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    Liveaboard Simulator-gctid352527

    We don't personally liveaboard full time but average at least about 120 nights a year aboard our boat, sometimes more. Last year was about 140 or so nights. With our "new" 4550 it will hopefully be more. However, I ran across this little blurb a while ago and thought it was pretty darn funny!! Obviously it is a bit tongue in cheek and geared towards a sailboat with limited services/comforts but it's funny reading anyway. If you are considering livingaboard full time, perhaps this can help you decide (P.S. boating is still worth it!!!):

    "The Liveaboard Simulator"

    Just for fun, park your cars in the lot of the convenience store

    at least 2 blocks from your house. (Make believe the sidewalk is a

    floating dock between your car and the house.

    Move yourself and your family (If applicable) into 2 bedrooms and 1

    bathroom. Measure the DECK space INSIDE your boat. Make sure the

    occupied house has no more space, or closet space, or drawer space.

    Boats don't have room for "beds", as such. Fold your Sealy

    Posturepedic up against a wall, it won't fit on a boat. Go to a hobby

    fabric store and buy a foam pad 5' 10" long and 4' wide AND NO MORE

    THAN 3" THICK. Cut it into a triangle so the little end is only 12"

    wide. This simulates the foam pad in the V-berth up in the pointy bow

    of the sailboat. Bring in the kitchen table from the kitchen you're

    not allowed to use. Put the pad UNDER the table, on the floor, so you

    can simulate the 3' of headroom over the pad.

    Block off both long sides of the pad, and the pointy end so you have

    to climb aboard the V-berth from the wide end where your pillows will

    be. The hull blocks off the sides of a V-berth and you have to climb

    up over the end of it through a narrow opening (hatch to main cabin)

    on a boat. You'll climb over your mate's head to go to the potty in

    the night. No fun for either party. Test her mettle and resolve by

    getting up this way right after you go to bed at night. There are lots

    of things to do on a boat and you'll forget at least one of them,

    thinking about it laying in bed, like "Did I remember to tie off the

    dingy better?" or "Is that spring line (at the dock) or anchor line

    (anchored out) as tight as it should be?" Boaters who don't worry

    about things like this laying in bed are soon aground or on

    fire or the laughing stock of an anchorage.... You need to find out

    how much climbing over her she will tolerate BEFORE you're stuck with

    a big boat and big marina bills and she refuses to sleep aboard it any


    Bring a coleman stove into the bathroom and set it next to the

    bathroom sink. Your boat's sink is smaller, but we'll let you use the

    bathroom sink, anyways. Do all your cooking in the bathroom, WITHOUT

    using the bathroom power vent. If you have a boat vent, it'll be a

    useless 12v one that doesn't draw near the air your bathroom power

    vent draws to take away cooking odors. Leave the hall door open to

    simulate the open hatch. Take all the screens off your 2 bedroom's

    windows. Leave the windows open to let in the bugs that will invade

    your boat at dusk, and the flies attracted to the cooking.

    Borrow a 25 gallon drum mounted on a trailer. Flush your

    toilets into the drums. Trailer the drums to the convenience store to

    dump them when they get full. Turn off your sewer, you won't have

    one. This will simulate going to the "pump out station" every time the

    tiny drum is full. 25 gallons is actually LARGER than most holding


    They're more like 15 gallons on small sailboats under 40' because they

    were added to the boat after the law changed requiring them and there

    was no place to put it or a bigger one. They fill up really fast if

    you liveaboard!

    Unless your boat is large enough to have a big "head" with full bath,

    make believe your showers/bathtubs don't work. Make a deal with

    someone next door to the convenience store to use THEIR bathroom for

    bathing at the OTHER end of the DOCK. (Marina rest room) If you use

    this rest room to potty, while you're there, make believe it has no

    paper towels or toilet paper. Bring your own. Bring your own soap

    and anything else you'd like to use there, too.

    If your boat HAS a shower in its little head, we'll let you use the

    shower end of the bathtub, but only as much tub as the boat has FREE

    shower space

    for standing to shower. As the boat's shower drains into a little pan

    in the bilge, be sure to leave the soapy shower water in the bottom of

    the tub for a few days before draining it. Boat shower sumps always

    smell like spent soap growing exotic living organisms science hasn't

    actually discovered or named, yet. Make sure your simulated V-berth is

    less than 3' from this soapy water for sleeping. The shower sump is

    under the passageway to the V-berth next to your pillows.

