Before you move to a boat

Photo of Yachts Near the City

A lot of people have thought about dropping out of the rat race and retire to a live aboard boat so as to experience the simpler life and travel to exotic places. There are many benefits associated with this sort of lifestyle, and waking up in the morning to the smell of the salt atmosphere and friendly neighborhood tropical birds looking for their morning breakfast in your backyard are definitely in the top two! As soon as you’ve made the choice to live aboard a ship, then you will find several more choices that you want to decide on.

Which type of boat is it, a mono-hull or a catamaran? How much money are you prepared to invest in the ship and where will you dock it? There will be so much less space than what you’re used to at a house, and storage areas will come at a premium. Some ships have more space than others, and you will soon find that out when you begin attending boat shows around the country or world. How much comfort are you willing to give up for a life of adventure on the high seas?

Mono-hulls are normally what people think of when boating comes to mind, but they do have plenty of drawbacks. They’ve a deep keel in order to assist as ballast and to keep the boat upright, which is highly useful if you are out on the ocean! But due to this keel, there’ll also be a fantastic amount of rolling and rocking from side to side as waves hit the boat. If you aren’t utilized to this motion, you could very well wind up with a bad case of sea sickness that will spoil your cruise. Mono-hulls do often have more room onboard for storage and living however, because the form of the hull is extremely conducive to that in relation to depth. You will immediately realize though, that the width or beam leaves much to be desired and can be thinner with regard to the complete length.

In my view the hull of selection is the catamaran, which is a considerably wider or beamy vessel, and some of the bigger boats are so stable in rough weather that a champagne glass sitting on the galley table won’t tip or fall over! By way of example, the normal 50 foot mono-hull might have a 12 -16 foot beam, but a 50 foot catamaran might have a 26 – 30 foot beam! This really results in stability in very rough seas, with a enormous reduction in the side to side rolling of the mono-hulls. A catamaran has two hulls with an open space between them for the seas to pass through and usually the galley and living room sitting out of the water between the hulls. This contributes to good visibility over the water, and a nice wide area for eating, cooking, and entertaining yourself and guests. Some versions will have the galley located down in one of the two hulls to create even more living space above. The sleeping areas, cabins, and heads are located down in the hulls on either side of the ship, and depending on the size can normally accommodate up to 4 couples.

The biggest drawback I have personally seen with catamaran boats is the”turnaround room” when standing down in the hulls. I do an”elbow evaluation” when down in the hulls, which means that I am standing with my hands on my buttocks and my elbows out and then I stand in one spot and turn around in a circle. If my elbows touch or knock anything, it’s a really cramped space! Unfortunately, the majority of the vessels I’ve tested had this drawback, but I did find one 52 foot South African ship that passed this test. In actuality, there was so much living area and storage space on this boat that I call it a”condo catamaran”! It was pure luxury, with around six cottages on a usual layout, or for the owner they could have one entire hull just for them which is described as the”owner’s layout”. This is the design that really appealed to me, and will offer much cupboard space and a very private living area for those long voyages with guests. I encourage everyone who is looking for the perfect vessel to go to as many boat shows as they could so they could personally check all the many factors involved and to see if it is something you can live on.

Another factor or decision that you’ll need to make is whether it is going to be power or sail. For those people thinking about doing an around the world trip, they might seriously consider purchasing a sailboat as it is going to be much cheaper and there actually are not as many boats that could carry enough fuel for all those trans oceanic voyages. For all those people planning to stay closer to shore or mainly coastal travel might look for power boats, despite the fact that the fuel will still be an issue for most trips. There are a few boats that have been intended for long range expedition voyages which are less than 55 feet long, and they are able to carry enough fuel to transit the Pacific or some other extensive cruise. However, for a power boat of the size, be prepared to pay close to a thousand U.S. dollars or more for a brand new boat. By far the great majority of around the world cruisers will decide on a sailing boat, either catamaran or mono-hull. Catamarans tend to be more expensive due to the size and desirability of them, and they also may have higher marina fees associated because of their widths. In fact, a good proportion of them may not fit in some marinas because of how wide they are, and will have to anchor out in the harbor and use a dinghy to travel back and forth to the shore. This can be very time consuming and tiring, especially when travelling back and forth with many packages of food, drinks, or other things needed to restock the boat. These are the types of things you’ll need to consider before you decide on and purchase your live aboard boat.

Are you an experienced sailor or boater, or will you will need to arrange for some classes to learn more about being on the water? There are plenty of Coast Guard Auxiliary or Power Squadron centers around in the U.S. that can offer the appropriate training needed to safely operate your new vessel. It’s very important to feel comfortable with the performance of your boat, and take it abroad for short excursions as frequently as you can before you embark on any long cruise away from shore. Become a specialist, after all, your life will be at stake! Be prepared for any circumstance, whether it’s medical or mechanical, and know what to do to fix it. Take a marine mechanic training course, because if your ships engine breaks down far out at sea you will want to know what to do to fix the issue. You won’t be able to just bring the boat into the nearest shop at there!

There will be many decisions that you are going to need to make before choosing and buying your new boat and probably training you’ll need in order to safely manage it, but the benefits of this lifestyle more than outweigh the negatives. You will have to be prepared for a entire changeover compared to living ashore, due to the cramped conditions and inconveniences associated with boat living. Choose wisely, learn all you can before you buy, and prepare for the time of your life!

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