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Old 25-12-2016, 10:11   #16
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Re: Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

I find it's kind of like renting a condo that says "no pets." If they feel comfortable with you generally, the owner often relents. This is not always true, but I've found about a 50-50 chance. It often seems a little of the same for marinas. If you come in and stay as a cruiser, they get to know you and your boat isn't a wreck, it can be ok. While if you ask up front and they have no knowledge of you, you're going to get a "no."
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Old 25-12-2016, 10:37   #17
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Re: Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

In my marina you would be discovered within a couple weeks and asked to leave. If you are upfront they will just charge the extra 100 and all is good up to about 15% live aboard. To total slips available. ( electronic gate keys)
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Old 25-12-2016, 11:07   #18
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Re: Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

I am an American living in Egypt and am planning to repatriate next year. I move aboard my boat next April and have had the same question as the OP.

My original plan was to live on the hook and only pull into a marina once a week for laundry, grocery run, pump out, fuel, etc. I have made inquiries via e-mail to numerous marinas in the area where I plan to be sailing. Most had the same answers: "No liveaboards, waiting list, 3 or 4 days per week only". Found a marina on Active Captain with good reviews of facilities and contacted them explaining my circumstances (Retired US Navy, overseas for the past 20-years, no living family, no place to go...so bought a boat). Through many e-mails over a couple of months, was finally told no problem being a "liveaboard cruiser" as long I actively sail and maintain my boat. If I leave the slip for at least 10 days each month (not all at once), I would only be charged for the slip at the monthly rental rate, less the extra $100 monthly charge for being a liveaboard (which makes it much less than the daily transient rates) but would have to pay the metered electrical rates for the slip for the entire month, even if a transient boat was in my slip (I'm hoping the QE2 doesn't pull in! ).

To the OP, as others have already stated, "liveaboard" is not the term to use when you are looking for a long term slip in a marina. "Cruiser" implies that you will be out and about and possibly returning. Get to know the marina personnel and management....then possibly you can ease into the marina as a liveaboard or as a part-time cruiser.
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Old 25-12-2016, 11:17   #19
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Re: Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

It's a function of how active/vigilant the marina is and how obvious you are about living aboard.

Marinas span the spectrum from busy, well staffed outfits to those with minimal and largely absentee employees.

In Annapolis there are a number of marinas that fit in the later category, along the north side of Back Creek. There are quite a few circumspect liveaboards there and I've never heard of any of them having a problem. Part of the reason may be that there are retirees that spend more actual time on their boats than the liveaboards so it's difficult for the periodically present marina employee to even know who might be a live aboard.
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Old 25-12-2016, 11:34   #20
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Re: Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

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It's a function of how active/vigilant the marina is and how obvious you are about living aboard.
The legal liveaboards will spot you well before the marina staff.
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Old 25-12-2016, 11:57   #21
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Re: Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

I'm of the "be cool" crowd.

For years we've lived aboard as we've traveled and never a problem. The key was mentioned earlier, clean, quiet, nice.

It's the blue tarp, 3 dinghys and a dog crowd that wants everything for nothing that can ruin it.

That's sounds terrible but I've seen it again and again.
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Old 25-12-2016, 12:16   #22
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Re: Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

Nearly to live aboard without it coming to the attention of the marina management. If they don't pick up on it and there is a fee for liveaboard and/or a ban, one of your slipmates will turn you in. The. Anagement may turn a blind if there is no money out of there pocket but that would be the only case.

Personally have been booted out of a number of marinas over the years. Almost always a case of being turned in by a fellow boater. When our Labrador was alive, it was someone with an irrational fear/dislike of her. She'd get over anxious going for a walk, jump off the boat and run ahead before we got a leash on her. She was a marshmallow and no threat to anyone except with her wagging tail but some people can't be happy around any dog. Others were when we were building our boat and had a bit of clutter on the deck. Nothing huge like some liveaboards but stuff in the process of being installed. The previous were when it could be said we were cruising SoCal getting ready for SoPac

Have also been questioned but not booted when staying aboard for a couple of weeks at a time when commuting to the boat from 2,000 miles away. Was exceeding the consecutive days allowed on board though it was only every three or four months. The woman who ran the office was the one who took offense possibly because I took advantage of the free coffee every morning. Talked with the Harbor Master and he said not to worry about it. Even let me keep an old car there to use when at the boat.
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Old 25-12-2016, 13:07   #23
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Re: Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

