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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Mooring, Faro
    Posts
    1,396

    Default Re: Yacht or house??

    Quote Originally Posted by phil5764 View Post
    Hi everyone,
    I'm after some advice from those who have experienced living aboard. I am 46 and find myself at a crossroads in life whereby I am paying £750 in rent for a two bed property in Devon. I have recently completed several sailing courses and my dream is to retire sailing abroad in about 8yrs. However I don't own a boat and am considering financing one now to live on in a marina at Plymouth.
    My advice would be to buy a house, possibly one which you can spend a few years refurbishing and then sell on hopefully at a profit in a few years. Buying a boat seems fairly simple but updating and equipping for travelling will cost many thousands, on top of the purchase price. UK marina fees don't come cheap and many don't want liveaboards anyway. I retired at 53 and over the past 20 years have spent over £20k on the boat, which we live aboard 6 -8 months p.a. but not in cold UK winters and no marina fees except when visiting.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    12,292

    Default Re: Yacht or house??

    There is no simple answer to this question - it is almost totally dependent on the characters of the proposed live-aboards. We are semi-liveaboard on a 42 foot sailing yacht and can happily spend long periods aboard. We have several friends who are 100% liveaboard with no land based residence at all - and have been living like that for many years. But we are in late middle age and not particularly active people - a 40 foot boat is small compared with the average flat, let alone a house, and might be a problem with one or more active children around.

    Don't be put off by the prospect of spending English winters afloat - a reasonably modern 40 footer can be made very warm and comfortable with adequate heating and a decent dehumidifier. But boats are not particularly well insulated and you may be surprised at how much it costs to keep it warm and dry in the depths of the winter.

    Do bear in mind that it will need annual maintenance which involved hauling it out of the water for several days during which time it will be difficult, if not impossible, to live aboard. Most boatyards have rules that ban you from living aboard with the boat out in a cradle and, even if you are prepared to ignore such rules, life on a large yacht hauled out of the water is difficult to say the least. Do you have family or friends that will let you move in for a few days while the boat is being cleaned and anti-fouled? On the same subject, you do, of course, have to be very careful with the boat if it is your home. Live-aboard friends of ours managed to damage the hull a few years ago to the point where it required an emergency lift out to avoid sinking and that was followed by a very disruptive repair. They had to abandon ship for nearly a month and had to call in a lot of favours in order to avoid having to sleep under the railway arches!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Yacht or house??

    I'd like to thank everyone for their advice and experiences. We are still undecided bit I think after reading all the posts, we are edging more towards some kind of property, which it seems is probably the responsible thing to do, albeit I find it hard to give the idea up atm. It probably wouldn't be so bad if there was active marina near me that I could get out with someone and crew for a few years, but despite posts in forums, I can't find anything.
    Will keep mulling it over over the next few months and writing out the pros and cons.
    Thanks to everyone again.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    12,292

    Default Re: Yacht or house??

    Quote Originally Posted by phil5764 View Post
    I'd like to thank everyone for their advice and experiences. We are still undecided bit I think after reading all the posts, we are edging more towards some kind of property, which it seems is probably the responsible thing to do, albeit I find it hard to give the idea up atm. It probably wouldn't be so bad if there was active marina near me that I could get out with someone and crew for a few years, but despite posts in forums, I can't find anything.
    Will keep mulling it over over the next few months and writing out the pros and cons.
    Thanks to everyone again.
    If you are a complete beginner who has never owned a boat before, you could do a lot worse than buy something small, old and very cheap and spend the next few years learning and understanding so that you don't make a very expensive mistake in eight or nine years. Our first boat was a thirty year old, eighteen foot pocket cruiser which we bought on eBay. That cost us the princely sum of £250 about ten years ago. It was in very tatty condition, but it floated and we had fun mucking about in it - even slept on board a couple of times! We spent a lot of time fixing her up - and learning a lot in the process. The result was that, when we decided to buy our first "serious" boat - i.e. one costing a significant number of thousands of pounds - we had a much better idea of what we wanted, understood our capabilities, and were more able to look at a boat and recognise issues that we would have to fix.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2,060

    Default Re: Yacht or house??

