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Old 17-08-2015, 15:38   #1
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Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

I'm moving from the IL/Wisconsin area to take a tech job in San Jose.
I currently sail my Pearson 30 every night all summer and stay on it quite a bit.
My plan is to buy a 46ish foot boat and live aboard, rather than give $2,500 a month to a landlord in San Jose.

So, I'm happy that I'll finally be in a place where I can live aboard...except it seems like:

1)Live aboards are not well liked, especially in SF.

2)The only places I've seen are >1 hour away (moss landing in monterey).

Are there any live aboards in the south bay- east or west side?
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Old 17-08-2015, 15:49   #2
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Re: Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

Here's one that discusses it in detail:

Docking Bay Area

Welcome & good luck.
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Old 17-08-2015, 15:56   #3
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Re: Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

I would look in the Redwood City area if the job is actually in SJ. Further south and it can be hard to get out to the sailing sections of the Bay, further north and your commute might not be tolerable.

One option (no affiliation, they just actually have a complete website with all the information you might need) is Westpoint (Berthing Information | Westpoint Harbor) but there are a number of other Redwood City area marinas.

One thing to note, the BCDC limits all of the Bay Area marinas to 10% liveaboards, so most have waiting lists for liveaboard berthing. Depends on where you are.

There are lots of other Bay Area options, but you'd have to indicate your commute tolerance (and some of that will depend on whether or not CalTrain is feasible for your work location).
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Old 17-08-2015, 16:04   #4
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Re: Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
I would look in the Redwood City area if the job is actually in SJ. Further south and it can be hard to get out to the sailing sections of the Bay...
Good point. Basically, there re NONE.

The rest of your post is very true and helpful.
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Old 17-08-2015, 16:21   #5
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Re: Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

Yeah, I think the bad old days of living in the mud in Alviso are long gone. In Redwood City Docktown Marina (if they are still around and viable) has always been liveaboard friendly. Across the Bay, with about the same commute distance you have San Leandro (depending on your draft, and don't know if they accept liveaboards), and then all the marinas in Alameda/Oakland, but that 880 commute is not one I would want to do, and the public transit options are much more limited than down the Peninsula side.
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Old 17-08-2015, 23:43   #6
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Re: Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

As already noted the first problem is how far do you want to drive and in what type of traffic that will be.

The closest marina with liveabords to San Jose I believe is in Santa Cruz but I'm not sure how long the waiting list is, we're talking years here, 20 miles. Next are in Redwood City: Docktown and West Point Marina are the only two I'm familiar with, 35 miles. After that I think it's a draw between Oyster Point in South San Francisco, Pillar Point Marina by Half Moon Bay, and the Moss Landing Marina above Monterey in terms of distance, around 60 miles depending where in San Jose the job is.

To make maters worse the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) regulates marinas here and they have decreed that only 10% of any Bay Area marina's slips can be occupied by liveaboards.

There are also liveaboards in San Francisco, Richmond, Alameda, Sausalito, San Rafael and I believe Oakland. Call up some marinas, ask for the harbor master and ask them if they know what marinas have open liveaboard slips.

Docktown in Redwood City is so old I believe that they were grandfathered in with no limits but they're always full. Pillar Point by Half Moon Bay is on the coast so it doesn't have any restrictions on liveaboard limits. Moss Landing Marina is also on the coast but for some reason they have imposed liveaboard limits. Might be something to do with the marine santuary in the area, the fact it's just Monterey County or both I never bothered to find out.

Go to 511.org in the morning and late afternoon to see what traffic patterns are like at the times you'll be driving, pacific times.

Moss Landing is 60 miles away from San Jose and around 1 hour without traffic. During commute times large sections of the freeway are bumper to bumper. Parts of Highway 1 by Moss Landing are only 1 lane. On weekends touristas load that up to a standstill, no idea what it's like on week days.

Good luck and try not to let the lack of amazing options get to you.
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Old 18-08-2015, 09:54   #7
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Re: Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

I'm not sure how far along the BART extension to San Jose has advanced, but once it is complete you will have better access from the East Bay marinas such as San Leandro, Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond.

You can also access CalTrain from the peninsula marinas of Oyster Point, Oyster Cove, and the marinas of Redwood City as already noted.
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Old 18-08-2015, 11:37   #8
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Re: Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

San Leandro probably isn't an option. They have a 2 mile estuary you have to sail to get to the bay. It was silting in and no one had the money to dredge it out. I can't find any current information as to what happened but I didn't spend a lot of time searching. It shouldn't of been that hard to find.

