Here's the thing; we've been liveaboards now a number of years in Los Angeles county and can tell you, it's not as easy as one thinks.
Firstly, many if not all marinas in LA county have a minimum length for liveaboards varying from 30+ feet in Wilmington, 35' at Cabrillo and Long Beach while 40' is the norm in Marina del Rey. There are marinas with lax rules, however like any run down neighborhood, drugs and violence rule
Liveaboard slips in these lengths can run from $800 - $1500 per month depending on the marina. Most have long waiting lists, especially for boat 35 + feet. If you care to pick up the phone, you'll find marinas with liveaboard can have up to a 4 year wait as in Long Beach.
We've lived at prestigious marinas and some questionable slips, but had less hassle at the latter. You'll need a current survey
(more money) and with the exception of Long Beach, an LA County "liveaboard Inspection
Certificate" combined with the approval of the marina is required if you want to liveaboard. Don't be fooled; without official liveaboard authority, not only can the county seize your boat, but the marina has the legal
right to evict you within 24 hours; no matter what agreement you thought you had with them. There's no fee for the certificate, however, they'll do a pretty comprehensive safety
check. You cannot liveaboard without this license
. If you do, you're a sneak-aboard and those that pay the liveaboard fees
might likely turn you in to the marina management.
in LA County vary, but start at $150 (per person per month + regular slip fees) and go to 55% surcharge on top of the monthly slip fees. EG CYM charges about $800 per month for <40' with 2 living aboard
; while marinas like Esprit and Marina Harbor Anchorage (MDR) will be $1500 + (plus electricity) per month for a 40+ foot boat (their minimum sized liveaboard).
If you want cable, satellite
it's all extra and adds to your cost of living. As for the amount you pay for your boat, it's not impossible to find a 30' Catalina
with a few electronics
and an Atomic for about $5000. (Marina del Rey is a good place to start looking for cheap
boats. Look for the "For Sale
by Owner" ones). Limiting yourself to boat at 30' will almost lock you out of the liveaboard market. However, as a liveaboard, you now have to pay LA County or LA City or California
property tax every year. This is not sales tax, it's property tax; just as if you were a home owner. There no such thing as a deal in LA.
Good Luck, but you'll need to do a lot more research
. You can pick up a mariners directory (yellow pages for boaters) at any West Marine