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jimi71 03-10-2007 05:17 PM

Liveaboard: Big Island, Hawaii
I was talking to a friend of mine who said that the only liveaboard marina in Hawaii was on Oahu. Does anyone know if that is true? Or are there other liveaboard marinas?

I am specifically looking in the are of HILO on the Big Island.

The marinas I found through a general google search did not have the best websites with info.

I appreciate any help... thanks!

c2cSailor 03-12-2007 02:34 PM

Hi, I visited a friend on Oahu in January. There are two liveaboard marinas that I know of, there may be more. One is Ale Wei Marina in downtown Waikiki (nicer and safer of the two). The other (Keehi Marine Center) is run by the state and if you have a nice boat, every last thing will get stolen from it. I didn't see a boat any younger than 30yrs and they all looked like salvage or boat auction.

jimi71 03-12-2007 05:46 PM

Thanks for that information. And you are right, the more information I dig up on liveaboard marinas in Hawaii the more problems I am seeing with them (as you mentioned the crime factor). I will keep adding information to this post and would appreciate any more insight from those who live or have stayed in some of these marinas.

Thank you!

camaraderie 03-12-2007 06:54 PM

Jim...didn't know whether to put this link here or under Hunter's but thought you might be interested:
A Hunter Loses Rudder off Hawaii

Certainly speaks to why you need a stout vessel for the Hawaii run.

wildcard 03-12-2007 07:28 PM

It's all pretty much true and sad. The islands have so much potential but the local run mafia just sucks the cash off and refuses to do any repairs. Ko olina also has live aboard slips but it too is on Oahu. Ya cant even anchor up and stay or the DLNR nazis will be all over you...Here is a link for any desired info.

wildcard 03-12-2007 07:33 PM


Originally Posted by camaraderie
Jim...didn't know whether to put this link here or under Hunter's but thought you might be interested:
A Hunter Loses Rudder off Hawaii

Certainly speaks to why you need a stout vessel for the Hawaii run.

It speaks of a need for some common sense. Why make the run in winter? This is expected weather.

jimi71 03-18-2007 01:52 PM

Like you said, Wildcard, so much potential. I've been to the islands many times and often dreamed of living in a marina there... before I started researching this, I figured the islands would be loaded with oppurtunities to live aboard... turns out that they are slimmer than I had hoped. The two biggest factors would be crime/security and the allowance of pets at the marinas, so far they are coming up short on both.

Please keep the info coming I appreciate it all!


func 05-02-2007 10:38 PM


I lived on the Big Island, Kona side, for a couple years recently. Having lived aboard a boat in Vancouver, BC, I figured that'd be a great way to go there. Couldn't find any space though - the only harbors are man-made, and demand is high. Honokohau Harbor, near where I worked, had a 10 year waiting list for berths. And was definitely not an official live aboard place, but you know how that works.

There is one spot that caught my eye over by Spencer Beach Park, still on the west side of the island - there's a little breakwater built there with some sail boats anchored in it. You can see it in Google Earth - 20 1'36.46"N 15549'33.33"W. Not much for facilities. No idea who runs it either. Got in trouble with the locals for kitesurfing there - drifted downwind into the shark heiau. I didn't want to be there either, but luckily I ran into the locals before the sharks.

I also noticed a couple sailboats anchored in the Hilo harbour behind the big breakwater, but I wasn't too interested in that side of the island - too far to commute. I did come across a lot of complaints about the general state of the marinas in Hawaii while I was researching.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

udbmello2 05-04-2007 02:26 PM

Big Island Living
Just in from the Big Island about 6 months ago.

You can live aboard inside of the Port Authority (USCG & Cruise Ships Dock here), but with a 3 year waiting list...

There is a nice place to anchor, Reed's Bay, just a mile North of the Basin. If you're on a Cat, you can get real close, 50 feet from shore if you draw more than three. No matter where you are in Hilo, there is little protection from the East side. And the winds do kick up plenty of chop.

The Kona side Marina (Honokohau) has plenty of slips, but none are live aboards. Nice Marina, lots of charters here.

Kawaihae is on the NW side of the Big Island and they offer slips there. I've never been too far into the marina - one time late at night to pick up my husband and his sailing buddies, came in from Oahu - so I can't tell you about slip rentals or live aboards. Protection is better here.

As far as sailing goes on the Big Island...not very popular. Sailing to Oahu is a breeze, but sailing to the Big Island from there can be tricky, it's against everything.

That's why most of the sailors -few there are - spend their time on Oahu.

By the way, living on land in Hilo is no picnic either...It rains A LOT. Kona is the dry side and if you like sunny and warm, nice beaches (not much for beaches in Hilo either), go Kona. Aloha.

Cheers & Happy Sails.

katejoy 11-30-2007 03:58 PM

I Grew up on the big Island and am living there currently. I'm having the same problems,
1) There are no places you can live aboard, not only that if you even just want to sail over and keep your boat here - there is no spots open.
2) Living off of an area like spenser (which I have to add is a great idea, that would be a sweet spot) Is not something you can do. That is the shark gods worship area. And I might add that the shark was King Kamahmeahas amukua (which is kinda like a native american sprit animal) so Its extra important to the hawaiian people. Oh and king kamahmeaha is a preatty big deal.

Oh there is also a "super fairy" coming over, thats not how you spell that kinda fairy, I know...... just woke up, sorry

Anyways there are alot of obsticals, but this is an amazing place. And I think if you have an intrest in it you should not give up. I have pulled off some preatty strange **** in my life, and with everyone telling me there is no way to do it. But Im stubborn as hell, and sometimes you have to be when your going for a dream. Plus, easy stuff is boring
Good luck and let me know how it goes,

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