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Am I Crazy - Liveaboard Advice Please


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Hi everyone,

I'm brand new to the forum so bear with me!

After a couple of recent life-changing events (health and relationship - don't worry, I won't bore you!), and after years of dreaming about it, I'm now seriously considering becoming a 'live aboard' in sunnier climbs (BOI?)

I have a little bit of experience on the water (sail, not cruise) through family/friends over a number of years but have never owned my own - maybe now!!

About myself and situation now:
I'm in my 50's, still working (and will continue to do so) and can do so from anywhere (thanks COVID!). I have a fairly decent budget (to me anyway!) of $300k+. I do have 2 older kids that would come and stay occasionally so a 2/3 berth would be ideal. So I'm guessing I'm into a 10-15m to be safe?!
I've had a look about the usual places and of course the brand new boats are gorgeous but not sure if I can stretch to that much. But, is it worth it if it's going to be 'home'?

I have so many questions obviously, but here's a few 'easy' ones to start!!

  1. Should I...!??? What are your experiences?
  2. What are the benefits/downfalls?
  3. Best marinas north of Auckland?
  4. Any idea on living budgets across the year (I know it depends on so much but things like Marina fees, utilities etc.?)
  5. Anyone gone FULL electric yet? (I'm passionate about the footprint I leave).

Anyhoo, I'd appreciate any help at all. Could be just recommending books or YouTube folks etc....

Thanks heaps and hope to become a 'proper' member one day!!

Dryland Dave.

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1 hour ago, Dryland said:

Hi everyone,

I'm brand new to the forum so bear with me!

After a couple of recent life-changing events (health and relationship - don't worry, I won't bore you!), and after years of dreaming about it, I'm now seriously considering becoming a 'live aboard' in sunnier climbs (BOI?)

I have a little bit of experience on the water (sail, not cruise) through family/friends over a number of years but have never owned my own - maybe now!!

About myself and situation now:
I'm in my 50's, still working (and will continue to do so) and can do so from anywhere (thanks COVID!). I have a fairly decent budget (to me anyway!) of $300k+. I do have 2 older kids that would come and stay occasionally so a 2/3 berth would be ideal. So I'm guessing I'm into a 10-15m to be safe?!
I've had a look about the usual places and of course the brand new boats are gorgeous but not sure if I can stretch to that much. But, is it worth it if it's going to be 'home'?

I have so many questions obviously, but here's a few 'easy' ones to start!!

  1. Should I...!??? What are your experiences?
  2. What are the benefits/downfalls?
  3. Best marinas north of Auckland?
  4. Any idea on living budgets across the year (I know it depends on so much but things like Marina fees, utilities etc.?)
  5. Anyone gone FULL electric yet? (I'm passionate about the footprint I leave).

Anyhoo, I'd appreciate any help at all. Could be just recommending books or YouTube folks etc....

Thanks heaps and hope to become a 'proper' member one day!!

Dryland Dave.

First question yes  2nd yachts are a hole in the water through which you place money, benefit, being able to shift your house, learn to love the sea. Hate is self explanetary, 3rd not a lot of choice, whangarei, marsden cove, Sandspit almost but really Auckland, Tutukaka, Opua, Keri Keri. Otherwise there are pile moorings and swing all around. No.4 budget minimum for a 35  footer + -  on piles at kissing point Whg Minimum with comprehensive ins. And 1 x slipping anti fouling allow $5,000. Anything else is how long is a piece of string. Some Marinas are picky about live aboards and they are if you are on Whangarei pile moorings, no.5 A “sailing yacht leaves a very small footprint. Holding tank or composting toilet necessary. NRC. Is flexing muscles and in the process of empire building. Fan worm is currently one of their favourites. Auckland gave up on it in 2010, but the message hasn’t reached the NRC. 
good luck, there are a lot of helpful / knowledgeable people on this site.

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The big lesson for me when we first lived aboard was in the shift from large land based home to a small box isolated by water. And I had already been warned and thought I was prepared. In fairness, I am affected more than the average with such a life changes, but it still came harder than I was actually expecting. So once you move aboard, you need to be propared that this is a major change to how you live your life. You need to give yourself 3 months at the least to settle before making rash decisions. Be prepared that within those 3 months, your had may or may not on multiple occasions ask, WTF have I done.
Always remember that you have moved onto a sailing vessel with the purpose of traveling. I think that this is your intention and not just a view that it's a cheap place to live (because it is not), or you would not be here on Crew asking questions. So it is really important to maintain discipline of when you take things out, you stow everything away once you finish wirth them. Of you live in your boat the same way we tend to live in a land based home, one day it will be a stunning one for a sail and you suddenly think oh heck, I have to clean up and then you find the time it takes to stow everything as wrecked that beautful day for a sail. You have to have the mind set that you are sailing, not living cheap as a means to live.

