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Old 01-13-2013
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Seattle - I am looking for a liveaboard slip

Thread title says it all. My wife and I are purchasing a 27' Catalina at the end of the month. Our goal is to live on it within a couple of months.

Our waiting plan is to keep it at Shilshole Bay Marina (SBM) until we find a liveaboard slip. SBM has a looong waiting list (6 mos. by their estimate) for such slips to open up.

I am opening this thread to hear what you all would do in my situation (apart from buying the boat, of course ) and what you know about the Seattle liveaboard scene. Any tips would help, be it anecdotal evidence or websites.

- Zabriskie

Last edited by Zabriskie; 01-13-2013 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 01-14-2013
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Re: Seattle - I am looking for a liveaboard slip

Howdy,
I went through the process of finding a liveaboard slip in Seattle a few years ago, so I can tell you what I remember. I called around to all the marinas I could find in the span of a week or so, and it was a bit of a chicken and egg situation regarding knowing the length of the boat and having the insurance already settled. I was calling before I'd figured out what boat I would have, so you're already a leg up on me there, but if you don't have insurance already you might have some difficulty.

Pretty much everywhere I called didn't have liveaboard slips available, so we were all set to go clear to the marina on the south end of Lake Washington on Ranier where the moorage was cheap and the liveaboard slips were plentiful (at least at the time). Unfortunately it wasn't really the neighborhood I wanted to live in - not much within walking distance.

Then, as we were driving to the marina to sign papers, my wife got a call from the marina manager at the AGC building (on south Lake Union where the McCormick and Schmick's is) saying that a liveaboard sublet had just come open. We hadn't even remembered calling AGC, so I can only take this as a solid favor from the heavens.

I lived in the sublet spot for a few months and got to know the manager at AGC, and after being a good tenant she was willing to let me into a liveaboard slip of my own. It was a great location within walking distance of downtown, with free parking. Who could ask for more?

For Shilshole, have you looked at the bulletin board right outside their office? Often they have sublets, some of them liveaboard I think, which is how I've heard a lot of people worked their way in, hopping from one sublet to the next until their number came up.

That's all I know. Good luck in your search and make sure you invest in a space heater!
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Old 01-14-2013
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Re: Seattle - I am looking for a liveaboard slip

6 months is a small wait list frankly. up 6 yrs can be more the norm depending upon the size etc.

I would do as above, call around to see what might be available. Edmonds has a few LA slips, you do pay IIRC $50-75 extra a month. I believe shilshoal is the same. A co worker lives aboard, I can ask here tomorrow........

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Old 01-14-2013
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Re: Seattle - I am looking for a liveaboard slip

Marty and Jeff,

Thanks so much for the information! As the whole boat ownership deal is new to my wife and me, I will be asking more and more questions on this forum.

I will contact AGC this week and also let Shilshole that I want to be on the waitlist toot-sweet.

Let me know if I can provide you with knowledge as a tradeoff. I will gladly share anything about topics you want to know more about and with which I have experience. Is there anything you want to know about teaching, job hunting, interviewing, memorizing, juggling, or Tecmo Baseball for the NES?

Zabriskie
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Old 01-14-2013
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Re: Seattle - I am looking for a liveaboard slip

I don't have a liveaboard slip, but for my normal slip Shilshole went from reporting a long waiting list to having a dozen 30' slips available in the period of a couple of weeks. Hopefully you have similar luck in getting a live aboard slip.

AGC is probably a more fun place to live aboard due to so many walking destinations being right there. A Catalina 27' can fit under all of the bridges (except Fremont) so getting out to the sound for an overnighter isn't a major hassle. I like being at Shilshole now, but also enjoyed being on Lake Union with my previous boat. Duck Dodge, Goose Bumps, and the dynamic scenery on the lake are major reasons to stay on Lake Union.

For some reason that I don't understand Lake Union also often has great sailing weather when Lake Washington is completely becalmed.
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Old 01-14-2013
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Re: Seattle - I am looking for a liveaboard slip

Don't count out going to places in person as well. Be neat, clean and well dressed. I have been told no outright over the phone, but when I showed up in person they said something could be worked out. So I would go pound on the doors so to speak, assuming your clean cut and what not. Lots of places don't want the hassles a liveaboard can bring, but if you present yourself to be an upright person, doors sometimes open. Don't get me wrong I am a strong proponent of living aboard, but there are a lot of derelict boats with people living on them and the few rotten apples spoil the whole barrel sometimes.

It can almost be like a job interview be prepared to offer info if it is to your advantage, like your job if that will make you look better. It is important to have at least a backup plan before buying the boat, cause you can't just put it anywhere! Some folks even end up starting out on a mooring ball, till a liveaboard slip come up.

I have to say my experience is east coast and mid west, but seems to be true everywhere.
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Old 01-14-2013
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Re: Seattle - I am looking for a liveaboard slip

48*north typically has a number of adds in the back for lips available at marina's too. Not sure how many are Live aboard....

Marty
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