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Old 04-21-2010, 04:23 AM
mr_nice_guy228 mr_nice_guy228 is offline
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Default SHTF: Life aboard a boat, before and after?



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Alright so I was sitting around weighing my options on a reasonably affordable way to live while searching for work, and of course the usual options came up,e.g. [Camping, Living in a vehicle/camper combo or RV, studio apartment type deal] as well as boats, both motor and sail.

I've been wanting to temporarily live by the ocean, and would really love to be able to fish it and enjoy it, instead of having to slave all day every day, 5 or 6 days a week to be able to live there. So I got to looking around at mooring a boat at a marina, and it's at least 1/3, possibly 1/4 of the price of just the rent on a land-based "home". Simple living at it's best perhaps?
And if SHTF on a medium to large scale, you're portable.

Now here's an idea, just on paper so far.
23 to 26' Sailboat, with a cabin that will sleep 2, perhaps 3 if need-be. Needs toiletries of some sort, and a stove of some sort. Single burner is fine.
VHF radio, GPS, Depth finder (Fish finder with depth?).
Bank of batteries, Solar panels with charge controller.
LED low power lighting.
Bicycle for getting around.
Kayak for shallow freshwater fishing (10 footer?)

And of course, storage for food, seeds, and important tools for living even farther offgrid.

That, my friends, is an extremely obtainable goal, and it seems very logical. A lot of people are living aboard now, and traveling the coast in their off time. Some even travel to the Caribbean.
Best of all, post-SHTF, or during fuel crisis of some sort, you don't rely on very much fuel. Just for your outboard to dock, and that's just a luxury.

The figures are purchase price of boat plus general repairs and equipment, which would be spent either way be it a camper, van, or whatever. Mooring fee for a smaller boat of between 200 and 500 a month, figure 350 as a good guestimate.Insurance if required by marina, And whatever is spent weekly on foods. Talk about downsizing a budget, eh?
Don't need all the fanciest things to be happy in life, just have to learn to be happy with what you've got, and to enjoy it.

I forgot most of what I actually had wanted to discuss, so I'll chime in after a couple replies when I remember. I think I'm up too late!
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_nice_guy228 View Post
Kayak for shallow freshwater fishing (10 footer?)
I would say 12 foot minimum.
The extra length really helps with tracking a straight line.
Old 04-21-2010, 01:15 PM
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This is the one I'd get: http://www.macgregor26.com/
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:48 PM
mr_nice_guy228 mr_nice_guy228 is offline
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Originally Posted by Jerry D Young View Post
This is the one I'd get: http://www.macgregor26.com/
Those are indeed nice, but the only way I'll be able to get a boat and stay debt free is get an older used boat, in good condition that needs either minimal or no work.

What are some other things someone might recommend?
Looking for some input from other users about any flaws in my plan, and perhaps what I should change or look into.

Posted from a Blackberry Bold.*
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:52 PM
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if you stay at 30' or smaller moorage is much easier to get. anything under 40 can be single handed without too much trouble depending on the type of rig. diesel is better than gas, some people prefer no engine or a outboard because of the extra interiour space. have it looked at by a professional before you by. everyone should read The Self Sufficient Sailor by Lin and Larry Pardey even if you never plan on stepping foot on boat. it is full of really good ideas about simple living. mine is a 34' Cal which will do everything i need with room for several people if needed.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:05 PM
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This was actually one of my first SHTF plans years ago, as it is very viable. However the wife is deathly afraid of deep water (although she won't admit it), especially in anything smaller than a cruise ship.

