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Old 20-06-2009, 15:01   #1
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Living Aboard in New York

I'm very new to this "live aboard" concept. I've always wanted a boat, and then the stars seem to be aligning to actualy get one. I've always wanted a sailing yacht, but never was able to put together something that would make monitary sence.

I'm looking at a potential promotion to a new location near Watkin's Glen. The idea would be to work a short distance away, and commute to the marina and the boat. Coming from Texas as I am, I don't have a clue about boats in New York. I'm thinking it would make sence to buy a 40' boat of some sort, sail it down the canals, and the dock it at a marina somewhere at the extreme southern end of the Finger Lakes around Ithica, or Wakins Glen.

I'm thinking a 40 foot boat, as it should provide enough space for myself, my wife, and maybe a new born.

A hand full of questions for New York live aboards.

How bad is the ice near Watkin's Glen? I was reading on the wikipedia that Seneca lake almost never freezes over? Is that actualy true? If it ices over, how hard is it to use ice eaters, heaters aerators, or something to keep it undercontrol.

What do you suggest to find a marina? I'm thinking it would be important to find a place that keeps the electricty on year round, and maybe the water too. Also would likly be imporant to find a place that does a semi-decent job controling the pile up of snow and ice on the docks. Any suggestions, or coments?

I would assume to get a 40 foot sail boat into the lakes, I would have to unstep the masts to get the boat through the cannal system. Is there another way? I've seen photos of marinas in the lakes with sail boats with their masts steped. Did they go through the canals, and the step the masts once the boats are on the lake?

I'm thinking I might try to unstep the mast, and lash it to set of braces on the deck, and use it as a mounting for a cover for the winter. (I'm working on the assumption that there will be sigifican't amounts of snow and ice.

How do you do internet in a marina in New York? (This would be imporant for my wife.) Cellular based? Or something else?

Thanks
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Old 20-06-2009, 15:41   #2
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Oh, one more thing.

How does New York state regard live aboard boats for tax reasons?

ie, would having a regular house in Texas, and living a decent part of the year in New York in a boat make me liable for New York state income taxs?

That and how strict is New York on reregisting the boat? ie, if I left a valid Texas registration the boat for more than 90 days, could I reset the 90 days by going out of state for a weekend or so?
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Old 20-06-2009, 19:55   #3
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For get it buddy. If I were you I would rent a cheep apartment in Ithica ( college town so plenty of apartments if you look in July) and buy a smaller kick -a- round boat for the summer.
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Old 20-06-2009, 20:57   #4
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Please tell me why. I'm sure you can tell, if I've gotten it into my head to post a question about it, I'm sold myself on the idea.

If it's finances, there may be an advantage to the boat. But thats kinda pointless, as I can add up bills as well as the next guy.

The bigger question is why do you say don't even bother trying.
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Old 21-06-2009, 18:10   #5
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Ithica

Well you can do what ever you set your mind to. However, I on the other hand am more of a realist. Case in point... You are new to this. Ithica is like frozen from mid November--at least end of march. I have a teacher friend who lives there, and yes there is lots of ice. Your wife sounds like she may be pregnant; in that case I would wait till the baby is born and see how she feels about living on a boat in the far north. Also this will give you both some exposure to the area and its pros and cons as far as living in a sailboat. A 40 footer is big enough ( maybe too big for a newbe) but I am not sure how the marinas are set up for winter live aboards. I do know NY. is not Texas and they are more controling as far as who does what without paying. I am from Long Island now in PA. I suggest that you guys go there and live for a year than deceide what you would really enjoy doing. After a year you can go buy the boat. Oh one more thing, in the land of woodstock everything is acceptable to the people and hippies; not so with the police.. Hope this helps.. Let me know, maybe me and some friends from there will hook up with you and party, maybe at the Grassroots fest in July a 4 day camp out concert every year...Viking Blood
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Old 24-06-2009, 10:31   #6
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I was hoping that somebody already does what I want to do. I was hoping to find a semi-existent community of people that already live aboard a boat in the above region.

The way I see it, the most important thing would be to find a proper boat, and to find a proper marina.

The boat item is a can of worms in itself, but this wouldn't be my first boat. First big boat, but not first boat.

On the other hand the marina, with proper ice controls, slip lengths, power requirements, and service fees would be very difficult. I was hoping to find a bunch of people that already do this, and then just join them.

You'll never know unless you look right?
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Old 24-06-2009, 17:29   #7
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Keep tring

Hey keep looking into it. A sports reporter asked John Elway once if he thought it was time to retire. His reply: When the nagative out weighs the positive I will consider retirement; right now the positives still out weigh the negatives. He than went on to win 3 super bowls. Let me know if you are going to the Grassroots Fest, we can hook up. GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance:
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Old 24-06-2009, 17:43   #8
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<snip> A sports reporter asked John Elway once if he thought it was time to retire. His reply: When the nagative out weighs the positive I will consider retirement; right now the positives still out weigh the negatives. He than went on to win 3 super bowls. <snip>
Hey, viking blood, as a Denver Bronco fan since Frank Tripuka led them onto the field for the first time in 1960 (I was a sixth grader in a Denver suburb), I appreciate your gift of a third Super Bowl for John Elway! Alas, while he took the team to the Super Bowl five times, he only won twice. Those were, however, back-to-back victories, and he was MVP in the last one. It wasn't going to get any more positive than that, however, so he rode off into retirement and a hugely successful career in business.

