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live aboard boat

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by paulga, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. paulga

    paulga New Member

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    Hi all, I just signed up hoping to get some insight on boating. I'm in the middle of considering buying a boat for living aboard. I did some research online and my options have come down to 30 -40 ft boats:

    (1) motor yacht (flybridge style)
    (2) monohull pilothouse sloop sail boat

    I would prefer a power boat for its roomy inside and inboard facility. Though I heard the maintenance cost to run a power boat is much higher than a sail boat, I estimate the repair cost should be limited because I would be a low frequent boater. unless I plan frequent long distance cruise (riding from New York to Bermuda, for example), I cannot find a reason to purchase a sail boat.

    I don't know how to inspect the boat specifications? Living aboard obviously really require much power. but lower engine hours should be better? diesel is preferable to gas/petrol, correct? and there are more equipments: generator, invertor, etc. How to compare these between different boats?

    I live in NYC (Queens). the state charges 8.25% sales/use tax on boat purchases but do not charge personal property tax on boats. NJ state tax on boat purchase is only 3.5% but seems to charge personal property tax? I only found some marinas in NJ that allow living aboard that are close to work. is it true that NJ boaters pay annual property tax on their boats? if not I might register the boat in NJ for its lower boating tax.
  2. MM3

    MM3 New Member

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    Oh wow. This thread will be a lot of fun to read.

    I’d suggest streeteasy for an apartment with a water view.
  3. paulga

    paulga New Member

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    I don't know your point. I'm asking for advice from experienced sea men on living aboard boats choices and financial sides. is it fun that we are both "New Member"?
  4. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    If you re considering living aboard because you love boating,because it s a life style you like then it makes sense

    If you looking into it thinking you ll save a buck or two then you re going to be disappointed

    I moved aboard 15 years ago because I loved beeing on the water and I already had a home plus a boat. Taking boating to the next level made sense, saving $2500 a month in property tax, mortgage and condo association fees made financial sense. Except that the condo goes up in value, the boat goes down :(

    Now that s in so fl where winter means three day a year you say "gee, where did I store my sweater and my socks"

    As much as I love the lifestyle, even as a lifelong boater I don't think i d consider it north of South Carolina. Too cold in winter... water pipes on the docks freeze unless shut down, ice and snow... yuck!! Ain't fun
  5. paulga

    paulga New Member

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    I heard ppl talk about how difficult winter live aboard is. I didn't plan to ditch my apartment for living aboard full time.

    can you say more about the property tax, though it depends on what state. did you move aboard and rent out the condo? Florida does not impose personal property on boats, so I assume the property tax you said refers to real estate only. but NJ seems to charge property tax on boat owners.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I meant property tax on a home. In fl it s roughly 2% of the assessed value which is usually below market value less homestead exemption. Very different from those northern states where they tax you to death. For instance in Fl, assessed value can't rise more than 3% a year if the property is your primary residence unlike other states where people have to sell their homes because they can't afford the taxes
  7. 30West

    30West Member

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    Lots of compromises and choices you have to decide. A boat in that size range will be limited in space. Maximum space would be an aft-cabin bridge boat. You gain an aft stateroom and usually headroom throughout, but lose the nice aft cockpit of a convertible or sport-fish, and raise center of gravity a bit, which might reduce sea handling characteristics. There are a lot of aft-cabin boats in that size, Carver is probably the most common brand, you will usually get the most interior space per dollar with a Carver, but their quality as a boat can be less. A lot of express cruisers will come up when you search aft-cabin boats, but in that size range their aft cabins are not standing room staterooms, just bunks. There are a lot of older, high-quality boats that can be had cheap and would do well as live-aboards.

    Most aft-cabins under 45' look a bit top-heavy to me. They are sometimes referred to as "Clorox bottle boats", they kind of have that look. They are designed for maximum interior space. There are of course more seaworthy versions, usually trawler styled, with more flare to the bow that reduces interior V-berth space, wider walkways that reduce cabin space, lower decks.

    Sailboats tend to cost money sitting at the dock. Rigging and sails age, all that hardware needs tending or eventually replacing. They aren't free once you buy them, they still cost money to own, just not much more to operate. A powerboat needs engine maintenance based on hours used, plus minor annual maintenance like oil and filters. If you aren't going to run them a lot, they aren't going to cost much. Diesel engines usually cost more to purchase, unless they are in bad shape, and more to maintain/repair/replace, unless you are a diesel mechanic or good friends with one. They burn less fuel, and if you run them a lot they can eventually save you money.

    If you are mostly staying at your dock, a generator or inverter will probably not be used much. Neither will a shower or laundry or maybe toilets. A lot of people prefer to walk the dock to the marina bathrooms, rather than use their onboard facilities.

    You will probably find more interest in helping find this boat on cruising or live-aboard forums, this is a more common size boat there. There is an active Carver sub-forum here, but not very active.
  8. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    Winters are fine aboard, sometimes even more cozy and warm than an apartment or house.
    I have lived aboard on two different SFs.
  9. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    I've lived aboard a 26' wooden sailboat with no engine and just a solar panel all around the Caribbean. Also a 250' superyacht, one had a tad more comfort!

    Living on a yacht is still yachting, whether the bugger ever leaves the dock or not, it still needs the same care and consideration. Look into your marina costs for a lift and clean/anodes. Electric power and a poo tank empty is another cost to take into consideration over and above basic boat owner costs of cleaning and scrubbing. Living up in NY/NJ, canvas and warps may need regular replacement.

