One thing that never changes when you live on a boat is that you will always need to moor your boat somewhere. 95% of the time you will need to pay for your mooring so this is always going to be an ongoing cost for any liveaboard boater.
So how do we pay the least amount of money for our moorings so we have more money in our pockets.
The cost of moorings vary widely depending on the location and type of mooring.
The most expensive moorings are generally in popular boating/sailing areas and are mostly marina pontoon moorings that are permanently afloat allowing you to move your boat at any state of tide. If you want this convienence you have to pay the money but if you are prepared to rough it a little bit then there is an alternative....
These are a cheap alternative and believe it or not you can live on a swinging mooring if you don't mind putting in some effort on a daily basis.
Most people have seen a swinging mooring before, you know, those boats tied to a mooring bouy in the middle of the harbor.
Well, there are two types of swinging mooring in general, one that never dries out (your boat is always afloat) and one that does dry out (the tide goes out and you boat sits on the bottom) This is sometimes called half tidal as your boat may only be afloat for half the tidal range.
The half tidal swinging mooring is not really suitable for a liveaboard boater as access to your boat will be limited to times of the tide but a full swinging mooring that is accessable at all states of tide by dingy or tender is a viable alternative. This is the type we will use in this post.
Swinging moorings are cheap because you do not have any of the services and convienences that a marina mooring may have but if you can manage without those you can have a very cheap mooring.
Lets look at some of the less convienent aspects of living on a swinging mooring.
- No mains power connection unless you generate mains power yourself with a generator.
- To get aboard your boat and back to shore you will need to use a dingy or tender and have a secure place to park you dingy/tender onshore.
- Getting your fresh water aboard is either a manual process where you bring it aboard in containers in your dingy/tender or you move your boat to a location where you can access water and fill your water tanks then move your boat back to your mooring. The same applies to getting your diesel fuel.
- Many swinging moorings are not as well protected from the weather as a marina mooring. You will find you need to keep everyday items secured and/or stowed away as weather gets bad. Movement of your boat will be far greater.
- Running out of LPG gas or forgetting to buy the milk can be more of an inconvenience when on a swinging mooring. It involves getting in the dingy/tender, with the empty bottle of gas in this case, rowing to the shore, getting a new gas bottle, and the milk, and then rowing back to the boat with you new supplies. Of course, this will be carried out in both summer AND winter!
- It can get a bit isolated as you will most likely be the only one on the swinging moorings that liveaboard.
These are a few of the less convienent aspects of living on a swinging mooring and I am sure there are more I have missed.
As with everything I am sure there are positive aspects so lets have a look at some of the positives.
- Cost of mooring is vastly cheaper than a marina berth.
- A full swinging mooring will give you the ability to move your boat at any state of tide so not waiting around for a tidal window. Great if you use your boat consistently.
- No nabours to worry about!
- Could save money by not paying for mains electric hookup and other services a marina may supply.
So after thinking about the good and the bad aspects of living on a swinging mooring could it be the ideal mooring for you?
One thing I forgot to mention was the legal aspect of living on a swinging mooring.
If your swinging mooring is below the 'low water mark' and as this assumes we are as we are always afloat different laws may apply.
Generally the local councils have jurastriction over all land down to the 'low water mark'. Anything below the 'low water mark' would normally come under marine law.
So as an example, as a liveaboard would we have to pay council tax? Well the answer is no, you are outside of the councils jurastriction and come under marine law.
As you may come under marine law you will have to abide by this with respect to navigation etc.
Living on a swinging mooring is cheap and it has its good and bad points. Its an option that is not often covered for the liveaboard boater so I hope you have found this informative.
Does anyone currently or previously lived on a swinging mooring? If so I would be interested in your comments.