Emeryville Liveaboard Profile: Emery Cove’s Abe & Kelsey preparing for adventure!

Published On July 19, 2018 | By Cindy Warner | In the Neighborhood, Neighbor Spotlight

The benefits of living on our Emeryville Marina include stunning sunsets, relatively reasonable rents and a community of folks from all walks of life and income levels. For some, it’s about frugality. For others it’s about a connection to the sea and a sense of freedom and adventure.

Abe Martin & Kelsey Vicars are two-year Emery Cove Yacht Harbor residents where they’ve lived aboard their 41′ sailboat ‘Dawn Treader’ named after a ship in the The Chronicles of Narnia fiction series.

Abe Martin & Kelsey Vicars liveaboard Dawn Treader

“I love sailing … but even more than I love sailing, I have a love for the natural world,” says the 29-year-old Martin. “Sailing brings me closer to nature and it makes me feel alive.”

Martin appreciates the proximity of Emery Cove to an urban environment like Emeryville. “It makes me feel more connected to the elements and separate from mainstream society, though not entirely disconnected from its invaluable infrastructure.”


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Martin is employed by Emery Cove helping with the ongoing dock replacement project. As an employee and renter, he lives under strict rules set by an HOA including a zero-tolerance on open consumption of alcohol.

“I never dreamed I would be living on a boat,” added Vicars, who is employed as a barista in Oakland. Vicars is learning how to tattoo with the hopes of making an eventual career change. “It’s like camping, or ‘glamping’.

Vicars and Martin note daily challenges of being a liveaboard including occasional power outages, cooking in a confined space and the DIY sanitation services.

Emery Cove is a 430 slip dockominium (Photo: Marinas.com)

Slip rentals range from about $400 to $700 per month depending on the size and location. Emery Cove provides onshore amenities including, bathroom, trash, laundry, showers and a public lounge area with a DVD and book library.

Obtaining liveaboard status can be challenging and Martin says it helps to know someone to help guide them through the process. Liveaboards are strictly regulated and approved by the California Bay Conservation & Development Commission (BCDC). Emery Cove caps the total of liveaboard slips at 6%.

Permanent liveaboard status is at the discretion of the Harbor Master and is not specific to any particular boat slip according to Emery Cove’s FAQs. Weekend use and periodic overnight occupancy by the slip owner or a guest is generally ok.

Cozy, but not for the claustrophobic.

Being a liveaboard has enabled Martin to sock away a few dollars and buy a vintage Formosa that he is working to restore. After completing a fiberglass patching, he sailed a crew of friends to Angel Island where he moored overnight. Martin’s ongoing renovation includes plans to refurbish the teak deck and varnishing the rails.

The William Garden designed sailboat is cozy with many charming details and amenities.

“It’s living according to certain values, absolutely no impulse buys,” according to Vicars. Vicars says space is less of a challenge to her since she rented a room prior to living on a boat. “This is so much better.”

Most of Martin’s sailing experience is within our bay including Paradise Cove in Tiburon and the Clipper Cove at Treasure Island. “I want to sail to Monterey to see what sailing on the open ocean is like before we move on,” Martin says. The couple would like to start their world voyage by heading south with the Baja Ha Ha Flotilla, which convoys from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas each October.

Abe Martin & Kelsey Vicars in the galley of Dawn Treader.


This Liveaboard profile is the first in a series by Emeryville Marina reporter and fellow liveaboard Cindy Warner spotlighting the diversity and breadth of our waterborne neighbors.

About The Author

lives in Emeryville after finding a Bentley 38 sailboat at Emery Cove in 2014. She learned to sail at Cal Sailing and covered the America's Cup in SF. She grew up in the East Bay and finds the shoreline home. She has written on San Francisco Arts & Culture since January 2009, using her bicycle and public transportation to cover stories all over the SF Bay Area.

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