We Did it.We welcomed Olive into our family in October of 2019, and we could not be more excited. To say she fit into our slip like a glove is an understatement…And thank goodness she does!
This has been a long process, but we are very grateful for its outcome. Currently, we are in the process of giving her some much needed TLC, but we’ll check back in soon with some exciting topics.
Do you currently pay too much rent for too little space?
Are you unsatisfied with the mundane day-to-day lifestyle of apartment living?
These are but a few of the questions we answered “yes” to. While we’ve all heard and witnessed the “van life” movement, it just simply was not for us. I admit -Joey has been living on a boat for over 7 years, and opened my eyes to this peaceful, adventurous lifestyle. I would have it no other way. The quiet mornings, the proximity to water activities, and the cozy interior are a few things that I hold close to my heart.
After living on Joey’s 42ft Uniflite (You were a good one, Lindy Anne), we began looking for the next chapter. It was time for something just a little bigger, and most importantly, mechanically sound. Let it be known that boat shopping is one of the most entertaining, exciting and terrifying things you will ever experience. Let us ease some of your strain & pain by letting you in on a few things that will save you time and money while finding your new home.
5 TIPS YOU NEED BEFORE BUYING A LIVE-ABOARD BOAT
- Secure a slip before even thinking about purchasing your boat. Unless you’re one of the few people who have the courage and strength to live out at anchorage, you will want to have a place to put your boat (and eventually live). What could be worse then finding the perfect boat, and having nowhere to bring it? Be sure to research the ease of finding a slip, especially one that will allow live aboard. It’s important to note that some sought after marina’s have up to a 3 year wait-list for live-aboard status.
- Create a list of non-negotiable necessities. This can be a simple as narrowing it down to a sail boat vs. power boat, your maximum allowed length for your slip, or whether or not the boat already has a washer/dryer installed (Bonus tip: you’ll want it). We found this to be super helpful, as it made our search queries more specific, and weeded out a lot boats that wouldn’t have been a good fit.
- Brokerage vs. Direct from Owner. While most boats are listed on brokerage websites, there are still some legitimate finds you can make the old school way: Craigslist and Magazines. We actually found our favorite boats on Craigslist, and our chosen boat, via Latitude 38 Sailing Magazine. In our experience, the boats we found that were being sold directly by the owner were more suitable for living-aboard. The owners, who took more pride with regards to the condition of the boat, gave more attention to detail in the overall upkeep of the vessel. Lastly, there is a 10-15% commission brokers make off a sale, and guess who pays for that? Bingo- you do.
- Have a list of questions to ask the seller. This will save you so much time once you’re actually visiting potential boats. The sellers can talk your ear off to the point where you forget what you needed to ask. I’m talking everything from “Does the generator work” to “does the toilet flush properly”. Unless you are prepared to over-work yourself on projects, you will want to draw the line somewhere. Have no fear, though, you will still have a never-ending list of things to do, even if you buy a boat in tip top shape! That’s just part of the fun.
- Know your Red Flags. People will try to sell you anything, and we learned that the hard way. There are a few red flags that should make you grab your wallet and run the other way at full speed. These include the boat smelling like your holding tank (i.e. human waste), a severe amount of dry rot, un-salvageable leakage around the windows, deteriorating canvas (which can run you upwards of $15k for a full fly bridge canvas), or even too cheap of a listing price. I’m sure you can add to this list.
There is so much more we could chat about, but these were definitely some highlights. It’s crucial not to rush the process: It took us a good 6 months from start to finish, so patience is key. As Joey told me on day one: “You will know it’s the right boat when you step on and don’t want to get off.”
Ain’t that the truth.
If you lay awake at night dreading the idea accumulating clutter in your garage or painting large walls, boat life might be the one for you. Here are a few websites we recommend to start your journey:
- Ella, Joey & Olive @dockedonthebay