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Old 26-09-2017, 12:36   #1
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Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

My husband and I are considering living aboard. We think it will be best to get started staying in a marina--while we adapt, learn/re-learn to sail, and upgrade as needed--before cruising full time. However, our research has shown that it can be challenging to find a marina that takes liveaboards and especially in the SF Bay Area. I'm wondering if it will help our case to say we plan to stay temporarily before settling into cruising full time. It could be as much as a year or two years, though. Any thoughts? Does that angle hurt or help? Or make no impact whatsoever? Thank you!
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Old 26-09-2017, 12:46   #2
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Re: Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

Well a temporary/ guest slip is a good way for the harbormaster to get to know you. One issue. Most marinas have a time limit on guest slips. Some are two weeks some are two months. So you would need to move about a bit, but it's doable.
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Old 26-09-2017, 12:52   #3
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Re: Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

Consider moving to an area with seasonal boating and only stay the boating season. There tend to be less policies around live-aboard's when there is only a 5-6 month season.
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Old 26-09-2017, 14:10   #4
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Re: Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

To me, a year or two sounds like you are candidates for permanent liveaboard. Many marinas do not allow big numbers of liveaboards, for obvious reasons.

Overall getting a boat ready takes about a month or two (say 6 months if the boat is biggish).

Comfort is a warm spool gun.

If your boat needs a year or two to get her ready for cruising, you probably want her in a boatyard, not in a marina. Many boat owners in marinas do not like dust, noise and other such related to people getting ready to go sailing.

If it is rather you who are not ready, then just dock her in the marina while living in a place nearby. Use her and get ready over weekends and holidays.

Just saying, I know everyone has a plan. But marina managers and dock owners are smarter than that.

Cheers,
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Old 27-09-2017, 08:27   #5
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Re: Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

Thanks, all. We're still figuring this out, and it looks like these tips jive with what we've learned so far. Will keep trying not to bang my head against my desk.
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Old 27-09-2017, 10:06   #6
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Re: Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

I only have anecdotal information about the bay area, but from what I gather, the are many marinas in the northern areas that feed the Delta that accept liveaboards. I mildly researched the area just two weeks ago online when it looked like my crew to bring my boat from Channel Islands Harbor in southern California to Humboldt Bay was not going to be available, and I thought I might singlehand to SF Bay and leave my boat there until spring. I found several marinas that said they offered liveaboards and asked you to email them your information. I was looking for the cheapest slips available. I bet if you did a search of marinas area by area and emailed all that applied to your circumstances you would get several options pretty quick. San Francisco is a big place, and not too limited like Santa Barbara or Santa Cruz. Good luck
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Old 27-09-2017, 10:52   #7
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Re: Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

U better have a.c. If U score a liviboard slip in the delta. Blazing hot in the summer. Also commute times to S.F. Very unpleasant. Just sayin'
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Old 27-09-2017, 11:03   #8
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Re: Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

If you want to be in the Bay Area and try "things out", San Leandro, IMHO is a great place to get your feet wet. This marina has a short lease on life when it will be turned into a kayak and canoe center. It is probably less than half occupied now so the likely hood of disturbing someone is slim to none. Bathrooms and showers are decent. Costco, Home Depot etc are not far. Monthly rents are respectable.
Downsides are proximity to Oakland airport (a bit noisy) and the fact that this is again a limited situation. And finally getting in and out is bit tricky due to filling in of the marina and east bay.
We got in easily at mid tide and we are a 50' boat.
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Old 27-09-2017, 11:24   #9
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Re: Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

Ok, so the delta looks like it might be worth looking into (I won't be commuting and he has a motorcycle, which cuts the travel time down significantly). We are mostly prepared for the heat. We both lived in Lamorinda/Walnut Creek for several years, but we know it gets even hotter the further inland you go. So, yes, AC will be essential.

A follow-up question: Is it possible to be on a waiting list for liveaboard if your boat is not already in the marina in question? Wondering how we could score something in Alameda later on if we start out in the delta. I'm having trouble figuring out how to search the forums for this kind of question, and it's not clear on the marina websites. (Yes, could call around, but there are so many calls to make!) Thank you!!!
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Old 27-09-2017, 23:03   #10
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Re: Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Many marinas do not allow big numbers of liveaboards, for obvious reasons.

Cheers,
b.
Uh. No. The reasons are not obvious. At least, not to me.

Liveaboards have always been there to look out for my vessel when I am away. And liveaboards keep our marinas free from most thieves. Most residents LIKE having some livaboards in our marinas.
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Old 27-09-2017, 23:58   #11
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Re: Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

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Uh. No. The reasons are not obvious. At least, not to me
Marinas under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay Conservation & Development Commission (BCDC) are limited to 10% of their slips being allotted to liveaboards. This includes every marina between the Golden Gate and the Sacramento River.
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Old 28-09-2017, 00:17   #12
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Re: Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

In the Bay Area we have the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). The BCDC is a regional governmental body that has a great deal of control over all shoreline development in the Bay Area. Amongst their rules, marinas may only have liveaboards in 10% of their slips. Last I heard this was interpreted as "occupied slips", so a marina that is half-full only gets half as many liveaboards, but don't know if that is how the actual rule is written.
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Old 28-09-2017, 05:52   #13
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Re: Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, fuchsia.
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Old 28-09-2017, 07:27   #14
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Re: Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

Additionally to the BCDC's heavy handed regulation of Bay Area marinas, many harbormasters do not like liveaboards in their marina, with the occasional exception of people who they already know, like and trust to keep an eye on things.

Everyone and their brother want to live aboard a boat because living on land here is so expensive. Therefore you are competing against many others who have had the same idea for many years. I'm not saying the idea is impossible, just very difficult.
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Old 28-09-2017, 08:08   #15
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Re: Staying temporarily helps/hinders SF marinas' liveaboard approval?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KP44 View Post
Uh. No. The reasons are not obvious. At least, not to me.

Liveaboards have always been there to look out for my vessel when I am away. And liveaboards keep our marinas free from most thieves. Most residents LIKE having some livaboards in our marinas.
You are right about not being obvious. They are just obvious to me. I implied too much.

A plain essay writing class thing, and so you got me. I am like 20 years out of the Uni and beginning to become complacent. A common thing in people who have been doing whatever they are doing for too long.

You will be living in an area where theft is common. I live where theft is an aberration. I did not mean common theft as one of the obvious reasons.

The reasons I have in mind are more along the lines of the business plan and infrastructure of the marina (e.g. where there are liveaboards, there must be more facilities: like showers, toilets, garbage collection, etc.) A marina stops being a marina and starts being like a small city suburb.

So unless you build your business plan and infrastructure with the above in mind, a typical non-liveaboard marina will have only a limited capacity to accept liveabords in big numbers.

Cheers,
b.
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