Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-08-2012, 20:50   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Moor and Live-aboard in San Diego

I'm a complete boating novice, but I've been exploring the possibility of becoming a live-aboard. Partially because I want to live in San Diego but find the cost of living daunting, partially because the independent lifestyle intrigues me, and partially because I love the ocean.

I currently live in a studio apartment in Denver, CO and pay about $550 / per month in rent. I would need be paying a similar amount or less on my boat. I've read you can moor a boat for as little as $75/month and it would seem to me that that would free up quite a bit of money to address other expenses of owning a boat. Is it allowed/feasible to moor a boat in San Diego? Mission Bay perhaps?

I read The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat by Mark Nicholas, but it seemed to often raise more questions then it answered for me. One large concern for me is condensation and mildew particularly because I'm an airline pilot and can be away from home for up to six days, though typically about four. Would a houseboat that sat on pontoons be less susceptible to moisture since the living space is above water rather then in the hull?

There are probably many more questions I could ask but I will stop here, any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Doug
__________________

__________________
DougTheAviator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2012, 22:07   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,368
Re: Moor and live-aboard in San Diego

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougTheAviator View Post
I've read you can moor a boat for as little as $75/month
Not in San Diego. You might want to look through a few of the previous posts asking the same question.

San Diego Area Slips

San Diego Mooring Waiting List
__________________

__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2012, 22:16   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,368
Re: Moor and live-aboard in San Diego

To expand a little, CA is tough especially south CA. There are few natural harbors and lots and lots of boats. Many places restrict anchoring for numerous reasons including the rich residents don't want a bunch of free loading boat bums like ourselves living rent free in their harbor. And to be fair there have been problems in some areas with derelict, half-sunken boats collecting in harbors creating eyesores, navigation hazards and more.

You best bet on less expensive live aboard in CA seems to be the further reaches of SF Bay or up into the delta. Further north it gets even cheaper but also gets a bit colder. But being from CO that shouldn't be a concern.

Regarding moisture and condensation, not as big a problem in CA as some areas but the solution is ventilation.

PS
Welcome to the forum. Great place to expand your boating knowledge.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2012, 00:19   #4
Registered User
 
john540's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Paradise Cay
Boat: Hylas 47
Posts: 167
Re: Moor and live-aboard in San Diego

Another way to save money on recurrent expenses is to own a smaller boat! Slip/mooring fees are lower, parts are cheaper, etc. Plus you can haul up your anchor without a big expensive windlass.
__________________
john540 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2012, 00:47   #5
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,725
Re: Moor and live-aboard in San Diego

There are a few places in the world where living aboard is inherently so much cheaper than any possible land accomodation, that it is worth it for economic reasons. I think London may be one of those places; some people live in narrowboats in charming spots and pay much less than they could ever rent an apartment for.

But in most places it is not a good deal in purely financial terms unless you are willing to live at anchor with no walk-on access, or on a mooring ball, which turns into a bit of a hermit's life since you have to get into your dinghy and take a boat trip to get to civilization.

Where my boat lives, for example, a walk-on marina slip is about $20,000 a year -- a sum which would get you a perfectly decent apartment, probably even one with a water view. And the slip fee does not include the cost of the boat and her upkeep.

So I'm not sure living aboard is such a good idea purely as a residential strategy. It makes much more sense if you are doing it just to be on your boat more -- because you love your boat and love the water so much you just don't ever want to be on land if you can help it.

I live aboard about 90 days a year, either cruising or on my mid-river mooring with no walk-on access. For a couple of months in the depth of winter, in a marina on the Isle of Wight (walk on, but a ferry ride away from civilization). I do it because I love my boat and want to be on her as much as possible (plus I have an endless list of things to repair or improve or clean or maintain).

As to the practical aspects of living aboard:

Condensation and mold, which you asked about, is one of the inherent problems of living aboard. The only solutions are lots of ventilation, keeping matresses and cushions blocked up for air circulation, and cabinets open (or with built in ventilation like mine) when you're not on board. My boat has six large dorades -- that's a hot tip for ventilation. A cored hull is also very good for this problem. Four of five days away from the boat is not a problem. I leave my boat to her own devices for a month at a time, sometimes longer. I always worry about her, but she seems to do fine on her own for such periods of time.

A houseboat on pontoons will definitely be better from a condensation point of view. But what can you do with a pontoon boat? Why would you want one? Sailboats can sail, and sailing is actually quite a lot of fun. Boats are made to take you from place to place -- this is another hot tip for the prospective liveaboard.

Another thing to say about living aboard is that a typical liveaboard sailboat is going to be quite a lot less space than what you are used to living in on land. You will have to lose about 90% of your possessions, on average, if you want to live full time on a boat, unless it is a very big one. Does it suit you to live in a really small space? My boat, 54 feet and relatively new, is relatively large and luxurious, for a sailboat. But I would go crazy living aboard her if I were not moving around regularly. Especially on a mooring where it requires some effort to get ashore, you are pretty cooped up with no place to walk around, limited number of places to sit, etc. This is not a problem when you move at least every week or so, exploring new places and so forth, but staying in one place it would not work for me.

