Salish Sea/Puget Sound boatpunx

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CrowTheBard

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Hey awesome thread, very inspiring. I myself lived in a van for years, but given any kinda knowledge of how to sail and a cheap location to park it I'd be definitely living on boat instead. Well I had to learn how to drive to get into the van living action, so guess learning how to sail could be next future goal. Mind me asking, how much is the cheap rent of the marina docking spot you are taking about?
I met a girl who lives the boat life in key West not so long ago and from what she told me it was still cheaper for me to live in my van. She mentioned 700 a month.. Which is kinda the price of a house or room to rent, depending on location.. So to me that d be the deal breaker, cuz I ain't ready to pay rent like that just to park the boat. I'm used to free parking lol
Thanx and right on man!
If you’ve been successful at van living,’you’d be successful in small boat living as well. A lot of parallels and overlap in the day to day living situation.

As far as slip rent goes, I pay $350 a month, but I don’t pay for power. $500 with full electrical hook ups. Rent in the islands is rarely less than $1000/mo (fucking rich assholes bought up so much summer home property, the remaining house rent is skyrocketing. Oh and then Airbnb came in and wiped out a ton more affordable housing options. Living on a boat up here is by far the cheapest way to live here.

Anyway, I’ve been at the dock for about 4 months now, kinda getting through the worst part of winter while my wife is working a full time jay oh bee. But we are moving out to anchor on Friday and will be staying on the hook from now on. That’s free and I highly reccomend it!

Unfortunately our timing is going to be interesting. Huge cold snap hitting us this week. We’ve been in the upper 40s and lower 50s for weeks, and supposed to hit the high 20s/low30s for a week with about 20-25 knots of wind. Gonna be a wild ride rowing to shore in the mornings hahaha!

Some places around here have a 30 day limit on anchoring without moving, but there’s so many spots that’s easy to dance around and stay legal. If you don’t care about being legal (sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Cost/benefit type deal.) then you have even more options lol.

Living aboard without telling the marina usually cuts cost down too. For some ascinine reasonnmany marinas charge more to liveaboard even tho a slip is a slip is a slip. The boat is there either way,’so why charge more for people being inside it or not? /rantover

My point being there is lots of FREE ways to make things work. Just a matter of how much comfort and convenience you can do without.

A boat at the dock is safe. But that’s not what boats are for. Abandon the trappings of modern “security” and a whole new world begins to form right before your very eyes...and I promise you, it’s beautiful.

Cheers,
Crow
 
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Dunedrifter

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Thanks so much for the enlightening answers! I figure that the accommodations of a sailboat would be downright luxurious compared to living out of a backpack, cooking on a camp stove, shitting in a hole in the ground, and sleeping in a tent, or even a van.

You touched on refrigeration. How do you deal with that (or lack of)? Do you feel it’s a disadvantage moneywise because, for example, you have to buy a smaller (more expensive) container of milk, because you have to drink it all right away?
 

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the bucket and chuck it meathod. Aka shitting and pissing in a 3 gallon bucket and just tossing it over the side. Before ya’ll get crazy, yup that’s legal!
Looked it up, and it says its legal as long as its "treated". I always thought you had to use a pump out station at the dock......good to know
 
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Thanks so much for the enlightening answers! I figure that the accommodations of a sailboat would be downright luxurious compared to living out of a backpack, cooking on a camp stove, shitting in a hole in the ground, and sleeping in a tent, or even a van.

You touched on refrigeration. How do you deal with that (or lack of)? Do you feel it’s a disadvantage moneywise because, for example, you have to buy a smaller (more expensive) container of milk, because you have to drink it all right away?
Refrigeration on a boat is going to cost you...and keep costing you. Between the initial installation (holy shit $$$), and some how keeping it powered ($$$$$$$) and dealing with breakdowns (100% failure rate for those things. You may get a year or two of more or less trouble free operation, but nothing long term $$$$$) or you’re spending a ton on enough renewable energy to power the thing ($$$$) or running an engine/generator daily ($$$) to charge batteries or run the compressor. It’s just a non-option for the budget minded sailor.