    Run you whole house through a 20 amp breaker to simulate available

    dock power at the marina. If you're thinking of anchoring out, turn

    off the main breaker and "make do" with a boat battery and

    flashlights. Don't forget you have to heat your house on this 20A

    supply and try to keep the water from freezing in winter.

    Turn off the water main valve in front of your house. Run a hose from

    your neighbor's lawn spigot over to your lawn spigot and get all your

    water from there. Try to keep the hose from freezing all winter.

    As your boat won't have a laundry, disconnect yours. Go to a boat

    supply place, like West Marine, and buy you a dock cart. Haul ALL

    your supplies, laundry, garbage, etc. between the car at the

    convenience store and house in this cart. Once a week, haul your

    outboard motor to the car, leave it a day then haul it back to the

    house, in the cart, to simulate "boat problems" that require "boat

    parts" to be removed/replaced on your "dock". If ANYTHING ever comes

    out of that cart between the convenience store and the house, put it

    in your garage and forget about it. (Simulates losing it over the

    side of the dock, where it sank in 23' of water and was dragged off by

    the current.)

    Each morning, about 5AM, have someone you don't know run a weedeater

    back and forth under your bedroom windows to simulate the fishermen

    leaving the marina to go fishing. Have him slam trunk lids, doors,

    blow car horns and bang some heavy pans together from 4AM to 5AM

    before lighting off the weedeater. (Simulates loading boats

    with booze and fishing gear and gas cans.) Once a week, have him bang

    the running weedeater into your bedroom wall to simulate the idiot who

    drove his boat into the one you're sleeping in because he was half

    asleep leaving the dock. Put a rope over a big hook in the ceiling

    over your "bed". Put a sheet of plywood under your pad with a place

    to hook a rope to one side or the other. Hook one end of the rope

    to the plywood hook and the other end out where he can pull on it.

    As soon as he shuts off the weedeater, have him pull hard 9 times

    on the rope to tilt your bed at least 30 degrees. (Simulates the wakes of

    the fishermen blasting off trying to beat each other to the fishing.)

    Anytime there is a storm in your area, have someone constantly pull on

    the rope. It's rough riding storms in the marina or anchored out! If your

    boat is a sailboat, install a big wire from the top of the tallest tree

    to your electrical ground in the house to simulate mast lightning strikes

    in the marina, or to give you the thought of potential lightning strikes.

    Each time you "go out", or think of going boating away from your

    marina, disconnect the neighbor's water hose, your electric wires, all

    the umbilicals your new boat will use to make life more bearable in

    the marina.

    Use bottled drinking water for 2 days for everything. Get one of those

    5 gallon jugs with the airpump on top from a bottled water company.

    This is your boat's "at sea" water system simulator. You'll learn to

    conserve water this way. Of course, not having the marina's AC power

    supply, you'll be lighting and all from a car battery, your only

    source of power. If you own or can borrow a generator, feel free to

    leave it running to provide AC power up to the limit of the generator.

    If you're thinking about a 30' sailboat, you won't have room for a

    generator so don't use it.

    Any extra family members must be sleeping on the settees in the main

    cabin or in the quarter berth under the cockpit....unless you intend

    to get a boat over 40-something feet with an aft cabin. Smaller boats

    have quarter berths. Cut a pad out of the same pad material that is no

    more than 2' wide by 6' long. Get a cardboard box from an appliance

    store that a SMALL refridgerator came in. Put the pad in the box, cut

    to fit, and make sure only one end of the box is open. The box can be

    no more than 2 feet above the pad. Quarter berths are really tight.

    Make them sleep in there, with little or no air circulation. That's

    what sleeping in a quarterberth is all about.

    Of course, to simulate sleeping anchored out for the weekend, no heat

    or air conditioning will be used and all windows will be open without

    screens so the bugs can get in.

    In the mornings, everybody gets up and goes out on the patio to enjoy

    the sunrise. Then, one person at a time goes back inside to dress,

    shave, clean themselves in the tiny cabin unless you're a family of

    nudists who don't mind looking at each other in the buff. You can't

    get dressed in the stinky little head with the door closed on a

    sailboat. Hell, there's barely room to bend over so you can sit on the

    commode. So, everyone will dress in the main at a time.

    Boat tables are 2' x 4' and mounted next to the settee. There's no

    room for chairs in a boat. So, eat off a 2X4' space on that kitchen

    table you slept under while sitting on a couch (settee simulator). You

    can also go out with breakfast and sit on the patio (cockpit), if you


    Ok, breakfast is over. Crank up the lawnmower under the window for 2

    hours. It's time to recharge the batteries from last night's usage and

    to freeze the coldplate in the boat's icebox which runs off a

    compressor on the engine. Get everybody to clean up your little hovel.

