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Old 14-11-2016, 05:49   #46
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

Anchoring out and working on land sounds painful to me! Depending on where you are the dighy ride may double your commute and you will have to take that ride no matter what the weather. Sometimes that ride can be quite wet. SF isn't balmy year round either, it can get quite cold. Sounds more than "rough", it sounds like a recipe for something to break.
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Old 14-11-2016, 05:52   #47
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Hello.
What follows is written in a friendly tone of voice, and my sole intent is to help you, but it may not appear that way.

I am an optimist. But, even an optimist must learn to face reality or facts.

I think you are being unrealistic about anchoring out while living aboard a boat in SF Bay.

The SF Bay is not a typical "anchor anywhere you want" place.

But, to help you see that, you should read more in the archives here. A good thread for you to read is the one about Richardson Bay as it discusses many issues such related to anchor outs. Here is a link that will take you to a mix of previous threads or discussions related to Richardson Bay.

In short, I think you are being very unrealistic to expect to anchor out, long term, or to expect a marina owner or manager to value you for any reason other than paying the rent, preferably on a large boat.
Thank you for the advice. When you are faced with no options, shooting for the stars is better than giving up. So I'm brainstorming options. Many will be shot down, either by helpful folks like you, or by personal experience. Some might survive and live on That's the ones I'm trying to go for.
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Old 14-11-2016, 07:01   #48
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Anchoring out and working on land sounds painful to me! Depending on where you are the dighy ride may double your commute and you will have to take that ride no matter what the weather. Sometimes that ride can be quite wet. SF isn't balmy year round either, it can get quite cold. Sounds more than "rough", it sounds like a recipe for something to break.
We could only anchor out during hotter seasons. Colder ones we can do in a marina.

Generally does anyone know if we could maybe get in and out of different marinas thereby filling the requirement of only temporarily staying at one?
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Old 14-11-2016, 07:11   #49
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Gas boat owners in our club advise risers, elbows, and sometimes manifolds should be changed every 5 years in salt water. Either inboard or IO. Longer than that is on borrowed time, according to them. Internal corrosion isn't visible without dismantling... but they've shown pictures of poking a screwdriver through an elbow that looked fine from the outside.

In my experience, ethanol sitting around unused in a vented tank will draw moisture and phase separate. We didn't use our outboard often enough to use the gas fast enough... but at least I could more easily recycle all that into a car, compared to using fixed tanks in a larger boat. None of the "stabilizers" I tried had any useful effect after about 2 months. Don't know of any effect that would have on an outdrive, but for OP's intention of not using the boat all that much... it'd probably be a pain anyway. OTOH, maybe ethanol-free gas is available out there in SF. (CA? hmmm... probably not, I guess.)

-Chris
Chris I don't know about ethanol free fuel in California either ( haven't lived there since 90 ). As far as any fuel effects on the out drives that's a no all an out drive is is a drive line and a transmission and if properly maintained will give many years of trouble free service. As far as ethanol phase separation heck I have had fuel on my boat for over a year and my tohatsu outboard just drinks it like it was just purchased yesterday. BTW I have heard rumors that the gov may stop the subsidy of ethanol additive to fuel. ( it really doesn't do any real good for the environment. In modern vehicles. )
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Old 14-11-2016, 07:15   #50
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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We could only anchor out during hotter seasons. Colder ones we can do in a marina.

Generally does anyone know if we could maybe get in and out of different marinas thereby filling the requirement of only temporarily staying at one?
OK is there a real reason for the location of San Fran ? You would be many times more able to do what you propose in places like the puget sound region.
BTW glad you decided to get away from stinky pots and go them sailboat route. ( I currently live on my islander 24 near the bremerton navy yard.)
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Old 14-11-2016, 07:16   #51
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Originally Posted by BoxHome View Post
We could only anchor out during hotter seasons. Colder ones we can do in a marina.

Generally does anyone know if we could maybe get in and out of different marinas thereby filling the requirement of only temporarily staying at one?
This may sound harsh, but I assure you I am writing in a friendly tone of voice.

The answer to that question, along with many others you will likely have is found in the many previous threads on similar topic of living aboard in San Francisco Bay area. See the many links via the two search links I posted earlier.

