Win a copy of Straw Bale Building Details this week in the Straw Bale House forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Anne Miller
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
stewards:
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Mike Barkley
  • Shawn Klassen-Koop
  • Pearl Sutton

Living aboard a sailboat

 
pollinator
Posts: 602
Location: 6a
119
dog forest garden hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just returned from a Scuba trip to Marathon, Florida in the keys.  I was talking to a young guy living on his own sailboat and working as a kayak tour guide.  He is actively looking for boats to refurbish and rent out.   During our conversation, he started talking about the sailboat he is living on.  There is an area off of Marathon where you can moor your boat for free and then pay a monthly dinghy fee which includes, transportation from your boat to shore,  showers and parking space fee.  You are not moored on a dock you are out in the middle of nature.  It looked to me like there is a lot of work in the Keys. (not high-paying work but work)  Not sure if you dive or if you are interested in getting a captains license or all of the above.   The community down there is pretty tight, might be worth looking into if the area interests you.

Here is a link to the mooring where he has his boat.   I'd move to the keys today if I could.  Cheers.


https://www.ci.marathon.fl.us/marinaandports/page/information

 
Posts: 18
3
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It sounds like a really good idea especially if you are into the boat thing. Me I went down to join the Navy and ended up joining the Army because the Navy guy was at lunch and the Army recruiter helped me realize that being at Sea wasn't necessarily for me. This is a slightly different thing but when I lived in England in the early 90s there was a lot of people that lived on Canal barges. These folks were intensely passionate about their lifestyle and wouldn't live any other way. Hey I say if it's something that you think you would really enjoy make sure that you make sure that you make sure and go for it! As for me I will be on Tierra firma!
 
pollinator
Posts: 718
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
55
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That for the bow or the stern...?
 
Posts: 140
12
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When i lived in hawaii i worked on boats in drydock.
I never saw collusion between yacht brokers and surveyors but i wouldn't trust them. The boat world can be very chummy and i would be suspicious of the relationship between boat owner and surveyor.

My last boat was wood and i felt it needed the protection of a couple of coats of bottom paint.  Not so sure about fiberglass gelcoat. I think just keep the bottom clean. Whenever i do haul out I'm replacing all the through hulls, that's for sure.

In hawaii it was common to put cayenne pepper in bottom paint. The bottom of your boat feels like 120 grit sand paper but it works.

I paid $2000 for my ericson 27 at the long beach boat auction. Five boats later another ericson 27 sold for $800. My boat had more toys but I'm not sure if it was $1200 worth.
I wonder what more a slightly larger boat would have for $17.000 ?

I did anchor my boat in a lake off of the intracoastal waterway in north Miami beach (maul lake).  I had no debt, i rode my bicycle to work (and sweated in summer) and generally had fun exploring the mangroves. Now I'm in debt and i live in toxic southern california. What happend!?

 
pollinator
Posts: 376
Location: Colorado County, TX, USA. 8b/9a. Humid subtropical, drought & flood prone
102
cattle food preservation homestead trees ungarbage foraging
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Currently considering a Halberg-Rassy Monsun 31. He is asking $29,000 for it, which is a little more than I was looking to pay, but unless he is outright lying about what’s been done, it had easily $50,000 worth of refit done on it ~3 years back; maybe closer to $90,000 if my math is correct. Some of it isn’t stuff I’d choose, such as the $20,000 handmade sail inventory (!), but the new standing and running rigging, new diesel and running gear, ground tackle/rollers/windlass, composting head, increased water storage, etc. is largely stuff I would want/need to do anyway or am at least very glad to have, and by my calculations it would be virtually impossible to bring the $15-20,000 boats I’ve been looking at up to standard for the ~$10,000 difference in price. Unless I am much mistaken, this boat would be a much better deal, and would get me on my way much faster. I am scheduled to see it on May 11, so we shall see if all is as it seems.
 
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Ontario, Canada
96
homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sounds very promising.  A new diesel would probably be worth the $10k difference.  I really like that boat; nice, clean lines and a great layout.  Hopefully it's all he says it is and you've found your boat.
 
