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Old 09-16-2021, 11:04 AM   #1
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City: Lincoln
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Lightbulb Gulf Coast Livaboard - NEED ADVICE!

Hi all.

John here. 26. From St. Louis. Moving to Pensacola for work and planning on buying a sailboat or trawler to liveaboard starting in January 2023. I have been researching this lifestyle for about a year now and still find myself lacking important information. I'm hoping these forums will change that.

Here's some information that I know you'll all ask for before you can begin assisting me:

1) My prospective boat is around 27-30' in length.
2) I will be living aboard completely solo for 1 year.
3) I plan to work remotely from the boat while anchored or docked at a marina (will be needing onboard WiFi).
4) I plan to use the weekends to sail down the coast of Florida and - time and weather permitting - trace the islands and coastline of the Caribbean.

Here are my questions:

1) On average, how much does it cost to dock at a marina for 1 day in Florida?
2) On average, how much does it cost to dock at a marina for 30 days in Florida? (including WiFi, shower facilities, etc.)
3) Is there a website that lists marinas in the Gulf Coast that are liveaboard friendly? (I'm having remarkable trouble with this.)
4) Is there a website for basic equipment that you recommened? (dinghy's, lifejackets, navigation equipment, etc.)
5) Is there a trustworthy website for learning about Caribbean countries' docking laws and policies? (e.g. What should I know about visiting the Bahamas as a liveaboard?)
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Old 09-16-2021, 11:06 AM   #2
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City: Lincoln
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MORE INFORMATION:

1) I live a very minimalist lifestyle. I can count how many shirts I own and I have roughly the same grocery list every week.
2) I used to live in a hotel, so I am not worried about cramped spaces.
3) I plan to fish for meals from time to time.
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Old 09-16-2021, 11:23 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!

https://dockwa.com/

https://www.waterwayguide.com/

https://activecaptain.garmin.com/en-US/

Dockwa does bookings, Active Captain and Waterway Guide have interactive maps that locate marinas with crowd source data reviews.

Ted
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Old 09-16-2021, 11:31 AM   #4
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Does your minimalist life style extend down to the level of sleeping in very moist and warm air without air conditioning? Your options are limited if you need the AC because you will need a generator if anchoring and a dependable marina power supply if not.

Joint Active Captain and use that to display marinas in your area of concern. Get their phone number and call to definitively answer your marina-related questions. Be advised that recent hurricane activity has left areas like Pensacola and Panama City (where I live) with NO spare marina slips and a long wait to get one.
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Old 09-16-2021, 12:55 PM   #5
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City: Annapolis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpaul7005 View Post

3) I plan to work remotely from the boat while anchored or docked at a marina (will be needing onboard WiFi).

1) On average, how much does it cost to dock at a marina for 1 day in Florida?
2) On average, how much does it cost to dock at a marina for 30 days in Florida? (including WiFi, shower facilities, etc.)

4) Is there a website for basic equipment that you recommened? (dinghy's, lifejackets, navigation equipment, etc.)

Marina WiFi can be hit or miss... for various technical and non-technical reasons. If you need boatloads of throughput, you'll want to research which marinas offer useable service (as opposed to a simple "Free WiFi" statement on their advertising blurbs. You'll also want to compare that to cellular access, acceptable data plans, etc.

Note also that anchoring out, or perhaps using a ball in a marina's mooring field... brings a boatload of issues related to water, waste, electricity, heat and/or AC, and personal hygiene... as well as transportation from mooring to almost anywhere (groceries, etc.).

Transient (daily) rates are often most expensive and figured by "per-foot plus electricity" and not at all representative for what you're after. Monthly rates are calculated by the same "per foot + E" thing but it may be dependent on length of boat, or length of slip, either way. Semi-annual or annual rates are generally least expensive in the long run.

This should get you started on equipment:
https://www.uscgboating.org/images/420.PDF
Just be aware this is the minimum requirement. What it takes to make you safe and comfortable will likely exceed the minimum.

Nav equipment is a whole category by itself, and you'd do well to read several of the existing related forum threads to get a feel for that. The current "Furuno vs Garmin" thread, while focused on only two of the several viable brands, touches on many of the options. Some folks like a whole bunch of equipment/capability, whereas others prefer a more minimalist approach. Only you can eventually decide your minimum baseline.

-Chris
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