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Old 13-05-2012, 08:27   #1
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When does it become liveaboard?

So..What constitutes live-aboard as opposed to casual over-niter?

How many over-nites in a row before being hassled? If i am not using shore power and pump outs etc?

What i am really asking is how much can i get away with before i have to pay extra fees and be considered Live-aboard?

I am thinking mostly about San-Francisco Marinas, as this is where my Searunner is at present and i'll be joining her pretty soon from Vancouver.

As my cruising budget will be small i have to consider all options..
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Old 13-05-2012, 09:01   #2
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Re: When does it become liveaboard?

It all depends on the marina. Some will look the other way if you are a good citizen and don't make it obnoxiously obvious that you are living aboard.

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Old 13-05-2012, 09:04   #3
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Re: When does it become liveaboard?

...when the harbor master has seen you enough times aboard your boat to start suspecting that you are spending too many nights sleeping aboard. It's subjective.

A lot of people want to live aboard a boat in San Francisco because it is cheap rent (relatively speaking) and for many, walking distance or a very short commute on public transit from work.

I know that some SF and other Bay Area harbormasters are constantly chasing "sneakaboards" out of their marinas. BCDC limits liveaboards to 10% of the number of boats in a marina, but some marinas do not want any liveaboards or limit it to less than 10%. Some marinas charge extra money for live aboards.

Overall, I don't think the vast majority of marinas in the Bay Area are looking for more people to take up residence at their business.
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Old 13-05-2012, 09:05   #4
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Re: When does it become liveaboard?

Many marinas have candid agreements between the liveaboards and management. The marina that I consider my "home port", where I locate for about three months of each year, negotiates freely with me. If we are traveling away from the boat for most of a month we don't pay the extra fee. I think the best policy would be to pose this question to the marina management.
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Old 13-05-2012, 09:07   #5
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Re: When does it become liveaboard?

Is there any guideline that is understood and accepted? you know....when so many overnites constitutes true liveaboard status?? Three days a week??? twenty five days a month...just for an example??
Oh,,,and if your not using any consumables like power cable etc??

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When the harbormaster has seen you enough times aboard your boat to start suspecting that you are spending too many nights sleeping aboard.

It's subjective.
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Old 13-05-2012, 09:07   #6
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Re: When does it become liveaboard?

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Many marinas have candid agreements between the liveaboards and management. The marina that I consider my "home port", where I locate for about three months of each year, negotiates freely with me. If we are traveling away from the boat for most of a month we don't pay the extra fee. I think the best policy would be to pose this question to the marina management.
If you're a "sneak aboard," eventually you'll be caught and you may have damaged your relationship with that marina management. Don't do like the one fella I heard about. He denied being a live-aboard. Exasperated, the dock master said, "YOU'VE PUT PLANTS ON THE DOCK!!!!"
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Old 13-05-2012, 09:11   #7
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Re: When does it become liveaboard?

Hahahah,,,no,,no,,,i have no interest in sneaking aboard,,But i would accept a casual understanding between myself and the HarborMaster,,,or Just Pay the Toll and have done with it...

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If you're a "sneak aboard," eventually you'll be caught and you may have damaged your relationship with that marina management. Don't do like the one fella I heard about. He denied being a live-aboard. Exasperated, the dock master said, "YOU'VE PUT PLANTS ON THE DOCK!!!!"
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Old 13-05-2012, 10:02   #8
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Re: When does it become liveaboard?

Generally in the SF bay area you can stay 3 nights a week and not be considered a live aboard. Liveaboard fees run from $150-$300 a month in addition to the slip fee depending on location. Some marinas will look the other way for a bit.

Just note that most use the electronic key pass for the dock gate, to track how many times you click in/out. So keeping a low profile can be difficult.

Richmonds marina Bay has a few liveaboard slips available. They are $200 a month liveaboard fee... I was there for a few years and its pretty nice.. Many/most will have a waiting list for liveaboard..

Harbormasters love to see the pump outs being used btw... So many liveaboard boats almost never move, so not good...

I've known a few people who sneaked aboard for years btw. Depends on if the harbor master likes you or not...
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Old 13-05-2012, 10:11   #9
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Re: When does it become liveaboard?

I'm sure it varies widely from marina to marina. Around here (east coast) some marina's have explicit definitions of liveaboard. One i stayed at defined it as 'staying overnight more than 14 consecutive days in any month'. Since it was clearly defined, there was no issue with people staying on land or anchoring out for 2 days a month to avoid the fee.

where I'm at now there's a no-liveaboard policy, but it's a city ordinance and not a marina decision. the marina takes the stance of 'we welcome extended stays' and since the city doesn't have a clear definition of what a livaboard is, nobody can complain as long nobody uses the word liveaboard to describe their situation....

other marina's in the area just ask if you'll be living aboard or not, without any definition of what liveaboard means. In those places it's entirely up to management to decide if you're a liveaboard or not... most of the time it's pretty obvious who lives aboard the majority of the time and who doesn't. So it's pretty difficult be a full-time 'sneak aboard', in my opinion.

I'd say call the marina's anonymously and ask about their liveaboard policy. If you call yourself a cruiser or explain that you may have 'extended stays' aboard. That will put the burden on them whether to define you as a liveaboard or not. If you say 'im a liveaboard' then you're automatically going to be denied, or charged a fee. Make them define it for you first... Then stick to whatever their definition is, until someone says otherwise.
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Old 13-05-2012, 10:12   #10
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Re: When does it become liveaboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo55 View Post
Is there any guideline that is understood and accepted? you know....when so many overnites constitutes true liveaboard status?? Three days a week??? twenty five days a month...just for an example??
Oh,,,and if your not using any consumables like power cable etc??
Seems like I've seen 2 weeks be used a couple of times....
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Old 13-05-2012, 10:21   #11
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Re: When does it become liveaboard?

Don't know about SF area, but around Tampa Bay most of the marina have a specific definition. Seems the "usual" is 10 nights per month. Anymore than that and you are a "liveaboard."
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Old 13-05-2012, 10:21   #12
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Re: When does it become liveaboard?

Thanks all,,i appreciate the heads up..
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