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Old 26-12-2015, 21:54   #1
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Life on a Liveaboard Rental in SF Bay?


Contrary to probably most people on this forum, I don't know much about boats or sailing in general. I just graduated from college in Michigan and was planning on moving to either SF/LA area for work. As everyone probably knows, the bay area has some of the highest rent in the country which I would not be able to afford.

I did see a listing for a liveaboard on an Island Freeport 41'. 2br/2bath with tv, dsl/wifi, regular outlets, water heater, diesel furnace, and a full size kitchen. It is more affordable than any land place in San Francisco. My only concern is I've only lived in apartments, homes, and an RV for like 2 weeks cross country and wanted to know for someone who is staying on a boat for the first time what are your warnings/advice?

Also, I am big ocean lover and one day would love to own a boat and I feel like this is a unique experience I could definitely benefit from.


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Old 27-12-2015, 02:02   #2
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Re: Life on a Liveaboard Rental in SF Bay?

What marina in SF?

Liveaboard wait lists are very long for SF (and surrounding), as in can be 10 years and you pay a wait list fee. Mine, not sf, stopped allowing people to get on the list.

Many sailors around here are sick of land ppl moving aboard just for cheap rent, there is only 10% liveaboard at each marina, thats it. Obviously you would be cutting that line. Someone on your dock could be on that list. Don't lie but I wouldn't advertise whats up and I would make sure you see some kind of written something from the boat owner showing legal liveaboard status, otherwise you could get busted, for sneakaboard, and kicked out.
The owner maybe has l/a status and is going to beg the HM to transfer it to you, which is not following the rules.
So keep that on the dl and know how fortunate you are.

That Freeport is as apt like as it gets. Go to the library and get a book out on cruising and that will answer your questions (or just research this forum).

Learn to sail (buy a sailing dinghy and/or join cal sailing, tradewinds or afterguard).

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Old 28-12-2015, 10:02   #3
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Re: Life on a Liveaboard Rental in SF Bay?

I agree with Cherise. The Islander Freeport 41 would be a great sailboat to live on if it were in good condition. However, I think you would be in jeopardy legally because liveaboard slips cannot be reassigned by the tenant of record (that I know of). So, you would be a "sneakaboard" under constant threat of eviction.
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Old 28-12-2015, 10:28   #4
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Re: Life on a Liveaboard Rental in SF Bay?

LOL, two bedroom 2 bath, love that..

More like an OK vberth sized for two people, if they are very friendly and a quarter berth fit for one (think 1/2 of a twin mattress). As to the bathrooms, think 2 feet x 2 feet for a large head. That full kitchen is 4' long max including sink and stove and a 6cf ice box.

Sailboats, even a larger 41' Islander freeport, are tiny compared to the smallest landside loft. A islander 41, probably has about 200 sf of space including hanging locker (closet 18" high x 48" high) and storage. Perhaps a bit less.

My Islander 34 has a wopping 130 sf of space including storage. Bonus... I can turn the stove off from the salon table (the living room)

Myself I've liveaboard and puttered about various places for 11 years now. I love it, but it is not for most. Winters are cold, damp ( in the SF bay area) and there is mold. The central bay can be windy and cool between Richmond and the bay bridge, even in summer. Alameda is nicer, but as others have said there are limits to liveaboards and most marina are at full quota. Marina Bay in richmond normally has a few liveaboard slips available.

The down side. Its cold and windy and a long walk to the landside shower buildings, which have unlimited hot water compared to the 6 gallon water heater most boats have.

As others have said, most slips are owned by the marina and the slip leasor has no rights to sub let a sailboat for liveaboard.

I like it because, I'm close to nature and spend a lot of time anchored hither and yon. But I work from the boat too, so that's easy to do.

If your just living at a marina, that's sort of like living in a trailer park, where you know all your neighbors. For guys, you generally have a line for the shoreside showers (That unlimited "Hot" water thingy). Girls have it easier, I rearly have to wait for a shower stall. The problem with showers aboard is there is lots of water vapor filling that 130-200 sf space, which then allows mold to form.... everywhere. Specially under the V-berth mattress.

Summers are nicer... No mold.
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Old 29-12-2015, 13:35   #5
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Re: Life on a Liveaboard Rental in SF Bay?

Having seriously considered a freeport 41 I did a lot of research on them. Not trying to argue sailor chic, love your model btw, IF41 is far larger. Its more like 350sf+ of actual living space. The aft cabin is massive, a true full size bed, with space around it, plus seating and the hanging closet is huge plus a head and a vanity. Walk around engine room. The central cabin is also very large. The v is typical. But the boats a total pig. Sails nothing like yours and the rest of the islander family. I'd love the IF36, looks like shed sail a lot better.
I was just on a cherry IF41 last month. Really felt like a smaller, less seaworthy and salty, formosa 51.

But yeah, back to the ad. Why do boat owners even try to do this anymore??? I mean it is so easy for that owner to get busted posting it on cl. Especially since L38 did the whole how to sneakaboard coverage a couple of months ago evoking pissed off responses from marina staff its tougher than ever now.

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liveaboard, sf bay

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