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Old 07-27-2018, 02:05 AM   #1
City: san diego
Country: United States
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 6
Wanting to liveaboard in san diego soon

Hello all, I have scoured a bunch of forums and this seems to be the most active. I live in Carlsbad, California. North San Diego and I am a Navy Corpsman. Me and my girlfriend have the itch to give up our apartment and liveaboard in the next year. We love to travel and love the outdoors and want the experience of living aboard.

Hoping to find a great deal around 30-80 grand on a nice trawler. We are open to living in oceanside harbor or even down in main San Diego.

We are avid believers in living life to the fullest and connecting with the outdoors. Complete newbies to the liveaboard lifestyle, but have done tons of research and feel it is an experience that will fits us well and want to at least try. Please let me know if you see any good deals or know of any good opportunities to learn or rent a liveaboard for a while.

Glad to join this forum and look forward to making new connections. thank you!

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Old 08-02-2018, 12:14 PM   #2
City: Ellenton, Florida
Country: USA
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 16
Welcome aboard the forum. I used to live aboard in America's Cup Harbor in San Diego at Sun Harbor Marina. San Diego is a great city to live aboard in and has a lot of places to cruise to and activities going on to enjoy your boat. Being active duty check out the Navy Marina Fiddler's Cove and join the Navy Yacht Club. You will find a lot of people there that will be able to help you with you boat search and give you boating advice. It will also be the cheapest place for you to dock your boat and being active duty you will be allowed to live aboard.

Your price range means you will be looking at a project boat, but you are young and this will allow you to learn all about your boat. I envy you your youth and the experience you have in front of. Good luck to you and your girl friend in your adventure.

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Old 08-02-2018, 01:53 PM   #3
BandB's Avatar
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 18,547
You mention nothing about your boating experience other than being a Navy Corpsman. Do you intend to use the boat as more than a cottage?

Have you evaluated the pluses and minuses of living aboard? In the price range you're speaking of, expect a lot of work to be necessary at least the first year.
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Old 08-02-2018, 02:52 PM   #4
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City: Camarillo
Country: USA
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 348
Living Aboard in San Diego

I lived in San Diego for years & loved the city. I have also lived on board my boat on & off for extended periods over my lifetime & it can be a fun experience.
IMHO, Minimum boat size for the two of you to be a comfortable live-aboard is going to be a 35 foot boat or bigger, I would estimate. Anyone can live anywhere for a short time, but for full time, long term & keeping comfort, amenities & storage in mind along with holding tank size, etc. , that would be my input from my personal experience.
42 foot trawler like a Grand Banks 42 or Kadey-Krogen 42 would be even better yet & a perfect compromise size trawler for a comfortable long term live-aboard home.
One draw back of living aboard a boat in a slip in Southern California is the slip rents & additional fees, specific type of insurance they require, survey expense to get that insurance & other expenses associated with being a 100% true live-aboard, Costs can be very high.
It is not cheaper than an apartment !
Most marinas allow you 3 nights a week to live on board with no additional fees. -- past that, there are often additional fees.
Sneak aboard is not a good long term approach as they can track your comings & goings easily with electronic gate key access records & plus seeing you there all the time, it can be pretty obvious. Then next thing you know your kicked out.
Many marinas I have talked to at Shelter & Harbor islands only allow 10% of the boats at the marina to be true 100% live-aboard. Of course varies with each marina.
Live-aboard's put a lot more wear & tear & clean up expense on the shared facilities like rest rooms & showers & add more hot water expense, parking issues, Electrical expense, etc. to the marina overall operation costs.
BTW - They also do not take well to people decorating the boat like a house with plants & such & Nothing can spread out & be on the docks.
Often you must be signed up & pay for & have receipts for a mandatory pump out service to be sure no one is discharging waste black water over board & must have a holding tank of sufficient size.
If your looking for a recommendation, I would say Chula Vista Marina is one of my favorites down in San Diego & does allow a certain large % of cruisers to live aboard, as many of the BaJa Ha HA group gather there every year up to 6 months before venturing off to Mexico every year on November 1st.
Wishing you good luck with this new adventure.

Alfa Mike
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california, san diego, trawler

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