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Old 06-25-2011, 10:16 PM   #1
wakeybake's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 18
Judgement call

Well, we've been very excited about the prospect of living aboard in Ketchikan, but now I'm going through the "what-have-I-done" questioning phase.

It's not the actual living aboard portion that concerns me, but rather, what I'm finding out about Ketchikan marinas. I don't mean to malign the location, and I've only been here two weeks, but I'm just going off what I've been told.

I've had a few people tell me that the "sketchy-est" people live here (Thomas Basin), to include meth-heads and sex offenders. Also, the wind will be hurricane force through the winter, so we might have to shrink wrap the boat to keep her warm and dry.

So, am I making a HUGE mistake to bring my wife and two children into this? Living aboard was my wife's idea, so she's excited, but like I said - location, location...

I'm here by myself for another few weeks, so I need to figure things out in that time. I'll take any insight and wisdom that is offered.

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Old 06-26-2011, 04:27 AM   #2
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RE: Judgement call

I haven't been following this. Must you live there or can you live somewhere else?

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Old 06-26-2011, 10:36 AM   #3
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RE: Judgement call

Sorry, I guess I left out some details - Ketchikan really only has two locations that can accommodate a 36 footer: Bar Harbor and Thomas Basin. Bar Harbor is much larger, much busier, and in a section of town that doesn't have much close by. Thomas Basin is "downtown" where all of the nicer shops and such are, as well as the Yacht Club. But the separation between the Yacht Club and the rest of the marina is like the smoking section of a restaurant. They do have a clubhouse and the entire float is theirs. I'm joining the club, and it will be a definite improvement, but it could be a year before I get a slip.

Right now I'm in open moorage, and surrounded by fishing boats on which people are constantly working. Somewhere close by someone must be hammering the dents out of their steel hull, because there is a constant pounding like a pile driver.

Everything is pretty nice while the cruise ships are in, but I'm told the city just about shuts down by the end of September.
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:10 AM   #4
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RE: Judgement call

Do you have to moor/stay in Ketchikan? *Have you even been in Ketchikan and/or the dock in the dead of a winter storm as you at least know what it might be like?
If this is your first year aboard, I would not with wife and especially children.* Boats, docks and marinas are very dangerous is the winter month. What makes you think the boat is Ketchikan winter capable as it not just heat, but water, sanitation, storage, humidity, to/from the boat, and even getting on/off the boat. *How old are the children?*
A lot would depend on the boat, the dock/slip and the marina.* *Heck the first year is hard enough in the Puget Sound and even warmer climates.* We been a live a board in the Seattle area for 14 years and I would not want to winter in Ketchikan.* Visit in the summer but not through the winter.
You will find that most Marinas have sketch people just like on the dirt.* It sound like you are in more of a commercial dock/marina where it can be gruff, crude and not the best of civil manners for a wife and children.*We are morred on the Everett commercial dock so we*have some idea, but at least they have the pleasure and the commercial on separte dock and*not mixed in, but still.* *I think you need to re think the live aboard idea and the location.**
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:56 PM   #5
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City: Juneau Alaska
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RE: Judgement call

Don't give up so easily.* Plan on moving to the city float, it's first come first served, but new and more protected from the wind. It's also close to downtown. For the last three years, there has been another family with children living there, no problem that I can see.* It's true that the city slows down a lot after the last cruise ship departs, but that's a bonus in my book.* As for low life's on the dock, it's possible anywhere, but they pretty well keep to them selves.* I wouldn't worry too much.** I've spent a lot of time there and love it despite the rain and wind.* And yes, it does blow quite hard at times in the winter, so be prepared for the worst, and when it doesn't happen, be pleasantly surprised. * ...........Arctic Traveller
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