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Old 24-08-2009, 06:23   #1
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Liveaboards vs Locals

I am doing some preliminary research for a story idea (for NPR.org) on the increase in liveaboards/rv dwellers since the recession and the problems that have may or may not have arisen in local communities as a result of this.

Does anyone know of any conflicts with an anchorage, marina, etc. that I could use as an example. On the other side, it would be good to get an example of a liveaboard community that works well with no conflicts locally.

Full disclosure: I am a liveaboard myself and live in a marina that is pretty liveaboard-friendly; however, I would prefer, for journalistic reasons, not to use my own circumstances as part of the story.
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Old 24-08-2009, 07:51   #2
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bump this up a bit.
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Old 24-08-2009, 08:22   #3
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I am a live aboard and I have not seen an increase in live aboards at all. Boats are expensive compared to RVs. The only thing I have noticed since January is the huge increase in boats hitting the market. Everyone feeling the squeeze is trying to liquidate their toys. Every weekend I see new "for sale" signs hanging on boats that were not there prior. It is cheaper to live in an apartment than it is to liveaboard in most circumstances. Even in a modest boat like mine, it is cheaper to rent a place and not have to pay the maintenance and upkeep along with slip rentals and boat payments.

I am interested in how it is in other places such as southern Cali and Florida.
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Old 24-08-2009, 08:22   #4
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Significant conflict in South Florida. Miami is putting in a new mooring field and moving out lots of local live aboards, many who would be indigent if they did not live on derelicts.
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Old 24-08-2009, 08:34   #5
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Thanks both replies. I have seen what I would call a modest uptick in my own marina. If you already own a boat, moving aboard it after selling/losing a house may be an option. I note that in divorces, the one that gets the boat (usually, but not always the man) sometimes chooses to liveaboard.

Of course, there's always living on the hook. I know people doing it and they all are not indigent.

Moondancer: do you know the specific community/communities in S. Fl?
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Old 24-08-2009, 10:01   #6
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- - Probably anywhere in Florida south of line through Orlando is "live-a-board" unfriendly. There is a long history of dialogues in all the cruising magazines on the subject as well as web-zines.
- - You should definitely differentiate between real live-a-boards who actually go somewhere in the boat occasionally and people who live in a boat the same way they would live in a cardboard or wooden lean-to on land.
- - The homeless in south Florida take to anything that is floating or even resting permanently in mud with shallow water around it. It beats living on park benches and before the current pushes to "clean up the area" preferred being out of sight of the "condo people" who think they own the "view".
- - Real live-a-boards keep up their boats and the boats are generally ready to sail on short notice. These folks will spend time in an anchorage while replenishing their "cruising kitty". That could take a year or two.
- - The third category of "live-a-boards" are ones already mentioned who think living on a boat is cheaper than an apartment. Sadly, living in a marina is more expensive and more hassle. But they have a dream of living on a boat and there is more "privacy" there away from neighbors in thin walled condo's.
- - Folks losing jobs and their houses would probably be in the homeless category and finding a suitable derelict boat to "squatt" in is not easy. Eventually Mother Nature wears away the derelict or blows it away. So I would not expect to see any increases in this population, only long term decreases.
- - Short term you may see increases in the middle class folks moving onto their boat due to divorces. But those loosing their jobs and land homes have normally sold or lost their boats - before - losing their land homes.
- - Overall this explains why the numbers of live-a-boards remains virtually static no matter what the economy does. But the long term trend for live-a-boards in the USA is always going to be downward due to pressure from zonning, etc. It is just too much hassle and too expensive to live on a boat in the USA. What is happening is live-a-boards are using the boats to leave the USA for better and more economical lives in other countries. That trend is definitely up and might make a better story.
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Old 24-08-2009, 10:18   #7
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SNeuman,

I live in Coconut Grove/Dinner Key in South Miami when we are not cruising. This mooring field and Marathon have a long history of live aboard vs. municipality conflict that is being resolved, perhaps, by the creation of 'a designated mooring field' with reasonable fees. I am told the Dinner Key monthly fee will be $225/month for a total of 220 moorings.

I have much more information on how the Dinner Key mooring field has been a thorn in the City's side for the last 5yrs.

My e-mail is DrPKellett@aol.com.
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Old 24-08-2009, 10:29   #8
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There is conflict in Richardson Bay in the SF Bay between the liveaboards permanently anchored out, the BCDC and the people who live in the hills above Richardson Bay.

There is also conflict in Clipper Cove near Yerba Buena Island between people who leave their slum like boats there long term and people who want the room to anchor their recreational boats for short periods of time.
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Old 24-08-2009, 14:47   #9
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SNeuman,

I live in Coconut Grove/Dinner Key in South Miami when we are not cruising. This mooring field and Marathon have a long history of live aboard vs. municipality conflict that is being resolved, perhaps, by the creation of 'a designated mooring field' with reasonable fees. I am told the Dinner Key monthly fee will be $225/month for a total of 220 moorings.