Posts: 27
Location: Portland, OR
4
bike dog woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's a high quality builder and boat.    You may find that the more expensive boat is actually cheaper to own - its had work done, has better parts, been maintained, etc and thus is less expensive to maintain.  That's a plus because its easier to budget.
 
gardener
Posts: 473
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
96
bee bike chicken dog duck fiber arts food preservation cooking pig solar ungarbage
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We lived onboard a Princess 41 for 16 years. Such fun, but not much growing possible.....
 
Posts: 72
Location: Sweden
10
cattle transportation woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ever since I saw the lovely Australian Tv-serie 'All the Rivers Run' I have dreamt of transportation goods on a river.I still dream and I would have used a boat as a home and workplace.Maybe some day.
 
Jennifer Richardson
pollinator
Posts: 376
Location: Colorado County, TX, USA. 8b/9a. Humid subtropical, drought & flood prone
102
cattle food preservation homestead trees ungarbage foraging
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is a Green boating Guide from Sailors for the Sea, which covers such info as eco-friendlier bottom paints and products, anchoring protocols, spill-proof fueling, refit and provisioning, gray and blackwater, etc. for those who are interested:

http://www.sailorsforthesea.org/programs/green-boating-guide

You can either put in your name and email and they will send you a free .pdf of the full guide, or you can click on each little icon and follow the link to read about the topics without having to give out your email.
 
Posts: 6
Location: CT
books food preservation hunting
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have not lived on board.  However, I have spent a lot of time on the water and in a few different marinas.  I was going to mention that it is always safer on the boat when you are not solo.  If you have a mate life is a lot easier (as long as you get along).  The other thing I'd mention is there are marina communities where if you rent a hook you get access to the amenities, like bathrooms, showers, laundry, repair services, etc.   I am not sure how mobile your life is but this is worth looking into.  I hope you fall in love with the sea.  
 
kevin stewart
Posts: 140
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Don't all texans have an arsenal? No worries about being solo.

In one particular harbor i was speaking to an Australian woman who had bright red lipstick and a dainty hat on the back of her head. When she left the group another woman said:" i know, she looks like she wouldn't know how to hammer a nail, yet she sailed here fron Australia, alone".

That night at the harbor bar a (tipsy) woman approached me and asked me how old i was. When i answered her she asked:" what happend? Was it the drink"?

Sometimes i think i have a bullseye on my forehead.

Note: my place is in arizona. I swear everyone carries....except me.
 
Jennifer Richardson
pollinator
Posts: 376
Location: Colorado County, TX, USA. 8b/9a. Humid subtropical, drought & flood prone
102
cattle food preservation homestead trees ungarbage foraging
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don’t know if we ALL have arsenals, but I certainly do!

I am an only child, so I inherited the Sacred Family Guns, as well as acquiring a few new ones over the years (a surprising number of which I won in charity raffles).

I will be sailing solo in all likelihood, but I hike and backpack solo and live in my truck solo (sometimes in the city)—not to mention I regularly engage in the crapshoot that is driving on American highways—so I figure with a bit of common sense I’ll be all right. Or, well, we’ve all gotta go sometime.
 
Posts: 338
6
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I wish I had seen this thread three weeks ago, I can really help out here.  This is similar to my "bucket list" retirement plan of sailing the Great Loop. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Loop

What you want is a coastal cruiser, 22 to 30 feet long.  If you're living alone, aim for shorter.  Not only will it be easier to handle alone, it will be cheaper to maintain as well as cheaper to dock, as both costs increase by length of waterline or length overall.  A short enough sailboat can be effectively moved with a yuloh, when in a crowded marina or when the wind refuses to blow, so a shorter boat could also allow you to skip the backup outboard motor altogether.  No deeper than a 4 foot draft, so that you can travel in any US waterway; there's as much to see along the freshwater coasts as there's to see along the saltwater coasts.  This is the boat that I'm dreaming of building... http://quidnon.blogspot.com/... but it's a bit beyond your budget right now, and it doesn't yet exist.  The Pocketship might be ideal, but is really tiny... https://www.clcboats.com/modules/catalog/boat.php?category_qn=wooden-sailboat-kits&subcat_qn=pocketship&code=pocketship-sailing-pocket-cruiser-kit


