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Old 02-03-2017, 12:11 PM
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Default My bug out vehicle is a boat.



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My bug out vehicle is a boat.

Everyone seems to have somewhat of a plan for SHTF. Problem is it can hit the fan many ways. Murphy’s Law is it won’t be the way you expect. Most people I read about their preps are stocking food surpluses. Others are living off the grid or working their way there. I on the other hand at the age of 56 have already had property in the country, kids, farm land and don’t want to spend the rest of my life doing the same thing. So to kill multiple birds with one stone, my plan is to bug out on a boat in the direction of the Bahama Islands and sail. Sailing or boating in general going from port to port, marina to marina, Tiki bar to Tiki bar is not new to me as I have spent most of my life in Florida doing this since I was 15. It’s still about survival. I just like surviving with an umbrella drink in one hand and a fishing poll in the other while at anchor off the coast of the Virgin Islands.

Now to kill these birds with one stone. For one, it’s a great retirement plan and way of life regardless if SHTF or not. So investing time, money, and energy required with boat ownership of this magnitude, will happen anyway. (Some people are not boat people the same as some people are not swimming pool people). Then this is not for you. But if you have a spirit of adventure and love the water, you may have thought of this. My wife and I enjoy four-wheeling in our jeep, kayaking in fast water and being on our boat. Prepping on a large property requires discipline and hard work. I respect that and that’s why I read all these discussions. Same ideas apply to living on a boat. Just trade offs with mowing the grass verses polishing the brass. So this kind of prepping is different but I believe it is more survivable than a land based compound.

Another point is if nuclear detonations have occurred, there is nothing you can do if you’re at or near ground zero, so enjoy life and thanks for all the fish. But it can also happen with limited destruction. North Korea lights off one and the US makes a crater out of Kim jong un’s neighborhood. Limited exchange or an accidents of power plants can leave options. I have choose the Bahama Islands which leads into the Virgin Islands because the waters are shallow with lots of fishing grounds. The trade winds and currents push the air and water around Florida and north following the Gulf Stream. This takes fallout north of the Bahamas. This image shows the wind surface level flows around the world. If the nuclear event is worse, the general consensuses is south of the equator is more survivable than north. My target location is well underway to head in that direction if necessary. If not, I will stay at anchor and finish my umbrella drink.




Link= https://earth.nullschool.net/#curren...3.00,28.59,671


On a boat you don’t have room for stockpiling tons of food and supplies. Your food and supplies need to be within easy reach. So the area you sail in needs to be rich in a sustainable food and supplies. The shallow reefs in that area are rich in shrimp, lobster and every fish you can imagine. The locals will trade now and even after a SHIFT event. Trading from boating ports have been happening since before recorded history and will continue as long as we exist. I’ve worked in Thailand, Japan and Dominican Republic. Barter is a common way of life. So boat bug out prepping takes on a different mindset. One barter I have which is endless is that I am a PLC Electrical Controls System’s Engineer. (I can fix electrical systems on other boats). This can get you more than a case of Scotch.

Another scenario is the US economy falls apart and depression, marshal law and looting begins. A good reason to be out of Dodge. Money stays mostly stable if you have gold or silver. Best not to put all your eggs on the US dollar. But trade goods will always be physical tangible items such as fish, booze guns and ammo. Items being traded as I type this at many ports. Nothing new. Also as I’ve said; your skills go a long way. I’m a jack of all trades and master of many. I know a few people like this, I’ve hired them. These skills become gold when everything falls apart. If you’re not one, you want to have one around.

Currently the pictured sailboat is only my weekend getaway boat. On the Ohio River I don’t want to navigate with anything larger than this 26 foot Pearson. The boat I bug out in will be in Florida in about 5 years if everything holds out that long. If not, I have plan B and C which will still get me there. This Pearson has a forward cabin which sleeps my wife and I comfortable. The galley is small but functions for cooking and preparing meals. The head works and is private. It contains all we need just on a miniature scale. Something close to living in an RV except this floats. Every square inch has to be justified. This type of boat has crossed the Atlantic but my Florida boat will be three times the size. This just keeps our sea legs active and our boat prepping skills sharpened.

There are many tradeoffs and pros and cons with this compared to digging in on a property. Some people include bugging out in a vehicle to get to a property. I’m in the same boat. (Sorry). Currently I have to get to my boat or put it in the water. So my current plan is to bug in but I can trailer my existing boat to the coast (less than 12 hours). Always an option. My “A” plan is future based but to compare apples to apples, let’s say I’m already living on the 72 footer in a slip on the Florida coast.
So I am interested in other opinions or to add their pros and cons:

Pros:
1. Mobility to move from bad area to good area. If you don’t like your neighbor, move.
2. Mobility to escape without the need for roads. Even a mass escape will not block your passage.
3. Living a Jimmy Buffet lifestyle. And yes I am a pirate.
4. If you love to fish, there’s no better life. No telling what’s on the end of you hook in the ocean.
5. You likely own the boat so no house payments or property tax.
6. Options. You can sail, lie at anchor or put in at a slip. You choose your environment.
7. Change of surroundings? You can always put in at a spot where you can rent a house temporarily.
8. Exploration. Camping, hiking, biking in new places are always an option. (You can leave the boat). The boat is just your home. You can always have a home port and you can change that too.
9. Pet friendly. Our beagle is a perfect companion.
10. Socializing with others is always present as an option. There is always a party on someone’s boat.


