Housing crises leads to more live aboards

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Greenseas2, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    With the worldwide housing and mortgage crises, more and more people are moving aboard boats to escape ever increasing costs of shoreside home ownership. In Florida, free anchorages are rapidly filling up as well as moorings and dock spaces.

    The thrust of this thread is geared toward "living ship" designs that can be built reasonably quickly and at reasonable costs to owners. Propulsion systems are "nice to have" but not an essential requirement. Floating McMansions are not in order either as the goal is economical floating homes that are free from property taxes, school taxes, annual property reassessments, super high insurances costs and ever climbing utility costs. In working the Boat Design Forum for several years, it is realised that there is a lot of talent out there with good ideas on vessel design, electric power generation, necessary accommodations and other marine related disciplines that can develop some meaningful ideas that average working people can incorporate into a floating home design to make floating homes independent, or nearly so.

    One of the first designs that I would like to put forward is the Cape Codder built by Berkeley Eastman. It can be seen in a 20 and 24 version. www.Berkeley-Engineering.com
     
  2. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    its getting (by what i hear) to be more expensive to mooring your boat then it is to buy a house,,,,down there in florida i hear a simple slip goes for a few thousand (in yucky areas) a month,,,,and could ya really just anchor some where and stay?,,,is there "local" laws on that?,,,and is it any different to be anchored then moored or in a slip (meaning safe wise,,,,not the convenience of electric and no rowing to shore,,hehe) ,,,,it be almost cheaper to do what i want to,,hehe ;),,,park ya boat on land and live in it,,hehe ;)
     
  3. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    The term "mooring applies more to European marinas and loosely translates to "slips" here in the US. Don't know where your information comes from on costs to either docking or anchoring your boat or simply tyingup along the ICW here in Florida. I pay $9 per foot monthly at CLUB MED. Electric and water included in addition to use of Club Med facuilities and discounts on purchases. Few communities have laws that impact residential boaters, providing they are decent people and maintain their boats. Putting a boat on land (like a house trailer) and hooking to utilities would bring such avoidables as property taxes, homeowner insurances (of various sorts and costs) and all of the other nasties of shoreside property ownership. True, you can do what you want......but you have to pay the price while we save. Heh Heh.
     
  4. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    i got my price from a dude in florida,,hehe,,,and mooring,,where im from (Maine) means tied to a mooring,,,a permanent anchor with a buoy to mark it,,,and you cant have 1 unless you pay the town where you want it,, in fact,,you cant anchor for more then a few days (within so many hundreds of yards from shore) without paying the harbor master,,,,,they make thousands off from cruise ships anchored in the bay.,,,,,,and i'd hook up my "landboat" just like a camper,,,hehe ;) ,,,and they cant tax a boat as "property tax",,,my town tried that with a dude,,hehe,,,wasnt they mad!,,hehe ;)
     
  5. ted655
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    ted655 Senior Member

    Sorry Greenseas, NO matter what, living on water is way more expensive. It is harder to keep afloat. That will never change. The type of designing you most admirably seek, will be achieved at a far higher price than the class of people you want to help, could ever afford.
    Besides, the lawmakers, bureaucrats & sanitation wonks will only follow. We will have widespread solar power only when "They" figure a way to measure & tax sunshine. The same mindset will apply to "free water".
    Sad, but true, water living for the mass's causes more problems than it solves. :(
    .
    I'd be glad to participate in an upscale community of self sustained water livers.:)
     
  6. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member


    Do not forget the army of environmentalists, both government types, and private "activists", who will demand you hire specialized scientists to file environmental impact statements before you put a boat on the water like that. And use that to keep you tied up in court until you run out of money. Water, you see, is too important of a "resource" to use for living on, farming, swimming, drinking, fishing, surfing, sailing or any other human use. Fishes are citizens of the world too and they have their right to the water before you do.
     
  7. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    If you can tolerate the absolute lack of any law & order, (that you may be used to expecting), have a look at places where the communities build on stilts over the water (Port Moresby, PNG has several "over the water villages")
     
  8. ted655
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    ted655 Senior Member

    I think it is more a question of where joe & jill "worker" family's can live in large numbers, in areas where their work is, not where one person can drop out & get by.
    Dad, mom, the kids, & dog, escaping the economic pressures of land.
    A simple lateral move is not practical.
     
  9. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    Sorry ted - I am just totally out of ideas and cannot see it working here either....

    Regulations on disposal of "grey water", "black water" even processed stuff - but nothing to prevent hanging backside over stern, if one can tolerate the "exposure" plus millions of other bureaucratic silliness to ensure a "clean environment"....
     
  10. Finlander
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    Finlander Junior Member

    Boat living was widespread in the Netherlands--particularly Amsterdam--during the post-war period when there was a shortage of housing. Converted barges were used most often...and still are!

