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Old 04-07-2017, 10:06 AM   #1
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Tell me about the best location to liveaboard

Experienced liveaboards! Tell me about your favorite place to be for an extended stay?

In the next 2-4 years I will be transitioning to a full timer. I'm fairly set on staying somewhere between the Great Lakes and Florida, but the East Coast or even the Tropics are possibilities. West coast is pretty unlikely.

No boat yet, but it will very likely be a diesel trawler, 36-48'. I will need to work from the boat and have strong (cellular) internet service and regular access to shore power. I'm not the type that needs a lot of amenities, and cheaper is better.

Also important to me is the social environment. I'm single, and I know from experience that working from home (or boat) can get very lonely. I would love to be in a marina with an active social atmosphere, and withing walking distance of a cool pub or two.

So where is your favorite place to tie up and what's great about it?
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:28 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. m. Welcome aboard, if I've missed you. We're NOT live-aboards but I would suggest warmer rather than cooler, weather-wise. No fun trying to navigate down an icy deck after an evening out or attempting to stay warm if there is a power outage UNLESS you have "company".

Also keep in mind hurricanes. They DO happen in spite of the fact that there has been less frequency in recent years.
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:45 AM   #3
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Experienced liveaboards! Tell me about your favorite place to be for an extended stay?

In the next 2-4 years I will be transitioning to a full timer. I'm fairly set on staying somewhere between the Great Lakes and Florida, but the East Coast or even the Tropics are possibilities. West coast is pretty unlikely.

No boat yet, but it will very likely be a diesel trawler, 36-48'. I will need to work from the boat and have strong (cellular) internet service and regular access to shore power. I'm not the type that needs a lot of amenities, and cheaper is better.

Also important to me is the social environment. I'm single, and I know from experience that working from home (or boat) can get very lonely. I would love to be in a marina with an active social atmosphere, and withing walking distance of a cool pub or two.

So where is your favorite place to tie up and what's great about it?
Are you by reason of your work or other reasons limiting this to the US?
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:51 AM   #4
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Are you by reason of your work or other reasons limiting this to the US?
Not necessarily. I do have family in the midwestern US that I would like to keep within reasonable reach. I'm not opposed to Mexico, the Bahamas or other nearby locales.
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:58 AM   #5
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So I assume that you are asking about a semi permanent marina close to a town rather than a moving existence where you stay for a few days, weeks and move on to another spot.

My long term live aboard buddy has just settled in to New Bern, NC. New Bern's climate is on the northern edge of where I would be comfortable but it only snows an inch or two every few years and the creeks rarely freeze. Summers have several days in the 90s each month and it is humid. It is a fairly low cost marina and living area.

There are a couple of marinas where you can walk into the main part of town where you will find restaurants and bars. Other marinas within a few miles require a car.

I lived in Oriental, NC a few dozen miles south of New Bern, but I consider it too remote unless you are married and retired. Get my drift!!!

Good luck with your plans.

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Old 04-07-2017, 11:24 AM   #6
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Thanks! This is good info.

For the interested: New Bern has a pop. of 30000, liveaboard slips are about $7.50/ft. & up.

Just down the coast in Jacksonville (pop 70k) has a few marinas that offer slips for $5/ft.
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:09 PM   #7
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If I was a single liveaboard, I'd strongly consider the Eastern Caribbean. Virgin Islands could be good or further down.

Every area along the coast has it's special qualities. I'm very prejudiced to South Florida but more probably would choose to live aboard just a bit further north due to price. That leads to Stuart, Ft. Pierce, Jupiter area. Then the keys are a world of their own and a great area for a single man. While Key West is where the action is, a lot of people choose to live in places like Marathon.

Your age can influence this decision a lot. The area that may be perfect for an older retired couple, might not be for someone single, middle aged, and hoping to date. I see Jacksonville, Savannah, and Charleston as good options moving up the coast with climate changing slightly colder with each move up. Further north you're into seasonal boating and colder winters. NC would be too cold for me, but might not for you. I definitely don't recommend full time living aboard north of NC. Now if you are prepared to do six months north and six months of the year south there are many options, but if you're thinking a long term relationship along the way might be nice that's not very conducive to forming one.

On around to the west coast, Fort Myers (and Cape Coral, etc.) is really a great area to call home.

I love the Bahamas. We're there right now. However, I don't see the Bahamas conducive to your desires and needs.

A reasonable strategy could be to head south to destination unknown. Spend some time in different areas. You'll know when you've hit the place you want to make home or, at least, make home for a bit longer.
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:22 PM   #8
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Awesome advice. I am pretty sure you're right about "you'll know it when you see it". I'm smart enough to know I don't know, you know?

I'm of the same mind when it comes to my future boat. I'm doing as much research as I can, but it's still pretty unlikely I'll pick the right boat first time. I'm thinking I might deliberately buy something really cheap and small to tool around in while I look for the right "final" boat and area to live...

I'm in my mid 40's and hoping to date, btw.
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:41 PM   #9
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Awesome advice. I am pretty sure you're right about "you'll know it when you see it". I'm smart enough to know I don't know, you know?