Cons:
1. Hurricanes. Bad weather. You have to always be on your guard. Google Earth the amount of boats in the Caribbean. You will see this is not a deterrent for boat ownership in the Caribbean. There are options to move around the storms or weather them out in safe harbors.
2. Maintenance. Trade off with the maintenance of your home and property except your house does not sink if you don’t keep your hull in repair.
3. Pirates? No different than your home burglars or trespassers. Security is always a prepping concern no matter what the situation.
4. A meteor event impacting the ocean will cause a killing wave. That will suck for just not the boats. All coastal communities will be impacted as well. Besides, it can hit near you just as easy.

More pros than cons, I think my plan is solid. What do you think?
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Old 02-03-2017, 12:19 PM
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This is actually something I considered too but I decided on land in a rural area. I like the idea and if you can avoid pirates I think you'll be in good shape.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:30 PM
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Cons:
totally vulnerable from shore.
They can see you LONG before you have a chance to see them.
You have to come to shore sooner or later.
Even with pirates on your tail, the shore is not necessarily safe.
In open water, you can't hide.
There's always someone with a bigger boat.
There's always someone with a faster boat.
In short, and not really trying to rain on your parade, but it seems like a solution that brings its own new set of problems.



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Old 02-04-2017, 02:52 AM
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I'll give you a plus 1 on living on the boat idea. Perhaps keep a decent pair of bicycles aboar so you can cruise into town, do your shopping, and ride back out. I'd hate to see you go back to the dock and someone has decided to steal your boat. Then you're pretty much dead in the water..

To counter that problem, park your boat outside of a marina and take your little boat in for shopping. Leave yourself or your wife on that boat and make sure they're moving around from time to time so it doesn't look empty.

I would think with the food from the ocean, the only real thing you might have to go ashore for is fresh water. Then you can get by without it if you have a filtration system on board.

Also, definitely invest in some small wind turbines or solar power to keep your batteries charged. The more you can sail, the cheaper it'll be. Running the motor will require gas and a lot more maintenance than sewing up a rip in a sail.

Find a deck cannon like a blunderbuss just in case someone bigger and badder comes a calling. The right shot will stop him dead in the water but, then you best haul your tail a long way out of there. Go radio silent and don't give them any ideas which way you're going.

It's not as easy as pulling up anchor and heading out to distant horizons. Some of the ports you head for might not be to friendly after a SHTF event.

Everything you have will be there on that boat and it ain't bulletproof by far. Figure the best times of day or night to travel and get away from land when you decide to take a break.

If worse comes to worse, how are you going to make a break away from the boat?? Jey Skis would be my option.. Be nice to have a garage or something on the back of the boat you could launch right out of when it doesn't look like things are going the way you planned. That or a decent dinghy with as big a motor on it as you can use and afford.

Nice thing is, you'll more than likely see them coming from a long way off and have a chance to head off in the opposite direction.
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Old 02-04-2017, 07:52 AM
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Default Security at sea and anchor.

Lots of good comments.
Keep in mind my current sailboat is not my live aboard for the Caribbean. The target boat type is about 72 foot sailing yacht. Typical 3 cabins because you usually have a couple or two sharing the watch. Sometimes one is a security team. Depending on your location or function. Such as crossing the Atlantic requires 3 watches. So leaving the boat unattended will only happen based on our security needs.

I think it needs said that the intent is not to stay at sea and only come to shore for supplies. It's to live onboard sometimes at a marina, sometimes at a borrowed slip, sometimes at anchor and use the dingy to come ashore and sometimes at sea making a large crossing. In some places, kids will come out to your boat with food for money. I don't think it will change much if SHTF. There will be a need for increase of security.

If you do heave to, (stop and anchor), it's good to post a watch and the radar will detects boats within what you set it for and sounds an alarm to alert you for possible collisions. Your on even grounds if someone does sneak up in a small Zodiac, either the person on watch or the dog will know before they board and then you greet them with the appropriate arms.

As far as vulnerable from shore, good point. But that's assuming you are being hunted. Yes there is always a faster boat the same as there are always more people than what you have to protect your stuff. Your compound can be overrun if someone really wanted your stuff. Enough people and firepower can take a castle. But I choose these islands because the lifestyle that is happening now, I don't expect will change by much if SHTF in the USA, China, Korea or any country except for all out full exchange of nukes. Then like I said, Game Over. It won't matter where you are. I still will be the guy with an umbrella drink except I will be wearing sunblock SPF 2000 and not in a cellar with the door barred.

People will always want what you have and especially if they are hungry and you make it easy for them. There are tens of thousands of boats in the Caribbean Islands. There is not a need or reason to be attacked and singled out except for the normal thieves looking for an easy opportunity to steal from you. No different than your home.That's what alarms and security is for. Keep in mind, your not always alone. Boats are like a Harley club. Everyone communicates on UHF and generally watches out for eachother. I've helped and towed lots boats ashore that have run out of gas or engine problems. I've been towed a few times myself. The community of boats and marinas have a different mindset than a typical neighborhood. Safety in numbers when your at port and your seldom far from other boats in shipping lanes.

I think in a global crisis security will need to be increased and that is what prepping is about. In my scenario, it just requires different equipment. I don't think everyone will turn pirate just like I don't think everyone will turn zombie. But just in case, here's some pics of my target of a sailboat type and dingy. BTW the dingy is an military grade attack boat capable of speeds of 50 MPH. Used by law enforcement and the military. Pricy but my jeep cost twice that.
The boat is one of many types that cost used about the same as a average middle class home. (200-300K).



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Old 02-04-2017, 09:12 AM
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72' is no joke! what are you getting?

I haven't come across too much in the way of off-shore bugging out, though I have had similar thoughts.

The liveaboard lifestyle could be a great proving grounds for a nomadic SHTF situation.

