phpELZiYJAM.jpgSoon, we'll all be living like pirates. The NY Times jumps into the latest trend of city residents living on boats...actually, they did that earlier this year, but those suckers paid to live on a boat. The newest crop of sea dwellers are l-i-v-i-n for free. The paper describes the 6,000 square-feet of space, which boasts 15-foot ceilings, views of the Manhattan skyline, giant roofdecks and no neighbors (and yes, there's internet). Don't worry, there's a downside (or seven), including no insulation, no mail delivery, no shower, and a few more missing luxuries. What is this real estate find exactly?

This particular residence once served as a 650-passenger ferry shuttling people between Martha’s Vineyard and New Bedford, Mass., for $17 round-trip. Since March 2007, the ship, now moored in a spot about a 10-minute boat ride from Midtown, has become home for a small group of secretive and resourceful people looking for an inexpensive, unorthodox place to stay.

The exact location is a secret, as is the owner of the ship—a 29-year-old real estate investor—due to its "legally murky" status and the fact that the owner doesn't, you know, pay docking fees to anyone. There are currently 400 on a waiting list to get permits in order to do exactly what this crew is doing (but legally). One resident, who pays by helping out, says, “It’s currently like ‘Mad Max’ except we don’t have shotguns.” So how long until the Coast Guard pans out to find this bunch?

Photo of an abandoned houseboat via Aaron Siladi's flickr.