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Old 14-06-2011, 01:36   #1
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Aspiring Liveaboard Seeks Advice

Before I start this thread, I'd like to say I'm not a boating novice. I grew up on a boat, so I'm incredibly aware of the lifestyle and what is involved. It's almost second nature and I already live an incredibly minimal lifestyle because of that up-bringing.

I'm 29 years old and all my friends own their own houses. Something I could not do. I would go ape**** bonkers owning a house, so being a liveaboard really makes sense for my lifestyle. I already know I want a motor boat (I don't know how to sail or maintain them). So the boat really isn't an issue.

The problem really is where. I'd like to be in San Francisco, but as I've found the dock slips are hard to come by and there is a massive waiting list for one. I currently live in Utah, which is totally non-condusive for living aboard. The Salt Lake has a higher salinity point than the ocean so a complete hull overhaul is inevitable and during the winter it can get insanely cold. I'm also an I.T worker (Systems Engineer) and would need to work at my home port.

Right now my only problem is where to go that satisfies work, and affordable slip requirements. The West Coast really is my preferred option.

Any guidance or advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 14-06-2011, 04:21   #2
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Re: Apiring liveaboard seeks advise.

Do you absolutely have to live aboard?

I'm curious because I'd imagine that, from your description, you'd take a pretty massive financial hit.

It's not just the cost of the boat. The restrictions that living aboard would put on your work have got to hurt...

My apologies if the following offends. feel free to read no further and to put me on ignore.
Reading between the lines your job is driving you bonkers, the living options are driving you nuts and your social situation is driving you bananas?

Without saying these are must dos some suggestions (other than change jobs, find somewhere better to live or to find new friends) are :-
1) Work 6 months on, 6 off, year on year off, 3 years on, 3 off. This could be the most common solution.
2) Build model boats
3) Buy a small trailer sailer.
4) Take holidays in some of the more exotic locations.
5) Learn a foreign language
6) Join the peace Corps

My apologies again is this is out of line.
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Old 14-06-2011, 07:37   #3
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Re: Apiring liveaboard seeks advise.

Welcome Aboard Cruisers Forum and enjoy the site
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Old 14-06-2011, 08:42   #4
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Re: Aspiring liveaboard seeks advise.

I'm not sure what you mean by "dock slips are hard to come by and there is a massive waiting list for one". These guys always have slips (including liveaboards) and you couldn't get closer to SF Bay unless you fell overboard. Berkeley Marina - City of Berkeley, CA
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Old 14-06-2011, 08:58   #5
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Re: Aspiring liveaboard seeks advise.

I've done alot of investigation and Berkeley seems to come up time and time again. So does Alameda, but I guess they've gotten a little stodgy about liveaboards. But it's my understanding (and that isn't great...you all know better - that's why I'm here) that there is very long waiting list for every marina in the Bay Area.

Boracay: Your post was in no way useful or informative. Io parlo italiano. I also speak German and Latin as well. So...not like I need to learn another one. Why would I want to build model boats when I know how to use the the real thing? And I have family in Italy and travel there often. Perhaps you didn't read my initial post.
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Old 16-06-2011, 21:34   #6
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Re: Aspiring Liveaboard Seeks Advice

When my husband and I bought our boat, we called every marina in San Diego and were told by all of them it would be a 10 year waiting list for a liveaboard slip. Then we decided to try another tactic. We went to the marinas in person and asked to speak to the dockmaster. We essentially said "Hi, we are a nice, clean cut couple with real jobs and a nice boat." Magically, all of them somehow managed to have availability in a relatively short time frame. Marinas are very worried about bringing seedy criminals in, so they quote outrageous wait times to scare off the bad element. Once they know you aren't seedy, the doors will open. Fly out there to visit marinas in person to make sure you like them and they like you.
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Old 16-06-2011, 22:22   #7
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Re: Aspiring Liveaboard Seeks Advice

Marina Bay in Richmond (SF Bay Area) has Liveaboard slips too. It's a nicer area then berkeley well to me anyway. berkeley is nice though the road to the marina is rough and traffic on 80 is always very heavy. I lived at marina bay for three years. Grand marina in alameda would be another good one too.

Look around the bay on google maps / earth. You'll find lots of empty slips at some marinas.

Berkeley gets the winds from the slot (golden gate) head on. Normal winds are 25-30 mph in the summer. Marina Bay and grand marine are more protected, though it can blow at marina bay too.

Figure 500-550 for a 35' slip with liveaboard fee. some are higher, a few are lower
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Old 17-06-2011, 08:25   #8
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Re: Aspiring Liveaboard Seeks Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by praetorsailing View Post
I've done alot of investigation and Berkeley seems to come up time and time again. So does Alameda, but I guess they've gotten a little stodgy about liveaboards.
Have you been to visit? Most marinas that allow liveaboards are still cautious over the phone or e-mail. You may find that making an appointment and showing up, looking decent, and being well-spoken will result in a significantly different response.
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Old 17-06-2011, 09:12   #9
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Re: Aspiring Liveaboard Seeks Advice

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I'm also an I.T worker (Systems Engineer) and would need to work at my home port.
Option 1 would be to try to transition to a job that allows working remotely. Then you can liveaboard pretty much anywhere that has good wifi and cell data plans.

I know your preference is west coast, but Florida is very liveaboard friendly. I also work IT(Linux admin) and there are a good range of jobs close to the coast. Tampa is a big IT market along with Jacksonville. SE Florida has an amazing IT market, but living aboard down there is harder. It's doable, just expensive and the live aboard options are sparse.

You can also find IT jobs in "off spots" in Florida, Melbourne is a decent market, and those areas have very cheap live aboard options. I'm paying $11 a ft where I'm at in Fort Pierce and commute 30 mins to a data center.

If you don't mind a longer commute(say 45mins to an hour), you could even work in Orlando and live on the coast near Cocoa Beach. Orlando has a pretty solid IT market. If you have a security clearance, Harris, Lockhead and NASA are usually hiring and they have locations on the east Florida coast near nice inexpensive marinas.
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