My e-mail is DrPKellett@aol.com.
I can attest to the conflict in Marathon, FL. I lived aboard in Bootkey Harbor from `99-`01 on my Cal-29 and it was starting to heat up at that time. Eventually the mooring balls were placed and any place to anchor was greatly reduced. Guess the conflict has somewhat cooled down since that time. The city now gets their mooring fees and the derelicts have mostly been moved out. Marathon charges $265/month in Bootkey and a weekly pumpout, dinghy dock, showers, tec are included. From looking at Bootkeys live webcam The City of Marathon FL - Official Website the number of boats has decreased since I was anchored in the harbor.
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Old 24-08-2009, 19:04   #10
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In the Severn River near Annapolis....the landowners are trying to prohibit people from anchoring in front of their property....it comes up time to time
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Old 24-08-2009, 21:49   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
I am doing some preliminary research for a story idea (for NPR.org) on the increase in liveaboards/rv dwellers since the recession and the problems that have may or may not have arisen in local communities as a result of this.

Does anyone know of any conflicts with an anchorage, marina, etc. that I could use as an example. On the other side, it would be good to get an example of a liveaboard community that works well with no conflicts locally.

Full disclosure: I am a liveaboard myself and live in a marina that is pretty liveaboard-friendly; however, I would prefer, for journalistic reasons, not to use my own circumstances as part of the story.
I'm kinda surprised you're thinking of running that story as a live-aboard yourself. I think it might have the effect of portraying all live-aboards as semi-bums stricken by the economy and down and out....not true for all of us as you know, and most of us are happier living aboard (or we wouldn't do it!). Aren't you tired of fighting the typical live-aboard stereotype of bums camping out in semi-derelict boat with potted plants hanging from the guardrails, lawn chairs on the deck, 3 inches of growth on the hull, etc?

I also agree with another poster about different types of live-aboards. If you're not actively renovating your boat, I personally don't understand living aboard and not getting underway, unless it is a financial issue. It takes all of 10 minutes to get underway, why not go out for a day sail or weekender??

I'd love to read an article about something positive as pertains to liveaboards...maybe the carbon footprint of a liveaboard vs. RV vs. condo dweller vs. suburban single family home dweller!
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Old 27-08-2009, 13:42   #12
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boatheavy conflict in coronado --the locals think the liveaboards in the moorings are inferior beings just because we reside on board. this has gotten so bad the locals deposit their filth on the beach near us and have their dogs do their business in our dinghies we use to transit the distance between the boats and beach.....and more......the coronado yacht club is just around the corner from us and they deliberately hit our boats and traverse the moorings at great rates of speed and in other ways desecrate the anchorages. .one of the excuses given for the closure of a free anchorage in san diego bay was given as too many derelict and abandoned boats---i witnessed some being dragged out to this now defunct anchorage by residents of the coronado cays ---they left a few 20-24 foot sailboats in the anchorage--to be blamed on the residents in the anchorage---
power boaters from the coronado cays used to go out just to produce wake activity around that same anchorage---now they do this to the boats in the moorings....reallly stupid and childish behavior -- members of coast guard auxiliary also speed in their power boats between the moorings of coronado and the beach while kids and others are swimming in these waters....these are all witnessed behaviors..the folks in the coronado moorings are not derelicts and the boats are all kept in seaworthy condition. there is no reason for the disgraceful and unlawful activities of the snotty yotties---

some folks just prefer to reside aboard instead of in apartments and houses----maybe they will travel in their boats -- maybe they already have travelled---i , personally, resided aboard and worked as an emergency room rn in lost angeles--i kept boat in san diego in coronado mooring field--and made bank while working---there is no reason not to do as you wish--and there is no reason for someone else to be judge and jury for the lifestyle.
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Old 27-08-2009, 15:18   #13
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In Europe same amount of liveaboards over last 2 years. Very little conflict at all.

Have seen conflict but that was not related to being a liveaboard - the guy (a transient boatie) was dealing drugs and got in trouble with local bar-owner. No longer here, not missed.

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Old 27-08-2009, 15:45   #14
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PNW live-aboard here...

We've lived in and around Puget Sound for the last 10 years... Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, and smaller places like Port Angeles and Sequim, even inside through the locks for a while in Lake Union. Live-aboard space is always a premium and conflicts vary depending on the area.

In general, the more rural the less hassle but still restrictive. Around the big cities, tighter controls, longer waiting lists (some.. one, two, three years or longer), and lots of in and out fighting "NO LIVEABOARDS IN OUR BACK YARD!" attitude same as Florida and California.

In the past few years there's been a huge effort to keep the waters of the Puget Sound clean and clear so there are increased restrictions on dumping or pumping, also decreases in the percentage of a marina population that can live-aboard (usually about 30%), and restrictions on the number of people who can live on one boat. In one case, we had a rather large Tri that had over 20 family members living in, on, and around above and below the decks! Also most marina''s have a policy that the boat must run or have an attached means of propulsion...of course some people take that to mean a rubber band and model airplane prop.

We've not noticed a significant increase in population as most marina's are full-full to begin with. There does seem to be a tendency toward less expensive boats showing up with younger people on them but I can't say that's a pattern yet or effect of the economy.
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Old 27-08-2009, 17:58   #15
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I believe its mostly politics of envy. Don't envy, emulate.
People who are content with their lives tend to say "More power to you," when they see someone with a good thing going. Envy is an admission that you a have made a screwup of your own life, and want to see others dragged down to your level of misery, a race to the botttom, in terms of freedom. That will make things "Fair" in their warped sense of values.
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