View Full Version : Living Aboard

07-17-2012, 03:35 PM
I know we have discussed this a bit on the old forum, but want to bring it up again because now I'm thinking about making the change.......and we could use a new topic or two hear. We're to the point we hate leaving the boat Sun night and spend all week looking forward to getting back. We try to sneak away Thurs evening when possible. She is off Fridays and I'm self employed, as long as I have phone and email I'm good. So here we are.
We are thinking about a larger aluminum boat, currently looking at a Jamestowner 16 x 67 and a Horizon 17 x 87. I have to say I'm a bit worried about whether we can even heat these things in the Indiana Winter. Although if it's like last year, no worries. We currently have 3 live aboard's in the marina, all in fiberglass boats. I believe I already have water and sewage issues handled, but would certainly appreciate any and all other thoughts, advice, considerations, etc.

Tony B
07-17-2012, 04:18 PM
Just do it! And it will all work out. You wont figure it out from land.

07-17-2012, 04:32 PM
I have worked some winters on the Ohio river and I can tell you that it gets COLD.

07-18-2012, 06:54 AM
I would think heating it would be easier than cooling it. However, at what cost? As nice as these boats are, they aren't usually insulated very well. Also, do you enjoy being on the boat or being on the boat with a bunch of other friends and neighbors around on your dock? Personally, I LOVE spending time on my boat but part of that is the social aspect of all the neighbors etc. I wouldn't want to be on there 24/7 during the winter. Granted, that is just me. We are sort of spoiled though since we live less than a 5 minute drive from out boat so can sneak out there for a few hours as much as we want. Southern climates, I could see myself living aboard. Northern (I'm in Iowa), I could not.

07-18-2012, 02:35 PM
We went to our boat nearly every weekend this last winter. All I can say is find a boat that has a full insulation package! You don't know the meaing of the word "drafty" until you're in an uninsulated boat with single-pane windows when it's in the single digits outside! I could hear my heater saying "I think I can! I think I can! I thing I can!"

07-23-2012, 06:45 AM
Yup Gets almighty COLD in the winter without insulation and single pane windows. I added some ceiling insulation where I could and I put the plastic you can get at Lowes over the windows. Made it nice down into the thirties, then it is a sliding scale that quickly plummets to uncomfortable.

08-02-2012, 10:27 PM
Does anyone use a eden pure or the inferred style heaters?

08-10-2012, 05:02 PM
OK I am new to this as my wife and I are thinking of either selling or trading our place in Florida for a houseboat. One question is if you live on the river and the river floods what do you do?

08-10-2012, 07:08 PM
OK I am new to this as my wife and I are thinking of either selling or trading our place in Florida for a houseboat. One question is if you live on the river and the river floods what do you do?


sorry had to...lol

08-11-2012, 01:30 AM
The river flooding is the very least of your worries if you live on a houseboat. Especially in Florida

08-11-2012, 05:12 AM
I understand the concern, as floods can be devastating to people who live in low-lying areas and on river banks. But as Cap'n Morgan points out, tongue only slightly in cheek, boat handle high water very well. We watched Hurricane Isabel's fury from our waterfront home some years back. The neighbor's 36' sailboat weathered the direct hit of the Cat-II+ storm just fine. Not a bit of damage. His brick house right behind it, and all the other houses to its right and left, were total losses. We watched waves crashing into second-floor windows, but that sailboat just rocked and pitched, just as it was designed to do.You might want to have a good protected 'hurricane hole' in mind, like a small, sheltered creek, and some extra stout lines, in case really poor weather threatens, because with high-enough sustained winds, stuff tends to fly around at marinas, including poorly-secured boats!

08-11-2012, 07:26 AM
We are looking at relocating to TN. So any helpful comments are appreciated. Yes I know that if we stay in Florida we can still get flooded out. Just look what happened a month ago right up the road from us. People living in a no flood zone were totally washed away with 12 feet of water. Yes it will flood in Florida. I have also seen the TN river over its banks. Do you just ride it out? Just wondering.

08-11-2012, 07:38 AM
Yupper. We floated away with the dock at Joe Wheeler (Alabama) in the 90s. Dragged the dock anchors. Not a big deal.

Your MUCH better off CONNECTED to a floating dock than fixed.

08-11-2012, 08:16 AM
Thanks everyone for some comments on flooding. Next question> what are some examples on Insurance premiums? Is insurance real costly? What additional as a Liveabord?

08-11-2012, 07:04 PM
the first thing i would think of for living aboard is.......is there anyone else around the docks in the winter and fall? i love boating but if your the only fish in the pond ,it would get kinda dull.thats my only concern. i like to be around alot of people, the more the merrier.

08-14-2012, 02:28 PM
I'm on Percy Priest in Nashville and there's 4 live abords on my dock alone. The next dock over there's at least 5 boats. Then there's 8 more docks that I don't know about. That's just our marina.

Our lake experienced heavy flooding in 2009 and 2010. Those that lived there just stayed abord as usual. Only thing was the bridge that takes them to shore was under water, so the marina management had the rental pontoon boats handy for them to shuttle over to the shore with.

