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Old 14-11-2006, 11:16   #1
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Need Liveaboard Marina in NH/ME/MA Border Area

Does anyone know of a liveaboard marina in the ME/NH/MA border area? Any tips or suggestions?
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Old 14-11-2006, 13:56   #2
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We're based in Portland. I would highly recommend it. It is no colder than the rest of New England, the downtown is very walkable, decent school system, prices sane and the job market is not half bad.

My Observations (there are others, but these I have personal experience with):

South Port: in South Portland under the bridge, has a small year-round community. We spent a year there (about $5500 for a full year with power/water for 40'). It's a reasonable walk or bike across the bridge to downtown Portland. Plenty of safe street parking near the marina as well. Service department is as good as any place. The down sides are it is at the back of the harbor - about 2 miles to good sailing winds. Also some mud flat oders and bugs at low tide in the Summer.

DiMillo's: Awesome downtown Portland location. Secured parking lot that may be $50 or so a month extra. I think it costs a little more than South Port for the slip. They have a live-aboard community as well. Downside is the slips are tight - and I mean tight. Also probably 30 bars within stumbling distance is both good and bad...

Portland Yacht Services: Best service in town IMO. Facilities and location aren't as nice - though it's next door to Hamilton Marine. We're on the hard there now.

For a summer spot I'd recommend a mooring at Peaks Island (about $1000 for May-Sep - saves us about $2500 rent not being in a slip for the summer). No need to run the engine to head out and there's a ferry to downtown.

We're planning on launching this Spring to a mooring someplace in the harbor and then moving to DiMillo's for the Winter. I'd prefer South Port, but my daughter is in the Portland school system so we want to keep a Portland address.

We've been on the cusp of living aboard full time for a couple years now with plans to live and work in Portland. Stuff keeps happening like babies, illness and unfavorable housing markets. Although we're getting there and it looks like it will finally happen this Spring!

Let me know if I can help out any.

Martin
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Old 14-11-2006, 14:55   #3
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That is fantastic information, Martin! Thank you SO much. We are currently down in NJ and frankly, miss the area up there. (I'm from NH) We are planning out where to live aboard next winter and try to lock into a place for a couple years to work our tails off and get a cruising kitty up.

I recall cruising the area when I was much younger in my 21' boat (first boat). I had a mechanical failure up at Peaks where my rudder snapped off (pintles sheared). I took the Peaks Island ferry over with the trailer for the boat and just went back via land.

Very nice area though.

Question: How is the water in terms of freezing? I would imagine it's pretty salty, being so close to open ocean. Do people need bubblers in the winter to keep ice from crusing fiberglass hulls?

Question #2: How is the area in terms of crime, etc? From what I recall, I used to find it a bit "gritty" in Portland back in the 90's when I used to go up to the bars up there in college. Seemed like there was always a fight going on. Is that just a foggy, biased memory? I haven't been there in that long.
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Old 14-11-2006, 15:32   #4
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Lovely town

Sean,
I can remember when it was common to have three feet of ice in the harbor and CG Buoy Tenders breaking it constantly, but those days seem to be gone. Portland is our favorite getaway in the winter. I can't remember the last time that the harbor froze over. As for the "grittyness" of the city, while the folks on some of the streets (Congress Street, especially) may look less than desirable, they are harmless. My wife and I walk the streets throughtout the downtown area and have never even been approached by a panhandler. I would consider it to be a safe and congenial city.
Jim
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Old 14-11-2006, 15:40   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan

Question: How is the water in terms of freezing? I would imagine it's pretty salty, being so close to open ocean. Do people need bubblers in the winter to keep ice from crusing fiberglass hulls?
I have not had the boat in all winter yet - long story, don't ask...
But, based on personal observation most power boats have bubblers, most full keel sailboats do not. If I were living aboard I would not bother with my Westsail. I'd rather use the amps for heat, air cleaner and dehumidifier. Between the salt, city run-off and boat warmth I would be surprised if you got more than occasional crusting on cold/calm days. Most people shrink-wrap in water with a porch door. Typically makes it warm enough for just a t-shirt on deck even.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan
Question #2: How is the area in terms of crime, etc? From what I recall, I used to find it a bit "gritty" in Portland back in the 90's when I used to go up to the bars up there in college. Seemed like there was always a fight going on. Is that just a foggy, biased memory? I haven't been there in that long.
The Old Port is a bit roudy at night. During the day it is business types and tourists (much like the north end or downtown xing in Boston). With a little common sense you're perfectly safe at all hours. The bigger streets are fine, alleyways can seem ominous. You'll OCCASIONALY see a fight of sorts, maybe surprise someone peeing in public, etc. There's plenty of cops. Worst thing that ever happened to me was someone puked on my car hood in a garage. Get drunk and stumble around alone at 1 AM and you'll probably get what's coming to you though. Likewise your wife probably won't feel comfortable walking around at 11 PM alone, but the two of you together is fine.

I get nervous in Portland when there aren't people around. So I'd feel safer on a street full of drunks then alone in some swanky neighborhood.

My wife currently walks 1.25 miles to work (each way) right through downtown. The only time she is nervous is after 9 PM or so when I pick her up. Otherwise nothing intimidating has happened to her in the 3 years since we've been here. Likewise my 13 y.o daughter walks or takes the bus everywhere between 7 AM and 7 PM - after that we pick her up. We feel as comfortable as parents can when their kid is not at home.
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Old 14-11-2006, 15:55   #6
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Oh MAN... you have me litterally laughing my head off over here, Martin. I love your writing style. ha ha

I just got off the phone with my wife and she likes the idea as well. We had hoped to walk to work from the marina too, if at all possible. Sounds like it is. You know... it was the Old Port that I'm remembering from way back in the old days there.

Glad to hear it's a wonderful city. I think we're going to go for it, pending a little look at what kind of jobs there might be up there for my wife. I already saw plenty of contract and full time software development jobs in Portland, so I'm pretty happy about that (that's what I do).

The good part is, we're usually in bed long before 1AM (we are lucky to make it until 9PM ha ha ha). That's what boat life does... gets you on the schedule of the sun. So I imagine we won't be around at 1AM.

Again, thank you so much for this idea. We are very interested in Portland and are now considering work up there, as well as when we would make the jump. It might be this winter - or next.

And Jim... thanks for the additional opinion as well as the local knowledge about the harbor not freezing over much.
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Old 15-11-2006, 06:35   #7
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Originally Posted by ssullivan
Oh MAN... you have me litterally laughing my head off over here, Martin. I love your writing style. ha ha
Thank you. I've enjoyed your numerous posts in the year or so I've been reading this board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan
I already saw plenty of contract and full time software development jobs in Portland, so I'm pretty happy about that (that's what I do).
Oh, you're a programmer - that's what I do. So I lied, Portland really sucks. It's riddled with crime, you need electrified lifelines to keep the bums off your boat, you have to pay someone to watch your car 24/7, the marinas are full of sex offenders because they can't live anywhere else and you better have stout shoes to kick aside all the hyperdermic needles... <g>

All kidding aside, we're partial to Portland. My experience/interests fall in a fairly specialized niche (integrated GIS apps). I had no problems getting a job and regularaly see jobs advertised that would interest me. I find www.jobsinme.com is best for tech positions. It is perfectly plausible to get just about any type of job within walking distance of a marina. The best part is a lot of downtown firms have trouble recruiting because of parking. They're real happy when you tell them you don't need a garage space.

If you make it up here let me know. Feel free to PM for more info if you don't want to bore the rest of forum.
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Old 15-11-2006, 15:16   #8
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Wow... You are probably the most friendly and nice guy I've interacted with in a long time. THIS is why I miss good old New England.

No worries about the programming competition... I'm securing some work here in the NYC area that I hope to take up with me. I'll probably be developing from the boat. Also, our timing is official - we're going to go there next fall. Please keep in touch, since I think we have a lot in common. I'd be happy to help out with any boat stuff you have going on that might be a 2 man job.

Thanks again for all of the help.
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Old 15-11-2006, 15:23   #9
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space for live aboard

Sean
Try seaport in Lynn, Ma. Couple of people from the yacht club move over there for the winter.
Mike
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