Another aspect of living aboard a boat is that the engineering systems are rarely as convenient or functional as what you will be used to on land. For cooking, you will have to hump gas bottles, and you will have to take safety precautions which are somewhat tedious on a day to day basis. You will have a big problem with water if you are not on a walk-on pontoon with a water tap -- you will have to use it sparingly and have some way to fill up every week or so. Electrical power is not such a problem in a marina, but on a mooring or at anchor you will have to produce and store it -- even with a built-in generator, this requires a fair amount of management.

So if you just want to live somewhere, I can't imagine that you wouldn't be better off with a cheap studio apartment somewhere. If on the other hand, you crave to be on the water, like most of us here, and/or love to sail, then it's an entirely different story.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2012, 06:37   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,571
Images: 240
Re: Moor and Live-aboard in San Diego

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Doug.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2012, 08:36   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Florida
Boat: Pearson 323 - Island Breezes
Posts: 178
Re: Moor and Live-aboard in San Diego

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougTheAviator View Post
I've read you can moor a boat for as little as $75/month
$75 a month isn't going to happen unless you're in the boondocks in a low income state. It's also not just about a mooring ball. Where do you park your car? Where do you park your dinghy? Places that allow that tend to charge more than a mooring ball in the middle of nowhere.

Living on a boat won't be cheaper than living on land. If you want cheap, try for a RV lifestyle or get a small apartment.

But if you really want to liveaboard and you don't have a huge budget you might consider a different location. Texas and the gulf coast are friendly for liveaboards. Florida is a little more pricey, but still fairly reasonable and you have a lot more options than in CA.

Personally if I was a pilot I'd look at a lot of hubs near the coast and aim for the best cost to living benefit.
__________________
LauderBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2012, 08:40   #8
Registered User
 
The Blue Heron's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pensacola Fl
Boat: Heritage East 40
Posts: 199
Re: Moor and Live-aboard in San Diego

Greetings and Wlecome! Reading the "The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat by Mark Nicholas" is a great way to start. I read it and had some things to take away and some were not applicable. The main theme is to find what you can afford and enjoy!
The Blue Heron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2012, 08:57   #9
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,761
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Moor and Live-aboard in San Diego

welcome to cf.
moorings in san diego are 130usd per month plus the fee for waiting list application and the temps are double the permanent rate. san diego is not cheap. nor is ensenada. you may wish to keep boat in san carlos/guaymas -- is a lot cheaper and access from colorado is reasonable, as opposed to farther south in mexico.
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2012, 13:52   #10
Registered User
 
tbodine88's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Austin TX
Boat: West Wight Potter 19
Posts: 719
Re: Moor and Live-aboard in San Diego

There are people living aboard on Lake Travis in Texas, Slip Rent is 250-500/month.

My Marina has no facilities, and is cheaper. San Diego is a bad place to aim for from Denver. Think Southern states, more harbors, lower rates. Once you know how to sail, then Mexico etc.
__________________
tbodine88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2012, 17:07   #11
Registered User
 
boating2go's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: San Diego
Boat: Columbia C45 45'
Posts: 173
Re: Moor and Live-aboard in San Diego

Welcome aboard. I've lived aboard for years and am in the process of moving back aboard. I am sure if you wish to live like you are camping without conveniences then you'll be able to liveaboard cheaply if you are able to get a mooring. We've always lived at a marina with facilities and ample power available. You are not going to get a boat for $500 a month plus maintenance unless you buy a project boat and live on it the way you purchase it.

We lived aboard in the DC area for years and now are relocating to San Diego. I know I could probably get a decent apartment or make a mortgage payment for what it will cost me for the boat, maintenance, and insurance a month for the boat. Plus marina fees on top of that. But this is a lifestyle we love and are willing to make that sacrifice to have it.

You can handle the mold and mildew problem with good ventilation and other methods as suggested above. I had a position in DC that required me to wear suits everyday and never had a problem with them acquiring any mildew or any storage area for that matter. Also, you'll want to Google Peggy Hall and read her items on toilets and hoses for them to prevent any smells on the boat from that. You can do it and enjoy the lifestyle while being comfortable or you can do like a lot and manage on a much lower budget which some prefer. We won't care for that like our conveniences too much. It is all a matter of what your priorities are but I'd forget the 500 a month budget.
__________________
boating2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2012, 09:15   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Re: Moor and Live-aboard in San Diego

You crazy nay sayers!

I live in San Diego and am going from a $850/month apartment + $350/month slip fee to a mooring at $147/month. The wait was about one year.

$147/month is a lot less than the $1200/month I was paying. The mooring is in the commercial basin of San Diego Bay. Close to the ocean, a dinghy ride to all the marine stores you could dream up, two dinghy docks.

This is all on a cal 28 that I purchased for a total of $1700 (and then proceeded to put alot of time and too much money into it).
__________________
Thorpydo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2012, 09:36   #13
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,761
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Moor and Live-aboard in San Diego

thorpydo--ye did good-- when i left sd(april 2011) the list for waiting was longer by a couple of years... good work!!
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2012, 13:05   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Re: Moor and Live-aboard in San Diego

zee, the smaller moorings turnover quicker and I think that's why I did pretty good.
__________________
Thorpydo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2012, 13:09   #15
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,761
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Moor and Live-aboard in San Diego

thorpydo--you are correct--my ericson is just a tad too large for the small moorings in commercial basin-- and i liked coronado pretty well...despite the distance to many places--has a great neighbor base, or did before i left.... good folks. most of the mooring tenants in all the areas are decent folks--with very few exceptions.
__________________

zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
san diego

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:07.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.