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Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration



Not sure how many goons are boat people, but after following this great thread:
http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3503087
I figured it might be fun to start one where people could ask me about what it is like to live on a boat full time and just travel around.

Background
My wife and I had lived in NYC for around 14 years and had good jobs (her doing IT at a bank, me at a big SF/F publisher) and a great apartment walking distance to work. However, we had always had a five year plan to quit everything and somehow move down to the Caribbean and live out the rest of our lives there. Of course, how to actually enact said plan was never something that we seriously thought out.

Then in early 2011 on the recommendations of friends, we went to St. John for a vacation. We instantly fell in love with the island and vowed to find a way to get out of the city and spend our lives in proximity to warm beautiful seas. Unfortunately, St. John is super expensive. Even more than NYC expensive. So how to combine our dream to live in this paradise, with our budget? After two more trips to the island in the next 12 months, with the last being in early 2012 we decided we really needed to find a way to pull off our plan.

Coincidentally around this time I had stumbled on to a blog about a couple who had no sailing experience, sold all of their possessions and bought a catamaran and circumnavigated the globe. I highly recommend checking their blog out from the start, it is a great read: http://www.bumfuzzle.com

So there it was! Our chance to get out of the city and live on the cheap whilst still being able to chase the summer around and visit a bunch of amazing places. It took us about 2-3 days to decide to throw caution to the wind and set the plan in motion. Within a couple of weeks we had our apartment on the market and had signed up for a weeklong liveaboard sailing course on a 47 foot catamaran.

At this point, I should probably also mention a couple of other things that lead to our decision. At the time we made the final choice to go through with the plan my mother was in very poor health, and she ended up passing away in April of 2012. Also, in the summer of 2009 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Iím doing great with the disease, but there is so little know on how and why it works that who knows how it will eventually progress. These were two major factors in us deciding that life was too short, and why wait to make a change.

In May 2012 we both quit our jobs and in June we moved up to Nantucket to hang out with my dad in his house there. We thought the apartment would sell quickly, but soon weeks turned into months with no takers. In the meantime we had subletted the apartment to cover our mortgage and carrying costs and were settling down to a life on Nantucket. Finally, in January 2013 we got a signed contract on our apartment and headed down to the Miami Boat Show. It just so happened the boat weíd been eyeing for months was still on the market and located in nearby Ft. Lauderdale. We saw the boat one morning, made an offer that afternoon, and were in contract that evening. Finally!

We sold our apartment on March 19th, bought the boat on March 21st, and were on the road early on the 22nd with all of our possessions and our 2 cats. We moved on board on March 24th, and I can happily say that I have not slept in a landside bed since then.

The Crew
Myself and my wife, co-captains:


Lucie, our navigatrix:


Stevie, our levity:


The Boat




She is a 2001 Lagoon 410 catamaran, and of course she is named after one of our favorite Janeís Addiction songs.


Here is a photo tour of the rest of the ship: http://summertimerolls.net/the-boat...mmertime-rolls/


The Route
After moving on board we stayed in Ft. Lauderdale for the next few weeks in the lovely Victoria Park neighborhood, getting acquainted with the boat. Since then we have slowly made our way up the east Coast, including a one month stopover in Edgewater, MD to get some work done. After that we made our way up to Nantucket, where we are living on a mooring ball until late September/early October.

After that we plan to head down to the Bahamas for four or five months, come back up to Nantucket for Summer 2014, then head down the rest of the Caribbean chain through May 2015. After that, who knows?


Our blog: http://summertimerolls.net/
Our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/svsummertimerolls

Please let me know if you have any questions about navigation, repairs, maintenance, costs, schedules, animals on board, why a catamaran, doís and doníts, etc.

Also, if there are any other people who live aboard a boat, or would like to, please feel free to share.

Edit: Ugh, could a mod please change this to "Ask", I didn't realize it reset when I edited the original post.

Slow Graffiti fucked around with this message at Aug 18, 2013 around 15:44

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bewbies
Sep 23, 2003



What do you do for money?

