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Jumping in With Both Feet

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SeaplaneDriver
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Jumping in With Both Feet

Postby SeaplaneDriver » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:36 am

Howdy folks,

I’m a senior in college and a seaplane pilot/instructor near Charlotte, NC. Very interested in pursuing the live aboard lifestyle as I’ve always been a water person. I feel like now is a great time to start because I’m 21, not married, extremely mobile, don’t have much stuff, and have a little bit of money saved up I’d rather not lose to an apartment.

I’m currently living and working near Lake Norman, though if all goes well, I’m hoping to get a job in Fort Lauderdale sometime in the summer. Plan B is to move anywhere coastal I can get an flying job.

I’m looking at a couple of sailboats, sloops in the 20 something feet and under $2500, but the extent of my sailing experience is self taught in a Hobie. Few concerns:
A. How would you go about learning to sail a real boat? Would it be totally unrealistic to go from perhaps a few lessons in a sunfish to a 24’ sloop with an instructor/experienced sailor under light conditions?
B. Any words of caution about the livability of a 24’ boat (leaning toward a 1984 Helms, for example) for someone in my situation?
C. Would it be feasible to trailer such a boat from NC to FL if I do move?

I’ve already learned a lot reading through the forums, so thank you! Excited to start learning more!

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RTB
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Re: Jumping in With Both Feet

Postby RTB » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:23 pm

Lea rning to sail is pretty easy. I bought my first sailboat, a Laguna 22 new, and taught myself. My 36' sailboat sails just like the 22. Just weighs a lot more and responds slower. More muscle required to handle the sails, and docking more challenging because of length and weight. You don't need much space to live actually. A place to sleep, a place to cook, a head, and a nav station will do for the most part. Yep, you can live on that 24' Helms with no problem. Trailering should not be an issue. The bigger issue will be finding a marina that will welcome you on a 24' sailboat as a "liveaboard". My old marina in Texas didn't allow liveaboards on anything smaller than 40". Many now don't allow liveaboards at all. Do your homework before you get too crazy with this plan. South Florida has the strictest rules, and marina rates are very high.

Best wishes,
Ralph
But Why's the Rum Gone?

1982 (Cherubini)Hunter 36
s/v FUGUE
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SeaplaneDriver
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Re: Jumping in With Both Feet

Postby SeaplaneDriver » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:39 pm

Good to hear, thanks.
It looks like it would be super easy to do here after talking to people, it would be the FL portion that would be difficult/expensive.

How would one go about getting insurance on an old, cheap sailboat? It's not required here, even at marinas that allow liveaboards but I know it is in FL
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CaptForce
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Re: Jumping in With Both Feet

Postby CaptForce » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:10 pm

SeaplaneDriver, I followed your same plan at a similar age and kept a life of cruising and sailing for 45 years. I've made some other wise decisions during my lifetime, but this was among the best. 'good advice from RTB above,- learning on a small boat will transfer the skills well to a larger boat.

It's true that slip rentals can be high in Ft. Lauderdale, but they do vary. Off the ICW and up the New River or the Dania Cut-off canal you can find slips for much less that the tourist track at the beach, but Fort Lauderdale does not offer easy, quick, spontaneous sailing. Lauderdale requires a trip out the inlet for casual sailing and I believe that the best places to live aboard should allow a few hours out after work without "breaking an inlet". This means that Sarasota, Tampa Bay, Pensacola Bay, Biscayne Bay, Stuart, St. Johns River, Indian River, and "Bayside" in the Keys (Florida Bay) are best. Among these, Pensacola Bay and the St. Johns River have the best cost of living. Of course your job prospects come into play too.

I started small too, but increased boat size with a wife and then children and then due to children growing,- 'all was well and rewarding, -'do it!
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Jaxfishgyd
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Re: Jumping in With Both Feet

Postby Jaxfishgyd » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:14 pm

Why limit yourself to a sailboat..... Look at trawlers also. You get a lot more room in a trawler vs a sailboat of the same size...We love the 14'X 16' aft deck on our 43' Hatteras. has a hard top, isinglass that we can raise and lower... Cold out, just turn on the heater... We grill several times a week. Can sit 6-8 in comfort... .... spend most of our time out there.... Just something to consider .... 'CF and RTB knew I would go that angle....
Capt Charlie Freeman
43' Hatteras CPMY
M/V "No Dial Tone"
Fernandina Beach, Fl
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SeaplaneDriver
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Re: Jumping in With Both Feet

Postby SeaplaneDriver » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:21 pm

I am definitely open to trawlers if I can find one in my size/budget range. My main concerns with trawlers are winding up with a chronically problematic engine and getting too much boat for me to handle.

But still, very open to the idea!
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Jaxfishgyd
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Re: Jumping in With Both Feet

Postby Jaxfishgyd » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:10 pm

SAILBOATs have engines too, heck, most sailors use their motor more often than sail..... Get a good basic motor, no turbo or afterblower or any extra unneeded stuff and you'll do fine... But there is/will be a GLUT of power and sail boats available since the hurricanes damaged so many so 'buyer beware'...
I have twin Detroit Diesels, just your basic 6-71N... You have to work to break one of them or any of the other diesels like them..Plenty of trawlers under 35' out there.....
Capt Charlie Freeman
43' Hatteras CPMY
M/V "No Dial Tone"
Fernandina Beach, Fl
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RTB
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Re: Jumping in With Both Feet

Postby RTB » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:24 pm

So many boats...so little time. Our budget here is $2500.00. That narrows it down a bit.
But Why's the Rum Gone?

1982 (Cherubini)Hunter 36
s/v FUGUE

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