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Old 07-24-2021, 01:04 PM   #1
City: Eustis
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 1
One Wonders

Good afternoon members,

I, Scott , and my wife, Judy, are looking at the possibility of buying a 40-50 ft. liveaboard for our retirement. Living in Fl. since our childhood we have always been drawn to the sea...Now with retirement, and a little money, we have the desire and opportunity to get closer. We have for 40+ years have had no visible neighbors around us and we like our privacy...So marina life is not exactly what we are looking for except for Fri. and Sat. night hi-balls. We realize that they are essential for refueling and re-stocking provisions.

Is there anyone of you that have spent most your motoring life anchored or moored out. Which brings about several questions to mind. I, without any luck, have attempted to find moorings set along side the Gulf of Mexico, from FL. to S. Texas as we are looking to buy property to dock our boat inside the St. Petersburg area.

Hey!!! any advice is respectfully appreciated,

Scott Sater
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Old 07-24-2021, 01:19 PM   #2
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City: Au Gres, MI
Vessel Name: Black Dog
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Welcome aboard. Good luck with your search. I am sure someone from Florida will chime in.
Boat Nut:
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Old 07-24-2021, 01:30 PM   #3
City: Newport, R.I.
Vessel Name: Hippocampus
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 42
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 3,657
The only places we’ve been successful with your desire to no or just one or two others in proximity has been the Leewards and Washington county Maine. Like you have no interest in marina life. We have taken the opportunity to anchor outside designated anchorages when weather permits. If you think outside the box this is still possible in New England. Given geography there’s adequate water. Experience is limited for the southeast where we’ve only know the major harbors.
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Old 07-24-2021, 02:19 PM   #4
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City: Southport, FL near Panama City
Vessel Name: FROLIC
Vessel Model: Mainship 30 Pilot II since 2015. GB-42 1986-2015. Former Unlimited Tonnage Master
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Let me address this phrase from your post first, "have attempted to find moorings set along side the Gulf of Mexico, from FL. to S. Texas." I have been on the waters from Key West to Galveston more than once and can say without hesitation, there are darned few moorings (by which I assume you mean a publicly available and properly set and maintained mooring buoy) anywhere on that route. Sarasota comes to mind and a few in the Venice area I think.

Have you any experience living at a mooring? I have three years under my belt at the Navy marina in San Diego aboard a GB42, and looking back on it found it pretty limiting. And we still had close neighbors at the adjacent buoys. Getting in and out of the dinghy and rowing or motoring to the dinghy dock and then the long walk to the car and the return with groceries, etc got to be VERY OLD. We were sooo happy to finally get a slip where we enjoyed the society of like-minded people. Living aloof was not for us.

As to finding a property with enough water to moor your 40- to 50-foot long vessel, that property is available in St Pete. If I were you, I would buy it before the boat. Why? Firstly, the land/house will be far more expensive that the boat. Secondly, you cannot live aboard the boat forever once health and age concerns catch up, and having a dirt home as backup only makes good sense to me. Coming ashore after years of being out of the real estate market will sticker shock the hell out of you. Others will disagree, but they are likely a very small minority. Besides, you may tire of the boating life, and having a choice piece of property to either remain on or sell at a premium when you are ready to move off the water is a sound investment. They don't make any more waterfront property, as the saying goes.

Not taking my own advice, I owned a trawler (brought from San Diego to Panama City) moored in a covered slip in a local marina at exorbitant cost when I began the years-long hunt for an affordable property at which it could be moored. It was a fortuitous find that landed us where were able to dredge out enough mud to moor the boat at our own newly constructed covered slip. That big boat and mooring facility we built for it had a dramatic impact on the value of the property. No other property in the county with enough water was anywhere near our budget. Fast forward 15 years when it was time to downsize the boat, and we installed a lift under the cover for the current boat. What's next? Hard to say, but if we elect to move off the water someday, we will have a fine chunk of change with which to do it.

One thing about waterfront property is that you will no longer be invisible to the neighbors because it is virtually cheek by jowl all over the state of Florida. However, the back door neighbors are either across a canal (not too much to my liking) or several hundred yards away as they are in our bayou. We lucked out with good next door neighbors on either who are not in residence most of the year - lots of privacy.
Rich Gano
FROLIC (2005 MainShip 30 Pilot II)
Panama City area
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Old 07-24-2021, 02:43 PM   #5
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City: Slicker?
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Welcome aboard. Good advice thus far....
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Old 07-24-2021, 04:40 PM   #6
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City: Ft Pierce
Vessel Name: Sold
Vessel Model: Was an Albin/PSN 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 27,461
To avoid people...avoiding tourist seasons and tourist areas is one thing that helps.

The trouble with that concept is the favored weather and places are also tose described above.

Sure you can go to the outer edges of busy areas.... but every year the world becomes a smaller place.
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Old 07-24-2021, 05:28 PM   #7
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City: St Petersburg
Vessel Name: Knot Fast
Vessel Model: Great Harbour GH37
Join Date: Jan 2018
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FWIW - We have found residential marina life a very different experience from transient marina life. In St Pete, our dock is ~25% live-aboard and 75% seldom used boats. No transients near us; they are on another dock, far away. That dock density and the lifestyle of live-aboards, many with jobs they go to each day, has afforded us reasonable privacy and quiet. We have good neighbors. Good marinas have and enforce reasonable rules of conduct commensurate with the setting. Yes, there are occasional parties on the weekends; not so much on weeknights. Marina life as a live-aboard has been very pleasant for us.
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Old 07-24-2021, 08:22 PM   #8
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City: Between Oregon and Alaska
Vessel Name: Charlie Harper
Vessel Model: Wheeler Shipyard 83'
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,964
I'm in the PNW and haven't been to a marina in 10 years. In the winter I have a private dock, but in the summers, I only dock at fuel docks and anchor the rest of the time. A couple fuel docks will let me stay for a short time to get supplies, but I usually buy 1000+ gallons. I carry a small, fast boat I use for supply runs. Most docks have a small fee to use their dock while I grocery shop. If I'm going to be in an area for a long time I sometimes rent a slip for the small boat. Mainly so I can have a spot to park my truck. In the commercial fishing ports I can usually get a ride back from the store. If you buy enough, some stores will deliver to the dock.
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