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Old 09-11-2022, 06:49 PM   #1
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Seeking WA Liveaboard Harbor recommendations

Hello & Thanks for reading;

I'm currently on the hunt for a well maintained, single screw, full displacement trawler to liveaboard in the PNW. Meanwhile, I'm looking for a permanent slip to call home for my first year aboard.

I'd greatly appreciate any personal wisdom or recommendations on liveaboard harbors in Washington State as all my boating experience so far has been in SE Alaska around Sitka except for a brief stint in Bellingham, WA prior to heading North and that was 20 years ago now. How the time flies...

Anyways, I intend to be aboard year round with the potential for a trip back to Texas to visit family for the holidays for my first year at least.

Of note, I work remotely full time so don't need to be near a major city or commute hub and would prefer remote actually! I also have a medium sized dog as a crew mate if that factors in to your response.

Thank you kindly for your time, your input is sincerely appreciated.
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Old 09-11-2022, 07:09 PM   #2
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Depending if you have to work or not (commute issue), Pleasant Harbor on Hood Canal is about as quiet as you are going to find and has all of the ammenities ... and there are several boats in Homeport and Pleasant Harbor marinas that are for sale ... Brinnon is town where marinas are but very very small; on other hand Hoodsport, Quilcene are close by with grocery stores and such, and you are 45 minutes from Port Townsend which is one of the neatest big-town/Cities in the PNW. We have fishing boat in Homport (right next to Pleasant Harbor) but Homeport does not allow liveaboards; Pleasant Harbor does. Check it out ... might be able to kill 2 birds / on stone, HOWEVER, if you are working (unless you want to work in shipyard in Port Townsend), Pleasant Harbor would be (in my opinion) an unreasonable commute. Check it out. Nothing to lose / we love the Hood Canal area
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Old 09-11-2022, 08:16 PM   #3
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Excellent feedback. Thanks and my original post was updated to reflect that I work remotely based on your comment. I'll definitely look in to those options!
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Old 09-12-2022, 01:07 AM   #4
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That was some pretty good information. Finding a liveaboard slip on the East side of Puget Sound is going to be very challenging. The Tacoma area might be a possibility. All the obvious marinas have long wait lists just for a slip and an even longer wait list to liveaboard.
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Old 09-12-2022, 09:46 AM   #5
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The other thing about living in Olympia, Swantown, Gig Harbor, Tacoma, etc.... is that most of the marinas are pretty pricy .. I have found west side of Hood is more reasonable - the 'price' you pay is commute access. I think there is pretty decent facility in Kingston as well, as far as fuel availability, etc., but not sure about slip wait lists. Internet availability is good in everyplace I know because they have weather stations and security in most. You might also check Port Townsend marinas, but PT is a really really nice area and I suspect they will be pricy as well. We did liveaboard on an old GB42 for years and even if boat is paid off and you are only maintaining and living on it, slip fees can be serious consideration - do not underestimate your budget. Good luck. The PNW has epic summers; some people have issues with the wet months, but the stories are always embellished compared to reality .... we love it up here.
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Old 09-12-2022, 10:01 AM   #6
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Port ‘Townsend will have a long wait time. Out of the way places will be your best bet.
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Old 09-12-2022, 10:17 AM   #7
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Check out some of the Yacht Clubs on the west side of the Sound. Port Orchard, Bremerton and Poulsbo Yacht Clubs have reasonable moorags pricing and liveaboard possibilities.

No matter where you look, it will be easier to find a slip for boats under 40'.
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Old 09-12-2022, 11:29 AM   #8
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Everett is huge, pretty new, and close to lots. not sure they have liveaboards
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Old 09-12-2022, 12:57 PM   #9
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Look for a marina that has a brokerage and offers a slip if you buy their listing. Our marina in BC offers that. Chances are the boat you want is not listed but may be available with the right broker and marina on the lookout.
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Old 09-12-2022, 02:51 PM   #10
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Buy a slip at Semiahmoo and you can liveaboard no problem. It’s a condominium marina.
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Old 09-14-2022, 06:44 PM   #11
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Everett is huge, pretty new, and close to lots. not sure they have liveaboards
No new live aboards allowed at this time.

