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Old 11-24-2020, 01:16 PM   #1
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Living on the water

I'm sure that there's several of us that live on the water, in dirt homes.
Personally, I'd not have it any other way. There's a lot of modest homes, with reasonable locations that afford having the boat right in the back yard, and that can be priceless.


However, there are some issues. If one is coastal, there the chance of a hurricane, flooding, high winds, etc. There is the issues (in some cases) of brutal insurance, if you insure. There's often more maintenance, especially on salt water... everything rusts. But we deal with it.


I have a hurricane plan.... pretty simple, just board up the windows. My flood plan is also simple, board up the doors (at least up to 4 feet). I buy Corrosion X and Boeshield by the gallon and use it liberally on things that would rust. This past hurricane (that really hit us as a tropical storm) has water that's as high as I've seen it in over 30 years, but still not into the house.



I have a dock that can accommodate two boats... maybe three if small. However, all would be subject to the low tides in my neighborhood.



A few little things I've done for convenience....

Have stairs than lower into the water for launching kayaks, dinghies and such.
A shower and sink on the dock to clean off with.
A covered dock with a roof to stay out of the sun/rain.
A shed for toys and junk to accumulate
A shore power plug 30amp and 15amp for boat power and charging.

A kayak/canoe rack that's handy and easy to store stuff.


My house is an old remodeled 50s house. Not fancy, but adequate for my needs. And put a lot of "fix up" effort into it.


Absolutely love it, and would rather live in a tent on the water than a mansion off the water.



Other thoughts on things to consider on the water?
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:27 PM   #2
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We now live on the boat from May until October. That is our living on the water. Our dirt house is 2 blocks from the water. That will have to do. I have 'waterfront' property, but it is really just a retention pond that looks like a canal or river, behind the house. You can't boat in it, but the opposite side is covered in mangroves and palms and the turtles and birds here are as good as any nature preserve. It's all we can afford, and we consider that a blessing in itself.
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:32 PM   #3
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Living on the water

For three years our summer home was on a remote shore of Lake Superior. Sometimes it was easy to forget we weren’t on the ocean as the rest of Michigan was over the horizon. Being freshwater we didn’t suffer from rust or some of the other issues you mention. Hurricanes and the like, though the gales of October could give one a run for its money (we were gone by the “Gales of November”.)

One thing I would mention is either the infrastructure or the protocols/expectations - or both -to protect against waterline or dock-related tragedy for smaller children, be they yours or visiting friends or grandchildren. Our kids were both small at this time and it was a relative concern for us. Click image for larger version

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Both photos are from our backyard. Sometimes when I dream, I dream of Gitchi-Gami.
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskaflyer View Post
For three years our summer home was on a remote shore of Lake Superior. Sometimes it was easy to forget we weren’t on the ocean as the rest of Michigan was over the horizon. Being freshwater we didn’t suffer from rust or some of the other issues you mention. Hurricanes and the like, though the gales of October could give one a run for its money (we were gone by the “Gales of November”.)

One thing I would mention is either the infrastructure or the protocols/expectations - or both -to protect against waterline or dock Attachment 110483
related tragedy for smaller children, be they yours or visiting friends or grandchildren. Our kids were both small at this time and it was a relative concern for us. Attachment 110484

Totally agree on protecting the kids. I don't allow kids that can't swim on the property unless accompanied by adult... and that means holding their hand when outdoors. And, I've had to ask some folks to leave because they wouldn't do that, as hard as that was. From the street side we have a 6 ft fence across the property that is locked, and same on both sides, so pretty hard to get in.



It's amazing how kids get into trouble! Great point.
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:46 PM   #5
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I hope I never live in a house or building again. My last 10 years have been some of the best, either on the hook or at my private dock with no close neighbors. No marina stops since 2011.
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:52 PM   #6
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We don't actually live "on the water" any more since a lady built a house between us and the water It was a vacant lot for about 14 years that we've lived here but now we've lost part of the view.

We're about 150 yards from the river and that's where I walk the dog every day. That photo above was taken from the riverbank in front of the house. We are treated to some pretty spectacular sunsets and that's one of the joys of living where we do.

