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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Order of operations

Greetings,

I'm getting excited about buying a boat. Still a total beginner but all my research has shown me that there seems to be quite a bit available in the Vancouver BC area within my purchase budget, so most likely after I get about another dozen days on the water I might start actually looking at boats.

The project manager in me wants, however, to start with a place to put it. Lots of local sailors are telling me live-aboard spaces in BC are not especially easy to score, and lots of ads for less expensive boats I'm seeing indicate that taking the boat away quickly is what will give buyers an edge.

Between these two facts, getting the moorage lined up and in pocket before I actually try to buy the boat seems to make sense. Has anyone else done it in this order?

The only thing I can think of that would make this a bad idea is that most places charge by the boat size so going into contract would mean I have to commit to a boat size before actually choosing a specific boat. But being under time pressure whilst I look for a place to put a boat I just bought seems like a bad idea.

Thoughts?
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Re: Order of operations

While Vancouver moorage has been tight, esp above 30 feet, things seem to have eased a bit and I've not heard lately of anyone bringing a boat in with no place to put it.

You're right about getting a slip and then finding a boat to fit it.. that can be awkward esp when THE boat turns out to be a few feet too long. To start with I think I'd concentrate on boats in marinas with transferrable moorage.

False Creek Fishermans' Wharf and Spruce Harbour Marina in False Creek allow moorage transfer, and Spruce Harbour has a co-op liveaboard section. There's another liveaboard marina just east of Granville Island (Pier 32?) but it's full, I believe, with mostly 35-40+ footers. Beyond that you're back to Bowen Island. There are several boats for sale there, as well as some badly neglected greenery that might be quite receptive to cold call offers, it's pretty clear there's not a lot of interest in those boats and some of them may just need a good cleaning. A trip over there and a talk with the marina office might be time well spent.

There's a Gulf 29 in Spruce Harbour that needs quite a bit of work but would be a great boat for what you want.. still asking a lot more than your budget but... but... it's on CL.

Ranger 29, Catalina 27 and 30, C&C 27,29, 30 are among what I think are minimal liveaboards for this region, there will be examples of these under $10K, but not many in the $5K region. I know, too, of a Douglas 32 currently being lived aboard that may come available soon, but no idea on the asking price - though bound to start on the high side..
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Re: Order of operations

Those all seem a bit big for me, though I appreciate experienced perspectives on 'minimal liveboard'. That said - I'm up for the challenge of a smaller craft. I moved here from Cali with one backpack and spent the prior few years essentially living on my bicycle out of a closet in San Francisco, so I'm acclimated as a dirt-based vagrant; hoping that will give me at least a little cred boasting that I could live on a sub-25'? :-$

But you read my mind... I'm actually going to spend the day in Bowen tomorrow just to get a feel for whether it's a fit location-wise - if the marina peeps know I'm looking they might be willing to keep my number.

Whilst I have your attention... Please don't poke fun at this question but...

I have no idea what insurance will cost, and no online resources seem helpful, since I don't yet actually have a boat to quote. But I need to budget, and have yet to find any resource telling me whether it's gonna be a butterfly or an Airbus A380...
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Re: Order of operations

Any marina will require at least 3rd party liability coverage. Any creditor will require insurance, and possibly a proper marine survey. If you are unschooled in boats in general, a pre purchase survey is a good idea but at time hard to justify for a $5K boat (although you have to ask yourself whether you can better afford to lose the $500 survey fee or the $5K pig-in-a-poke)

I'd expect insurance for a 20-25' boat to be quite reasonable.. perhaps 1.2-1.5% of assessed value.. although there could be a 'floor' (we pay around $500/yr on a $36K valuation) Liability only would be much less.

A legal liveaboard would have additional assessment (over and above the moorage fees of likely around $7 - 10 /ft/month.) I know Bowen has quite a few liveaboards now. They can advise on their actual rates and requirements.

Yes, I do think that 20-25 is small for wet coastal liveaboard.. I think a $5K budget is a bit light for what you want to do. However if you're a purist minimalist clearly you'd get by with less than I might.

Enjoy your day on Bowen.. it's a pretty cool place.
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Re: Order of operations

Quote:
Originally Posted by markarsenal View Post
The project manager in me wants, however, to start with a place to put it.
The project manager in you needs to consider the critical path and risk management. Oh - put your system engineer hat on and think about boundary conditions.

In North America and Europe most marinas that will allow liveaboards want to see you and at least pictures of your boat. They are concerned about tenants that will drag the marina down. Promises don't mean much.

What that means is that when you find the right boat you'll have to juggle a lot of balls in short order to find a place to go. Your contingency plan is to find a non-liveaboard place to keep the boat as one of: 1. sneakaboard, 2. frequent user (do you travel for work?), or 3. find another place to leave temporarily while you find a liveaboard slip.
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Re: Order of operations

In my marina here on San Francisco Bay the minimum length for a liveaboard is 30 feet.
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Re: Order of operations

s/v Sookie | Art of Hookie
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Re: Order of operations

OK, so in about 24 hours things changed as I visited a marina and looked at a couple boats and chatted with the marina owners and asked them for a job and...

Yeah, they were pretty much hiring my exact dream job(s), so I said "whilst I'm here asking you about your liveaboard availability and whether you know any boats for sale here, here's my resume"

Anyway, what I've sort of discovered is that ynz are all correct and I should go bigger both in boat size and budget, so I've started to scout out anything under 33' and $12k. I think at the very least this will give me the flexibility to find something sooner. Will also make me more scared of the boat (I've never been alone on anything but a 25'), at least at the beginning.

So yeah, uncle. Let's start shopping.
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Re: Order of operations

Quote:
Originally Posted by markarsenal View Post
Will also make me more scared of the boat (I've never been alone on anything but a 25')...
I went from 18' at 1,500# to a 25 that was 4,500# and was convinced I'd bitten off too much until about the 3rd time I used it (to be fair, the first 2 trips were with a 5hp engine).

Then I went to a 30' boat that weighs 8,650# and found it was no big deal.

Approach the dock at the speed with which you would like to hit it.

You'll be fine.

Ken
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Re: Order of operations

I often worry that my foredeck crew will fall asleep during one of my leisurely approaches!
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