There are two kinds of things you must think about
: (1) legal; and (2) practical.
vessel in navigation
has the right to anchor in navigable waterways of the United States so long as it does not unreasonably restrict navigation
. The keywords here are in bold. You need to research
their meaning (generally, unless the boat is the sole residence and/or is represented as being a business, then it's not a liveaboard
vessel). A vessel in navigation can be "removed from navigation", and that's where it gets tricky, and many local jurisdictions will try to impose timelimits.
Some of the time limits are arbitrary, and some are "fungible". For example, although the DC marine
police allow anchoring
in the Washington
Channel for 1 week, very often they ignore the length of time a vessel is there. Many vessels are there for a month or more.
I'd say if you were to move
your boat every week or two, you'd not have a problem anchoring in most places along the DC, Maryland
, or Virginia shores.
This is much more problematic. Washington can be intolerably hot in summer and intolerably cold in winter. Heating
is an absolute must, while A/C is highly desirable. Neither of these are practical for long periods of time at anchor, because they eat up power and/or fuel
There are no-discharge zones which are strictly enforced as well. You'd need a holding tank
and would have to have a means of emptying it (meaning at a marina or fuel
You'd need a way to get to shore and back, and a place to tie your dingy. You can't just tie it anywhere.
The Potomac often freezes in winter, making navigation by dingies or by big yachts impossible. Even skim ice can be VERY dangerous to both types of vessels.
Your best bet is to rethink your options for liveaboard
, if that is what you intend. There are less expensive places to liveaboard in the Chesapeake area, but you'd need a car to get there and back. The cheapest marinas
are in the Northern Neck of Virginia, but these are 2 hours or more by car. Additionally, there are the taxes
to think about. If you keep your boat in Virginia you need to pay personal property tax on it each year. In Maryland
, if it's there for over a month or two you need to pay sales tax. In DC, you need to prove you've paid sales tax in another state. etc., etc.
Bottom line: there's no free lunch. Low cost, carefree liveaboard and anchoring for extended periods, alas, is just a pipedream.