Living on a boat in HI to save money

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coffeehubcap
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Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by coffeehubcap » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:40 am

My son works in Honolulu for the gov. He lives in an apt with his wife. They spend 4 to 8 hours a week of wasted time stuck in traffic. He's contemplating buying a boat and living dockside 99% of time and thinks he can save money.

Any thoughts of people who've done such a thing?

MotoTrojan
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by MotoTrojan » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:43 am

I missed the part about how the boat saves traffic, but I'll assume he works extremely close to the water.

I have a friend who does this and it saves him a lot of cash, but he is a single mid-20's male, who loves working on a sailboat and takes it out all the time. He performs all of his own maintenance, which allowed him to buy a 1970's boat (which is likely worth far more now than what he paid) A married couple is a bit different, depending on their lifestyle.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:56 am

What's it cost to dock the boat? What's it cost to rent (or buy) the boat? What are maintenance, taxes, other boat costs? I know people with a sail boat moored in the Atlantic. Their costs are way more than an apartment near shore would cost and they already own the boat (1980's 40 foot sailboat).
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alaskantraveler
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by alaskantraveler » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:56 am

It's possible. A lot depends on the harbor space rent. You still have to pay for utilities like electricity, internet? If you have a car, you have to pay for parking. You have to be kind of a minimalist to live full time on a boat as the sq ft is so small.

If he has run the numbers and he says he will save money then just need to make sure that he is not missing anything. The boat will take maintenance. The stoves frequently run on propane. Need to consider insurance.

I found one quote for outside Honolulu. A 35' slip costs $610/month. Plus you pay electric. I expect the closer to HNL the more expensive.

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David Jay
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by David Jay » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:13 pm

A "blue water" catamaran (sailboat) can have a lot of space and is very comfortable (minimal roll from passing waves).
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ianferrel
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by ianferrel » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:32 pm

You can save money by living on a boat, but you're mostly saving money by living in a smaller space.

It might not be possible to find a 200 sq. foot apartment (which is about comparable to a 35-40 ft boat in living space), but if he could, it's probably similar savings. You can't take it out fishing on the weekends, but there's a lot less maintenance.

Point
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by Point » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:46 pm

Space is a big consideration. Most of the live aboards in my harbor in Santa Barbara have storage on land to accommodate the clothes and other things they need daily. It is a really tight space to share with one other person. And weather can be an issue, including heat. Food storage, proximity to grocery stores, etc. he may also find out his costs go up dramatically due to dining out to get away from the small space.

ThrustVectoring
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by ThrustVectoring » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:02 pm

Also, check out how long the waitlists are for mooring options. If they're 6+ months - and they can be - it might be difficult to get things to work out.
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Watty
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by Watty » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:11 pm

coffeehubcap wrote: Any thoughts of people who've done such a thing?
I know a guy that lived in a houseboat in a Marina near a large city.

One problem is that you are literally feet away from the people in the houseboat next to yours so the lack of privacy and noise can be be a problem. In the marina the boats and docks tended to limit the water circulation so there was tendency for the water around the houseboat to accumulate debris and be a bit "yucky" in general.

It will vary by area but finding a docking space that has a dedicated sewer and water hookup will be a lot harder than just finding a space to dock a boat. Without that you will need to frequently take the boat someplace to empty the sewage holding tank.

Flashes1
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by Flashes1 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:36 pm

I'm not a boater, but to save costs, what about anchoring out at sea at night and then have your wife pick-up/drop-off at a dock? That could be fun.

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coffeehubcap
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by coffeehubcap » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:06 pm

They both work.

Zonian59
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by Zonian59 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:45 pm

Hmm.....wondered about living on a boat or houseboat.

Used to communicate with a guy in the Bay Area Houston, who for many years, lived on a boat. Not easy at first but being an ex-Navy seaman and used to being a minimalist so it was doable for him and he liked it. He also rigged the boat with solar panels, backup generator and storage batteries for electricity. Biggest expense was dock fees. Wondered how he and the boat fared when Hurricane Katrina hit the area.

An alternate would be to live in a small motorhome and work out a deal to park it at the employer's parking lot during weekdays. On weekends, stay at State Parks.

indexonlyplease
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by indexonlyplease » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:49 pm

Don't know about but sounds like fund. Young adult living on a boat waking up every morning to look at the ocean. NICE

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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by 123 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:27 pm

ianferrel wrote:You can save money by living on a boat, but you're mostly saving money by living in a smaller space.

It might not be possible to find a 200 sq. foot apartment (which is about comparable to a 35-40 ft boat in living space), but if he could, it's probably similar savings. You can't take it out fishing on the weekends, but there's a lot less maintenance.
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I worked with a woman who lived in a small boat with her husband in Marina Del Rey, CA. for a number of years. I never visited the boat but she often commented about how small their living space was. She said that if either of them ever got a cold/flu it was not fun to be in a boat the even gently rocked 24/7. She said they primarily used the restrooms/showers that were available to residents in the marina (Their boat may not have had its own private facilities or they may have been inadequate) and that it was no fun to get to those facilities when the weather was bad. Overall she made a lot of comments about living on a boat being "not fun". After some year of living on a boat they moved to a studio apartment and then we got to hear constant raves about how much living space they had and how much storage space they had, they made the studio apartment sound like a mansion. I guess it all depends on what you can get used to.
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SwampDonkey
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by SwampDonkey » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:16 pm

If he's anticipating mooring a boat at one of the military marinas, there is a substantial wait list. With that said, I did know a guy who was stationed on Pearl Harbor and lived aboard his (small) sailboat at their marina. He saved a substantial amount of money (and commuting time) during his tour.

fasteddie911
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by fasteddie911 » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:27 am

I'm familiar with the area and where most people dock their boats, I personally wouldn't do it as those areas tend to have higher amounts of homeless and just aren't very nice areas, imo. If they can't move closer, and can't come up with any other options (shifting hours, public transit so they can at least relax in traffic, or just sucking it up), maybe they could consider other jobs or locations.

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blaugranamd
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by blaugranamd » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:47 am

4-8 hours a week each or combined? That's roughly an hour in traffic per day on average. Assuming both ways, that's a 30 minute drive in traffic. Why not just buy some nice bicycles? Oahu weather should be the perfect set up for that. Sell a car, cut gas, cut insurance, get in shape, no boat hassles. Maybe move a little closer to make bike commuting easier? They sound like good candidates for MMMing their home-work situation:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/ ... commuting/
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pokebowl
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Re: Living on a boat in HI to save money

Post by pokebowl » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:10 am

Not a fan of long docking on Oahu. Most harbors have long wait lists and the areas you could potentially get into if you are lucky are not the safest for property due to crime. Outer islands I'd say you have a better chance, but sounds like they are stuck on Oahu due to military work correct? In my opinion there are easier ways to save money, especially if your son is only going to be out here for several years at most. What are your son's and his wife's over all expenses per month? Do they have two cars? Do they need two cars? Do they live in the city or closer to the east or west side of oahu? How long are they planning to be on island, could they split a two bedroom with room mates? Do all their shopping via local coops and costco? etc?

Hawaii is expensive, but we are not THAT much more expensive than the other states on the mainland that already have a bad rep for cost of living. A good budget is probably all that is needed here and not a boat (especially one that will be sitting in salt water 24/7). :beer

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