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Old 18-11-2013, 07:52   #1
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The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

It's what oftentimes gives us live aboards a bad reputation and leads to marinas and towns passing anti-live aboard regulations. It's also something almost every live aboard must fight. That creepsing almost cosmic force that wants to turn a boat not in motion in a floating eyesore of blue tarps, rubbermaid deck boxes and milk crates over flowing with marine flea market rejects that once filled deep lockers.

We have been back in the States now for a little over a year and I tell you, it is a constant fight to keep the decks clear of clutter and the boat looking respectable. Sure there are always the projects that require the deck to be a staging area, but the laws of thermodymanics seems to be pushing more and more of our deck into chaos.

Then there is the car trunk and back seat that's been turned into a mobile storage facility. Extra packages of toilet paper, laundry supplies and boxes of stuff...holy smokes it's driving me CRAZY. The next thing you know I will have a 1/2 dead and rotting away hard rowing dingy on the luggage rack of our Honda CR-V and the transition from Cruiser to Float Aboard will be complete....HEEEEELLLLLPPPPP.
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Old 18-11-2013, 08:05   #2
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Re: The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

If you would get a decent watermaker and start showering more, you may be better accepted…

We haven't lived as a fixture in one place, although we have spent many months anchored in a small area, but we don't have the cluttered deck thing. Anything that is staged on deck is only for a short term during the project. And we are not neat people by any measurement - things are laying all around inside and the boat could certainly use more cleaning than we do. We do see others like you describe - even when only anchored for a short time.

Blue tarps are just being cheap. If you are permanently anchored and the need for shade is permanent, then spring for good canvas and do good work. That is best for everyone involved.

I imagine kids make the clutter worse, but it seems like the main point of having kids is so that you have someone to clean the boat, scrub the bottom, do repairs, etc . At least that is the impression I have for why my parents had me...

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Old 18-11-2013, 08:36   #3
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Re: The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

Quote:
"We have been back in the States now for a little over a year and I tell you, it is a constant fight to keep the decks clear of clutter and the boat looking respectable. Sure there are always the projects that require the deck to be a staging area, but the laws of thermodymanics seems to be pushing more and more of our deck into chaos.

Then there is the car trunk and back seat that's been turned into a mobile storage facility. Extra packages of toilet paper, laundry supplies and boxes of stuff...holy smokes it's driving me CRAZY. The next thing you know I will have a 1/2 dead and rotting away hard rowing dingy on the luggage rack of our Honda CR-V and the transition from Cruiser to Float Aboard will be complete....HEEEEELLLLLPPP!"
You've been back in the States for a year... The part I don't understand is why you don't store the objects where you used to store them when you were cruising? Are you buying in larger quantities than you did offshore? Is the savings worth the headache?

Are you going to stay in the States for some while? Do you have to store clothing to wear to work now that you didn't when cruising? Dispose of what you won't be using till you leave. You have a boat with lots more storage than most liveaboards, and I bet you can consolidate your storage. How many rags do you really need to store on board? Enough for one engine rebuild, maybe. But you'll be making more rags, as we always do..... How many non-essential spares do you have?

I bet you already know what you need to do; you're just resisting biting the bullet. ;-)

C'mon get on with it, you'll feel better afterwards!

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Old 18-11-2013, 09:01   #4
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Re: The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

And I thought we were the only ones using the car as a storage facility. DANG! I was planning on getting a patent on the idea and buying a bigger boat.
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Old 18-11-2013, 09:07   #5
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Re: The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

We just bought a derelict boat and put it in the slip next to us. Now we pile everything on their decks. When someone asks, we just say they are absentee owners and what a shame it is they are so callous to community standards
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Old 18-11-2013, 10:05   #6
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Re: The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

Seems boats that sit tend to collect fluff. The key might be to take a week trip, say to the channel islands. OK not the best time of year, but doable. That gets the boat prepped and the extra stuff stowed.

I try to set a goal to remove unused "Stuff" from the boat, setting 20 or 30 pounds in a week to get rid of. Sort of a monthly contest I have with myself. Not easy when your on a mooring with the kids in schools.
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Old 18-11-2013, 10:16   #7
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Re: The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

I was recently at a seminary down by Lake Union Seattle and happened to sit next to the HR person of Lake Union Engineering Marine and visited some some of our old neighbors. It seems the City of Seattle and State of Washington is once again trying to restrict live a boards and/or added additional equipments, which the marinas have to pass on to the tenants and make sure they comply. Live aboard seem to get the bad rape as there are few of us, less than 1% of all the boaters and not organized, so its easy to point the finger at live a boards.

So if may not be the marina, but other forces, city/state. The best is to comply with all marina requests/requirements as they may have a compounding effect on other live a boards. One bad live abvoard can wreck it for other. The marinas we been in each year have required we file out a documents that we know and follow marina rules, have to prove that we get pumped out, have tate/federal registers, required insurance, the boat is capable of leaving the dock under its own power, and physically inspected.

