat life. I have a cousin living in a concrete houseboat in Sausalito but I suspect that the cost today is out of reach for most people.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:13 PM
 
2,271 posts, read 1,120,086 times
Reputation: 9238
Look at the cost of annual haul-out for cleaning. You'll either do the cleaning yourself or hire someone else to do it, depending on your skills and the size of your boat. The cost wouldn't likely be a reason not to do it, just be aware of it.

Where we live, our sailboat was always icy in the wintertime, making it impossible to walk on, with ice hanging off the entire boat. You'll be in FL, I assume, so no problem with ice for you.

Look into the rules of the road for sailing as well. There is a lot to learn. I assume you already know how to operate the boat itself. Learn how to repair the engines yourself as well. Keep parts and tools on the boat for repair.

Bad weather isn't a problem if you're moored in a safe harbor, but if you plan to anchor, weather can certainly be a problem.
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Old 07-17-2019, 06:10 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
1,414 posts, read 1,396,491 times
Reputation: 933
Where are these $200 slips you speak of? My last boat was in a 50" slip @ approx. $1250 per month. Plus electric, cable and a diver every couple of months. That was not a live-aboard slip either, add another $350 per month for that.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:48 PM
 
13,993 posts, read 7,458,129 times
Reputation: 25580
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueherons View Post
I can answer this.

Basically you can 'dock' on a mooring ball for about $100 per month. Most live a boards have solar panels to run electronics.

You can buy a good sail boat to live on for way under $100K. At $20K you can buy a top of the line, large sailboat. Sailboats are a fraction of what motor yachts cost.

Unlike a house, a boat is not an asset. It depreciates.

Also, something sitting in salt water slowly is being eaten away. Every thing you buy for a boat is 10X what it costs on land.

The practical requirements.

Do you understand HOW to navigate? It isn't as simple as driving a boat. Depths vary everywhere. The Florida Keys are some of the trickiest places on the planet to boat. Not only that, you run aground you are fine $50 per square foot of any sea grass you dig up.

How about simple things like going to the grocery store. How are you going to provision the boat? It is very expensive to do this in a marina store.

If you are mooring, you need to dingy to the marina, uber to the grocery store, uber back, then dingy back out to the boat. Forget something? Oops.

What about laundry? Only BIG yachts have laundry on them because of the weight and water issue.

Need to see a doctor?

How about doing this in the pouring rain?

So maybe you'll stay in a marina instead of a mooring. Marinas by design are the hottest places on the planet. They are designed to keep the wind and waves out so forget about being able to sit on deck in the evenings. Not only will you sweat to death but get eaten alive by bugs.

How about hurricanes?

A boat cannot outrun a hurricane. Your best bet is to run it inland in a canal IF you can find space because everyone is looking.

My suggestion is to take one of the classes at Maritime Professional Training to get an entry level captain's license then rent a sailboat for a week in the Caribbean.

Living on a boat is not fun. It gets old really quick.
On what planet can you buy a large sailboat for $20,000? $20k is your average boat yard bill for the year unless you DIY.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,586 posts, read 47,849,351 times
Reputation: 110517
I bet it would be cheaper to live on a cruise ship with all it's amenities and no hassles than all the hassles of maintaining a small boat.
There are quite a few retirees that do live on cruise boats permanently and love the around the world cruising and sightseeing.
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Old 07-18-2019, 05:45 AM
 
Location: annandale, va & slidell, la
7,415 posts, read 3,062,103 times
Reputation: 6228
Quote:
Originally Posted by kanonka View Post
I'm obviously missing something, but don't see what exactly.

I was recently looking for the boats while chatting with my wife about life, retirement etc, and all of a sudden we got this idea: why not to buy some boat with enough living space, and retire there instead of the house?

Here are the pros: the good-enough used boat of ocean class with living quarters can be had for about 100K. After that (sales taxs paid) the only expense would be Florida registration fee (about $160 a YEAR), slip fees (can be found as low as $200/month), some fund for ongoing maintenance/repairs, electricity and fuel. For our current house we would have to pay ~$1000/month just for taxes and HOA; add on top of that electricity, water, pest control and maintenance, and SS is basically toast. So financially, it should be much more feasible to live on the boat. Another plus - you can travel around the world, but that is very expensive (~4000 gals of diesel from Florida to Spain); on another hand, if we'll cruise only around North and South America, then expenses should be on par with air tickets cost without all the air travel hassles.

The only negative that I see - being far from medical help while in ocean (which I don't think will happen often anyway).

What else am I missing? I sure miss something, otherwise everyone would do that.
You may not get used to the water motion aspect of the moored boat, and you would kill each other in short order being confined in such a small space. The need for privacy isn't compatible with living onboard.
Further, "cheap" marinas are not in convenient locations.
Good luck.
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