Good luck and I hope your plans work out!
Old 04-21-2010, 08:10 PM
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lived on a boat for 2 months-48 bertram-24/7 guiding offshore fishing and scuba trips,it gets old with all the rocking and no dry land.for shtf situations if there is a bad storm you have to get out of where you are moored-sometimes quickly!
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:10 PM
mr_nice_guy228 mr_nice_guy228 is offline
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lived on a boat for 2 months-48 bertram-24/7 guiding offshore fishing and scuba trips,it gets old with all the rocking and no dry land.for shtf situations if there is a bad storm you have to get out of where you are moored-sometimes quickly!
Indeed on the getting out if there's a storm coming in, but that's the joy of boating over say buying a camper and paying for a spot at the campgrounds to live in. It's a lot easier, and cheaper to move out if you need to.
And if there's a gridlock, there's not much "grid" out there in the seas, unless you're talking about the USCG.

About 28' is probably my limit, and I'm thinking more and more on a 23' with a porta-potty type toilet instead of a black water type sewage system. Just go empty it in a public restroom, avoids having to have your waste water pumped out.
Smaller boats are a plus so I can tow it, if I change my mind or something comes up and I have to abandon the area. Basically, it's not a bad investment because even if I didn't stay permanently at the beach, I could still trailer it to the lake for some enjoyment.

A motorboat is a bad idea, at least for me, because I've got a jetski I can't afford to run because it drinks so much gas every time you take it to the lake. Figure 10-15 gallons if you're just cruising per outing. So no recommendations of powerboats accepted.
The whole idea is a shift to frugal living. (Got any more tips you could add?)

[Edit]
http://olyblog.net/living-aboard-23-sailboat Forgot to add that link, and since I'm editing, I might as well link to a random boat just for examples sake. http://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/16828

Last edited by mr_nice_guy228; 04-21-2010 at 10:12 PM.. Reason: Added a link.
Old 05-19-2010, 03:01 PM
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It kinda comes down to what you can tow. 23ft might be little small for how you plan to use it. Not likely to have much of a cabin. There are a lot of 27 footers that have a cabin with headroom and the facilites your looking for plus are also seaworthy. Agan it comes down to what you can tow. Hunter,columbia, irwin, ect made some good sailboats in that range. Take a look at an older Hunter 27 built in the 80's. If the boat doesn't sail well and the living condition are to cramped it won't be long before the marina fee/upkeep cost won't seem worth it.
Old 05-21-2010, 02:50 AM
shibbershabber shibbershabber is offline
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I would suggest a sailboat, and only a sailboat for SHTF considerations.

Of course you will want an engine as well... but powerboats just use far too much fuel to be viable in todays economy, not to mention SHTf!

My family and I live on a sailboat, full time. We are new to it, but it has been one of the best decisions of my life. As a well armed prepper, I was nervous about it when I had to sell my house. We had hoped to score some acreage, but when it became clear that we werent going to have that kind of money. We decided that we could still live self-sufficiently as well as live small.

So, the four of us now live onboard a Newport 30 Sailboat. It has everything we need, and if necessary, we could be self sufficient for quite a while. Our engine is a 2 cylinder diesel, it uses .5/gal per hour. We have a propane stove/oven which under normal conditions will last over a month on full tanks. There is a bank of batteries which is charged by the engine, and shore power. We hope to add solar or wind generators in the near future. As well as convert to LED bulbs for more energy conservation.

IMO the sailboat is the ultimate SHTF setup. A well stocked boat can go for months without needing civilization, depending on the size of your crew.

check out, www.cruisersforum.com there are many posts the cover life aboard and extended 'cruising'... which if you think about it, is what you would face come SHTF.

IMO, it beats the hell out of the 'head for the hills' type scenarios.
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Old 05-21-2010, 03:46 AM
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Is there a way to rent one and try it out first before you sink your money into it? I think boats are a lot more money for upkeep and mooring than motor homes et al. In this economy, though, it would be considered a luxury item so might sell for less now than in a better economy.
Old 05-21-2010, 06:40 AM
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You're going to want something bigger than 23-26', especially if you expect more than one person to live on it.

You're going to want something bigger than 23-26' if you expect to actually store food, water, and repair parts on board for anything more than a few weeks.

You're going to want something bigger than 23-26', if you intend to take it offshore in a SHTF event, with more than just yourself, and enough food to feed yourself and your crew.