    It's a difficult situation for sure in the US. In a real emergency, a land-based RV would probably be more practical than a boat, but even then you'd get ticketed everywhere the cops find it (with you sleeping inside). Ridiculous.

    How are those who've been evicted getting by over there? Are there any new tent cities, yet? :confused:
     
  11. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    Most folks in foreclosure are there because they financed far more than their ability to pay at market prices. They can afford to pay less, so if they are not able to negotiate they move to a lower priced rental house or apartment.

    There may be some reasonbly priced marinas left in FL, but prices have gone up considerably over the past 10-15 years. There are some areas still allowing boats on a mooring at little or no fee, but the authorites are looking for revenue, so look for mooring fees to rise and municipal authorities to look for ways to tax boats moored longer than a week or two. Not in keeping with our images of Paradise but reality is never as good as we wish.
     
  12. Finlander
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    Finlander Junior Member

    One can only hope to not suffer from the double-whammy of loss of credit due to loss of house. I assume that would affect qualifying for rentals, which are probably in short supply right now.

    Anyway, now might be a good window of opportunity to set sail for a faraway destination, assuming you sold the house at the top of the bubble. Then you can come back in a year-or-two to catch a good real estate deal...and perhaps a more lucrative job market :)
     
  13. Greenseas2
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    Live aboards,

    Currently there are few, if any, of the beauracratic stumbling blocks for live aboards that most have mentioned in this thread, and the idea is to help, not exploit those who might find the live aboard life style to their liking and financial advantage. The development of a floating home design that can be built a talented amateur might still be a worthwhile endeavor. The thrust of the thread is to look for good ideas for designing such a floating home (like all 12 volt electrical system with LED lighting). From what is seen in the anchorages and along the banks of the ICW and southern rivers, there is more than sufficient need. From the responses thus far I'm happy to see that we all are safely entrenched in our mortage free homes and have good paying jobs and not worried about those who don't. There is definitely a decided need for floating quarters that can be off the grid.
     
  14. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    well,,,any GOOD designer,,will first FIND the problem with the "current",,,to do that,,ya need a bunch of different thoughts,experiences,and for all to come up with everything on the subject that is a "current" problem,,,and before you can even THINK of designing a floating house,,,,( i would call it a house boat) you need to know the "situation" your "design" is gonna be in,,,,,,, you say this is fer the poor folks,,,,,well,,,first problem,,,where ya gonna put this floating house?,, what are the restrictions,,codes,,weather,,COSTS,, and market.,,,,then and ONLY then,,can you design a boat to "live" on.,,,,,as i see it,,,everyone got the "thrust" of this thread,,,,and contributed,,,,,,,but as usual with people wanting free design ideas,,,,,when the majority doesnt say what you want to hear,,,,,,,,,we must not understand you,,,,,,your looking for a quick answer,,,,,,google the words "house boat",,,,im pretty sure you'll get all kinds of designs,,,,,,,,and your assertion that its "tax free" is way off,,,,way off,,,and in SOME instances,,a boat has more taxes on it then a "mobil home" does,,,,,,,,now theres a design,,,,,turn ya mobile home into a floating tax free home,,,,then all we need is the same ole 12volt system thats in almost any boat,,,and some pontoons,,,and a 150hp outboard,,hmmmm.
     

  15. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I don't know where you live and maybe there are such places, but most places I've been here in the USA there are beauracratic stumbling blocks for live aboards. They may not be enforced, but they are there, just waiting for someone to pester the nearest career politician/government titsucker into action, like maybe the leader of the Homeowners Association that just took over the marina after condos arose overnight like mushrooms.

    As Finlander says, "Boat living was widespread in the Netherlands--particularly Amsterdam--during the post-war period when there was a shortage of housing. Converted barges were used most often...and still are!". That's because places like the Netherlands are civilized and people are reasonable. I assume we are talking about the USA, where official policy is based on greed and fear, where we are warned that people doing anything unusual, such as taking photographs or being in the view from your waterfront McMansion, are to be suspected as terrorists and prudent, "reasonable" people should report them to the nearest Authority, which is any fool with a symbol or a badge. You have EPA, DNR, Marine Sheriff Patrol, and the ever plentiful General *******, none of which like boat people riffraff.

    The point of the pointless rant above is things are pretty regulated now in most places and will only become more so, probably in an exponential way.

    Not that living aboard is a bad idea or impossible. I just think it has some limits. I think mobility would be very important. The "Cape Codder" is somewhat movable and would be nice to live on, but it's shape says it is a house on the water and not any sort of boat. It would be limited in it's movements and have to be carefully planned, about the equivalent of a nautical mobile home.

    How a person supports himself would be a major consideration. Marinas and moorings can be remote, a person needs ground transportation. A portable skill would be valuable.

    There are other things, but for the moment, I wore myself out with all the whining and it's time to go to the beach to recuperate with some suds. :cool:
     
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