Living on a boat..... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 77 Old 02-17-2009, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey out there. My husband and I are considering moving onto our boat and exploring the caribbean for a few years. We have a 5 yr old and 3 yr old. Jut wondering if any one out there is doing the same or has tips. thanks
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#2 of 77 Old 02-17-2009, 05:44 PM
 
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wow, i have nothing to say, but that is such a brave move! I am not sure i would do it with a 3 yo , though, mine very much needs her home, her friends she sees a lot, but, i hope you find happiness, please do let me know if you decide to do it, i would LOVE to hear more!!
<3
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#3 of 77 Old 02-18-2009, 12:01 AM
 
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that is my dh's dream, not so much for me or dd, who is 5 (almost 6) but who knows where life will lead us...
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#4 of 77 Old 02-18-2009, 05:36 PM
 
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Dh lived on a 25' sailboat w/ his XW & their DS when DS was 1-3 yrs old. They loved it. They stayed in the Puget Sound in Wa, but explored all the islands & sailed back and forth from Seattle all the time. He said they even sailed with the Orcas when they were breeching rather (too) close to the little boat.
DH is doing worktrade for a little sailboat at the moment for us to take out and teach our kids (8,7,&3) about sailing.
I think it's a great idea.
Heres a wonderful blog that's very inspiring.
GL.
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#5 of 77 Old 02-18-2009, 08:26 PM
 
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That blogger is an MDC mama.
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#6 of 77 Old 02-19-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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That blogger is an MDC mama.
Hey that's me :

To Wassupkris (or anyone else who is interested in the boat life) feel free to PM me of you want or just ask specific questions here to get a dialog going (though I suspect from past attempts on MDC, this is a pretty small tribe.)

There is a Sailing Kids Yahoo Group that many of us boat mamas (and papas) hang on.

And for general cruising info from those in the know check out the Cruisers Forum.

You can do this with any age kid, rest assured. The only thing a kid needs are attentive loving parents and the chance to explore the world. Nobody "needs" a house. And your boat is your home once you plunge into this lifestyle. And believe me, there are A LOT of kids out there aboard... A LOT!!

The main thing is to make sure it is something you AND your partner want to do (nobody is getting dragged in to it for the other one's happiness) and that you take the time to live on your boat for some time period before you cast off. It's such a big adjustment, baby steps are important for mental and emotional success.

Well, if this tribe grows then yippeee! But I think ceilydhmama and are are the only ones around here... I think...?

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#7 of 77 Old 02-19-2009, 04:17 PM
 
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We met a family last year through a homeschool program. They sold their business, bought a cat, and are now in Mexico. You can find them by searching for Toast Floats.

They made a huge change in lifestyle to take it on. They lived on their bought for awhile before leaving to adjust a little. It's been fun to see their journey.

My husband and I have considered it, but I'm pregnant with our fourth right now and we have an idea living situation with my parents. They own a duplex and we live in one half of it.

Dready Homeschooling Mom 

17 yob

14 yob

10 yob

4 yog

2 yob

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#8 of 77 Old 02-21-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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Toast cracks me up, her blog is a great read!

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#9 of 77 Old 03-02-2009, 09:38 AM
 
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Well I'm subbing, we have had long term plans for doing this for many years. Currently, plan is at 3-4 years before we liveaboard for a couple, then cruising. Right now just trying not to accumulate a lot of stuff that I'll have to get rid of.

Living Simply and Enjoying Life
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#10 of 77 Old 03-25-2009, 09:03 PM
 
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Figure I'll share my experiences with boat life!

My dad started sailing and bought an Ericson 38 when I was 7. When I was 8, I started sailing with him and when I was 10 we started living on the boat full time (just the 2 of us). That summer we went on a month long trip from San Francisco to San Diego and back. I really took the boat naturally and loved the adventure!

