Click for United Click for Nordhavn Click for Walker Click for Westport Click for Mag Bay

Old Hand at boats...... but Living on?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Rich Hughes, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. Rich Hughes

    Rich Hughes New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ohio
    My dream has always been to live on water.... I live in centeral Ohio and have lived on small water front for 25 years.
    I want to get into a 34' to 43' boat to live-aboard 7/24/365.
    However the price of maint., docking, and everything else is new to me. I am looking for any advice from anyone who has wanted and done this same transition to please provide me with info. of what this took to make happen, and what it costs on a monthly basis to live this way and any other info. that you can possably provide to open my eyes as to what this would cost on a monthly basis to maintain this lifestyle.
    I would like to get "actual numbers" of the cost per month from anyone that is living this lifestyle please.
  2. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    CT
    Sail or power? Marina or anchored out? Inland or East/west coast?
  3. Rich Hughes

    Rich Hughes New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ohio
    Power, great lakes or Ohio river, mostly Marina
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,783
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,353
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    $500 per month to $1 million per month. How much do you spend per month living on land? There are so many factors. How much do you use the boat? What kind of lifestyle? Restaurants vs. cook at home? Entertainment? DIY or shipyard? Steak or rice? Age and type of boat?

    Whatever you figure, double it...as you are new and almost guaranteed to underestimate. My actual numbers would have no relevance at all to you. You need to start looking at each of the individual cost components yourself and slowly add them together and build a picture. Some things are easy. Look at the marinas you're considering and see their prices.

    And what do you intend to do during the winter? Find a yacht club with bubblers, winterize, shrink wrap, live inside or pull out on shore and go live in an apartment?

    I'd suggest doing some research on your own and then returning with specific questions regarding those areas you still have questions about. Right now this is just a vision to you and you need to work toward conceptualizing and detailing if you're serious about it.
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,737
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Uo need to call marinas you are considering and see what they charge as it varies greatly. In Miami for instance I pay $1300 for a 53 footer with electricity, etc... I m guessing Ohio will be cheaper.

    Make sure the marinas you call allow live aboard, some don't

    Insurance vary depending on boat and location... Figure anywhere between $200 and $400 a month..

    Maintenance also depends on the boat, its age, its systems and how handy you are. If you can fix at least the simple stuff yourself you lol spend a lot less than if you have pay $90 an hour labor.... Also depends on how much you actually use the boat

    Overall unless you want to camp aboard you are not going to be saving any money living aboard unless you currently own a boat while living ashore which was my case.

    I can't imagine living aboard up north in winter and eating with all th problems... But then I woudlnt live in cold weather ashore eithr :)
  7. Rich Hughes

    Rich Hughes New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ohio
    Thank you all for all of the great advice......
    You have given me an idea and a starting point and for that I am greatful .
    Please don't hesitate to respond if you think of anything else to consider.
  8. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    A houseboat would be the cheapest way to go if you are restricted to rivers. Figure $50-150k just for the boat; $5-10k for maintenance; $3k dock space permissions for live-aboard, $1-2k for utilities and $100 for pump outs every month. It's an expensive proposition.

    If you're talking about BIG water like Lake Erie (a very shallow body of water), then I would suggest a well built sailboat. Using a small gas or diesel engine, the costs are comparable to the river houseboat with the exception of it being a sailing vessel.

    In any case you need certification courses - rules of the road, boat handling, knot tying, life saving, etc. Contact your local Coast Guard station.
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,783
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Welcome GhostriderIII. I think you meant to say Coast Guard Auxiliary (or the U.S. Power Squadron) for the courses. A lot of states now require a boating license, but I believe many are phasing it in. I believe some dealers may also be giving the courses. For most licenses it's a one day course as opposed to the Basic Boating course offered by the C.G.Aux and the USPS.
  10. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    I guess you're right. It used to be the Coast Guard that granted licenses, tho I got mine from US Merchant Marine Academy.
  11. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,353
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    The Coast Guard does grant licenses but it requires a minimum of a 5 day course and 360 days sea time.
  12. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    Then that's what he needs to do. Better to be safe than dead.
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,783
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I believe you guys are talking about commercial licenses, Masters and OUPV. All he needs is a state issued boat operator's license, similar to what's needed for waverunners.
  14. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    He still needs to pass a course in boat handling to get the operators license.
  15. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,353
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Depends on the state.
  16. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,353
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I was responding to ghostrider's comment where he was talking USCG captain's license. Obviously that's not required for the OP, even if it might be nice.
  17. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,783
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    That sounds like you're talking about a "road test". Not in any state I'm aware of. In fact he needn't prove proficiency even with verified sea time as you do for a commercial license. Most states that are licensing require only a short course (generally a few hours to a day) in general boating (not boat handling). Some states require nothing more than having a driver's license and paying a fee. NY for one currently has no license for an adult operator.
  18. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,783
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Yes, you got led off topic by that. I know that you know olderboater.
  19. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    Ok, try to buy insurance (not homeowners) with and without boat handling course and operators license.
  20. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,353
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    The vast majority of US boatowners who have insurance have never had any course. Operators licenses for small boat owners are really a quite recent concept. I grew up on a lake in NC, have had insured boats all my life and until 2012 I never had any license or certificate. Insurers for small to medium size boats in the US look to experience, not licensing. Above a certain size boat then they look to experience or Captain's licenses but not to operators licenses or Auxiliary or Power Squadron courses. Again, speaking to NC, the course now required for those born after 1988 can be easily taken online and only is a small test of rules, not of ability.

    Florida is the same as NC. Card required by those born after January 1, 1988.

    I'm not arguing against the value of education but I do say the operator's licenses that require an hour online to obtain aren't real education. I'm just clarifying the requirements in the US. As to the OP I'd suggest some basic courses and some hands on training by an experience captain.