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Old 23-03-2012, 06:36   #1
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Penalty for Staying Aboard in Marinas in FL!?

Been trying to find a marina for a short stay in St. Pete or Clearwater, FL. Every marina is charging the regular per foot rate PLUS another $250 - $300 a month because we would be staying on the boat at the marina! What is this???
Never in our 4+ years of cruising in US waters from Canada to FL have we run into this. Is this a local thing or is FL now screwing all boaters????
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Old 23-03-2012, 06:53   #2
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Re: Penalty for staying aboard in marinas in FL!?

Not so many -if any-marinas in my area (Lake Worth) even allow live aboard for some reason-maybe zoning-so I suppose some of those marinas over there justify the charge by figuring you can afford it - if you can afford a nice yacht worth several hundred thou- you can afford a few extra bucks to live in there marina- Hopefully it’s not a trend-but seems as if folks are getting squeezed from every direction these days-everywhere
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Old 23-03-2012, 07:05   #3
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Re: Penalty for staying aboard in marinas in FL!?

Why don't you ask them the basis for the surcharge?
You might try and look for a berth on private property. If you go to VRBO.com and do a little investigation you very well may find what you are looking for. I know that there is a certain percentage of people who live aboard a boat like bums and they mess things up for everyone else. Unfortunately they congregate in Florida. There may well be local ordinances or even state statutes that make it more expensive to live on a boat in a marina rather than just berth there. After all, Florida has no state income tax, property taxes are in the dumper and much of the money used to operate the government is generated by tourism.
Mean Florida! Trying to make money from tourons!!
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Old 23-03-2012, 07:16   #4
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Re: Penalty for staying aboard in marinas in FL!?

The places that I have stayed that did this told me that it was to cover the utilities, use of the shore showers and washer/dryer, etc. It is getting harder and harder to find places that allow liveaboards. I would try the private dock idea.
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Old 23-03-2012, 07:22   #5
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Re: Penalty for staying aboard in marinas in FL!?

I do not usually see a surcharge for transient cruisers since the daily rates are usually very high, but for long term stays where you pay a much lower rate per month I frequently see marinas add a surcharge for full time live aboards. Not a new phenomena, it's been around for years at marinas and not just in FL but all up and down the east coast.

If you think about it, this does make some sense as a live aboard boater typically uses a lot more resources than an absentee: power, water, trash, etc. which results in a higher cost to the marina. However, I don't usually see the surcharge as high as you mention. Also I see some marinas deal with the higher costs by billing the boater for services used, like putting meters on the electric and water.

Sorry if you feel screwed by the rates. The beauty of being on a boat if you don't like something you can take your business where you feel appreciated.
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Old 23-03-2012, 07:27   #6
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Re: Penalty for staying aboard in marinas in FL!?

It has always been possible to police the Transient Population on the water,I suspect they chose NOT to do it because of pressure from Land Developers who dont think you (Cruisers) should get what their customers pay millions for, for a mere pittance. Along with the newbies of course(new waterfront land owners) the tear-full complaints are many.
It's the same issue with Grey and Black water,,the cities choose to cheap out on Sewage treatment plants by piping it straight into the ocean,,and then over a few years, beaches which used to be safe to swim in are now full of Coliform bacteria, Then,,they use the boating community as easy targets(scapegoats)and blame the problem on their discharge which had never been a problem before.
I mean.. run the numbers for yourself along with historical records,,,a few thousand gallons of Grey or black water discharge compared to Hundreds of Millions of Gallons of sewage pumped out by the cities.
The numbers speak for themselves.
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Old 23-03-2012, 07:31   #7
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Re: Penalty for staying aboard in marinas in FL!?

Except for city managed marinas the "liveaboard fees" in Florida don't seem to be driven by any government regulation. These fees are usually far less than an additional $200-$300/month, but I agree that it is a disturbing trend that I first noticed about ten years ago. As mentioned above, the rationale seems to be that the liveaboard is using more of the resources of the marina. Often the fee is only an added daily cost for unmetered electricity. Shop around! I am currently at a Florida marina for a month living aboard with 41 feet at $590 total and this includes the obnoxious added "liveaboard" fee.
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Old 23-03-2012, 07:41   #8
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Re: Penalty for staying aboard in marinas in FL!?

Of course you have to remember basic economics, the old supply/demand equation. If you want a marina in a metro area (that already has lots and lots of local boats), that is conveniently located, clean and with all the comforts, a very high demand commodity with limited supply then the market dynamics will set a higher price than for a lesser facility located in the backwaters miles from anywhere.

Have you priced dockage in NY or New England lately? Makes the deals in Tampa Bay area look like a huge bargain, even with a live aboard surcharge.
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Old 23-03-2012, 07:44   #9
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Re: Penalty for staying aboard in marinas in FL!?

Supply and Demand...the thief's old well used excuse for robbing you.

Not you SKipmac,,just a social comment is all..
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Old 23-03-2012, 07:53   #10
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Re: Penalty for staying aboard in marinas in FL!?

As transients, this fee was added to our bills only when staying for longer periods of time, like when doing work on the dry (week and more). The rationale was that the dockage fee is less, but we'll be using showers, etc more.
What worked for us was coming to leave the boat at a marina for a month while driving back to Canada, then coming back 3 weeks later and living a week on the boat. We weren't charged for that week
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Old 23-03-2012, 07:57   #11
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Re: Penalty for staying aboard in marinas in FL!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo55 View Post
Supply and Demand...the thief's old well used excuse for robbing you.
Well there is one big difference. With a thief you have no choice and are forced to give up your money. In the case of a buyer and seller, you don't have to pay if you don't like the price. It's a free market economy. The alternative is government control or ownership of the economy, not something I think any of us would advocate.

Not to say that the market economy doesn't have its problems and abuses (like the current economic state we are in which I think certainly could have been prevented by proper oversight) but for day to day business of buying and selling goods and services like marina space to a boater don't see any better way to manage it.
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Old 23-03-2012, 07:58   #12
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Re: Penalty for staying aboard in marinas in FL!?

Not sure if you can legally live aboard at a dock in someones back yard? Especially if there are code restrictions. Being on the hook is different.
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Old 23-03-2012, 08:00   #13
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Re: Penalty for staying aboard in marinas in FL!?

My marina in Houston charges an extra $50 a month for liveaboards, but it's kind of a crap hole. The nicer places charge more.
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Old 23-03-2012, 08:02   #14
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Re: Penalty for staying aboard in marinas in FL!?

There are groups starting up to Represent the boating community as we speak,but i fear it is a bit late in the day, the die is firmly set.
Monkey doesn't like to give back that Banana.
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Old 23-03-2012, 09:19   #15
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Re: Penalty for staying aboard in marinas in FL!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SharAndy View Post
Been trying to find a marina for a short stay in St. Pete or Clearwater, FL. Every marina is charging the regular per foot rate PLUS another $250 - $300 a month because we would be staying on the boat at the marina! What is this???
Never in our 4+ years of cruising in US waters from Canada to FL have we run into this. Is this a local thing or is FL now screwing all boaters????

All the local marinas charge live-aboard fees. Where I stay it's a flat fee for all boats and considerably less than you're talking about. Send me a PM.
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