In the best of times, water, weather and boat maintenance are top of mind...I can only imagine what it would look like in a WROL situation.

You'd definitely want to be established at a few ports and know how to make your own rum.
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Old 02-04-2017, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoFunDtuff View Post
72' is no joke! what are you getting?

I haven't come across too much in the way of off-shore bugging out, though I have had similar thoughts.

The liveaboard lifestyle could be a great proving grounds for a nomadic SHTF situation.

In the best of times, water, weather and boat maintenance are top of mind...I can only imagine what it would look like in a WROL situation.

You'd definitely want to be established at a few ports and know how to make your own rum.

The above picture is of a 1986 Lancer Yachts Lancer 72. It's only an example of the many choices out there. After I sell my three homes, I hope to get something close to it. I have some years to decide. BTW, we already brew our own beer.
Yes there is a lot of maintenance but retirement does not mean you stop working.
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Old 02-04-2017, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by RUN 4 IT View Post



https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...kJxbThRT1JCa1E


My bug out vehicle is a boat.

Everyone seems to have somewhat of a plan for SHTF. Problem is it can hit the fan many ways. Murphyís Law is it wonít be the way you expect. Most people I read about their preps are stocking food surpluses. Others are living off the grid or working their way there. I on the other hand at the age of 56 have already had property in the country, kids, farm land and donít want to spend the rest of my life doing the same thing. So to kill multiple birds with one stone, my plan is to bug out on a boat in the direction of the Bahama Islands and sail. Sailing or boating in general going from port to port, marina to marina, Tiki bar to Tiki bar is not new to me as I have spent most of my life in Florida doing this since I was 15. Itís still about survival. I just like surviving with an umbrella drink in one hand and a fishing poll in the other while at anchor off the coast of the Virgin Islands.

Now to kill these birds with one stone. For one, itís a great retirement plan and way of life regardless if SHTF or not. So investing time, money, and energy required with boat ownership of this magnitude, will happen anyway. (Some people are not boat people the same as some people are not swimming pool people). Then this is not for you. But if you have a spirit of adventure and love the water, you may have thought of this. My wife and I enjoy four-wheeling in our jeep, kayaking in fast water and being on our boat. Prepping on a large property requires discipline and hard work. I respect that and thatís why I read all these discussions. Same ideas apply to living on a boat. Just trade offs with mowing the grass verses polishing the brass. So this kind of prepping is different but I believe it is more survivable than a land based compound.

Another point is if nuclear detonations have occurred, there is nothing you can do if youíre at or near ground zero, so enjoy life and thanks for all the fish. But it can also happen with limited destruction. North Korea lights off one and the US makes a crater out of Kim jong unís neighborhood. Limited exchange or an accidents of power plants can leave options. I have choose the Bahama Islands which leads into the Virgin Islands because the waters are shallow with lots of fishing grounds. The trade winds and currents push the air and water around Florida and north following the Gulf Stream. This takes fallout north of the Bahamas. This image shows the wind surface level flows around the world. If the nuclear event is worse, the general consensuses is south of the equator is more survivable than north. My target location is well underway to head in that direction if necessary. If not, I will stay at anchor and finish my umbrella drink.




Link= https://earth.nullschool.net/#curren...3.00,28.59,671


On a boat you donít have room for stockpiling tons of food and supplies. Your food and supplies need to be within easy reach. So the area you sail in needs to be rich in a sustainable food and supplies. The shallow reefs in that area are rich in shrimp, lobster and every fish you can imagine. The locals will trade now and even after a SHIFT event. Trading from boating ports have been happening since before recorded history and will continue as long as we exist. Iíve worked in Thailand, Japan and Dominican Republic. Barter is a common way of life. So boat bug out prepping takes on a different mindset. One barter I have which is endless is that I am a PLC Electrical Controls Systemís Engineer. (I can fix electrical systems on other boats). This can get you more than a case of Scotch.

Another scenario is the US economy falls apart and depression, marshal law and looting begins. A good reason to be out of Dodge. Money stays mostly stable if you have gold or silver. Best not to put all your eggs on the US dollar. But trade goods will always be physical tangible items such as fish, booze guns and ammo. Items being traded as I type this at many ports. Nothing new. Also as Iíve said; your skills go a long way. Iím a jack of all trades and master of many. I know a few people like this, Iíve hired them. These skills become gold when everything falls apart. If youíre not one, you want to have one around.

Currently the pictured sailboat is only my weekend getaway boat. On the Ohio River I donít want to navigate with anything larger than this 26 foot Pearson. The boat I bug out in will be in Florida in about 5 years if everything holds out that long. If not, I have plan B and C which will still get me there. This Pearson has a forward cabin which sleeps my wife and I comfortable. The galley is small but functions for cooking and preparing meals. The head works and is private. It contains all we need just on a miniature scale. Something close to living in an RV except this floats. Every square inch has to be justified. This type of boat has crossed the Atlantic but my Florida boat will be three times the size. This just keeps our sea legs active and our boat prepping skills sharpened.

