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Old 04-15-2014, 10:15 PM   #1
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Liveaboard limitation in FLA?

Shopping for a marina in the Melbourne, FL area for out hopefully soon-to-be acquired trawler. The plan is for someone (a family member) to live on the boat for the next few years, while we get ourselves ready to head off down the Carribean.

When talking to one marina, we were told that they can't have someone living on a boat in their marina for more than 6 months out of any consecutive 12 months, because of some property tax regulation. Does anyone have any more information on this? It's the first we'd heard of it.

Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:11 PM   #2
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Shopping for a marina in the Melbourne, FL area for out hopefully soon-to-be acquired trawler. The plan is for someone (a family member) to live on the boat for the next few years, while we get ourselves ready to head off down the Carribean.

When talking to one marina, we were told that they can't have someone living on a boat in their marina for more than 6 months out of any consecutive 12 months, because of some property tax regulation. Does anyone have any more information on this? It's the first we'd heard of it.

Thanks!
Liveaboard rules vary town by town, marina by marina. About all you can do is look for recommendations of marinas and check on your own as well. I can tell you this as well, your likelihood of getting a liveaboard slip is greater in person than on the phone.

Melbourne Harbor has live aboard slips.

Harbortown at Merritt Island.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:09 AM   #3
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Brian,
Many marinas have a no live aboard policy, but don't enforce it unless they need to. If you are a good neighbor and keep your boat up you may be okay even if there is a policy prohibiting. Just don't tell the staff you are living aboard and be sure to pull the boat from the dock occasionally. Here is a link to some info on marina along the east coast. Many of them have their website listed and you can view their lease agreements, rules and policies, etc. Good luck.

Cruiser's Net » Marinas EF – All
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:12 AM   #4
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Brian,

If pressed about being a live aboard, simply explain that you are a permanent cruiser.
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:00 AM   #5
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... Just don't tell the staff you are living aboard and be sure to pull the boat from the dock occasionally. ... l
Most boats don't seem to ever leave the dock. I was once so accused, but then we usually "sail" during weekdays, most frequently Mondays and Fridays.
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:06 AM   #6
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Brian,

If pressed about being a live aboard, simply explain that you are a permanent cruiser.
No, you're a transient.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:51 AM   #7
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Just look o different cruising guides for marinas with liveaboard fees...the fees may not make it automatically OK for 365 days...but even one night off/mo usually satisfies even restrictive rules.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:49 AM   #8
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Cocoa Village Marina is just north of Melbourne and allows liveaboards with no extra fees. They rent month-to-month for as long as you'd like.

You can see the basics at this link : Leasing – Cocoa Village Marina offers boat slips for short & long-term rent

Good luck in your search...
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:26 AM   #9
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No, you're a transient.
It depends on how long you stay or maybe it's a Florida thing. . Our marina uses the term transient for daily or weekly stays and the term cruiser for monthly or longer.

Transient Dockage Rates*
Daily Rate: $1.75/boat foot Length Overall
(4 days or more, more favorable weekly rate applies)

*Electric is included
Transient Rates do not include the Sales Tax (7%) & Land Lease Fee (6%)

Monthly dockage - Non Full Time Cruisers
$10/slip foot

Catamarans (non-full time cruisers) or Full Time Cruiser (non-catamaran)
$13.35/slip foot

Catamarans Full Time Cruisers
$16.65/slip foot

Full Time Cruiser rates include two free pump outs per month.

Electric additional
5% & 10% discounts for prepaid 6 and 12 month leases
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:13 AM   #10
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Thanks, all! Good info. I'll go talk to the marina guy in person, and see if I can find out if there are any loopholes, such as taking the boat out of the marina at least a couple times per month.

mfeene01, Cocoa Village is, unfortunately, a little too far north. Our "liveaboarder" is a college student at FIT in Melbourne, and he has classes 4-5 days a week. Too far to drive between there and Cocoa Village that often. But thanks!
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:59 AM   #11
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Too bad Cocoa is a nice little town, loved anchoring off there. You can sometimes get around the live aboard thing by not having the marina as your legal address, just have mail forwarded there. But as noted different towns and marinas have different requirements.

