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Old 08-26-2012, 11:12 PM   #1
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Marin County Live-Aboards?

So my wife & I left the West Coast about 6 years ago, ended up in Philly where we have now put our house up for sale. We will eventually settle in Marin County (have to be in the area for family obligations), but have yet to find the right house in the right place in the right condition. Considering the real estate market there, we find ourselves at a disadvantage not being local and able to scout out things when they first hit the market, even though we have a very competent realtor we are working with. We are also cruising more & more (retired) and would like to keep that up out West. The overall plan is to sell the Philly house and the Chesapeake-based trawler and buy a house in Marin County & an appropriate vessel out West, basing it in the North Bay area.

The question is -- if we bought the boat first, would it be possible to find a live aboard marina in the North Bay where we could "hang out" for 3-6 months while finding the right house? I know there have been significant live aboard issues in SF Bay in the past with legislated ratios, etc. But I have also heard that if you keep a low profile you will be welcome to stay at some marinas without "official" live aboard recognition. Anyone know the real story? Are there certain marinas that "look the other way" when you're there all the time and keep your nose (and the docks) clean?

Any info would be appreciated. Thanks,
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:39 PM   #2
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If you claim to be a transient, you should be able to get several "liveaboard" months. The Vallejo Municipal Marina has lots of vacancies, so your chances would be good there.

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Old 08-27-2012, 12:08 AM   #3
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A friend just spent 2 years on the waiting list for a Sausalito live-aboard. Emeryville seems to have availability and Oyster Point may also.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:56 AM   #4
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I just checked out several Bay Area marinas on Google Earth. I don't know when those satellite photos were taken, but there sure are a lot of empty slips around! Especially Vallejo and Oyster Point. Looks like they could use some more customers.

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Old 08-28-2012, 10:00 AM   #5
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I just checked out several Bay Area marinas on Google Earth. I don't know when those satellite photos were taken, but there sure are a lot of empty slips around! Especially Vallejo and Oyster Point. Looks like they could use some more customers.

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I'd say that is a fair assesment of the local marina scene. Things may be a bit fuller than the photos but many of the local marinas have space.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:31 AM   #6
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I'd say that is a fair assesment of the local marina scene. Things may be a bit fuller than the photos but many of the local marinas have space.
If you're saying that the Oyster Point and Vallejo marina's occupancy rate is representative of the Bay Area as a whole, I'd say you need to get out more often. Those two are possibly the least occupied marinas in the region.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:59 AM   #7
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If you're saying that the Oyster Point and Vallejo marina's occupancy rate is representative of the Bay Area as a whole, I'd say you need to get out more often. Those two are possibly the least occupied marinas in the region.
Fair enough, those marinas are the emptiest I remember. We haven't actively shopped the area in a couple months. When the wife and I had boat fever bad we kicked hulls in several marinas that seemed to have more than a few empty slips for midweek. We hardly made a dent in the bay as a whole, but the few I did call for rental info didn't turn me away.

In my opinion the facilities in the bay seemed far fresher/newer overall than delta facilities as a whole. Parts of Bethel Island where downright depressing to look at.

My general impression was locating dockage was not going to present much of a problem so we investigated it no further. If you are shopping for a specific marina you might be disappointed, but cast a broad net and I could find something adequate.
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