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Old 08-13-2017, 07:37 PM   #1
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The Benefits of Liveaboards to a Marina

I will never understand why a lot of marinas poo-poo liveaboards. There are so many who do not allow liveaboards. I have to say...we are your first set of security eyes. We are your first responders. Often, we are your preventative action.

Thursday night, as I was about to go to bed, when I turned on both switches in my stateroom (in every room, one set is DC and one set is AC). Because I live on my boat and know her intimately, I immediately noted that the DC set was just "off" a hair in brightness. THAT concerned me. It was late, so I went to the pilothouse and confirmed with the gauges that I was still "in the green" on the house bank, so being the hour it was, I turned off the breaker to the battery charger and went to bed.

The next morning, I had plans with friends to go lobstering. I turned the breaker on and took a look at the remote panel on the pilothouse dash and noticed the "lights" weren't right. I went into the genny room and noticed the green lights were not "on" on the charger itself. I assumed the fairly new charger had taken a crap. Nothing I could do about it at that time, so I turned off everything 32-volt, with the exception of the bilge pumps. I didn't have time to mess with it, and since it was a Canadian product, I knew I couldn't just run out and buy a new one that day. I turned the breaker back off.

Next day, I got up bright and early and started my troubleshooting. I turned on the battery charger breaker (it's a 220v, 32 volt charger) and the remote panel at the pilothouse dash began burning. Shut it all down. Went back into the genny room and disconnected the wires that went to the remote panel. Everything went back to normal, and now, I have 32-volt DC power without the smoke and potential fire.

I have to wonder what would have happened had I not been here, not been even so familiar with my boat to notice the ever so slightest bit of dimness to know something was wrong. Every boat owner leaves the battery charger on, right? I mean...who turns off the life line to your bilge pumps when you're away? I wonder if being a liveaboard may have stopped a marina fire from starting. I'm glad I don't have to wonder the outcome today. My marina, Dinner Key Marina, in Miami, welcomes liveaboards, as all marina should, and I am grateful for being able to live HERE.

I pay a surcharge to be a liveaboard. It should really be the other way around, but I don't care. I am the first to report to management of a water break, leak in the pump out vacuum system, or criminal activity. And they are very apprciative. It's a City Marina, so it's not like they have the ability to give liveaboards a discount. At the same time, when I see a water fountain coming up on the pier, I make surer my tanks are topped off because I know water is about to be shut down for repairs. I'm also the boat known to people having been caught in a row boat between me any my neighbor, as being locked and loaded. You show up banging against my boat at 2AM...and that will get a cap in your ass. Funny, how they NEVER expect that as they start rowing backwards as fast as they can with full apologies. LOL
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Old 08-13-2017, 08:54 PM   #2
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Ok, here is sort of a long story. It has to do with a boat so perhaps the stories point will come across. On our honeymoon my wife and I went to Fiji. We spent a week on a live aboard dive ship. About a month before we went gas prices started to go crazy. It was in the fall of 2005 when they started going up and up. Well the management of the the live aboard sent out a letter indicating that a fuel surcharge might be added. Since the fees had already been paid and papers signed the management knew that they could not legally apply a surcharge so the Captain held a meeting when all the guests had arrived and politely asked if anyone would like to pay the surcharge that will be applied to later trips. After we, the passengers on that trip finished laughing, I asked if the price of fuel miraculous got cut in half would the management refund a portion of the trip cost. Well a I don't have to tell you the look I got or the answer I received to that question.
So what's the point to all of this you might ask. Well when you alert the marina of a problem you save them money so they love you but most of the time they see you as an added expense. So once again you are affecting their wallet and a lot people only seem to remember the negative when it comes to the almighty dollar.
Sorry if the point of all of this is a little vague or of topic.
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:29 PM   #3
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Mermaid,

For every 10 good live aboards there is one dirt ball. It only takes one thief, drug addict, wife beater, or guy with a boat that's always sinking or looks like it should be hauled off to the landfill, to ruin it for everyone else. Lots of dirt balls see living aboard as cheap and off the radar. For municipalities trying to avoid being discriminatory, it's just easier to ban all live aboards.

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Old 08-13-2017, 09:52 PM   #4
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Liveaboards are an asset to any marina. I have too many stories on how they have saved boats from sinking, burning, being burglered, etc. Boating is a community. The more community the better.

