Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-10-2014, 18:50   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Charleston, SC
Boat: Pearson 424
Posts: 61
Charleston, SC livaboard info

Hello folks,
I've been lurking on this site for a few years gathering information for an eventual(read retirement) livaboard/cruising lifestyle. We had been thinking that the cruising life would be about 8 years down the road and we would continue to enjoy seasonal sailing on our Catalina 30 on Lake Champlain.
Recently a position opened up in my wife's career field and she has applied for the position. If she gets the job(at an acceptable wage) we would likely sell our current boat and probably sell the house and purchase something in the 40/42 foot range to live on in the Charleston area. I just started doing some research on the fees for long term slips in the area. From the info I've found it could be as much as $1000/month for a slip. Is that accurate? Are there other options?
Any local info about dockage, location, or costs would be greatly appreciated.
__________________

__________________
Spindrift NH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2014, 20:25   #2
Registered User
 
DSDman's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Chicopee, MA
Posts: 570
Images: 16
Re: Charleston, SC livaboard info

Ashley River marina is less than that. So is folly beach. I have a friend who lives on his boat over next to the York town at the marina there in Mt pleasant. A few options for sure. Cooper river marina also is cheaper in North charleston. Active captain is your friend now. Lots of good info there.

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________

__________________
DSDman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2014, 20:48   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Deltaville, VA
Boat: Moody M46 46
Posts: 263
Re: Charleston, SC livaboard info

I hate to ruin your plans. I live in Charleston, and the price you are quoting sounds about right for the so-called Megadock run by the City Marina (not to be confused with the Charleston Maritime Center). The City Marina/Megadock is on the Ashley River; the Maritime Center on the Cooper River. I do not know if the Maritime Center takes permanent slip holders. It was originally aimed at attracting the transient and commerical fishing groups. Anyway, the City Marina and the Maritime Center are on opposite sides of the peninsula and are two of three marinas that are in walking range to the downtown. The third is the Ashley Marina next to the City Marina on the Ashley. A nice marina especially for sailboats. Further up the peninsula, and again on opposite sides, are what used to be the old Navy Base marina on the Cooper River now run by the city of North Charleston, while almost opposite it on the Ashley River is Dolphin Cove Marina. I don't know their prices. Dolphin Cove is tiny and for motor boats. Going further up the Ashely and largely for motor boats is Duncan's, a dry stack marina. On the lower Ashely, across the river from the Megadock, is Remley's Point Marina. Sailboats there, but 38" seem the limit. It will not be cheap, and is on the opposite side of the river from the town. One could dinghy across the river. Last, across the Cooper River from the Maritime Center is a large marina whose name escapes me. It is adjacent to the Patriots Point Museum where the Yorktown sits in the mud. Nice facilities, but not within walking distance to the city. It is in M.t Pleasant and one would have to dinghy across the Cooper to the peninsula. There might be a water taxi. Used to be one and there is always noise about needing one from the anti-car crowd, but the talk was cheap and several have gone out of business. There are some marinas further from the city, but they are even less accessible to water or foot traffic. They will be a little cheaper.

The most expensive marinas will be the City and Ashley Marinas and the Maritime Center. They are downtown. The first is beloved by transients and people who pay $1000 a month to winter over in Charleston. There is a lot going on here that make it a wonderful place for that. Just bring lots of money. Super restaurants everywhere; great cultural scene; colleges; hospitals; good transport; beautiful scenery; good climate; but not many nearby marinas and they know it and charge accordingly.

Also, I would not want a boat in any marina when the next hurricane comes. I used to live on the Ashley River a mile above the City Marina, and after Hugo I had many boats in my yard. Others were in the streets. None of the marinas have adequate protection from a hurricane.

Taxes: one word: outrageous. Boats are taxed as personal property at a rate higher than cars. Example: when I looked into berthing my Moody 38 (in 2006; the boat was a 2002 model, i.e., used), Charleston County sent me a bill for $7700. Virginia was $1500 or so. Where do you think I kept the boat? In 2012 when I sold the boat, VA was $500; Charleston wanted $4400. For the difference between those rates I can pay for my slip in VA and the gas to get to the boat. Also, two years ago the tax assessor lost her job in an election because her opponent convinced the voters that she was going light on plutocrats with yachts. The tax man is now quite aggressive. Stay here 180 days and you will get a bill.

And--once you have cruised Charleston harbor which you can do in a day, there is nowhere to go but the ocean. Nearest inlet is Winyah Bay to the north or St.Helena/Beaufort to the south, both worth a visit bu each is a good 60 miles away. And then where? The Chesapeake offers much more.