Like, I get living on the cheap, but surely at some point some massively expensive boat repair or some other such thing (medical bills for MS maybe? very sorry to hear about that btw) are going to come along. Do you guys just have enough set aside to last the rest of your days?

Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

bewbies posted:

What do you do for money?

Like, I get living on the cheap, but surely at some point some massively expensive boat repair or some other such thing (medical bills for MS maybe? very sorry to hear about that btw) are going to come along. Do you guys just have enough set aside to last the rest of your days?

Right now we are living off our savings and our apartment sale. It is a lot cheaper to buy a boat than an NYC apartment. With regards to healthcare, we are still on our cobra plan from work, but will be moving onto Romneycare shortly as we are now MA residents.

We plan on picking up odd web design/marine jobs once we head down south again to cover our expenses.

Drunkboxer
Jun 30, 2007

Ehhh?

How confident are you that you could swashbuckle yourself out of the inevitable pirate boarding?

Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

Drunkboxer posted:

How confident are you that you could swashbuckle yourself out of the inevitable pirate boarding?

Our cats have really sharp nails. We'll just throw them at any intruders and swab up the blood later.

In all seriousness, there isn't much of a piracy problem until you get down to Trinidad/Venezuela and even there it's nothing like what you read about in the Gulf of Aden.

Habitual Quitter
Jun 26, 2011



How would you rate your skill level at actually sailing the boat (which is quite nice, btw)?
Did you have any sailing or boating experience prior?
Did you choose it mostly for the live-aboard qualities or sailing qualities?
How much do you actually get a chance to sail it? I've been around sailboats a bit, and I've found the bigger they are the harder it is to actually tear them away from the dock/mooring and actually sail them around.
Do you feel confident that you are going be able to safely and successfully make a passage to the Bahamas yourself?

Dusseldorf
Mar 29, 2005



How much of the adage do you think is true that the second happiest day of a boat owner's live is the day they buy the boat and the happiest day of a boat owner's life is the day they sell their boat?

Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

Habitual Quitter posted:

How would you rate your skill level at actually sailing the boat (which is quite nice, btw)?
Thanks. I would rate us around intermediate at this point. We are quite happy with long daylight sails, but if we are going far off shore (50 to 100 miles) we have hired a captain to help split the overnight watches.

quote:

Did you have any sailing or boating experience prior?
I had done some sailing on my dad's 25 foot monohull, but not too much. My wife had no experience.

quote:

Did you choose it mostly for the live-aboard qualities or sailing qualities?
We choose a cat because neither one of us wanted to deal with the constant heeling over of a monohull. Plus, you get a lot more storage/living space in a catamaran than you do in a monohull the same length.

quote:

How much do you actually get a chance to sail it? I've been around sailboats a bit, and I've found the bigger they are the harder it is to actually tear them away from the dock/mooring and actually sail them around.
We've only left the mooring here a few times since we got up in early July. However, other than our stop in MD and a couple of shorter stays in St. Augustine and Norfolk, we've been on the move almost every single day, which tends to wear on you. So it is nice to be settled in one place for a while. Plus, we have a lot of friends and family on the island, and my wife volunteers at the local animal shelter, so we've been spending a lot more time off the boat than we normally would. Though we are planning to head over to Block Island to visit friends next week, so that should get us out of here for 5-6 days.

quote:

Do you feel confident that you are going be able to safely and successfully make a passage to the Bahamas yourself?

I do. No matter where we are we make sure to check the weather forecast and the navigation charts of our route before we leave a port or haul up the anchor. And we don't leave if we aren't confident that we've taken all of the precautions necessary for a journey. Plus, the trip down the East Coast is pretty benign, and mostly done in daily trips and then anchoring up somewhere for the night. Once you get to the Miami area it is only a 50 mile sail over to Bimini in the Bahamas. Of course that involves crossing the Gulf Stream, so you do have to make sure the weather window is favorable before crossing.


Dusseldorf posted:

How much of the adage do you think is true that the second happiest day of a boat owner's live is the day they buy the boat and the happiest day of a boat owner's life is the day they sell their boat?
There are definitely sometimes when I completely understand that adage, especially when we were stuck in MD for a month getting a lot more repairs than we were expecting. However, we wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world. Neither one of us can imagine going back to the corporate grind in NYC ever again.

