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Old 05-07-2017, 14:45   #1
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San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

Hello Everyone, Bill here.

So, a little background: I recently got divorced, lost my house, most of my possessions, dog, the whole nine yards. I'm now in the process of looking for a new place to live and thought back to living aboard a boat. It's more expensive than a studio, but you can't take your studio out on the water on weekend fishing trips, or sell it after and recoup atleast a bit of money.

My credit is garbage, from 700 at the start down to 480, due to all the nonsense with the divorce. That said, I do have some savings that escaped the mess, and would be looking to do everything from that. Ideally for the first year I'd like to keep expenses below 30k. That includes the boat, Liveaboard slip fees, utilities and general maintenance. Is this doable in SD? I'd want to pay for the leases in full for the year, since my credit isn't going to be doing me any favors in that department. I also have no ideal what to look for in a boat.

My sailing experince is all from the time I did in the Navy. I was licenced for small motor boats, and mainly operated RHIBs during our vessel boardings. I'm looking more into motorsailing, and plan to take sailing lessons. Does anyone have any recommendations to get certified out here in SD?

I worked as an engineer out here for the government for the last 6 years, but am currently going back to school at UCSD using my GI bill for physics. I'm good at fixing electrical systems and electronics, but motors, rigging, and everything else I'd have to learn.

My time frame for everything is three months roughly. The sooner the better. Is this realistic?

I'm new to all this. If any grizzled liveaboards out here in SD could help me out let me know. If you need more information, just ask.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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Old 05-07-2017, 15:08   #2
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Re: San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

It depends on what you have to spend. Just like your wife, it's all about the money. Powerboats or multi hulls are usually more comfortable to live aboard. You might look at an intermediate boat while you get things sorted out. When young I went back and forth between sail and power. At that time most sailboats were single hull and felt like living in a cave. A nice cave but below deck with tiny ports to view the world. In my poor opinion, sailboats are expensive for what you get. New rigging and sails buys lots of fuel.
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Old 05-07-2017, 15:17   #3
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Re: San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

Welcome aboard CF, Bill, and good luck with working out your plan. As far as I know, SD is a fairly expensive venue, and liveaboard slips are few and far between.

There is currently running a thread on the Chula Vista marina, do a CF Google Custom Search to find it (under the Search menu).



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Old 05-07-2017, 18:14   #4
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Re: San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

Thanks Lepke and Ann,

A multihull would be ideal, but out of the price range I'm looking to spend. I'm not adverse to motorboats, since they're generally more spacious and less costly to run for coastal and weekend trips (I'd probably be only doing trips to Catalina for the most part), still, there's also something romantic about the idea of sailing. Right now I'm keeping both of those options open when looking. My budget is pretty low, I'm thinking 5000 for maintenance, 15K for the boat, 10K roughly for slip/utilities & food for the first year. And around 15k per year after that.

San Diego is just expensive in general, unfortunately. I'm stuck here for another two years though until I finish at UCSD (in La Jolla). The cost a 200sqft studio per year is roughly ~14-15K including utilities, most in not so nice neighborhoods. Just seems I could do a little better with a vessel that I could at least get some enjoyment from. Chula Vista seems like the easiest place to get liveaboard slips, but the area seems pretty sketchy. Not sure about the waiting times for the other locations. All else fails I could do CV, it just wouldn't be my first choice.
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Old 05-07-2017, 18:30   #5
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Re: San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

You will need far more than 30K . I lived aboard at CV marina 1999 to 2004 and it cost 650 a month then for a 35ft slip. They also want insured and clean well maintained boats. Not dumpy ones. They inspected mine before signing contract.
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Old 05-07-2017, 18:33   #6
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Re: San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoleo View Post
You will need far more than 30K . I lived aboard at CV marina 1999 to 2004 and it cost 650 a month then for a 35ft slip. They also want insured and clean well maintained boats. Not dumpy ones. They inspected mine before signing contract.

How much would you be looking at then?
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Old 05-07-2017, 21:36   #7
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Re: San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

Could you help me see why vessels like: https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/boa/6206290032.html


https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/boa/6191297991.html

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/boa/6187463535.html

Wouldn't work? The Trawler needs work, the 25 footer is small but no worse than a minesweeper, and the 34 Sea Ray doesn't look bad to me, but I'm new to this. Is it impossible to dubs a Liveaboard in SD for 15k? I could stretch my budget for the vessel to about 30k, but wouldn't want to do more than that.


I don't need new, or fancy, just functional to a point for living aboard and weekend trips. I've lived in tighter quaters.
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Old 05-07-2017, 22:08   #8
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Re: San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

What about these vessels?

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/boa/6201195670.html

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/boa/6205851572.html

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/boa/6201962853.html

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/boa/6187463535.html

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/ssd/boa/6206600842.htm

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/boa/6206290032.html

These are all pretty close to my range of 15k and I'm assuming those above could be talked down reasonably. Most look pretty good from the pictures, although I'm sure the low end ones need quite a bit of work. There are even other smaller 25 footers from 2000's that I wouldn't be completely put off living on. I don't need much, a bed, desk, toilet and burner to cook food on. I'll be spending most of my time in the library during the week anyway.