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Old 04-07-2009, 08:43   #9
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Realistic Concerns

Hello,

I've been an upstate New Yorker my whole life. I'd say it'd be a very noble task to live aboard a boat year round up here. You may be able to get away with it on the coast, but the weather/water is different inland.

My major concerns:

1.) Weather: while Seneca Lake does not freeze over like nearly every other lakes in the area, that does not mean that the harbors/marinas do not. I'd suspect they get their fair share of ice like any other place. The overall lake does not ice up because it is so deep, but in a protected marina that would not be the case.

2.) Utilities: Even if you can keep the boat from being damaged by floating ice, your water lines will undoubtedly freeze. We get cold spells of below zero temperatures for days on end. Even an insulated water line would freeze if not left running at a high rate. Also, we get a reasonable amount of snow, which causes havoc on everything, I'm sure the marinas that leave docks in year round disconnect all water lines and power lines in multiple spots.

3.) Warmth: Most boats, even 40 footers are not insulated. You would need to heat the boat nonstop, and only the area near the heater would stay warm. I would expect at LEAST $3000 / winter in heating costs, and that would just be to survive, not live at room temp throughout.

Now that does not bring up any legal issues, though I'm sure those could be worked out. It also does not bring up finding a marina that would allow you to be there year round. I doubt any marina would allow you to live on your boat. Its just more of a risk than any financial return that you would give them, even for $5k+.

Now, the bright side. I have always wanted to find a piece of property on the water and live aboard from March/April - November, and live in an on site "cabin" or other small house during the winter. Something like this may be better suited for you, even if you get an apartment for the winter months and live aboard during the summer.

Most people do not realize that upstate New York weather is far different from New York City weather. Think of living in Denver all winter, that might help.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:14   #10
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This is an excellent post, mooregm5, and it contains exactly what the OP needs to know before assuming he can live aboard in upper New York state year 'round. Well, except for the last part about living in Denver all winter.

Denver, while a mile above sea level, is certainly impacted by winter, but it is not nearly as inhospitable as you seem to suggest. Denver sits at about the same line of latitude north of the equator as Baltimore, MD, and has a much different weather pattern than the New York Lakes region. Were it not for the altitude in Denver, winters there would be quite mild.

When a cold front sweeps down out of Canada along the front range of the Rockies, it can get cold quickly, to be sure. But the longest period of such cold that I can recall was about three weeks when the temperature never rose above 0*f. Of course, I remember that because it was highly unusual.

The real difference, though, is the moisture content of the air. Colorado is, basically, a dry southwestern state, and receives annual precipitation of about 15.5" while Buffalo, NY receives about 38.5". That's the part that makes living year-round in upper New York state so miserable, even on land.

Your advice to the OP to reconsider his idea of living aboard year-round in the Finger Lakes region is spot on, mooregm5. I'm sure it wouldn't take him too long living on a boat when winter arrives before he abandoned the idea and went apartment hunting.

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Old 04-07-2009, 20:44   #11
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This is an excellent post, mooregm5, and it contains exactly what the OP needs to know before assuming he can live aboard in upper New York state year 'round. Well, except for the last part about living in Denver all winter.

Denver, while a mile above sea level, is certainly impacted by winter, but it is not nearly as inhospitable as you seem to suggest. Denver sits at about the same line of latitude north of the equator as Baltimore, MD, and has a much different weather pattern than the New York Lakes region. Were it not for the altitude in Denver, winters there would be quite mild.

When a cold front sweeps down out of Canada along the front range of the Rockies, it can get cold quickly, to be sure. But the longest period of such cold that I can recall was about three weeks when the temperature never rose above 0*f. Of course, I remember that because it was highly unusual.

The real difference, though, is the moisture content of the air. Colorado is, basically, a dry southwestern state, and receives annual precipitation of about 15.5" while Buffalo, NY receives about 38.5". That's the part that makes living year-round in upper New York state so miserable, even on land.

Your advice to the OP to reconsider his idea of living aboard year-round in the Finger Lakes region is spot on, mooregm5. I'm sure it wouldn't take him too long living on a boat when winter arrives before he abandoned the idea and went apartment hunting.

TaoJones
I hear you Tao, Denver is not exactly the same; but its altitude helps. Its proximity to Texas and its popularity is why I mentioned it. I'd say that the snow is not the biggest enemy though. Temperatures would cause the most damage, with freezing water in and outside the boat. As well as any water getting into cracks and freezing and thawing repetitively.

I always laugh when I see Denver on the news with their snow, then I look outside and see the many feet we have on the ground. It sure is fun to live in the snowiest part of US west of the Rockies (150"-300"/year - Tug Hill Region, NY).

-Greg
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