Habitual Quitter
Jun 26, 2011



What are some of the hidden costs you've discovered since you've had the boat?
What's the biggest "Aha" moment you've come across?
Say you want to get from point A (port A?) to point B; what are the big things you have to consider and do to make that happen?

SlayVus
Jul 10, 2009


How much does it cost you in moaring fees on average? I don't imagine that large docks would just let you dock for the night for free.

photomikey
Dec 30, 2012


How far offshore do you have to be to anchor overnight for free?

How long can you be offshore? i.e. how much fuel/food/whatever else can you carry?

Scathach
Apr 4, 2011

You know that thing where you sleep on your arm funny and when you wake up it's all numb? Yeah that's my whole world right now.

How difficult is it having cats onboard? Tell me about this animals on boats thing, please.

Kurt_Cobain
Jul 9, 2001


Do you like to / get to fish a lot out there?

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

Four Brain Food Lunches and a Coke. ...and some dry white toast.


Scathach posted:

How difficult is it having cats onboard? Tell me about this animals on boats thing, please.

I was wondering about this too. How much of the boat can the cats access/is safe for them to access? Are they good travelers, or have you had to make special accommodations to make them happy with the sailing life? How do you deal with their waste?

Actually, how do you deal with garbage and waste in general? Is there any of it you can just dump off the side of the boat, or are there environmental regulations against that? (I imagine human/animal waste can't just be dumped into the ocean freely.)

Degren
Mar 23, 2013


Did you just learn how to sail by doing, take some classes or what? I see you sailed on your father's boat before, was that enough to give you a foundation that you could build off yourself?

How long until you both felt confident you could manage actually sailing on your own?

Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

Habitual Quitter posted:

What are some of the hidden costs you've discovered since you've had the boat?
What's the biggest "Aha" moment you've come across?
Say you want to get from point A (port A?) to point B; what are the big things you have to consider and do to make that happen?

The biggest hidden cost that we've had has been the rigging (lines, shrouds, furler for the jib). We stopped in MD to get some lines rerun so we could raise the mainsail from the helm, instead of having to go up to the mast every time we wanted to raise or lower the sail. Little did we know that when the rigger started inspecting everything that most of our equipment was nearing the end of its lifetime. So what we expected to be a reasonable cost and short stay in MD turned into a VERY expensive project and a month at the dock down there.

I'd say the biggest "aha" moment wasn't really a single moment. Rather, after living on land all my life I was surprised at how easy it was to get used to living on a boat. You would think that after relying on cable TV, fast internet, AC power, and hot running water on demand that giving up those things would be a hardship. However, it has been surprisingly easy, and even a little liberating. It is amazing how easy it is to live without all the things that you took for granted on land.

Every time we want to go somewhere we do a few things. First, we check all the weather forecasts for the time we are traveling. There is a website called Passage Weather that most boaters use. Next I fire an iPad app that uses a database from a site called Active Captain. AC is basically a crowd-sourced information database that lets you zoom in on a map of where you will be travelling and gives you notes on good anchorages, marinas, and local knowledge on any hazards, such as shoaling, strong currents, bridges, etc. While checking this app I mark down all of the relevant info on our paper chart and refer to that throughout the trip. We also have a really nice Garmin GPS at the helm and another one inside, so we can always know where we are (with paper backup just in case) and it also has a very comprehensive weather package that can be overlaid on the map.


SlayVus posted:

How much does it cost you in moaring fees on average? I don't imagine that large docks would just let you dock for the night for free.

photomikey posted:

How far offshore do you have to be to anchor overnight for free?

How long can you be offshore? i.e. how much fuel/food/whatever else can you carry?

We try not to use mooring balls or marinas if we can help it. Usually there are tons of places that you can anchor for free assuming the weather isn't too bad, and quite a few of those are also great places to hide out if the weather is pretty bad. You can anchor pretty much anywhere that you want assuming that you arenít in the middle of a channel or some other restricted area. On the way up the coast there we would usually scout out the small inlets, check the reviews on AC, and then pick one and drop the hook and crack a beer. Iíd recommend checking out https://activecaptain.com/ click on the Guidebook tab and play around with the map to see how many places there are to anchor (green tabs on the site). Itís pretty incredible all the free places you can stay.