Over the next few years we would go out sailing doublehanded pretty frequently...I didn't quite realize that my dad was grooming me to go cruising! When I was 14 my dad and I left for three years of cruising down the coast, through the Panama Canal, around the western Caribbean and back. Despite my being a teenager, we had an amazing time and I wouldn't trade that experience with my dad for anything. I ended up living aboard until I left for college at 19.

Now I am 27 and my husband and I have been living aboard our Shannon 28 for 4 years. It is small, but very cozy. We will likely have our baby on the boat (I mean...raise, not birth...still wondering about that one!), even though a lot of people seem to think we're crazy!

I think that boat life is great for kids, especially while cruising. The kids we met cruising were all great, but those who had been living aboard and cruising since they were really little were amazing! They were adventurous, smart, had amazing communication skills with adults and looked so healthy and happy!

I could go on and on about cruising and living aboard...but I will jump off my soapbox for now!

Also, you may find Dave and Jaja Martin very inspiring. Some of there writing is available here: http://www.setsail.com/s_logs/martin/martin.html
Their book (which is fabulous) is "Into the Light" and they have a movie called "Ice Blink". Check 'em out!
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#11 of 77 Old 03-26-2009, 07:49 AM
 
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How do you make money doing this? I think I have it with an RV lifestyle, but how do you do it with a boating one?
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#12 of 77 Old 04-08-2009, 06:12 PM
 
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I'm a future boat mama. We're planning on buying our boat and moving aboard anytime between now and October 2012 when we plan to set sail for at least a couple years. The trick here is to find legal liveaboard status because I can't see sneaking aboard with kids. My kids do not make themselves invisible or quiet very easily! Hopefully we'll meet some of you out there in the world.

We had dinner with the Martins last summer in Maine. They settled in the town that my dh's family has lived (mostly in the summer) for many generations! It was amazing to hear their stories and meet their kids. So inspiring. Although I've got to admit seeing their handbuilt, off grid house made me want a house too.

Busy mama to dd 6/04 and ds 9/07. Living the dream aboard s/v Convivia.
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#13 of 77 Old 04-13-2009, 11:49 PM
 
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Holy cow -- the tribe is growing! :

As for making a living --- there are so many different ways to go about it as with any traveling lifestyle. Some folks save up and save up and then quit work altogether while they are away (leaving for a set time like 2 years or whatever so they budget their savings) Then they come back when they are finished and broke and look for work again. This is how DH and I did it the first time we were out cruising before DS was around.

Some folks have businesses they can run while on the go. Some folks can work while traveling (like mechanics or writers). And some folks stop and work along the way in different countries or ports in the USA.

So glad to see a few other boat mamas here. Thanks for sharing your stories!

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#14 of 77 Old 04-14-2009, 02:11 PM
 
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Raising my hand. We lived aboard our 28' boat for 8 years and moved off to return to Canada when dd was 14 mos. Since then we've been rebuilding a 40' Catamaran and will move back aboard over the next two months then set sail for the South Pacific come July. DD is 7 now.
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#15 of 77 Old 04-14-2009, 07:25 PM
 
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Amazing that there are other mamas on here following or wishing to follow the same path...

My ex and I lived aboard a 30' for years, crusing the pacific and after we broke up (I took the kid, he took the boat ) I have been looking to buy another one. I am now engaged to a wonderful sailor and we are buying a trimaran this week! We are very excited and since I am pregnant, looking very much forward to having a newborn on board. I have found that kids are good on boats at any age.

As for making money, I am a doula and help women where ever I am. My partner has an electric sailboat motor business www.solidnav.com and he is working it so he doesn't have to be around 24/7. I also find that living on a boat is much much cheaper than living on land, especially if you are actively cruising and anchoring a lot. It truly is off the grid living at it's finest. And I suggest that all you who are interested in doing it, don't wait. Now IS the time, boats are incredibly inexpensive right now and if you have a boat, you have a greater incentive to make the transition.