You can find good sail boats for less than $15k any day. I suggest full or modified full keel, good non-cored hull, good non-leaking deck, a good rig, and a repairable engine.

I lived and traveled on sailboats for more than 12 years. I have done small to large, and have been through several hurricanes on them. Too small of a boat, and you are asking for trouble; too big and your expenses get too high.

FYI: You can anchor out for free and use a dingy to get to shore. I did this for 9 of the 12 years, and it saved a ton of cash.
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:03 AM
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Having lived aboard for 5 years with a wife and two teens, I think you have a good idea. If my spouse were not a total lubber I would still be on the water. Unfortunately for me she is a candlestick sailor. The main recommendation I have for you if you choose to live-aboard full-time, is to simplify your life. Unless you are L. Ron Hubbard and can afford a converted freighter for a live-aboard, space will be at a premium. The fewer 'things' you need to live and enjoy life, the better. One common definition of a boat is "a hole in the water into which you pour money". The simpler the boat, the easier they are to repair, thusly the cheaper they are to repair. And they will need repairs. The ocean is a corrosive and hazardous place that is in constant motion. It will eat you if you give it half a chance. Learn navigation using non-electronic methods. Believe the charts when they say "Local knowledge required".

My sailboat, a Cascade 29, was rigged for racing and was not a single-hander by any means. Keep the rig simple enough that one person can do what is required. Then have a backup for every part of the rig. Murphy, of Murphy's Law, was a sailor.

Fresh water will be a concern for you, especially post-SHTF. Look into the many options for producing/collecting water. Currently, toilet waste is a major concern and some areas are positively Nazi about what they will allow. No argument with any of it, just something for you to keep in mind. Doubt if any of that would be a major concern post-SHTF due mainly to the reduced numbers on the water.

I wish you good fortune and fair winds.
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:14 AM
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Does anyone sell ethanol converted boat motors? Or kits to convert your existing engine? It seems that would be ideal for extended SHTF environments. Then you could run your motors off your own moonshine!
Old 05-21-2010, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy View Post
lived on a boat for 2 months-48 bertram-24/7 guiding offshore fishing and scuba trips,it gets old with all the rocking and no dry land.for shtf situations if there is a bad storm you have to get out of where you are moored-sometimes quickly!
Ah flyboy, that constant rocking is one of the things I miss most about living aboard. I guess its not for everyones taste, but I found it very comforting. After the first year, I could tell what was happening around the boat, just by the way it moved. I was never good at riding horses because I just couldnt get that connection, but almost from the first day on a sailboat it was there.

And just for the record, dryland and boats dont do well together. Most of my nightmares from that time involved large leeward rocks.

Just goes to show that one mans meat is another mans poison.
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:48 AM
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I HERE THE GULF OF MEXICO IS NICE THIS TIME OF YEAR
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Old 05-21-2010, 03:34 PM
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I will also add, do not get a wood boat... sure, a decent sized boat can be had at a good price, but the maintenance on a wooden boat and the consequences of a unmaintained wooden boat are major.

As someone once said, "owning a wooden boat is like standing in a cold shower, tearing up $100 bills."

A solid fiberglass hull is the way to go. My boat hadnt had a bottom paint job for 8 years, and there was only very minor blistering. But then again, this was in the Columbia River where it is pretty cold, and isnt salt water.

Keep it between 30-40ft, probably no less than a 10k pound displacement.

Unless you have a lot of money, I would reccomend living aboard since you will have maintenance and other related costs just to set it up for SHTF mode... Consider that you will likely have to upgrade some electronics, maybe upgrade some plumbing and electrical... even if you do the work yourself, you could be spending thousands.

But if you see the boat as your home, bugout vehicle and bugout location in one. It will make sense to spend the money on it, consider the money that you spend on maintenance, insurance, higher utility bills, etc on your land-based home... the boat isnt too expensive in comparison.