The costs of actually staying in a marina or on a mooring ball can vary depending on the location. If you are tying up to an actual dock then you can expect to pay $1.50 - $3.00 per foot per night plus electricity. However, up here in Nantucket it is $7.00 per foot per night to stay at the dock. Mooring balls are usually a much cheaper alternative and they range anywhere from $15 per night on the cheap end up to nearly $50 per night at expensive marinas. At present we are in a lucky situation as we have a town mooring. It used to be my fatherís, but he has passed it on to us. So we get to hang out here for a grand total of $250 for the summer.

With regards to how long we can stay out, theoretically we can easily stay out for months at a time without setting foot on land. Our engines are 38hp diesels that pretty much sip fuel, and most of the time we try to use the sails anyway. We have both a wind generator and solar panels to keep the batteries topped up, and a diesel generator as backup to charge them if they are running a little low. We also have a water maker on board if the fresh water tanks start to run low (we have 220 gallons of water capacity). When we head down to the Bahamas Iím hoping that we only need to stop in a marina every two or three weeks or so. For food storage we have both fridge and a very large freezer, so there is quite enough capacity for the two of us.


More answers shortly...

Edit: Bonus pic of the view from my "backyard" that I just took...

Slow Graffiti fucked around with this message at Aug 17, 2013 around 16:39

daggerdragon
Jan 22, 2006

My titan engine can kick your titan engine's ass.

What do you do for mail?

Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

"Scathach" posted:

How difficult is it having cats onboard? Tell me about this animals on boats thing, please.

"Antivehicular" posted:

I was wondering about this too. How much of the boat can the cats access/is safe for them to access? Are they good travelers, or have you had to make special accommodations to make them happy with the sailing life? How do you deal with their waste?
Cats are actually way easier to have onboard than dogs. Unless you can get your dog to use a pad up on deck (we have friends whoíve trained theirs to do this) than you are stuck dinghying them into shore several times a day to do their business. Dealing with cats on the other hand is the same as on land. We use one of our berths (in the hull we donít sleep in) for their litter box and they use it just like they did when we lived on land.

They are definitely much happier when we are anchored than when under way, but they have gotten more and more used to the motion of the boat. In the beginning they would hide away whenever we were moving, but now they are happy to roam about in all but the roughest conditions. Unless we are outside or if we are underway, we keep them inside, where they are free to do whatever they want. When we are anchored/moored for the night we let them outside and they love to lounge in the sun or walk around the deck exploring.

Luckily, neither one of them has fallen in yet. Though the trick we were told was that if they do fall overboard, just hang a towel off the side of the boat. They will dig their claws into that and hold on for dear life, then you can just pull them back onboard. I hoping we never have to try this one out.


"Kurt_Cobain" posted:

Do you like to / get to fish a lot out there?
I absolutely love fishing. I grew up exclusively surf casting from shore, so that is what Iím most familiar with. However, I picked up a trolling rod when down in MD and Iím looking forward to getting the hang of that rig. Especially when we get down to warmer waters where a Mahi Mahi or small tuna will keep us full on sashimi and grilled fish for days.

Here in the harbor there are tons of scup (also known as porgies). So I just sit on the back of the boat and catch a few, gut and scale Ďem, put a few slashes on either side and cover in marinade, then toss them whole on the grill. Free food whenever we need it. Unfortunately, the harbor is really warm at this time of year, but hopefully the blues and striped bass will start coming back soon, so I can catch something a little more substantial.

There are also lots of great places for clamming around here, so I just hop in the dinghy, take a 10 minute ride then hop off and start hunting in the sand for these delicious little creatures.


"Antivehicular" posted:

Actually, how do you deal with garbage and waste in general? Is there any of it you can just dump off the side of the boat, or are there environmental regulations against that? (I imagine human/animal waste can't just be dumped into the ocean freely.)