When the marina has given/voice complain new regulations, we make sure we comply as there are less live aboard marinas each year. During the winter we have big blue tarps coveing the front deck, maria referse it as the Eagle big blue condom. The marina does have rule that they can be up from October 1 to May 1, and they can not be torn worn flapping in the wind. We do have a lot of canvas also.

We usually buy the smallest size as storage on the boat is limited, and we do not shop Costco as the saving for a year supply is not worth the hassle of storing. I do the grocery and shopping each Saturday morning to allow my wife to sleep in. It would seem now being a live a board you can have less stuff as you can now buy them readily available locally.

We do have a off set storage for the run about and misc seasonal items, inlcuding the motor cycle. In the summer when we have company and/or leave the dock the vehicle do become sort term storage. However, I will be darn if I am going to par down my shoes, cloths and shoes.
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Old 18-11-2013, 11:30   #8
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Re: The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

When I was getting the boat ready to sail to Hawaii while commuting from Kona, the boat ended up full of stuff involved in the process. Kept some stuff stored at my Son's house but the boat was still overwhelmed. When my son moved to San Diego was forced to find a way to store the stuff stored at his house. Found a self storage area a block away from the boat. Spent a day moving stuff off the boat and into the storage space. What a difference it made. Could ride my bike over and pick up what I needed for that moment without cluttering up the boat with everything else. Was even able to go sailing occasionally as I didn't have to totally rearrange the boat to take her out. Might think about renting storage space if there is one near you.

When we were cruising SoCal, met a number of long term live aboards at the marinas we stayed at. Most had bought some kind of van or panel truck to store things in. They usually didn't use the van for transportation but just moved it around the marina parking lot to keep the management happy. One couple who had been living on a smallish boat for a decade had one of those UPS truck size vehicles. Noticed because they were both working at office jobs and would enter the van in their boat clothes and emerge in a short while in a dress or suit.

But yes, it seems like a boat lived aboard in a marina just collects stuff. Know when we were finishing off our W32, the decks instantly became cluttered as soon as we tied the mooring lines in a marina. Wandering around the marina, could instantly tell which boats were live aboards.
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Old 18-11-2013, 17:14   #9
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Re: The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

The marina where I have my sailboat for sail has this 50's-ish couple living directly opposite me. They feed the ducks and that brings more crap on the docks. We already had a serious discussion about that and now they at least hose it down every day.

BTW, things always look better on camera than in real life.
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Old 18-11-2013, 17:25   #10
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Re: The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

Ouch. What marina are you in?
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Old 18-11-2013, 17:34   #11
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Re: The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

When someone asks me what I need for my boat, I immediately reply "A dumpster." Stole that from someone but so it goes. Anyway...

It's a simple matter of organization. I have a storage unit, and the back of my Honda Pilot which is mobile storage. But I'm pretty merciless about tossing whatever I don't need, and don't think I'll need anytime soon.

As far as all of the consumables, like toilet paper, paper towels, etc, I think it's a simple matter of doing more with less, being organized, and thinking ahead. I shop at Costco, buy in bulk, put the huge packages of stuff in my storage unit, and pull what I need during monthly visits to the unit, even if I'm just passing by and grabbing what I need for the coming month without pawing through all the other stuff.

Do more with less, buy only what you really need, and put together a simple process for resupply. **shrugs**
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Old 18-11-2013, 17:42   #12
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Re: The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

My rules for keeping chaos at bay:

1) Sail every week
2) If you have not used it in 6 months (except spares), its gone
3) Nothing lives on deck (of course stuff often ends up there 'temporarily'), rule #1 helps with this considerably.
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Old 19-11-2013, 16:11   #13
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Re: The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

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................ Wandering around the marina, could instantly tell which boats were live aboards.
I don't think that this is true. When you are wandering around the marina you can instantly tell which boats were live aboards that accepted clutter. There could easily have been other boats with clear and clean decks that were also live aboards, but you would not know. I follow Rain Dog's rules that are listed above and we can be underway in ten minutes anytime. My boat appears as a cruiser due to the solar panels, wind generator, splash guards, kayaks, etc., but you would not consider me a liveaboard if you defined liveaboards as those with clutter; however, we own nothing that's not on the boat!



It's a self-fullfilling definition. If you recognize liveaboards as boats with clutter; then liveaboard boats are trashy!
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Old 19-11-2013, 17:11   #14
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Re: The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

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When someone asks me what I need for my boat, I immediately reply "A dumpster."
We're live aboard on the move, so Mark's answer to this question is "a support boat".

Makes me laugh every time
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Old 22-11-2013, 16:06   #15
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Re: The Live Aboard Challange: Not looking like a Float Aboard

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Ouch. What marina are you in?
That is in Marina Del Sol where my Allied 39 Ketch is for sale.
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