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Old 04-03-2011, 23:20   #1
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Liveaboard in Los Angeles Help!

Hey everyone,

Longtime reader- first time posting. I love this site!

I live in LA and have a good job in El Segundo, CA. I'm looking to buy a 27-30ft boat for around $5,000- but want to liveaboard immediately. It seems the nearest harbors would be Marina Del Rey, Redondo Beach or San Pedro/Long Beach. I've called all of these harbors and got the standard '2 year wait' reply for liveaboards.

But I'm starting to notice some boats already have liveaboard status- which makes the leap easier. (But those are not as common- or advertised in boat postings.) How common is it these days to meet the dockmaster and let him know you have a great job- great credit, etc and have him let you live aboard? The phone route is definitely not working.

ANY advice would be greatly appreciated- about anything on this subject really! Local marina knowledge, kick-ass boats to buy for around $5000 (mainly island hopping on weekends in LA)- Anything!

(sorry for the long post- THANKS! You all rock!)

-Jay
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Old 05-03-2011, 00:17   #2
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Re: Liveaboard in Los Angeles Help!

There are many many marinas in La Harbor/San Pedro/Long Beach that probably aren't on the internet and maybe not even in the phone book. When I was looking for a boat I prowled around some dicey marinas and ate lunch in some very questionable establishments around there. There is absolutely no doubt that you can find a decent boat and a marina of some description in LA that will allow you to liveaboard. You'll need to spend some time with google earth or maps plus the satellite view and then some more driving around and looking.
If you want a marina with a cafe and lots of starched shirts and kakhi, the 2 year thing probably applies. The places I'm talking about looked like they were stuck to the backside of a large industrial area and they were.
Marina Del Rey is a whole nother matter.
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!
I didn't look at King harbor but I hear it's cheaper and more easygoing than MDR.

If I wasn't so big & ugly I probably would have been mugged.
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Old 05-03-2011, 17:20   #3
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Re: Liveaboard in Los Angeles Help!

Hey there,

Thanks for the heads up! I was looking in Cabrillo earlier this week- that seems like a beautiful marina to try. I've heard similar stories about long beach marina's. Thanks for the help!
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Old 05-03-2011, 17:25   #4
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Re: Liveaboard in Los Angeles Help!

There is usually a pretty good set of slip listings to call about at The Log Newspaper The Log.com
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Old 05-03-2011, 17:35   #5
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Re: Liveaboard in Los Angeles Help!

Call up the marinas in Wilmington which is in the commercial port of LA. It definitely is in a seedier neighborhood, but once you get there it feels ok. They might allow liveaboards or at least look the other way.

But $5000 isn't going to get you much of a boat or respect from the dockmaster for that matter. I wouldn't want to make the crossing over to Catalina on one.

David
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Old 05-03-2011, 17:40   #6
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Re: Liveaboard in Los Angeles Help!

Forget the phone or email..you gotta walk in, talk to the dockmaster, let him scope you out & scope out the situation. Officially, they're all going to tell you "no liveaboards" or "2 yr waiting list"..that way, they can appear to be enforcing the "official" policy, imposed by State/County gov't.

But, the economy is bad & the marinas all have slips available to someone with a good job that will pay the rent, on time. Limit your search to 30' & up. The latest edict from on-high requires 30' minimum for liveaboard.

You may have to rent a slip, let them get used to seeing you for awhile, before you get official liveaboard status. It's surprising how short the list becomes for a good tenant, with a presentable boat. No loud parties, loud music, friendly demeanor, lend a helping hand to your neighbors, etc.

Good luck with your search,

jerrymc
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Old 05-03-2011, 17:54   #7
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Re: Liveaboard in Los Angeles Help!

There are a couple of nice, quiet little spots in Wilmington you might try visiting. Pretty short commute to El Segundo as well. MDR is pricey and many spots don't allow liveaboards. The advice about visiting in person is a good one... it may take a few visits to get to know folks but worth it... good hunting, Capt Phil
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Old 17-03-2011, 10:06   #8
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Re: Liveaboard in Los Angeles Help!

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 and equipment 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.

Liveaboard fees 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 or internet 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 or chandlery for starters.
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Old 18-03-2011, 16:46   #9
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Re: Liveaboard in Los Angeles Help!

Seahunter,
CA property tax? Naturally, that would be true of living aboard anywhere in California. I didn't know that. Based on value, just like houses? It would come out quite a bit cheaper, but it's still something to consider.
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Old 18-03-2011, 16:59   #10
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Re: Liveaboard in Los Angeles Help!

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Seahunter,
CA property tax? Naturally, that would be true of living aboard anywhere in California. I didn't know that. Based on value, just like houses? It would come out quite a bit cheaper, but it's still something to consider.
Yes, based on what they value it at, not what you paid, so there's no "fudging" the sales price. A 100K boat pays between 1800 and 2200 per year depending on ZIP. A friend with a 42DS pays $3500 per year so one can add $100-$300 per month to your expenses; don't pay and they can impound your boat.
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Old 18-03-2011, 17:02   #11
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Re: Liveaboard in Los Angeles Help!

California property taxes are a County thing as they pay for munciple bonds. Mine was 1% of the amount I paid for the boat. Marinas pass on the information about each boatowner to their County Tax Boards.
Security Guards record the car license numbers nightly and the individual electric meters at each dock boz made sneak-aboards almost impossible.
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Old 18-03-2011, 17:15   #12
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Re: Liveaboard in Los Angeles Help!

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California property taxes are a County thing as they pay for munciple bonds. Mine was 1% of the amount I paid for the boat. Marinas pass on the information about each boatowner to their County Tax Boards.
Security Guards record the car license numbers nightly and the individual electric meters at each dock boz made sneak-aboards almost impossible.
California BOE has an alternate tax if your county doesn't tax you, the state does. I don't know if you seen the news but California is almost bankrupt and the 1% tax is long gone. If you're in a marina like Cabrillo which is located in the Port Of LA, then City taxes apply. I'm not sure where you lived in LA, but security guards at marinas? If they're there, they don't have anything to with sneak aboards. It would be hard to catch anybody based on the criteria you mention as the county law states that you can't stay on your boat (overnight) for more that 72 consecutive hours per week.
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Old 18-03-2011, 19:39   #13
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Re: Liveaboard in Los Angeles Help!

I was a legal liveaboard in the SF Bay from 1988 to 2000. I lived in California from 1969, moving there at the age of 29, until Oct. 2000 during that time I was in LA 4 times, which we of northren California considered a foreign country. Happly. I nolonger live in California.
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Old 25-03-2012, 14:08   #14
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Re: Liveaboard in Los Angeles Help!

I just spent 90 days kicking around this area on my new/used Newport 72. Screw freaking California, I almost lost my life trying to get to the bay. I just got a new boat on the bay and i am leaving Califu**cku for good next week.

p.s. there's nothing in Wilmington either you may try south of San Diego......
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Old 21-04-2013, 23:41   #15
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Re: moorage in L.A

Hi folks, wonder if anyone could point me to a Marina/Boatyard that would allow me to do some deck work on my 64ft. wooden vessel. It will be about 3 months work, and noisy for sure
Thanks Kewl
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