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Old 03-12-2008, 17:07   #16
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We live aboard on Long Island NY. I commute to NYC 3 to 4 days per week and work from the boat 1 or 2 days per week. I chose Port Washington, NY because of the great train line into NYC. Stamford CT has a good commuter line into NYC as well.

Staying in the water during the Winter is absolutely possible. We will shrink wrap in the next week or two, which will further insulate us. We use a diesel heater and two small space heaters. Believe it or not, we are still using our reverse cycle AC/heater right now. Not sure how much longer that will be effective - will ride it as long as I can because it is more efficient than the space heaters.

there are about 4 liveaboard boats at this marina this year. It varies, and the manager is very picky - he has told some that he doesn't accept liveaboards - must not have made a good first impression!

I know of that Formosa 51 mentioned earlier. You should take your wife to see it. She may change her mind about staying in Seattle.

You might also check out the forum at - I use both this site and that one for a great deal of my information on this lifestyle.
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Old 03-12-2008, 17:08   #17
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San Diego...why look anywhere else. It only took me about 8 years to get a "legal" liveaboard slip in Long Beach.
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Old 03-12-2008, 20:48   #18
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OP -

I think your best bet is to shop a little longer to find a boat with transferable moorage.

Lots of slips are non-transferable, but will let you finish out the lease after buying before you have to move out. This alone could buy you up to a year, and you may be able to bargain for more at that point.

Do you need to live in a big city? I know there are slips available around the more remote areas of the Sound. Union, Grapeview, etc.

Here in Olympia, there are lots of boaters that float around town for over a year without having an official home. I'll see them at Percival, then Swantown, then on the hook for a few nights, then back at Percival, etc.

I know Swantown has monthly rates on the public docs. It ends up costing twice as much as a normal slip, but perhaps that is a compromise you are willing to make.

There's also plenty of mooring buoys at state parks / etc. Obviously not the most convenient lifestyle, but it might be the ticket if you're itching to buy soon or find a deal you can't pass up.

You also might be able to do some Craigslist networking and score a slip sublet when someone goes on a trip. It always seems like a lost opportunity to me when I see a bunch of temporarily empty slips a couple hundred yards from three guys on hooks waiting for their number to come up.
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:21   #19
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US Navy is there...lots of jobs. Stable.
Water Does not freeze. Reasonable prices. No boat "property tax" . Most marinas have live aboards. The whole chesapeake is your playground + North Carolina sounds are 1 day away.

A side note. Very few marinas will lease to a live-aboard they do not know. Too many people with "problems" out there. Suggest renting somewhere for "a couple of months" and then making the live-aboard" permanent once they have gotten to know and trust you as a good fellow. The key thing to scope out in advance is that there are already live-aboards there since many marinas permit none.

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Old 04-12-2008, 10:28   #20
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Originally Posted by ARGold View Post
Today, I have been looking at the Chesapeake Bay area quite a bit. there do seem to be many jobs to be had. Earlier I asked a question about winters there. Do folks usually haul out or keep their boats in the water?

Do you know of any marinas that have immediate liveaboard space available? I'm using google Earth to look at the area, it looks like Baltimore has some big marinas...
Most larger boats are kept in the water except when they are hauled for regular maintenance. Hauling a boat for the winter is usually done where there is a freeze hazard.

One thing I'd like to add regarding climate control. Unless you are planning to be a nomad, I would consider strongly an A/C unit with either reverse cycle or electric resistive heating. Summer on the East coast can be warm anywhere up to NY but I find the humidity is the real issue. AC helps as I'm sure you know. So does getting away from the dock an into more open waters. The the opposite is pretty much true for winters. You'll need some the usual cold/wet weather gear. But you also need to adopt a bit of the seafaring attitude. I wear a sweater when it's cold, even indoors. Obviously there is a downward limit to this -- I don't care how hard you are, below about 50 degrees its cool. Some people even find it cold, particularly for extended periods of time (like when you are home on the boat and just reading or cooking).

Climate control will bring you back to the realm of civilization, but at the cost of either being tied to a dock (which you seem willing to be) or running a generator.

As for the where: the reality is that will be significantly determined by your job. Cam is right that Norfolk is a good place, but you might find Annapolis or up by the Pax river is where you find work. Accordingly, I am going to dodge the question but leave you with a vague, "there are lots of places but you will need to ask around" sort of answer.