I am thinking I may give birth on board, but am not sure at this point, I have to see how it goes. My partner is all for it, but unless we are in a warm place (we are anticipating being in the Bay Area) I can't imagine not having warm water. He says he will build me a bathtub : but it just doesn't seem realistic to me...all is an adventure!

doula mama to my turtle love, with a who came when he wanted 9/12/09, 33w 5d, NICU strongman!.
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#16 of 77 Old 04-14-2009, 07:57 PM
 
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I haven't ever really considered this, but man, does this sound so lovely. I want to travel desperately, and totally want to get rid of all my things, all this stuff that feels like it is always dragging me down. I know nothing about boats - only been on a few in my life, and they were small. I think I would get sea sick, but ahhh. It sounds very romantic. I definitely want to learn more.

Nicole | Mom to Ciara & Oliver | Finally living aboard & loving it!
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#17 of 77 Old 04-14-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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I am thinking I may give birth on board, but am not sure at this point, I have to see how it goes.
Here is a fabulous, inspiring boat birth story for ya!

And for a good laugh, go to this BLOG (which is fabulous overall) and click on TALL TALES and then on T.P.B.P. (it won't let me link directly) for a very well written and absurdly funny pregnancy on an ocean passage story.

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#18 of 77 Old 04-20-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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I haven't ever really considered this, but man, does this sound so lovely. I want to travel desperately, and totally want to get rid of all my things, all this stuff that feels like it is always dragging me down. I know nothing about boats - only been on a few in my life, and they were small. I think I would get sea sick, but ahhh. It sounds very romantic. I definitely want to learn more.
I get sea sick really easily - but it's a trade off. I love the lifestyle. Our catamaran does have a different motion than our little monohull did - which makes a difference. I also really enjoy the cruising community - many of our closest friends come from the years we spent sailing in Mexico and beyond. You become friends will people for completely different reasons when you sail than when you meet them on land...
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#19 of 77 Old 04-20-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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How do you make money doing this? I think I have it with an RV lifestyle, but how do you do it with a boating one?
We went to the Strictly Sailboat show in Oakland yesterday and someone asked Fatty Goodlander this same question. He's a writer (with a website and stories worth checking out) but he suggested writing, boat repair, sewing, basic computer fixing, and balloon tying. He really did say balloon tying, but it's a bit hard with him to figure out which parts of his stories are for real.

Busy mama to dd 6/04 and ds 9/07. Living the dream aboard s/v Convivia.
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#20 of 77 Old 04-20-2009, 05:59 PM
 
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Balloon tying, like balloon animals? I have heard people make good money doing that.

Nicole | Mom to Ciara & Oliver | Finally living aboard & loving it!
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#21 of 77 Old 04-20-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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$$
For us - the first time we were out (3.5 years) we lived off of our savings. We worked from the time we graduated until we left 7 years later and saved all of my income and lived on dh's. We also did one stint of work where we flew home to our old jobs and worked like crazy for 3 months. Our expenses came to about $500 a month and that first boat was a basic little monohull which we picked up and outfitted for about 40k. After our travels we kept living aboard in MD for 4 years before selling that boat and returning home.

This time it's similar - except we're on a more expensive boat. Once we sell our condo the boat will be paid off and we'll have about a 3-year cushion in savings. But we both have also cultivated careers we can maintain while we travel - I'm a writer and Dh can work on contracts with his engineering firm. The economy has added a bit of a complication - but we know how to live really frugally when required.

And if that doesn't work dd juggles and rides a unicycle and dh makes good balloon animals - so I'll send them out busking
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#22 of 77 Old 04-20-2009, 10:43 PM
 
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Balloon tying, like balloon animals? I have heard people make good money doing that.
Fatty is a total jokester But balloons ARE easy enough to store on board just in case.

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#23 of 77 Old 04-27-2009, 04:22 PM
 
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A couple weeks ago I replied to this thread saying that we'd buy a boat anytime between now and a couple years from now. I guess I was manifesting the NOW. This weekend we found a boat we adore, a beautiful restored Columbia 38, and we are trying to work out our offer for tomorrow.

So, would anyone talk me out of this? We've been planning/saving/dreaming/telling everyone this is our plan for years but now that it's around the corner it seems a little crazy!

