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Old 07-20-2011, 08:17 AM
 
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Aloha, I'm in the planning stages of sailing to Hawaii. Once there, I'd like to stay for a while and check out the islands. I'm a single guy and I live very simply so I'd like to stay on my boat to save on the cost of housing. I know that I can find basic marina info on the web but I was hoping to hear from other sailors for a recommendation of a friendly marina. Any advice? Thx.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
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There is a book called "Charlie's Charts" which has a lot of information about sailing in Hawaii as well as a lot of the anchorages and harbors.

I think you can stay for either sixty or ninety days per year per marina, at least at the state marinas. The nicest one is the Ala Wai on Oahu, you could start there. Actually getting a liveaboard (or any) slip there can take years and years, though. You have to put your name on a list and then reapply to the list every year until your name gets to the top. Other than the state marina in the Ala Wai, the Waikiki Yacht club and the Hawaii Yacht club have a few slips, although I'm not sure about their stance on liveaboards.

Here's a bit of info on some of the other Oahu harbors:

There are frequently slips available at Keehi Lagoon state marina although that's directly under the airport's flight path and the planes taking off can rattle your mast. There are two private marina's over there, too.

There are some military slips available at Rainbow Marina in Pearl Harbor.

There is a new private marina, Ko'olina between Pearl and Pokai.

Pokai Bay marina has some nasty surge and can chew through dock lines. It's also pretty far away from a lot of things. Haleiwa Harbor is another state marina and is kinda nice although I've never sailed into that harbor. I'm not sure how the big winter waves affect that harbor, either, since it's on North Shore.

Kaneohe side there is a state marina, several small private marinas and the yacht club there, but there are also a lot of coral heads and you need a really good chart to get through the coral.

Kauai has one harbor that I know of - Nawiliwili, and it's a state marina. It has a dogleg breakwater so use a chart when going in. It's a state marina. A lot of folks moor in Hanalei bay on the other side of the island, but that is a seasonal anchorage.

Molokai has Kaunakakai and a deserted barge harbor near the Oahu end of the island.

Lanai has Manele bay which is a small state harbor, I think. It's been several decades since I've been there, they had a small pier.

Lahaina on Maui has a small state marina, a lot of folks like to moor at Black Rock, there's a few other marinas around the island but we never did anything more than moor offshore for an evening.

The Island of Hawaii has a small state harbor near the big commercial harbor in Hilo. That has a Tahiti tie-up for your sixty day stay. There is also Radio Bay in Hilo where some folks are moored out, occasionally someone will moor out in Hilo bay for awhile. There is a small boat harbor near Suisan in Hilo, the fish sellers, but getting a slip there takes even longer than the Ala Wai. Over near the Kawaihae commercial harbor is a few slips and a mooring area. State run. There is another state harbor over near Kailua on the Kona side, Keahou, I think it is.

Considering we are a state surrounded by water, we really don't have that many facilities for boats, this listing unfortunately covers most of them. For hauling out, your most options will be on Oahu.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:26 PM
 
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Thanks for the great info. I was wondering why more people didn't liveaboard. It's kind of surprising to me that there aren't more facilities but I'll make do with what is there. Thx again.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
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Fair winds and following seas!~
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:06 PM
 
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Aloha ... Hotcatz has given you some pretty good info ... but there are some additional details to report ... hard to know where to start ... but I'll throw a few things at you.

I am a part-time liveaboard now ... was full-time a few years ago ... (I split my life between three states now). If you are military qualified you can often find a temporary berth at Rainbow Bay ... but can't even get in there without clearance (that's where my current boat is)

Keehi Lagoon is a tough puppy right now (where I used to live full time at one of the private marinas) ... Keehi state marina is a den of thieves and drug use ... you can find anchorage there but you may not find much of your stuff aboard when you go to town and come back. And both the private marinas there took near total destruction from the recent tsunami surge. The docks at Keehi Marine center were WIPED OUT ... as were more than half the docks at LaMariana. Not only has this cut availability in Keehi, but has put pressure on getting even temporary moorings at other marinas on Oahu as surviving boats have had to go begging for slips.

In general you should also know that the ONLY long-term liveaboard marinas are the few on Oahu: Keehi state marina, Ala Wai state marina -- both with long wait lists, but some temporary availability occasionally ... NO other state marinas allow liveaboards AT ALL for any length of time at dockside. You may anchor out for varying times up to 90 days with HarborMaster approvals at a FEW harbors ... mostly you will be restricted, even at remote anchorages, to about 3 days. Given the changing swells and wind conditions, you have to keep moving anyway at undeveloped anchorages.

Other than the state marinas, there are only a very few private ... and only one has liveaboard option ... that is Ko 'Olina on dry side Oahu ... La Marianna and Keehi Marine Center, as I wrote above, are temporarily screwed due to damages. The few yacht clubs, on Oahu only, have a few spots, but pretty full since the tsunami ... you can try Hawaii and Waikiki and Kaneohe if you have club reciprocal privileges.