Now, don't get me wrong about living and working here. I have lived and worked for over 40 years in Charleston, and it is a wonderful place to live in and to work, but not to own a big boat, the kind one can live on. Nowhere to go; expensive marinas, and outrageous taxes. I keep my boat in VA on the Chesapeake Bay.
__________________
Moody46CC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2014, 04:09   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Charleston, SC
Boat: Pearson 424
Posts: 61
Re: Charleston, SC livaboard info

Thanks for your info. Just the kind of info realistic info I'm looking for. I have found on boatslip.com that you can rent a slip from a slip owner at a rate of about $500 per month but I haven't seen anything about duration.
Also, good insight on the sailing scene, we like to spend our weekends anchored out so we're looking for a place with many anchorages to explore.
__________________
Spindrift NH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2014, 05:23   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,586
Images: 240
Re: Charleston, SC livaboard info

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Spindrift NH.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2014, 06:30   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Deltaville, VA
Boat: Moody M46 46
Posts: 263
Re: Charleston, SC livaboard info

I am not too familiar with anchorages as I do not keep my boat here. People do go out and anchor, but the ones I know about have motorboats. The most popular places are behind the barrier islands which can be accessed by going outside and coming back in or from the ICW in some cases. It is pretty--especially at this time of the year. Draft is a major consideration. Despite its size, Charleston Harbor is not deep outside the shipping channels plus we have a 5' tide. Get and look at the chart of Charleston and the harbor. And of course the ICW has issues, so do NOT buy a deep draft boat for the LowCountry. You can go up the rivers, especially the Cooper or Wando, for several miles. Wonderful scenery. In summer months, you will need a/c. You most definitely MUST HAVE it for summer living. Also, we have tons of waterways with bridges of all kinds. Be sure to consider air draft. My boat with an air draft of 65' really cannot be used here and I would have to bring it down from VA on the outside, going around Hatteras. Not a big deal in good weather, and it saves time, but the ICW passages are interesting.

I'm sure some slips can be found for $500, and while that is a cheap house payment or rental payment, it is on top of whatever you pay for your boat.

There is an active and good racing scene here, both in harbor regattas (small boats) and in the ocean. IF that is your thing, then you will find lots to do. But cruising has problems. You could sail to Winyah Bay (Georgetown) in a day or the Beaufort area in the same time, but any where else is a longer run. There is a Cruising Guide to the Low Country (that is the title or damn close and available on Amazon) that will shed some light on things, but just look at the chart and you'll see.

Anyway, if you are thinking of buying a boat to bring here or have one, call the county tax assessor to get an idea of the taxes before committing. The taxes are serious and breath-taking. But CHECK. On the plus side, the sales tax for anything is currently capped at 6% or $300, whichever is higher. So if you are going to buy a boat to bring here, make sure you pay the SC sales tax which will be $300. I don't know of a cheaper place for sales tax.

We cruise and have a big boat--one I could live on, a Moody 46. For reasons I have stated, we keep it in VA on the Chesapeake. We are retired now, but both my wife and I taught, so summers were free plus some breaks, so we could head to VA and from there to places for the summer for lengthy periods, cutting down on the driving nuisance, which made it feasible to keep the boat in VA. Being retired now means we can go to the boat and stay as long as we wish, so that eliminates some of the hassle of driving and keeping a boat far away. With a job that allowed only weekends off, keeping a boat at a distance is really not feasible nor desirable. Even now, with unlimited time at my disposal, I wish my boat were closer, largely for maintenance chores.

Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds in NC offer opportunities for cruising, but have no detailed or personal knowledge. People in this forum will.

So, to summarize, I think Charleston and environs are a wonderful place to live and work for many, many reasons. For me, it does not make sense to keep my boat here. I do not live on it. Those ratings placing the city number one in many categories have a sound basis. For harbor cruising, get a shallow draft boat and maybe by factoring in the boat mortgage, taxes and slip fees, it will work. If you are living aboard, you won't have a house payment on top of all the boat expenses, and that may make the difference. Just be aware of the real costs and that the region is not a cruiser's paradise like Long Island Sound or the Chesapeake. But we have things ashore they do not and a far gentler climate. But be sure to get a/c. There is a reason far fewer people lived in the south until after WWII when a/c became universal.
__________________
Moody46CC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2014, 09:25   #7
Registered User
 
Cadence's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SC
Boat: None,build the one shown of glass, had many from 6' to 48'.
Posts: 6,063
Re: Charleston, SC livaboard info

