marinas florida''''s west coast
Carli...welcome to the West Coast (a little early)!
A few follow-on comments:
1. Finding a marina and finding one that accepts longer-term liveaboards are 2 different tasks. You can pay transient rates just about anywhere but to get a ''permanent'' (as if anything is, in cruising...) slip with liveaboard privileges is a tougher challenge.
2. The Fisherman''s Village location is very nice - relatively upscale IMO - and was pricey 2-3 years ago, when we looked. Not much is within walking distance, altho'' a few miles away you begin to reach regular & boating stores. Don''t overlook how important a bike (or bikes) will be to you, given your plans - you''ll need them almost anywhere.
3. The St. Pete area is a good example of how finding a slip doesn''t = finding a liveaboard arrangement. On the Bay side, the St. Pete Municipal Marina has no restrictions on the # of liveaboard slips, which is one reason is is so popular and has a lengthy waiting list (at least in my boat length range). A call to them (they have an 800# & a web site - sorry, #s and URL not with me at the moment) will tell you more for your boat. The other marinas in the St. Pete/Clearwater area (incl. the Harborage, the other marina mentioned in the above post) has only a few liveaboard slips and so cruisers will sometimes plop in a ''regular'' slip at the transient rate, a pricey alternative. This ''limited # of liveaboard slips'' situation is fairly common in the Tampa Bay area...but the area is such a great place to be, it''s worth the extra effort that might be required.
3. Ruskin, on the E side of Tampa Bay, can provide you with a liveaboard slip at reasonable rates. But it''s remote from both Tampa & the St. Pete area. I mention it in case you want to reconsider a car...
4. Don''t overlook putting the boat behind someone''s house, on a canal. Such an arrangement is easy to find for those not living aboard, but not impossible if you are. It might be a great initial arrangement while you sort thru the options, move up on a waiting list, etc.
(Homeported in St. Pete but currently in Port of Spain, Trinidad)