@TCM1968: it's not all "black" and "white". The boating
scene is very colourful.
In the city (in Europe) I stay all year "living-aboard" it's very hpyocratic. - Officially it's not possible to have such status to have a boat as "home". It still needs a land based address to be registered which I have. - The city has 4 harbours: 2 yacht marinas, one central "old" city harbour (which is the most beautiful one) close to the train station, and one side channel harbour (where there are docked some bigger ships (of 25-30 meters) as "floating homes". But as said, its not official. All 4 harbours have their own atmosphere.
In the public area = city harbour it is not possible (= not legally allowed) to have all year living boaters. The formula is simple about this decision: It does not bring enough money in. Its mainly of economical reasons. Keeping boxes blocked for one boat all year, brings in money per month around 200 Euros (for a 30 footer). A 70 Footer costs 300 Euros per month. - While day charter
in high season brings in at least 20-40 Euros / day (as the day guests pay for the boat + for the number persons on board.) So better keep a box free during 4-5 months for day rent = in average around 4000 Euros per season plus the spending of the sailing tourists who visit restaurants, museums etc. ...
After winter I moved end of April from the public area to the closed yacht marina, where I disappear within 650 boats. Here its "mass business". Enough boxes for day visitors free 24hx7d. I pay all inclusive, no extra electricity, no extra water
: for 6 months (May - Oct) its less than 1,100 Euros. Maximum of daily use of electric
power is 400 kWh allowed. (Rec.: Suppose its for the bigger motor
yachts who use air conditions.) - I run 24hx7d my computer, charge two mobile phones/tablet, have a heating/cooling fan running (during cold/hot days) so I don't need my Webasto diesel heater
(which is very costly at prizes of ~1.50 Euros/Litre). +
I consume maximum 2-300 kWh / month. I still cook with propane
gas, which costs me around 30 Euros for filling a 16 kg bottle during 2 months. 50 cents per day for delicious fresh brewed hot coffee and a hot meal in the gas stoven.
Its the old story since decades: Wealthy boat owners who can afford such expensive toys, don't have time, as they have busy jobs to earn money. 60-80% of the boats around me are not being used during week. So my observation. - The owners brought them in end of April, and maybe used it till today 2-3 weeks in total, mostly on weekend. End of September the boats come into the winter storage
(out of the water). - So its easy money making for the marina who has 4 full time paid harbour masters. In all city harbours work around 20 harbour masters. During winter they are not being paid, have some other winter jobs. So the harbour administration is not very interested to have lots of "living boaters" still staying, as then they have the duty of daily control of the harbour facilities.
I have a good understanding with my weekend neighbours. So long one is friendly, helpfully, has time for little bit chit-chat, all is fine. Nobody complains. Everybody does his own thing.
Another trend I notice: the boats are only used short time beside other (land based) forms for holidays. E.g. wife doesn't like the boat anymore, so the family
has also a camper van to go on holidays. Such boat mainly is used by the husband alone. Kids
dont like the family
boat anymore. They follow their own interests or use charter
boats in different sea areas. - Also a trend in post-industrialized overaged societies: Old people have their physical limitations to deal with sailing boats. We find more and more motor
boats being steered by elder couples. Its more easy handling for them to hop from harbour to harbour or cruise
along channels without a sail rig.
In a bigger harbour like I am in, we find some "rotten boats", yes. but very rare. No single
one by owners who live on. - Some of the lonley dirty ones look disgusting, but its more with the question: "What a beauty, and what a pity. Why happened ? - Why is nobody using it anymore since years ?." - We just had a "cleaning" action by the harbour master. He flagged all boats which are in a total mess with a sticker and having set a deadline: "If the boat is not taken away till 1st July, it is being shreddered and taken away by the city community." It worked well. Old motor boats, trailers, dinghis, rubber boats, rowing boats, surf boards etc. ... all gone since couple of days. A quick clean out. In total maybe 40 boats (out of 650).
For non-sailors in colder areas like Northern Europe
mostly it is not being understood, that all-year-living on a boat is possible, even during cold winter times. Maybe thats why we look for "normal people" little bit awkward and suspicious. My experience: non-boaters just don't have an idea about the technologies we can use, that nowadays we can have a "normal" living on our boats, with all the comfort (freezer, TV, heating
, G4 Internet
mashine & dryer in the harbour etc. ...) a land based human is used to in one of the wealthy countries.
We just should not feed by ourselves cliches. We sailors use HighTech and sustainable power sources (like solar
energy). Sailing is complexe and it needs lots of steadily learning
to handle safely a boat. - Sailors can be very "modern", isn't. :-)