Saturday, August 27, 2016



71 % of the earth's surface area is water, hence, there are 372,000 miles of coastline, where over one-third of the world-population, (about 2.4 billion people), live ashore within 60 miles of the coast. No one "really" knows how many people world-wide live "on" boats, it is my guess here in Oregon only around 300 people are "full time" live-aboard boat dwellers, which would make for about .001% of the population.

But, if you are familiar with the south Chinese Tanka Sampans of all over South East Asia, the canal boats/narrow boats of the UK and Europe, the Oceania/Indonesian/Filipino Bajau,  the Indian gulf boats and the new culture arising here in North America/Caribe, you know how relatively small the International FULL TIME boat dweller population is, (guesstimates are about 1 (one) percent of the world's population), but, in Tam Giang, Viet Nam alone, 10,000 Sampans house some 100,000 people as year-round family live-aboards. on 35-45 foot boats.

Working in and around many ports, lets you in on not only the large groups mentioned above, but also introduces you to the "cruiser", the "harbor rats","anchor outs" and "liveaboards" of many varieties (all of these full-time boat people).

No inlander is ever exposed to them, and even the local 9-5 harbor-employees (who go home inland at night) are unawares; Ashore they are confused by landlubbers as alternative-lifestyle "hippies", "Bohemians", laughingly "earth people", Bargees", or "constant cruisers" who are mostly  on 32+ foot sail, and over 40 foot power boats.

The International "System-Establishment" landlubber knows as much about this boat-group as they do about the Hells Angels, the Arioli, the Occult-hand Order, or the secret tenets of Whazammo and the Doomship.

The driving forces that created the niche for "boat dwellers" is not 21st Century, this bunch dates back many Centuries, but, the rationale has always been the same; housing costs, Taxes, Governmental control over the buying processes, and third-party "takers" (sanctioned "by" the governments). When you are in the conventional system, you do not "see" the process, in order to buy a house or boat it must be inspected, it must be appraised, it must pass all government regulations, Taxes-Banks-Insurors-Brokers-Homeland Security all get a cut, and "you" are credit checked, investigated, work-checked, drivers license inspected, on a cash basis all of that is deemed un-needed and is eliminated.

LIVE-ABOARD STATUS IS FROWNED UPON. Banks don’t want to hear that the borrower will be using the boat as a primary residence. Residential Eviction laws make it difficult to repossess a boat that is lived on and, by definition, a live-aboard presumably also has no primary residence as backing to be used as collection or loan collateral.

In October 2010, the US government changed some of the laws which govern financial institutions in how they are to service loans. More specifically, the Federal Reserve Board (“FRB”) published new rules amending Regulation Z which implements the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (“HOEPA”). The goals of the amendment are to “protect consumers in the mortgage market from unfair, abusive practices or deceptive lending and servicing practices while preserving responsible lending and sustainable home ownership.”

The Federal rule requires a creditor to establish a 12 month long Escrow Account for homeowner’s insurance, real estate property taxes and other insurance obligations (i.e. flood, private mortgage insurance or PMI) on ALL loans defined by the FRB as ‘higher-priced loans’. These new rules also implemented a mandatory 12 month escrow requirement for people claiming live-aboard and/or full-timer status living in RV’s or boats.

Since most financial institutions service boats and RV’s on their simple in-house consumer loan systems, banks are not designed to handle these new mortgage loan type systems, nor would they want to. Thus, almost every financial institution has elected to cease lending for (RV or Boat) live-aboards or full-timers at all.

So, IF you keep your apartment as your primary residence (and are  not a live-aboard or full-timer !) the mandatory 12 month escrow period rules would not apply to your boat or RV loan. But, as soon as you talk about the vessel/RV as being a live-aboard, or, you can not prove a primary residence, then the lenders will back away from the loan.

Financing a boat is very difficult even with 50% down "if" you do not own "real" property.

Friday, August 26, 2016

53 DAYS IN POST # 5, 26 AUGUST 2016

We have pretty much circled the nets, and are about ready to purse this up, as of yesterday. . . back on 15 August we did a crazy sales contract of 10% cash down on So fea, with a 90 day non-refundable closing clause, yesterday (25 August day 80) we sold our home on Craigslist ! and got many dollars closer to paying the boat off completely (avoiding financing, haul-out, inspection/survey costs, time, and possible "phantom findings" and bogus repair lists expected from unknown surveyors.)