In the interests of cheap living, the longer that you can stay on the boat before you return to a dock in order to re-provision, the cheaper that you can live.  The key here is learning how to eat food that doesn't necessarily need to be refrigerated, because refrigeration on a boat is very expensive.  There are books on this exact topic.  Water will be your greatest problem; where to store water that you can drink, how to store it so it won't go 'sour', and how to keep the rest of it on the outside of your hull.  A raincatcher tarp and a food-grade water hose would be great things to have.  The raincatcher tarp is exactly what it sounds like, basicly a 6' by 8' sailcloth tarp with a hose bib near the center.  You hang it like a bimini, for shade, and when it rains you use the food-grade hose to direct rainwater into your storage tank(s).  If you can stay away from a marina dock for two weeks, then spend one day at the transient dock to make a run to the grocery store, get more water, ice and propane; you can live pretty cheap on the "hook".

It would be good for you to learn how to fish and cook your catch, too.  Learn about canned meats, canned butter, and ultra-pasteurized milk; if you're opposed to canned foods or pasteurized milk, you're going to have a hard time eating well on a boat.  Condiments don't need to be refrigerated, but use squeeze bottles where available, the clean knife rule is a must here; and butter can be kept in a butter crock for many days so long as it doesn't get above 75 degrees F.  Farm fresh eggs can be kept outside of the refrigerator for a few days, but store bought ones cannot because they have been washed of the bloom.  If you don't have any kind of refrigerator, but still want to have refrigerated items, I know a method of getting a set of coolers (that can fit inside each other) to keep ice for about 10 days, using a system of declining space as you consume your food until eventually all three coolers are nested inside each other.  Get to know and appreciate seed sprout salads, and buy a Sproutman bag.  You'll end up down to no ice and just canned goods & sprouts before your two weeks is up, but the 'eat well, then eat to live' cycle is well known to live-aboards without powered refrigeration.  Learning how to make homemade yogurt would be a useful skill as well.  Have you ever seen those mixed bags of beans for "11 bean soup'?  That little bag makes for a huge bean sprout salad.


Don't skimp on the marine band radio, the life-vest or series drogue.
 
Creighton Samuels
Posts: 338
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sometimes you can find a better deal by getting away from the coast...

https://www.boattrader.com/listing/1979-o'day-sailboat-28-103451368/

 
Creighton Samuels
Posts: 338
6
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you do have a small refrigerator with a freezer on your boat, you will be able to keep milk cold by buying a quality thermos paired with a set of re-freezable ice cubes (such as these https://www.amazon.com/HOFA-Reusable-Frosted-Plastic-Cubes/dp/B06Y62VYZZ/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=plastic+ice&qid=1557478430&s=gateway&sr=8-5).  When you buy your milk (or open another pack of ultra-pasteurized) you pour your milk into your thermos with a few of those plastic cased ice cubes.  Each day you add a few more, as you consume the milk.  When it's empty, you wash it out, wash the ice cubes, and put them back into your freezer for the next cycle.  This allows you to adjust your refrigerated volume, and makes for a more cost effective way to make use of a small fridge.

Dry pasta is also a sailboat staple.
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
gardener
Posts: 473
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
96
bee bike chicken dog duck fiber arts food preservation cooking pig solar ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Storing large quantities of good quality dried vegetables in mylar bags with moisture and oxygen excluders will give you the base of nutritious soups and casseroles at any time.  Oats and dried milk can make a porridge and the oats can top a savoury or sweet crumble. All can be stored under the beds where it is cool, inside large plastic totes in case the bilge pump packs up.....
 
Posts: 137
Location: Coastal temperate deciduous forest (Boston) - zone 6b - 44" rain/year
7
solar tiny house trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lots and lots of good information and experience on this thread! I have some to add.

