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Old 10-02-2019, 08:06   #1
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Living on Aboard While Renovating

My friend wants to buy a boat to live on board during a massive renovation. Has anyone been denied dockage because the boat looks too shabby? It's hard enough to find places that allow living on board. I'm thinking there will be additional problems with (1) being allowed to work on board and (2) getting insurance. As the work proceeds, the boat's cost will increase greatly but can its insurance value keep pace? Advice? Warnings?
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:52   #2
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Re: Living on Aboard While Renovating

1. Living in a construction site is pure hell.
Dockmasters may not like:

2. Noise.
3. Dust, dirt, and stuff.
4. Shabby boat.
Good question on insurance (availability & value).
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:03   #3
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Re: Living on Aboard While Renovating

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Originally Posted by JanetGroene View Post
My friend wants to buy a boat to live on board during a massive renovation. Has anyone been denied dockage because the boat looks too shabby? It's hard enough to find places that allow living on board. I'm thinking there will be additional problems with (1) being allowed to work on board and (2) getting insurance. As the work proceeds, the boat's cost will increase greatly but can its insurance value keep pace? Advice? Warnings?
No, insured value will not increase, not without a survey. The insurance company will NOT increase the value of the boat just because you say so. And make no mistake about it, the value of the boat will not increase significantly until the work is done.

Yes, some marinas will require that the boat be able to navigate, and many do not allow significant work at the docks. After all, if he is living on the boat, it is like others are too, and they will take exception to being forced to live in a construction zone.

As for advice and warnings, go here: Buying a sailboat Read "Rule 3," and then read it again.
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:06   #4
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Re: Living on Aboard While Renovating

Better to keep it on the hard in a DIY owner friendly yard that also allows independent contractors to come and go rather than forcing you to use only their employees.

Increasingly hard to find, but probably easier than what you're describing.

Of course the cheapest would be on your own property, if you lived where land-use restrictions allowed, or a rented corner of a farm, quarry, construction yard etc.
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:11   #5
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Re: Living on Aboard While Renovating

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Originally Posted by billknny View Post
No, insured value will not increase, not without a survey. The insurance company will NOT increase the value of the boat just because you say so. And make no mistake about it, the value of the boat will not increase significantly until the work is done.
Maybe my situation was unique, but when I bought MOJO, BOAT/US said based on the survey, I was under insuring the boat - they thought it was worth considerably more than I paid so I insured it for $50K more than the purchase price. I told them I was planning on extensive interior renovations. They said to give them a call when the work was done and they would raise the hull value again. I did so, and they raised the value up another $50K - no survey, no proof of doing the work, just a phone call. Have been with them for over 18 years now!
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:12   #6
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Re: Living on Aboard While Renovating

Indiantown marina is a DYI and you can live on your boat during the restoration. $30 a day $900 a month with electric a d water at no charge in the work yard. If you bring in outside contractors theres a 15% extra charge
They are a full service. They have a very nice patio area with gas grill you can use plus a kitchen are with air conditioning. ( NO STOVE) the kitchen has a shared refrig, 2 TVs, toaster and coffee maker and microwave
Theres 2 trailers of bathroom/showers.
We were there 2 years. Call for current costs.
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:14   #7
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Re: Living on Aboard While Renovating

Any moorage contract I have ever seen (from a reputable, worthwhile marina) specifies that work (apart from routine cleaning) MAY NOT be performed on the boat at its moorings on pain of cancellation of the contract and immediate removal of the boat. Removal of the boat by the marina can turn out to be EXTREMELY costly!

There are a few marinas that have yards attached to them where owners may do their own work while the boat is ON THE HARD. They do not generally permit owners to live aboard while the boat is OTH. This prohibition is rooted in concerns for sanitation and general cleanliness.

As to insurance: The owner of the boat OTH MUST have LIABILITY insurance which is a separate matter from HULL insurance, although the two kinds of insurance are generally included in the same contract/policy. Only your friend's broker/agent can answer this question satisfactorily. Generally, hull insurance, i.e. coverage of the boat itself against damage/destruction, will have to supported by a survey by a recognized (by the underwriters) surveyor, and any "material" change in the boats "readiness for sea", such as being gutted for reconstruction would have to be reported immediately to the underwriters on pain of invalidating the policy, i.e. of the coverage being rendered void. If your friend fails to communicate with the insurers while the work is underway and something goes pear shaped, such as the boat catching fire and setting fire to the entire yard, you may not discover the voiding of the policy until his/her underwriter REFUSES TO PAY OUT, and s/he will then be holding the entire bag!

As to warnings: Why are you asking for your friend? Can your friend not do the asking for him/herself? It is never a good idea to seek counsel on matters with legal/liability implications via a relay of "informants". Let your friend telephone/email marinas within his/her reach and ask the question of them what is permissible in under their contracts, and let him/her contact his/her agent/underwriter directly in regard to what is permissible/required under his/her policy. But before s/he does that, let him/her READ the policy lest s/he should sound ignorant when speaking to the agent/underwriter.


