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Old 06-12-2017, 16:20   #1
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Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

Howdy folks,

First time posting but have learned a lot by reading your posts in the past.

I am currently living near Lake Norman in NC. I want to get a cheap little sailboat (eyeing a 1984 Helms 24) and use it as a liveaboard. I've done some homework, and it turns out it would be shockingly easy and affordable on the lake here. A slip with access to the marina's facilities, water, power, etc would be just shy of 2k/yr in a great location with no insurance required. Sounds great, right? Hopefully not too good to be true

My concern is that I may be moving down to Fort Lauderdale in the summer for a new job. I know this area seems to be a bit of an expensive, crowded mess for liveaboards, but I'm mostly concerned about insurance. I know most marinas, especially those that allow liveabords should I decide to stay in a marina, require insurance. And insurance requires a survey.

The boats I'm looking at are all old and cheap, like <2k. How would one go about getting a survey and insurance on something like that? If I did get those things done here in western NC, I assume they wouldn't transfer to coastal FL very well.

Anyone have any experience with something like this? I know it's a bit nave but I have to ask, is the survey/insurance even worth it for a small, cheap boat in need of lots of TLC?
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Old 06-12-2017, 16:32   #2
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Re: Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

Minimum boat-size requirements, legal limits on number of liveaboards, and long waiting lists for liveaboards could be major roadblocks to your plans.
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Old 06-12-2017, 16:35   #3
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Re: Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

Liability only, here on the west coast (LA) didn't need a survey, about $200 a year.
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Old 06-12-2017, 16:35   #4
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Re: Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

It's likely your auto insurer will insure a boat that size without survey and cheap. And liability insurance (which is all the marinas care about usually) doesn't need a survey. If you go to Florida, just be "passing thru".
There are plenty of "non marina" live aboard places in Ft L. Finding one that allows you to stay aboard may take some more time, not sure what the current situation is as it's been years for me.
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Old 06-12-2017, 16:42   #5
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Re: Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

Oh, well that's all good to know. Been a member for under an hour and already getting some great stuff, thanks all!

I'll start making some calls to look into min boat size, density, and waiting lists. Talked to one place today that had space and was up for it, but waaaaaay too expensive.
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Old 06-12-2017, 17:29   #6
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Re: Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

The apartments and houses in the Las Olas area have slips behind them. The shallower draft you are the easier to find one. However, the good way of finding a slip is to tour thru the canals in your dingy, they put signs facing the water "slip available". sometimes a sign on the street.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:18   #7
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Re: Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, SeaplaneDriver.
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:21   #8
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Re: Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

Call BoatUS. No more difficult than insuring a car.

Side note TOUGH to find liveaboard slips in Lauderdale and it’s HOT.

I lived on a J24 in Daytona and West Palm and have a little experience in small boat living.

The biggest pain if you are working is sweat :-)
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:32   #9
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Re: Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Minimum boat-size requirements, legal limits on number of liveaboards, and long waiting lists for liveaboards could be major roadblocks to your plans.
The only plus side would be only needing liability insurance and saving the survey cost.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:02   #10
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Re: Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

Thanks for the advice folks, I have been looking into it and it's easier and more affordable than I thought.

Heat is probably my biggest concern at this point... any wisdom regarding insulation? I figure the key would be to deflect as much sun as possible with shades or reflectors
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:07   #11
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Re: Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

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Originally Posted by SeaplaneDriver View Post
Thanks for the advice folks, I have been looking into it and it's easier and more affordable than I thought.

Heat is probably my biggest concern at this point... any wisdom regarding insulation? I figure the key would be to deflect as much sun as possible with shades or reflectors
I dealt with it ok and no air conditioning. Not in the july, aug, sept time frame though. A boat tent keeps the sun from heating the boat up a lot. Have fans. For me a bimini is a must in Fl. Spent a lot of time in the cockpit.
BTW, it can be a beautiful day down there and in the afternoon be a torrential downpour, dark skies and thunderstorms all of a sudden.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:16   #12
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Re: Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

Cooling yourself - not a problem as you'll get used to it after a few months. As far as heat in South Florida, you'll only really need it in January. Here's the NOAA data for you to play with ... National Weather Service Climate

As many have attested to on this site, insulating boats is neither fun nor effective. Secondly, the majority of things that heat rooms can kill you in a variety of unpleasant ways - CO, fires, really big dockage bills, etc. So as a safety warning, before you try to heat your yacht with any combustibles, invest in a good quality CO detectors (or two), and make sure the batteries are fresh.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:22   #13
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Re: Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

Being a cr0otchety old bastard. I think you need to do much more research.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:33   #14
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Re: Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

Auto insurers, like most cheap insurers, often omit wreck removal and environmental cleanup coverage. If your boat sinks and the fuel leaks out, you may find yourself looking at a fast ten or twenty thousand dollar bill for those things, so consider getting that coverage. And yes, that may mean a survey and other complications, you have to enquire to make sure.

If you're planning to live aboard in Fort Laud, beware. It is often not allowed, sometimes condoned, and a hot button issue in FL in general. There's also the question of getting a boat from NC down to FL, the cost of trucking it or buying a trailer (if you're not planning to sail it down) may make it cheaper to just buy a different boat once you are down there, and have a place to keep it.

Last time I heard, there were something like 5 boats for every "dock" in Broward County, so the competition and pricing are a bit different from your lake. Fort Laud keeps making the news, as being a VERY expensive place to live, no matter how you do it.
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Old 07-12-2017, 15:09   #15
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Re: Concerns With Moving to a Bigger Pond

I have had boats in Lake Norman and Ft Lauderdale. Buy your insurance in Lake Norman before you move boat. The Lake Norman Yacht club is the best on the lake. That will give you 1 year of very cheap coverage. In Lauderdale look for a dock behind a house in the New River, there are bunches. A boom tent, tarp plus a second one rigged over the fore deck and a few fans will make life tolerable. Fun to be young.
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