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Who Says You Can't Get a Good Deal in This River?

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There are 30 year-round houseboats legally moored in New York City, and many more floating in the murky waters of...illegality? Piracy? Oh, please, let it be classified under piracy! Anyway, every now and then one of these unorthodox living situations gets exposed to the prying eyes of New York Times readers, and the paper nets a big fish today. Check out the former 650-person ferry that now serves as a four-floor, 6,000-square-foot maritime mansion to five very handy hipsters. Well, maybe mansion isn't quite the correct term:

Originally, Jonathan hired workers to remove benches, with dreams of turning the ferry into a proper residence or a floating playground, complete with helipad, and of mooring it in a more proper location. But those plans were scrapped as the economy soured this summer. The ship’s five residents have a Christmas tree, a full-size refrigerator and even a drum set on the ship, but generally brush their teeth and use the toilets at local cafes and shower at friends’ apartments.Oh, and there's that no heat thing. Brrrrr! "Jonathan" is the ship's owner, a 29-year-old "real estate investor" who refused to give his last name because the boat is tied up to some steel pegs sticking out of a concrete wall and he doesn't pay a docking fee (though he says the vessel is registered). It's a rent-free life filled with all-night ragers?no neighbors!?but it may not last much longer. Though the Times doesn't reveal the docking location, the accompanying photo gallery should be enough to lead the, uh, Coast Guard(?) right to the young seafarers if they feel like cracking down.
· The Urban Pirate Life: Making a Ferry a Home in NYC [NYT]