08-15-2012, 07:12 AM
Since Priest is a Corps of Engineers lake, live aboards are against the rules. I know the the Corps rarely enforces those rules, but they can start the enforcement at any time that they want.

08-16-2012, 02:13 PM
I'm live-a-board at 104, Birdsong on the Tennessee river. The Tennessee set record recently but we are all still here. High waters caused a little damage to our dock but none to boats. One 18x60 slip for sale here I think. Pebble Isle @96 has more slips, Cafe and more people, several who are live-a-boards. Pretty rural.

08-16-2012, 02:22 PM
TVA (who controls the Tennessee river) has no specific rules about live aboards. So, any TVA controlled body of water would be a good bet. Of course, they can change their rules at any time.

09-03-2012, 05:09 PM
I notice there was no answer to the insurance premiums question. LOL.... are they that bad for liveaboards ?

09-04-2012, 01:23 AM
Over the last 20 years, I have had three different houseboats and have never been asked about frequency of use when insuring them. So, I am not sure it makes any difference to your premiums.

09-04-2012, 12:46 PM
I will just betcha money that a large percentage of boaters don't have any insurance at all. I t is pretty darn expensive.
Is that correct??

09-04-2012, 01:42 PM
Liability only $1,000,000= $126.00 per year, it's a rider on my homeowners insurance.

09-05-2012, 03:28 AM
ours is 450 a year for full coverage.60,000 on the boat,850,000 fuel spills,6000 on contents plus 300,000 on accidents.25,000 medical. plus all the other goodies. you need a recent marine survey.

09-05-2012, 04:21 AM
I would agree that a large percentage of boaters do not have insurance - but, that includes runabouts and such. Other than a few older, smaller steel hulled house boats, everyone I know has insurance on their houseboat. My houseboat insurance is $850 a year.

09-06-2012, 01:35 PM
Hey there EastTNboater! Who's your insurer? Mine is through Ace American. I'm paying ~$1,100 a year. I tried a couple other recently, but they were much higher, so I'm sticking to where I'm at until I find something better.

I don't understand why someone wouldn't insure their houseboat. The simple liability of an accident, injury, or death is enough to send chills up my spine. Peace of mind in this case is a very good thing!

Go Vols!

09-07-2012, 06:02 AM
It is with State Farm - along with the rest of my stuff - house, five cars, runabout, jet ski, ... My houseboat is not insured to its "full value". It is insured to what I paid for it. I also have a $2,500 deductible.

09-07-2012, 10:28 AM
One more question . Have you ever asked your insurance company, how far from the dock are you allowed to go??
Don't even mention the ocean to them or a long trip in strange waters.

09-08-2012, 10:19 AM
Interesting note some of you I notice mention insurance is a rider on your home insurance or you also have a house insured with the same company. I'm just guessing here that the insurer would not consider you a live aboard since you have a house.
Any live aboard's have input on this insurance question.... as in your boat is your only home.... no dirt dwellings.
Not that I feel any previous comments are invalid. Just wondering how it goes when you walk in and say home... which is a boat by the way. LOL

09-09-2012, 03:57 AM
42Gibson, Where did you get that coverage from? Ours is substantially more but it could be because of our location n the ICW?

ours is 450 a year for full coverage.60,000 on the boat,850,000 fuel spills,6000 on contents plus 300,000 on accidents.25,000 medical. plus all the other goodies. you need a recent marine survey.

09-09-2012, 01:53 PM
its with davis marine insurance, albany ky. 800-977-0723.the carrier is atlantic speciality insurance co.

09-09-2012, 02:57 PM
any exclusions or limitations on that policy? is it lakes and rivers only? I am just trying to reconcile this in my noggin'

09-10-2012, 05:27 AM
"Dirt dwelling" - that is a new term. Made me laugh - also made me feel like a hobbit.

09-10-2012, 01:57 PM
Called Davis and they wouldn't quote a policy in Florida. They apparently only insure on closed lakes and inland rivers. :-(

its with davis marine insurance, albany ky. 800-977-0723.the carrier is atlantic speciality insurance co.

09-10-2012, 02:10 PM
We talked to dozens of insurance companies, and each had a different far-fetched excuse for hanging up on us: Wooden hull? Horrors. Brackish water? Even worse. Southeast coast? Certain disaster. On and on. State Farm was willing to write liability-only and it wasn't unreasonable, but could not offer hull insurance. So finally, after years of frustrating search, we found that Amica would write hull insurance. Perhaps due to the unconventional nature of our craft, we needed to get a survey. You might give them a call: 1-800-892-6422, extension 45506, Ms. Miller. No claims, so I don't know how they respond, but beggars can't be choosers, right?

09-13-2012, 10:25 AM
How about a list of the good reasons for living aboard.......
1. The feeling of freedom.
2. The gentle rocking of the boat at anchor.
3. The pleasant sound of the crabs eating the Barnacles off your hull, putting you to sleep.
4. The enjoyment of having a friend enjoy a libation with you on the bow/stern.
5. The fun of wearing nothing but shorts all day and night. (Most women excepted)
6. ?

09-13-2012, 03:49 PM
6. The Ex took the house...