Welcome to the board. I'm new to the Vancouver sailing scene myself, but this year I did the same search you're doing, for months. The short answer is: unless you have a whole mountain of cash to buy into yacht clubs etc or are willing to wait years on a waiting lists, it won't work. Those Vancouver region marinas
that have liveaboard
slips have huge waiting lists and they charge $$$.
If you're willing to go completely gypsy
, then you only need a whole hill of cash, as opposed to a mountain of it. Others on this board will know immensely more about this topic than I. BTW, Bedwell Bay is a popular place with lots of nice folk in nice houses living along the shoreline, so please consider wisely if you're thinking about anchoring
on their watery front lawn, even with the best of intentions. That's the kind of thing that ruined what could have been a model floating communty in False Creek.
An inside tip is: some of the Vancouver region marinas that have a 'no liveaboard' policy actually do allow liveaboards, but only 'under the table.' Why? Insurance
, I was told. This was explained to me by a local broker trying to sell me a liveaboard at such-and-such a marina. It sounded fishy to me, but then I went to the marina in question and spoke with some of the liveaboard folk personally, and they confirmed this. Some had been there for years. You can get these slips if someone is selling the boat in it -- but, the seller will factor in the value of the slip in the boat asking price
, and the cost of the slip per month will be an additional serious chunk of cash. ($600 per month, if you're lucky.)
I won't publicly mention which marina does this, for fear of causing ripples in this delicate wink-nudge situation. If you're serious (i.e., in heart and wallet) then PM me. Remember, though, you won't be saving money.
The boat price
will be quite higher than the boat would normally sell for -- and, there's nothing to say that the management won't change their policy, and your $50k boat and assumeable slip combination will suddenly become a boat without a slip that you can't unload even at $10k. (The Vancouver boat market is flooded with unsaleable boats -- no slip, too big to trailer, no buyers.)
Mosquito Creek has a long waiting list, but if you buy a boat there in their regular slips, they'll allow you to 'sleep over' on it up to 60 days a year. (This, a broker told me. Never verified.) They're also expanding. Might be something there, but if so, people with serious bucks are likely to gobble up spaces and drive up prices. Can't hurt to check.
Other marinas are really quite serious about no liveaboards, because individuals of the community have ruined it for others by letting their boats become filthy shacks. The marina I eventually bought a (non-liveaboard) boat at, Reed Point, is very adamant about no liveaboards. (They are even taking steps to roust out any boat that is not adequately cared for.)
After my long, painstaking search for a liveboard in the Vancouver region, I came to the mathematical conclusion that buying
a mid-size boat and renting
a modest apartment actually made far better financial sense. Especially for a newbie like me.
p.s. However, I never fully investigated the marinas beyond the south of the city, e.g., Ladner, but I've seen ads for 'live-aboard' boats in that region.