We have a regular kitchen garbage can (kitty litter goes in there too) and every few days we take the dinghy to shore and drop off the trash and recycling. Almost all marinas/town docks have a place where you can drop off trash. A lot will also have special disposal areas for rags covered in diesel or oil and containers of old oil. If we are away from disposal facilities for a while then we just bag the trash/recycling up and put them in a storage locker up in the front of the boat. It is only accessed from on deck and not connected to the living areas so we donít have to worry about it getting smelly inside the boat.

Our personal waste is another thing entirely. You would be amazed how quickly you become obsessed with getting rid of poo poo (literally) and keeping the boat smelling nice. We have three bathrooms (heads) and each one has a 15 gallon holding tank where all of the waste from the toilet gets sent. If you are more than three miles off shore (assuming it is not specially designated no discharge zone) you can just open up the valves and let the tanks drain right into the sea. If you are inside of the three mile limit this is a big no-no and the valves on the tanks must be closed and secured at all times. Otherwide you are risking a big fine. To handle this many marinas have pump out facilities either at the dock or in specially designed pump out boats that will come to you, hook up a big suction tube to the tank openings on deck, and suck out all that lovely sewage. Again, if you are not willing to become intimately familiar with how the whole sewage thing actually works, then I wouldnít recommend moving on to a boat. Fortunately for us we take it in stride and donít really get bothered by it.

Juanito
Jan 20, 2004

I wasn't paying attention
to what you just said.

Can you repeat yourself
in a more interesting way?


So what do you plan on doing it once you're down in the Caribbean? Just move around constantly? What do you plan on doing with your time? Read, fish?

I'd get a metal detector, you could probably find some nice isolated beaches where people haven't done much detecting.

Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

"Degren" posted:

Did you just learn how to sail by doing, take some classes or what? I see you sailed on your father's boat before, was that enough to give you a foundation that you could build off yourself?

How long until you both felt confident you could manage actually sailing on your own?
Before we bought the boat, and to make sure we even liked living on a boat, we took a course called Fast Track to Cruising down in Ft. Myers, FL. The first two days you live on land and spend all day on 26 foot monohulls learning all the basics of sailing. It was quite grueling, but really educational, and my wife and I were the only people in the class so we got a lot of individual attention from the captain/instructor.

After that we spent the next five days living on and sailing a 47 foot catamaran. Once you get out into open water, the sailing part is really quite easy to get a hang of. Which is why our captain would have rather changed the course name to Fast Track to Docking. Out in open water, it is pretty hard to gently caress up your boat, or someone elseís boat. However, when you are in a marina guiding a 47 foot long, 27 foot wide, ten ton boat around a bunch of other boats you can do A LOT of damage. Therefore we spent most of our time on the catamaran repeatedly docking, picking up mooring balls, and driving the boat into really narrow marinas surrounded by multi-million dollar yachts. It was scary as hell, but probably the most important part of the whole course.

After we bought the boat, we hired another captain to take us down to Biscayne Bay for four days where we got familiar with all of the systems of the boat itself and well as doing a lot more practicing on various maneuvers. When we decided to do a straight shot from Ft Lauderdale to St Augustine (a 36 hour trip), we hired the same captain to come along with us and get us acquainted with overnight sailing and going far offshore (about 50 miles).

Since then weíve done almost all the sailing on our own and have gotten pretty confident/competent about the whole thing. Though we did hire a couple of crew when we did a straight shot from Edgewater up here, as it was a 70 hour trip and we didnít want to do it on our own.

"daggerdragon" posted:

What do you do for mail?
It varies. While we are up here in Nantucket we just have our mail sent to my father who lives on the island. After we leave we have it sent to his house in NY and he sends the important stuff to us every couple of weeks. When traveling around there are a few options. If you know you are going to be staying at a particular marina you can get stuff sent there and then pick it up when you arrive. If you only know that you are going to a particular town, then you can get mail sent to the local post office which will hold it for you until you arrive. Also, you tend to make a lot of friends doing this, and many times you can have mail sent to someone you know in an anchorage/marina you will be traveling to and they will hold it for you until you arrive. Weíve done this for other people already.

