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Old 01-26-2010
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As pointed out above, a boat big enough for you to live and work on comfortably, is going to be a fairly expensive asset for the owner. As far as I can see, you have NO real skills that make you desirable as a boat sitter. You don't have any woodworking skills, varnishing skills, fiberglassing skills, plumbing or mechanical skills from what you've said. So as SmackDaddy put it...there ain't much quid pro quo there...so what exactly is the incentive for anyone to allow a complete stranger, who is not capable of maintaining much less upgrading the boat, to live on it rent free?

The internet says a lot of things, but not all of them are anywhere close to being real-world accurate. Boat-sitting is not a viable option in 99.9999% of the marinas that I can think of. I'd point out that having someone living aboard actually costs the person who owns the boat money, as many marinas have a liveaboard fee. Also, the electrical and water usage for the boat will go up if someone is living aboard. Yet, you're expecting someone to absorb these extra costs for the privilege of having you mooch off of them.

Now, paying part of the marina fees may not be an option... since accepting money to let you live on their boat may move them from a personal boat to a commercial venture. That gets into a lot of money for commercial insurance and also requires that they have a USCG license, since they might be considered chartering the boat in effect.

Of the ideas offered in this thread, the only one that might even be close to reasonable is you buying an inexpensive boat to liveaboard. If the boat was outfitted properly, say with a decent solar panel, small refrigerator, a shore power setup with hot water heater, etc... you could probably live aboard it for far less than your rent would be in many locations. My marina charges about $2700 for a boat to sit at a slip from April until November...if you figure that's almost eight months... that is less than $350 a month... There are not many places you can rent your own place, on the water for that amount.
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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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