By the way, I loved WFIT, they have great music shows in the mornings. I once made a donation to their pledge drive while motoring up the ICW; the guy got a big kick out of that and put me on the air. I still stream the "Sound Waves" and World Cafe shows now and then and get their e-mail bulletins and throw a few bucks their way. All you cruisers check them out @ 89.5
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:19 AM   #12
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Brian,
Many marinas have a no live aboard policy, but don't enforce it unless they need to. If you are a good neighbor and keep your boat up you may be okay even if there is a policy prohibiting. Just don't tell the staff you are living aboard and be sure to pull the boat from the dock occasionally. [/url]
That really isn't very true in Florida. Most marinas have very specific rules, often governed by their permits to operate or their leases if their water is leased from the state. It's actually very difficult at this point to build new marinas in Florida with liveaboard slips. So marinas are not generally going to risk trouble by allowing liveaboards if not permitted for them or in exceeding the number permitted.

In some parts of the country the choice to allow liveaboards is simply a marina preference and therefore is flexible, but in Florida it is generally tied to their permit to operate.

Still there are available live aboard slips throughout the state, just might not be in the marina that is your first choice.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:22 AM   #13
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That really isn't very true in Florida. Most marinas have very specific rules, often governed by their permits to operate or their leases if their water is leased from the state. It's actually very difficult at this point to build new marinas in Florida with liveaboard slips. So marinas are not generally going to risk trouble by allowing liveaboards if not permitted for them or in exceeding the number permitted.

In some parts of the country the choice to allow liveaboards is simply a marina preference and therefore is flexible, but in Florida it is generally tied to their permit to operate.

Still there are available live aboard slips throughout the state, just might not be in the marina that is your first choice.
That's the impression we got from the guy - that his operating permit is at risk if he doesn't follow the rules to a "T". So I guess we'll either figure out a way to follow HIS rules, or find another marina with a different permit and/or different rules.

Thanks.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:26 AM   #14
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If you lie to the marina or try to trick them, you may find yourself put out on short notice. Then what will you do?

The best policy is to be honest. Tell them what you need and see if they can accommodate you.

I would guess it is local laws or permits that dictate whether a marina will allow people to live aboard their boats at that marina. My marina's permit does not allow liveaboards.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:39 AM   #15
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Try Sebastian River Marina in Sebastian. Owner's name is also Doug, he is a great guy and it is a very good facility. Well priced but not a ton of amenities. There are a few live aboards there.

Tell Doug you heard about his marina on here from me. That kind of stuff means a lot to him.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:48 PM   #16
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That's the impression we got from the guy - that his operating permit is at risk if he doesn't follow the rules to a "T". So I guess we'll either figure out a way to follow HIS rules, or find another marina with a different permit and/or different rules.

Thanks.
Did you check Melbourne Harbor?
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:40 PM   #17
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Come on down to Vero Beach, The Loggerhead Marina in Grand Harbor is the best. Heated pool, first class lounge, 15 min walk to shopping. Best hurricane hole on the east coast of Fl.

FIT is a beautiful and relaxing 45 minute drive north up A1A along the river (I have been there many times both by land and air)


Liveaboards are no problem. There are several here and many year round transients that use their boat as a week long condo during the year and then winter here.

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Old 04-16-2014, 10:18 PM   #18
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Try Waterline Marina and Yacht Sales in Melbourne. Nice little marina that does allow live aboards. Prices are not bad.
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:09 PM   #19
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Try Sebastian River Marina in Sebastian. Owner's name is also Doug, he is a great guy and it is a very good facility. Well priced but not a ton of amenities. There are a few live aboards there.

Tell Doug you heard about his marina on here from me. That kind of stuff means a lot to him.
Doug,

That sounds great, except for the fact that our liveaboarder will have classes 4-5 days a week, but all spread throughout the day. A 40 minute drive each way, every day, or even twice a day, just wouldn't work. But for launching to the Bahamas, this might be perfect: spend the night there, then head out before the sun comes up. Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:10 PM   #20
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Did you check Melbourne Harbor?
That's where we're running into the liveaboard limitations. Otherwise, they're perfect.
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