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Old 28-07-2012, 17:02   #1
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Boat as primary home

Hi everyone! I'm new to this site and hope to learn as much as possible so I can decide on what, when, how, etc. about my dream of having a boat. I have part of the plan but there are many things I need to know.
If the numbers add up correctly I would love to get a 30 footer in California. Maybe a Sea Ray, Chaparral, Bayliner. How old is it safe to buy, good and safe marinas to live in since the boat will be my home, so many questions...
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Old 28-07-2012, 17:18   #2
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Re: Boat as primary home

Have you spent some extended time on a boat? Before choosing to live full time on one a good idea would be to take an extended trip on one.

I split my time between a 42 foot boat built in 1981 and a float home built in 1975. I've sailed on quite a variety of ages of boats and would say it's the maintenance of them not the age that matters.

Good luck with the dream and welcome to the forum.
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Old 28-07-2012, 19:30   #3
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Re: Boat as primary home

Hi hummingway. I have spend some time in boats and lived in one for a little while, a Bayliner 32". I'm just getting started with my research, there's a ton of things I need to learn before making any decision. Thanks for the idea, your good wishes and the welcome :-)
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Old 28-07-2012, 20:48   #4
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Re: Boat as primary home

Welcome to the forum. You're in the right place. Keep asking questions.
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Old 29-07-2012, 04:16   #5
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Re: Boat as primary home

One thing people don't research or just don't know is that California is very restrictive on live aboards...

By state law, only 10% of any marina can have legal live aboards (100 slips = 10 live aboards), houseboats included

Many marinas tend to be even more selective by requiring you toa lready have a slip in the marina, before you can apply as a "Legal" live aboard...

Before you buy you might want to research the ares you want to live and see if any of the marinas will let you live board.

You also didn't say if you were in Northern or Southern Cal... Southern Cal docks are expensive compared to Northern Cal, since their occupancy tends to by above 95%.

On top of that most marinas charge a live aboard fee of some sort, from $50 up to a 20% of the total slip fee as a sir charge for live aboards.

OK, the bottom line here is make sure to find a place for your boat, before you buy it, especially if you are planning on living aboard.
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Old 29-07-2012, 04:37   #6
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Re: Boat as primary home

I would like to add my impression that many California boats are used as cheap living space by people who know very little about their upkeep and care even less. I would be very cautious about buying anything in California and would insisst on a thorough "functional" survey before purchasing. You don't have to read many surveys to find out that surveyors are better at CYA than attorneys, usually out of necessity as their hands are tied by circumstances. Insist on a full functional survey along with an extensive sea trial where everything is checked out. You will be expected to cover the cost of same, but it will be the best money you could spend. Full functionality up front is much less expensive than it is to bring up to that state! Good luck!!
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Old 29-07-2012, 08:52   #7
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Re: Boat as primary home

I have live aboard my Columbia 41 for three years on the Potomac in Washington, DC. I think the first shock for you will be dealing with the space available on your boat vs. the volume of stuff you already own. Secondly, buying an older boat is generally a cash-only proposition. But the biggest thing is learning about how all the marine systems work and how to repair them. Then too, there is learning about operating the boat (Rules of the Road) and how to handle the boat in adverse weather conditions and at night. So, if you only want to live aboard, maybe a house boat is what you really should be loooking for. Just a thought.
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Old 29-07-2012, 09:39   #8
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Re: Boat as primary home

Hi Sam Plan B. I'm definitely interested in taking the boat out of the marina every now and then. But first there is a lot I need to find out, like where are the safest places for a single female to liveaboard. I hear America's Cup is the top choice but takes over 3 years to get a slip.
Also, the SDMC aplication form asks for having the boat first. I must find out if that's strictly the case.
Thanks very much for the info
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Old 29-07-2012, 10:30   #9
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Re: Boat as primary home

Things to watch with most I/O power boats:
*Transoms are often cored and get rotten. Bayliner, Sea Ray etc doesnt matter. They lay up the boat, core in some plywood etc. Then when installing the engine, they cut a big hole in the transom for the outdrive and simply install it leaving the exposed core to saturate with water eventually. Also, when trim tabs are installed, the screws go right into the core exascerbating the problem. Get a boat that has had the transom rebuilt. The only one I know of that doesnt have this issue is the old Tollycrafts... they sandwiched alum as the core i understand.
* Fuel tanks: if they are buried under deck, they are likely going bad.
* Engine supports and stringers: rotten often.
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Old 29-07-2012, 10:52   #10
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Re: Boat as primary home

Hi Cheechako. I'm sure understanding this will come in handy during my research. Thanks for the info
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Old 29-07-2012, 10:57   #11
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Re: Boat as primary home

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
One thing people don't research or just don't know is that California is very restrictive on live aboards...

By state law, only 10% of any marina can have legal live aboards (100 slips = 10 live aboards), houseboats included
I hate to be pedantic, but.. well I am so...

This is actually incorrect, and a common myth perpetuated by the marinas themselves. *IF* a marina has more than 10% livaboard then they have to give them tenant's rights and cannot evict witout cause.
SO the indeed net effect is that there are very very few marinas in CA which allow more than 10% and they were likely built before the law went into effect. But there is no actual limit by state law.
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Old 29-07-2012, 11:07   #12
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Re: Boat as primary home

Hi ximotic. Be as pedantic s you like . Such a relief to hear that I have a chance. Most important thing I must find out by SD locals is the safest choices for a single woman so I can start contacting them and find out their respective requirements, like minimun lenght of boat, if I can liveaboard immediately after approval, etc.
Thanks so much for the info
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Old 29-07-2012, 15:38   #13
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Re: Boat as primary home

If you are in San Diego you will have a tough go of it. Probably need to start looking and getting on wait lists sooner rather than later, and likely may have to go to Chula Vista to be able to readily get a slip.

of course, sometimes you get lucky too, we walked into a L.A.B. slip in Redondo beach and they had like a 7 year wait but circumstanses all aligned.
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Old 29-07-2012, 15:49   #14
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Re: Boat as primary home

Hi xymotic. Apparently Americas Cup is the top choice, I'm open of course to other safe places. I heard Chula Vista is the last place a single woman should look at. I'd love to apply for a slip right away but saw the SDMC application form asking to have the boat first, which I can't do, you know anything about that? And is Redondo beach safe and accessible to San Diego airport?
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Old 29-07-2012, 16:00   #15
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Re: Boat as primary home

lol, no redondo beach is in Los Angeles. It's true that Chula Vista is very damned near MExico, however there's good and bad everywhere. There are some REALLY nice places in CV and some really crappy ones in San Diego.

And accessable means different things to different people as well. San Diego has some brutal traffic, but the 'norm' on the entire west coast is to space things out a lot more than many east coast ppl are used to. So a 30 mile drive is not too uncommon, but that might be a 2 hour trip too, is that "accessable" to your standard?
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