Buying a boat offers a world of possibility that doesn’t exist on land. With your new vessel, you can explore various waterways, go fishing, indulge in water sports, watch beautiful sunsets from wherever your adventures take you, and more. And you have even more opportunities to fulfill those possibilities when you live on your boat full-time.
There are certainly some challenges to full-time boat living, but there are also plenty of benefits. For those who love being out on the water, it can offer an incredible and fulfilling lifestyle.
So, what is it like to actually live on a boat full-time? Boatline researched some of the pros and cons to help you decide if it’s something you’d like to pursue. Here’s our quick guide.
If you don’t own a boat, you might think the first thing you need to do is start researching which one would be best for you as you transition from a land lover to a full-time seadog. However, before you start shopping around, you need to figure out where you’re going to keep your boat. A lot of marinas are filled up and have waiting lists, so make sure to get your spot in advance. Some also don’t allow full-timers, so be sure to check that out, too.
Living on a boat provides a lot of freedoms that homeowners just don’t have. For one thing, you’ll never need to mow your lawn again. In addition, you can take your new home anywhere. Not happy with your current spot? Go somewhere else. Scenery isn’t too spectacular? Find a new location to drop anchor. If you can work remotely or you’re retired, there’s nothing stopping you from traveling the world, seeing new things, and experiencing new cultures.
One of the most exciting things about living on a boat is that you’ll constantly get to meet new people and befriend like-minded boaters. The boating community is a vibrant subculture with a welcoming community, and you’ll be sure to feel at home wherever you travel. Fellow boaters will definitely understand your motivation and desire to experience such a unique lifestyle.
To be fair, you’ll probably still have loan and utility payments, and you’ll likely need to find a place to do your laundry every now and then. On the other hand, you can’t drop a line off the back porch of a traditional brick-and-mortar home and catch what you’re going to have for dinner.
As for utilities, they’re probably going to be significantly less expensive than what most homeowners pay, mostly because you’ll have less space to heat/cool or light. If your boat has high-capacity batteries hooked to solar panels or wind turbines, your electricity costs will be very low. You can also invest in a reverse osmosis system that can turn seawater into fresh water for drinking, doing dishes, and more.
Living the Life
When it’s time to start thinking about the boat you want, consider how much room you’ll need. If it’s just you, or just you and a smaller pet, you might do fine in a larger sailboat or cabin cruiser. If it’s going to be you and a significant other or maybe even a few kids, you might want to look at a tugboat or a trawler. These boats can provide a lot of extra room that you won’t have on smaller boats. This is important for storage space, privacy, and creating a more cozy atmosphere.
Speaking of privacy, it can be challenging if you’ll be living with your significant other or kids, especially when it comes to using the head (bathroom). On smaller vessels, such as sailboats, you may actually have to step over someone’s legs or ask them to move if you need to access a different area on the boat.
One more thing to keep in mind is maintenance costs. Living on a boat will likely require more maintenance than living in a stationary house, so make sure you have an emergency fund for unexpected repairs and replacements.
Living the Adventure
There are several things to take into consideration when trying to decide if transitioning to a full-time boating life is really what you want. Do a little research, consider the pros and cons, and dive in. If you’re still not sure, try living on a boat for a few days at a time and gradually start to extend your commitment to the water. There are rental options out there if you want to dip your toes in first before actually buying a boat.
When you’re ready to make your move, you can count on Boatline to assist you with your search. We have thousands of listings that can help turn your fantasy of living on a boat full-time into a fulfilling reality.
By Barrett Baker