Finally, there are also mail services that you can use as you address and they will take all your mail, scan the outside of the envelopes, and e-mail the images to you. Then you can let them know whether you want them to shred something, open it and scan it then e-mail you that image, or have them forward the piece of mail to you wherever you may be. They can also help you get a driverís license in their town and I believe they will also register you to vote there. The most popular one of these companies is called St. Brendanís Isle

Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

Juanito posted:

So what do you plan on doing it once you're down in the Caribbean? Just move around constantly? What do you plan on doing with your time? Read, fish?

I'd get a metal detector, you could probably find some nice isolated beaches where people haven't done much detecting.
We donít have any set plans, which is really the only way to do the cruising thing. Being able to tell someone exactly where you will be on a given date is almost impossible. There could be weather issues, boat issues, or you just decide that you like a particular place/island so much that you are going to stay there a few more days/weeks.

We love meeting people wherever we go, so look forward to doing that. We also are particularly good at just hanging around the boat, reading and swimming and fishing all day long for days at a stretch. Having worked in publishing for over 13 years, I also know a lot of folks in the industry, and Iím going to start asking some of them to send me e-books and manuscripts that they think I may enjoy so Iíll have plenty of reading material for the trip.

Good call on the metal detector, I hadn't even thought about that. Time to do some research...

SlayVus
Jul 10, 2009


What do you do for internet? Do you watch television? What about movies?

Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

SlayVus posted:

What do you do for internet? Do you watch television? What about movies?

We have a wifi booster to try and pull in open networks, however most of the time the signal is too weak or the networks is protected. So we tend to rely mostly on our Verizon Mifi hotspot. It works great for regular Internet stuff, but streaming movies or shows gobbles up the data way too fast. Though we did make sure to allocate enough of the monthly data to watch Game of Thrones each week using my dads HBO Go login.

We have an amplified tv antenna halfway up the mast that does a great job at pulling in a lot of channels assuming there are over the air broadcasts nearby. Unfortunately, being on an island 30 miles from the mainland means we get nothing this summer. Luckily we can take the dinghy ashore and go to a bar if there is a baseball game we really want to see, and we will be doing the same when football starts.

Also, as part of the Garmin weather package we also signed up for Sirius XM, so we can listen to that through the stereo system on board.

Bishop
Aug 15, 2000


If you can get that far down into the Bahamas, I'd suggest Georgetown, which is in the Exumas, as a place to set up for winter. You can anchor in the area with dozens of other boats. There's a whole community of people that do it and it becomes its own social circle. Crossing the gulf stream is easier than it sounds as long as, like you said, you pick your weather right. It's your thread but if you have any questions about navigating the Bahamas or southern Florida waters feel free to PM me or post them in here.

Also as someone who has been boating their entire life (mostly power boats), let me assure you that countless unexpected costs will occur so budget for that, then double the number you come up with.

Slow Graffiti posted:

our captain would have rather changed the course name to Fast Track to Docking. Out in open water, it is pretty hard to gently caress up your boat, or someone elseís boat. However, when you are in a marina guiding a 47 foot long, 27 foot wide, ten ton boat around a bunch of other boats you can do A LOT of damage.
This is why the first rule of boating is: "Never approach a dock faster than you are willing to hit it."

Bishop fucked around with this message at Aug 17, 2013 around 19:33

Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

Bishop posted:

If you can get that far down into the Bahamas, I'd suggest Georgetown, which is in the Exumas, as a place to set up for winter. You can anchor in the area with dozens of other boats. There's a whole community of people that do it and it becomes its own social circle. Crossing the gulf stream is easier than it sounds as long as, like you said, you pick your weather right. It's your thread but if you have any questions about navigating the Bahamas or southern Florida waters feel free to PM me or post them in here.

Also as someone who has been boating their entire life (mostly power boats), let me assure you that countless unexpected costs will occur so budget for that, then double the number you come up with.
This is why the first rule of boating is: "Never approach a dock faster than you are willing to hit it."

