Deadline to enter lottery to live on water in Berkeley is Friday

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- The city of Berkeley is holding a lottery for a shot at 13 slips where people can moor their floating homes. The deadline for entering the lottery is Friday. Applications can be dropped off at the Marina office.

Applicants must own their boat, be able to safely operate it, have a driver license and be in good standing with the city of Berkeley.

"My boat was well under six figures. You'd be lucky to get something under 7 figures around here," said Dave Marcolini, who has lived on his boat in the Berkeley Marina for about nine years. About 100 of the 1,100 slips at the Marina are set aside for people who live aboard their boats.
But, the allure is easy to see -- living closer to nature in a home you can take on vacation and rental at least, is affordable. However, Tom Barr, who lives on his 30 foot sailboat, says " a studio apartment is $2,000 a month right now. With a live aboard for a 35 foot boat, it's less than 800 a month."

That doesn't include utilities, and of course you have to own a boat, but even that can be a tenth of what you would pay for a house in the Bay Area.

However, Matthai Chakko with the city of Berkeley warns that it's not for everyone.

He says, "this really isn't a place for the general population. You really want to be someone who is experienced on a boat, what the risks are, what the lifestyle is. For example, living spaces on boats are often small and not family friendly. Safety is a concern: boats sink or catch fire, young children could fall into the water and drown. But, if it sounds like your kind of lifestyle, live aboards say there is nothing like being able to take your home with you on vacation."
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