The top photo with the geese in it was taken on one of our morning walks a few days ago. The geese have really started coming in from the north. They used to leave here for areas further south but the last few years they've stuck around. We end up with several thousand Canada geese now throughout the winter.
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Old 11-24-2020, 02:32 PM   #7
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Wow, That's a spectacular sunset!
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:02 PM   #8
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We have waterfront property and the view changes most days.
More comfortable than most houses I have lived in
And no shitty neighbours to put up with or yards to maintain.
A hell of a lot more affordable as well
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:10 PM   #9
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I'm on a fresh water man made pond in that is officially a "lake" on the map. But at approx 350-400 feet square it's barely a pond.
It is depth controlled to a degree so it alway has water, about 8 feet in the middle.
We have tons of wild life: turtles, otters, Muskove and Mallard ducks, Ibis, Blue Herons, Egrets, and storks to name a few. Wife feeds them all and loves all the activity.
I now have a small floating dock and a 9 ft boat with a trolling motor, wife has a kayak. There are fish in the lake but I'm not a fisherman, so I leave the fish to the Herons and Anhingas (SP?), Cormorants, and Osprey.
We're about 1/2 mile from the gulf just north of Clearwater so we get cooling breezes all the time, and the boat launch into the Gulf is about 2 miles away, and our 17 ft center console is just enough to get our boating fix.
It's a 1970s house and like Seevee there are plenty of projects, but it keeps me busy.
We let the neighbor kids come back sometimes to feed the birds, etc but only if a parent is with them. So far no problems with that.
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:26 PM   #10
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We do have some other near waterfront property.
Deep water access and a boat ramp and jetty directly opposite for launching the tender.

Haven't seen them for about 8 years but the tenants do enjoy living there.
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:36 PM   #11
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Our home is 40 feet from the lake.

We have a dock where we keep the pontoon boat and Seadoo’s

We bought our home 25 years ago when our lake was “remote” from town.
Fast forward and we now have things like Natural Gas and paved roads.
Back in the day we could afford to buy here on a working mans wage.
Today few wage earners could afford to buy here. The whole lake has grown much more affluent with demand far exceeding supply.

We are the last of a generation of “working people” that live here. Most are either high dollar inheritance folks or high in the food chain executive types. We bought our home for the same dollars as a home in town. Our price was the hour drive and dirt roads to get here.

We have spent a lifetime on this lake in Alaska and I consider our decision to buy here as being one of the best decisions in a lifetime of decisions we ever made.
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Old 11-24-2020, 04:21 PM   #12
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No desire to live on the water with a house. Too much additional maintenance and the almost inevitable flooding. Somethings are just better to visit. My parents home on Martha's Vineyard would be about as close as I'm interested in being to the water. Couple 3 miles to Menemsha Pond and around 100' above sea level.

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Old 11-25-2020, 07:25 AM   #13
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On the water. Fresh water and not in a flood zone! Can't beat it.
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:45 AM   #14
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We just finished building a dirt house this year. Bought a property from an estate. It was unoccupied for 5 years and the roof failed so a knock down. It’s one of 12 houses grandfathered in a municipal park on a stocked trout pond. We’re a few feet from the water with a dock. Pond allows no motor boats. About 160 areas. After spending huge soft costs spending unproductive dollars dealing with historical committee, building, and the worse conservation (town, state and fed rules and permits) as well as engineering fees finally got permission and built a zero footprint arts and craft house.
Now wake up to bald eagles, ospreys and red tail hawks. Watch muskrats, deer, rabbits and fisher cats do their daily thing. There’s miles of walking trails and sunsets/rises over the pond. The pond is a deep kettle so 53’ depth in places. I can flyfish nearly year round.
I’m a water person. Either on the ocean or on fresh. Can’t imagine being away from a coast or body of water. Loving being on a stocked pond with only 12 houses on it but being under a mile from the ocean.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:11 AM   #15
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Another HUGE advantage of living on the water is just the cost of boat storage. The slip fees and costs have gone up dramatically in my neighborhood so that makes a huge cost that I'm avoiding. Also, some of the marinas around have gotten hard to deal with, new rules, can't do this or that, can't have wild parties at midnight with nakid women... geeze!