Thanks! I may hit you up for some info as we get closer to heading out. We know some other cruisers that have spent a bunch of time hanging out in Georgetown so we are definitely going to go there. The plan now is to get as far down into the Exhumas for the early part of winter and then make our way up to the Abacos as the weather warms up and the winds die down a little. We spent last Christmas in Elbow Cay and it can get a little chilly there in December.

And boy do I know what you mean about repair costs. Luckily the previous owners left a bunch of spare parts, and I've been diligently teaching myself all about engine repair and electrical wiring. I quite enjoy it actually, and I enjoy not paying someone else to fix things even more!

Spenny
Oct 31, 2010



Slow Graffiti posted:

We have a wifi booster to try and pull in open networks, however most of the time the signal is too weak or the networks is protected. So we tend to rely mostly on our Verizon Mifi hotspot. It works great for regular Internet stuff, but streaming movies or shows gobbles up the data way too fast. Though we did make sure to allocate enough of the monthly data to watch Game of Thrones each week using my dads HBO Go login.

We have an amplified tv antenna halfway up the mast that does a great job at pulling in a lot of channels assuming there are over the air broadcasts nearby. Unfortunately, being on an island 30 miles from the mainland means we get nothing this summer. Luckily we can take the dinghy ashore and go to a bar if there is a baseball game we really want to see, and we will be doing the same when football starts.

Also, as part of the Garmin weather package we also signed up for Sirius XM, so we can listen to that through the stereo system on board.

Your thread's title is extremely misleading.

Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

swamp izzo posted:

Your thread's title is extremely misleading.

Well, I never said we wouldn't use the electromagnetic portion of grid every once in a while. And other than weather updates (and the occasional stop for fuel and pump outs), we don't actually rely on any outside services. They are just for entertainment. We still have no cable bill, utility bill, rent, property taxes, jobs to go to, or fixed address. I'd say that's pretty close to going off the grid in this day and age.

Slow Graffiti fucked around with this message at Aug 18, 2013 around 15:21

photomikey
Dec 30, 2012


IMHO, once you are pumping your own poo poo, you are off the grid in my book. WiFi or not.

DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

Roughly how much has this project cost in total, so far?

How do you intend to continue once your savings are depleted?

ohwandernearer
Jul 14, 2009


swamp izzo posted:

Your thread's title is extremely misleading.

If he's posting a thread about on SA, how far off the grid did you really expect him to be?

Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

DreadLlama posted:

Roughly how much has this project cost in total, so far?

How do you intend to continue once your savings are depleted?

Around $300k so far, though that included the boat purchase and some major repairs and upgrades. We are definitely warped from living in NYC, but that strikes me as a reasonable cost for a home. Of course there will always be unforeseen costs (as with all homes) but we hope that the costs will be a lot more tolerable now that the major outlays are taken care of. Also, catamarans tend to have a hefty premium over monohulls, and we know people who have moved aboard for a lot less.

We agreed to do this for at least two years before we gave ourselves the option of stopping. If we do decide to continue (and at this point it seems likely) we are going to make sure that we have revenue coming in rather than just going out. We have no desire to just deplete our savings to nothing. My wife has already picked up one web development job since we moved aboard and I'm hoping that all the repairs I've been doing will be help get me a job in the marine industry at least during the summers when we are in the States.

In other news, our home is now located in Cuttyhunk, MA. If only it weren't windy and overcast...

Lolcano Eruption
Oct 29, 2007
Volcano of LOL.

I would recommend putting netting on the railings around your cat for your cats, similar to how families do it for small children.

Mr Crucial
Oct 28, 2005
What's new pussycat?

Can you post some pictures of the interior of your boat? In particular, what are the bedroom and kitchen arrangements like? Would it be too much to ask for a diagram of the internal layout? 47 x 20ft seems like an awfully small amount of space!

paperchaseguy
Feb 21, 2002

THEY'RE GONNA SAY NO

http://www.multihull-maven.com/showimage.php?id=1013

For a sailboat, it's loving huge.

Timbo
Jun 18, 2005

He was just another drifter who broke the law!

I have sailed on a 60 ft cat before for 2 weeks and although it's an adjustmentt it was very cozy. You just have to be smart with your space and keep things clean.

What big items did you sell off from your apt?

