Anyone live aboard in Florida on their Sea Ray?

Discussion in 'Southeast' started by Ruff Life, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Ruff Life

    Ruff Life Member

    118
    Sep 20, 2011
    Wisconsin
    1991 350/370 Sundancer
    Twin 7.4
    We are considering the feasibility of leaving Wisconsin to live full time on a boat in Florida. Preferably the west coast and something in the 39 to 42 foot range. Does anyone do this and what are some of the basic costs? What boat do you have? Is the summer heat survivable?

    I know the costs are way more than my $2000.00 for the summer slip fee for a 45 foot dock that includes water and electric! We are getting sick of the long winters and are ready to try something different. Since we both still need to work being a snowbird is not an option but would be the ideal situation.
    Thanks
    Rick
     
  2. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

    614
    Sep 12, 2009
    IL
    281
    V8
    That's a small boat to live on full time. Maybe a cheaper home and a smaller boat to enjoy?
     
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  3. Todd320

    Todd320 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    891
    Jul 21, 2016
    St. Petersburg, FL
    2007 Sea Ray 320DA
    Twin V-drive 5.7L 350 Horizon
    The least expensive marinas are the municipal, like st pete municipal and Gulfport Municipal. They publish the prices online, but probably have waiting lists, but at least you would know what to expect. The summers are hot, but, the sea breeze on the coast and afternoon rain storms help, somewhat, to cool it off. And if you take the boat out, jump in the water. You can find less expensive marinas away from the larger cities. Bottom cleaning has to be done monthly, and I think bottom paint is every 2? Of course, moving hereamd buying a house/condo, is a better investment, but it’s never about the investment!!
     
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  4. Mr Mac

    Mr Mac Member

    41
    Feb 27, 2019
    Apollo Beach, FL
    1997 330 Sundancer
    Name Slàinte Mhath!
    Twin 454 Mercruiser with V-drive
    We were at Regatta Point Marina on the Manatee River in Palmetto where the cost was $17.50/ft plus electric for each month. We were looking at around $700 all in for our 330. The marina includes use of the laundry, exercise and lounge areas, has free wi-fi and cable. Each slip has a pump out connection and that is also free a couple of times per month (word to the wise, tip the young fellow who does this for you...your boat will stay cleaner!:)). Palmetto, FL is just north of Bradenton and is a good launch point to get out to the ICW.

    The downside is that this is an active marina with a lot of live aboard slips so parking is at a premium as it is first come first served. There are a couple of restaurants on site and that can also increase the aggravation on the weekends.

    You will need to amend your insurance to include the marina as additional payee, but that is fairly standard.

    There are a great bunch of folks running the place which makes a lot of this worth dealing with.
     
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  5. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    It seems like these threads generally end up with "buy a condo, it'll be a lot cheaper"!
     
  6. Ruff Life

    Ruff Life Member

    118
    Sep 20, 2011
    Wisconsin
    1991 350/370 Sundancer
    Twin 7.4
    Thanks for the info. Amazing no one on this site is actually doing it. We are considering a blow boat but would like to stick with a DB or MY if possible.
     
  7. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Many folks on this site have run the numbers. You can find their posts if you get creative in your searches. Most have concluded that it is indeed very costly to live aboard a boat in Florida. I imagine the insurance alone is in a whole different ballpark than us northerners. There's a reason us cold water boaters have policies that generally us from going to places prone to named storms :) Imagine the expense of dodging a hurricane or two each year...
     
  8. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 9, 2008
    Long Island. N.Y.
    2005 500DB
    Furuno Electronics
    QSM11's,
    Honda 30HP
    Sea Doo 90 HP H.O.
    Actually our insurance says we can go south but not south of Georgia until after Nov 1st.
    We Plan on moving our boat and touring FLA this winter probably start moving around end of October and live on the boat all winter

    We will eventually buy a residence but don’t know where we want to live so we thought this was a good way to explore FLA
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  9. Mr Mac

    Mr Mac Member

    41
    Feb 27, 2019
    Apollo Beach, FL
    1997 330 Sundancer
    Name Slàinte Mhath!
    Twin 454 Mercruiser with V-drive
    Ours was a temporary solution that would only be in effect until we found the home we wanted to buy with a salt water canal and a dock. We found it faster than planned! If it were to be a long run, we would have rented a condo on the water with a slip.
     
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  10. Mr Mac

    Mr Mac Member

    41
    Feb 27, 2019
    Apollo Beach, FL
    1997 330 Sundancer
    Name Slàinte Mhath!
    Twin 454 Mercruiser with V-drive
    Yeah, we pay more for insurance down here, that's for sure!
     
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  11. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 19, 2006
    CT
    2019 Maritimo M64
    Volvo D13-1000
    We don’t do what you want to do but we do keep our boat on the east coast of Florida in the winter months. We enjoy the summer in New England. We live on the boat about 4 months per year. Cost in FL is more than double the already high prices in the northeast and that doesn’t include the hurricane season hike to insurance rates or the cost of a hurricane hole safe harbor agreement.

    That said, we would not consider living aboard anything smaller than about 60’ LOA. The way you choose to live makes a huge difference here, but we want to always be self contained and ready to cruise. Meaning that we keep clutter to a minimum and we don’t store extra stuff off the boat. So storage for clothes, food, spares, tools, etc. has to be available aboard. We have guests aboard who need space, so we try not to use every inch of closet space or storage in the guest cabins. We also need to work, so space to for the necessary computers, printer/ scanner and paper files needs to be thought out as well.