    Quote Originally Posted by maby View Post
    If you are a complete beginner who has never owned a boat before, you could do a lot worse than buy something small, old and very cheap and spend the next few years learning and understanding so that you don't make a very expensive mistake in eight or nine years. Our first boat was a thirty year old, eighteen foot pocket cruiser which we bought on eBay. That cost us the princely sum of £250 about ten years ago. It was in very tatty condition, but it floated and we had fun mucking about in it - even slept on board a couple of times! We spent a lot of time fixing her up - and learning a lot in the process. The result was that, when we decided to buy our first "serious" boat - i.e. one costing a significant number of thousands of pounds - we had a much better idea of what we wanted, understood our capabilities, and were more able to look at a boat and recognise issues that we would have to fix.
    I think this is very good advice. An old but seaworthy boat can be had for the price of a smart phone rental contract. Join a club, get to know other sailors and go sailing for pennies. Learn how to fix things and when you are ready for a bigger boat you will know about boats and what is a bargain rather than a folly.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Essex, near the R. Blackwater
    Posts
    3,559

    Default Re: Yacht or house??

    Quote Originally Posted by maby View Post
    If you are a complete beginner who has never owned a boat before, you could do a lot worse than buy something small, old and very cheap and spend the next few years learning and understanding so that you don't make a very expensive mistake in eight or nine years. Our first boat was a thirty year old, eighteen foot pocket cruiser which we bought on eBay. That cost us the princely sum of £250 about ten years ago. It was in very tatty condition, but it floated and we had fun mucking about in it - even slept on board a couple of times! We spent a lot of time fixing her up - and learning a lot in the process. The result was that, when we decided to buy our first "serious" boat - i.e. one costing a significant number of thousands of pounds - we had a much better idea of what we wanted, understood our capabilities, and were more able to look at a boat and recognise issues that we would have to fix.
    +1
    He said, "All men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them."

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    The land of the Medway
    Posts
    2,009

    Default Re: Yacht or house??

    Quote Originally Posted by phil5764 View Post
    I'd like to thank everyone for their advice and experiences. We are still undecided bit I think after reading all the posts, we are edging more towards some kind of property, which it seems is probably the responsible thing to do, albeit I find it hard to give the idea up atm. It probably wouldn't be so bad if there was active marina near me that I could get out with someone and crew for a few years, but despite posts in forums, I can't find anything.
    Will keep mulling it over over the next few months and writing out the pros and cons.
    Thanks to everyone again.
    As always some great advice from previous posters. Living on a boat in a UK marina and having a full time day job is not the same deal as just living aboard.

    I've only done 6 months living aboard during a UK winter, there were some dark days getting 'home' from work and finding the power is off on the pontoon (again) and the water is still switched off at the marina due to frozen pipes.

    There's lots of routes to success but I'd suggest keeping a small self contained property where you can lock the front door and leave for a few months, you'll keep a UK address for your banking, driving licence, doctors etc. Also when you need a break from living the dream (when the boat bites you on the arse with maintenance/breakages) you can have a pitstop on dry land.

    Although lots of people do live under the radar in marinas, it's unlikely it's permitted in the marina rules. Our local marina is introducing a card system linked to you that operates the gates, showers etc, old hat now I know but the previous card wasn't registered to a person. Finding out you're there 7 days a week and shower a lot is now only click away, along with the evidence to prove you're in breach of contract.

    If you do take the plunge, keep your head down, don't complain about anything, or hang washing out, or leave bikes etc on the pontoon, be nice to the staff and you'll probably be ok.

    Good luck with finding crewing opportunities, join a local yacht club and be proactive.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Micheldever, hants
    Posts
    1,639

    Default Re: Yacht or house??

    i lived aboard for two years including 2 winters in poole. i could not have done it without a store ashore for good clothes, belongings and tools. the boat took some wear and tear as a live aboard and soon became full of home comforts which added weight........ winters became time to employ as much heating as i could and were still cold spent under blankets and the ice on the pontoon and on the boat was treacherous.......would i do it again yes i would!!!!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Plymouth / South Hams
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Yacht or house??

    As someone living on a boat in Plymouth with similar aspirations, I would agree with most and say, buy the house, get the young lady to university age whilst enjoying the security and investment of a house whilst chartering and getting as much sailing as possible. By the time it's good to go you will be financially more secure and many boats that may seem out of reach today will be that much cheaper and attainable then.

    Good luck whichever track you take!

    John

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    309

    Default Re: Yacht or house??

    A house don’t move right

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