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Old 09-30-2020, 06:56 PM   #1
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Marinas/Slips with no waitlist?

Does anyone know of any marinas or municipal docks/harbors with no or minimal waitlist? Around a 49' loa Anywhere from PNW to south central Alaska. Liveaboard boat but access to bathroom and showers shoreside would be nice. I've already started emailing harbor masters but maybe someone here knows somewhere also? I know that's a big area. Thanks
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Old 09-30-2020, 07:46 PM   #2
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Lots of vacancies (but not necessarily for liveaboards) here in Vallejo, central California. Doubt that helps you, however.
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Old 09-30-2020, 08:26 PM   #3
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No wait list in the PNW is the holy grail. Add in liveaboard and it gets more challenging.

Your chances are better the further you get from major metro areas.

One method I've used in the past is to start up Google Earth or Google Maps and look for out if the way places. Call them, visit them. They'll be on the rough side.

Once you find someplace promising keep calling and visiting, in a friendly manner. It works.
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Does anyone know of any marinas or municipal docks/harbors with no or minimal waitlist? Around a 49' loa Anywhere from PNW to south central Alaska. Liveaboard boat but access to bathroom and showers shoreside would be nice. I've already started emailing harbor masters but maybe someone here knows somewhere also? I know that's a big area. Thanks
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Old 09-30-2020, 08:37 PM   #4
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Winter months would be tough with many marinas turning off water.
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Old 09-30-2020, 10:48 PM   #5
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SE Alaska only has a few places due to the size of the fishing fleet. You might be able to rent a slip when the fishing boat heads south. Your best chance are K Town, Juneau, Sitka, maybe Wrangell or Petersburg.

If you are looking further north, Seward, Homer and Kodiak. But it gets a lot colder at these spots.
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Old 09-30-2020, 10:49 PM   #6
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Winter months would be tough with many marinas turning off water.
Water maker.....
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Old 09-30-2020, 11:10 PM   #7
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When we needed a live aboard slip a couple of years ago, we found a very nice marina with no wait list at Pleasant Harbor Marina (https://www.pleasantharbormarina.com/) on the Hood Canal.
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Old 10-01-2020, 05:12 AM   #8
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No wait list in the PNW is the holy grail. Add in liveaboard and it gets more challenging.


Your chances are better the further you get from major metro areas.


One method I've used in the past is to start up Google Earth or Google Maps and look for out if the way places. Call them, visit them. They'll be on the rough side


Once you find someplace promising keep calling and visiting, in a friendly manner. It works.

We are on the twoish year plan so we are just learning how all this works.


We prefer not to be in the metro areas but near enough to somewhere that at least one of us could work.


I have been doing that with google earth too, very useful to look around the area also.


Of course once they meet us, they'll want to give us the best liveboard slip they have.
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Old 10-01-2020, 05:16 AM   #9
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SE Alaska only has a few places due to the size of the fishing fleet. You might be able to rent a slip when the fishing boat heads south. Your best chance are K Town, Juneau, Sitka, maybe Wrangell or Petersburg.

If you are looking further north, Seward, Homer and Kodiak. But it gets a lot colder at these spots.

I have emailed both the harbormasters at Seward and Sitka both about a two year waitlist for a slip. I have not looked into Homer yet. I know they usually have empty slips in the winter.
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Old 10-01-2020, 05:18 AM   #10
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Lots of vacancies (but not necessarily for liveaboards) here in Vallejo, central California. Doubt that helps you, however.
We are possibly interested in other areas too, heck we are not even locked onto being on the west coast.
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Old 10-01-2020, 04:19 PM   #11
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Marinas/Slips with no waitlist?

Tidewater Cove on the Columbia at Vancouver, WA is a relatively new marina that seemed to have a lot of vacancies when I was there earlier this year. Their advertisements donít explicitly mention liveaboard arrangements but some of the reviews out there do. I do know that many of their slips will accommodate laaaarge yachts.
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Old 10-01-2020, 04:34 PM   #12
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Iím in Seward...

Getting into a slip for the winter is pretty easy as a fair amount of the chareter boats get hauled for the winter.

Summer you would most likely be along the side tie dock with no power available.

A watermaker is a must as they turn off the water about now and do not turn it back on until mid April.

Water is available on the long dock but only at one spigot which they leave on all winter.
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Old 10-01-2020, 06:46 PM   #13
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When we needed a live aboard slip a couple of years ago, we found a very nice marina with no wait list at Pleasant Harbor Marina (https://www.pleasantharbormarina.com/) on the Hood Canal.

That is a pretty good idea. They seem to be pretty quiet when crab and shrimp aren't in season. I bet they would love some steady year-round tenants. Nice little place, other than the whole "you can't get there from here" aspect.
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Old 10-01-2020, 11:30 PM   #14
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As mentioned, PLeasant Harbor. Also, last I checked, Tyee in Tacoma had some room. I was also berthed up at the Duwamish Yacht club and they had some spaces for rent. https://duwamishyachtclub.com/moorage/
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Old 10-02-2020, 04:41 AM   #15
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Iím in Seward...

Getting into a slip for the winter is pretty easy as a fair amount of the chareter boats get hauled for the winter.

Summer you would most likely be along the side tie dock with no power available.

A watermaker is a must as they turn off the water about now and do not turn it back on until mid April.