    Just a glimpse into what works for us. Perhaps it’ll help.
     
  12. El Capitan

    El Capitan Active Member

    407
    Jul 9, 2014
    Chicago IL./Vero Beach, Fl
    1970 SRV 180 w 2.5L Mercruiser.
    2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer
    120HP Mercruiser
    Insurance may be more due to occasional hurricanes but the overall cost of living is far less than say Illinois.

    No state income tax, lower real estate prices, lower property taxes, just lower cost of living.
     
  13. Ruff Life

    Ruff Life Member

    118
    Sep 20, 2011
    Wisconsin
    1991 350/370 Sundancer
    Twin 7.4
    Thanks for all of the responses. Not what we were hoping to hear of course but honest answers. We are pretty much done with cold Wisconsin winters and taking care of lots of property so we will just keep our options open
    Thanks again and if anyone wants to add more insight please do!
     
  14. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Active Member

    947
    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    Us Captains had a saying about long term boating much less live aboard .....
    It's a hell of a price to pay for second class living.
    If you're really gonna do it, get a trawler. More getaway space, and certainly more living space for the buck.
    Sea Ray has never been in that market.
     
  15. susanandlance

    susanandlance Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Feb 10, 2011
    Florida
    2007 Sea Ray 36 Sedan Bridge
    8.1 mercruisers
    Searay Sedan Bridges 40 and up would be OK if just the 2 of you, but like 370Dancer said a trawler is another excellent choice. That said, my 36 would be PLENTY enough for me alone but not the "ADMIRAL"/ LMAO @ CaptRonn……. ;)
     
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  16. PlayDate

    PlayDate Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Washington DC
    1994 370 Express Cruiser
    454 Mercruisers
    I have been around Marina liveaboards for 20 years. The best answer is that it is a step to something else if you are moving from out of State. Once upon a time, I moved my boat to NJ so that I didn't have to buy/lease real estate while I was running a company there. The contract I had stipulated I had to have a "livable place (no hotel)" in NJ and the boat worked great as a one bedroom apartment at a full service Marina.

    During the year there I looked at real estate but dropping a ton of money on a lease or buying something when I owned a house in Virginia made no sense. I feel the same way about Florida. If I seriously was to consider moving there.....I would vacation in the area I was considering and perhaps move the boat there as a first step.

    Real estate in Florida is something you really need to research and plan to take your time to find the right property while managing your expenses is smart. Living on 40 foot boat is okay for one person but it will stress a marriage pretty quickly. My wife was a liveaboard in Washington DC on a 40' houseboat for 4 years until she saved up enough money to buy a 2 unit townhouse. Again....as a step to something else.....it can be a smart move.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  17. bbwhitejr

    bbwhitejr Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 14, 2013
    Lake Lanier GA
    2007 44DB
    Cummins QSC 8.3s
    We had visions early on of living on our 44DB. We do live on it for weeks at a time, but as Sea Gull says above, having room for everything you need...ain’t happenin’ on a 45’ boat....

    Bennett
     
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  18. susanandlance

    susanandlance Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Feb 10, 2011
    Florida
    2007 Sea Ray 36 Sedan Bridge
    8.1 mercruisers
    Bennett, I'll trade ya and prove you wrong......lol ;)
     
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  19. MikeBravo

    MikeBravo Active Member

    184
    Jan 20, 2016
    Treasure Island, FL
    2007 Sundancer 320
    2019 Edgewater 158cs
    1988 Grady White 24 Offshore(sold)
    DA-Twin 350 MAG MPI Mercruisers, V-drive
    Edge-Yamaha 70HP 4-Stroke
    My friends live on a 44' Nova. They dock it at a small marina on the west coat of Florida behind a condo-hotel accross from the beach. They have use of the condo-hotel's pool, hot tub and laundry plus the marina restroom facilities. If they have guests they can rent a one bedroom unit at a discounted price. From there they have done the Great Loop as well as the caribbean. If you are going for a trawler I would definitely go over 45' because you will loose some interior room due to the fact that it is a full walk-around.
     
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  20. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    Summers- NY (Lake Erie), Winters- Somewhere Warm
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    I’m sure there are people living in Florida full time somewhere on a Sea Ray but you are more likely to get some hits if you post this question on the Trawler Forum.
    The people we met that live aboard full time usually get out of Fl for the summer and go to the Chesapeake or north east or the Great Lakes. That’s the advantage of having a house that can move. As far as costs go, everyone’s costs are going to be different. It’s a life style thing and how capable you are at doing your own boat maintenance. We’re retired and pay ourselves X per month. The years we spent on the loop and last winter going to Fl and the Bahamas was the same money as being at home and taking vacations and enjoying a few other activities that we didn’t do while on the boat. Never had to draw more than X per month. Staying there all year would be more expensive but then you wouldn’t be burning fuel so who knows.
    Short term our life style on a boat we already own in Fl for the winter months is way less than what our friends pay to own Condos. But then of course they get all their money back when they sell. That’s the big difference.
    It’s all a matter of what you want to do and how you want to spend your money.
     

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