How efficient is your gen-set ? How often do you fill up ?

We ran ours constantly for the AC unit so I imagine that could get costly quick.

Awesome thread !

Per
Feb 22, 2006


Slow Graffiti posted:

If you are more than three miles off shore (assuming it is not specially designated no discharge zone) you can just open up the valves and let the tanks drain right into the sea. If you are inside of the three mile limit this is a big no-no and the valves on the tanks must be closed and secured at all times. Otherwide you are risking a big fine.

Are pleasure crafts like yours subject to port state control inspections or something similar?

Also, you mentioned hiring crew. How much does that cost/what is their salary? Do you go through an agency?

Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

Sorry for not posting in a couple of days, but we are currently on Block Island visiting friends and we've been a little busy.


Lolcano Eruption posted:

I would recommend putting netting on the railings around your cat for your cats, similar to how families do it for small children.

We thought about this, but several people told us it might become a nightmare with regards to tangled lines. Also, because it is a catamaran you can't really close off the bow and stern like you can on monohull. Additionally, I can see our idiot cats jumping over it just to see what is one the other side.

Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

Mr Crucial posted:

Can you post some pictures of the interior of your boat? In particular, what are the bedroom and kitchen arrangements like? Would it be too much to ask for a diagram of the internal layout? 47 x 20ft seems like an awfully small amount of space!

This photo tour should give you a better feeling for the interior layout along with the link paperchaseguy posted:

http://summertimerolls.net/the-boat...mmertime-rolls/

If feels especially large for two people who've spent 14 years in NYC apartments. Plus the view is much better.

Heading back to the boat now, but I will answer the other posts shortly...

Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

Timbo posted:

I have sailed on a 60 ft cat before for 2 weeks and although it's an adjustmentt it was very cozy. You just have to be smart with your space and keep things clean.

What big items did you sell off from your apt?

How efficient is your gen-set ? How often do you fill up ?

We ran ours constantly for the AC unit so I imagine that could get costly quick.

Awesome thread !

Thanks! A lot of our furniture we ended up giving to my Dad, including our outdoor furniture, sofa, TV/entertainment center, speakers, etc. The one thing that made me sad was having to sell off most of my books. After being in publishing for over 13 years I had tons of books. But they just wouldn't be practical to hold onto. Though I did make sure to hold onto my Limited Edition signed leatherbound copy of Legends edited by Robert Silverberg. I'm hoping to use that to pay for some serious boat items in the future.

As for the gen-set, I am wondering about the efficiency myself. The fuel gauge for the generator tank is busted, and I've narrowed the problem down to the sensor in the tank itself, so I have to fix that somehow. It is a Westerbeke 7.6kw diesel and will charge the batteries at 120-125 amps/hr. I only wish I knew how much fuel it was sucking down to do so. I'm guessing it is somewhere around 1/2 gallon an hour. We have mostly just run it for charging up the batteries, but given the humidity/fog on Nantucket we do run it every once in a while to dry out the boat with the A/C. I'm hoping we don't become air conditioning hogs when we get down into the Bahamas/Caribbean, We probably top off the genset tank (which is 30 gallons) every 6 weeks or so, and that is usually only 15 gallons.

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Slow Graffiti
Feb 1, 2003

Born of Frustration

Per posted:

Are pleasure crafts like yours subject to port state control inspections or something similar?

Also, you mentioned hiring crew. How much does that cost/what is their salary? Do you go through an agency?

No, we aren't subject to inspections like commercial vessels are. However, like all other ships navigating US waters we can be boarded by the Coast Guard or ICE whenever they feel like it. No warrant/probable cause required. And if the Coast Guard finds that you have not properly secured your holding tank seacocks then you are screwed.

The going rate for hiring captains seems to be around $300 a day plus travel expenses. The guy we hired to get us acquainted with the boat and go from Ft. Lauderdale to St. Augustine was $300/day, but he said that if we hire him again we will get the "Friends & Family" discount of $200/day. The captain we used from Annapolis to Nantucket charged $400/day which I thought was a little steep. There may be an agency for these sorts of things, but like it usually goes in the marine industry we found both guys through word of mouth.

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