Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, Honolulu
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Re: Living Aboard in Hawaii
It's a great life, but it comes at a price! In many ways Hawaii is laid back, but not for boaters and specially not for liveaboards, unless you are rich and go to one of very few exclusive private marinas in a fancy boat.
You wouldn't expect it in an island state, but the situation for boaters here is unusually complicated. We'd like to help you avoid pitfalls that caused us a lot of trouble. The State Small Boat harbors are cursed by a maddening set of rules, long waiting lists for limited spots, and restrictions on the number of liveaboard permits. Some harbors don't allow living aboard at all. The ones that do are not all safe - there's lots of criminal activity in most.
For temporary arrangements, boat owners are not allowed to rent out accommodation. If they rent to you, they are breaking the rules and you are being placed in a false position. Don't accept reassurances from people who want you to pay for their moorings. You can be caught and charged with trespass, and go to court!
Please watch out and master the rules before buying a boat. You may end up having nowhere to put it or yourself!