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Old 16-07-2008, 13:53   #1
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Moving to Santa Barbara. How's that going to work?

Hi everyone,

I'm currently living on my Mariner 31 in Moss Landing, CA. I've been offered a job in Santa Barbara that I'd really like to take. The problem is figuring out what to do with my boat. It didn't take much investigation to figure out that getting a slip in Santa Barbara Harbor is not going to happen. It looks like I have three remaining options:

1. Try to get a liveaboard slip in Ventura or Oxnard and deal with a crappy commute to the university.

2. Try to get a slip in Ventura or Oxnard and a small apartment somewhere between there and SB.

3. Do a bunch of anchoring out near Stern's wharf in SB and get temporary slips when storms roll through.

I think I've got a decent understanding of what's involved with options 1 and 2. Number 3 is what I'm most curious about. I've heard that people sometimes make that work. Have you done it? Do you know someone who has? How sketchy is it? Is it a stressful mad scramble for shelter when the weather gets nasty?

Oh yeah. The other thing I need to consider is that my girlfriend will be moving down with me. This makes option 2 a little more attractive because I have someone to share the expense with and because we can really use the extra space.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
-Jared
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Old 16-07-2008, 16:51   #2
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Quote:
Number 3 is what I'm most curious about. I've heard that people sometimes make that work. Have you done it?
While I'm not in CA the idea has it's possibilities. The real trick is when you have a regular job the problems associated with moving the boat on short notice presents it's own problems. So where? If you just step back and look at the whole picture - new job, girl friend, slip in Santa Barbara it all gets far more complicated than just sail boats. A leaking through hull might be easy compared to this one.

Just putting something together that works is really a hard trick. I've only been to Santa Barbara one time but the slip there is clearly the answer. Even I would have to admit this is a really long shot and I only have a slight clue on how hard that would be to pull off.

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Oh yeah. The other thing I need to consider is that my girlfriend will be moving down with me.
Your boat is a serious problem but I'm not sure it's the one that matters most. The other stuff sounds a lot more serious. You may be guilty of answering your own question. It's finding something that works. The slip is Santa Barbara really is the Win / Win answer. Something is going to hurt at least a little bit.
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Old 16-07-2008, 17:12   #3
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From what I hear there are double digit years on the waiting list for a slip there. Oxnard has new marinas and a friend left there last year. They had problems getting enough electric service and it was only a 30 Amp service too. Hopefully they have that solved now. They are reasonable too.

The storms are notorious for washing boats on shore so the #3 option needs careful planning. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 17-07-2008, 06:51   #4
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Isn't there a mooring field in Avilla just north of Point Conception?
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Old 17-07-2008, 08:09   #5
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Jared,

I have lived aboard for the past 33 years between SB and Ventura, including 7 years on the hook in SB. You are right about the slip situation is SB. The waiting list hasn't existed for 20 years, it is now more of a free market and a 30' slip will cost you about $60k. As Paul said though, that would be your best option if you can swing it. There is only 1 person on the liveaboard waiting list right now.

Of your options, I would guess that option 1 is the most workable. I would focus on Ventura since Oxnard would add another 15 min to your commute and Ventura has a more favorable tack to the Channel Islands. As far as I know, 30' liveaboard slips can still be had in Ventura. A quick call to Ventura West Marina (which allows 50% liveaboards on some docks), Ventura Isle and Ventura Harbor Village will tell.

Option 2 is going to cost you. About the only affordable place between Ventura and SB is Carpentaria. My girlfriend pays $950 for a 18'x18' cottage there with her daughter living in a tent on the deck. Typical 1 bedroom apartments are around $1300 to $1500/mo. But you are right about the space and it is doable.

But you knew all that which brings us to option 3. It can work and I will probably do it again in the near future as I can't afford a slip for the new boat, but there are some difficulties.
1. You need a very tough and understanding girlfriend as she will have to get up early and make her way to the harbor in the dark to get to work in the morning, learn to love scraping dinner off the floor and put up with some sketchy neighbors. It can be very cold in the winter if you don't have some way of heating the cabin and a hot shower is 2 miles upwind.
2. The winter anchorage has been moved from 1/2 mile east of the pier to 1 mile east of the pier from November to April. There is much less protection out there and the anchorage is pretty rolly much of the time.
3. Slips are usually available when weather comes through but your really have to keep a close eye on it and be ready to move at short notice. This can be tough if you are working a 9-5.
4. As housing and slip prices soar and more people become homeless the number of derelict and unattended boats has risen in the anchorage. These can be a real hazard when the wind comes up and they make their way to the beach. It is best to anchor outside of everybody where there is even less protection from the waves and swell.
5. As an anchored out liveaboard you will be viewed by the city officials as an annoyance that they would be glad to be rid of. If your mansion burns in a brushfire the city coffers will open wide and Jackson Browne will do a benefit concert for you at the Bowl. If your boat goes on the beach you will be cited for littering and given till sundown to have a bulldozer chop it up and get it into a landfill.