We may have found a marina where we can live at least in a transient slip if not a real legal liveaboard. Bay Area boat mamas do you have any tips about getting liveaboard status with kids? DH works in Mountain View, so although the sailing isn't great we're hoping for a south bay slip, like maybe Redwood City. We are going to give ourselves 6 months to sell all of our house stuff, store what we need to, fix up a few things, finish potty training the little one, and move aboard.

Busy mama to dd 6/04 and ds 9/07. Living the dream aboard s/v Convivia.
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#24 of 77 Old 04-28-2009, 07:53 PM
 
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yay Onandon!

congratulations to you and your soon to be floating family.

You may find more answers to you questions HERE at the Sailing Kids Yahoo Group.

(if that link isn't working let me know -- I am working on an old lap top that won't cut and paste. blah!)

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#25 of 77 Old 04-29-2009, 12:03 AM
 
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Our offer is in and now we wait (a week at most, but likely we'll hear from the broker tomorrow). Boatbaby I got your PM, thanks! I'll be writing to you soon.

Busy mama to dd 6/04 and ds 9/07. Living the dream aboard s/v Convivia.
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#26 of 77 Old 05-01-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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Oh how I envy all of you floating families! I've only just come to know of the liveaboard life within the past year and was instantly drawn to it. Ironically for me, its DH that thinks I'm a whack-job. I would loove to raise a family on the sea.. off the grid. I think it would be a great way to raise my children too. ahhhhh... one day I'll win him over to the dark side.

But for now I'll just live vicariously through you all! Happy Sailing
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#27 of 77 Old 05-10-2009, 08:14 PM
 
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I am so happy to find this group. My French-Canadian husband and I live aboard s/v Sea Conquest -- our 1977 41 ft. Morgan Out Island with our 3.5 month old son, Sacha. We are currently in Ventura, CA, but just gave notice on our slip and signed up for the Baja Ha Ha in the fall. We plan to cruise around So Cal for the summer before heading to Mexico in the fall. If all goes well, we plan to continue cruising for awhile. I am really excited to find other cruising mamas.
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#28 of 77 Old 05-11-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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I am so happy to find this group. My French-Canadian husband and I live aboard s/v Sea Conquest -- our 1977 41 ft. Morgan Out Island with our 3.5 month old son, Sacha. We are currently in Ventura, CA, but just gave notice on our slip and signed up for the Baja Ha Ha in the fall. We plan to cruise around So Cal for the summer before heading to Mexico in the fall. If all goes well, we plan to continue cruising for awhile. I am really excited to find other cruising mamas.
Welcome! As I am sure you know, outside of MDC there is a much bigger tribe of floating mamas! We've had our son aboard since birth as well.

Drop in on the sailing kids yahoo group for more connections including families who are also heading the same direction from the west coast.

p.s. I have a soft spot for Morgan O/I --such a lovely boat!

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#29 of 77 Old 05-13-2009, 02:24 AM
 
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Thanks for the warm welcome. Things have been pretty easy with the baby thus far, but I expect the challenges will emerge once he becomes more mobile. I must say that I am nervous about life afloat with a baby who can move about.
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#30 of 77 Old 05-13-2009, 02:13 PM
 
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Hi again, guys!

I posted a little while ago about being excited about the idea of living aboard and cruising. I told my husband about it, and he got all excited, too! Right now we are getting ready to put our house up for sale and really do this. We can't wait :

We are planning on living aboard for about a year in Portland, then cruising for awhile, probably just going south down to Mexico, as we ease our way into all of this. Both of us have not even been on a sailboat, so we have no idea what we're doing

Eventually, when we feel comfortable, we want to travel all over.

Right now, our kids are 5 and 2.

I think they will have a blast. Right now, my daughter (5) is having a really hard time parting with her stuff. I'm trying to get ready for a big garage sale, and she's right behind me, putting everything back.

Nicole | Mom to Ciara & Oliver | Finally living aboard & loving it!
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