Have thought of full time live a board, but would still need a place to dock.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:41 AM   #16
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My wife is not an avid boater, so living on a boat is out of the question. But she loves living on the water. Our house is on the bank about 14 feet above MLW, so we are not in a flood zone. We were actually more subject to flooding when living several blocks from the water in both Tampa and Norfolk than we are living on the water in Reedville, VA.

There are pros and cons - we appreciate what we have and don't regret the storm related hassles. Now if I could only get the wifi to reach the boat...
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:46 AM   #17
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My wife tells people I bought a pier in 1999 with a 1967 house attached, and she is correct from my perspective. When I pulled Calypso, my GB42, out of the city marina in 2000 to bring her to her new covered slip, I was paying 500 bucks a month for a liveaboard slip. I cannot imagine what the price would be now if the marina was reconstructed from Michael, but 15 years worth of that slip fee (sold boat in 2015) and something a tiny bit less for the Frolic would have been 108,000 buckaroos at a MINIMUM by the time Michael knocked the Marina down. I put 10K into the covered slip in 1999-2000 and another 25K (total 46K but insurance covered 21K) to rebuild the lift and cover after Michael, and I am still ahead versus marina fees by a whopping amount. Buying the property was offset by sale of the wife's previous home. Win win for us.

Saltwater 14 miles inland from the Gulf with the boat a hundred feet away and western sunset view is the absolute best thing going. We do not have any saltwater corrosion issues at all, neither cars nor metal tool shed. We have the lowest home of the eight waterfront houses on our street, and it flooded in 1995's Hurricane Opal. You just cut the lower four feet of wallboard out and redo. True valuables are stuck in the covered bed pickup and the wife drives it to relatives 35 miles inland while I guard the home from high ground across the bayou with friends. My plan for complete inundation like happened to the poor folks down the road in Mexico Beach is to bulldoze and rebuild our 2400 square feet well up in the air with my 345K worth of flood insurance. Our property value is well over double what we paid. This is what we do and are quite satisfied to handle the negatives.

One man owns five of the eight waterfront homes here and one of them is on our right while his cousin (a snowbirder from Alaska) owns the one to the left. He has the eight properties, all formerly owned by his relatives, all fixed up and lives in one of them down the block whenever he is in town from Costa Rica. He will neither sell nor rent them leaving us pretty well alone here with his 65-foot Bertram next door 80% of the year. The Bayou out back is 200 yards wide giving us wonderful sunset views and plenty birds and dolphins etc to see.

I lived for five years on my boat and cruised it a bit too after moving from it to a dirt home. I also spent plenty of time aboard ships both Navy and commercial to convince me that I prefer shore dwelling. I enjoy reading about what those who dwell afloat are up to but have absolutely zero desire to follow in their footsteps other than on a temporary basis when delivering the odd boat here and there. We can spend a night here and there aboard the Frolic, but it has been years since we did - maybe this year.
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:26 AM   #18
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Rich,


What a great place you have! Great location and pretty protected. I know pretty much were that is. Visit a good friend in Lynn Haven across the water from you a bit. He's also a boater and lucked out with moving his boat just prior to Michael and didn't get a scratch on in. The homes didn't fare so well.


Totally agree on the slip savings. Mines probably enough to cover all my taxes, insurance, maintenance, and still put a few dollars in my pocket. And because I'm kinda back off the front line of the ICW, my assessment and taxes are pretty reasonable, but still have good access (other that a really low tide)
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:36 AM   #19
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I wish it was protected from the two-mile fetch to the south from Lynn Haven. I always had to move the trawler when storms with southwinds were expected to protect the pier and shed. Nowadays I can leave the Frolic hanging unless the water level should be getting above a certain level.
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:00 PM   #20
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We lived in Arizona for 30 years before we retired and moved to Michigan. We now live on a river that flows into Lake Huron. We love it even in the winter. Our boatyard is 1 mile up the road and I have keys to the barn the the yard stores our boat in so I can work on the boat all winter. The only times I don’t go work on the boat is when it gets below 10 degrees. The water level of the river has gone up 47” in the 7 years we have lived here. It is wonderful having the boat docked 75’ out the back door. When we lived in Arizona our big boat was 420 miles away but I went to the boat almost every weekend.
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