There are many tradeoffs and pros and cons with this compared to digging in on a property. Some people include bugging out in a vehicle to get to a property. Iím in the same boat. (Sorry). Currently I have to get to my boat or put it in the water. So my current plan is to bug in but I can trailer my existing boat to the coast (less than 12 hours). Always an option. My ďAĒ plan is future based but to compare apples to apples, letís say Iím already living on the 72 footer in a slip on the Florida coast.
So I am interested in other opinions or to add their pros and cons:

Pros:
1. Mobility to move from bad area to good area. If you donít like your neighbor, move.
2. Mobility to escape without the need for roads. Even a mass escape will not block your passage.
His will depend on the marina, harbor, and/or other factors of the location of the slip. If you are in a large harbor or in a moderate to large marina, you may have quite a bit of difficulty getting to the open sea. While you do not see it discussed much on very many prepper sites, a huge number of those with boats on the coasts are going to attempt to bug out by sea in bug-out situations. It could be almost as bad as a gridlocked interstate. And if it is a harbor that has major commercial ship traffic, you could wind up blocked by one of them if it is a narrow channel and your boat's draft is too much to go outside the channel. And to prevent 'panic' the government is very likely to block access in and out of the location. Pretty much a surety if Martial Law is declared.

3. Living a Jimmy Buffet lifestyle. And yes I am a pirate.
4. If you love to fish, thereís no better life. No telling whatís on the end of you hook in the ocean.
5. You likely own the boat so no house payments or property tax.
Some other costs can be pretty significant, including insurance, slip rental, marina fees, and such.

6. Options. You can sail, lie at anchor or put in at a slip. You choose your environment.
7. Change of surroundings? You can always put in at a spot where you can rent a house temporarily.
8. Exploration. Camping, hiking, biking in new places are always an option. (You can leave the boat). The boat is just your home. You can always have a home port and you can change that too.
9. Pet friendly. Our beagle is a perfect companion.
10. Socializing with others is always present as an option. There is always a party on someoneís boat.


Cons:
1. Hurricanes. Bad weather. You have to always be on your guard. Google Earth the amount of boats in the Caribbean. You will see this is not a deterrent for boat ownership in the Caribbean. There are options to move around the storms or weather them out in safe harbors.
2. Maintenance. Trade off with the maintenance of your home and property except your house does not sink if you donít keep your hull in repair.
Based on the costs of maintenance paid by people I know personally those costs are significantly higher than for even fairly expensive homes.

3. Pirates? No different than your home burglars or trespassers. Security is always a prepping concern no matter what the situation.
I believe piracy is significantly different than home burglars and trespassers. Even different from the types of people that will start preying on survivors in a major disaster and especially in the PAW. On the water, the tendency is to not have that restrictive feeling of the eyes and the ears, much less the long arm of the law being just over your shoulder. Crimes at sea tend to be very violent. And with the disintegration of society, at sea crimes will get much worse, very quickly, because other than fishing, there just is not much in the way of food sources, safe sheltering, gardening spots, and other requirements for survival along the coasts. Used to be, and still are in places. But not in the areas where most of the boaters are. I do think piracy can be dealt with effectively, is it is given consideration and plans are made to deal with it.

4. A meteor event impacting the ocean will cause a killing wave. That will suck for just not the boats. All coastal communities will be impacted as well. Besides, it can hit near you just as easy.

More pros than cons, I think my plan is solid. What do you think?
Another major Con, I believe, especially with the location in which you plan to spend much of the time now and later, are the extremely strict firearms restrictions, and more importantly, the punishments if caught. Getting caught with firearms, as well as quite a few other weapons in almost every jurisdiction in the Caribbean can cost you everything you have, including freedom, and sometimes even your life. Sure, you might get by with hiding things well enough for them not to be found now. But in the PAW, they will be looking much harder because they will want them for their own use. Bribes to look the other way might work now. But if they had rather have the weapons, then bribes will not work. They will just take that, too. And it will not matter if the 'officer' still has, or even ever did have authority, someone will be ready, willing and able to collect whatever fees, taxes, or fines they decide are appropriate.

Most of those in the area are well aware that their economies are based on tourism. And they will know that when tourism stops, they are going to suffer greatly. But you will still be 'a rich American' and you will 'owe' them. You will be a target, not just for what you have, but for what you represent.

Currency exchange could be a huge problem. Or, it might not. That area might be very quick to turn to gold and silver, as well as several barter items with which to do business, if you can do business at all. So, that is kind of a push situation.

But, even with what I have added, I do think the idea has merit. A great deal of merit, especially with the initial ideas in the OP.

I would suggest a few additional things be considered.

I think the ~70' is nearly ideal. However, if at all possible commission a build. Do not buy off the lot if at all possible. Build a prepper motorsailer. And a motorsailer, not just a sailboat with an auxiliary. You want to be able to maneuver very well, at a decent speed, without sails. Huge fuel tanks. Diesel, so you can use biodiesel when it becomes the only homemade fuel available in quantity.

By building, the appropriate provisions can be included to solve several problems already mentioned. Plus, much greater tankage can be incorporated, for the same reasons land preppers have large storage pantries and cisterns and such. And back ups. And spare parts. And...

Lots of other reasons. Major Con: Cost, of course. Perhaps time.

You have your own ideas already, I am sure. And have probably considered the prepping aspects already. But continue to look, thinking even more deeply about the prepping, including long term, as well as becoming stranded someplace that you do not plan to be as part of your plans. Stuff happens.

The second most important part of this idea is the planning. Not just the hardware. Standard operating procedures are going to be critical. As are plans to deal with several specific threats and situations. Also long term goals and how to meet them.

I am running out of internet time right now, so I will cut this off. If you are interested, I have quite a few more ideas on sea-based long term 'homesteading'.

Just my opinion.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:14 AM
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Yes Jerry, I am very interested. You have a lot of good points. Time is my friend and enemy.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:17 AM
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Jerry, The blocking access in and out of the harbors and marinas if Martial Law is declared, is a good point to discuss.

It will all depend on where you are if martial law is declared. SHTF can go so many ways with locations and reasons why. But marshal law can be predicted to what will happen to any given area, (in the US). But not so sure about the affect on other countries.

