Living aboard near Norfolk, VA. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-30-2011 Thread Starter
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Smile Living aboard near Norfolk, VA.

Hello all. I am looking for some advice about living aboard in the areas in and around Norfolk, mainly concerning marina's friendly to liveaboards, things to look for when choosing a marina, dealing with weather, and any other pertinent advice one could give to a new liveaboard.

I consider myself a fledgling sailor, having learned by experience with a friend back in the '80's while in the Navy. Those were day trips on a Catalina 27 and occurred on not nearly enough saturdays to suit me. After a nearly 20 year period of dreaming (and not sailing) I purchased my first boat, an Endeavour 32, to sail on Kentucky lake. Spending many weekends overnight on the lake kicked my dreams into overdrive and although my financial situation dictated I sell my E32, I have now decided to pursue them.

My plan is to save in the next couple of years and purchase a blue water capable boat large enough for me to live aboard. I am looking at something 36' to 40' in length. I'll save the specifics of my boat requirements for a more appropriate forum but the boat I choose will most likely have a full keel so water depth will be an issue. I haven't yet decided on a specific place to berth the boat but the area in and around the Chesapeake appear to be a pretty good choice. Since I build bridges for a living, the availability of construction jobs will play a major role in my choices as will weather patterns. One of the reasons the Norfolk area looked to be a good choice was that it appeared to offer at least some protection from hurricanes.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Take care all and thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-14-2011
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Hey yea Dean,, I feel your plan to the fullest. I myself have a five year plan.

1st year I am saving as much money as I can.

2nd year, I am buying a small cheap live aboard sailboat and learn to sail while I travel a bit.

3rd and 4th years, Get back to work and save while I live aboard,

5th year buy a bigger more bad asser boat and cruise and work part time when I can.


See you on the blue!!
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-15-2011
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Dean-
I'm not sure what the issue is, but liveaboards are an issue out here. I don't remember this problem on the west coast. I live in Hampton Roads and am looking at a job up in DC. I figured I'd take my 35 up and find a marina to stay in for a year or so, staying there during the week and coming home (or sailing) on the weekends. No dice. Every time I mention sleeping on the boat the gate closes. "No Liveaboards Allowed." I really don't get it. Bottom line, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. There are a lot of marinas here, there are also a lot of boats. Coincidentally, there are a lot of boats for sale, too. In any case, make sure you can find a marina that allows liveaboards AND has open slips.

Mike

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post #4 of 15 Old 07-15-2011
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Fort Monroe in Hampton at Point Comfort is closing. I was told that the military operated marina will become "civilian". It might be wise to keep an eye on what opportunities develop there. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-15-2011
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The issue with liveaboards at marinas has a lot to do with their insurance. There are some marinas in both Portsmouth and Hampton that allow liveaboards. I have only heard about the marinas in Hampton, but I have been to marinas in p-town and they typically have slips available.

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post #6 of 15 Old 07-15-2011
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Quote:
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Fort Monroe in Hampton at Point Comfort is closing. I was told that the military operated marina will become "civilian". It might be wise to keep an eye on what opportunities develop there. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
We're all watching that one closely; it's a great location! I believe the property has been turned over to the state, but from what I hear they haven't decided what they're doing yet, i.e. make it private or public. It really is a great location, something to keep any eye on! OPCYC may be able to help you, they're directly affected by what's going on.

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Last edited by McMikeJr; 07-15-2011 at 08:23 AM. Reason: added OPC link
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-15-2011
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Hey Dean We live on an E-32 and hve sailed the east in great comfort. Theres Sandy Point marina that we really liked and I know there were many live aboards.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-15-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information everybody! I think it's a shame that liveaboards have such a negative image in the eyes of marina managers and the public in general. I read alot of articles/posts about derelict boats cluttering up harbors. Funny thing is that the pictures I see of them have nobody aboard. Town managers don't try to run everybody out of town when a select few junk up their properties. They just fine them, then charge them for the cost of cleanup. I'm sure they could locate the owners to rectify the situation. If they arent registered/documented, impound them, sell the boats, and apply the money to harbor upkeep. It's pretty easy to toss a few bad apples off the tree. Don't burn the tree in the process!

with any luck, I'll only need to stay in a marina for a year or two at most. After that, I'll be gone over the horizon, at least fr a few years!

Take care everybody!
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McMikeJr View Post
Dean-
I'm not sure what the issue is, but liveaboards are an issue out here. I don't remember this problem on the west coast. I live in Hampton Roads and am looking at a job up in DC. I figured I'd take my 35 up and find a marina to stay in for a year or so, staying there during the week and coming home (or sailing) on the weekends. No dice. Every time I mention sleeping on the boat the gate closes. "No Liveaboards Allowed." I really don't get it. Bottom line, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. There are a lot of marinas here, there are also a lot of boats. Coincidentally, there are a lot of boats for sale, too. In any case, make sure you can find a marina that allows liveaboards AND has open slips.

Mike
Some marinas in DC area have a limited number of liveaboard slips, mostly due to infrastructure, insufficient parking spaces, etc. Some have waiting lists, others allow living aboard only on weeknights. Lots of marinas in Annapolis have liveaboard spaces available, commuter busses to DC, and the added advantage of being 10 minutes to great sailing instead of being waaay upriver in the Potomac to be in DC proper. Baltimore also has lots of liveaboard availability, and cheaper than Annapolis.
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-16-2011
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Dean,
While on active duty in Norfolk I lived aboard on my 36 ft Jeanneau at Salt Ponds Marina in Hampton. Their channel tends to shoal, but I had a shoal draft and never had a major issues. I went aground once but that was before I new about the shoaling. After that never any issues. They have since dredged, but I would recommend a shoal draft since the bay is shallow. Salt Ponds was very nice, quiet and not very expensive. Good luck.
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