Nicholas lives on land now, having had the sailor's curse of falling in love with a woman who experiences seasickness. But he keeps his 35-foot sailboat moored in Long Beach and is introducing his future wife to life on the water in weekend-long increments.
Sam Byker contributed to this story.
Begin text of infobox
For more information
Robert Doty's popular website with advice for living aboard.
A magazine website with a lively forum.
Author Mark Nicholas' website includes a useful FAQ section and links to other sources.
• www.sailnet.com/forums /living-aboard
A large online message board for those interested in sailing.
Latitudes and Attitudes Magazine website.
-- Ann Brenoff
Where to weigh anchor for good
Here is a sampling of Southern California marinas and their live-aboard slip availability.
Anacapa Isle Marina. Forty-four slips out of 440 accept live-aboards on boats 35 feet or longer, but availability is rare. Monthly slip fees are around $16 a foot plus $315 for two live-aboards. 3001 Peninsula Road, Oxnard; (805) 985-6035.
Catalina Yacht Anchorage. Only two slips out of 200 are occupied by live-aboards, and the marina isn't accepting more. Fees each month range from $9 to $12 a foot plus $150 for one live-aboard. 13505 Bali Way, Marina del Rey; (310) 822-0669.
Pier Forty-Four Marina. Forty slips out of 390 are occupied by live-aboards, but the marina isn't accepting any more. Fees for live-aboards range from $24 to $32 a foot. 13575 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey; (310) 823-4593.
Redondo Beach Marina. Five out of 65 boats in this small marina are occupied by live-aboards, but no slips are available. Fees are $10.50 to $17 a foot plus $100 for one live-aboard. 181 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach; (310) 374-3481, rbmarina.com.
City of Long Beach Marinas. The three city marinas (Alamitos Bay Marina, Long Beach Shoreline Marina and Rainbow Marina) house 150 live-aboards among 3,800 boats. No spots are currently open, and turnover is very slow. Fees are $11 a foot plus $60 for one live-aboard. 450 E. Shoreline Drive, Long Beach; (562) 570-4950.
King Harbor Marina. Two-hundred-fifty of the marina's 827 slips are occupied by live-aboards on boats 27 feet or bigger, but none will be available in the near future. Optional cable, electricity and phone line hookups are available. Fees range from $280 to $1,200 plus $198 for one live-aboard. 208 Yacht Club Way, Redondo Beach; (310) 376-6926.
Peter's Landing Marina. Fifteen of 325 slips are occupied by live-aboards, and there's a long waiting list for any that open up. Fees range from $12.50 to $18.50 a foot. There is no additional cost for live-aboards, but electricity usage is metered and billed separately. 16400 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 108, Huntington Beach, (562) 592-4441.
Dana Point Marina Co. Only seven live-aboards occupy these 1,436 slips, and the marina would accept more -- if there weren't already such a long waiting list for available slips. Fees range from $579 to $1,170 plus 40% for one live-aboard. 34555 Casitas Place, Dana Point; (949) 496-6137, danapointmarina.com
Al Larson Marina. Six out of 125 boats here are occupied by live-aboards, but no slips are available. Fees are about $8 a foot plus $175 for one live-aboard. 1046 S. Seaside Ave., San Pedro; (310) 832-0526.
Ventura West Marina. Around 250 live-aboards occupy the 554 slips here. Although none is currently open, new applicants are being accepted for the waiting list. The marina is designed with live-aboards in mind and includes cable TV and DSL lines, freezers with rentable lockers and a library, among other amenities. Fees range from $210 to $1,080, depending on boat size, plus $110 to $160 for live-aboards, depending on location within the marina. A rate hike is likely in the near future. 1198 Navigator Drive, Ventura; (805) 644-8266, venturawestmarina.com.
Dana West Marina. Forty-seven of the 980 slips here are occupied by live-aboards, but the marina is trying to reduce that number and will not be accepting any new applicants. Fees range from $579 to $967 plus $100 for one live-aboard. 24500 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point; (949) 493-6222.
-- Sam Byker