Our home port will be St Augustine FL. If martial law was to happen before we made it out of the bay, then there could be a lot of problems but problems shared with a hundreds of ships sharing the same idea. Harbors can be blocked with a mass exodus or by the Coast Guard which would take command. But I picture the Coast Guard having their hands full dealing with so many leaving. A pack of lions can get only so many zebras. (The slow ones). Then there's the Coast Guards reach up to the territorial limits between Florida and the Bahamas. I don't see the navy or CG turning everyone around. Makes for a good movie though.

Of course I would rather already be in the Caribbean. Once martial law is declared in the US, I would pull out of port and set sail with others before any official actions of the local government. The Commonwealth of the Bahamas have a very politically stable government. I bank on any US actions such as martial law to not immediately affect our egress out of the area.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:06 PM
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Finally got around to putting this together out of pieces from several of my other posts and information for myself. Been somewhat out of it, due to a serious infection in my right thigh. But getting back up to speed.

The following are my thoughts on using a boat as a BOV. A bit disjointed, I know. And some of it is very high end, and some a bit more than many would want to do, or even think might be necessary. But I do like options, to cover as many possible situations as possible.

So look it over, consider what you like, and just ignore the rest. I did not include explanations for some of the items and ideas, as the info was for me. If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Boat as a BOV

Much depends on the range you need for bugging out. If you are just going just out of sight of the coast, that is one thing. If you want to get to blue water and hang around out there between resupply stops, is something else.

A 26' 26M MacGreggor will do the first. With both 25mph motoring and 5 to 8 knot or more when under sail, you have a large number of options.

Off shore has the same basic needs, just longer range, more fuel, and more supplies. Say a 43' fiberglass motorsailer with transom standoff 300hp outboard up to a MacGreggor' 65' motorsailer, with a bit more emphasis on sailing capability than motor, though you want enough engine and fuel to move at least 10 or 12 knots or better, for significant range.

In either case, there are some factors that have to be dealt with. You will need safe havens to lay up for a time, preferably with refueling and re-stocking of food capability. (You should have adequate water makers on board). Somewhere to do a little maintenance, improvement, major cleaning, etc. These can be coastal or island or both.

You will need the ability to know as early as possible, and from the maximum distance, if you are being approached. And must be ready to make the decision to fight or flee. Personally, if I see something, and they are heading toward me, I'd make a radio call just to get a feel of who they are. If no answer, or something does not sound right, then put the throttle forward and head for the best place you know that will give you the best chance of winning a fight. It might be the open ocean, or a cove, or a harbor or something you only know about where you might be able to hide.

But, if you have anyone approaching that you are not comfortable with, the old shot across the bows will tell you if they are hostile or not. If they ignore it, or react to it badly, then you begin the fight. If they turn away or start talking, you can re-evaluate. But always be ready to fight.

And if you do need to fight, you need the best weapons you can get. Something that will punch through a fiberglass speed boat and take out an engine at 200 or 300 yards or more. Something in the .375 H&H magnum class or better, preferably a .338 Lapua or better. .416 Barrett, .50 BMG, or my preferred caliber, .408 Cheytac in a Vigilance VR-1 rifle.

As they get closer, rapid fire, large magazine capacity, high power rounds get poured at the boat, with someone harassing the helm, and everyone else going for the shooters.

If they still manage to get close, semi-auto 12 gauge shotguns with 9-round magazines are put into play.

I will let you decide if you want more than these US legal weapons. Taking any of them into any foreign port will probably get you jailed in a place where you have little hope of living, if the US is going through a catastrophe and no Embassy is open to help you.

It is doable, but you need the right equipment, the right attitude, the right supplies, and you definitely need a few places where you can hide, next to land.

For those that might want to head for the islands or cross the Atlantic or Pacific, cruise down and around Central and South America, I would prefer an 11-meters/36' motorsailer as a minimum, up to 40-meters/130í, equipped for prepping use.

Piracy in the PAW could be a problem, but I think it can be dealt with if plans are made and preps are gathered to deal with it.

One thing to consider is firearms possession in most foreign ports, and a few US ports, is highly illegal and can bring very harsh penalties. And this is not likely to change in the early days of a PAW event. So that can make things difficult if planning on international sailing.

You will need to know how to sail, and sail well under all conditions. Unless you have as much money as some of my characters in some of my stories, power only boats are going to be prohibitively expensive to operate, if they can be operated at all in the PAW. There simply will not be enough fuel unless you have several shore locations that can produce biodiesel. And even if you do, being able to transport the fuel and transfer it aboard could be a very dangerous operation if anyone finds out you are doing it.

But overall, a well equipped motorsailer, I believe, would be a good option to have if you live near or on a coastline, and have the skills and attitude to deal with the inherent dangers.

If possible, a craft of Monel 400 would be ideal. But very expensive. I am not too fond of aluminum as usually used. If not Monel 400, I think premium laid up fiberglass construction would be my second choice.

As it would be a motorsailer, as opposed as a sailboat with a basic auxiliary, the propulsion engine should be quite a bit larger than an auxiliary engine. Capable of actually cruising at 5 or 6 knots at least, and 10 to 12 is much better, with enough fuel on-board to go quite a ways, if needed. And if used to assist the sails, it would give a much better chance of leaving a dangerous area, or to get around some bad weather.

Some construction ideas/details - Fiberglass
Resin infused premium fiberglass construction w/watertight bulkheads, full buoyancy foam, full insulation foam in cabin

Vinylsester resin on alternating mat and woven roving w/fiberglass cloth finishes and bi-axial fabric w/epoxy resin in critical areas & reinforcements

Deck joint using outward flanges, with adhesive, 6" through bolt pattern, SS hardware and fiberglassed.