In fact, based on the very common questions I see posted by newbies and new members here on CF who say they want to "buy a boat and live on it in San Francisco" I estimate that 90% or more of the likely questions are already answered and discussed in those previous threads/topics/discussions.

The question of "Which marinas allow live-aboard in SF" Is answered.
The question of "How do I find a Live-aboard slip in SF Bay" Is answered.
The question of "Can I stay on my boat without paying for a live-aboard slip" Is answered.
The question of "can I move from marina to marina as a transient" IS answered in those threads.
The question of "How much does it cost to live-aboard in San Francisco" is answered.
And, many more.

My suggestion to any newbie or new forum member: Search First, Ask Second.

You should do some research/reading (within the forum archives) as your questions are basic ones that have been asked many times and answered very thoroughly here before
.

My Best Tip regarding searching the archives: Learn to use the Google Custom Search method of searching CF.

NOTE! The Google Custom Search is found in the top level drop down menu bar under "SEARCH" on CF when you are viewing CF with a internet browser like Safari or Internet Explorer, but is NOT available when viewing CF while using the CF mobile app. I use it everyday with my iPad, using Safari to browse the internet.

I say this to help you get the answers as quickly as possible, but that still does take you doing some homework (in those threads).

This is the BEST advice I will give any newbie or anyone here: Do your homework (research) by reading the archived threads (discussions) and ask additional questions that are focused on what you did NOT find already answered. In short, put some effort into it, and you will learn more in the process.
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Old 14-11-2016, 07:27   #52
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

Take from an actual Newby do your due dillagance and research the info is out there. ( and yes my last name is Newby )
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Old 14-11-2016, 07:39   #53
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

Having lived on a boat in the Bay Area and also been the harbor masters, I can tell you that getting the right boat is not difficult, but getting a live aboard slip will be very difficult. Demand is high and supply is small. Also harbor masters are looking for somebody who is low maintenance and mentally all there. Low cost of living on a boat attracts some pretty interesting people. All the harbor masters know each other and they would like to see some reference history, and live aboard history. Oyster point or Half Moon Bay used to be the best place to start. You may end up on a waiting list for a long time anywhere. Patience.
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Old 14-11-2016, 08:10   #54
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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OK here ya go those exhaust bellows you speak of I have never needed to replace one that was less than ten years old . Next replacing the exhaust bellows is not that difficult if you know how to use a couple of tools and read the manuals. Exhaust mixing elbows are good for at least ten years of regular use longer if not used as much. The carbs or i injection systems on the engine is exactly the same as when the engine is in a car . Ethanol plays no role in it. True the out drives dontmtilt all the way out of the water . Hence the zinc paint on it and the regular visual inspecting of the unit and the zincs. ( By the boat owner) it is easy. Lastly if the I/o units hooked to maranized automotive engines were so obsolete why are they the primary installation in boats from 18 to 30 feet.
My neighbor across the street bought a 27' Carver with twin I/O's a couple of years ago. He's a mechanic & does everything himself. He ended up having to pull both motors to replace the exhaust manifolds, had to replace 1 bell housing & he basically spent the whole summer on it. Regarding waiting 10 years to replace the hoses, if the boat is sitting on a trailer that might work but if it's in the water 24/7 that's pretty risky behavior.

Regarding I/O's being the primary installation in any boat size that's total BS. The next time you go to a boat show try to find one on a boat under 30'. You won't. These things are dinosaurs. In fact they're putting outboards on much bigger boats now.

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Old 14-11-2016, 08:24   #55
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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My neighbor across the street bought a 27' Carver with twin I/O's a couple of years ago. He's a mechanic & does everything himself. He ended up having to pull both motors to replace the exhaust manifolds, had to replace 1 bell housing & he basically spent the whole summer on it. Regarding waiting 10 years to replace the hoses, if the boat is sitting on a trailer that might work but if it's in the water 24/7 that's pretty risky behavior.

Regarding I/O's being the primary installation in any boat size that's total BS. The next time you go to a boat show try to find one on a boat under 30'. You won't. These things are dinosaurs. In fact they're putting outboards on much bigger boats now.