Hawaii has fewer boats registered than any state, including the state of Wyoming. It is NOT boat friendly ... not by infrastructure, nor management, -- and, frankly, not by nature either. There are dozens of open anchorages around the islands to cruise to and enjoy, but very few are safe and / or comfortable under a wide range of conditions. Big water here. Big weather. Tough boating. Gotta be sharp. But beautiful if you are.

Best resource is (and it IS a great one!):
"Cruising Guide to the Hawaiian Islands" by Carolyn and Bob Mehaffy.
The Charlie's Charts that Hotcatz has mentioned is a good resource as charts, but the Cruising Guide is much much more useful for getting a picture of cruising Hawaii and finding anchorages and marinas, etc.

I repeat: you will NOT be allowed ANY liveaboard, even temporary, at most state marina docks ... period. If you want to cruise and anchor, you can stay short periods only.

Ala Wai at Waikiki is your best bet for staying in harbor for an extended time ... they have temporary slips opening fairly regularly, especially off-season. Hit me with more questions if you like.

aloha
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:20 PM
 
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Another great post-thanks! I'll check out the book. I forgot about the tsunami. Didn't really realize there was that much damage. Also didn't realize crime was such a problem. I may have more questions later.Thx again.
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:48 AM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
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Ooops! Thanks, Nullgeo, I'd forgotten about the tsunami damage. Although half the state docks were removed in Keehi lagoon last time I looked but that was years ago. Sigh! If the ocean doesn't eat the boats the bureaucrats do.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:56 PM
 
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nullgeo said: "Hawaii has fewer boats registered than any state, including the state of Wyoming." Interesting statistic, and I believe it. Also: "very few are safe and / or comfortable under a wide range of conditions. Big water here. Big weather. Tough boating." I haven't been sailing in years, and never in Hawaii, but that was my understanding as well: no continental shelf, deep channels, big swells, and very few safe harbors.

Kaua'i does have another marina at Port Allen, though I don't know the status of the slips (available or not, visitor or not). A lot of boats from Nawiliwili go up to anchor in Hanalei bay during the summer when the north shore swells are flat. I don't know what rules govern the bay, but I'm pretty sure the same boats are there all summer, some with people aboard. The bay is protected and the views are some of the best in HI, so it would be very desirable.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:37 PM
 
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Default Liveaboard in Hawaii

Hello, we're in a similar predicament! My husband and I are looking to move to Hawaii to live aboard our (future) boat with our children. We were shocked and pretty discouraged to see how FEW marinas there are that allow liveaboard and even more surprised to hear of one or two that won't allow children! This is becoming very frustrating and discouraging. We had our heart set on Maui, but that, apparently, is out and Oahu, is so incredibly limited and we really don't want to be near Honolulu or Waikiki.

So, if anyone comes across any liveaboard information, that allows children, and isn't ridiculously high priced, I'd be most grateful.

...wishing I could find a nice family in Hawaii, who wants to do a swap and live in our house in Alaska....sigh.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kellie_Schneider View Post
Hello, we're in a similar predicament! My husband and I are looking to move to Hawaii to live aboard our (future) boat with our children. We were shocked and pretty discouraged to see how FEW marinas there are that allow liveaboard and even more surprised to hear of one or two that won't allow children! This is becoming very frustrating and discouraging. We had our heart set on Maui, but that, apparently, is out and Oahu, is so incredibly limited and we really don't want to be near Honolulu or Waikiki.

So, if anyone comes across any liveaboard information, that allows children, and isn't ridiculously high priced, I'd be most grateful.

...wishing I could find a nice family in Hawaii, who wants to do a swap and live in our house in Alaska....sigh.
Kellie -- there are NO -- zero -- liveaboard options in Hawaii except on Oahu ...
Zero as in Zero ... not allowed by the state ... no private marinas.
And the ONLY liveaboard options on Oahu are in Honolulu -- except one: Ko Olina on the Leeward side ... very nice marina but I doubt you would want to live there with children (if allowed) ... and frankly, I don't know why anyone would much care to live over there, far away as it is from pretty much anything and everything -- yet still not beautiful country living either.

On Oahu there is:
Ala Wai (Waikiki) -- state harbor with long wait list
Keehi Lagoon -- state harbor in a nasty, dirty, noisy, commercial area with criminal activity in the harbor
Keehi Marine Center -- private docks, well managed with security, now taking new applications ... new docks just installed ... but still in a dirty, noisy, commercial district with NOTHING for children ... no family freedom or activity ...
LaMariana Sailing Club -- with some new docks in following the tsunami damage ... possible liveaboard but still in the same Keehi Lagoon industrial area with nothing for kids and family life ...

That's it for the entire state of Hawaii ... period. Not a boat-friendly place.
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