I have a built in icebox that I sometimes use depending on availability/cost of ice. I can keep ice cold using a combo of dry/wet for about 2 weeks in the summer. 1 week with just wet ice. Winter I just leave stuff outside.

The real power comes from education yourself on just how much food we THINK needs refrigeration that does not (mayo, eggs, cheese, and on and on, so many items we keep chilled that keep just fine without) and also becoming a master chest of non-perishable items by using imagination and just whatever the hell you have. Food is just fuel sometimes, and not a production just to make my tongue happy lol. Mostly it’s just about adjusting what you eat tonfit what you can keep.


Looked it up, and it says its legal as long as its "treated". I always thought you had to use a pump out station at the dock......good to know
If you don’t have anything except the bucket on the boat, it’s totally fine. “Treated” is meaningless in this scenario. Dumping any chemical “treatment” over the side is way worse that human waste IMO. Just be discrete and you’re good.

You HAVE to use a pump out IF you have a holding tank...if you’re in near shore waters. Offshore it’s whatever. But inshore, you can’t discharge your tanks...if you just have a bucket then it’s fine. Lol go figure.

Better than entire cities pumping their raw waste into the water. Like Seattle did/does.

Keep the questions coming

Cheers,
Crow
 
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Forgot to drop this one here


Enjoy! (Gotta keep the energy of the room up, so to speak!)

Cheers,
Crow
 
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chrispsails

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crow, and whomever else. i just stumbled on this site tonight, saw your post. your location sounds dreamy, especially the hot tub. my boat's in the marina, but the shower's shared with a public bar, and essentially, a bunch of folks from local homeless encampments, and its never cleaned, so needless to say, it's filthy and clogged, more often than not. i keep saying i'll finally break down and join a yacht club if i find one with a hot tub. no such luck around here though : (
anyhow, the only thing is the weather, so i'm looking at going south, trying to figure out where i'd be happiest, for now. in the meantime, i was excited to see your post as i'm on the search for a saltier place with a sense of community, so i just wanted to reach out, and say 'hey' in case we ever cross paths.
 
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iamwhatiam

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Keep the questions coming
So, as with anything else in life like a car or a house etc, there's always maintenance costs. I'm curious as to what is your estimated cost of keeping the boat in decent shape is every year? I know it can vary by year....but in general, how much do you spend on maintenance every year? if you feel comfortable sharing.
 
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So, as with anything else in life like a car or a house etc, there's always maintenance costs. I'm curious as to what is your estimated cost of keeping the boat in decent shape is every year? I know it can vary by year....but in general, how much do you spend on maintenance every year? if you feel comfortable sharing.
This is soooooo hard for me to quantify. I’ve owned like 10 boats so far, all in varying degrees of overall condition. But I always end up doing some kind of refit to each of them, and depending on the size and scope of the projects, the cost can literally be all over the place.

I’d say overall the cost of ownership is about the same as for an older vehicle that’s driven lots of miles every year. At a minimum, a haulout, bottom paint, and general supplies required runs maybe $2500 a year. For me, I mostly spend my money on paint and caulk and varnish and spare parts (fuel filters, oil changes, fasteners, lines, etc.)

But as always, there’s ways to cut down all the costs.

Really, the truth is, it’ll cost you everything you have. You’ll either have it upfront, or will pause to work for a bit to earn it. Either way, you’ll have it handled, and it just becomes part of the rhythm of your life.

Hope that helps!
It’s fucking COLD today with s 35 knot NE wind. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Cheers,
Crow
 
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BirdDaddy

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@CrowTheBard
Hey awesome thread, very inspiring. I myself lived in a van for years, but given any kinda knowledge of how to sail and a cheap location to park it I'd be definitely living on boat instead. Well I had to learn how to drive to get into the van living action, so guess learning how to sail could be next future goal. Mind me asking, how much is the cheap rent of the marina docking spot you are taking about?
I met a girl who lives the boat life in key West not so long ago and from what she told me it was still cheaper for me to live in my van. She mentioned 700 a month.. Which is kinda the price of a house or room to rent, depending on location.. So to me that d be the deal breaker, cuz I ain't ready to pay rent like that just to park the boat. I'm used to free parking lol
I agree with the free parking thing, but having owned 3 busses and a van I can't seem to beat the 0 MPGs.
 