If you have a boat moored in a marina, seek out the liveaboards, get to know them, get their phone numbers, bring them vegetables.
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:21 PM   #5
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A lot of liveaboards need constant policing. Paint gets spilled or ongoing projects never end. They collect things and have them stacked all over their boat. Soon the things collect on the dock. Other boat owners complain. The marina is always trying to get compliance. After awhile, they get tired of the problems. In some areas, local authorities make it illegal or very difficult for a marine to have liveaboards. Columbia County, Oregon for one.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:30 AM   #6
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And then there are the liveaboards who repeatedly trash the bathroom/shower and the laundry facilities. Sadly, it is the bad apples who spoil it for the whole barrel.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:39 AM   #7
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At my marina and I suspect many others, the choice is not up to the marina, it's the local jurisdiction. My marina's operating permit prohibits liveaboards (and sailboats).


This doesn't mean we cannot stay aboard our boats for a few days, but we can't live there.


Some liveaboards would be an asset to a marina but many folks who choose to live on a boat in a marina are doing it as a "cheap" way to live. It's easy for a marina to turn into a "trailer park" without the wheels.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:24 AM   #8
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And then there are the liveaboards who repeatedly trash the bathroom/shower and the laundry facilities. Sadly, it is the bad apples who spoil it for the whole barrel.
I was in a marina where the liveaboards 'moved in' to the bathhouse. You went into a shower stall and they had their soap, shampoo, towels, toiletry bags staged in the shower stalls like it was their en-suite bathroom at home.

I started piling their crap outside of the bathhouse. They eventually got the picture.

I was at a marina where the liveaboards started leaving their chairs and tables and even electric grills on the main dock. It was to the point that you couldn't roll a dock cart down the dock. In their mind, they were there 7 days a week and that was their 'patio'. They didn't care that they would only see me on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:31 AM   #9
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The marina beside our club has three distinct types of liveaboard. The marina also owns the bottom it is situated on so the city has no regulatory powers to legislate liveaboard boats. They tried and lost.




1. There is the group that liveaboard by financial necessity with old broken down boats that never seem to need a pumpout. The marina is slowly weeding out this group with requirements for surveys etc.


2. Houseboats are welcome with rules about condition and pumpouts. Most of this group just loves living on the water and are retired or gainfully employed. 3 marina staff do this and their boats are always pristine.


3. Professionals that liveaboard by choice. This group have nice newer boats and most of them cruise frequently. We have airline pilots, ER Doctors, Nuclear Engineers, writers and Marine Professionals along with the usual shoreside well paying jobs. The marina loves these types and has built new docks that will accept up to 78 foot boats. That dock is now full and they are planning the next one which will slowly eliminate the item #1 crowd as each old dock is removed and the new ones are installed.
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:01 PM   #10
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Our yacht club marina allows live-aboards who pay extra. They are also the dock captains who keep an eye out for vessel problems and intruders. More than one boat was saved from sinkin' or burnin' (fuel leak) by our dock captain.
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:14 PM   #11
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Here in Seward Alaska as far as I know we do not even differentiate between liveaboards and others. No fee or limitations as far as I know.

We seem to have allot of "summer liveaboards" that show up in April and are gone in October. Retired showbirds I suppose, or like us folks with flexible job schedules. I'm sitting on the boat right now, working. Am I living aboard? We have a house so I suppose no.

There are a few hearty winter liveaboards, and it appears that they are either young and on a sail boat, or retired and on a older trawler. Neither group seems to cause problems.
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:15 PM   #12
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Dirtballs, insurance and local laws are all or a combination of factors is some cases.
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:07 PM   #13
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How would a marina even know if you were a liveaboard ? Is there a definition, like if you spend 6 nights/week aboard you are a liveaboard, but 5 nights or less and you aren't ? Does someone check how often you are there ?

I would think it would be easier to regulate the "nuisance factors" rather than just ban all liveaboards. Have rules for leaving stuff on the dock, or in common areas, all boats have to be in operating condition, etc.

