Liveaboards: Why don't marinas like them? - SailNet Community

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Old 01-17-2011
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Liveaboards: Why don't marinas like them?

So many marinas don't allow liveaboards, others limit the number of liveaboards and maintain a waiting list. My marina in particular has a complete ban on liveaboards, and a relatively strict set of rules on how much time you can overnight on the boat. This doesn't bug me much, since I prefer sleeping in my cozy bed at home to sleeping in the marina, but it does make my dock pretty lonely sometimes; even on nice winter weekends, there's not a lot of people around.

So what's wrong with them?
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Old 01-17-2011
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Nothing wrong with liveaboards at all. However, they can change the dynamics of operating a marina a bit. Higher demands on utilities, facilities and refuse with full time residents. Demands to fix outages are more immediate than from a weekender who won't be back for 6 days. More liability I presume, since one would be walking docks at all hours and cooking aboard every day. Also, I dare say that most liveaboards never leave the dock and some begin to look like floating storage units.

I have a personal rule, no hanging anything off the lifelines to dry at the marina. Okay at anchor. That's just me.
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Old 01-17-2011
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I don't think it is too hard to figue out. The slips are not usually priced for full time utility use. Same with ancilary facilities, showers, laundry, etc. Also concerns that it could create a trailer park atmosphere in some situations.
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Old 01-17-2011
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You would be surprised how many boats look like this

On Long Island there was a houseboat fad back around 1980 that caused a ruckus with school tax issues among others and really put the nail in the coffin
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Old 01-17-2011
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Tha one is pretty unique,Really haven't EVER seen anything like that,thank goodness definitely pwt.marc
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Old 01-17-2011
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Liveaboards also look out for other boats and the marina. We've prevented thefts of marina and rental boat equipment, reported and fought fires, kept other boats from sinking, and tied up other boats with our own lines that the absent owners didn't care enough to prep for upcoming hurricanes and would have presented a hazard for every other boat in the place. At least in my marina, most of the liveaboard boats are better maintained than the general lot just because we are there to do it. Every time I walk down the dock I look at the waterline of every boat I see.
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Old 01-17-2011
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I think it would be up to the marina as to what standards should be set for any boat kept in tha marina. The first should be that any boat must be insured and be in a sea worthy state, that would keep most of the bum boats out. Any boat that was to be a liveaboard must be fitted with a suitible black water holding tank (and locked shut). Most of the liveaboard are great people,cause I is one. But dont get me started on house boats.
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Old 01-17-2011
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In California, marinas are limited by law to the number of slips that can be used for liveaboards. That number is 10%.
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Old 01-17-2011
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LIveaboards have both pros and cons for a marina.

As stated above, the increased usage/liability/demands can make them less desirable. Also, the condition of many liveaboard boats detracts from the marina's appearance.

However, as pointed out, they can provide an extra measure of security, especially for marinas that aren't staffed 24/7 and don't have fairly complete security systems.

I'd imagine it also depends on the marina. A higher priced, more exclusive marina may look down on liveaboards, but a lower-priced marina may want to have them.
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Old 01-17-2011
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My marina (Hingham Ship Yard in Hingham, Mass) used to encourages liveaboards and had "liveaboards Welcome" signs up a couple of years ago. Now we have a shopping center around our marina and I don't see those signs anymore. So I think part of it is an appearance thing.

We do have one liveaboard that has stayed all summer for the last two years. I, for one, like having him there because he has stopped some thieves and has stopped some drunken kids. Also, I am friends with him, so I have called him to ask about conditions before making the trip to the boat.

A couple years ago we had a houseboat at the marina. The town gave the marina a real hard time about the houseboat, claiming that this allowed the people living on the boats to avoid their "fair share" of local taxes. The town was trying to claim that the liveaboards could put a strain on local resources because they would use services like schools, DPW, fire, police, etc. without paying for them.
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