Sea Village Marina homes offer new interpretation of waterfront living

Published online: Aug 23, 2010 News Mark Di Ionno/Star-Ledger Columnist
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People name boats and vacation homes and secluded country houses. Condos and mobile homes and regular houses? Not much.

The floating homes at Sea Village Marina are a unique combination of all the above, and so most are christened. Captain Sunshine, Pop's Place, Happy Days, Sea Otter, Where the Moon meets the Morning Sun.

The names say it all. Pure Jersey Shore relaxation. Good times in downtime.

"It is so quiet here," said Mary Ann Nawarynski. "When you look out your window, all you see is water and wetlands."

"There's no ground light, so you see every star in the sky," Beverely Cox said. "The sky is wide open."

Sea Village is New Jersey's only year-round, live-aboard community. The main thoroughfare is Risley Channel, a turnpike-wide waterway that merges into Great Egg Harbor Bay south of Longport.

The sidewalks are planked docks, which ripple like a kiddie roller coaster as tides rise and fall in Scull and Lake's and Shelter Island bays.

Along those planks, the floating homes are docked. They are boxy, and cedar-sided. Some have nautical motifs, with ropes and nets with caught plastic shellfish. Some are painted in Miami aqua and tangerine. Most are two stories, some have a third. Almost all have multiple outdoor decks, and docks for boats. All have indoor plumbing; in fact, the village is hooked up to a public sewer line. No roughing it aboard, not with flushable toilets, hot water for showers and Jacuzzis, dishwashers and washing machines. And air conditioning, and electric heaters, and on and on.

"We have every convenience of home," said Mickey Glantz, in the living room of his floating home. Behind him was a flat-screen TV, and a desk with his computer.

"We get cable and internet. We can manage our business from here."

In the kitchen are marble counter tops and tile floors; the woodwork throughout is master carpentry, and hardwood planks line the cathedral ceilings.

Not all are so elaborate. Of the 62 live-aboard vessels at Sea Village, eight are regular houseboats, which can have engines and motor out of their slips. The floating homes stay put like barges, riding the tide, and rocking in the wind.

"When the wind hits 35 mph, we take that down," said James Brodsky, pointing to a hanging stained-glass lamp in his living room.


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