WestSail 32' for newbie?

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  • May 06, 2015 9:33 AM
    Reply # 3333758 on 3326601

    Hi again,

    Your comment about spending your rent for boat maintenance made me pause - make sure of your motives for buying a boat to live on. It ain't cheap.

    There are several ways to "live-aboard", and some of the methods people choose give the rest of us a bad name. If you are planning on trying to live for free by dropping an anchor somewhere in an isolated  inlet and live off the grid, be ready for a battle. It's not as easy as it sounds nor is it cheap or free. If you heat with diesel expect to burn about 1 gallon a night, double that in the winter. In Canada that is about $10/day, so about $300/month. Don't forget the fun of hauling fuel and water and supplies on board. And dealing with your sewage. Tack on $1000 for a composting head, uninstalled.

    It is the people who buy a beat up junker and drag it up an inlet, drop an engine block over the side and essentially become aquatic squatters that generate negative thoughts from the public to those of us trying to do it right. I have lost count of how many boats I have seen washed up on the beach at Cadboro Bay, usually day-sailor vessels converted to "homes", victims of inattentive maintenance. Then there are the boats all covered up with tarps up the Gorge, dumping their waste directly into a body of water that doesn't get a lot of exchange. People who pay to live in marinas that have electricity and all the comforts of home, or the people living in the houses along the water tend to distrust the squatters because when things go missing they don't have to stretch their imagination far to think of who has a motive to steal from their docks.

    If you are living on a dock, you still have to pay moorage, and make sure you do your calculations for a 40ft boat when you are looking at that option - in Victoria liveaboard slips are rare as hen's teeth and you're going to pay upwards of $10/ft/month - say about $400, plus electricity, plus plus plus. That can be pretty inexpensive for two people, but there is always something to spend your money on. And most marinas require a full years moorage up front, which is in the neighborhood of $6000, including "liveaboard fees" which is a surcharge justified by marina owners based on the increased usage of the facilities. If you are lucky, your marina manager won't charge you GST on your moorage because it is rent, but those not living aboard do pay it. Some just spare you GST on the surcharge. Even if you aren't living aboard, you still have to pay store the boat somewhere.

    When/if you are able to actually get out and travel the only time you aren't spending money is when you are sailing, but every minute on the water is adding to the wear and tear on your boat - and some of those things can't be put off for long when the time comes. Especially if relates to your safety or comfort. Yes, the wind is free, but catching it is not.

    Do yourself a favour and read all of the forums on westsail.org about small projects, in the yard, the iron genny. Basically everything that can go wrong on a Westsail has been documented in there somewhere. Be sure to check out Jack Webb's www.westsail.info, he has posted the old websites forum in searchable pdfs, and it goes back years.

    I'd be happy to show you what liveaboard life is really like when you make it to Victoria.

    You can contact me via email at sbcwylie@yahoo.com



    Last modified: May 06, 2015 9:35 AM | Anonymous member
  • May 10, 2015 11:30 AM
    Reply # 3338314 on 3333758
    Deleted user
    Stephen Wylie wrote:

    Hi again,

    Your comment about spending your rent for boat maintenance made me pause - make sure of your motives for buying a boat to live on. It ain't cheap.

    Hi Stephen,

    I understand your concerns but I don't intend on being a squatter. My motivation is basically that I am not a happy person being stuck in any one place for too long and want to own the place I live in.

    I'm spending $12000 a year on an appartment that I can't move around with. I would rather have that money working towards having a mobile lifepod. Even if it turned out to cost me $25k+ a year to live on, it is still better than owning a car + apartment which limit my mobility.

    I could have went with an RV and being a full time motorcoacher but I am more interested in being on the water and explore places no car can get to.

    I work from my computer and for that I need reliable internet which is something that will most of the time require me to be at the marina. 

    All of your input is invaluable and I make a point of learning from this forum a little bit more everyday.

    Hope to catch up with you soon in Victoria



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