Liveaboard slips are very popular in Long Beach, as you could imagine. Boaters from all over Southern California come to Long Beach, and many love it so much they never want to leave! For boaters who want to live year-round on their vessel, a liveaboard slip is a great idea. Getting one though, is not as easy as it seems.
The Alamitos Bay Marina, Shoreline Marina, and Rainbow Harbor/Marina all have a very limited number of liveaboard slips available. The Long Beach marinas are not zoned as a residential area, and the power and water supplies on the docks are not meant to serve a residential community, so the number of liveaboard slips at each marina is capped at 10% of the slips. This means that there are very few slips to go around, and the marinas are almost always at their capacity, so getting a liveaboard slip can be a tricky process. If you are ready to make the leap, or just making plans for the future, here’s a quick guide on how to do it.
What A Liveaboard Slip Is
Liveaboard slips in Long Beach grant you the right to use your boat as a “place of abode”; that is, use it as you would an apartment. Boaters with non-liveaboard slips are only allowed to stay aboard their vessel up to 12 nights per month, while liveaboard slips can stay aboard 24/7 if they wished. Liveaboard boaters can also get a special parking sticker for their vehicles, and are given free tickets to the Long Beach Grand Prix if they are in the Shoreline Marina or Rainbow Harbor/Marina. They are also able to request telephone line installations at their dock, and Shoreline Marina and Alamitos Bay Marina tenants can also get a mailbox at the marina.
How To Get A Liveaboard Slip
The process to get a liveaboard slip can be a little complicated, so here’s a step-by-step guide to make everything simpler for you.
1. Sign up on the waiting list for a permanent slip. If you already have a permanent slip, skip to the next step.
To get a liveaboard slip, you must have a permanent slip in the marinas. Temporary assignments and subleases are not allowed to stay aboard more than 12 nights per month. Guest slips are the only exception, as they are allowed 15 days per calendar month.
2. Once you get your permanent slip, request and fill out the “Liveaboard Request” card.
Since the marinas are almost always at their liveaboard slip capacity, there is usually a waiting list to get liveaboard status (this wait can vary depending on what size your vessel is). Filling out the “Liveaboard Request” card gets you on the waiting list. There is no fee for this.
3. Play the waiting game…again.
The wait for liveaboard status can vary wildly between docks and vessel sizes. Not only are the liveaboard slips capped at 10% of the marina, but the marina only has certain areas where a liveaboard slip can be. Liveaboard slips cannot be next to each other, across from each other, or diagonally from each other on the dock; this is to ensure some modicum of privacy for the tenants.
There really is no way of telling how long it might take to get a liveaboard slip. Some very lucky people can get liveaboard status within days of putting in their request, for others it might take years.
4. Once you are called off of the list, schedule an inspection.
When your name comes up on the waiting list, the marina office will notify you and schedule a liveaboard inspection. This is different from the seaworthiness inspection when you got when you first came in, and is designed to make sure that you will be able to be self-reliant in case of a marina wide emergency, such as power or water outages.
5. Move on in!
Congratulations! You’re part of a club only 10% of the people in the marinas are in!
Liveaboard Vessel Inspection Requirements
The vessel inspection to get a liveaboard slip is a simple process, and almost all vessels pass on the first time. To get a liveaboard slip, a vessel must:
- Be at least 25′ in length
- Be currently registered or documented
- Cannot have any partners on the registration/documentation or on file with the marina office
- Have a holding tank
- Have a fire extinguisher
- Have a source of heating and cooking
- Have a fully functioning electrical system. An inverter is recommended, but not required.
The marina will also need the names of your spouse and any children living on the vessel, as well as a list of any pets.
Some Things To Keep In Mind
Liveaboard slips can be a bit inconvenient to have. When you get called off of the waiting list, it will be for the first liveaboard eligible slip that opens up in your size, you might have to switch docks. Once you do accept liveaboard status, it might be difficult to transfer slips, since you would need to transfer to another one that is eligible to be a liveaboard slip. The roads around the Shoreline Marina and Rainbow Harbor/Marina are also periodically closed for special events-such as the Long Beach Grand Prix and Long Beach Marathon-which makes getting to and from your home tricky.
If you are interested in getting a liveaboard slip, call each marina office get on the waiting list today!