My cost of living went down by $1500/month when i moved aboard. Think about it, no more $100+ power bills, $150 water bills, $50 garbage bills, etc. I spend $320/mo for my slip that includes water, garbage, parking, oil disposal, free holding tank pump out, wireless internet too. My power bill for one month was only $50 and that was while running an electric heater for about 8+ hrs daily. We dont miss the house at all.

I cant say enough about living aboard!
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:41 AM
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Having lived on a boat for several years as a Live-Aboard, that 26 footer would be the minimum I would suggest and thats if there are shower facilites at the marina dock. I would really recommend something as accommodating as a 30 ft Catalina or better. Look with an eye towards lots of storage space!!! Its at a premium on a boat when you are living on it...you cant possibly have enough of it! Stay away from canned goods for food storage. Its increadibly heavy and I dont care where you put it it will eventually end up rusting and being of no use when you reach for it. You need a boat with a Frige/Feezer, not a cold box. A cold Box is great for the week end but its not going to cut it if your living on the boat. I would also put it on a timmer so that it doesnt run 24/7 to conserve electricity.

Yes the Marina will want insurance, usually with liability limits at a minimum of 500K. Your fuel on your boat will have a profound effect on the cost of insurance, desiel being considerably cheaper to ensure. Live Aboard is a dirty word to insurance companys, most will not insure you or will refuse to pay a claim if you are a LA and they find out.

Yes I too will recommend a 12 foot or better Kayak for much of the same reasons DakotaS did. In fact depending on "how big a boy are you" I would look at something like a Prowler/Trident 13 or 15.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:40 AM
mr_nice_guy228 mr_nice_guy228 is offline
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Well as an update.
I've got my eye on two different boats.
A MacGreggor 26' for $5000, and a San Juan 21 for $1250. Trailers included.

The whole gulf oil spill kind of changed my plans about going there this season. I guess I'll end up staying somewhere closer.
To address a few suggestions.. Small boats are fine, it's only going to be me. Small boats are actually better because a single person can sail them.
A requirement for me is a trailerable boat. I'd prefer not to have to get oversized load permits to tow it wherever I'm headed.
My body size is 6', ballpark of 105-115lb's. A small boat won't be any more cramped than a small tent, especially when used in the same manner!
I don't need a fridge.. If it needs to be chilled or frozen, it's not really survival-geared food is it?

Well I'm busy trying to sell my Volkswagen beetles, and my motorcycles. Depending on what I sell, will determine which of the two boats I'll end up with.
Think of it as a floating tent. Easy cheap living, and if I stay in the waterways of south Alabama I won't have to worry about mooring fee's, just find myself a cove somewhere and anchor for the evening.
Old 04-16-2013, 01:59 PM
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Default No hunter, No McGreggor

Just for the record, neither a MacGregor nor a Hunter are good choices for a survivalist. You are far better off with an older larger morgan, alden, C&C or Tartan. Hunters are "better" than macgreggors in the fact that they are actually a sailable boat. A Macgreggor is an awful sailing boat even in a bay.... never mind an ocean. Hunters however are not a "well built" boat. They are cheaply built, land lovers boats. The would not make for a survivalists boat who will likely not be able to make landfall for great drations of time. In a storm, inclement weather or otherwise, they are NOT boats you want to be in. If you can find a hinkley (very expensive but very sturdy) that's used and in decent condition, you are going to be much safer. If it were me, I would look for a Morgan 38 as it is a good size, full length keel(stable) and has a keel/centerboard configuration which will all make for safer more dependable sailing. Also, morgans are very sturdy, have lots of room and will likely survive a storm better than just about anything else out there. C&C's are a great boat (I own one @ 25') but for ocean sailing, nothing under 32' is a safe bet unless you stay close to shore and watch the weather. Also, remember, there is NO drinkable water in the ocean unless it rains. Fishing poles will serve you well but be sure to have more than one. Flares, life jackets and all the usual amenities are going to be required as well as a full fridge, drinking water, and a wise choice also might be a spear gun.
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