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Thank
This is soooooo hard for me to quantify. I’ve owned like 10 boats so far, all in varying degrees of overall condition. But I always end up doing some kind of refit to each of them, and depending on the size and scope of the projects, the cost can literally be all over the place.

I’d say overall the cost of ownership is about the same as for an older vehicle that’s driven lots of miles every year. At a minimum, a haulout, bottom paint, and general supplies required runs maybe $2500 a year. For me, I mostly spend my money on paint and caulk and varnish and spare parts (fuel filters, oil changes, fasteners, lines, etc.)

But as always, there’s ways to cut down all the costs.

Really, the truth is, it’ll cost you everything you have. You’ll either have it upfront, or will pause to work for a bit to earn it. Either way, you’ll have it handled, and it just becomes part of the rhythm of your life.

Hope that helps!
It’s fucking COLD today with s 35 knot NE wind. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Cheers,
Crow
Thanks for the honest response. I'm just thinking of the saying "a boat is a hole in the water you throw money into". I mean, it's not gonna stop me from getting a boat but it's something to keep in mind before you jump into the lifestyle I think. I've known a few people now that threw all the money they had into a buying "cheap" boat, thinking that they'd just be able to sail into the sunset right away and in reality once they learned how expensive it was....well, neither of them ever ended up actually sailing their boats. The first guy lost the boat when he went to jail for a few months and didn't pay his moorage fees or whatever. Second guy ended up selling his boat when he realized he got in over his head. Third guy spent months tinkering with shit on his boat and fixing new problems that were discovered, but never left the dock....he had planned to sail to Alaska and never did. Ended up moving. Fuck if I become one of those people. There's nothing sadder then a boat that never gets sailed....i'ts like a musical instrument that just sits in the corner collecting dust and never gets played. sad
 
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Thank

Thanks for the honest response. I'm just thinking of the saying "a boat is a hole in the water you throw money into". I mean, it's not gonna stop me from getting a boat but it's something to keep in mind before you jump into the lifestyle I think. I've known a few people now that threw all the money they had into a buying "cheap" boat, thinking that they'd just be able to sail into the sunset right away and in reality once they learned how expensive it was....well, neither of them ever ended up actually sailing their boats. The first guy lost the boat when he went to jail for a few months and didn't pay his moorage fees or whatever. Second guy ended up selling his boat when he realized he got in over his head. Third guy spent months tinkering with shit on his boat and fixing new problems that were discovered, but never left the dock....he had planned to sail to Alaska and never did. Ended up moving. Fuck if I become one of those people. There's nothing sadder then a boat that never gets sailed....i'ts like a musical instrument that just sits in the corner collecting dust and never gets played. sad
That’s the trap I’m hoping to help people avoid. In our commercialized culture, seamanship and sailing are just another casualty, since neither can be purchased on a shelf. The sea remains the same, and the same cheap tech that got sailors across the worlds oceans for a milenia still works just as well today.

It also helps just to go! To get out and sail. If you start to realize Alaska is out of reach, move the goal posts (they’re yours anyway right?) Get the boat ready for 20 mile day trips then and then go play! Or 5 miles trips. Or whatever is obtainable! Obtain it...then move the goal posts again. Alaska will still be there when you’re ready. So to speak anyway!

I’ve fallen into the “all or nothing” trap a few times myself, when my own lofty goals can’t be reached, I conclude the whole endevour must then have been a waste, and must abandon it at the first chance. This kind of binary thinking doesn’t serve a sailor very well, or any human for that matter.

