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Nikki06 07-25-2006 09:54 AM

Need Info for Florida
Hi all,
Here is my situation. I am gathering informaton for my parents. I live in Spring Hill, FL (35 miles NW of Tampa) and my parents presently live in New England (Portland,ME).
My parents are looking to purchase a boat that they can live aboard down here in the geater Tampa Bay area. The marina where they end up living needs to be within reasonable driving distance from me. I am thinking that Sarasota would be the furthest South, and they would prefer to stay on the west coast.

That said....they are very active & outgoing individuals, Mom is 55 and Dad is 60 - both very "young", if that makes sense.

Ideally they would like to find a few marinas and then see about "renting" a boat for a few days at each marina (NOT to take out - just to live aboard) to see how the marina life suits them. Obviously they would provide references, deposit, etc... finance verification is not a problem either. Is that possible or is it unheard of??

I am doing the leg work since I am a stay at home Mom and am also already down here if I wanted to take a drive to some marinas to check them out before hand.

I've read some of the threads posted and will continue, but wanted to throw my information out there and begin (hopefully) getting feedback.


Allen Lofland 07-25-2006 10:28 AM

Nikki: We have tried for months to find such a marina for liv-a-board in that area with no luck, it is real difficult to find. It seems that local laws are being established to keep liv-a-boards away. I am not going to say there aint none from Sarasota to Clearwater, but I sure cannt find one for our 42 ft sail boat.
BUT Burnt store marina in punts gorda loves liv-a-boards and the fishermans village also will have new slips this oct.
It seems for some reason they want liv-a-boards on charlotte bay :) great cruisen area, just a little further from your place than you talked about. Keep looken.
You might try Pasadena Marina there in St. Pete...they allow it but have a waiting list, depends on the size of boat.
As for the rental idea's sorry, I think like us, if you folks want to try the life style they will ned to just jump in a buy a boat and tryit out for a while. If you carefull you can do that and not loose investment money, buy used, less than 10 years old, very good condition and be very mean on your offers :)
good luck

PBzeer 07-25-2006 10:29 AM

From all that's been posted here, liveaboard slips aren't all that easy to come by, without paying a premium for them.

What kind of boat are they thinking about, and do they intend to use it for more than a floating house? I think that would be the primary question to answer first. Then, you can see about chartering a boat to spend some time on.


Nikki06 07-25-2006 10:48 AM

Please forgive any incorrect termonolgy I may use...I am not a boat person.

My parents have looked into purchasing a boat for the past two years. I believe they are looking at minimum a 36' cruiser. They would be using it for cruising locally and living aboard as "snow birds".

I've been reading old threads non stop since I posted and am finding this to be difficult. I know they are limiting themselves geographically which makes it even more difficult. An ideal location would be Tampa, but there doesn't seem to be anything that way.


Dewey Benson 07-25-2006 11:02 AM


Don't know if this might help. I recently purchased a sailboat in the Tampa area. It was reportedly a local livaboard and cruiser for many years before I purchased it. It was reported to me that it had a livaboard slip in Cortez.

I got the vessel from a brokerage slip in Palmetto so I can't pinpoint the marina. But I do have another sugesstion. Call Todd Delaney, you will find him in the local directory under Marine Survey's. If you cant locate his number call Sneed Island boatyard and they will have his phone #. He is pretty plugged in to the local boating scene, and is in my mind a pretty comprehensive marine surveyor. You may need his professional services and advise when they find a vessel, but for now, he will know what marinas are accepting livaboards.


PBzeer 07-25-2006 11:09 AM

Ok, next question, a power boat or sailboat? Also, new or used?

tommyt 07-25-2006 11:31 AM


I have no information about the Florida area, but it seems to me that the cart is pretty far in front of the horse dependent on your parents boating experience. You did not say if they are boaters or want to be boaters. This post is only relevant if they have limited experience.

In the Tampa/St.Pete area I believe that you will find quite a few sailing schools and charter companies. Sail and Power. If they want to try the life in a marina for a few days or weeks chartering would seem to be your best bet. Much better to spend a few thousand dollars and sail and sit at a charter companies dock then attempt a private party rental.Liability laws make private party questionable. If they are not experienced and want to learn a liveaboard class is another way, but they will probably be sharing the boat with someone else for that unless they book a private lesson.

Cruisingdad 07-25-2006 05:54 PM

West & Swest Florida Liveaboard
Got a bunch of thoughts for you. We did liveaboard down in SW Florida. First, Tampa has or had a public marina with liveaboards at one time. Check St Pete/Clearwater and ask for govt offices. Not sure if they still do. Also, if they are going to cruise sw florida, many of the bridges are 55' on the ICW. That will really limit their boats. Punta Gorda is awesome. That is most likely where we are putting our next boat. Ft Myers Beach is great too with several liveaboard marinas to choose from. Fort Myers has a public liveaboard marina, but you will need a 55' or less stick and be ready for a rally long waiting list (2 years for us and counting). Last thought: The market down there has really started to correct and there are a lot of people stuck with houses that are waterfront. Get the listings and call the owners. See if they will consider leasing the water... it is free money and they can still lease the house. Just watch for bridges/access/water depth. Also, if your draft is over 6', you will run agound all day long in s florida and a lot in the bahamas.

Hope that helps. It is pretty.

Retention 07-27-2006 09:13 AM

Live Aboard Marinas
Regatta Pointe Marina in Palmetto welcomes liveaboards. Pretty nice. Spent 18 months there. Golden Dolphin, just across the river also welcomes liveaboards, although a bit harder to get into.

lowryjim 08-06-2006 02:02 PM


I used to live in Spring Hill... And I used to keep my sailboat in the St. Pete City Marina...

You will find far and few live-aboard marinas in the Tampa area today.
However, if you cross State road 19 going to the Gulf, along that road you will find several hiden marinas with good Gulf access. But as I said they are fairly hidden, but they are there.

Good luck,

Jim Lowry formaly Barlington Rd., Spring Hill

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