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rgscpat 08-01-2010 02:22 AM

What is a "liveaboard" in SoCal?
We live 800 miles from SoCal and are thinking of keeping a boat there.

One marina we looked at considers anyone who spends more than two nights per week on board a "liveaboard" and subjects them to the liveaboard quota and more than $200 per month fees. How generous -- not!

But if we're driving or flying 1600 miles round trip, a weekend won't cut it. We'd like to stay on board a week or ten days at a time, every month or two. Some trips we might head for other harbors and anchorages, but others we might stay at the home marina.

Would many marinas and harbormasters consider us liveaboards? I would hope not.

kd3pc 08-01-2010 05:45 AM

ours is 12 days in any you we find that a bit much, but they make the rules and they enforce them, sometimes with little accuracy..we keep our "attendance" on the we BOTH understand the nites we stay over.

Had a beef with one of the guys over the winter..that "saw" us during the week a few times and "assumed" we were full timers. Even sent the bill out to me... Has almost ruined us on our home base..

The marina used to give a 5% discount for paying early, for the they just take the money...

sawingknots 08-01-2010 05:56 AM

it seems more and more marinas like you to just stay home and out of sight,as long as you sent your monthly check,even better if you keep your boat home too,and send the check,the real problem is too many boats and too few marinas,these days the very worse marina's stay full.

CaptainForce 08-01-2010 02:41 PM

Most liveaboards that I know have their boat as their only home. I'm not accustomed to marinas that don't allow people to use their boats frequently. Certainly, it's the decission of the marina managers to determine their rates. Here, in Florida, there is no typical standard, but most marinas that allow liveaboards will respond over the phone that they do not allow liveaboards. Many here, have a different rate for living aboard. Take care and joy, Aythya crew

jackns 08-04-2010 10:38 AM

I live in San Diego and I am about to buy a boat for cruising and as a probable live aboard. I am considering Ensenada as a place to keep the boat for now. The price is under $10 per foot and the live aboard fee is only $75. The place that I am considering is called Baja Naval, but there are others. They have 24 hour security and provide free WiFi and free long distance calls to the US. They have a boat yard which has an excellent reputation. Many locals here have told me that boat yards there are cheaper and better in quality than here in San Diego. It is 65 nautical miles from San Diego to Ensenada or about a 68 mile drive on good quality toll road. Crossing the border can be time consuming by car. Public transportation is also an option. You could fly to either Tijuana or San Diego. From San Diego Airport there is a bus to a trolley line in Old Town that goes to San Isidro where there is a pedestrian crossing, and then buses to Ensenada. There is also a Marina about 45 miles from the border but not in a city or town.

rgscpat 08-05-2010 03:02 AM

Thanks and keep the good ideas coming
Thanks all and I appreciate the input so far.

We won't be tied to a particular port or city, just somewhere that's reasonably easy to get to once a month or so... sometimes by air, sometimes driving.

Boat would be 35' loa and in good sailing condition, so nothing unusual.

I guess I just chafe at or resent the idea of being called a liveaboard and enduring the fees and restrictions if I'm only going to be on the boat about 15% of the time or less. But some harbormasters may have the authority to use common sense.

Ensenada could work; I'm not unreasonably terrified by La Violencia and grew up on the border. My wife has a bit of arthritis, otherwise we'd consider northern California more; we want a place from where we can sail pretty much year 'round.

Also high on my list are reasonable slip rates, since I can't get to the boat often. Are there any places in SoCal that might approach $10/ft? (Besides maybe a municipal like Santa Barbara where people expect you to "buy" the slip).

Again thanks and all info is most welcome.

jackns 08-05-2010 05:13 PM

cheapest rate in San Diego Bay
Chula Vista, just south of San Diego, has at least two marinas.

The cheapest rates are just under $12/foot but increasing with the length of the boat. $300 is charged for live aboard, but I do not know how that is defined. I have heard that this is as cheap as you will find anywhere south of San Francisco without going beyond the US/Mexico border.

rgscpat 08-05-2010 06:50 PM

did a quick check on Chula Vista
It took some digging, but one of the newsletters from the Chula Vista Marina seems to show that they take a middle-of-the-road policy that would probably work for an occasional "stayaboard":

From their April 2010 newsletter:

<< snip:
Many of our boaters enjoy legal Liveaboard status and pay hard earned money for the privilege. Chula Vista Marina, like other marinas, is
limited in the number of total boats whom we can offer this status to.
It is disheartening to these Liveaboard Tenants when they see other
tenants enjoying this privilege as a Sneak- Aboard who is effectively
living aboard without the legal status and without paying.

Anyone who stays on their boat more than 3 nights a week is
considered to be living aboard.

If, occasionally, you plan to spend longer than 3 nights on board in any given week, just let the marina office know. We will be happy to issue you a Vacation Liveaboard Permit for a short stay at no cost to you.

Rates for a 35 footer seem to be $13/ft or $455.

catamariner 08-05-2010 07:08 PM

You'd think the marinas would realize that having liveaboards means added security -- eyes and ears on the dock 24/7.

jackns 08-05-2010 08:15 PM

Ensenada versus Chula Vista
Another thought about Ensenada versus the San Diego area. In my communication with one of the marinas, Baja Naval, I got the impression that most of their clients are temporary stays and that is most likely in the Summer. It is therefore possible that someone who intends to stay longer and off season might be able to negotiate for a lower rate.

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