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Hi all, it's been a while since I lasted posted. So I'm looking for a good U.S. city for sailing, living aboard, and working. I want a place where I could live on the boat...either at a slip or off the hook. I'll be working at a job during the week and then sailing on the weekends. Anyone know of a perfect U.S. location for this?
 

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I hear Seattle is a good place to live aboard and pretty good sailing in the PNW. Lots of jobs too. Cold, wet, and dreary though.
 

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islander bahama 24
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Depends on what you do for a living. You could sail the Puget sound in the pnw for the rest of your life and still not spend time in each inlet or cove. Weather is mild year round here. Not to hot in summer not to cold in winter.
 

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San Diego

I don't even live there. But it's the best for everything.
 

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The answer to this will be different for each person because everybody will have their own definition of what makes a town perfect.

For me, a place like Merritt Island is perfect because it is small enough to be relatively free of crime and congestion, the people are friendly and down to earth, the area has a good economic base for the kind of work that I do, and it is close to some larger cities and airports so when I need that cosmopolitan experience it isn't too hard to get it. The climate is really nice, too - the winters can get a bit chilly but overall it's not too bad.

And, oh yeah, the sailing is awesome here! Lock controlled access to the Atlantic and good sailing on the Indian and Banana Rivers.

It's not quite the big rock candy mountain, but it's close!
 
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Part of it has to do with what you want to do for a living, and part has to do with what kind of weather you like. I don't think I could survive the Florida summers, and don't really mind the upstate New York winters, but it does bring it's own live aboard challenges. If you want to be on the East Coast I think it would be tough to beat the Chesapeake as far as work/sailing balance. On the West Coast you have basically your choice of three areas, San Diego, San Fran, or PNW depending on your weather choice. If you are interested in the Hotel Restaurant business then that opens up some areas like North Carolina/South Carolina, Gulf Coast and Florida. New York/Boston/RI/Portland Maine all have there advantages as well if you like colder winters and more employment opportunities.

My ideal place would be Hawaii, but from my understanding the live aboard is hard to do there. I have family there and will likely end up there eventually.
 

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Basically, as I see it, you need a place that has three qualities:

1) You can sail year round. There are decent places to sail to for one night, a weekend, a week. The wind is such that you can reliably sail, instead of motor, most of the time. There is an active community to cruise and/or race. There are reliable marine services.
2) You can get into a decent marina that allows live-aboards without having to wait for a year. There are other live-aboards there, so a sense of community. You can get decent wifi and other facilities: laundry, clean showers, nearby groceries and other services.
3) You can easily find a job within a reasonable driving distance that pays competitive wages. There is decent public transportation available from the marina or you have a car and you can keep it nearby.

#1 and #2 are fairly fixed, but it does to some extent, as others have noted, depend on your climate preference. #3 is completely dependent on what you do for a living.

IMHO, any place with "real" winter fails test #1. San Fran, and other places, fail #2. I am especially sad about this, because SF seems like one of the best sailing cities in the US and I am a computer programmer, so jobs are plentiful. Sounds like finding a decent live-aboard marina is not going to happen.

Tell us what you do for a living, and we will give you much better answers.
 

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s/v Tiger Lily
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The stretch of the western shore of the Chesapeake spanning from Annapolis to Baltimore gives you access to a thriving sailing community and commuting distances to Washington DC and Baltimore. Like many places, the number of marinas that allow full time liveaboards is shrinking, but there are still some in this area.
 

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I think we need more specifics, do you want cold weather or warm? Snowy winters, or rain. Hurricanes or earthquakes :) Islands or San deigo? How much are you looking to spend, I know seattle is really expensive and has waiting lists of up to 10 years, but you could find a marina outside of seattle and get it right away. San Fransisco is like the US's most expensive city. I don't know about other places.
 

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Personally, the PNW and Puget Sound (outside of Seattle) is where I'd be and may be at some point in time (lived in Bellingham, WA for 3 years).

I couldn't be paid to live in California.
 

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San Diego or Annapolis. Both have decent transportation/walking, good to great sailing, and job markets. In Annapolis you could work in Baltimore or DC. If you can't find a job, you aren't looking.
 

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Job situation on west coast of FLorida sucks...unless you want to be a waiter or line-cook during busy season and unemployed during the summer!
It's not too bad around the Tampa Bay area.

And now, since the OP was completely vague in his question, providing us with no criteria to determine what he might consider "best," here is my answer....

Ogallala, Nebraska.

I learned how to sail on Lake McConaughy, and I have a friend who lives aboard a houseboat there every summer. There are always jobs available in the area--though they may not be what the OP has in mind. But since I haven't got the first clue what the OP has in mind, I guess that doesn't matter. So that's my answer. Clearly the best and most useful answer so far!
 

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I know seattle is really expensive and has waiting lists of up to 10 years
There are liveaboard marinas with waiting lists of a month or two, like Ballard Mill. It isn't a very clean marina, but it is cheap.

Shilshole and Elliot Bay likely have ~1 year waiting lists for a liveaboard spot. They are the nicest marinas in town for doing a lot of sailing and weekend cruising, but aren't as well located for actual living (you can't easily walk to a good grocery store for instance).
 

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Ogallala, Nebraska.
Williston, North Dakota.

There's tons of work on rigs in the Bakken oil patch and although there's a terrible shortage of housing you can solve that problem by plopping your live-aboard boat down in the tail of Lake Sakakawea.

Do bundle the boat up tight, it gets to -50ºF in the winter.
 
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