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waterandwine 11-01-2012 08:22 PM

Relocating to SoCal to liveaboard - have a catch 22...

I'm just joining SailNet and am posting this thread because I'm selling my house in Atlanta (14 years landlocked!!!), moving back to SoCal (lived in Long Beach for a long time), and moving aboard a sailboat (sailed since I was a kid in Biloxi and lived on a 26' boat for a while when I was much younger).

I'm moving out there as soon as the house here sells, which will likely be March-June 2013. Here is the catch-22 I am having so far - you need to apply for a slip and LAB much in advance of getting said slip, but you need a boat (pics and insurance, etc.) before you can apply, which I obviously don't have.

My daughter just started attending Chapman Univ studying film, and I'm out to see her every 60 days or so. I've got friends there, and the business I own requires me to be there regularly also. I have plenty of reasons to be there, and am thinking I just plan a day or two every month to be there and visit dockmasters in person to try to get something arranged. It will be a pain, but it is possible for me to do (and I can show pretty well when I choose to shave and stay in business clothes, and I understand good impressions can make a difference).

Is this the best approach? Is it worth even trying to start with a phone call? Are there any particular marinas you can suggest that are likely to be most receptive? I'm open to living anywhere from San Diego to Ventura (though I'd prefer not to go any further than north than MdR.

BTW, I'm looking at buying either a Hunter 42 or Gulfstar 44 center cockpit (depending on how nostalgic I feel toward the Gulfstars, which I sailed on in the Gulf a long time ago), so I likely need a 45' slip...

Thanks for any insights.

Bradhamlet 11-01-2012 09:42 PM

Re: Relocating to SoCal to liveaboard - have a catch 22...
Start with the phone call to the marinias of interest and go from there. A slip in that size range is going to be $750+ a month . Should be fun the sailing. Is great down here.

Lancer 36

xymotic 11-01-2012 10:35 PM

Re: Relocating to SoCal to liveaboard - have a catch 22...
We were sneakaboard for a few months at shoreline marina. It's not recommended, but I think if you get on the list and are not 'in their face' living aboard it's somewhat tolerated.

Be really nice to the dock neighbors ;)

windward54 11-01-2012 10:44 PM

Re: Relocating to SoCal to liveaboard - have a catch 22...
Check with the marinas, as that range of slip most likely has a waiting list. Most marinas only require pictures and insurance once you actually have a slip. Most marinas only allow a set number of liveaboards and will tack on a liveaboard fee to the regular slip fee. And to complicate things even more, some marinas like Long Beach, require you to be in the marina first before you go on the liveaboard waiting list.

San Pedro has a new marina (Cabrillo Way Marina) that should be fully open by the time you are planning to move, and there are a couple more marinas in the area. And Wilmington offers some availability.

mikel1 11-01-2012 10:51 PM

Re: Relocating to SoCal to liveaboard - have a catch 22...
Speaking of Wilmington . . . San Pedro ...look up a marina called Newmarks . . . not 4 stars but more of a "liberal" attitude . . .

sww914 11-02-2012 02:00 AM

Re: Relocating to SoCal to liveaboard - have a catch 22...
We stopped in nearly every harbor in SoCal on our way south. My favorites were Catalina, no slips and impractical to live there, and Ensenada. I realize it's Mexico but everything except availability of boat parts is better here and about 1/2 the price for slips and food and diesel is only about 2/3 the price.
We're paying $381.00 for a 39 footer, no utilities and no liveaboard fees added. It goes down even lower if you stay for a year. I takes a couple hours to get to San Diego.
AAAAND there are tons of beautiful women here. Tons.

Philzy3985 11-05-2012 08:40 PM

Re: Relocating to SoCal to liveaboard - have a catch 22...
I think your first step should be phone calls to every marina you can find a number for, and see if they have a slip that size, or what the waiting list is, maybe don't even bring up the LAB topic. Finding a big enough slip is probably your first hoop to jump through. I doubt you'll find one in MDR, more likely in San Diego bay somewhere, or Long Beach. Once you've narrowed it down to availability, those should be the ones you go visit, show them pictures (for sale ads) of the boat(s) you would buy, if they consider you. This let's them know you're doing your homework and they can rely on you to commit.

The other option is buy the 40'+ sailboat you want where the for sale ad mentions that the slip is transferable, so it takes care of all the hard work of finding a slip. These are rare, but if you create a good relationship with the current owner of the boat, and go see it when you're in town, and speak to the dock master, then you'd probably be welcomed to take it over. The nice thing is sailboats that size stay on the market a long time these days, so you can be patient.

When I was going inside, face-to-face with marina managers/dock masters, in my 10 minute conversations alone, there would be 2 or 3 phone calls interupting the manager, all asking about liveaboard slips in a big size. The manager just says "no" to get them off the phone. Truth is, some can be flexible IF they want to. Privately owned marina's can allow more LABs, but the general rule is to at least keep every LAB with one 'empty' boat between them, so the bigger or in some cases "less popular" (for various reasons) the marina, the better chance you may have.

Good luck! There's been a gulfstar 44 in MDR on the market for almost a year now, FYI

waterandwine 11-08-2012 02:52 PM

Re: Relocating to SoCal to liveaboard - have a catch 22...
This is all very helpful. Thank you very much!

azguy 11-08-2012 03:05 PM

Re: Relocating to SoCal to liveaboard - have a catch 22...
Many of the ads I see for boats of that size in SoCal say that the slip is transferable. I would heavily lean that way; then you can take your time to find the right marina based on a variety of factors that you may only be aware of after spending some time in SoCal.

I lived in Huntington Beach for many years, so Long Beach would be high on my list.

zeehag 11-08-2012 04:15 PM

Re: Relocating to SoCal to liveaboard - have a catch 22...
28 Attachment(s)
good luck--i have found that transerrable slips in so cal are truly not that--the seller will post that to get you to buy the boat--the slips are not transferrable anywhere except newport beach , with the owned slips and moorings. some of them. not all. looks great in an ad, tho. beware of that.

as far as slips in so cal--good luck--loong wait--go to ensenada. they also have boats fro sale there--and sans cali tax from hell, if you keep it there for a year....arnie signd away the last 90 day deal as h needed money in coffers andt hought that was a great way to do it.
good luck in your adventure---

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