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Old 04-12-2020, 09:26   #1
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Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

Hello cruisers!
I reside in Los Angeles California and have recently purchased my first boat. Thinking I would live aboard as a cost efficient and ideal mobile housing option I have run up against all the walls involved. And I guess my main question is why are only 10% of marinas allowed to be livable. Who's making these rules and why? It seems to me that it is a perfectly viable and exciting way to live. And if you've gone through the cost of owning a boat why wouldn't you want to spend as much time on it as possible? This 3-day rule is a joke! I would love to hear what do you all have to say about this and how we may proceed in revising these laws!
Thank you for your input!
- sincerely, Captain Jack O'Brien
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Old 04-12-2020, 09:35   #2
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Re: Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

If you think that’s crazy, wait till you find out about all the other crazy rules in CA, then after you catch your breath google the taxes.
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Old 04-12-2020, 10:10   #3
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Re: Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

It keeps the rift-raft away. It keeps the nice marina from looking like a cheep trailer park (nothing against people that live in trailer parks) Not you but some people are not the most tidy. I could continue, but I think you get the idea
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Old 04-12-2020, 10:26   #4
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Re: Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

Same rule up here in Washington.

We've become friendly with the staff and harbor master and asked him that question. He said that the infrastructure wasn't installed with liveaboards in mind (garbage, showers, pumpout equipment, etc). He also stated that in his experience some liveaboards didn't keep their boats seaworthy (I've seen this myself) and there was a high incidence of drunken brawls and OD's. His words not mine and he's been doing it for 25 years or so.

He did tell us that all those rules at this harbor ended with the phrase "at the harbor master's discretion". So if someone keeps their boat clean, doesn't have screaming matches with their mates or next door neighbors, the dogs don't s**t on the dock and generally keeps a low profile he doesn't care how long they stay. The rules are there to manage problem children. He tries to get through his days with as little strife as possible and keep 750 boats safe (we're a small marina).

So as politically uncorrect as the above may seem I suspect it's close to the truth. Each rule is there because some dim-bulb in the past did that "whatever" that caused the rule to be written in the first place.
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Old 04-12-2020, 10:39   #5
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Re: Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

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It keeps the rift-raft away. It keeps the nice marina from looking like a cheep trailer park (nothing against people that live in trailer parks) Not you but some people are not the most tidy. I could continue, but I think you get the idea
Yeah, except seeing how bum friendly CA is, I don’t believe that.

I think it might have to do with how much money the state makes, and how much control they have over someone who lives on land vs a boat. It is not in the states interest to “allow” you to live on a boat, also the rich who run the state don’t want anyone on “their beach”.

Yeah, CA doesn’t want things to look like a trailer park LMAO!






One of the reasons I have the boat is I got sick of getting conned by the state for a TON in “property tax”, especially seeing how it was squandered. I pay far less for my slip, I can see where the money goes, and if someone bothers me enough, I up and leave, easy as pie.

This does not please the crown.
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Old 04-12-2020, 11:30   #6
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Re: Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

Supply and demand. People are willing to pay more for nice slip space with pretty boats instead of run-down docks with tired derelicts.
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Old 04-12-2020, 11:47   #7
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Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

I may be wrong but I was told that the Army Corps of Engineers maintains the ports and harbors for the purposes of transportation, commerce and public recreation. That mandates does not include housing. A limited number of liveaboards are allowed for security reasons at the discretion of the harbormaster. Most marinas in California limit liveaboards to 5-10%.
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Old 04-12-2020, 12:04   #8
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Re: Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

In Northern California the "rule" is made by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). Way back in the dark past (~1985) the BCDC argued that liveaboard boats constituted "bay fill", and since their job was to "protect" the bay they argued against pretty much any bay fill. That ended in a compromise of 10% of slips becoming a regulation in San Francisco Bay.

AFAIK the Bay Area is the only jurisdiction in CA where this is a regulation, but I haven't looked much lately. Many marinas/harbors outside the Bay Area have adopted the same rule. There are valid arguments, if they allowed 100% liveaboards are the toilet, shower, garbage, parking, and other resources up to the task? For most marinas the answer is no, they were not designed around being housing developments. So, there can be very valid reason to have a limit on the number of residents.
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Old 04-12-2020, 12:29   #9
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Re: Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

"... rift-raft..." - hilarious!
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Old 05-12-2020, 23:39   #10
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Re: Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

California is its own country, one of the few places in the world where you can see a homeless park right next to a line of supercars.

Good luck seeing anything that does not bring in the cash or push some political agenda get a rules change.
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Old 06-12-2020, 01:57   #11
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Re: Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

There are many long threads on liveaboard marinas, and why a marina would dampen their existence even in the absence of regulatory barriers. In short, rightly or wrongly, many (most?) marinas do not want their target customer to be people looking for cheap living accomodations.

Frankly, I'm a bit surprised the OP was caught off guard by this. In many areas, boat slips are in short supply, especially since building a new marina is incredibly difficult. For years, there have been more boats built than slips to house them.

This is not a California problem. It's a fact-of-life reality in many boating areas.

Peter
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Old 06-12-2020, 02:00   #12
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Re: Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

It's the same here in Queensland with liveaboards. As surveyor visiting a lot of marinas I often get to hear all the stories and politics involved when a broad range of people all live side by side. It's no wonder the marinas limit the numbers of people living on boats. Forget the money and regulations I bet some marina managers would rather have no liveaboards.
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Old 06-12-2020, 02:15   #13
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Re: Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

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Originally Posted by Fore and Aft View Post
It's the same here in Queensland with liveaboards. As surveyor visiting a lot of marinas I often get to hear all the stories and politics involved when a broad range of people all live side by side. It's no wonder the marinas limit the numbers of people living on boats. Forget the money and regulations I bet some marina managers would rather have no liveaboards.
Cheers
Yes QLD is also difficult for people wanting to cruise and live on their boats so i have to throw this one in here and give Tasmania a big thumb up as it is easy and often very very reasonable in view of cost to stay at marinas or yacht clubs down here BUT it is sooooooooo windy and cold here so i would say that it is not the most attractive place for living on board.
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Old 06-12-2020, 02:18   #14
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Re: Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jack.
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Old 06-12-2020, 02:33   #15
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Re: Liveaboard: who's making these rules?

Dunno how difficult it would be but.. why not gather the wannabee liveaboards without a slip together, form a company, collect capital get a loan, buy land by the water front and build up a marina of your own. Even digging a channel and make reservoir and fill with boats. Make your own rules, only liveaboards allowed, whatever..
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