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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I'd join this forum since I'm a newbie sailor and there are probably a lot of people here whose experience I could definitely stand to learn from.

Currently I have a '76 Ericson 29 docked in Marina del Rey. I have lived aboard it for almost a year and really enjoyed it. My girlfriend wanted to move in too. Unfortunately the old anchorage closed for renovations and I moved to a new one where the dockmaster is more strict... so now it's more an uncomfortable combo of staying occasionally, sleeping in my car, and freeloading off my girlfriend's parents while I try to nuance my way into certified liveaboard status.

After a year or so more of living here the plan was to try to sail around the Caribbean, either by selling this boat and getting a new one down there, or trying to sail it all the way there. Both my girlfriend and I work remotely (me on videogames, and her on comics) so in theory we should be able to support ourselves, providing we can get internet occasionally.
 

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S/V Calypso
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Welcome aboard. There is a lot of great information and people here! I wish you luck on your temporary (hopefully) issue with the dockmaster.

-Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you! I've already gotten great advice in the maintenance forum on installing a holding tank, and also learned about composting Air Head toilets which I may just go with as they sound much better!
 

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2008 Jeanneau 39i S/V Grace
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Yeah, there is tons of info to be gleaned here. Welcome to the neighborhood. Which basin are you in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm almost hesitant to say because of the current situation with the dockmaster and this being a public forum (though I doubt he browses it) but let's just say I'm near Burton Chase park :]
 

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S/V Calypso
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I've heard the composting heads are great as long as EVERYONE has good aim and directs the correct waste down the correct hole. That can be a challenge for the ladies when healed over steeply or so I've read anyway.
 

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2008 Jeanneau 39i S/V Grace
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Understood. I'm in G, Probably not too far from you. Stop by SCCYC. I'll buy you a round.
 

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How do we find out who the dockmasters are? Is someone living alone more likely to get approved by the dockmaster? Is age also a factor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would say that living alone is a minor factor in getting approved for liveaboard, although it certainly helps. I doubt age is much of a factor. From what I can tell there is a growing stigma against liveaboards in Marina del Rey --- and what is most likely to get you "legit" liveaboard now is having a 35'+ boat, a well-paying job for which you can provide pay stubs (or similar proof of wealth), a good credit rating, and of course a willingness to pay 1.5X the slip rental fee... thus proving you aren't a deadbeat or crackhead, I guess.

My boat is 29', and while I considered trying for legit liveaboard, it became increasingly clear that the dockmasters here do not want liveaboards, least of all ones living on smaller boats. I decided it wasn't worth risking getting kicked out for the "privilege" of paying 1.5X the rent, so I opted for the sneakaboard route. I've done so for two years in MDR and haven't had problems for the most part, even the legit liveaboard down the dock appreciates the situation.

Here's where you can find all the anchorages:
Marina del Rey - Anchorage list
 

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Wow thank you all so so much for taking the time to respond in such detail! I really appreciate your expertise. Boating is such a complicated culture, so I appreciate the clarification.

Yah, it seems it is too difficult to have the living situation I am looking for. Of course if I want anything bad enough I can work to get it but from a cost-saving standpoint, this doesn't seem too practical.

I guess I should just rent a night or 2 here and there whenever I want to get the feel that I live on a boat.

Thanks and happy sailing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'd say it's actually fairly easy at certain anchorages, and actually cheaper than an apartment, provided you know the trick: if, when applying for a slip, you're asked if you'll liveaboard, just say "no." Not "maybe..." but NO. :]
 

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Ok you've given me hope. I really do want to pursue this dream. I guess my first step is to get me a slip. That will be tough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Starting off is a bit of a Catch 22 as anchorages won't give you a slip without you having a boat. You need to secure a boat first, then comes the awkward transition of the boat's prior owner gradually easing ownership over to you as you frantically try to find a place to put it.

In the next couple months I may be forced against my will to sell a very cozy '76 Ericson 29 which is docked in MDR, nicely maintained and already decked out for liveaboard use. If I do, I'll send you a PM just in case you're interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It may sound stressful, but it's definitely a dream worth pursuing. Once you get there, it's amazing... I can't imagine living in an LA apartment, now that I've had a taste of the boat life. And you can go sailing whenever you want, affordably.
 

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If you are willing to move, Channel Islands Harbor has lots of vacancies and several marina's allow liveaboards.
 
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