But aside from that, the sunsets are spectacular, the phosphorescence is amazing and you have the best view in SB.

Good luck with your decision and I would be happy to answer any questions

Mike
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Old 17-07-2008, 08:13   #6
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By the way, wherever you end up you are in for a real treat. The Channel Islands are a 4hr sail away and are some of the most pristine and beautifull cruising grounds in the world!
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Old 17-07-2008, 08:13   #7
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As seems always the case in SoCal, if one knows the right people, one can get a slip--regardless of waiting lists--particularly in Santa Barbara Harbor. If one does not, leaving a yacht at anchor off the beach east of Stern's Wharf is not a solution-and is just asking for problems.

I have an office in Santa Barbara and have been commuting there frequently for the last 15 years, and stay at the Fess Parker Resort, on the waterfront, when I do so. After every storm there are several boats driven up on the beach in front of the hotel and I have yet to see one removed with other than a front loader. Never-the-less, the space left by these casualties is rapidly taken by the next series of candidates for the land-fill.

Oxnard or Channel Islands Harbor are the only places I would consider in your situation. While there is a nice safe anchorage with moorings at Port San Luis, just past Avilla Beach, as mentioned above, that is quite far north of SB (1-1/2 hrs) and there are few cruising opportunities north of Pt. Conception--after all how many times can one sail up to Morro Bay and back before it becomes routine (although the entrance at Morro Bay can be quite exciting!). From Channel Islands one has several good options and generally nice conditions for simple day-sails.

As for "affordable" housing, you have my best wishes. I do hope you drive an efficient car.

FWIW!

s/v HyLyte
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Old 17-07-2008, 08:28   #8
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Maybe it's not worth the move? I only intended the idea of Avilla Beach as an option to leave the boat, and not to commute from there. svHyLyte is absolutely right about the commute, and the cost of S.B.

I left Ca. in March 03, and cannot see myself ever being able to afford moving home......OUCH to the cost of living there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 17-07-2008, 09:19   #9
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Jared,The general attitude, of the Harbor Manager in Moss Landing, and the overall conditions of the harbor have been major considerations in my decision to move my boat south. Good luck.
Not sure where your boat is, but feel free to drop by the trimaran if you are around this weekend. We are on the hard over at Woodwards, next to Gravelles. I will be happy to tell what I have found out about Ventura, and Oxnard.
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Old 17-07-2008, 11:27   #10
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Thank you all for your replies. They were quite helpful. I think I've decided on getting a slip in Ventura and looking for the cheapest possible studio apartment (expecting to pay $800 - $1000) in Goleta or SB. We can still spend weekends on the boat that way but avoid the evil commute. When the weather is nice I'll probably bring the boat up to SB and anchor for a week or so at a time but, as some of you pointed out, anchoring there doesn't sound like a good long term solution.
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Old 17-07-2008, 11:31   #11
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When are you planning to sail south? We will be headed down in Sept.
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Old 17-07-2008, 11:49   #12
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I can certainly understand your feelings about the harbor. I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, the facilities suck and it's very difficult to get anything done to fix things that are falling apart. On the other hand, it's far cheaper than Santa Cruz and Monterey. I also kind of like the character of the harbor. Monterey is so sanitized and wealthy. I really like most of my Moss Landing neighbors.

If I'm around, I'll try to stop by and say hello. We've got the green hulled ketch on B-dock with wooden masts and tan sail covers.

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Originally Posted by Kai Nui View Post
Jared,The general attitude, of the Harbor Manager in Moss Landing, and the overall conditions of the harbor have been major considerations in my decision to move my boat south. Good luck.
Not sure where your boat is, but feel free to drop by the trimaran if you are around this weekend. We are on the hard over at Woodwards, next to Gravelles. I will be happy to tell what I have found out about Ventura, and Oxnard.
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Old 17-07-2008, 11:54   #13
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Beautiful boat. Have seen it a few times. Were you hauled out a couple months back?
Anyway, won't hijack your thread. Will be happy to talk with you. We have a slip in Ventura for the tri, so I can give you some first hand insight on that harbor.
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Old 17-07-2008, 17:36   #14
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Thanks for all the good info on this thread. We've been considering living in the anchorage off SB starting May 2009 and using it as home base for a summer of cruising amongst the Channel Islands. When transiting the area, in winter, we had a super experience in the SB Harbor and would have loved to have stayed there, should a slip have been available and the cost of said slip not stopped my heart.

I really, really like SB as a transient stop in the guest slip, but I think long term liveaboard, we'll see if we can be in the Islands for a whole summer then head south in fall 2009. In any event --- thanks for the good info and experience on this thread.
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