The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat: The Definitive Guide for Liveaboards

Paradise Cay Publications
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The Essentials of Living Aboard educates both dreamers and explorers with information about this wonderful and rewarding lifestyle. Mark Nicholas has combined his experience of life aboard with the advice of other liveaboards, marina owners, technicians, boat manufacturers and advocates in order to detail the challenges and offer real advice for success. This lifestyle, typically thought to be out of reach or "for other people," is now available to all who dream.Essentials explains, among other things how to: •Figure out your needs •Choose the right boat •Buy your boat •Choose the right marina •Prepare for the lifestyle •Outfit your boat •Plan for all climates •Forecast your costs •and more! REVIEWS One way folks plan to get cruising sooner is to cut costs by moving on board their boat early. Before you do, read this well balanced look at the subject. You'll encounter fewer surprises.- Lin Pardey, Author, Educator and World Cruiser Read this book if you've ever been gripped by the romantic idea of living on water. Mark Nicholas presents a rich mine of information for potential liveaboards, information he gleaned the hard way. As a self-confessed "expert at what can go wrong," who better than Mark to pass on the solid advice you need? - John Vigor, Author If you dream of living aboard, read this book. It's straight talk from a liveaboard sailor who made the mistakes so you won't have to. And you won't find a more comprehensive look at the liveaboard lifestyle.- Linda Ridihalgh, Editor, Living Aboard Magazine If you have been thinking about living aboard, there is help! Here is a book that will give you a lot of little insights into what you will be gaining, and what you will be losing. The book is intended as a resource to help you learn about the liveaboard lifestyle. It tells you about costs and options and attempts to provide an honest and realistic picture of what it's like to live aboard. - Bob Bitchin, Editor, Latitudes and Attitudes (Dec. '04) This is a must book for anyone contemplating "living aboard". Mark doesn't pull any punches. We see the good, the bad, the ugly, and the "dream". Armed with this book one could enjoy the liveaboard lifestyle without any worriesome surprises.- Tom Cox, Marina Owner, Liveaboard and Board Member - Marina Owners of America I've been living aboard my sailboat since 1997, and I've read many books about the liveaboard lifestyle. Mark Nicholas' 'The Essentials of Living Aboard' is not only accurate and well-written, but it contains helpful cost projections that I haven't seen elsewhere. This is the first book I'd recommend to anyone who is thinking about the liveaboard lifestyle! - Robert Doty, Liveaboard Webmaster ( A seasoned and experienced sailor, Mark Nicholas has written an ideal introduction for anyone aspiring to enjoy life aboard any kind of boat ... The reader will learn how to choose and buy a boat that is appropriate for one's needs, including the finesse of the buying process, negotiations, insurance, and financing, amenities aboard a boat, navigation and safety matters, sanitation issues, legal issues, tips, tricks, and techniques, and more. Of special interest are the warnings about search, seizure, and forfeiture ... An absolute "must-have" for anyone considering making a boat one's permanent dwelling.- Midwest Book Review - October 2004 As a lifelong boater, and one with Joanne, my wife of 48 years, we begin our second decade of living on board a boat. I feel Mark Nicholas has done extensive study in gaining a worldwide appreciation and understanding of what it takes, not only to buy a boat and maintain it, but what one can expect within that lifestyle.... the challenges, adjustments, financial expectations as well as the joys inherent in this experience. Mark has probably done the most complete investigation and reporting of any we know of. Maybe living aboard is not for everyone, but you are not signing your life away, even if you just want to enjoy it for a limited time. There is just no comparison to sitting within 4 walls when one considers either cruising in open waters, or just sitting idly by on the deck or cockpit, with open breezes and the sun warming your back, listening to the birds, slap of the water on the hull, or other activities around you. This even works when rain is gently falling beyond. There are also those challenges with against the elements. You are both above and within nature at its best. God surely meant it to be that way.- Don Stonehill, Chairman, Liveaboard Assn of Puget Sound
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About the author

Mark Nicholas has lived a bit of the renaissance life: traveling the world, practicing law, playing music and now writing books. Originally from the small coastal town of Bayville, NJ, Mark grew up in and around the water, sailing small boats for years. With only a rudimentary knowledge of the inner workings of larger boats and boat mechanics, Mark moved aboard his 33 Hunter Marine sailboat, The Morning Fog¸ and lived in Boston Harbor through 2003. For what was supposed to be a turnkey purchase for just under $30,000, Mark's boat was less than ideal from day one. Despite paying top dollar for a marine survey, everything broke quickly, causing more than $6,000 in unexpected costs in the first month and a half and $20,000 in the first year and a half. To make matters worse, the Fog was not built to be a competent liveaboard boat, offering major sacrifices in every aspect of the boat's design. Mark explains how he rebuilt the boat from scratch, starting with the seacocks and plumbing, then the electrical systems, the chainplates and through-deck fittings, and totally upgraded the engine and alternator. Everything just kept falling apart. He learned an unbelievable amount, things that someone should have told him, and lots that no one might have ever thought to tell him. He wanted to write a book that, had he read it, might have helped him make better decisions and save thousands of dollars. Mark continues to practice law and devotes a significant part of his practice to representing artists, musicians and filmmakers, often in a pro bono capacity. Mark is a voting member of the Recording Academy, has released two CDs as an artist, and has engineered, produced and provided technical and consulting services to many others.
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Additional Information

Paradise Cay Publications
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Published on
Dec 31, 2005
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Reference / Handbooks & Manuals
Sports & Recreation / Boating
Sports & Recreation / Sailing
Transportation / Ships & Shipbuilding / Repair & Maintenance
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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I Come First is based on the fundamental principal that we are human and

therefore we are imperfect. While funny and a little irreverent - maybe with

a touch of cynicism; it's a different and direct approach to teaching

survival in the trenches. This is a reality check, not about selfishness but

rather a discussion of the unique individual perspective that each of us has

as we each struggle to interpret, survive and overcome the world around us.

It is an illumination of the human condition and a discussion of how to

navigate the world with that in mind.

In this sense, I Come First is more aptly about forgiveness. It forgives

each of us for our flaws, and forgives the political process and recognizes

its value. Nicholas explains that politics, at its core, is really just the

way in which a group of people make a decision. And it forgives all the bad

stuff as part of the human condition. We are surrounded by people with

differing perspectives and values, and becoming offended is a

counterproductive distraction. Rather, it reminds us to be understanding and

perhaps even empathetic, and with this knowledge each of us can be vastly

more effective.

I Come First discusses subjects such as becoming more effective, perception,

managing and being managed, politics and surviving day-to-day. This is a

story about each one of us. It's a bit of How to Swim with the Sharks and

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, with a little Dilbert

and Stanley Bing thrown in. The result is unique and more than the sum of

its influences. It deals with how we behave and interact, what we want and

the tools we each use to accomplish (or prevent ourselves from reaching) our


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