We switched out an electric head for a composting Nature's Head, great move. Much less smell, and the urine is separated so we used it to fertilize trees ashore at the marina. Diluted half-and-half with water.

Check out a Freedom (30', 35', 36'). Beamy, very well made, and a freestanding mast so you don't have to replace standing rigging ever. They were often available with shoal draft keels, great for coastal cruising and for anchoring where deep keel boats can't go. Sailing Texas is a useful website near you (our Freedom 38 is listed there). Freedoms are also simple to singlehand, no genoa just a self-tacking jib to help with pointing.

Mooring is much less expensive. If you can moor in a field connected to a marina you still get the use of facilities. You can use a rowing/sailing dinghy to get to shore.

The Pardeys book is a great resource. Wooden Boat magazine has some great free boats listed in their classifieds. Not all of them are wooden.

Congratulations on starting the ASA course, have a great time!
 
Creighton Samuels
Posts: 338
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Amanda Launchbury-Rainey wrote:Storing large quantities of good quality dried vegetables in mylar bags with moisture and oxygen excluders will give you the base of nutritious soups and casseroles at any time.



This is the core premise of the cookbook Dinner is in the Jar, so you don't even need the mylar bags.  Also, the primary reason that butter crocks work to keep butter from going rancid in ordinary temps is by excluding light and oxygen; you could do the same thing with a well sealed Tupperware container with oxygen absorbents and kept in a dark place.  
 
Jennifer Richardson
pollinator
Posts: 376
Location: Colorado County, TX, USA. 8b/9a. Humid subtropical, drought & flood prone
102
cattle food preservation homestead trees ungarbage foraging
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you everyone for your advice! You are all lovely and helpful people!

Alas, we are flooded in currently, so I will not be able to see the potential boat tomorrow after all.

In better news, I did finish my ASA 101 certification before the current weather system moved in. Multiple fenders were saved from a watery grave during the man overboard drills, but it was otherwise uneventful.

I also mentioned to my instructor that I was thinking of buying a boat, with the self-conscious disclaimer that it was probably crazy since I can barely sail at this point. He was like, “Nah, just buy the boat and take it out there, you’ll figure it out.” So I guess my formal sailing education is complete, heh.
 
Timothy Markus
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Ontario, Canada
96
homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jennifer Richardson wrote:
I also mentioned to my instructor that I was thinking of buying a boat, with the self-conscious disclaimer that it was probably crazy since I can barely sail at this point. He was like, “Nah, just buy the boat and take it out there, you’ll figure it out.” So I guess my formal sailing education is complete, heh.



Funny stuff!
 
Jennifer Richardson
pollinator
Posts: 376
Location: Colorado County, TX, USA. 8b/9a. Humid subtropical, drought & flood prone
102
cattle food preservation homestead trees ungarbage foraging
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
He then paused for a few seconds before adding, “Get a chart of the bay first, though,” and proceeded to describe all his favorite local boats for sale.
 
Timothy Markus
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Ontario, Canada
96
homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If it's any consolation, I have total faith in you!

I am, though, in another sovereign nation, so you can't sue me if it doesn't work out.
 
kevin stewart
Posts: 140
12
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A man told me how he bought his boat.

He saw a boat he liked at a marina in panama so he got the owner's numer and gave him a call in the states.
As they were going back and forth on the price he heard the boat owner's wife in the background:"just sell the damn thing!"
 
pollinator
Posts: 1133
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
58
kids trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm intrigued by the topic and don't have much knowledge to add, just some thoughts that may be outside the box and may or may not be waht you're looking for.

It seems to me that the really permacultural and cheap solution is a raft or a canoe kind of thing--it's dead simple, really cheap, you replace the stuff as it rots (and it will rot, and quickly, but there's secondary functions that the rotting logs can be put to...you have control over it, you have autonomy.


Also, I've just learned about a Vietnamese vegetable that grows in water and is "really cheap"--rau muong.  Because I was asking myself "what can you grow on a boat" even if that wasn't really your question.  Freshwater, obviously.  

In a way I think this suits the independence/nomadic style more, to just salvage or rebuild in really simple ways.  