As to public transport it's not cheap and you need to figure out how to get to it. It was a two mile walk to caltrain from the marina I was in in Redwood City and then I had to make a transfer on to light rail. If the timing wasn't right I'd miss the connection and have to wait another 20 minutes for the next light rail train. Driving to the caltrain station is an option but parking is very limited. As to the marina I was in, Pete's Harbor, they're building condo's there now. Docktown will probably go down that path too when it's cost effective. That area looks like it will need a lot of epa approved work. Couldn't give you a timeline.

And don't forget once you get to your caltrain destination how do you actually get to your worksite? Unless your business has a reliable company shuttle it'll cost you more money and time to get there.

It is what it is.
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Old 18-08-2015, 11:42   #9
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Re: Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

You might have to resort to buying a boat that comes with the slip. I know that I have seen this come up every now and then on Latitude magazine. Also try scouring the Craig's list for San Jose, East Bay, and San Francisco Bay areas. Since you are a techy you should be able to come up with Harbor Master office phone numbers for the marinas in your desired area. Call them and ask policies. Ask them if they know of boats being sold in their marina. Persevere!
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Old 18-08-2015, 11:48   #10
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Re: Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

Marinas are limited by the BCDC to no more than 10% of the number of boats in the marina. Marina operators don't have a choice to exceed that number. Marina operators of course have the choice to not have any liveaboards. Most marina operators do know that having a few trustworthy liveaboards around is good security.

My guess is that if you are clean cut, have a job and look like an honest responsible person that your chances of becoming a liveaboard are greater.

There are a few liveaboards at my marina but they are people that the harbormaster had already known for a while and came to trust them.

The southernmost marinas in the Bay Area are in Redwood Creek. There are two major marinas there, one is Westpoint Harbor. Google the others.
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Old 18-08-2015, 12:52   #11
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Re: Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

There are also areas of the north bay, Napa, Vallejo and Benecia that tend to ignore San Francisco and their politics as much as possible.
They had some marinas when I left the area in 1993.
Mare Island was once a large USN facility with many piers available, hopefully some have been turned into Vallejo city owned boat berthing.
Oakland and Alameda and that area of the East Bay could possibly offer something also.
These areas would give you a 70 mile one-way commute to Santa Clara where the jobs once were.
Personally I would rather stay In Wisconsin than suffer with the Bay Area.
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Old 18-08-2015, 13:05   #12
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Re: Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

Oyster point marina might be the closest to SJ but it's not that close time wise in rush hour. Plus there may be a wait list. The only marina without a liveaboard wait list is marina bay in Richmond, because it's Richmond.

One option would be emery-ville marina and taking Amtrak to SJ. Commuting by car from Richmond or Emeryville to SJ would be a special kind of hell. Even from Oyster point to SJ would be BAD.

I should note that when I was at marina bay a commute to Alameda (13 miles) via interstate was 40 minutes one way, sometimes an hour or more.. Moss landing really is not that far from a traffic standpoint. Mind you its a bit cool along the coast. Traffic in the bay area is a bitch and that's on a good day.
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Old 18-08-2015, 21:38   #13
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Re: Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

Had a birthday lunch with my wife in Half Moon Bay yesterday. There were plenty of boats out in the harbor on anchor. Try looking south of San Jose and south of San Francisco. All the posters are correct about SF traffic. It is murder. Don't think it would be much fun being on anchor and dealing with wind, rain, dingy shizzle, and getting to work. Really, I am not boasting, but I think my idea about trying to find a boat for sale that has a slip is pretty good advice.
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Old 18-08-2015, 23:23   #14
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Re: Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

Sweet bluewater performance cruiser with a liveaboard slip in Alameda.
Contact me, its an open listing so the price sans broker commission is $99k.
Pacific Yacht Imports (Alameda, CA)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaSun View Post
I'm moving from the IL/Wisconsin area to take a tech job in San Jose.
I currently sail my Pearson 30 every night all summer and stay on it quite a bit.
My plan is to buy a 46ish foot boat and live aboard, rather than give $2,500 a month to a landlord in San Jose.

So, I'm happy that I'll finally be in a place where I can live aboard...except it seems like:

1)Live aboards are not well liked, especially in SF.

2)The only places I've seen are >1 hour away (moss landing in monterey).

Are there any live aboards in the south bay- east or west side?
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Old 18-08-2015, 23:45   #15
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Re: Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose?

California Sun, and there you go. Above post laid right in your lap. Nice boat. Alameda is the coolest of the cool locations in SF Bay...in my opinion. Leave for work a little earlier than dusk and you can probably make it in an hour. Smile..
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