Originally Posted by Wookiee_King
Well, we're headed to Florida with some cash in 81 days. My buddy and I are currently both employed by the same company and we'll will get laid off when winter hits. We plan on just walking marinas for the first month looking at boats and asking lots of questions. How do we do this without annoying people? Also are there a fair amount of campgrounds in Florida? We plan on living out of the car until we can live out of a boat.
It is hard to get into marina's in any big city. With smaller cities it is easier, just strike up a conversation.
I have had good luck with locked/gated marinas walking in to the dock
master/owner and asking if I could see their boat sales list. I then picked a few that looked interesting and asked if I could go see them--usually the manager doesn't accompany you. Then if I saw other for sale
signs while walking around I jotted down the numbers. Many, many marinas have a few derelict boats for sale
. These are boats who's owners have died or quit paying "rent" and abandoned them--so now the marina owns them and usually the price
is very negotiable. Like $500 or less and "please get it off our lot".
If the marina is big like...Aqualand near Atlanta, GA
you are supposed to have a boat dealer show you the boats that they have for sale. Many, many dealers have boats at larger marinas, including the marina itself. In these instances asking about derelict boats, or the marina's own for sale list, is not as good a strategy. What you want to do here is be "looking for dock
space" to line up before you make purchase
. This trick works very well. Say a boat size--just about anything works. 30' is a good number. And tell them: "I want to make sure I have dock space before I purchase
so I am not stuck with a boat and nowhere to put it." They will then show you all their available docks on a map and give you a pass to look around the facility. Be sure to ask about docks with and without electricity, the ones with good protection from the weather
, etc. etc. You want an excuse to look at as many slips as possible. Then when you walk the slips TALK WITH PEOPLE--everyone knows someone who has a boat for sale at the docks. Then go over and check out a slip near the boat that is for sale. You get the idea. I also used to put sticky notes in zip lock bags with a rock or two inside (so they wouldn't blow away) and then I placed this in the cockpits of boats I was interested in--especially if the boat did not look loved.
Don't know which way you are driving, but there are a lot of really good docks with old boats on all coastal areas and near all inland lakes--not just Florida. Google
"marinas" for the area you are visiting then look on Google
maps to see if the yard has a lot of boats. That way you maximize your looking time instead of just going to a "marina" that is actually just a small mom and pop with little available or a marine mechanic
Don't let small size dissuade you. Looks like they
had a good time.