Re: Best U.S. city for sailing, living aboard, working
I really enjoyed my time in Charleston, SC as a liveaboard and sailor. Think southern hospitality, without the right wing politics.
Unlike the west coast and some of the NE, the water cops are not totally out of hand, if not almost invisible, except on holidays.
There are three marinas and many nice docks behind houses in the area, where you can live aboard.
It's a pretty cosmopolitan, small, historic city with lot's of character and things to do in a pretty small area. Down town markets and evening entertainment are all within a mile of 2 of the marinas, as are medical facilities. The third is over the bridge in Mount Pleasant. Charleston has a great waterfront (and improving all the time), with some of the best fireworks in the country.
Sailing in the harbor is fun, if not challenging, and there are a few places to sail to over a weekend, outside, or in the ditch. You'd be extremely comfortable sailing in confined waters with big ships after a few months there; they get some of the largest container ships on earth, quite regularly. The pilots are capable and friendly, so it's usually a good encounter, if you don't get in their way. But there is a whole side of the harbor where no large vessels go, as well. A big shoal area in the middle of the harbor forms a nice triangle to sail around. It's always neat to sail out to Fort Sumter and along the waterfront, feeling the cannons being aimed at you by some tourist.
I really liked the City Marina; very laid back and convenient to everything. Great dock staff and a caring, but unmeddlesome management.
I don't have a clue about working ashore, but there are numerous marine related opportunities in the area.
Downside; Hot, humid summers with frequent thunderstorms, and the possibility of the occasional hurricane. But you shouldn't have to shovel snow off your boat very often, and you won't have hundreds of drizzly, rainy days a year.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.