    Don't forget to make the beds from ONE END ONLY. You can't get to the

    other 3 sides of a boat bed pad.

    All hands go outside and washdown the first fiberglass UPS truck that

    passes by. That's about how big the deck is on your 35' sailboat that

    needs to have the ocean cleaned off it daily or it'll turn the white

    fiberglass all brown like the UPS truck. Now, doesn't the UPS truck

    look nice like your main deck?

    Ok, we're going to need some food, do the laundry, buy some boat parts

    that failed because the manufacturer's bean counters got cheap and

    used plastics and the wife wants to "eat out, I'm fed up with cooking

    on the Coleman stove" today. Let's make believe we're not at home, but

    in some exotic port like Ft Lauderdale, today....on our cruise to Key

    West......Before "going ashore", plan on buying all the food you'll

    want to eat that will:

    A - Fit into the Coleman Cooler on the floor

    B - You can cook on the Coleman stove without an oven or all those


    kitchen tools you don't have on the boat

    C - And will last you for 10 days, in case the wind drops and it takes

    more time than we planned at sea.

    Plan meals carefully in a boat. We can't buy more than we can STORE,


    You haven't washed clothes since you left home and everything is

    dirty. Even if it's not, pretend it is for the boater-away-from-home

    simulator. Put all the clothes in your simulated boat in a huge

    dufflebag so we can take it to the LAUNDRY! Manny's Marina HAS a

    laundromat, but the hot water heater is busted (for the last 8 months)

    and Manny has "parts on order" for it.....saving Manny $$$$ on the

    electric bill! Don't forget to carry the big dufflebag with us on our

    "excursion". God that bag stinks, doesn't it?....PU!

    Of course, we came here by BOAT, so we don't have a car. Some nice

    marinas have a shuttle bus, but they're not a taxi. The shuttle bus

    will only go to West Marine or the tourist traps, so we'll be either

    taking the city bus, if there is one or taxi cabs or shopping at the

    marina store which has almost nothing to buy at enormous prices.

    Walk to the 7-11 store, where you have your car stored, but ignore the


    Make believe it isn't there. No one drove it to Ft Lauderdale for you.

    Use the payphone at the 7-11 and call a cab. Don't give the cab driver

    ANY instructions because in Ft Lauderdale you haven't the foggiest

    idea where West Marine is located or how to get there, unlike at home.

    We'll go to West Marine, first, because if we don't the "head" back on

    the boat won't be working for a week because little Suzy broke a valve

    in it trying to flush some paper towels. This is your MOST important

    project, today....that valve in the toilet!! After the cab drivers

    drives around for an hour looking for West Marine and asking his

    dispatcher how to get there. Don't forget to UNLOAD your stuff from

    the cab, including the dirty clothes in the dufflebag then go into

    West Marine and give the clerk a $100 bill, simulating the cost of

    toilet parts. Lexus parts are cheaper than toilet parts at West

    Marine. See for yourself! The valve she broke, the

    seals that will have to be replaced on the way into the valve will

    come to $100 easy. Tell the clerk you're using my liveaboard simulator

    and to take his girlfriend out to dinner on your $100 greenback. If

    you DO buy the boat, this'll come in handy when you DO need boat parts

    because he'll remember you for the great time his girlfriend gave him

    on your $100 tip.

    Hard-to-find boat parts will arrive in DAYS, not months like the rest

    of us. It's just a good political move while in simulation mode.

    Call another cab from West Marine's phone, saving 50c on payphone


    Load the cab with all your stuff, toilet parts, DIRTY CLOTHES then

    tell the cabbie to take you to the laundromat so we can wash the

    stinky clothes in the trunk. The luxury marina's laundry in Ft

    Lauderdale has a broken hot water heater. They're working on it, the

    girl at the store counter, said, yesterday. Mentioning the $12/ft you

    paid to park the boat at their dock won't get the laundry working

    before we leave for Key West. Do your laundry in the laundromat the

    cabbie found for you. Just because noone speaks English in this

    neighborhood, don't worry. You'll be fine this time of day near noon.

    Call another cab to take us out of here to a supermarket. When you get

    there, resist the temptation to "load up" because your boat has

    limited storage and very limited refridgeration space (remember?

    Coleman Cooler).

    Buy from the list we made early this morning. Another package of

    cookies is OK. Leave one of the kids guarding the pile of clean

    laundry just inside the supermarket's front door....We learned our

    lesson and DIDN'T forget and leave it in the cab, again!