NEW 35z
On your friends experience sounds like he was doing work to make up for lack of maintance by a previous owner.
I/o's at boat shows obviously you don't attend many . Obviously if you are seeing fewer I/o installs it is definitely a regional thing here in the pnw with at least 15 different manufacturer dealerships . Tell a different tale .
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Old 14-11-2016, 08:33   #56
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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On your friends experience sounds like he was doing work to make up for lack of maintance by a previous owner.
I/o's at boat shows obviously you don't attend many . Obviously if you are seeing fewer I/o installs it is definitely a regional thing here in the pnw with at least 15 different manufacturer dealerships . Tell a different tale .
Do to.
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Old 14-11-2016, 08:42   #57
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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Just a question. Would it be acceptable to liveaboard if you take the boat out every night and anchor some place. Get back to slip every morning go to work..
It's called Geography 101. There simply aren't a whole lot of anchorages in The Bay Area. I lived there from 1978 to 2016.
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Old 14-11-2016, 09:09   #58
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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As far as ethanol phase separation heck I have had fuel on my boat for over a year and my tohatsu outboard just drinks it like it was just purchased yesterday.
Never had that kind of luck with our carbureted Johnson (Suzuki) 2-stroke outboard. I finally started recycling after 3 weeks of non-use, although a tank probably would have lasted up to (maybe) 2 months. After that, no startee, no runee.

The newer fuel-injected Suzuki 4-stroke seems to do better with it, but I haven't tested the limits yet.

In any case, I was only flagging it here because OP mentioned not running the boat often; I think he said maybe a couple times year year.

For what he's after, I suspect an RV would be easier... assuming there are "liveaboard" places to park those. Harder to take a harbor cruise, of course, but it won't sink in it's parking spot (barring earthquakes. Oh, wait, that's CA too...). Less critical maintenance, anyway...

-Chris
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Old 14-11-2016, 09:19   #59
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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I'm curious about this too. Ideally we could anchor out and I will bring my wife with a dinghy to land, leave her there to get transport for work, go back to boat. If we don't pay the marina for living aboard that way, then that's perfect. Just a weekly top up and empty of sanitation and we're done. (Solar and mechanical k-tor maybe top ups for electricity can suffice).

I read somewhere that you can't legally anchor out anywhere in San Francisco bay. I really REALLY hope that's not true.
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We could only anchor out during hotter seasons. Colder ones we can do in a marina.

I'd suggest you look for ways to give that anchor-out thing a trial first, before committing.

Lots o' time and work getting back and forth. Travel back and forth in whatever weather the day serves up. Dinghy dock fees. Trash management. Fresh water management, and this can include bathing and so forth. Sanitation management (as you mention). Food management (buying, schlepping, storing, refrigerating, etc.). Cooking (needs power). Climate management (needs power, at least usually in colder months and often in hotter months, depending on location). Mold management (dry everything, like a shower if you have one, after each use, and manage air flow everywhere).

Plus that pesky anchor management, especially in bad weather.

Small boats don't usually have much room for solar panels, nor for huge battery banks, so your electricity budget can cause a major trade-off: do without (power very little), run a charger from a genset, charge via the main engine and it's alternator, or plug into shorepower more often...

Don't mean you can't do it or shouldn't try... just suggesting you should be deciding how to proceed with eyes wide open.

-Chris
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Old 14-11-2016, 09:50   #60
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Re: What is the cheapest to maintain sub 30 feet powerboat?

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We could only anchor out during hotter seasons. Colder ones we can do in a marina.

Generally does anyone know if we could maybe get in and out of different marinas thereby filling the requirement of only temporarily staying at one?
Sure but expect it to be a lot more expensive. Our experience is weekly rate is often 20-50% less than the nightly rate. Monthly rate may be half again as cheap and annual rates another 20-30% lower.

I still think a houseboat is the way to go. You don't have to use all that space and they have smaller ones available. Unless you are just trying to prove how small a space you can live in why not?

I also wouldn't get too hung up on maintenance costs. Yes, there are costs but if it's sitting at a marina most of the time, they won't be a lot assuming you are willing to do most of it yourself.
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