I really don't think the Marina's and their staff care that much. We do help them in many ways. Remember we are the first line responders. Ramblinrod touched on it with his comment about the Municipalities and their rules. Those folks that sit around in cushy warm/air conditioned offices and can't stand the thought that some of us may live partially off the grid. Some view us as fat cats who urinate and defecate in their water while not paying our fair share. Then they crank up their diesel/gas belching SUVs and pollute the air and ground water more than all the live aboards combined. They just can't stand the thought that maybe we have a more liberal and opportunistic outlook than they. And Freedom. "Like live and let live."


As a live aboard don't make waves. Being on a first name basis with the dock personnel helps. I have lived aboard and just stayed aboard in several marinas in the Salish Sea. Knock on wood, never a complaint even in marinas that said it was not allowed or had a quota. Maybe my veteran's cap and pronounced limp helps a bit. Maybe I am just thought of as that old cripple down on B dock and they feel sorry for me. But I think trying to be an asset and not a liability helps more. I hope so.


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Old 25-12-2016, 13:39   #24
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Re: Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

Partly by marina size, once they have dockage money, they usually look the other way if you live quietly and don't make a mess. Also depends on where you're at. Some state and counties enforce no liveaboards.
I found a private dock. About half the marina price. If you don't need the marina atmosphere, it's worth looking. I've found a private dock every place I wanted to homeport.
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Old 25-12-2016, 14:33   #25
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Re: Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

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Pretty hard to not be noticed, what happens when the end of the season comes and you don't want to be pulled from the water?
Depends on location. We sail year round on the West coast and only haul to paint the bottom.
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Old 25-12-2016, 14:54   #26
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Re: Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

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I'm of the "be cool" crowd.

For years we've lived aboard as we've traveled and never a problem. The key was mentioned earlier, clean, quiet, nice.

It's the blue tarp, 3 dinghys and a dog crowd that wants everything for nothing that can ruin it.

That's sounds terrible but I've seen it again and again.
Your exactly spot on, same people over here that ruin it, boats falling apart that never go anywhere. Makes you wonder how they can afford the slip cost!!!
Seams more marinas are saying no to liveaboards but when you walk the docks you will see them. As many have said, keep a low profile, avoid having pets and small children and you may be fine
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Old 25-12-2016, 15:04   #27
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Re: Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

We are long term liveaboards and most of our time has been spent in Florida. We found slips for living aboard easily available in the 1970's, but harder to find in the '80's and 90's. We've found liveaboard slips more easily available again during the last fifteen years.

We usually arrive at a marina when we plan to take a break from cruising and pay for a month. We keep our boat in a manner than is not different in appearance to boats without people aboard. No debris on the deck and docks, but I am often working on a project for a few hours most days. We never hide the fact that our boat is our only home. We pay our monthly rate promptly and we don't find a difficulty remaining for longer periods. We are sometimes at marinas with policies that state that the do not allow liveaboards and yet, there are usually a few other boats with people living aboard.

We still come across marinas that will not accept us as "livaboards" or "fulltime cruisers". They usually keep us from a longer stay by not offering a reasonable monthly rate.

It's much easier to find a liveaboard marina with a good rate if you are retired and without a need to be in a particular area for work.
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Old 25-12-2016, 15:13   #28
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Re: Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

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Your exactly spot on, same people over here that ruin it, boats falling apart that never go anywhere. Makes you wonder how they can afford the slip cost!!!
Seams more marinas are saying no to liveaboards but when you walk the docks you will see them. As many have said, keep a low profile, avoid having pets and small children and you may be fine
They afford it by not doing requisite needed maintenance
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Old 25-12-2016, 15:20   #29
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Re: Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

Actually, depends on where you are. Some marinas look the other way but like having "extra" eyes on what's going on. Some have no preference. Some charge extra. As others have posted, look around, talk to some fellow boats and see what the attitude is. I have lived in a "no liveaboards allowed" marina for 5 years and had very good relations with marina. Don't ask, don't tell. But they knew I lived on the boat. Security guys and I were first name and speed dial.
Good luck!
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Old 25-12-2016, 15:32   #30
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Liveaboard don't ask don't tell

I just pay transient monthly rates. Not had a problem as yet.
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