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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    up on the moors.
    Posts
    33,211

    Default Re: Using a yacht instead of a flat - settle an argument?

    I did just that as a contractor in London a few years ago.

    I moved the boat to Penton Hook Marina, and as a contractor, charged out 3, sometime 4 nights a week our at hotel rates, That was accepted by Inland Revenue as I was not full time, but living 190 miles away and commuting at the beginning and end of the week.

    Using the boat for sailing AND liveabord is unrealistic.

    The one episode I did not like was when the pontoons were covered with frozen rain. If you do it, a pair of those spikey shoes is the answer.
    I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I sail.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Northern summers aboard Ningaloo otherwise Perth WA
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: Using a yacht instead of a flat - settle an argument?

    Some marinas are not too fussy about live aboard (e.g. Brighton).
    My advice is forget the marina facilities and buy a boat with decent heating, hot water and shower.
    I have a friend who bought a n
    boat to live aboard in London (she travels alot for work but wanted a base).
    I live aboard during the summer and live overseas in winter.
    I wouldn't fancy living aboard all winter but s few nights a week would be ok.
    Ningaloo - Hanse 385

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Using a yacht instead of a flat - settle an argument?

    Great, thanks for these helpful replies. A stupid question: is pumping sewage/ shower drain out acceptable in a marina on an estuary like the Mersey? I've done most of my sailing in the med where holding tanks and being well offshore is the norm.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    12,015

    Default Re: Using a yacht instead of a flat - settle an argument?

    I live aboard Monday to Friday and (roughly) alternate weekends

    First priority is without doubt heating

    Running fan heaters ... actually one fan heater cos you won't run more than one on a marina 16A supply ... is expensive at marina leccy rates and in the depths of winter barely enough. We fitted a 4kw blown air heating system which does the job

    Second issue is, as already mentioned, condensation. Cruising yachts simply don't have enough insulation as standard. Our forecabin (v-berth) is currently unusable in winter for this reason (the refit is the current project) so i live for half the year in the saloon. This does save on heating though!

    Thirdly, and no getting around this, is sanitation. A holding tank is fine if there's easy access to pump out facilities. Our solution, as we don't have that facility, is a Portapotti 165 which has to be emptied every three or four days.

    Fourth, refrigeration. Unless you're going to eat ashore all the time a decent fridge is essential.

    As others have said, forget living aboard, even part time, combined with going sailing on a whim. I live a fairly austere life on board (cos it suits me to do so) but even so it's two or three hours of sorting out and arranging to switch from living on the berth to going sailing

    Again already mentioned is the marina policy towards liveaboards. Some are very tolerant, some less so and some won't allow it at all. Official policy may differ from practice on the ground but in all cases discretion is usually the watchword. In other words, don't be obvious!

    Finally, some find the life claustrophobic and / or lonely, especially in winter, some don't. You won't know without trying it!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    West Sussex / Hants
    Posts
    28,409

    Default Re: Using a yacht instead of a flat - settle an argument?

    I lived aboard for a while in winter.

    For a start, forget going for quick casual sails - accomodation will be the priority.

    You WILL need 240v mains hook up so as to use fan heaters for dry heat.

    Condensation from windows, deckhead and bulkheads will be your constant No.1 enemy even on a well insulated boat.

    Especially so if cooking or just boiling a kettle ( hot water bottles are not just for old people and softies ) - if you can find a good value pub for food and staying a while in warmth and company or just to read that would be a major bonus.

    Beware in winter, a good marina near me had lost three liveaboards drowned at the last count, all slipped on icy pontoons at night - and that was years ago, may well be more now.

    Despite all that I'd say ' do it, have a go ' - as long as your eyes are open - and they probably are as you're asking here - it's a worthwhile experience and I found better than sharing a flat with a git who didn't pay their share...
    Anderson 22 Owners Association - For info please ask here or PM me.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    329

    Default Re: Using a yacht instead of a flat - settle an argument?

    Depends what you're trying to do really - do you have plans for the boat when the contract finishes or are you just looking for a cheap digs? The Albert dock is much cheaper than the marina if you don't want to go sailing, but you'll pay commercial lock rates when you do want to leave.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    6,000

    Default Re: Using a yacht instead of a flat - settle an argument?

    I'd give it a go. I suspect I'm older than you, and I seriously considered this when I was job-hunting; I applied for several jobs where I would have lived aboard for serious amounts of time, and that on a boat where I would have had to use shore-side toilet and shower facilities. Given that I was looking at professional, office based work, that would have meant that the hardest bit might have been keeping clothes up to the standard usually required! And certainly I knew of others in the same marina who lived aboard and worked elsewhere - I remember especially a lady who had to walk along the pontoons very carefully as she was wearing office clothes - with high heels!

    Combining living aboard with sailing is a matter or being organized; I tend to keep most things in a seaworthy state as a matter of convenience - a place for everything and everything in its place works well as a mantra for living in a small space.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,294

    Default Re: Using a yacht instead of a flat - settle an argument?

    I'd say it massively depends on the boat. If you are thinking of doing the sailing on someone else's boat rather than your own, I'd sacrifice the big stick pointing in the air that clanks, and the pointy ends and be looking at either a mobo or even a narrowboat. Narrowboats tend to have proper central heating with radiators, lots of insulation, much better galleys, decent showers and often a small bath, and a woodburner. The multiple cabin design is also far better at swallowing "stuff" that you don't want to be looking at every day, and they really are extremely cosy in winter.
    Whilst I'm sure we all share the dream of living on board, I'd probably only do it if I was cruising at the same time.
    Bavaria 32 GBR4755L "Adastra"
    49er GBR340 "20KSB"/Fireball GBR14474 "Eleven Parsecs"

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Greenwich
    Posts
    7,244

    Default Re: Using a yacht instead of a flat - settle an argument?

    Dehumidifier is a real boon - if itís cold and wet outside and you are cooking a meal you wonít want lots of open hatches. Sheets, towels and clothes are drier and feel much warmer. And the fan heater needs a lot less use.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Using a yacht instead of a flat - settle an argument?

    We've had a narrowboat in central London for several years while we were working there on and off during the week. At 65' long and 6'6 wide it was just OK with two. Our mooring was "non-residential" which meant no more than 3 nights in 7, but we didn't have to pay council tax. The key problem was heating in the winter. We had a 3kw electric heating system and it took up to 12 hours to reach 18 degrees on a cold day. This meant visiting the boat in the morning to plug in before going to work, so it would be livable in the evening (If you use coal or wood, you have to light the fire and stay with it while it gets going and fuel storage is a major problem). Waste disposal was another challenge - both human and domestic - as was fresh food storage in summer. We got "free" electricity, but most marinas make exorbitant charges for this. We did use the boat as a boat (we went round the UK via Leeds and Bristol and other trips) but almost never for short periods as it was too much hassle. We sold up in the end when we worked out overall it was actually cheaper to stay in a Travelodge.
    On the other hand, I spent most of last summer on a 34' yacht sailing round the UK. Living aboard was great except a) when the fridge broke down and b) when it rained and I couldn't get anything dry so the whole boat became soggy c) keeping warm in March/April and October d) when there was someone else on board. The main issue in using the boat as a flat is you can't just come in and dump your stuff - there's always work to do (water in, waste out, get gas and fuel for the Eberspacher, fix the fridge, arm the place up etc etc.
    So would I do it again - living in what my son called a pied-a-l'eau ? No.

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