This is a little bit of a rant. Today, we had the photo shoot for the LA Times article, and person in the next boat, someone who has been denied a liveaboard slip in the LA area, started complaining about how horrible liveaboards are treated and the lengths marinas go to in order to prevent unauthorized liveaboards.
This boater, an otherwise nice and knowledgeable sailor, is one example of the cause of the problem why liveaboards are having problems in certain marinas and geographical areas. He sneaks aboard and gets in trouble for it. And then makes the marinas all wish that they had nothing to do with people like him.
In truth, liveaboards, as a community, have three problems. One problem is that they (we) often want less to do with society, and as a result we have no community presence. The second problem is that many liveaboards treat their boats like garages, with their possessions overflowing onto the deck and dock, and making the surrounding area unsightly and possibly dangerous. In that vein, many liveaboards also do not (or cannot) perform proper routine maintenance because it is impossible to get their possessions out of the way. The third problem is that liveaboards are scapegoats for governmental authorities and politicians use the ability to go after our scattered group as proof that they are protecting society (most often in connection with environmental issues).
How do we fix these issues? Well for one thing we need to form some sort of community presence. It doesn’t need everyone, just enough of us to make a difference. We need to be presentable, keeping our decks and docks clean, at least as clean as the rest of the marina. These are perception issues that can be changed, if we are diligent.
Nonetheless, the boater who complained to the LA Times hurt us all today. He put at risk our ability to share the fact that we are normal, regular people with a mass audience, and he did it because no marina wants him, as an individual, in their community. I hope that the LA Times can see through this nonsense. But we were all possibly hurt today… and by one of our own. That’s my rant.