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Old 10-02-2019, 11:03   #8
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Re: Living on Aboard While Renovating

I would strongly say DON T, marina problems, work areas, other people living aboard boat nearby, and the HUGE pain in the butt of work arounds, I did it twice, ended up going to a motel at times.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:04   #9
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Re: Living on Aboard While Renovating

Shell Point Marina in Ruskin Fl is letting me live aboard while I’m on the hard/DIY yard status.
Some people move to slippage from hard which I’ve been offered but plan to move on in a few months as I’ll have big/heavy stuff done I can’t do in a slip/swinging in a mooring field.

$1 a foot a day.
$5.50 a foot for haul out/blocking...same fee for splashing...or $11 a foot for haul/blocking/splash...
$35 month sanitation fee
$75 a month liveaboard fee if you stay on your boat (very few do, most use contractors to do work)
If you provide your own bottom paint there is a $75 gallon tariff which encourages you to buy your paint from them. Prolly not much more to simply let them prep/paint your boat?

Forks for racked boats/bigger charter boats being spotted onto trailers. Another launch/ramp for reasonable sized trailers as well as travel lift w/16’ beam max load, they’ve pulled 60’ stink pots and currently there’s a 55 SeaRey across from me. Seen them splash Beneteau 51’ Oceania and biggest cat was a Gemini 32 which I believe is biggest cat they can haul w/travel lift/certainly as travel lifts splash basin is 18’

GatedMarina with for hire maintenance yard & offers DIY yard as well as rack storage (most of their business with maintance of said racked boats) as well as some slips w/some liveaboards (20?)

Facilities
Trailer w1 shower, two other 1/2 baths as well, it’s a racked boat power boaters marina essentially so lots of oowerboaters coming and going, with some dockage and slips, has a pavilion with tables/grills & decent sunset view of obscured St Pete across Tampa Bay.

Middle of nowhere as far as Tampa area (its 4 miles to US Hwy 41 where town begins) no laundry on site and small marina/yard no bar/restaurant on site.
Very very challenging channel to get in here (why it’s not a sailors yard and the few sailboats here at docks don’t leave) at 5’4 draft and 1.3 high tide I was bumping muddy/sandy ground more than a few times coming in.
They’ll refer to you people who can pilot/assist you if you’d like, these people heeled a 8’ draft blue point yacht in here, it’s still here so this is a fact.

I have power, can work on boat 8am till 7pm daily.
They’re letting me park my Harley and car at my boat, use my charcoal grill at boat as well.

If you want bare bones smaller yard w/personable atmosphere issues addressed on per issue basis not a one size fits all rule book in sleepy quite place outta the way this is it!!!
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:19   #10
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Re: Living on Aboard While Renovating

I think we need to know what area of the world your friend is looking. Is it the US? We've lived in the Northeast, the Southeast and the Pacific Northwest and the answers to your questions would be different for each area.

1. Northeast - not that I ever heard of
2. Southeast - live aboard on the hard and DIY at a few places in FL and a couple in LA I heard of.
3. PNW we renovated in the water and live aboard, but we were at the commercial dock (lots of work on lots of fishing boats, not very "marina-y"). The boat had to have liability insurance of at least $500K and had to have working engines (be able to leave the dock).
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:52   #11
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Re: Living on Aboard While Renovating

What part of the country does he live in? I have done what he is proposing, at a DIY boatyard in NC. I would never, EVER, do it again. Also, I can't think of a single marina that would let you do any major work while in a slip. Too much noise, dirt, traffic, and possibility of liability.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:55   #12
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Re: Living on Aboard While Renovating

Greetings and belated welcome aboard the CF, Sandee.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:59   #13
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Re: Living on Aboard While Renovating

Lived in a house that I was renovating. (Rewire, Replumb, Refloor, Reroof, etc.) Won't do that again. From the work I've done to our current boat (A/C, Head, Rewire, Replumb, etc.) I could not imagine the level of discomfort let alone safety issues living aboard a boat during a major renovation of the interior would entail.

Dunna even think 'bout it!
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:24   #14
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Re: Living on Aboard While Renovating

We lived in our VW bus while building our W32. Slowly moved on board as we finished sections of the boat but it was not easy. Had to wipe sanding/grinding dust off of everything almost all the time. Helped that we were young, had a mission and desperation to get the boat done. After a year of 24/7/365 boat building launched the boat with a lot of little things undone.

That was a major mistake prompted more by tax consequences than rationality. Even though it seemed like we were nearing the end of the boat building adventure still had lots of work to be done. Unfortunately, once the boat was in the water progress slowed drastically. Little things like not having the table saw on the deck or saw horse and board scaffolding around the exterior made doing things a lot slower. We'd never moved completely aboard while in the yard so things like bedding and clothes stayed in the truck and didn't have to be worked around. Once in the water and fully living aboard, rearranging all the domestic stuff to work on almost anywhere and putting it back in place at the end of the day took hours away from progress. Large scale projects like paint and varnish were ordeals.

If you want to rebuild a boat, do it on the hard. Get a van to sleep in and house your personal stuff. You'll get the job done quicker with a lot less pain.
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:26   #15
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Re: Living on Aboard While Renovating

If you are on the east coast. North Summit marina, Chesapeake canal. Up to 75 ton crane, long term haul, as in years, work allowed, safe, 1000 feet from the water, hurricane hole, ant type of work allowed.
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