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Old 14-08-2014, 11:39   #16
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Re: Is the liveaboard life still free and easy?

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I agree although I have noticed that more and more marinas would rather be half full at $500 a month than 95% full at $260 a month.
Have seen the same. I spent a summer living onboard in New England, moored or anchored. Sept and getting ready to head south I had crew flying in for the trip so thought it would be handy to tie up at a dock for a couple of days for loading crew, luggage and groceries.

All the local marinas (eastern CT) wanted $3-$4/ft per night for transient dockage. I called one that I know was about 2/3 empty and offered him $2/ft and he turned it down so I stayed on the hook. So he missed out on $170 and my $300 fuel purchase but didn't seem to care.

Was just hard for me to justify $125/might just to tie up when I could get a hotel room down the road with AC, HBO, wifi and a kitchen for $80/night.
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Old 14-08-2014, 11:47   #17
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Re: Is the Liveaboard Life Still Free and Easy?

Skipmac, I've noticed the same thing. I'm always disappointed that a mooring in New England costs as much as a slip in the Southeast with full amenities.

PS - Why is your Lat & Long position in the middle of the state & so far from water! When is that boat coming back out of the woods!
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Old 14-08-2014, 11:59   #18
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Re: Is the Liveaboard Life Still Free and Easy?

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Skipmac, I've noticed the same thing. I'm always disappointed that a mooring in New England costs as much as a slip in the Southeast with full amenities.
you think you are disappointed
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Old 14-08-2014, 12:29   #19
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Re: Is the Liveaboard Life Still Free and Easy?

I was noting a change in the amount of folks anchoring out. Seven years ago there were no anchor outs in several spot I frequent. For example, In China camp in San Pablo bay, part of SF bay, there use to be 10-20 weekend sailboats at china camp, pretty much any weekend during summer.

In the last two three years, I've noticed that the weekender boaters have dropped off to maybe 3 or 4 a day on the weekends, half don't even stay overnight. Other then holidays that is.

In addition, there are now four full time anchor outs at China camp. That is the same boats have been there the times I swung by over the last 3-4 months, in the same locations. One boat has been there well over a year.

From this I can infer that folks with homes or apartments are using their boats less, for anchoring out anyway. Secondly, there are a whole bunch of folks with older vessels, myself included, on the water every day. There goes the neighborhood.

Working from a boat with a full time or long term part time job might be challenging. Shore access is sometimes a problem and sometimes the rains or winds will be such that it would be unsafe to dinghy ashore when you need to go ashore. Far easier to work from a slip, though $$$.
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Old 14-08-2014, 20:43   #20
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Re: Is the liveaboard life still free and easy?

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Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
I agree although I have noticed that more and more marinas would rather be half full at $500 a month than 95% full at $260 a month.
So for a 100 slip marina the revenue is $24,700 @$260 X .95, vs. $25,000 @$500 X .5.

For $300 a month less revenue(???) I have to maintain 50 more dock slips, 50 more shorepower connections, 50X the wear and tear on showering facilities. 50 times more people complaining about slow internet.

50 percent more non-paying deadbeats, 50 percent more abandonments

Get the idea?

There are fixed costs - taxes, infrastructure depreciation etc - and variable costs - wear and tear, labor etc. I need a minimum revenue to cover fixed costs + the revenue to cover the variable costs at break even point. Adding boats adds "primarily" to the variable costs and efficiency grows.

It would be interesting to understand the margins on a Marina business...

It's not a public service...
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Old 14-08-2014, 21:03   #21
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Re: Is the liveaboard life still free and easy?

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
So for a 100 slip marina the revenue is $24,700 @$260 X .95, vs. $25,000 @$500 X .5.

For $300 a month less revenue(???) I have to maintain 50 more dock slips, 50 more shorepower connections, 50X the wear and tear on showering facilities. 50 times more people complaining about slow internet.

50 percent more non-paying deadbeats, 50 percent more abandonments

Get the idea?

There are fixed costs - taxes, infrastructure depreciation etc - and variable costs - wear and tear, labor etc. I need a minimum revenue to cover fixed costs + the revenue to cover the variable costs at break even point. Adding boats adds "primarily" to the variable costs and efficiency grows.

It would be interesting to understand the margins on a Marina business...

It's not a public service...
No idea what it is like in the US, but I know on the west coast of Canada the marina business is essentially a lifestyle choice of recent retirees, who after a number of years recognize there just is no money in it, and they sell it off to the next idealist.

It is not a money maker for sure. Not when one considers the capital required to invest in it.
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Old 14-08-2014, 21:30   #22
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Re: Is the liveaboard life still free and easy?

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It is not a money maker for sure. Not when one considers the capital required to invest in it.
A few years ago I read about a marina in NE Florida for sale. Forget the price but in the low seven figures. I looked at the specs including the number of slips and even included the new slips in a planned expansion. I added up the monthly income based on 100% occupancy at the high end of the rates in the area. Even figuring zero for salaries, maintenance or any expenses at all it was 20 years or so just to recover the cost of the property.

Did make me wonder who would ever buy the place for anything other than getting the property to develop into more condos (just what FL needs).
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Old 14-08-2014, 21:50   #23
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Re: Is the Liveaboard Life Still Free and Easy?

" I paid $100 a month for my last apartment "
So you left the States in the early 70's, huh?

And you'd live anywhere on a 2500~mile coastline, if the price was cheap enough?

