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Old 03-09-2019, 15:39   #1
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Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

For over 100 years there have been those who live aboard boats that have no means of navigation. Shantyboats, "Boathouses," liveaboards, etc. In many cases the inhabitants are poor or marginalized individuals and families.


The present-day situation may involve an older power yacht with runout engines or a sailboat with an inoperative or missing rig (and no usable auxiliary). There are borderline situations where a boat can perhaps navigate under extreme unction, runout engines temporarily brought back to life, outboards fitted on ersatz brackets, vessels towed by their own dinghy.


Are these people misusing the marinas, moorings, and anchorages? Or do you see them as fellow (but infrequent) travelers? Do they appropriate an unfair share of limited mooring space? How much navigation must a vessel be capable of to be "OK" in this regard? What of those individuals who have retired from cruising simply by remaining stationary?
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Old 03-09-2019, 15:52   #2
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Re: Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

If they are paying for a dock or a mooring, they are equal to you in every way.

They have the same budget you do. And they like to the same marina you did. The only time this would be looked down upon is if they took up space in an Anchorage for free. This might prevent traveling cruisers from coming by. And also cause anchoring laws to be developed against boaters who are not trying to squat in the Anchorage.

But if they are paying their fair share at the marina for a mooring or Dock, they are just equal to the rest of the boaters.
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Old 03-09-2019, 17:32   #3
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Re: Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

Yes, the real crime is abandoning the boat, not having the ability to pay for the haulout and proper disposal at EoL.

So a jurisdiction requiring ability to navigate proven every so often is I think fair enough.

A large deposit would be another way.
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Old 03-09-2019, 17:43   #4
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Re: Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

If they're paying their way then I don't see the problem. However, to live in a marina takes insurance which is going to be tricky at the more beat-up end of this spectrum. Moist marinas require boats to be able to get somewhere, to a buoy at the entrance for example, to show that they're still a boat.

If something isn't a boat due to it being unable to undertake passages of any kind, then it's a permanent fixture and should fall under the jurisdiction of the local council. There are plenty of examples of "houseboats" on permanent mud berths in the UK that have grown extensions on them such that they could never move.
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Old 03-09-2019, 17:58   #5
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Re: Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tillsbury View Post
Moist marinas require boats to be able to get somewhere, to a buoy at the entrance for example, to show that they're still a boat.
I personally make it a point to always stay at at least a moist marina, better yeta wet marina. Dry marinas are a problem, besides not being able to get a good cocktail.
(Just pulling your leg on “ moist marina”.
Ain’t autocorrect great?)
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Old 03-09-2019, 18:36   #6
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Re: Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

I do not see any reason why a boat should be required to (be able to) navigate.


There are many boats and many reasons why people live in boats. Has always been. I'm OK with all of them, unless they are criminal.


I hate to see boats used as homes that are kept in very poor conditions as much as I hate HOMES that are kept in very poor condition.



Sometimes there is a reason why this is so. At other times the reason is that the owner is a bum. And we cannot say which it is beforehand, from looking at their HOME.



Unless there is a very clear reason why this is so (imagine a very sick or very old person, who cannot physically handle maintenance jobs) such owners / squatters should be removed and their craft sold at auction (or otherwise gotten rid of).


So, in fewer words, it is right and fair - in my eyes - and no, they are not misusing the facilities any more than a brand new clean 1m $ yacht that never leaves her dock.


Like anything else in life, generalisations cannot be avoided, but each person and boat deserve a separate case study.


Make love not war, live and let live, brother wind and sister sun, etc.


Your truly,

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Old 03-09-2019, 19:44   #7
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Re: Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

I can see people using boats as houses (stationary) and not boats, nothing wrong with that as long as their occupancy in a particular body of water is lawful and they pay all their dues.
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Old 03-09-2019, 19:56   #8
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Re: Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

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Moist marinas require boats to be able to get somewhere, to a buoy at the entrance for example, to show that they're still a boat.
That's the first time I ever saw anybody refer to wet slips as moist marinas...
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Old 03-09-2019, 20:12   #9
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Re: Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

The problem with going after the least of us, is that the best of us will then come after the rest of us.
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Old 03-09-2019, 20:25   #10
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Re: Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

Some 'riverboat' casinos are actually unpowered barges tied off. Not really different to me. Thx-Ace
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Old 03-09-2019, 20:51   #11
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Re: Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

One issue in a marina is the close proximity between boats in the event of an emergency such as fire. That is why some marinas require annual mobility checks.


And then there are things like these








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Old 03-09-2019, 20:57   #12
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Re: Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

In Florida they have a proposed law, or perhaps it is already pasted by now that would determined what a derelict vessel is. Part of that is running a course in the designated time. The last I had heard it could be under power or sail and would beb witnessed by the Marine Patrol.
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Old 03-09-2019, 21:10   #13
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Re: Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

Jammer, You like to start these morality threads but then you don't weigh in. Do you think that it is right? If you fell on hard times would you like to have the option? I am sure that it is not always "right and fair" as you put it but where would you draw the line? What if you were slowly rebuilding it while you were living aboard? What about all of the vessels taking up space in public marinas that aren't seaworthy and haven't left the dock or mooring in years. At least the liveaboard boats are actually being used for something. And what about all of the floating "boathouses" that were never meant to navigate in the first place? I am not sure if you are complaining about these people or slowly becoming one. Interesting topic for sure though. I guess we'll see how some of you all stand on this issue. I am all for keeping the riff raff to a minimum but the problem is that some people see me as the riff raff...
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Old 03-09-2019, 21:22   #14
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Re: Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

I think it depends on the location. If marina space is at a premium, then the first priority of the marina should be to provide moorage for navigable boats that will use the marina facilities for their intended purpose: a land base for sail and power boats that are owned and used by mariners. If space remains after local mariners needs are satisfied, then I suppose there is no problem renting excess space for what amounts to low rent housing. I would hate to see the day when boaters are unable to moor their boat in a marina because it is filled with immobile liveaboards who are only there because the moorage is cheaper than a one bedroom apartment. The liveaboards have the option of shore accommodation, whereas the boat owner usually has no choice but to either find space in a marina or get rid of the boat. ( Note that the OP and I are talking about non operational boats, not cruisers living on their properly maintained and operational boat).
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Old 04-09-2019, 00:17   #15
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Re: Is it right and fair to live aboard a vessel that cannot navigate?

Quote:
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The problem with going after the least of us, is that the best of us will then come after the rest of us.
Or the opposite corollary...one bad apple combined with the law of unintended consequences.

In other words, a small number abusing a loophole in the rules is likely to cause rules that impact those using the rules as originally intended. We have the right to anchor in navigable waters (subject to certain limitations) because it's at times necessary for safe navigation. That rule was never really intended to allow permanent squatting on a piece of the waterway.

As to my take, if it doesn't cause me any harm, I largely don't care but if anchoring rights are eroded by those abusing the system, that is causing me harm.

I think as others have suggested, if you are paying for marinas or moorings, you likely won't be seen as abusing the system...but it's a catch 22 as they typically require the boat to have functional propulsion which negates the boats in question.

If you aren't paying but you are taking up space on a permanent basis and you have a drastically higher likelihood of leaving behind a half sunk wreck for others to clean up, I have no issue with that being discouraged by the local govt.
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