The boat-sitting or working your way across the world on boats options are also low-impact.
 
Creighton Samuels
Posts: 338
6
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:

It seems to me that the really permacultural and cheap solution is a raft or a canoe kind of thing--it's dead simple, really cheap, you replace the stuff as it rots (and it will rot, and quickly, but there's secondary functions that the rotting logs can be put to...you have control over it, you have autonomy.


What you are describing here is building a shanty craft from wood, and would negatively impact her ability to access dock & marina facilities when needed.  A real sailboat, so long as it looks like it's been painted in the past decade and the engine (if present) doesn't leave a black cloud behind it, can be a cheap way to live because you don't appear destitute.  It's the marine equivilent of living in your van down by the river, except you're on the river.  It's a known and accepted lifestyle choice, and doesn't invoke thoughts (from marina residents, particularly) of a 'hard luck' case that might resort to stealing the brass fittings from their yacht to buy a meal.  The security that comes from living on a boat, from destitute people in particular, exists primarily from the fact that most destitute people don't have access to a boat; and for this reason, most marinas are high security from the land/hard side, but open access from the sea side.  With that in mind, if anyone is seen paddling up from the sea on something that looks like they cobbled it together from trash and found wood, that person is going to be regarded with great suspicion, and her ability to find odd jobs for cash or even make friends at that marina will be impacted.  Conversely, if a person comes motoring up in a tiny sailboat that doesn't look like it's about to sink in the next blow; that person is generally assumed to be exactly the kind of person that the OP is looking to be, broke as a lifestyle choice, and therefore not desperate. It's not fair, but life's not fair.



 
pollinator
Posts: 971
Location: Longbranch, WA
100
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I grew up on a waterfront farm. The sail boat moored in front. It was an ideal homestead; between the land and the sea we produced 80% of our food. It was a wood boat and my father was a carpenter so maintenance was a hobby rather than an expense. Several times a year we would bring the boat in parallel to the shore at high tide until the keel rested on the bottom, tied a line from the top of the mast to the shore, put a jack under the bottom and let the tide go out. Very easy bottom maintenance.  
There are small estuaries here where you could have a dock so that the boat cold stand on its keel and only be in the water about 8 hours a day. You would have a small recreation lot to grow your food and empty your composting toilet.
 
kevin stewart
Posts: 140
12
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Now you have me working on my boat. Next I'll want to start taking it out.

I've been thinking of the knots i use.
Clove hitch
Bowline
Cleat knot.

I suck at making square knots. I can't teach my hands to do it naturally.

You will hear about many others but those are the three i use.

Know what a trucker's hitch is, very usefull.
 
Jennifer Richardson
pollinator
Posts: 376
Location: Colorado County, TX, USA. 8b/9a. Humid subtropical, drought & flood prone
102
cattle food preservation homestead trees ungarbage foraging
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I can actually tie those three! Not the trucker’s hitch though, I better look that one up.
 
kevin stewart
Posts: 140
12
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The trucker's hitch probably has some boaty name.
You will need it when you leave the reefing of the main a little too late and you need to tighten that outermoast clew.

A young man who made a worlds record sailing around the world alone gave a talk at my marina.
Someone asked him what he would do differently on another trip.
A shorter boat name. Saying a long hawaiian boat name over the radio was hell he said.

A month later some austrailan girl broke his record.
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
gardener
Posts: 473
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
96
bee bike chicken dog duck fiber arts food preservation cooking pig solar ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The most voted for name of a new artic exploration vessel was Boaty McBoatface, but it was changed as it was thought any rescue services would think it just a joke over the mayday radio alarm. Shame!
 
Scott Foster
pollinator
Posts: 602
Location: 6a
119
dog forest garden hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You may find this inspirational.  27 year old female circumnavigating on a 27' sloop.  She also has a blog/journal  @ Windhippie.com

 
please buy my thing and then I'll have more money:
2019 PDC for Scientists, Engineers, Educators and experienced Permies
https://permies.com/wiki/100059/PDC-Scientists-Engineers-Educators-experienced
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!