It makes sense that there is an extra charge for liveaboards as they consume more resources than other boaters. If the cost to the marina is higher, their fees should be higher. However, as mentioned above, they do save the marina money with their vigilance and observation, but I'm not sure everyone would have that viewpoint. I suspect that attitude is more prevalent at a yacht club ( where members have a vested interest in the operation ) than in a marina, but that's just a guess.
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:12 PM   #14
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How would a marina even know if you were a liveaboard ? ............
Seriously? Marina staff and other boaters are not that stupid.


Read my post #7 above.
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:20 PM   #15
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How would a marina even know if you were a liveaboard ? Is there a definition, like if you spend 6 nights/week aboard you are a liveaboard, but 5 nights or less and you aren't ? Does someone check how often you are there ?

I would think it would be easier to regulate the "nuisance factors" rather than just ban all liveaboards. Have rules for leaving stuff on the dock, or in common areas, all boats have to be in operating condition, etc.

It makes sense that there is an extra charge for liveaboards as they consume more resources than other boaters. If the cost to the marina is higher, their fees should be higher. However, as mentioned above, they do save the marina money with their vigilance and observation, but I'm not sure everyone would have that viewpoint. I suspect that attitude is more prevalent at a yacht club ( where members have a vested interest in the operation ) than in a marina, but that's just a guess.
I've seen moorage agreements that indicate "no more thasn X nights aboard a month"
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Old 08-14-2017, 03:27 PM   #16
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Seriously? Marina staff and other boaters are not that stupid.


.
I know they aren't stupid...I wasn't implying that...I guess it's just such a vague status that I don't know how it could be enforced. As you said yourself "we can stay there we just can't live there..." that's a very subtle distinction, and it would be a labor intensive process to police it, and relatively easy to circumvent the rules. Depending on the size of the liveaboard surcharge, you might be able to pay for a cheap hotel room every two weeks.... would that make you a non-liveaboard ? What if you went and slept on the boat next door once in a while ? What if you slept at home but were on your boat 18 hours/day every day..... I know these are silly examples...but I'm just trying to point out that even though we all know what a liveaboard is, if there are rules and bylaws pertaining to it, there must be a strict definition of it. Once you define it, you create loopholes around it.

And the greater the surcharge is, the more motivation there is to avoid that status.
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Old 08-14-2017, 03:53 PM   #17
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I know they aren't stupid...I wasn't implying that...I guess it's just such a vague status that I don't know how it could be enforced. As you said yourself "we can stay there we just can't live there..." that's a very subtle distinction, and it would be a labor intensive process to police it, and relatively easy to circumvent the rules. Depending on the size of the liveaboard surcharge, you might be able to pay for a cheap hotel room every two weeks.... would that make you a non-liveaboard ? What if you went and slept on the boat next door once in a while ? What if you slept at home but were on your boat 18 hours/day every day..... I know these are silly examples...but I'm just trying to point out that even though we all know what a liveaboard is, if there are rules and bylaws pertaining to it, there must be a strict definition of it. Once you define it, you create loopholes around it.

And the greater the surcharge is, the more motivation there is to avoid that status.
At my marina the operating permit does not allow them to have liveaboards. To overlook liveaboards would jeopardize their permit and possibly result in a fine or revocation of their permit.

You can come up with the "what ifs" all you want to but it's not going to make a difference.
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Old 08-14-2017, 04:09 PM   #18
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bring them vegetables.
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Old 08-14-2017, 04:16 PM   #19
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And then there are the liveaboards who repeatedly trash the bathroom/shower and the laundry facilities. Sadly, it is the bad apples who spoil it for the whole barrel.
Sounds like bad management and their failure to clean facilities and address issues in a timely manner.

If you went into a restaurant and noticed the tables, floors and walls were grubby, do you blame the patrons or the owner?
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:01 PM   #20
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At my Marina liveaboards are common, in part because you can walk to the CBD (Downtown). They pay $50/wk extra for the privilege. Water and power is free to all, so they get a reasonable deal.

No real issues, except that some dingbats keep breaking the washing machines. They are the type that plays a tune when finished, however you still have to wait 30 seconds before the door unlocks. You guessed - some people think its jammed and rip it open. I jointly blame the manufacturers (just delay the tune you idiots!) but also the users who can't read the sign explaining how to use the machines. Rant is because as a berth owner the cost of the all too frequent repair comes out of the maintenance levy I pay.
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