We opened our second Living Estate sale today, and mid-day a dealer simply bulk-purchased it all !

So we now have (almost) all of our boat-purchase monies captive . . . not "in-hand". . . but captive, some 79 days before the contract deadline.

And, we did so without involving Brokers/Real Estate agents and all of the leeches normally involved in real estate sales transactions.
Bridge helm view in Winchester Bay, August 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME POST # 4, 25 August, 2016

You "are" familiar with "Stockholm Syndrome" right ? You should be, you have had it your entire life !

The actual definition is: "feelings of trust or affection felt in certain cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward a captor", but lets ponder and rearrange that concept a little.

In this version, you are still the hostage (and have been all of your adult life), but, the kidnapper/hostage-taker is not a person though . . . it is your "baggage", family ties, furniture, cars/trucks, toys, clothing, lifestyle, social responsibilities, appearances, position, ego, and a life-times indoctrination of hubris !

You are being held hostage (made a captive) by everything we were taught that is "normal"-"expected"-"traditional"-"supposed to be, and accepted". but, you love it, er, "think" you love it (the concept of being hostage).

This is a brain-wash that began on the nipple, and no one should expect a break-out to be easy . . . even "seeing" it, is beyond almost everyone. it is "Stockholm Syndrome" !

Lets look deeper . . . "most" people live around their extended family, this is particularly true amongst ethnics (where usually three generations (50-75 people) live in the same neighborhood-or at least the same city . . . go ahead, "try" to move out . . .

Living in the same house you were born in ? how about leaving home for College 1,500 miles away, or losing it all to a fire, or, getting a divorce, joining the military. Anytime you lose-it-all the pangs run deep . . . because you are a prisoner to material "and" familial things.

There is a HUGE difference in adding to your collection by "buying" a boat . . . but the dynamics of "LIVING ABOARD" a boat and not having all of the other trappings, is quite different... you are no longer tied to Real Estate, furniture, and all of the accompaniments, this means the bond between hostage and captor is broken-vaporized-gone . . . . you are free and on your own.

Can your psyche handle it ? the fire-watch tower forest ranger, the lighthouse keeper, (full timers) and seamen had the same to deal with, ultimately separation becomes "its" own captor, and then holds you captive (away from society, family, and earthly possessive things) and you love it. Then, there is no turning back, the haunting follows you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Boats are like stray dogs, feral cats, street children or the one-off domesticated wild animal. They are usually abused (sometimes hopelessly so), and have stories that can be told when you get to know them, see their scars, and correct their problems, they respond to love, and each is really unique.

I posit that when you begin your boat search . . . you will not end up with what you "thought" you were looking for, nor as cheap as your very well planned out budget allowed. you may even end up in Motor-Sailer when you went looking for a trawler, or a gas-powered boat when Diesel was omni-important, how about a 45 footer when the search was for a 36?

After quitting the commercial boat "building", I migrated to doing Marine Surveys (for courts, banks, potential buyers, and sellers) I toured and did forensics on over 50 foot commercial and pleasure craft both. I always did a "historics" sheet of boat origin, builders, designers, materielle sources, previous owners, etc. (plus the conditional/valuation/sea trial/ hull inspection).

Now, as a "buyer" I did the same on the final prospects, we found our Tollycraft 40 as an unwanted mostly well-kept older 8 years-at-the dock boat, but it was gasoline-and "twin" engined. . . not a single screw diesel ! but, it was on the market at about 1/2 price, so, we took a second and third look before deciding.

So...fea is one of the very last (of 182) 40 foot Tolleycrafts built between 1970 and 1980, her design was fully perfected/corrected by the time she was built up in Everett, Washington. lust like my above thoughts, she is not the single screw-diesel I sought, but instead has twin 454 Chev. 4bbl 330 HP engines,  she is smaller than we wanted by 5 or 10 feet, and $10,000 more expensive too ! But, such is the insane art of the boat search/buy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


When you go out to find an apartment, buy a car, a house, TV, rifle, dog, or spouse or even a new outfit at the mall, you do lots of online research and comparison, talk to people, try things out, talk to more people, do more online research, then . . . you must sit down and talk to "yourself."