Discrete built and bonded to the hull egg crate bilge support, with limber and stringing holes, fully glassed in

Bulkheads and partitions tabbed and bonded to hull and deck w/bulkhead to decks buffered, radiused, filleted 3" tabbing

316L stainless steel rudder posts, Star-Board cored decks, stainless steel oversize backing plates for deck hardware, which are on plinths

Some construction ideas/details Ė Monel 400
Heavy weight Monel 400 hull(s)
Heavy weight Monel 400 bracing
Heavy weight Monel 400 fittings throughout
Oversize backing plates for deck hardware, which are on plinths
All tankage Monel 400

Some possible Prepper features for safety and longevity
Stealthy X-form hull & superstructure
Extensive food preservation facilities (drying/canning/freezing/freeze drying, etc.)
All-in-one washer/dryer units
Hatz Diesel engine converted ROKON 2-wheel-drive motorcycle w/trailer for shore use to explore, gather food & water

Extreme temperature package
Hull insulation
Exposed deck & bulkhead insulation
Triple glaze glass w/internal insulating curtains
High capacity HVAC system

Arctic package
Pilot house window defrosters/deicers
Hot water deck de-ice hose outlets
Cold weather deck clothing
Cold weather medical emergency equipment & supplies

Tropic package
Open deck cooling mist spray system
Heavy duty engine & equipment cooling systems
Hot weather deck clothing
Hot weather medical emergency equipment & supplies

CBRNE package
Radiation monitors
Chemical warning monitors
Bio-agent warning monitors
CBRNE filters on engine & equipment air intakes
Overpressure capable HVAC system w/CBRNE filters on makeup air intakes
Overpressure capable hatches, doors, windows & portholes
Permanent airlock type deck entry/exit
Stored fabric airlock conversions to be deployed when needed
External hull, deck & bulkhead wash down system
Internal shelter area
CBRNE protective deck clothing
Entry/exit area decontamination equipment & supplies
External hull, deck & bulkhead decontamination equipment & supplies

Basic ship details
A5 Ice rated round bilge double hull w/narrow waterline, broad deck, high freeboard, high bow, bilge ballast, bottom weighted swing up airfoil keel, large dual swing up airfoil canted rudders

Tall cutter rigged w/single line roller reefing/furling systems for main sail, 60% stay sail, 100% Jib, 330% asymmetrical spinnaker plus Sky-Sail system

Tall rig rotating ball bearing airfoil mast w/fold down steps, double spreader bars, rigged for outhaul, downhaul & bosun's chair

Boom vang, Boomkicker vang, Wichard Gyb'Easy boom brake, and topping lift

Tall narrow form single line roller reefing/furling sails: main, stay, jib, oversize cruising asymmetrical spinniker w/spare set

Halyards aft to cockpit, colored for different functions, and rigged for single handled sailing from cockpit, on vertical self-tailing windlasses

Aqua Signal LED navigation lights, bow light, stern light, combo masthead/anchor light, mast/fore deck light, stern all-around light
LED spreader bar, docking, underwater, deck, cabin, and cockpit lighting with Xenon spotlights
Wide side decks w/hand rails, double safety lines on stanchions, Mystic fold up ladders, Forespar Nova Lifts

T/cross-shaped cockpit, see-through hard top dodger/bimini, full soft enclosure

Touchscreen chart plotter MFD based full navigation system w/dual radar, dual sensor sounder, AIS, etc.

HF/SSB radio, standard & AIS VHF radios, hailer/intercom, CB radio, WiFi, cellular, w/max length antennas

Cabin hatchway w/high sill, bridge step, swinging hatch doors w/windows & screens, and railed cabin ladder

Cockpit has center line transom door, multiple large rectangular deck level scuppers, manual bilge pump plumbed to bilge strainer

4' Ė 8í long, broad tapered bowsprit/pulpit w/full rail system and floor decking for rigging and anchors

Swim platform, braced from transom corners w/folding steps for access to outboard, with clearance for dual swing up rudders, stand-offs for kicker outboards

Radar Arch/dingy davits w/6hp diesel outboard dingy, radars, 1,200w solar panels, 2x 400w wind generator, all-around light, life ring, MOB unit

2x customized canister mount Switlick SAR-6 6-person blue water life raft w/sewn in insulated floor w/standard raft features & customized equipment

2 bow & 1 stern Rocna SS anchors, bow parachute & stern drogue, Suncor SS anchor chain & swivels, Samson & New England Rope anchor lines

QuickLine Ultra dual roller articulating self-launchers for all anchors, with Quickline chain stopper, snubber bridle snubber, trip hook

Vertical self-tailing windlasses for all anchors/drouges w/hawse pipes & individual high capacity chain lockers

AnchorRescue, Anchor Witch, Anchor Ring, trip line w/float, and trip hook anchor recovery systems

Some Cabin details
Cabin w/stand up headroom, rectangular portholes, 1 Ė 3 cabins w/pullman berths, plus dinette double berth, settee berth, QD sea berth

Galley w/SS sink, kerosene cook top, stove top oven, water cooled ASU refrigerator & freezer, countertop clear ice ice maker

Wet heads w/electric toilet with fresh/seawater flush, inset shower system, exhaust blower

Some below decks details
12v AC/reverse cycle water based Heater/Air conditioner, dual Kerosene space heaters & Kerosene water heater w/day tanks

Removable floor panel fasteners w/all storage areas coated for smoothness, triple automatic bilge pumps & blowers w/alarms & controls