15 days a month of "over night" allowed, and 96 hours of parking in the lots... I think they have a long term lot though
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Old 09-14-2022, 07:01 PM   #12
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I believe Duwamish Yacht Club has liveaboard slips open now. This is in South Seattle.

https://duwamishyachtclub.com/
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Old 09-14-2022, 10:51 PM   #13
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I believe Duwamish Yacht Club has liveaboard slips open now. This is in South Seattle.

https://duwamishyachtclub.com/
You must be an owner to liveaboard at Duwamish Yacht Club. You will want to read about the contaminated soil and ground lease issues before you buy in.
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Old 09-15-2022, 10:23 AM   #14
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Have you considered Portland OR?
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Old 09-15-2022, 11:17 AM   #15
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Have you considered Portland OR?
I would love to consider Oregon, however the non-profit organization that I work for requires me to live in either Alaska, Washington, Northern Idaho or Montana as a stipulation of maintaining employment.

I've lived in Alaska, Washington and Montana, and so far, Washington has the most palatable winters by a long shot for my liking. So here I am planning for Western WA, with intent to just suck it up when it comes to paying those damned WA taxes.
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Old 09-15-2022, 11:26 AM   #16
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What size boat are you looking for?
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Old 09-15-2022, 12:28 PM   #17
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What size boat are you looking for?
Ideal:
39' to 50'
Full Displacement Hull in good condition, preferably solid glass or steel
Single Screw Diesel
Single handed operation feasible, comfortable for two
Blue Water capable
No overland travel for vessel in history or necessary following purchase
Spacious Living Areas (I realize that's subjective)
Holding Tank > 15 Gallons Capacity

Strong Preference For: (Not expecting all, but one can dream!)
Average Speed ~ 7 knots / Minimal Fuel Consumption
Large Fuel Tanks / Functional Distance Capacity
Stabilizers
Rain Catchment / Water Maker / Large Water Tanks
Batteries are not Wet Cell
Solar
Bow/Stern Thruster
Large Fridge
Spacious Engine Room
1 Head
Covered Aft Deck
Swimstep

Just posted in Boats / Wanted section this morning as well
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Old 09-15-2022, 01:39 PM   #18
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Possible boat to purchase

If you are undecided on the exact boat you want, and wish to get your feet wet (so to speak), you might want to consider the following boat:

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...sic-63934.html

It doesn't fit exactly to your parameters, in that it is a twin (108hp Ford Lehmans), isn't really Blue water capable, but is a perfectly suitable coastal cruiser, capable of going inside passage to Alaska, etc, and at 36', is a little smaller than your stated desires.

It is also a 1971 model as well, and has a wood hull, but if the hull surveys out okay, I'd have no qualms at all at buying this boat if it were to be used mostly in colder waters. (We owned a GB36 woodie in a past life).
Best of all, the price was recently reduced to $39,900.

It may be a way for you to see if you really like living aboard for not a lot of $$$. Resale will be a little more difficult for a woodie, but still possible. Anyway, check it out! Scot K
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Old 09-15-2022, 02:45 PM   #19
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West Bay Marina in Olympia has some spaces open at the moment, though I'm not sure about a spot for a 50 footer. Lots of liveaboards there.

Where many marinas (lookin' at you, Everett ...) forbid working on your boat, West Bay is practically a floating boat yard. We're in the process of ripping off our teak decks, and nobody even gives us a second glance.

It is not your super-snazzy, "please allow our dock staff will take care of your cart, Mr. Thwoppington" marina. Indeed, it has been described as "Steinbeckian", with plenty of semi-sketchy looking characters and semi-sketchy looking docks. We're a friendly bunch, though.
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Old 09-16-2022, 07:45 AM   #20
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West Bay Marina in Olympia has some spaces open at the moment, though I'm not sure about a spot for a 50 footer. Lots of liveaboards there.

Where many marinas (lookin' at you, Everett ...) forbid working on your boat, West Bay is practically a floating boat yard. We're in the process of ripping off our teak decks, and nobody even gives us a second glance.

It is not your super-snazzy, "please allow our dock staff will take care of your cart, Mr. Thwoppington" marina. Indeed, it has been described as "Steinbeckian", with plenty of semi-sketchy looking characters and semi-sketchy looking docks. We're a friendly bunch, though.
Don’t give away all our secrets…
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