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spindrift NH View Post
Hello folks,
I've been lurking on this site for a few years gathering information for an eventual(read retirement) livaboard/cruising lifestyle. We had been thinking that the cruising life would be about 8 years down the road and we would continue to enjoy seasonal sailing on our Catalina 30 on Lake Champlain.
Recently a position opened up in my wife's career field and she has applied for the position. If she gets the job(at an acceptable wage) we would likely sell our current boat and probably sell the house and purchase something in the 40/42 foot range to live on in the Charleston area. I just started doing some research on the fees for long term slips in the area. From the info I've found it could be as much as $1000/month for a slip. Is that accurate? Are there other options?
Any local info about dockage, location, or costs would be greatly appreciated.
It has been some time since I had seen it. Marina's Cay had some slips I think that cost a little less since they had been part of the condo price and some had no need for the slips so rented them. That all may have changed by now? Worth a shot. There was also a marina on Folly Beach That may be cheaper than in town or not.
At least you can swim here without freezing off something.

Good luck to your wife.
__________________
Cadence is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2014, 09:49   #8
Registered User
 
jibstay's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 177
Re: Charleston, SC livaboard info

The Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina (next to the Yorktown), provides a free trolley to Sullivan's Island, Shem Creek, and downtown Charleston. Don't attempt to dock here when the tides are running. I've seen professional captains get pinned in the fairways.

It's easier to call yourself a transient rather than a live aboard.

The Cooper River Marina is the least expensive, but can only handle boats up to 40'. And, it's in the middle of nowhere as far as shops and restaurants.

The annual personal property tax is reduced if you live aboard. If your boat is out of the state in January you have a good chance of not receiving a tax bill.



Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
jibstay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2014, 10:13   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Charleston SC
Boat: 2001 Catalina 400 MKII
Posts: 52
Send a message via MSN to CCR2580
Re: Charleston, SC livaboard info

I slip my 40' Catalina at the Charleston City Marina. The fees are reasonable $13 per foot which includes electric, water, cable TV and WIFI (not to good of service). If you live on board they charge you an additional $175 per month. Waste clean out fees are $5. The service is great 24 hour slip assistance, free shuttle to downtown. They have clean restrooms and showers. I would recommend this marina.

If you live aboard the city property taxes are minimal. I pay $461 per year if I didn't live aboard the taxes would be $2880.
__________________
CCR2580 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2014, 19:39   #10
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Re: Charleston, SC livaboard info

If you don't have to be in Charleston, consider Beaufort. It's a great little town, much less expensive than the Charleston area and lots of places to gunkhole. Chuck
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2014, 18:25   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Charleston, SC
Boat: Pearson 424
Posts: 61
Re: Charleston, SC livaboard info

Thank you everybody so far for the input. I've been researching the marinas suggested so far and I'm learning quite a bit about those options. One possible option I need to consider(somewhat regrettably) is being shore based and bringing our Catalina down and use it as we do now, 2-5 day trips. In that case I would like to keep it on a mooring as I do now. Please forgive my naivete, but why is there only one marina on Active Captain which lists moorings?
Is that not a common practice there?
__________________
Spindrift NH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2014, 19:01   #12
Registered User
 
Cadence's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SC
Boat: None,build the one shown of glass, had many from 6' to 48'.
Posts: 6,063
Re: Charleston, SC livaboard info

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spindrift NH View Post
Thank you everybody so far for the input. I've been researching the marinas suggested so far and I'm learning quite a bit about those options. One possible option I need to consider(somewhat regrettably) is being shore based and bringing our Catalina down and use it as we do now, 2-5 day trips. In that case I would like to keep it on a mooring as I do now. Please forgive my naivete, but why is there only one marina on Active Captain which lists moorings?
Is that not a common practice there?
I didn't think there where any. I'll take that back the one at the old Navy Base may have some. I wouldn't bank on availability.
__________________

__________________
Cadence is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Electronics person in Charleston - Also life raft in Charleston? Labatt Marine Electronics 6 04-01-2009 18:34
svarmido, solo circumnavigator and livaboard.. PorkLoin Meets & Greets 5 29-08-2008 12:53
Picking a livaboard cascott Monohull Sailboats 13 13-08-2008 22:03
New Member, Hopefully Future Livaboard, Wanting Some Advice smithSMX Meets & Greets 8 11-07-2008 14:32
Livaboard Student in Brisbane, Australia wind rose ll Pacific & South China Sea 0 21-11-2006 11:43



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:10.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.