    Just a couple of topics to think about.
  10. paulga

    paulga New Member

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    Thanks for your input.
    I search for aft cabin at yachtworld and did see many 40' Carver, others include Silverton, meridian, cruise motor yacht, but fewer than Carver. this shows Carver is popular. but it looks like the it takes much longer time to sell a boat than a car, because many listings have been there for months.
  11. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Sport Cruisers will just make your life a living hell. Look for a nice old Hatt or Bert, nothing better.
  12. paulga

    paulga New Member

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    Hatt like this one? : http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/198...-3125258/Mystic/CT/United-States#.Wh5EREqnFPY

    Bert like this? http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/198...8679/CLEARWATER/FL/United-States#.Wh5E5UqnFPY

    both are more affordable, but are 30 yrs old.

    how do you like the 2nd picture I posted, that is not a sport cruiser, right? what kind of boat is that?
  13. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    A Bert running Cat 3208's? 30 years old is just about run-in. :cool:

    A fan of old Berts here!!!
  14. 30West

    30West Member

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    No, and no. The pic you say is an aft-cabin Carver is an express-cruiser style boat. It probably has an aft-cabin, but more of a bunk you crawl into, not a stateroom with room to change, hang clothes, possibly a stand-up head with shower. An aft-cabin cruiser generally has a flybridge over a salon with above-deck windows. When you go below into the salon, you have good-size windows all around. An express cruiser does not have the salon with large windows, it feels more cave-like when you go below. A big express cruiser has a lot of space down below, but not nearly the space and comfort of a flybridge cruiser. Camper canvas will add a lot of useable space out of the elements, and reduce the amount of boat exposed to the elements. But canvas need to be replaced occasionally, and isn't cheap.

    This is a basic aft-cabin cruiser, the aft deck is raised to give standing room in the stateroom below it. The flybridge is above a standing-room salon with lots of windows. The front deck is high enough for standing room in the forward stateroom. A sport-fish or convertible boat will have the aft deck low for fishing, not much space below it, and a lower forward deck for ease of working lines. This boat looks more like a camper than a working boat, it is optimized for living space.
    Carver.jpg
    The wooden boat you posted...stay far away from wood unless you are very adept at maintaining wooden boats. One of my best friends has spent his professional life restoring and maintaining wooden boats, and his personal boats are fiberglass. You will have enough work just maintaining a glass boat. Which brings me to my first question: what is your skill and experience level with boats? If you are experienced and proficient with fiberglass work, engine work, and/or general boat repairs, and don't mind doing those things, your options open up enormously.

    If you are not well versed in boats and how they are constructed, start learning. Learning by jumping in and making mistakes is tremendously expensive and frustrating. This industry is loaded with dishonest people, and honest but incompetent people. Being informed will save you a ton of expenses and headaches.

    The picture I posted is a Carver, I don't personally love that brand. They are built to be affordable and they accomplish that, by having lower quality. They are basically built like a mid-level RV, which is an expensive and pretty well-built thing. But it is consumer/household-grade fittings in a cheaply made hull. Expect things like refrigerators and toilets and various pumps to fail. I don't expect a new oven or fridge from Lowes to last five years, and a five or ten-year-old Carver will probably be ready for a lot of expensive replacements. You may have to disassemble appliances and cabinets and doorways to replace large items on a boat. Other brands are a small step up, SeaRay and Cruisers and the like, it is a spectrum. When you get into high-end boats you are getting commercial-grade appliances and engines, they are mounted to the boat with better fasteners and methods, usually everything will work with just a cleaning. You can go older on a high-end boat and end up with fewer repairs and a better resale, but for a higher initial outlay.

    Whatever boat you look at, you will get it surveyed, get a very good surveyor or surveyors. Especially with a Carver or similar, they need to go over that hull and structure with a fine-toothed hammer. That will make more sense later. You will want the engines looked at by someone who specializes in engines. Gas engines are easier to find mechanics to evaluate and work on, for diesels make sure they are factory-trained on that specific brand, and have some experience on that specific model. Don't run away just because the engines or boat need some repairs, maybe better to have a freshly repaired engine than a tired one or unknown.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  15. ranger42c

    ranger42c Member

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    Think I'd rate Carver, Silverton, Meridian, Cruisers, Formula, SeaRay, etc.... all as Chevies. (Or Fords, or Dodges, if one prefers.) Not pejorative. Some Chevies have more stuff than others.

    Systems are systems. A Crusader gas engine or a Cummins diesel in any of those brands... is still a Crusader or Cummins. A Jabsco or VacuFlush head is still a Jabsco or VacuFlush head. Refrigerator and toilets and pumps and ovens fail eventually, and often replacement is no big deal (although that's often moderated by access issues).

    -Chris
  16. paulga

    paulga New Member

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    this is a lot of information. Thanks for reply.
    i'll probably settle down to a Carver because it's spacious for living in.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  17. paulga

    paulga New Member

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    Chevies meaning they break down a lot? SeaRay also breaks down often? SeaRay is said to be "Lexus" among boats and Lexus can run long miles without multifunction
  18. paulga

    paulga New Member

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  19. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    No one said a thing about Chevy's breaking down a lot. They are simply less fancy and well equipped than Cadillac, for instance.

    As to Sea Ray said to be a "Lexus" I can't imagine even the most passionate Sea Ray owner ever saying that. My first three boats were Sea Ray and I loved them, but never thought of them as Lexus.
  20. paulga

    paulga New Member

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    I found three Sea Rays near my location.
    http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/200...769/Long-Branch/NJ/United-States#.WiDb4EqnFPY
    http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/198...796/Jersey-City/NJ/United-States#.WiDc0EqnFPY
    http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/200...873/Plattsburgh/NY/United-States#.WiDZyEqnFPY

    All three are standard Aft cabin, right?
    I would want the 2003 boat because it's newer, but the 1988 boat might worth consideration because it lets me live aboard and gets me into much lower a debt. how would you choose as a first boat?

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