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Old 29-03-2016, 20:33   #1
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Liveaboard wannabe seeks rental for trial run

I want to become a live aboard in Florida, preferably at a marina where I could live car free... i.e. walking, public transport or shuttle. I would like to rent a houseboat, trawler style, or tug style powerboat to do a trial run living aboard.
Before I put down big money for a boat I want to be sure my dream is truly what I believe I will love.

I'm looking only to live at the dock and not to cruise while renting.

Any and all leads appreciated. I am flexible as to when this can happen. I'd like to do it for a few weeks to a month. Anyone out there wanna take a break off your boat or have a boat sitting empty?

Thanks much for reading. Look forward to hearing from some of you.
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Old 30-03-2016, 06:02   #2
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Re: Liveaboard wannabe seeks rental for trial run

I wish you luck. There are two issues you may have to overcome. First, subleasing can invalidate the boat owner's marina contract. Some marinas are ok with it, some definitely are not and will evict the owner. Second, if you are "boat sitting" (which people do have a need for and seems to be more acceptable to some marinas) then you need to have the skills to protect the boat. Do you already know how to operate a bilge pump, check for chafe and protect lines from chafing, add lines if necessary, stop halyards from slapping, check battery charge, etc.? If you do, great. If not, then you need to know that before your presence on the boat has value for the absent owner.

You might try Airbnb. They have some boats listed for rent. I assume at least some of those are doing so without marina permission, so anticipate you might get kicked out during your stay. That is unlikely but best to be prepared.

Lastly, this sounds like you are not anticipating using the boat, just using it as an apartment. It is a thousand times easier, cheaper, and more comfortable to live in an apartment on land than on a boat. They require a great deal of maintenece (even if they never move) and can be expensive to keep afloat. If this is your plan, I would highly suggest looking for a place like downtown West Palm Beach (maybe somewhere with slightly less expensive rent) where you don't need a car, and renting an apartment.
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Old 30-03-2016, 18:38   #3
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Re: Liveaboard wannabe seeks rental for trial run

I believe it to be a wise choice to do this first before diving into ownership. Like the other post, you will probably have a hars time finding someone willing to do it.

Do you have any boat related skills with references?
Nobody wants to get booted from their marina and they could with you living aboard. If you come and go early and late that may help. I find marinas give sneakaboards a break if they are doing a refit, a solid reason to need to be there a lo and don't do it for more than a couple of months.

Asking someone to move onto their boat for free in exchange for sitting is not a good deal to the owner. You could break stuff, that costs sometimes 1000% or more than a like version in a home or car.

My advice is to do a craigslist ad in the boats section. Perhaps even reaponding to some that are for sale that may be hurting for cash.

Lastly, the air bnb suggestion is probably your best bet.
In FL I think its a lot more cost effective to rent a place that liveaboard a boat. Slip rates can be be over $20/ft, by a 30 boat thats $600/mo without including insurance, repairs, haulout etc. It could be $1200/mo easy on avg. Especially since you plan on not going anywhere is juat seems wasteful.

Why not go rent something on land (or downsize from where ya are) and buy a small something you can keep on a trailer? That is small and low cost to maintain (a kayak to a boston whaler) that gets you on the water to explore or fish or whatever it is that ia drawing you to wanting to liveaboard a powerboa in a marina.
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Old 01-04-2016, 14:42   #4
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Re: Liveaboard wannabe seeks rental for trial run

Hi Cherise and vjm

Thanks for your replies and info.

I am not at all interested in being a 'sneakaboard' nor in causing any boat owner trouble with their marina. For me it's obvious that it would have to be an above board arrangement.

And, thanks, but no thanks, I am not looking for an apt. rental. It's a boat I want to live on. Even if a houseboat is all I can find. I've tried airbnb and haven't found much in Florida that meets my needs. I will continue to search there and craigslist. Any other ideas about great sources?

Any leads and encouragement are greatly appreciated.

All the best
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Old 01-04-2016, 14:53   #5
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Re: Liveaboard wannabe seeks rental for trial run

I would suggest that your best bet would be to get competent with boat systems and advertise your self as a boat sitter. I think that is a lot of knowledge to try and acquire without a boat, but that is about the only thing I can think of.

You might try airbnb elsewhere for a flavor of the liveaboard thing, and then just remember it is super hot and humid in Florida, and especially in marinas if you aren't moving. So there could be a significant difference in comfort between somewhere like Washington and Florida.

The other thing that might work is putting a flyer up at Florida marinas that would allow this kind of short term rental. If you call first the office will tell you if they allow it, and then you could post a flyer or put one in each mail slot (if they have them). Who knows? Someone might take you up on it.

I did own a floating home in Sausalito for a bit, and I know there are some rentals available. It is not like a boat in that they float but are very large and luxurious comparatively. There is a similar community in Seattle. Be prepared for a shocking rental amount.

Good luck! It's a very challenging and demanding lifestyle, but if you love it there is no substitute.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:31   #6
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Re: Liveaboard wannabe seeks rental for trial run

I can offer you shared live aboard status in a 32' Sailboat located in Anacortes, WA. The gateway to the San Juan Islands. I am only a part time user. What kind of art? Inside or outside art and would you be selling from the boat? Hopefully no pets , Spanish speaking desired. 1Sunseeker
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Old 18-04-2016, 20:55   #7
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Re: Liveaboard wannabe seeks rental for trial run

I've got a nice liveaboard in St Augustine, FL. I've been thinking about renting her in Airbnb. I've got a house too. So I'm not living on the boat.

walk or biking distance to downtown. It's a 40' ketch, in nice shape, central heat and air.

Lee
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