One of the peculiarities of buying an airplane, RV, or boat is how we delude ourselves, lie, an/or "think" we know who we are . . . wrong ! this sit-down has to be done sober, naked, and with attitude.

Firstly, there are a gazillion examples and contortions to whatever you seek . . . except boats, aircraft, and RV'S . . .  all the other things in life are VERY common, and there are secondary guiding choice determinants,  not so with boats, airplanes and RV's, these are all small number builds, many are custom-built, and therefore "you" must know your own mind when you head out the door to look.

Much of the self-analysis that is needed to buy a boat, is impossible to do unless you really understand the hidden motivations of your darkest brain-closet. This is the "rationaille", the "logic" that got you to consider a boat in the first place . . . the "WHY ?".

In our case we have a good handle on the "WHY", it has been revealed over the 50 years we have lived together, so, "we" understand. She was born-raised-educated in Long Beach California, a few blocks from the sand, sea air, and Port of Long Beach's surf and boat sounds/smells, I was born-raised-educated in Cleveland, on Lake Erie, went to the Navy at 17, and worked the Marine industry for 35 years.

For both of us, the from birth exposures to fog horns, ships whistles, the "fish" smell, and the "optics" of boats and water events are burned into our sub-conscious, while living inland in the tall forests of the West Coast, when the wind blows through the pines . . . we hear ocean, "not" the trees.

We are wannabe "fishatarians" (almost), and into nature, She likes sea shell collecting, and worked with me as I built and worked large boats/ships most of my life, so for us, our exposures to harbors, the sea, people and boats are ingrained (creating an unfair advantage of "boat mentality").

I am not sure that boat mentality can be an acquired trait . . . the Marine industry sees this wannabe , weekender, hobby boater-on-a-trailer boater as "owning" the under-30 foot boat, and makes a strong case for only the over 40 foot vessels as being "serious boats" instead of just toys.

The huge difference I saw in working the non-commercial portion of the harbors, was that the under 40  foot crowd are not in any way "boat wrights", and severely lack any abilities in carpentry, electrical, mechanical or habitation maintenance...much less navigation skills, and it is this component that has them as a hobbyist, part-time, four-five year in and out & gone boaters , they outsource everything that is boat related labor, and seek only the "imagerry" of a boat owner (ATV anyone?, or jet ski, or?).

All of this waste could have  been avoided with an entry-level reality check about "what exactly am I doing and why ?" certainly not everyone makes it on a boat, but everyone loves the "color", but, you simply cannot "force" being a boat owner.

Working or living in 500-1000 boat sized harbors you see that there may be only 25 or so "true" full-time live aboards, yet according the dock masters books it appears that there are 200 "paying" as live-aboards, so when those fancy-ass magazines hit the harbor office for data, the info is badly skewed from the true picture.

After the novelty of owning  a "yacht" has passed, most big boats become a once-a-month visit, other than for love trysts, and alcoholic retreat functions occasionally overnight, the other 9 or so months of the year they are abandoned and forgotten toys, visited for mere minutes each month (if at all).

Monday, August 22, 2016

- WHY? - POST # 1 - START HERE -July fourth, 2016

Today is the 22nd of August, 2016

Why would two long-time retired 70+ year-olds on a fixed income decide to "return" to the harbor and back onto a boat ? . . . especially after buying their "dream" retirement home and making all of the "they'll carry me out of here in a pine box " declarations, and stuffing the place with a lifetimes end-collections ?

This next/last-boat journey began seven weeks ago on the 4th of July, 2016;   after a long afternoon and dinner-time of conversation with our neighbors. which led to us into doing lotsa' all day explaining/reminiscing ego-type story telling/talking about our many (35-plus) years of travel, building boats and ships, and marine industry involvements (while living in many different foreign ports) . . .  after the house cleared out,  and the cleanup started, all it took was a simple "ya' know, I sorta' miss the Ocean, and the harbor" which then began this entire life-style-change and chain of events that created this blog................

Early the next morning, it was off to Florence, and an ocean  beach walk, thus ending a 15 year hiatus away from saltwater, the harbor, the smells  and the boats. . . I think the boat-search began the very "next" day after that !   (on the 5th of July 2016).