I'm of the same mind when it comes to my future boat. I'm doing as much research as I can, but it's still pretty unlikely I'll pick the right boat first time. I'm thinking I might deliberately buy something really cheap and small to tool around in while I look for the right "final" boat and area to live...

I'm in my mid 40's and hoping to date, btw.
I think that last sentence then definitely should influence your choice. You need to be aware of both the demographics of the city and of the marina.

Buying smaller and cheap can be fun, but if you're living on it, that could really impact your attitude of living aboard. Might be a good test though, that if you like the lifestyle on it, then it will get better when you find the "final" boat.

I don't know how much time you've spent on trawler and trawler type boats, but you might charter to experience them if you haven't spent a lot of time.

I'd also say that those in your age bracket tend to not go full trawler mode but tend toward maintaining the option of greater speed as well. That may not be the case with you. That is an important point in your decision making though of speed. Can you live with a boat that only goes 7 or 8 knots maximum or do you really need a boat that can also go 15-20 knots or even one that's faster than that.

While 70% of those here are older than you, that does leave a goodly number of those in your age bracket and even younger. I'm not sure how many singles in your age bracket to relate more directly.
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:24 PM   #10
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Thanks! This is good info.

For the interested: New Bern has a pop. of 30000, liveaboard slips are about $7.50/ft. & up.

Just down the coast in Jacksonville (pop 70k) has a few marinas that offer slips for $5/ft.
JAX is a military town. Home of the largest amphibian base in the world. The best waterfront real estate is the military base. New Bern would check most, if not all, of your boxes and the social scene would be much more in line to what you would be looking for. Several great pubs and restaurants within an easy walk of the downtown marinas. Not so much in JAX.
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:43 PM   #11
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Check out Fort Pierce FL. We've stopped at the City marina a few times and liked it. You're walking distance to restaurants and bars. The water font seems to be the focal point of the town and it's far enough south the winters are good. You're also near an ocean outlet so you'd have more access to fishing. One thing we noticed was FP had a pretty good age spread where it wasn't just old folks.
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:07 PM   #12
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Check out Fort Pierce FL. We've stopped at the City marina a few times and liked it. You're walking distance to restaurants and bars. The water font seems to be the focal point of the town and it's far enough south the winters are good. You're also near an ocean outlet so you'd have more access to fishing. One thing we noticed was FP had a pretty good age spread where it wasn't just old folks.
Fort Pierce is very nice. The more times we've gone there, the more we've found to like.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:17 PM   #13
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New Bern then come visit us in Oriental on the weekends. You don't want Jacksonville, NC.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:53 PM   #14
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Lots of people live aboard in Alaska. From OB skiffs to big old pleasure boats and some fish boats. Gotta shovel some snow in the winter but lots of guys (and girls) there to show ya how to do it.
Apartments are usually expensive.
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Old 04-07-2017, 04:35 PM   #15
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We have lived aboard in marinas in the following places, so some comments on each:

Jacksonville, FL- Lots going on; a small town friendly feel, but it's also a big sprawling city and takes a while drive across; nice places to explore by your boat on the St. John's River, so it's easy to get away from it all. Also, you can get up the St. John's to hide from hurricanes. Military and Port town.

Ft. Pierce, FL- Easy access to the Bahamas, short hop out the inlet to the ocean, but otherwise, you only have N. or S. on the ICW for boating. Nice waterfront views from marinas and restaurants. By car though, you'll just be traveling up and down U.S. 1 or I-95 to the same shopping and dining.

Panama City, FL- Also military town, friendly, but a bit more lacking the larger city social life. Great for boating- deep water bays and wildlife all around, or easily go out in the Gulf, pretty water, Shell Island is the hotspot in the summer where the locals go by boat.
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Old 04-07-2017, 04:35 PM   #16
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We lived in Fells Point, MD for a year before leaving. Loved it, yes a little chilly in the winter. I like the idea of cheap boat, learn what you want and all that but....Neighbor boat was a divorced guy dating etc. It was difficult for him to "bring back guest" because of his smallish, oldish boat. Something to consider when shopping. Single guys seem to tolerate things single gals would not be interested in.

We sold the house and never looked back. Good luck
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:17 PM   #17
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Don't worry too much about the exact location. Boats are mobile. Travel a bit and try new places.

Second that about not wintering N of NC. I winter in SE NC, and I don't like it. Winter on a boat you want to be S of Jax, Fla.
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:35 PM   #18
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Don't worry too much about the exact location. Boats are mobile. Travel a bit and try new places.

Second that about not wintering N of NC. I winter in SE NC, and I don't like it. Winter on a boat you want to be S of Jax, Fla.
Wifey B: If you have a choice, why be cold? It's going down to 67 degrees where we are tonight, but we'll be able to survive it.
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:36 PM   #19
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Wifey B

Where are you in the Bahamas to have 67 degrees? Don't say the refrigerator of the marina. LOL
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:19 PM   #20
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Wifey B: If you have a choice, why be cold? It's going down to 67 degrees where we are tonight, but we'll be able to survive it.
I still have dirt based commitments here. Thus having to tolerate the winter. But things will likely be different winter next. Dirt stuff on autopilot then, hopefully.
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