Water is available on the long dock but only at one spigot which they leave on all winter.

Yes, I have been emailing the harbor office in Seward and she also mentioned summertime time transient slips can be had, if you don't mind moving around slips as boats depart and return to their assigned slips, and side tie first come, first serve not always water available dockside.
I think if we did Seward I would consider renting a place for the first winter.


Thanks
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Old 10-02-2020, 10:03 AM   #16
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Yes, I have been emailing the harbor office in Seward and she also mentioned summertime time transient slips can be had, if you don't mind moving around slips as boats depart and return to their assigned slips, and side tie first come, first serve not always water available dockside.
I think if we did Seward I would consider renting a place for the first winter.


Thanks
Seward is pretty nice by Alaska winter standards. I spend a lot of time on my boat in the winter time here in Seward. It is a good get away from the frigid temperatures and snow at my house, and a great time to devote to boat projects.

If it were me in your shoes I would not choose the weather of anywhere in Coastal Alaska as a winter time live aboard if possible. Think rain like Seattle then at least double it. Many places in South East Alaska receive several times Seattles rainfall in the winter.

What you can expect in Seward is a climate approx ten degrees colder than Seattle on average with some real sold snaps thrown in for good measure.

It rains, then it snows, then is rains again and the snow melts. Then it gets REALLY COLD like in the teens and the north wind blows for several days. Then it rains again. There are not really any nice warm sunny days in the winter.

As far as the town, Seaward is like many towns in Coastal Alaska in the winter. This is small town life, and the harbors are their own micro community. There is a really good supermarket, and a couple of hardware stores, and a few restaurant's stay open all winter.

In the harbor there are probably a half dozen liveaboards spread out throughout the harbor. This a commercial fishing harbor and there are always fishing boats coming and going. Not the hustle and bustle of summer tourist season but youíre not totally alone either.

As far as your live aboard boat anywhere in Alaska you will need reliable diesel heat. There is no way to stay warm without it. Electric will not generate enough BTUís to keep a boat from freezing up here. You will also need one or more good electric dehumidifiers. I keep two on my boat and the difference between 50% humidity and 90% is a world of difference. Keeping the humidity down keeps from having condensation on the inside of your boat.

Best of luck in your search
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Old 10-02-2020, 10:13 AM   #17
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The harbormaster isn't a marina liaison. I'd be surprised how many, if any, actually respond. At best, you'll get a list of local marina's. You can get the same list from Active Captain.

This is simply going to require some calling around.
I would avoid volunteering too much information. Particularly whether you intend to live aboard. Especially in conjunction with questions like "Do you have bathroom and shower facilities". (Now they envision you 'moving in' to the public shared spaces. No joke, I was in a marina where the liveaboards kept their shower supplies and towels in the bath house like it was their personal bathroom).

Typically any obstacles or time to gett to open water will drive down rates and increase availability. For example, far up a river with a decent chug to open water. Any marinas that require that you traverse locks, drawbridges, or even a fixed bridge that requires some folks to time a tide will tend to have more availability. As will anyplace that is a trick to navigate too, with potential hazzards.
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Old 10-02-2020, 10:22 AM   #18
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The harbormaster isn't a marina liaison. I'd be surprised how many, if any, actually respond. At best, you'll get a list of local marina's. You can get the same list from Active Captain.

This is simply going to require some calling around.
I would avoid volunteering too much information. Particularly whether you intend to live aboard. Especially in conjunction with questions like "Do you have bathroom and shower facilities". (Now they envision you 'moving in' to the public shared spaces. No joke, I was in a marina where the liveaboards kept their shower supplies and towels in the bath house like it was their personal bathroom).

Typically any obstacles or time to gett to open water will drive down rates and increase availability. For example, far up a river with a decent chug to open water. Any marinas that require that you traverse locks, drawbridges, or even a fixed bridge that requires some folks to time a tide will tend to have more availability. As will anyplace that is a trick to navigate too, with potential hazzards.
I do not think living aboard any boat that you are not comfortable bathing and using the head on day in and day out would be no fun at all. I cannot imagine anybody voluntarily choosing that lifestyle.
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Old 10-02-2020, 10:51 AM   #19
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Having lived aboard in the PNW I second ksanders comments about heat, dehumidifier, functional shower and head.

I'll add a few more. Heated mattresses pads. The kind with a pre-heat function so you slide into a warm dry bed. Ventilation in the shower room. Even if you have to build it into a window. Something under the mattress. I found a thin foam sheet worked well. Frequently lift the mattress up during the day to let the moisture out. Leave drewers and locker doors cracked open. If you can leave wet gear on deck under cover. Keeping moisture at a minimum is to keep mold at bay. Once it gets a foothold you have a real battle on your hands.
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Old 10-02-2020, 11:23 AM   #20
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Thanks Kevin, I did grow up in Seward, middle school, high school and then a few more years. I'm very familiar with snow rain freeze cycle. Living here in Vermont I keep track the Seward weather and alot of times in the winter it is colder here in Vermont than Seward or Homer. People laugh when they asked why I left Alaska, not many move to Vermont for shorter winters. lol I know I want diesel heat, generator, and water maker. I've been taking notes. I prefer to have a little activity around me in regards to the commercial fleet, thats the crowd I used to run with.
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