A sailor creates options, seemingly out of thin air. A sailor is always looking a dozen steps ahead, and inventing plans and contingencies to deal with any situation that may arise. A sailor does not curse the wind and tide for acting as their nature dictates. A sailor instead changes the very nature of their own reality to adjust to these conditions that lie well beyond their control...they trim sails, set anchors, heave to, reef, navigate, ride the currents, harness the breeze, and adjust course.

Such is life me thinks.
Maybe our dreams should just be more malable, more fluid, more easily adjusted for life’s unforeseen gales and calms...

In any case, sailing and voyaging under sail are still obtainable dreams for anyone who wants it bad enough. Your adventure may look radically different that the glitzy, wealthy authors and YouTubers make it look, but it will be no less fun, no less worth it, and in the end, with a cheaper boat, simpler gear, and a vastly smaller budget, you will become twice the sailor then those credit card cruisers could ever dream to be.

It’s knowlege and skill that you should hoard and accumulate. They can be had for free, and their benefit incalculable in its greatness!

Cheers,
Crow
 
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Hmmm maybe I can put it this way:

If you’re poor (like me), you can have this life, a sailing life, but only if it’s your only life. The boat, and by extension, the freedom and lifestyle it offers you, must be your first priority. You must be willing to give her every hour of your time she demands. You must be proactive and stop problems before they even start. You gotta be willing to give her all the money she demands, and by extension, be willing to find creative ways to minimize her need for dollars over simple sweat equity. She has to come first, in your heart and in your soul, you have to love her. Adore her. Almost worship her.

She is your wings and you the muscle that moves them. Without you she cannot fly, and without her, neither can you. It’s the perfect, beautiful, symbiotic relationship, one for which I can think of no other parallel or analog.

She will demand much of you, but you will gladly pay, as any lover does, not only out of a selfless desire to nurture a thing of beauty, but from a promise that all your efforts will be reciprocated. She will always treat you in kind.

A well loved boat will tend to her sailors, sheltering them and taking care of herself when the crew can handle no more. It’s in these moments, when your very survival depends on her, that you will be glad of all the times you put her first, above all else, for in that moment she can be either your savior, Your guardian angel, head tucked under her wing...or a coffin.

So it’s hard to quantify how much it costs to own a boat and live this way. Even after more and more thought, the best answer I can give really is: everything you have. Everything you’re willing to give.

After seeing the other side of the horizon, I can tell you, with confidence, that it’s worth it.

Cheers,
Crow
 

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Hmmm maybe I can put it this way:

If you’re poor (like me), you can have this life, a sailing life, but only if it’s your only life. The boat, and by extension, the freedom and lifestyle it offers you, must be your first priority. You must be willing to give her every hour of your time she demands. You must be proactive and stop problems before they even start. You gotta be willing to give her all the money she demands, and by extension, be willing to find creative ways to minimize her need for dollars over simple sweat equity. She has to come first, in your heart and in your soul, you have to love her. Adore her. Almost worship her.

She is your wings and you the muscle that moves them. Without you she cannot fly, and without her, neither can you. It’s the perfect, beautiful, symbiotic relationship, one for which I can think of no other parallel or analog.

She will demand much of you, but you will gladly pay, as any lover does, not only out of a selfless desire to nurture a thing of beauty, but from a promise that all your efforts will be reciprocated. She will always treat you in kind.

A well loved boat will tend to her sailors, sheltering them and taking care of herself when the crew can handle no more. It’s in these moments, when your very survival depends on her, that you will be glad of all the times you put her first, above all else, for in that moment she can be either your savior, Your guardian angel, head tucked under her wing...or a coffin.

So it’s hard to quantify how much it costs to own a boat and live this way. Even after more and more thought, the best answer I can give really is: everything you have. Everything you’re willing to give.

After seeing the other side of the horizon, I can tell you, with confidence, that it’s worth it.

Cheers,
Crow
I totally agree about the need to give it your all, or don’t do it at all. Having to pay housing costs on top of maintaining a boat would be ridiculous! I think that’s why so many boats end up for sale.

The allure for me IS the lifestyle, the freedom it can provide, providing the sailor commits to the boat that makes it happen. A happy marriage.
 