I don't need a lot of luxury, it's just me who would be living on board. I just want something reasonably functional, or something that could be made that way without killing the bank account. I've lived in smaller spaces (Ie. a 200 foot minesweep with 100 other people on board for months at a time.)

If you really think 15K is unreasonable, I could go up to 30K for the boat, putting my first year budget around 45K. I'd like to avoid that if possible though.

This looks pretty nice, and would be around that price point:

http://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/66313
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Old 06-07-2017, 00:48   #9
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Re: San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

don't know about CV or other marinas in SD, but many places have minimum size limits for live aboard berths. So, in general, you need to line up a berth, find about all the requirements BEFORE you buy a boat. If you don't do this, you could be stuck with a boat that no one will allow you to live in... not a good spot at all!

Good luck... and I fear that you will need it, Bill. There are all too many folks in the same sort of straits that you find yourself in, and inexpensive live aboards are attractive to lots of folks. A sad situation, but thems the facts!

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Old 06-07-2017, 03:43   #10
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Re: San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Bill.
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Old 06-07-2017, 05:12   #11
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Re: San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

Lived aboard in San Diego September 2010 thru February 2017

It is EXPENSIVE!

Our 40' boat cost us:

$750 monthly slip fee
$250 monthly liveaboard fee
$ 13 minimum shorepower fee
$ 30 monthly parking fee
$ 50 monthly insurance cost (have to have it and name the marina as an additional insured)
$ 70 San Diego county property tax ($80,000 assessed value)


A 35' slip would be $50 month cheaper

Chula Vista, Shelter Island, and Harbor Island marinas are getting to be full all the time and are becoming ever more particular about the boats they accept as liveaboards. A friend who lived on a 35' powerboat was asked to leave our marina because he did not keep his boat up to the marina standards.

OTH - another friend lived next to us in a beautiful Catalina 38 that is 40-years old and he purchased for $35K. But, the boat is better than new and he keeps it in near perfect condition.

You best plan on the boat costing you at least $15,000 per year in operating and dock costs. Your living expenses are unknown to me.
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:34   #12
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Re: San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

I lived in San Diego from 1975 to 1993. I have been looking at the option of returning and living in a marina since I retired. You need at least 35' LOA to be a liveaboard. Figure a minimum price of about $1000 per foot. Marina costs, including liveaboard fee, will run roughly $1000 per month. The Harbor Island marinas, National City, and Chula Vista are the best bets. One problem is that the liveaboard fees keep going up. Forget about on-line waiting lists. Show up in person well groomed and well dressed like it's a job interview and talk to the marina operator. If they like you they can find a slip for you, especially if you buy a boat that's already there.
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:49   #13
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Re: San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

Chula vista has been filling up pretty quick recently. I was gone over the 4th and there were 4 new boats on the dock I'm on.

Chula vista is not really a sketchy place. It is different the La Jolla, but that is just the nature of the beast.

There is a min 35' length for the live boards, but that has been worked around for a random number of people, you just have to be willing to pay for a 35 ft slip. It is a money game to them.

870 is the price for this year for the slip + liveboard fee for 35ft slip/boat with no overhang.

The marina it self is very nice, active community. You have access to a hot tub, pool, horseshoe pit, showers, laundry, bar and restaurant and wifi (but it is super slow). Access to grocery stores is easy, as is most other things, other then boating specific stores. But there are lots of other places near there that have supplies as well. I-5 is also right there, so getting places isn't bad as long as it is outside of rush hour.

The biggest downside is that the channel takes a bit to get to south bay, and to the ocean is even longer, but for sailing south bay is nice, as it is usually pretty empty. You can also slightly hear the I-5, but well that not really a big problem, imo.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:00   #14
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Re: San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

Don't panic. Don't make any quick, rash decisions. You are not thinking clearly right now. I don't know your age but what is a year in your life span? Find the cheapest, best apartment close to your work and commute by bicycle. Save your money, so much a month and stick to it. find a sailing club and bum rides with OP on their boats. Go sailing, fishing and relax. Good things come to those who wait. Build up your nest egg and be ready to pounce when a deal comes along. And it will. JMHO.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:07   #15
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Re: San Diego Liveaboard-General Inquiry need advice/help

Sorry I hit the enter key, above. Boats are easy to buy. Hard to sell and maintain. I have heard S.D. is a great place to buy a boat as so many from the Northwest set out to sail around the world and get to S.D. and one or both bails out. In a year you may have changed your mind, your job, your complete life. There are good inexpensive boats out there. But they may be in Florida. The good thing about your life now is that you are free and can do what you want when you want. Find another dog at the shelter and save his life. 1Sunseeker. aka Sid Tracy
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