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Old 10-03-2013, 17:53   #1
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Live aboard on Lake Champlain?

I'm looking into the possibility of buying a boat and living aboard in the burlington, vt area of Lake Champlain this spring. Does anybody have any experience living aboard near Burlington? Is there a live aboard community on the lake? I imagine it would be a sparsely populated one with the cold winters up here, but does anyone know of any rules governing liveaboards?

Thanks!!
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Old 10-03-2013, 18:04   #2
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Re: Live aboard on Lake Champlain?

I haven't heard of anyone living aboard through the winter--if you haven't been in Vermont in the winter, it is a real one. Deep snow, 20-below zero in January, thick ice, etc. Except in recent years people used to short cut across the lake all winter long on the ice. There were iceboat ferries you could take that would sail across too. I have lived aboard in New England where the salt water is less likely to freeze in most harbors. In Burlington I think you are looking at a six-month boating season and then find a place to live for the winter. You might be able to stretch it through April and November, but I'm pretty sure most of the marinas pull their docks by November.

One other wrinkle on the lake is it is a no-discharge zone and you can't have your head or holding tank hooked up with hoses to overboard seacocks.
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Old 10-03-2013, 18:17   #3
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Re: Live aboard on Lake Champlain?

Look up this old thread and there are some posts there by Raven who lives aboard in Lake Champlain a good chunk of the year.
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Old 10-03-2013, 18:27   #4
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Re: Live aboard on Lake Champlain?

Can you move to indoor heated storage in the winter? This thought has certainly occured to me. Note the boat in the center. It has a 'temporary' construction cap; insulated; heated; tap to the phone line and cable runs on the ground beside the building; Note the covered access to the deck and the propane dino below the transom. Chimney on the port - aft roof gable. Some pittance of work happens on this every year but it seems it may never launch. The sloop to the left is home built steel, 78 feet.

No real estate tax, no home mortgage, no water, no sewer, no insurance (probably). Its a bit of a walk to the showers and toilets.
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Old 10-03-2013, 18:31   #5
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Re: Live aboard on Lake Champlain?

I think you'd have a tough time finding a boatyard on Lake Champlain that would let you live aboard on land. A lot of them are closed up tight during the heart of the winter. You might be able to do it if you owned your own land and shed I suppose.
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Old 10-03-2013, 18:32   #6
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Re: Live aboard on Lake Champlain?

In Burlington I think you are looking at a six-month boating season and then find a place to live for the winter.

-- Yes, I'm really just thinking I would be aboard until Fall. I like to consider myself hardy but not to such an extent that I would try to stay aboard through the winter- even on the hard.
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Old 10-03-2013, 18:35   #7
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Re: Live aboard on Lake Champlain?

Lots of people liveaboard in the Burlington area during the six-month season, but most are part-timers, like in most harbors. It is crowded enough so finding a space near Burlington is not so easy. You may want to consider renting a mooring up in Malletts Bay.
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Old 12-03-2013, 19:38   #8
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Don't give up your search, there's plenty of year round liveaboards here in Canada and its colder up here in the winter then -20... if you can find a marina that will have you then use an agitator and shrink wrap your boat. www.weliveonaboat.com is a good site for information. The hard part is finding a marina..get out your phone book and start dialing.. good luck
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Old 25-03-2013, 18:49   #9
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Lightbulb Re: Live aboard on Lake Champlain?

My wife and I bought a Cal 39 last summer. I'm bringing it up from North Carolina in May, and we plan to live aboard on Lake Champlain over the summer. We have a mooring in Shelburne Bay. But come Fall, I'll be heading south again with the boat. Having lived in the Burlington area for almost 50 years I can tell you: unless you are downright masochistic, you don't want to try to live on a boat during the winter here. Lot of people don't even want to live on land here during the winter! You wouldn't believe how cold it gets; and try enduring 2 or even 3 weeks without seeing the sun one time, even for a minute! By all means, live on your boat during the summer and enjoy Burlington, but 'get out of dodge' by mid September.

PS:The season is 5 months at best, unless you just like to suffer.
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Old 25-03-2013, 18:50   #10
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Re: Live aboard on Lake Champlain?

Let me know if you ever want to sell your mooring--seriously! I'm currently living in Saratoga and have thought of keeping my boat on the lake during the summer.
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Old 25-03-2013, 21:11   #11
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There are several mooring fields available on the southern part of the lake that are reasonable rates and only about 1.5 hrs drive from Saratoga Springs. I.E. Chipman Pt. in Orwell Vt. is a step back in time that can only be experienced.
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