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Old 09-08-2017, 07:23   #1
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SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

It seems like this topic comes up every few years on CruiserForum, so apologies for asking what's already been asked.

With the unfortunate closer of Docktown looming it's head (everyone needs to be out by Feb 2018) LA slips are hard to find in the area.

I'm COMPLETELY novice to the liveaboard life but I've wanted to take the step for quite sometime. Does anyone have any recommendations or suggestions on which harbors to look at first for a LA slip? What to say to the HM? How much $$ a month to expect?

Lastly...and this is a big one...My (hopefully mine) new-to-me houseboat will need a tow to it's new location. A quick search online shows bay areas tows range from $15k-$20k!

Does that sound about right? Anyone want to rent their high-torque tug boat for the day?


Thanks CF!

I'm really hoping I can make this new work.
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:57   #2
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Re: SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

A few issues to think about.

First when buying a boat, make very sure you have a slip to put it into BEFORE closing on the deal. Second many marina's in the SF Bay area will not accept a houseboat at all. Some in the delta will, but space may be hard to find.

In addition, all marina's will want any boat or houseboat docked there to be able to move under it's own power. Some require that this be demonstrated yearly.

Lastly, a houseboat is not rated for the ocean at all. Many I would not want to be in even crossing San Pablo bay.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:43   #3
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Re: SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

Some of the houseboats at Docktown were built in Sausalito of poured concrete. The hull is like a barge that could be towed, very solid. Also very heavy looking. I bet a real tug would be needed to move a houseboat out of the creek at Docktown.
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:55   #4
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Re: SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

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Some of the houseboats at Docktown were built in Sausalito of poured concrete. The hull is like a barge that could be towed, very solid. Also very heavy looking. I bet a real tug would be needed to move a houseboat out of the creek at Docktown.
There's a difference between a houseboat and a floating home. My guess is that this guy is not trying to move a floating home.
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Old 09-08-2017, 15:56   #5
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Re: SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

In this case the hull is fiberglass (solid, no leaks) and motor-less. So I think it would be more like a floating house rather than houseboat.
This place is a 2story house so a slow-tow is the way to go.

I saw BoatU.S. does tows with their coverage plan but is that mainly to-from ship yard? I wonder if they would cover houseboats too.
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:36   #6
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Re: SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

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A few issues to think about.

First when buying a boat, make very sure you have a slip to put it into BEFORE closing on the deal. Second many marina's in the SF Bay area will not accept a houseboat at all. Some in the delta will, but space may be hard to find.

In addition, all marina's will want any boat or houseboat docked there to be able to move under it's own power. Some require that this be demonstrated yearly.

Lastly, a houseboat is not rated for the ocean at all. Many I would not want to be in even crossing San Pablo bay.
I've seen you mention the Delta before. Is that up by Vallejo or is that closer to Fremont?

This weekend I'll be in my car mostly, going around to as many marina's as I can find.
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:57   #7
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Re: SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

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I've seen you mention the Delta before. Is that up by Vallejo or is that closer to Fremont?

This weekend I'll be in my car mostly, going around to as many marina's as I can find.
The Delta is generally considered to be east of Benecia/Martinez.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:30   #8
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Re: SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

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The Delta is generally considered to be east of Benecia/Martinez.
Gotcha. Most northerly I'd like to go is Berkeley/Sausalito.

Any suggestions for towing a house-barge across the bay?
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:14   #9
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Re: SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

Your main worry is finding a place to keep it. There are only a couple of places for floating homes in the main bay (not Delta) - Alameda, and Sausalito, that I know of. Any other suggestions anyone? I've never seen a spare spot at either. Most marinas only allow boats, and even then live aboard spaces are oversubscribed.

Don't forget that with the loss of Petes, then Docktown, a lot of floating home capacity has already been lost.

Interestingly, Redwood City put $10M aside for assisting with Docktown repurchases and relocation costs. Wonder why the previous owner didn't relocate it?

I would strongly advise not purchasing until you have a solid plan.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:22   #10
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Re: SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

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Your main worry is finding a place to keep it. There are only a couple of places for floating homes in the main bay (not Delta) - Alameda, and Sausalito, that I know of. Any other suggestions anyone? I've never seen a spare spot at either. Most marinas only allow boats, and even then live aboard spaces are oversubscribed.

Don't forget that with the loss of Petes, then Docktown, a lot of floating home capacity has already been lost.

Interestingly, Redwood City put $10M aside for assisting with Docktown repurchases and relocation costs. Wonder why the previous owner didn't relocate it?

I would strongly advise not purchasing until you have a solid plan.


Thanks! We’re only jumping into this if all the wee ducks line up. 🦆
Owner doesn’t want to relocate as his commute is too good right now. He’s going to the mainland after years on the water.

Biggest challenges now are finding a location and finding a way to tow it to the location.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:24   #11
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Re: SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

A house on a barge will be a total non starter in the central bay. Not a marina that will take it that I am aware of. All the Marinas in the central bay will only want a sailboat or powerboat, generally 35+ feet long in the area your looking at. They all have waiting lists for liveaboard.

There are houses on barges on the bay, one or two in Berkeley, a few in Alameda and the rest in Sausalito, but they are grandfathered in and no new ones are allowed.

Plus the ones in redwood city that don't have a home now. Not a good investment, unless you have land to move them too.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:26   #12
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Re: SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

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Your main worry is finding a place to keep it. There are only a couple of places for floating homes in the main bay (not Delta) - Alameda, and Sausalito, that I know of. Any other suggestions anyone? I've never seen a spare spot at either. Most marinas only allow boats, and even then live aboard spaces are oversubscribed.
The OP doesn't have a floating home. He has a houseboat, a houseboat that has no engine. I don't know of many marinas that will accept an enginless houseboat as a tenant.

Floating home


Houseboat
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:32   #13
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Re: SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

Sailorchic34 is correct... you need to secure your slip before jumping into the liveaboard life style. You might try rural out of the way marinas as far away from the big smokes as you can get! Marinas in LA and San Francisco are virtually jammed, have so many rules they are almost unliveable and are filled with floating fornicatoriums that never leave the dock! Rather used as floating cocktail bars, have their bottoms cleaned every 6 months and fortunate if a hired mechanic drops down once a year to see if the engine turns over!
I know of which I speak having lived aboard in San Diego and SF for a total of about 20 yrs. I now live in the high Sierra and own a kayak!
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:08   #14
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Re: SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

san Pablo yacht harbor is the last wilderness type houseboat community on the bay. they are isolated by desire and left alone
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:16   #15
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Re: SF Bay Area LA Slip Needed for Houseboat

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The OP doesn't have a floating home. He has a houseboat, a houseboat that has no engine. I don't know of many marinas that will accept an enginless houseboat as a tenant.

Floating home


Houseboat
Maybe it would be helpful if the original poster could clarify the exact nature of the vessel. He could even go mad and give us the actual dimensions. I know, I know, that's crazy talk.

That is assuming that he would like useful replies in return?
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