New England winters...Florida summers...there's pros and cons that may impact you more than the mooring cost.
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Old 14-08-2014, 21:52   #24
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Re: Is the Liveaboard Life Still Free and Easy?

Thanks to everyone for all the helpful information. I think I could actually do this! Or, maybe I'll use these $200 marinas I'm hearing about. Anyway, I'll be getting a boat once I find her.

Ex-Calif, you're right, once I get out there I'll find out more I bet, good idea. I'll check that $500 a month thread. I'm not at all tangled up, so it is time to get a boat.

a64pilot, I'll check out the Big Bend area for sure. Thanks.

skipmac, I will keep the boat clean and I know that I'll be an ambassador of sorts for the liveaboard community. I agree, high end marinas are clearly providing a service that many want enough that they pay the high price. I'm just opting out of that deal.

biker6977, thanks I'll do more research on those areas. I love Louisiana and southern Alabama. I might start off at a marina if it was only $200 and had WiFi, maybe it would be an easier start.

mrohr, all good ideas, thanks.

denverd0n and valhalla360, you hit upon what really concerns me, the availability of a place to stay that is also in relative proximity of a job. Maybe I'd need to add a small motor to my bicycle or even to the dinghy if a great spot can't be found.

RTB, thanks this is concrete information. I'll look into Boca Ciega Bay. It is a nice area.

Cheers!
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Old 14-08-2014, 21:56   #25
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Re: Is the Liveaboard Life Still Free and Easy?

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
I was noting a change in the amount of folks anchoring out. Seven years ago there were no anchor outs in several spot I frequent. For example, In China camp in San Pablo bay, part of SF bay, there use to be 10-20 weekend sailboats at china camp, pretty much any weekend during summer.
We've experienced the opposite in the daytona beach area. Our free anchorage used to have two dozen boats permanently moored or anchored, mostly for storage, but five with full time liveaboards. Now we're down to about 15 boats and one liveaboard. And this in an "anchorage" that is convenient to shoreside facilities, free dinghy dock, no hassle from the authorities, and not too cold winters.

The big marina half a mile away used to have a 2 year waiting list. Now its maybe 2/3 full.
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Old 15-08-2014, 06:30   #26
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Re: Is the liveaboard life still free and easy?

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So for a 100 slip marina the revenue is...
Well put. Someone who understands that business is about maximizing revenues. And quite often you can maximize revenues by picking a price point that puts you well below 100% occupancy.
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Old 15-08-2014, 10:02   #27
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Re: Is the liveaboard life still free and easy?

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
So for a 100 slip marina the revenue is $24,700 @$260 X .95, vs. $25,000 @$500 X .5.

For $300 a month less revenue(???) I have to maintain 50 more dock slips, 50 more shorepower connections, 50X the wear and tear on showering facilities. 50 times more people complaining about slow internet.

50 percent more non-paying deadbeats, 50 percent more abandonments

Get the idea?

There are fixed costs - taxes, infrastructure depreciation etc - and variable costs - wear and tear, labor etc. I need a minimum revenue to cover fixed costs + the revenue to cover the variable costs at break even point. Adding boats adds "primarily" to the variable costs and efficiency grows.

It would be interesting to understand the margins on a Marina business...

It's not a public service...
You beat me to it but you missed a couple other key points:
- The folks drawn the $260/month marinas tend to spend less on fuel and other services which often include a high markup.
- If you draw in the lower end crowd it often leads to the higher end crowd leaving.
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Old 15-08-2014, 10:23   #28
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Re: Is the Liveaboard Life Still Free and Easy?

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From this I can infer that folks with homes or apartments are using their boats less, for anchoring out anyway. Secondly, there are a whole bunch of folks with older vessels, myself included, on the water every day. There goes the neighborhood.
Another possible conclusion is that folks who own boats have already done the "anchor out it's fun" routine and now marina hop while still using their boats just as much, while at the same time new boaters haven't yet learned to or even desire to anchor out 'cuz they haven't figured out yet how to keep the lights on without being plugged in!

As far as the neighborhood, yup.
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Old 19-08-2014, 21:12   #29
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Re: Is the Liveaboard Life Still Free and Easy?

Very interesting thread, Dock Danger... Thanks for the inquiries. It seems that many folks are only interested in the live aboard lifestyle in Florida and forsake the many other spots like Mexico and the PNW. Having come from north of the real border, I've always had a soft spot for BC as long as you stay out of then Lower Mainland where Vancouver is located. There are heaps of little out of the way anchorages where there is a general store, a government dock and few neighbors to irritate you! If I were to choose, I would go north... Perhaps the Great Lakes might be a good spot for easterners... Never sailed up there but heard good things about that part of the country.
Good luck with your search... Phil
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Old 19-08-2014, 21:38   #30
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Re: Is the Liveaboard Life Still Free and Easy?

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Very interesting thread, Dock Danger... Thanks for the inquiries. It seems that many folks are only interested in the live aboard lifestyle in Florida and forsake the many other spots like Mexico and the PNW. Having come from north of the real border, I've always had a soft spot for BC as long as you stay out of then Lower Mainland where Vancouver is located. There are heaps of little out of the way anchorages where there is a general store, a government dock and few neighbors to irritate you! If I were to choose, I would go north... Perhaps the Great Lakes might be a good spot for easterners... Never sailed up there but heard good things about that part of the country.
Good luck with your search... Phil
The eastern end of the border is much colder than the western end. Also, cruising in the Great Lakes provides new challenges, as it is a zero discharge zone, with few pump outs available in the winter.
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