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Testing the Waters. Hello from Mississauga

Stop in and say hi! Let us know a little bit about you.

Topic author
CoreyInBusiness
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:23 pm
Your Vessel Info: To be announced. Currently looking at a 1969 - 46' Chris Craft Aquahome to live aboard in the Mississauga/Oakville/Hamilton area of Lake Ontario.

Testing the Waters. Hello from Mississauga

Postby CoreyInBusiness » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:08 pm

Hello all,

My name is Corey but my girlfriend calls me crazy.

A little bit about myself:

I'm a lifelong boater, having grown up on the southern cost of Lake Huron, north of London, ON. My parents have owned boats from 10 to 40 feet in length, (the largest and most current model being a 1977 40' Marine Trader that Dad and I travelled 1000 nautical miles on during the summer of 2017). I'm currently pondering the idea of moving out of my tiny basement apartment in Meadowvale, and onto a vessel (a current contender is a very nicely refurbished 1969 Chris Craft AquaHome 46) full-time.

How did I come to ponder this decision? My dad jokingly started sending me listings for cruisers with the tagline "A cheap place to live" after I moved to the city for work. Pair that with a nagging need for a new challenge, rent prices going through the roof and a love of being on the water, and here we are.

I'm working in Oakville, which as many Canadians know is not exactly an easy place to find affordable housing (I broke down and decided to rent from a family friend for a few months while I get myself established and settled into a career...

At this point in time, I'm exploring my alternatives and have committed to nothing thus far. I'm here to read people's stories of living aboard, ask questions and try to figure out if it's even feasible or really all that much more affordable to make the move to a bouyant lifestyle. While my girlfriend is rather adamant about her opinion that I may in fact be crazy, she's supportive so long as she gets to keep her apartment on land. She'll visit, but she's made it clear she won't be wintering onboard... She might be onto something there.

I would certainly say that my biggest concerns are as follows:
1) The challenges of living aboard during a Canadian winter;
2) Finding an affordable accommodation for a boat that permits year round mooring and doesn't put me in a situation where I have to commute for hours (ideally somewhere commutable to Oakville);
3) Total price consideration, and whether I'm going to really be that far ahead by living aboard as opposed to living on dry land, once you factor in mooring, utilities, upkeep, insurance, etc. For the record, as a couple, the girlfriend and I have not reached the point in our careers or lives that it makes sense to move in together, so as a means of saving money that's off the table for the near future;
And
4) That I really only have three concerns.

Well folks, do your worst. While I don't necessarily want to be talked out of this idea, I do want to make sure that I'm making as an informed decision as humanly possible, which is where this lovely forum comes into play.

Cheers.


ka8uet
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Re: Testing the Waters. Hello from Mississauga

Postby ka8uet » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:02 pm

There is another Canadian live aboard on here, Durian. AsI recall, he's in NB.
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tex
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Re: Testing the Waters. Hello from Mississauga

Postby tex » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:18 am

There are members here infinitely better equiped than I am to comment, but I think your concerns are valid. It’s not always a more economical thing to live aboard a boat than it is in a conventional dirt dwelling. What’s more, it is a commitment to a lifestyle that can bring many different challenges, including the maintenance of items to keep one afloat. Even so, it is an adventure that can bring an equal amount of gratification and personal growth. Dedicated live-aboards are scrappy, resourseful people who agree to trade challenges for the moments of pure grace, beauty and tranquility, only achievable through the personal satisfaction of work done and a glass of wine at sunset (on deck, of course).
When life is hard, eat marshmallows!
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janice142
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Re: Testing the Waters. Hello from Mississauga

Postby janice142 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:42 pm

About staying warm... That was a Serious problem for me one day (north Florida, not Canada for goodness sakes!)

My boat is open and airy. She's got wonderful windows. And she's drafty. Thus keeping out cold winds is difficult. Mine is not well-insulated. On all days but one, I have been able to get her cabin warm enough.

Please note that I will not wear a jacket inside my home. I'm old and I'll be danged if I am going to go camping. I like my levels of decadence to be right up there, though perhaps on a different scale than someone living in a mansion. (Frankly I prefer the boat!)

BUt, one day in particular the water was Extremely cold. I could not heat my main cabin. Finally I took my heater down into my forward stateroom which did get warm. Still the experience changed me Corey. I was afraid.

You're far north of me and will be dealing with even colder waters. A well-insulated boat is a Necessity. Having a way to reliably heat her is a given. I'm not sure the answers for you, however cannot stress enough the need to be able to stay warm. Icy docks and decks would be an issue too.

Additionally, it is critical that you be able to re-board your boat should you fall overboard without any assistance. Every year sailors drown because they cannot climb back aboard. Don't let that happen to you. And you have to be able to save yourself from the water. A ladder stowed in a locker is useless. Your window to get back on the boat is short in cold water too.

In my mind, re-boarding the boat needs to be in that list of 3. Ditto heating her.

Good luck.
Janice aboard Seaweed
Trawler cruising on a nickel budget
http://janice142.com

ka8uet
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Re: Testing the Waters. Hello from Mississauga

Postby ka8uet » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:40 pm

You are so right, Janice. I lived in northern Ohio, right on Lake Erie. Ice on the dock, followed by a fall into icy water is a killer. Most of the liveaboa.rds up home who don't (or can't) move south for the winter shrink wrap their boats. It sounds counter productive, but vents are essential, ESPECIALLY if you
have a heater. Remember that heater will use up oxygen and produce moisture. It's bad enough to have water drip on you from outside, but INSIDE is a real insult. You also MUST have CO2 detectors. Keep ice melter and a snow shovel either inside the boat, near your exit, or outside on the dock. You will need both. Some marinas (most) shut off the water in the winter, so you need to be ready for that. You will also need a bubbler to keep ice from forming up against your boat. The bubbler runs on electricity, so you need to factor that in. Check that you have good cell reception, and wifi. Make sure the showers will be operative all winter, or make alternate arrangements. If all this, plus slip rent and boat and insurance payments begins to sounds like $$$$, you are right. So you need to make a real commitment to this life style. It's worth it, but it's not cheap!!!!
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janice142
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Re: Testing the Waters. Hello from Mississauga

Postby janice142 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:31 am

All that sounds scary. I remember being in Maine or perhaps it was on Cape Cod (family in both places) one winter and I literally could not breathe. I sounded like a seal barking. But optimism is my middle name.

I had seriously considered wintering over up north so I would have more time to explore that region. I remember time on the St. Lawrence Seaway, and wouldn't mind revisiting places up that way. The mini-loop interested me. Alas, at this point I am not sure I want to be that chilled.

Everything aches when I get cold. You're right about the alarms. Seaweed is so drafty I don't worry too much about CO issues. The pilothouse alarm did serve its purpose and alerted me to a battery that was off-gassing.

Gosh, though, to live up north on the water takes more fortitude than I have at present. You have to REALLY want this life. I will say that I invested in an Aladdin Genie III oil lamp last year. It puts off either 2000 or 2500 btu's (depending upon the source) versus my small Coleman Catalytic heater. I upgraded!

I will say that the Aladdin kerosene lamp toasts marshmallows to perfection.
Image
Janice aboard Seaweed
Trawler cruising on a nickel budget
http://janice142.com

ka8uet
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Re: Testing the Waters. Hello from Mississauga

Postby ka8uet » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:47 pm

Love your marshmallow pic! My kids and I used to toast mini mallows over candles when the power and the heat went out in snowstorms. Pretend camping took their minds off wearing coats indoors!

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