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Huge difference between 10 and 15m. One is like camping, the other could be comparatively palatial.

up north your  marina choices will be limited, esp for liveaboard. So to reduce hassle  maybe consider a boat that’s quite self sufficient, in terms of electricity, internet, and water + enough space for a freezer and washing machine. The delux version would include a black/grey water treatment plant to allow you snub your nose at the overzealous inspectory types. Also consider a boat that can handle shallow water. This will extend your options massively. 
 

Ease of haul out for regular antifoul / cleaning and maintenance  is another consideration esp up where the NRC rule. If you can swing a deal with a friend who has a private ramp, riparian rights and a working area distant from the sea, buying your own cradle might be an option. Otherwise you will need to factor fairly reasonable annual amounts for that. 

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On 16/04/2021 at 5:29 PM, Dryland said:
  • Should I...!??? What are your experiences?

No one can answer that but you,  but I feel sorry for dirt dwellers

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  • What are the benefits/downfalls?

Benefits- living on a boat

Downfalls- living on a boat

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  • Best marinas north of Auckland?

Not a case of best but who will let you liveaboard.  Marsden cove, opua, whangaroa

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  • Any idea on living budgets across the year (I know it depends on so much but things like Marina fees, utilities etc.?)

Mooring a few hundred, marina 2k+. My monthly bills are less than my old power bill

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  • Anyone gone FULL electric yet? (I'm passionate about the footprint I leave)

Look for the thread started by syohana. Not worth converting but if you find a boat with a stuffed diesel srart doing the arithmetic  

 

 

Purchase price is relatively unimportant ( whatever you gave in your bank account ), put more effort into reducing the ongoing costs of ownership. 

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Two more idle thoughts. 

There is a Facebook group called NZ Liveaboards you might want to check out 

 

I always thought the Bolger AS29 would be a great liveaboard for a single person.  12 inch draught and masts that can be dropped in 30s means you could get the cheapest mooring in town.

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4 hours ago, Black Panther said:

Two more idle thoughts. 

There is a Facebook group called NZ Liveaboards you might want to check out 

 

I always thought the Bolger AS29 would be a great liveaboard for a single person.  12 inch draught and masts that can be dropped in 30s means you could get the cheapest mooring in town.

Or something that can dry out and sit on its own bum... shoal draft is a winner. 

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Plenty of cats available in your budget and a cruising cat can make a great liveaboard. Cheaper boats could also be a good option to see if it is something that you want to do long term. I bought a 46 ft cat for 25 k that was a great cruising boat. 

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I suggest if possible treat this like moving to a foreign country, ie don't sell up everything and cut your ties to "land" until you have had a chance to try the lifestyle and see if it works for you.

You should also think about how you see using your boat. If it would mainly be on marina/mooring with the occasional cruise I would suggest (I know it is almost heresy) to think about a displacement launch. More space for a given length, single level (almost) livng and long term less maintenance. I know a couple who have been liveaboard in Auckland for over 10 yrs by choice (they have a big house in Remmers rented out) and initially started off on their 52' yacht, after a few years wife said if we are going to keep doing this I want something more comfortable so they bought a trawler type launch.

If you want to talk to a few liveaboards go for a wander around Bayswater and G pier at Westpark    

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^this.

Disclaimer, I am not and have not ever, lived aboard, but...

Displacement launches have all the advantages MH states, and then some.  A launch, for any given length, wil have significantly more interior volume than a yacht, and more useable volume - headroom tends to be available ot the bulkhead, unlike a yacht that tends to lose headroom once you are away from the centreline.

The volume has advantages when you are looking for somewhere to tie it up to.  For any given size of living space, the launch can be shorter than a yacht and shorter length means cheaper and more accessable moorings or marinas all things being equal.

If you are set on something with sails, consider a motor sailer for a combination of the advantages (or alternatively, of the disadvantages).

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On 18/04/2021 at 6:04 PM, Black Panther said:

But who in their right mind would want a powerboat?

Someone who never, ever, again wants to motor to North Cape, and then back again at 6knots...!

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1 hour ago, Black Panther said:

Why would you do that?

His anchor was broken (didn't get it from CRA) He couldn't stop and smell the roses.

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On 18/04/2021 at 6:04 PM, Black Panther said:

But who in their right mind would want a powerboat?

True and having spent time on a large stinkpot in a decent sea with that diesel droning on and on and on whilst getting tossed around endlessly the thing I missed the most in comparison from my yacht was the full length lie down snooze grockle read drink socialise cockpit.

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Alot of launches are owned by ex yachties who obviously find it suits their boating needs better.

There also current yachties owning launches eg Mike and Emma Sanderson with their big blue Fleming "Windward", usually seen carrying an assortment of small yachts for fun for them and the children when they are anchored.

I owned a launch when I lived in Perth, more suitable for my lifestyle at the time and I could always get a sailing fix on friends yachts

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Power boats have their place too BP. You may not like them, but many do. For those who have limited time and want to get out there on the water, or maybe just a fish, or maybe they don't like the boat tipping onto it's side to make it go, or have no idea or desire how to raise a sail, or don't like the slow speed, especially on a low to no wind day, the Powered Vessel is their dream.

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