Wednesday, March 28, 2012

California Live A-Boards

Unlike most of the world, California does not freely allow people to live on their boats. In fact, many marinas don't allow liveaboards and the facilities that offer residency generally have a long waiting list. Last year--before we committed to moving to CA--we paid a considerable sum just to get on an estimated 10-year waiting list, hoping the poor economy might help our position.

Typically live-a-board status is limited to 10% of berths. And that number is split between the different sized boats. Upon visiting many popular CA live-aboard marinas, we were convinced the percentage was higher. Apparently these unofficial liveaboards are known as "sneak a-boards”, a situation tolerated by some dockmasters. Sneakaboards aren't all trying to dodge the surcharge for living aboard; they prefer a floating lifestyle.

Word on the dock is that government marinas (common in CA) by law can only allow 10%, while private marinas can allow slightly more yet we have always been quoted the same percentage. The limited full-time status is due to the requirements for water and sewer as defined by California environmental laws. Overall, liveaboard status is strictly monitored and must be approved by the harbormaster.

New to San Francisco Bay, S/V Event Horizon and crew are considered transients. Transient status, at our current marina, will allow us to live afloat for the next 3-months. In the meantime we are on multiple marina waiting lists requesting official live-a-board status, and exploring our surrounding housing options.