Below deck 2x waste treatment system tank, & 2x keel mount holding tanks with integral pump (1 gray & 1 black water)

Keel mount tanks: 5x large diesel tanks; 2x large kerosene tanks w/transfer pump; 3x large water tanks; all with deck fills & vents

All seacocks w/capped T'd in stand pipes above the water line for cleaning

All items using raw water have separate sub-flush mount intakes, oversize w/dual easy clean strainers

All raw water systems have plumbed in fresh water wash down/winterizing system w/internal tank and external fresh water connections

Engineering section:
Engine/primary pump/primary generator room
Auxiliary generator/auxiliary pump room
Repair/maintenance shop area w/metal & wood working tools
Parts case w/refills & maintenance items
Parts case w/repair & replacement parts
Tool boxes w/tools

Propulsion system
Good size diesel engine, suitable for reasonable cruise speed if needed
Stealthy water-cooled, water-surface engine exhausts

25hp Ė 200hp diesel outboard kicker on stern stand-off mount, Non-electronic small outboard kicker

Bow & stern thrusters, with contoured & faired tubes, independent dual batteries for each, and integrated controller

Electrical Power system:
Blue Sea System multi-source 12vDC/120vAC/240vAC electrical system
Xantrex complete marine inverter/charger/controller system w/3 Surrette 12v battery banks

Dual electric start, remote fuel 120v/240v diesel generators & Smart Plug 50 amp shore service w/isolation transformer
120v/240v AC & 12v DC generators on propulsion engine

Fresh water system
Pressure water system w/twin pressure pumps, filters, 3x water makers, raw water intakes, shore pressure connections, winterizing system

Fresh water pump for wash down, sea water inlets & pumps for water makers, toilet, AC/heat, fridge & freezer, wash down


Just my opinion.
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Old 02-11-2017, 04:13 PM
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Jerry,
I too just got back from traveling and just read your post. Sorry to hear about the infection. Hope all goes well. I just had the cast taken off of my ankle. Broke it last month when we had ice on the ground. A full somersault on ice broke it and has had me fighting to get around. Had to go to Baltimore last week on a project and it was all I could do to limp through the airports and get the job done. At 57 things don't bounce back like they use to.

You have given me a lot to digest, (food for thought). The one thing you keep mentioning and will cause me to think out side the box for a solution is the carrying of firearms necessary for self protection on the boat. I have had quite a few classes for my captains license with three old-school captains with different opinions on this. Hiding a couple of Glocks and a 308 rifle is difficult. The ammo takes up a lot of space and is a dead giveaway that guns are also on board.
I don't believe it is impossible to build a hiding place for everything but it is risky. I spent a lot of years at Universal Studios programming their rides and shows so I have an imagination and can see some custom modification to the hull my be required. But it may also be a good idea not not bring guns in to ports where the laws are strict. Of course the ability to stash your weapons and ammo brings on a challenge. Maybe on the seafloor in a watertight container with the GPS concordance recorded?

In territorial waters you will get boarded by local patrols for standard safety, drugs and weapons search. But in a SHTF event, weapons I think will be the main focus. My captain friends have had good luck with keeping Play Boys stacked in the cabin later to offer up the patrol. Works sometimes and the search is quick. I have not gone through a full search at a foreign port but can imagine it's thorough.

A lot does depend on where the port is and if there is some type of event that has everyone on alert. I still don't see a lot of difference in the way near by countries will operate if the USA goes under martial law or grid down. Maybe increased border security. The Caribbean is plan A with options to go south into the Virgin Islands.
But if all goes well, SHTF or not, our plan B is to cross the Atlantic to the island Majorca off the coast of Spain. It will all depend on the world status in 5 to 7 years.

My budget limits will not let me build from scratch but I can refit an older yacht and customize it to my needs. I like to have a balance of both a motor and a sailing boat but I believe the old saying is "A boat designed to sail efficiently and to motor efficiently does neither". Speed is great but face it, a cigarette boat chasing you at 140 MPH can be on you fast. That's when I raise the CDC infected flag and come out with oatmeal all over our faces spitting out green Kool Aid. Would you board?
So I want a more efficient sailing boat than motor yacht. I can depend more on the wind than a supply of fuel.

BTW... I am honored to be getting advise from a author of so many published works. I will read one when I finish the one I'm on now. "The Perseid Collapse".
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:26 PM
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Thank you.

I agree that if you think outside the box a bit, you will be able to not only be able to carry weapons on board well enough for most situations, but will be able to stash them when necessary. My thought has also been to have a couple of 200' depth worthy (or more) containers that will protect weapons and ammunition. Placing them at different spots, that can be absolutely reliably located, with an appropriately colored and sized float on a line just long enough to keep the float below the surface of the water deep enough that it cannot be seen from the surface, should keep them from being found.

With the case on the bottom, and a float slim enough that it will not reflect sonar very well, even a naval ship might not be able to find them. Magnetic detection might find them, but that is unlikely, I think.

There are several options for recovery, including a couple of fairly high speed ones. There are various ways to release a long line with a larger float, or to extend the line with the slim line float, or to release another float from just below the slim line one, so an easy to see and locate retrieval float will be on the surface. Radio or sonic triggers. Even some mechanical time release triggers could be used. Or a wide hook rake could be towed to catch the slim line float. With the float kept underwater with enough flotation, it will tend to stay in place without drifting much, unless the container is really deep and place in a current.