By a month later (August 3rd - my birthday) , after making numerous trips to Charlotte, Newport, Winchester, and online everywhere West coast . . . we had looked at 21 different boats, reviewed our like/dislikes, and settled in on targeting a steel or fiberglass hull, non-sail, 40-50 foot, single screw diesel, Monk or DeFever trawler style vessel design as our goal (especially TollyCraft and the many Taiwan built trawlers).

In very quick order, the 2016 reality-update of sale prices, and the distance/cruise time/fuel costs and my rusty navigation skills to (long distance) move a boat from "there" to Florence, Oregon quickly narrowed our search area to be Oregon-only (no Alaska-San Diego stuff) . . . . and, as a result, really narrowed the overall offerings that were available to us as well.

But we actually had seen enough . . . so on August 3rd, after more discussion, we decided to go for it . . . Did I mention that we have no money ? are on a fixed-retirement income, and would need to sell our house and everything we own (and move aboard) in order to buy anything?

And so, started the frustrations of looking for . . . finding . . .  and then "buying" . . .  a boat  to match our specs, with severe financial limitations, when vessels in this category all range from $50,000 to $175,000.

Back at the land-home base, looking at the realities of our household bloat became an equal (or bigger) problem . . . and the idea of undertaking house-sale-prep and home-selling lurked large, with repeated Living wall-to-wall Estate sales, and all of those procrastinate home repair projects suddenly in your face !

So, it was seven weeks ago today . . . on the 4th of July, when this all began.

It took us 5 weeks of looking at boats to "find and secure" our boat, (another So...fea) , then, we spent all of July and August  converting and selling EVERYTHING, vehicles, the house, furniture, shop and all the collectables . . .
and wondering "WHY ?".

an'ya grew up in Long Beach California (a harbor town),and was raised around the water, the fishing industry and major seaport exposures.

My growing up on the shores of Lake Erie, there were lots of boats and harbors, the 1.000 foot ore carriers,  the many huletts, Steel mills, and the fishing docks between Lorain and Whiskey Island were always made aware to you  by the Cleveland F-2-T fog horn (the cow) and the Lorain horn which were heard constantly amidst all of the various ships and bridge whistles, we always lived ½ way between these two ports, and within earshot of the Hulletts and, further “spoilt’” by Victory at Sea on TV, and living next door to a retired Navy Oceanographer, I longed to see an ocean.

My first “Sea” Port was San Diego, at age 17 trapped in Navy boot camp alongside the ship channel, at different times I was only one of a few who smelled saltwater, heard the sounds or saw the incoming/outgoing Navy ships viewable from NTC.

In April of 1961 I got my first orders for sea duty . . . aboard the aircraft carrier TICONDEROGA CVA 14 docked at the North Island quay (San Diego), it was 0700, and in a extreme fog when I left the Navy landing aboard the Ticonderoga liberty launch, there were six-eight non-recruit sailors headed there as well, no visibility.

I have tried many times to accurately recreate or describe that first encounter with a Navy ship, but, can never relay the awe, or actual fear of approaching her on the water-amidships while exiting a complete white-out fog bank.

  As the fog thinned she began  coming into view some 250 feet away, looming ever larger and more immense as she broke into full view, endless in size… the 1,000 foot length was like a Great Lakes ore carrier, but the 75 foot height was not ! almost 60 years later, I have never ever felt so small, awe-struck, or insignificant.

Since my four years spent on that flight deck, it has been one port, one boat/ship, one marine project, one area of marine expertise after another . . . right up to moving back aboard again - when we bought So...fea in 2016;

Working dockside on large yachts, to propulsion systems for the Navy and sea going anything, in Ship yards, on Commercial Tuna clippers, and seiners, then back to the 50-300 foot yachts, fishing and tug/tow boats, more Fisheries and vessel consulting and FINALLY retirement from the Sea in 1998 (and, fully in 2002).

These travels and exposures on diverse projects of Marine machinery, people, corruption and danger has taken us from Africa to Japan through the Caribbean to both Americas, into many high tech/primitive yards and fleets on vessels of sometimes impossible designs, plus, all of the racketeering, deflection and politics this International fishing and ship building industry can offer.

As boat building, fishing and machinery industries declined over the last 25 years of the last Century, we quit, moved ashore, then returned, quit and returned back to the harbor many times . . . only to now, again, dried out....to end up back in a harbor, back in port, back on the water. . . WHY ?