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Old 01-11-2012, 19:39   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Moving aboard in San Pedro in late July
Boat: Just closed on a Catalina 42
Posts: 1
Moving to SoCal to liveaboard, but have a catch-22


I am posting here because I'm selling my house in Atlanta (14 years landlocked!!!), moving back to SoCal (lived in Long Beach for a long time), and moving aboard a sailboat (sailed since I was a kid in Biloxi and lived on a 26' boat for a while when I was much younger).

I'm moving out there as soon as the house here sells, which will likely be March-June 2013. Here is the catch-22 I am having so far - you need to apply for a slip and LAB much in advance of getting said slip, but you need a boat (pics and insurance, etc.) before you can apply, which I obviously don't have.

My daughter just started attending Chapman Univ studying film, and I'm out to see her every 60 days or so. I've got friends there, and the business I own requires me to be there regularly also, so I have plenty of reasons to visit SoCal, and am thinking I just plan a day or two every month to be there and visit dockmasters in person to try to get something arranged. It will be a pain, but it is possible for me to do (and I can show pretty well when I choose to shave and stay in business clothes ;-), and I understand good impressions can make a difference).

Is this the best approach? Is it worth even trying to start with a phone call? Are there any particular marinas you can suggest that are likely to be most receptive? I'm open to living anywhere from San Diego to Ventura (though I'd prefer not to go any further than north than MdR.

BTW, I'm looking at buying either a Hunter 42 or Gulfstar 44 center cockpit (depending on how nostalgic I feel toward the Gulfstars, which I sailed on in the Gulf a long time ago), so I likely need a 45' slip...

Thanks for any insights.
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Old 01-11-2012, 21:52   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southern California
Boat: Hunter 450
Posts: 1,095

We are in Marina del Rey right now. Close enough to Chapman & Long Beach to drive & liveaboard slips are available-nice though expensive. We tried in Long Beach recently and found right now the marinas are redoing the larger slips so aren't taking (if memory serves) 40 & up. Though they probably will by the time you will need it. I always think talking in person makes a big difference- especially if you go in dressed so nice!

Good thing about MdR is Catalina Island is close for a weekend or up to the northern Channel Islands, Ventura or Santa Barbara if you have longer. It's nice to just sail in the bay (blue whales, etc) too. Anchor outside off Santa Monica or Malibu piers, have lunch & sail home.

San Diego has spaces & is pretty reasonable. You can sail in the bay or over to Mission Bay to anchor but that's it (and watch the kelp continent outside the channel!) not much between for liveaboards- none in some places.

We have a 45' CC Hunter that I am so sorry to say is up for sail. My husband has health issues-otherwise I could live on her forever. Beautiful. Large aft cabin. Aft deck for sunbathing or deck chairs. If you have questions about the marinas or boat- just pm me.

Best of luck in your search. Gloria
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Old 09-11-2012, 14:03   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: San Diego
Boat: Caliber 40
Posts: 1,097
Re: Moving to SoCal to liveaboard, but have a catch-22

I live aboard in Sunroad Marina on Harbor Island, San Diego. I've been here since Sept 2010. I made all the arrangements via telephone and e-mail from Tacoma, Washington. I had the Sunroad slip secured and pre-paid for a month before we left our slip in Tacoma.

Sunroad is very flexible and accommodating. It is a beautiful and very well managed marina with about 50 liveaboard boats. Half the marina management are liveaboards.

The marina has a computer room, well equipped gym, swimming pool, hot tub, pagoda with fully equipped kitchen, two propane Bar-B-Ques, tables, sound system, and 60" plasma TV and the best marina showers I have experienced in 40 years of boating. Parking is secure and there is a full time security guard while the sun is down.

The great thing about Sunroad, and the other four marinas on Harbor Island, is the proximity to public transportation and the Harbor Drive bike path. The main terminal at the airport is a 10 minute walk (but we are allowed to use the employee bus since the marina owns the airport employee parking lot), bus stops for anywhere in San Diego are about six minutes away, and the bike path rides right by the marinas and will take you anywhere you want to go in San Diego county.

I-5 is less than five minutes distant by car and there is excellent shopping for boat stuff and everything else you need within 3 miles.

The SantaFe train station (or Old Town) is just 2 miles from my dock. There are nine Amtrak Surfliner trains a day between San Diego and LA and they make a lot of intermediate stops.

Sunroad has about 100 empty slips - my dock is 40' slips and there are 12 empty ones. They will probably make you a good deal.
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