I do agree that a motorsailer is a compromise, but there are designs out there that do a decent job. Primarily sailors, but with a hull design that a decent size engine can propel at 4 to 6 knots fairly easily. Nothing except another power boat is going to be able to escape any kind of power boat that has any speed at all. That takes being able to go places where they cannot, or the wiles to be able to evade and hide quickly. And the ability to fool them enough that with the correct defense and attack strategies you can surprise them and defeat them quickly, with minimal risk to you and crew.

Armored engine room, fuel tanks, helm, and non-combatant hiding area, plus a couple of armored fighting positions will make dealing with them much easier and safer. Sand and sandbags go a long way in providing that protection without too much weight penalty, and the ability to dismantle them to disguise the fact that you actually do have armored areas on the ship.

Just a few more ideas, and just my opinion.
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Jerry D Young View Post
Thank you.
Armored engine room, fuel tanks, helm, and non-combatant hiding area, plus a couple of armored fighting positions will make dealing with them much easier and safer. Sand and sandbags go a long way in providing that protection without too much weight penalty, and the ability to dismantle them to disguise the fact that you actually do have armored areas on the ship.
Just a few more ideas, and just my opinion.
An armored position for shooting is a great idea. What I like about it is it does not matter if the world has gone to crap or not, it is practical and usable now for general sailing safety and especially if attacked for any reason, Pre or post-apocalyptic. I’m thinking about the use of Kevlar worked in fiberglass over plywood to disguise it as a forward storage area for an inflatable or other supplies. Forward so it’s away from the engine and crew during an escape and evade drill. Expensive but I would only need it to cover a prone position delivering long or short range engagements. This fortified position would also draw most fire because their priority is to take out the shooter.

The light weight Kevlar embedded in a facade of fiberglass bulkhead has got me excited. I will start the engineering of thicknesses, calibers, distances and materials that can help take the kinetic energy out of the projectiles. This reminds me of Clive Cussler’s Oregon Files. Have you read it? The Oregon is a battle ship disguised as an old freighter. They have a special effect shop and makeup department along with moon pool for their submarine. Their use of psychology, miss-direction and special effects has some good ideas that can apply here.

I’m glad you agree with the idea of utilizing a waterproof container to stash a cache of weapons and ammo on the sea floor. I personally don’t know anyone that has done this but I see it as a very useful strategy for temporary storing weapons while in port. I have done a little research on containers rated for 200 foot depths and have come up empty. It seems everyone holds their cards tight to their chest when providing containers with this ability. O-ring compression and container structures seem to be a patented field generally for ROV’s and camera housing. I have plenty of time to find or build one. The research and engineering is part of the fun of the journey.

John Cabrillo
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:49 AM
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Great idea there to live on 72 footer. TBH I also love the idea of living on a boat, they are comfortable (at least for my taste) and the best of all is just like you said earlier it's the mobility
I just wish I could afford any boat of that size, and with 72 footer you could stash enough supply and still live comfortably.

BTW you might wanna have extra manual / pump operated Reverse Osmosis system there too.
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:33 AM
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Pros: Lot's
Cons: There isn't enough Dramamine or Meclizine in the world

With the proper gear for catching food, and converting salt water into potable water, you could live on a boat for years. I've considered this many times before...
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Old 02-24-2017, 08:37 AM
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Granted a 72 foot sailing yacht is a large expense and I could not come close to affording a new one. But an older one that needs some renovating can cost around 150,000. Basically trading the cost of most average homes for a live aboard boat.

I am targeting to retire in 5 years or more with at least twice that so I can have a little invested is supporting our trips. I will still work except for trade and cash on other boats.

The point is prepping is just different and skills and equipment will save our lives. With or without a SHTF event. Because every day is a potentiate disaster if you let your guard down. We all make choices. This is ours.
Old 03-01-2017, 05:50 PM
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I know some people who live in boats and they love it, but you have to love it. A boat is a small place, and when you're at sea, there's nothing much to do. Sure, it's nice for a week-end on a summer vacation, but I couldn't do it for a longer period of time. I'll get bored.

Having fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner may also get boring after a while. Drinking water would also be a major issue, you'll need to come ashore regularly, so... Unless you're a sailor who really loves the sea, a boat should not be more than a BO vehicle. A tool to take you from one place to another, not a safe retreat.
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:52 AM
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I know some people who live in boats and they love it, but you have to love it. A boat is a small place, and when you're at sea, there's nothing much to do. Sure, it's nice for a week-end on a summer vacation, but I couldn't do it for a longer period of time. I'll get bored.

Having fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner may also get boring after a while. Drinking water would also be a major issue, you'll need to come ashore regularly, so... Unless you're a sailor who really loves the sea, a boat should not be more than a BO vehicle. A tool to take you from one place to another, not a safe retreat.

There are plenty of people that will agree with you. Not everyone is a sailor. Not everyone would be happy living on a boat. But there are plenty of people that do and I am one of them. It helps that I am from Florida and have lived on and off of boats and RV's. I lived in a RV for three years and loved it. I came from a 3000 square foot home to a 40 foot RV after a divorce but learned to love it.
You have to give up all that space you tend to fill up with things that are not important but you have space so you fill it up. On a boat or RV, every square inch needs to be justified for what items fill it up. Not just that but a love of the sea and a type of gypsy is required for this lifestyle. It's a good thing gypsy's run in my family.
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Old 03-03-2017, 06:19 PM
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All right, if you're a sailor, everything's fine. RV's are very different in my mind. I've lived in a van for a few weeks, and it was small, very, very small, but I always had the option of parking it and going out for a walk. When you're on a boat surrounded by water, well, that's not possible.

Another issue which nobody has talked about yet, are dockage rates. I'm a small town guy, so I'm used to free parking, whereas dockage rates can be expensive if you have a large boat.
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