Boatsteading?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Neville451, May 16, 2005.

  1. Neville451

    Neville451 New Member

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    Anyone here ever have any experience with living the simple or mostly self-sufficient life while afloat? Would very much like to hear of the stories of anyone who's tried sailing on a shoestring. Now I realize nobody's raising pigs or doing much gardening on a sailboat, but it is another kind of breaking away. In fact the old Mother Earth News had a heading in some section called "seasteading". A word with different connotations today though.

    Thanks!
     
  2. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

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    Wish dh was here to answer that for you. He's pretty much done it. I just know it's an expensive venture.

    - Boats big enough to live in are expensive.
    - Gas prices these days will kill you (and their MUCH higher in marinas!).
    - Slip fees vary, but they aren't cheap, especially if you're paying extra for your electrical hookup.
    - Here in VA, if you live on a boat that has a galley and head, you are charged personal property tax as if it were a house.
     

  3. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    My father did this for a number of years.. and off the coast of San Diego is the last remnants of what was once a thriving boat community. My father would tell you:

    Wooden boats are endless work. I suspect he bought a wooden boat both for the asthetics and for the fact that it WAS endless work, so he had a set schedule... every day there was a section he worked maintainance on, until he went bow to stern, and then the cycle started over. It was, by the way, a 5 YEAR cycle.

    You can grow a little garden in pots if you're on slip space. Some marinas give the boat owners the space in front of their slips for storage (must be neat) and personal "stuff." But he had boxes on the deck with flowers in them (but could have been tomatoes).

    You want to MOVE of batten down, during hurricane season... this is your home for heaven sakes, don't be stupid.

    If you get motion sick (I do) this is a really bad idea.

    Everything gets damp, so store things like family photos on shore. My father's wife would replace her entire wardrobe every 6 months or so (she'd buy at discount outfitters and used clothing stores) and had a very limited wardrobe, simply because the damp would get into the clothes and no amount of bleach would take the musty/salt smell out. But again, wooden boat.

    And yes, this is a fairly expensive lifestyle, depending on where you are and what your expectations are. The first few years they did a lot of traveling from port to port, picking up friends and having a rolicking good time. But it was expensive. The last years they lived in a slip in Florida in a pretty cool community of like people. It was rather like living in a floating condo. But at the end of the 5 year cycle, when the varnish was coming up again, they decided "enough" and sold to buy a land based condo. More closet space and less damp!
     
  4. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    I've never done it, although I did think about it when I was in San Diego. There was a book out a few years ago called 'Sailing the Farm' or something along those lines. You might want to look it up.
     
  5. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    My husband and I lived aboard our Cal 28 sailboat back before we had kids. Our home base was a marina south of Boston, and we would anchor or moor wherever we went. It was expensive, so we continued to work which curtailed sailing too far, which was okay since I got seasick on the open sea. I certainly wouldn't liken it to homesteading, but it was a blast...every night in the marina was a party. In fact every night in every harbor was a party..sailors are a partying bunch of people!
     
  6. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    My family(well my sister,her boyfriend,myslef and another) lived on our boat overseas for a few years....

    No homesteading, just a place to live while getting the boat ready to go cruising....

    A neverending process it seemed when you were ow on money.

    I agree about 'boat people' being a hard partying bunch,it seemed that there was ALWAYS a good occasion to go drinking...LOL

    Where we were there were a LOT of alternative folks living aboard their boats...
    Giant(90 plus foot) river barges from the Netherlands,old north sea fishing trawlers,yachts and everything in beween.

    Bluewater cruising is possible on a shoestring but it requires a skill that you can sell wherever you end up.
    My sisters boyfriend was a diesel mechanic,others repaired sails and such.

    If you want a boat,ours is somewhere in St Martin/St Maarten...it was abandoned by my family down there over ten years ago.

    Went through two hurricanes and survived,I imagine IF it is still floating it is a hulk...sad really.

    Have the ships papers somewhere....
     
  7. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    It would be a lot of fun to live aboard a trawler and cruise the intracoastal waterway, selling a service or something you produced. Hmmm...maybe when the kids are grown...... I can almost hear Jimmy Buffet singing "Boat Drinks"! Bring on the rum and coke.
     
  8. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    If any of you landlubbers would like it, I'd sell my copy of Sailing the Farm, a survival guide to homesteading on the ocean by Ken Neumeyer, for three dollars and media mail of 2.00.

    Paperback, 260 well loved pages.
     
  9. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    A friend has a 54' Swedish fishing trawler here in SC,it is however in VERY poor condition now.

    It has crossed the Atlantic 4 times I believe.

    His boat was THE boat to party on-a 'real toilet' and a 'real kitchen'..LOL

    The boats name was 'Friedhem'-peace home in Swedish.

    He has now bought another more modern boat and it just sits and rots...sad.
     
  10. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like camper living to me!
     
  11. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    Funny you should say that...we eventually sold the boat and moved into a 34 ft motor home , and cruised the country in that. My husband is a software consultant, so we just went from client to client (in places we wanted to be..Arizona, Florida, etc.) We had just as much fun in that until I got pregnant with our first child. Then we decided we'd better be respectable and live in a house like normal folks. :waa:
     
  12. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    My family went the other way-had a motorhome and went as far south as possible(without crossing into Africa) and then sold it for a boat....

    It was an interesting part of our lives...
     
  13. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There is a big differance between living aboard an anchored boat being self sufficent. When anchored your all but self sufficent. You have to rely on everyone to provide for you. You have to pay to dock, you pay for water, power, sewage. You have minimal storage. Many liveabaord docksites are now forcing people to ahve boats that can actually leave the docks. THere are a lot of live aboard boats that have no way to move, no motor or sails. they are just houses on water.
    A boat is expensive. You can do as many world sailor have done but it takes a lot of money, planning an cooperating to make it happen.


     
  14. Neville451

    Neville451 New Member

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    Thanks for all the input!
    Sailing has just been an idle dream of mine. Guess I have lately wanted to do some research to see exactly what it takes and how very little people have gotten by on . Am interested to see how folks not independently weathy manage to make a living while sailing. It's all going to be vicarious "book larnin" for right now, as I am in land-locked east KY. Although have thought about taking a sabbatical and volunteering as crew on a short voyage just to get some practical experience.


    Thanks again,

    Neville