The sea is always beautiful, sometimes mysterious and, on occasions, frighteningly powerful.
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Old 04-12-2008, 13:41   #21
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Originally Posted by ARGold View Post
Today, I have been looking at the Chesapeake Bay area quite a bit. there do seem to be many jobs to be had. Earlier I asked a question about winters there. Do folks usually haul out or keep their boats in the water?
A lot of people keep their boats in the water in Baltimore. The marinas actually offer "winter storage deals" where they say "store your boat here instead of paying to have it hauled". You don't get much ice in the city (I don't think we had any at all last year), but if you do and it bothers you, you can always break it up with a boat hook.

I'm at Harborview Marina, and there are enough live-aboards that I don't actually know everybody. There are also a bunch of liveaboards at Baltimore Marine Center.
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Old 04-12-2008, 14:56   #22
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We kept Watermelon in a Jacksonville, FL, marina that even has covered slips for large boats. Watermelon was there from September 2007 through February 2008. Not cheap, but very convenient. You'd have to contact them for rates.

Lamb's Yacht Center
376 Lakeshore Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 332210

Grocery store within walking distance. A great used bookstore within walking distance. Ample parking. Excellent security. Nice people.
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:26   #23
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Question st augustine

know there are liveaboard slips in St Augustine which is a great town. Want to ask a question of everybody. I am thinking of living aboard in FL, preferably St Augustine, but would like to rent a boat for a couple of months to try it out instead of buying right away. Anyone know of any way to find people who might be interested in renting their boat for a couple of months? thanks in advance.
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:54   #24
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In North Carolina, New bern, Wilmington and Washington would have slips. Not sure about jobs, though.

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Old 05-12-2008, 12:56   #25
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I have the urge myself to live in Charleston because of the boating community and the winters aren't that bad, yes the summer is hot but thats when I would venture up the coast too places like Newport or the Cape Cod area, If you can work out of the boat then this is what I would do. Charleston is very historical town and so is Newport, RI, they both offer marine services of high caliber and great boating, can you picture this: waking up to palm trees with a cup of coffee in the cockpit watching dolphins play, I can think of worse things to do. The resturaunts are incredible in Charleston as well, then summer in Newport, RI watching 12 meter sailboats gliding on Narraganset Bay or cruising to Block Island for a weekend. Sounds perfect to me.

Either which way you choose, Enjoy the freedom of your choice.
I have lived on a boat in Annapolis and was frozen into the slip, many and if not all, haul out their boats there, and it becomes kinda of sad, like watching leaves turn brown during fall, This is why my choice would be Charleston, SC.
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Old 06-12-2008, 04:42   #26

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youll find a big range of prices in Charleston, Theres the megadock for $20 a foot and right up the ashley river Dolphin Cove for $9. and $6 a foot haulouts for liveaboards.
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:46   #27
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Originally Posted by ARGold View Post
Before I made this post, I have been reading the forum. while there is advice here, I wanted to have an interactive discussion here and have a thread title that asks the question directly.

I did note two locations in another thread that may be of interest: Corpus Christy and Baltimore.

Since Baltimore is close to the grandkids, my wife is excited about that idea. But from what I can tell from my brief travels on the east coast, the winters are bad enough that most boats haul out. Here in Seattle, despite the high latitude, people can live on the water the year round. Is it also true of Baltimore? How far north do you get before winter haul out becomes the norm?

Corpus Christy - my main issue there would be the summer heat and humidity. We have lived in Mississippi and I recall that summer was a time you moved from air conditioned space to air conditioned space. Once we finally cast off, I hope to follow the temparate weather so I had not really considered having an A/C unit on my boat. But nor can I imagine sweltering in the summer before we have the chance to cast off and sail to nicer climate.
I liveaboard at a marina on the Magothy River (and there are plenty of open slips right now!), but my boat was a liveaboard for another couple (and, believe it or not, their two toddlers and a Labrador Retreiver!) for 6 years in Baltimore. The rivers hardly freeze here anymore, thanks to global warming and the marinas generally use bubblers on the few nights when there's any chance of it. So, yes, you can liveaboard all year.

FYI -- where I am at is about a 30-minute drive to Baltimore, or about a 5 hour sail.
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:01   #28
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Also, consider insurance on your vessle. You don't mention your prior experience, but many insurers will not insure south of Cape Hatteras during hurricane season, or they do with a big bump in premium.
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liveaboard, living aboard

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