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Win 09-04-2003 01:52 PM

live on/learn on/cruise on
 
Hi,
I am looking for a live aboard boat. I just finished school so I need something free to very cheap. I would like to live on it while learning to sail and saving $. Eventually I would like to go cruising. I live in Cal. But I am willing to relocate any ware on the west coast. Looking at SF bay I realized it is almost impossible to get a live aboard slip. Is this the case with all of cal. or just the bay area? Please email me if you have any information or a boat that might fit my needs. winduncan@hotmail.com

Thanks, Win

Magic_Moments 09-04-2003 07:43 PM

live on/learn on/cruise on
 
I don''t know much about the Bay area, but people do live there on their boats. If you are open to moving north, Puget Sound offers a lifetime worth of cruising grounds in every kind of condition. Usually the summers are warm and dry with winds 5-15 knots although this labor day weekend saw winds of 25 and some gusts to 40mph, so sometimes there is a good breeze. Cruising grounds go from Olympia in the south to Haines Alaska in the north. North of Puget Sound are the San Juan Islands (172). In Canada there is the Gulf Islands (over 700) and the cruising mecca of Desolation sound (about 100 miles north of Vancouver). The west side of Vancouver island is outstanding and gives many people their first taste of offshore sailing. Just so everyone doesn''t move here, it does rain in the winter, but the best sailing winds are then also, go figure. Foulweather gear and a heater make it fun.

The state has really tightened up restrictions on liveaboard spaces in Lake Union and the Ship Canal along with Salmon Bay, Union Bay and in Lake Washington (all basically in or near downtown Seattle). However, there are usually always Liveaboard slips available in Bremerton which is across the Sound, but has a ferry to downtown Seattle. Bremerton has the Navy shipyard as the major employer, but many people ride the ferry to Seattle every day for work. Tacoma and Olympia may have liveaboard spaces, but I am not familiar with those marinas in the south sound. Olympia is the state capital so government jobs are there and the capital and many government buildings are in walking distance of the marina. Tacoma again has marinas all around downtown.
Everett north of Seattle has liveabord slips and is the second largest marina on the west coast(After Marina Del Ray). If you buy a boat with Everett moorage, you are allowed to keep the slip, otherwise there is a one to 10 year wait for a slip depending on the size of the boat. Anacortes has many marinas, but I don''t know if any have liveaboard. Bellingham has a waiting list. Blaine is as far north as you can go in the US usually has slips and alows limited liveaboards. Friday Harbor has a big marina and some people live in it, but if you landed a job there you would be a lucky dog indeed. I would love to live there.

I have kept my boats in Lake Union and Salmon bay in Seattle and found that is great for day sailing in Lake Union or Lake Washington, but to get to the Sound you have to got through the locks which can be a pain especially on a busy weekend. I have also kept boats in Everett, Friday Harbor, Anacortes, and Blaine. The best exploring is from Anacortes or Friday Harbor, but the best sailing wind is from Blaine. In the sound the best wind is between Edmonds and Kingston(both have very long wait lists) and Shileshole to the south and Everett to the north. Slips run from about $4.25 per foot up to about $11 per foot. The closer to Seattle the more expensive it gets.

Anyways after the travelogue, I would recomend whereever you live to get the job and an apartment then get a cheap boat to learn on. I bought a 24 foot San Juan for $4000 as my first boat. It was very basic with just a compass and an outboard and 6 sails. I sailed the daylights out of that boat for 8 years and ran it aground a couple times. I have a friend who bought a 36 foot boat and was almost too afraid to take it out of its slip. I ran into another person in the same condition. Always wanted to sail, bought a big boat, and is afraid to back it out of its slip. I recomend getting a first boat you aren''t going to be afraid to trash. I think you will be a better sailor for it and a more confident one.

Ken

Win 09-05-2003 01:23 PM

live on/learn on/cruise on
 
Hi Ken,
Thanks for the advice on Washington. I am thinking about Seattle. I havenít spent much time there but I have relatives in BC so I am somewhat familiar with the area. I agree with you that I need a small boat. I am thinking under 30 ft. Most likely 27-29. I see a lot of them in my price range. I sailed a Cal 25 this summer and canít see a few extra feet making a big difference. Right? I canít afford to keep an appt. and a boat in the water so that isnít an option.
Thanks,
Win

TrishLambert 09-07-2003 05:50 AM

live on/learn on/cruise on
 
Win,

You are thinking very clearly! If you will be comfortable in a small boat, go for it! As Ken said, you will get a lot more use out of it...and the costs will be far less than larger vessels.

I like Cals a lot...that would be a workable choice for you. Check out the Contessa 27, which is a tried and true boat. The Flicka is also a nice boat--it''s 20 feet, and I''ve known several couples who have cruised aboard one. There are many more good choices....if you will be in the Seattle area, I''m sure there is an excellent used boat market there that will fit your needs.

One resource you might want to browse is www.pocketcruisers.com, which is devoted to boats in your size range.

Trish Lambert
S/V Nehalennia (Baba 30)
www.takehersailing.com

Magic_Moments 09-07-2003 12:21 PM

live on/learn on/cruise on
 
I have run into several people who live on Cal 25''s. I don''t know anything about how they sail, but I know that all three of those people were happy and thats what counts.
In Vancouver, I think a lots of boats are kept in False Creek to avoid the currents in First Narrows. Howe Sound is just around Point Atkinson from Vancouver.

I am living on a Gulf 29 right now, but since I have moved onto my boat this year, I have started to look at larger boats. I have sold my house and am trying to get rid of the excess junk, so you are coming at it from a better perspective of not starting out with the junk.

P.S. There is the issue of holding tanks for the onboard toilet. At my marina they require the Y-valve to be wiretied to the holding tank position as I am sure the rest of the US also requires, however in Canada, which is less than a mile from where I sit, pumpout stations are rare and many boats directly flush overboard. The entire city of Victoria flushes directly overboard too. So the ability to switch to a holding tank in the US and flush over in BC is important. If you buy a boat in Canada and bring it to the US it needs a holding tank. A porta pottie does qualify. I am not sure why I thought that was important to add, but there it is.

Ken

Win 09-11-2003 03:50 PM

live on/learn on/cruise on
 
Thanks for the response. I have actually been considering a Contessa. A Pearson Triton (28.5) or a Vega 27 are also options.
Thanks
Win


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