    Call another cab to take us back to the marina, loaded up with clean

    clothes and food and all-important boat parts. Isn't Ft Lauderdale

    beautiful from a cab? It's too late to go exploring, today. Maybe

    tomorrow.... Don't forget to tell the cab to go to the 7-11 (marina

    parking lot)....not your front door....cabs don't float well.

    Ok, haul all the stuff in the dock cart from the 7-11 store the two

    blocks to the "boat" bedroom. Wait 20 minutes before starting out for

    the house.

    This simulates waiting for someone to bring back a marina-owned dock

    cart from down the docks.....They always leave them outside their

    boats, until the marina "crew" get fed up with newbies like us asking

    why there aren't any carts and go down the docks to retrieve them.

    Put all the stuff away, food and clothes, in the tiny drawer space

    provided. Have a beer on the patio (cockpit) and watch the sunset.

    THIS is living!

    Now, disassemble the toilet in your bathroom, take out the wax ring

    under it and put it back. Reassemble the toilet. This completes the

    simulation of putting the new valve in the "head" on the boat. Uh, uh,


    GET YOUR HAND OFF THAT SWITCH! The whole "boat" smells like the inside

    of the holding tank for hours after fixing the toilet in a real boat,

    too! Spray some Lysol if you got it....

    After getting up, tomorrow morning, from your "V-Berth", take the

    whole family out to breakfast by WALKING to the nearest restaurant,

    then take a cab to any local park or attraction you like. We're off

    today to see the sights of Ft Lauderdale.....before heading out to

    sea, again, to Key West.

    Take a cab back home after dinner out and go to bed, exhausted, on

    your little foam pad under the table.....

    --See second post in this thread for part 2 as forum won't allow so much text in one post?--
    ~~1987 Bayliner 4550 Pilothouse & 17' Boston Whaler Dauntless~~

    Part 2 of the Liveaboard Simulator:

    Get up this morning and disconnect all hoses, electrical wires, etc.

    Get ready for "sea". Crank up the lawn mower under the open bedroom

    window for 4 hours while we motor out to find some wind. ONE

    responsible adult MUST be sitting on the hot patio all day, in shifts,

    "on watch" looking out for other boats, ships, etc. If you have a

    riding lawn mower, let the person "on watch" drive it around the yard

    all day to simulate driving the boat down the ICW in heavy traffic.

    About 2PM, turn off the engine and just have them sit on the mower

    "steering" it on the patio. We're under sail, now. Every hour or so,

    take everyone out in the yard with a big rope and have a tug-of-war to

    simulate the work involved with setting sail, changing sail, trimming

    sail. Make sure everyone gets all sweaty in the heat.

    Sailors working on sailboats are always all sweaty or we're not going

    anywhere fast! Do this all day, today, all night, tonight, all day,

    tomorrow, all night tomorrow night and all day the following day until

    5PM when you "arrive" at the next port you're going to. Make sure

    noone in the family leaves the confines of the little bedroom or the

    patio during our "trip". Make sure everyone conserves water, battery

    power, etc., things you'll want to conserve while being at sea on a

    trip somewhere. Everyone can go up to the 7-11 for an icecream as soon

    as we get the "boat" docked on day 3, the first time anyone has left

    the confines of the bedroom/patio in 3 days.

    Question - Was anyone suicidal during our simulated voyage? Keep an

    eye out for anyone with a problem being cooped up with other family

    members. If anyone is attacked, any major fights break out, any

    threats to throw the captain to the fish.....forget all about boats

    and buy a motorhome, instead.
    ~~1987 Bayliner 4550 Pilothouse & 17' Boston Whaler Dauntless~~


      That is just too funny!


      Whats the weather like on the boat

      Where am I right now?


        We lived aboard our 35 foot sailboat for 7 years 1979 to 1986. Every bit of your simulator is true at some point in time during our 7 years. The thing I remember most is my father-in-law plugging the only head on board TWICE both times far away from dock with 4 people on board. Had to be fixed. Mask snorkel and tools hunched over the Brydon Boy undoing bolts waiting for the explosion. (pressurized from him trying to pump the blockage clear) Still we remember those years fondly. Often the Admiral says where the hell was this boat when we lived aboard.

        We now spend at least 3 months aboard in summer.

        Cheers John


          Other than's it going?


            That was funny. Needed that laugh


              I am trying to convince my wife to stay a couple weeks inside the boat to give the extra space for my inlaws be more confortable here at home.... but after that she said DEFENALLY I thought was amazing idea......