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post #2 of Old 07-13-2010
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Originally Posted by HappyPappy View Post
Alright, I'm new to the metro Washington DC area, and I'm hoping to transition into a liveaboard lifestyle. One question one of my sons asked has got me thinking and wondering whether an alternative to marina liveaboard living is possible.

What I am wondering is:
What is to stop someone from buying a liveaboard worthy boat, anchoring down the Potomac river a little ways out of the way, and using a smaller motorboat as a personal water taxi to a convenient marina?

My thoughts...

1) The maria fee would be significantly less because one would only need to pay a non-liveaboard slip fee for the smaller boat/personal water taxi. The Main boat would pull into the marina once in a while to pump out, etc.
2) Your experience in cruising living would grow quickly since you would rely on your own gear on a daily basis
3) Experience true "off grid" living since you wouldn't have the benefits of shore power, landline, etc.
4) Solidarity / security since the only people to reach you would be other boaters
5) Mobility, you can move your liveaboard boat around for a different view, but still maintain the benefits of a marina
6) No waiting for a waitlist at marina's for liveaboard slips. Only a recreational slip is needed.

1) Solidarity - not many neighbors to make conversation with
2) Legality (Although, who would stop you from doing this? I'm not certain there's anything explicitly against doing this)
3) Reliance on your own head facilities, no dockside facilities for showers, bathroom, laundry, etc.
4) You have two boats to maintain / insure

Thanks everyone for your insights, I really appreciate it!
The main issue would be security. A boat tied up in a slip or tied to a properly installed mooring is going to be far safer, especially in heavy weather than a boat anchored out usually will be. Also, if you're working while living aboard, do you really trust your anchor day after day in a river environment to hold your home safe?

Also, your boat would be far easier to steal or break into, since it isn't going to have the safety of the marina's security and the other boaters around it more likely than not.

Also, in the DC area, there probably aren't too many places you could anchor out for extended periods of time without raising the attention of local LEOs.

Being in a slip, means that you can use the marina's shore-based facilities, and that often that means the difference between looking presentable for work or like something the cat dragged in.

Also, your insurance company may have issues with this, and getting insurance to do it may be more difficult.


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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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