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iamwhatiam

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How ya doing with this weather Crow? Are you guys getting much snow? We've been getting hammered inland Skagit county.
shadowsnow1-jpg.48967_Salish Sea/Puget Sound boatpunx_Boat Punk / Sailing_Squat the Planet_5:09 PM
shadowsnow2-jpg.48968_Salish Sea/Puget Sound boatpunx_Boat Punk / Sailing_Squat the Planet_5:09 PM
 
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How ya doing with this weather Crow? Are you guys getting much snow? We've been getting hammered inland Skagit county.View attachment 48967View attachment 48968
Daaaaaaaang!
Ya’ll got freaking hammered!
We got 6-8” which is more than I’ve ever seen here on the island. You look like you got *feet* of snow there. Crazy!

Hope everyone is surviving this last bit of crazy winter!

Cheers,
Crow
 
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chrispsails

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crow's points are all legit, however, while it's true about discharging or dumping your bucket OFF SHORE in the ocean, please, if you're in an enclosed water way like a marina/cove, please don't dump your shit over. whether it's coming from your tank or a bucket, it is still not 'legal,' and not only is it unsanitary, it's disgusting for your neighbors to see your shit floating around the boat. if you're not in the ocean, go to a public bathroom on shore once or twice a day. or get a composting toilet, and dump that every week or weeks. it's easy to maintain and doesn't smell. lots of boats have converted to this. or even get a porta potty and walk the little tank up to shore once in a while. if you're just shitting in it you won't have to empty it much.
 
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crow's points are all legit, however, while it's true about discharging or dumping your bucket OFF SHORE in the ocean, please, if you're in an enclosed water way like a marina/cove, please don't dump your shit over. whether it's coming from your tank or a bucket, it is still not 'legal,' and not only is it unsanitary, it's disgusting for your neighbors to see your shit floating around the boat. if you're not in the ocean, go to a public bathroom on shore once or twice a day. or get a composting toilet, and dump that every week or weeks. it's easy to maintain and doesn't smell. lots of boats have converted to this. or even get a porta potty and walk the little tank up to shore once in a while. if you're just shitting in it you won't have to empty it much.
Lol @ quoting myself.
I read your post and had to go back and read what I wrote. I was pretty sure I mentioned marinas and composting toilets in there somewhere. :p

Portapotties are to be avoided at all costs. Around here there is almost no legal places to dump them on shore. Most people just dump them over the side...illegally but when no provided with acceptable and accessible legal options, people will always resort to doing what they gotta do to get by.

I know a lot of rich motherfuckers in HUGE yachts and brag about discharging their 500 gallon shit tanks in marinas before they leave just to be assholes.

So yeah, just be cool, respect each other and the environment. It ain’t no thang.

Cheers,
Crow

Oh yeah another week another motivational video haha

Edit: my quotes got f’d up some how. Maybe I fixed it?
 
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chrispsails

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i've seen people carry the tiny tank from the porta-potty to the bathroom and just dump& flush. it has a lid and a carrying handle. i also know boat people who made their own composting bucket, not sure about where they dump that (i could ask) but anything is better than having your neighbor go for a swim in your poop! and yeah, the big yachties are the biggest assholes, that goes without saying.
on that note, related but i forgot to mention prior: it's so easy to use non toxic soap like dr bronners for washing up, anyone considering this, please avoid cheap toxic detergents, and soaps, there's so much bad shit in there that kills the thing you're there to love. the whole point of life aboard is to be closer to nature and keep things simple, so why people disregard and destroy the thing that sustains them boggles my mind. a big thing of bronners or the equivalent can be diluted and used for everything and lasts a long time and isn't full of chemicals and bleach that literally destroy the health of the water, plants, animals :)
 
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CrowTheBard

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Solid advice @crispsails!
We use Bronners for everything from washing and cleaning the boat, laundry, bathing, everything really. I have a small bottle of Dawn for serious grease/oil cutting, but it’s rarely used.

Thanx for adding to the discussion. Again, awesome advice!

Cheers,
Crow
 

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