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Old 06-07-2012, 17:06   #1
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Seattle/San Juan Islands area liveaboards

Anybody have information of liveaboard status in the greater Seattle area, including the islands?
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Old 06-07-2012, 17:15   #2
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Re: Seattle/San Juan Islands area liveaboards

Seems pretty easy most places. Laconner OK, Anacortes OK, Shilshole Bay Seattle OK, Port Townsend OK etc. Some marinas I think you "just do it", others you have to specify you are a liveaboard...
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Old 06-07-2012, 18:43   #3
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Re: Seattle/San Juan Islands area liveaboards

Why do you need information?
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Old 09-07-2012, 21:11   #4
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Thinking of relocating in a year or two max
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Old 09-07-2012, 21:43   #5
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Re: Seattle/San Juan Islands area liveaboards

About 8-10 years ago we were trying to move our Defever to Seattle from San Diego where were living aboard so my wife could finish off her degree. We had references up the ying yang, financially stable and a boat in showroom nick. I spent a week trying to locate a liveaboard slip anywhere in the Seattle area from which my wife could commute to school. Not only could I not locate one single marina or private home with dockside access to either salt water or Lake Washington, I was thoroughly discouraged by marina management, state agencies as well as Seattle brokerage firms in my quest for a two year slip contract.
I've not forgotten the rude, uncivil and generally discouraging reception I received at every turn.
We will not return to Seattle by sea or land. It a place at which we won't even buy fuel, let alone rent a slip or a hotel room.
Perhaps going a little further afield like Everett might produce a more positive result.
Good Luck! Capt Phil
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Old 09-07-2012, 23:26   #6
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There are some big factors that effect your success. I believe officially a marina in Wa state is only allowed 10% cap as full time lives boards. The hardest slips to find are live aboards in the popular boat sizes 40' slips etc and live aboards on the lake in Seattle. Shilshoal is huge and used to have a pretty big sublet program as well including live aboards. Lots of little marinas around the lake and all the way up and down the sound. Pretty much all the marinas also have wait list programs. Not always but generally bigger 55' an up and smaller under 25' seem to have been available when I looked before.

FYI. Port of Seattle runs shilshoal and several other marinas. Port of Everet is supposed to have a very nice marina as well. Port of Friday harbor are nice people easy call for info. Roche Harbor usually always has space but is at the higher end of Seattle rates. Elliot bay is a no go, boat world marinas are the evil empire on the lake and run a lot of marinas. Bellingham nice marina lots of bird poop. Covered is out off my depth. Other than Everet I have stayed at all of these as a Official live aboard at one time or another. The real Jem is the first slip I had, a private sublet in skyline one of the little inlets behind the houses on the water.

About ten years ago or so there was a big push by a certain elected official to rid wa waters of all the evil live aboard boaters. Things are much more mellow now but it can still take a bit of perseverance.
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Old 16-10-2012, 20:15   #7
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Re: Seattle/San Juan Islands area liveaboards

Blaine Marina in Washington, next to the Canadian border accepts liveaboards and have a reasonable rate as well. They do have a wait list, last I heard was about a year. We waited just over a year when the waitlist was 2+ years. It's a bit of a drive to Seattle, but only 20 minutes to big city Bellingham.
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Old 16-10-2012, 20:50   #8
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Re: Seattle/San Juan Islands area liveaboards

Hmm. Don't know how close you need to be to the Seattle area but you might check out Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. Nice town, marina is not too small not too large and live aboards are welcome and slips are available. Easy access to the islands and Port Townsend area. Lots of services within walking distance.
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Old 16-10-2012, 21:21   #9
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Re: Seattle/San Juan Islands area liveaboards

I just have to chime in one other thing, pick up a phone and call around San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara looking for a liveaboard slip and see what happens.

Seattle is VASTLY more accessible than California. And don't forget Tacoma, Olympia, Everett, and the peninsula as well.
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Old 16-10-2012, 21:44   #10
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Re: Seattle/San Juan Islands area liveaboards

I was living aboard at Port of Edmonds marina until I recently headed up to Port Townsend to haul out for a refit and relinquished the slip. There is a waiting list for larger sizes, but I was lucky in that I had a 50ft slip grandfathered with the purchase of my boat.

Rules about maximum time to liveaboard might have been able to be flouted, but I was upfront and requested liveaboard status. It was approved, there aren't many liveaboards there, and some are good for marina security. I found it a great place, all the Port staff easy to get along with. It was pretty easy drive to northern parts of Seattle, and the Marina is walking distance to the train station if you wanted to commute via public transport.
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Old 17-10-2012, 11:18   #11
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Re: Seattle/San Juan Islands area liveaboards

I noticed that the Laconner Marina (Port of Skagit County) Has notices up that it would like to allow live aboards again. (the marina's not full). Quaint little town, and not that far from the San Juans etc.
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Old 17-10-2012, 17:54   #12
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Re: Seattle/San Juan Islands area liveaboards

And don't forget the anchorages and moorings. It all depends on how you want to live and how far can you be away from your work. NW Washington has OK public transport, but I think your work situation is the kicker.
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Old 17-10-2012, 18:00   #13
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Re: Seattle/San Juan Islands area liveaboards

If he's going to be working it makes a huge diff for sure. Here's one scheme: I lived aboard in Seattle at Shilshole Bay Marina for about 3 years. I never officially had a slip. In the summer, some boats go north and move to like Anacortes.... but dont want to give up their Shilshole slip. They are allowed to sublet for up to 6 mos I think. In the winter, some boats go (somewhere!) also. Bottome line... in the 45 foot range anyway I never had a problem. sometimes only staying in one slip for 4 mos, sometimes 6 mos. Often just moving a couple finger piers down. Was real confusing for the cat though!
Dont know for sure, but I suspect Everett has slips available based on what I saw there a couple of weeks ago....
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Old 19-10-2012, 13:41   #14
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Re: Seattle/San Juan Islands area liveaboards

I don't think I saw a mention of Friday Harbor, the New York City of the Jauns. I've friends there now for the winter, cheaper then. Most folks with boats tend to anchor out if not stuck with a JOB during the nicer part of the year. Since the demand for slips is down right now you may find easier long term moorage but a lot of the marinas in the area like to keep slips clear for transients in the summer when they jack up the rates.
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Old 26-10-2012, 07:37   #15
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Re: Seattle/San Juan Islands area liveaboards

Northwest yachting magazine publishes a list of WA. state marinas with liveaboard info for most & prices etc. every JAN. including hundreds? within the area being spoken of here.
http://nwyachting.com/pdf/jan12/jan12.pdf
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