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Old 28-01-2008, 00:17   #1
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Liveaboard in Alaska

Hey all,
A fwe weeks ago I got thiscrazy idea to move to alaska (currently in NC). I live on a 27' catalina,and I was wondering if anyone livesaboard (right word?) in alaska? I'm looking specifically at Juenau.

I've tried a few searches for marinas that support liveaboards, but so far havn't hadmuch luck. Any help would be helpful,
thanks,
r
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Old 28-01-2008, 04:25   #2
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Originally Posted by diverguy View Post
Hey all,
A fwe weeks ago I got this crazy idea to move to alaska (currently in NC). I live on a 27' catalina,and I was wondering if anyone livesaboard (right word?) in alaska? I'm looking specifically at Juenau.
I've tried a few searches for marinas that support liveaboards, but so far havn't hadmuch luck. Any help would be helpful,
thanks,
r
I agree with your assessment (crazy idea).
Your searches will be more productive with accurate spelling (Juneau not Juenau)
I don’t know of any live-aboard marinas in Alaska.

Juneau Docks and Harbors:

Juneau Docks and Harbors, City and Borough of Juneau
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Old 28-01-2008, 07:54   #3
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Juneau is beautiful. I used to travel up that way all year round but mostly to Skagway, tough country in the wintertime though.
It is a boating community so should have no difficulty finding a berth somewhere. The biggest problem you will have is condensation dripping everywhere from a fibreglass hull. Wood boats are still more popular for that reason up there.
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Old 28-01-2008, 09:25   #4
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Yeah, I lived up in Kodiak for two years and didnt know any live-aboards. The housing and cost of living up there is extreemly high, but the pay is good too. I think the cold may get to you, though. Get a wooden baseball bat and prepare to chip off ice just about every day in the winter. The summer time is fun, though. I would also be wary on you trip up there, as I have gone through seas as high as 50' with winds well over 100kts. I think I saw only one sailboat while sailing, and it was well over 100'. The boat I served on was 230' long and could handle it. The inside passage, while less crazy, still has some of the oddest seas of any area I have every witnessed. I saw whirlpools and other oddities that would eat a little boat. Be careful if you do it.
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Old 28-01-2008, 11:14   #5
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two more things to consider

The tidal range is large there making trips up and down dock ramps difficult in the dark and ice. The other thing to consider is that you would be removing ice from your boat in the dark. Dark all day in winter unless there is a clear sky and stars out.

If you are acclimatized to warm NC it might take you two to three years to get used to the cold. in AK.
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Old 28-01-2008, 13:08   #6
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I have some in laws that built their boat in bellingham 30 years ago, then sailed to an uninhabited area north of Anchorage, they ended up basically homesteading the area and still live there today. Their son lives on the boat they sailed up there.

Anyhow, you gotta be pretty hardcore their boat is wood btw. Too cold for me. I dont think I'd want to sail there in a C27 though.
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Old 28-01-2008, 13:09   #7
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I've been up to Alaska while I was in the navy, our ship went up into the Bering Sea (that was WILD!)

If you plan to live aboard, I tend to agree with the others, get a wooden boat and have a bat as you defense against constant ice buildup on deck. I'd also be worried about ice build up on the mast, that would be dangerous. Look at it this way, the ice breaking would be your daily cardio workout! who needs a home gym...your home IS the gym.

I personally wouldn't live up there......

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Old 28-01-2008, 14:39   #8
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I know at least one liveaboard, who was anchored out in a cove somewhere south from Juneau, was online a while back. A bit of a bigger boat--and while 27' might be possible, you'd better think about HEAT and mosquito netting, because you'll need both up there. The extra-long days and nights have to be experienced to be believed, pretty much every hotel has double blackout curtains as well. It is a bit different from NC. And there are only two ways in or out of Juneau: By sea or air.
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Old 28-01-2008, 17:28   #9
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Yeah, I'm starting to get the vibe that it may not be such a great idea. (i'm still going, just may not live on the boat). I've just gotten used to life on the boat, don't want to go back to land.

Now I gotta findout where to keep my boat for at least the summer, lol
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Old 28-01-2008, 19:11   #10
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Unless there's something in Spaulding Point (W of "downtown" Juneau) there don't appear to be many marinas up there at all. Google Earth or the terraserver.com should show you a lot of detail for Juneau, although there's one big cove NW of the city that only shows in low resolution. There are three large floating docks full of small craft in Spaulding Point, don't know if that's one marina or three, but I'd bet there is a Juneau Chamber of Commerce or someone you can reach on the web to look into it. Still--a long ride to get the boat up there, but damn beautiful country. Might still be very much worth it versus the cost of housing, but I suspect you'd also have some very strong currents to deal with on a regular basis.
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Old 28-01-2008, 21:09   #11
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Lol, I never thought I"d be using googleearth to find a new home! But...certainly isn't a bad idea!!

I did get the chamber of commerce number today, I'll try to give them a call tomorrow.

I think it may be a better idea to leave my boat here in NC for the summer, although I hate to do that.

Heres another crazy question, to go from NC to AL, I'd have to go south thru the panama canal, get my boat trucked across the country (way outta the price range!!!), OR, is there anyway that I could go over canada? I've never even though about that until today. Anyone here have any experience in sailing in that type of envrionment?
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Old 29-01-2008, 07:39   #12
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Over canada? you talking about by truck? Cause if not, juneau is pretty much as far south as you can go in alaska, so if you go around canada to the north that's going to put you circling alaska and heading south AFTER you go through the Bering sea.

Sounds exciting!
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Old 29-01-2008, 08:46   #13
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You might be able to truck it into Yellowknife and Skagway, when the roads are open<G>. But I'd hate to see that one-way bill for a haul. Still can't haul it all the way into Juneau, and you'd still have to sail it out. (Unless you sent it up in a cargo cube as freight, or deck cargo. Not cheap but possible, in a 40' cargo cube.)

Heck, the tourists off the Big Boats might even work out scenic day charters with you.<G> And winters in Juneau are, after all, gentler than many parts of new England.
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Old 31-01-2008, 03:05   #14
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I grew up near Juneau: I'm a fisherman's kid, so Southeast AK is basically my back yard. I know of several sailboat liveaboards who do fine there. The harbor fees have been increasing recently, but you can call the harbor master at (907) 586-5255 for info. There are two long-term harbors that I know of, Harris and Aurora, both close to downtown. They tend to be full a lot, but there are also lots of places to anchor for free if you're willing to be a ways from town and off the road system. The weather can be similar to Seattle, rainy and rather mild, but tends to get extremely windy/snowy in winter. Diesel stoves are a great investment: left on at the lowest setting they will keep just about any boat warm and dry through winter. Ice isn't as much as a problem as snow. Invest in a good shovel and you should be fine. :-)

If you come up the inside passage in late spring or summer, the sailing weather shouldn't be bad. There are many protected anchorages, although not many settlements for re-supplying. It's important to keep tabs on the VHF marine weather channel, since weather changes can be sudden and drastic. Gorgeous hot springs, good fishing/crabbing, and friendly people in crazy, beautiful settings. Not having done anything of the sort, it sounds like a great adventure.
Good luck!
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Old 31-01-2008, 09:50   #15
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AK live aboard

I was at the Seattle boat show over the weekend and went to the Liveaboard Seminar. The lady who gave the talk lived aboard in Juneau for 3 years.

You could find her by searching the boat show and finding the topic. I think she had a book. They all have books. But she was a good speaker with a very realistic perspective on Living on board.

DW
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