Living on a Boat: Beginner's Guide for Liveaboards

living on a boat guide

It’s easy to romanticize the idea of living on a boat full-time; however, it's an alternative lifestyle like that takes preparation, organization and an ability to roll with changes. When you commit to moving aboard, make checklists of necessities and talk to your partner about deal-breakers. Prepare the boat for life aboard well before you make the move.

Factors to Consider Before Living Aboard

Before moving onboard your boat, you should ask yourself some questions:

  • Is this just for a period of time before you go cruising or is this a lifestyle choice?
  • Are you comfortable with repeatedly defending your choice to your friends and family?
  • Are you living in a climate that is boat-friendly year-round?
  • Are you handy and a good problem solver?
  • Who will accept your Amazon deliveries and are you ready to grocery shop frequently since there won’t be room to stow much?
  • Are you ready to become your own maid?
  • Will you feel comfortable with your kids being in this new environment?
  • What’s Plan B if it doesn’t work?

After moving aboard, you may be hauling the laundry to the laundromat or groceries from the parking lot with no dock cart nearby. You’ll need to go to the pump-out station regularly as well as to the post office for your mail. Small doesn’t translate to easy so mentally run through a typical week and write down solutions to the issues.

Essentials: Stowage, Comfort & Connectivity

When you move from a 2,000-square foot house to a 40-foot boat, all the closets are smaller, the cupboards are fewer and there’s no two-car garage. In preparation, you’ll need to de-clutter kitchen gadgets, tools, mementos and clothing. Keep winter clothes in off-boat storage and your business attire at the office if possible.

Make sure the boat is warm and dry with plenty of ventilation. Mildew and condensation will become a part of life and you’ll need a whole new set of cleaners and tools.

Plan your connectivity needs. Whether a dish for TV or high-speed internet access via the marina WiFi, you’ll need a connectivity solution so you’re not cut off from work, friends, family and entertainment.

Beneficial Skills to Have for Living Onboard

Maintenance on a boat may be worse than in a house in terms of frequency and specificity. Basic plumbing, electrical and mechanical skills will be needed because boat systems are generally less reliable than their household counterparts. The alternative is calling a contractor for every issue.

cost of living on a boat

Cost of Living on a Boat

Don’t assume that you’ll save money by moving aboard. Here's some expenses you may incur by living on your boat:

  • Boat mortgage payment
  • Boat insurance
  • Waste management
  • Food and water

The best way to manage expenses is by making a budget and sticking to it. Depending on the size and value of the vessel, boat insurance may be just as expensive as house insurance. Property taxes will usually be less as will electricity since you’ll not be heating/cooling/lighting as big a space. You’ll probably save money on waste management, gas and water as well.

Where costs rise dramatically is maintenance . Marine parts and labor are usually more expensive—sometimes 20% more, than typical household counterparts. If you take on the tasks yourself and you’re self-employed, every hour you spend working on your boat is an hour you don’t make money.

Learn More in our Boat Insurance Guide

Safety & Security

You’ll need to decide whether to invite strangers inside, and if kids and pets will be safe around the docks. Install CO2 and smoke alarms and a propane sniffer, check the fire extinguishers periodically, and keep an eye on the basics like bilge and battery levels. You may also want to consider the following:

  • Will you be safe walking from the parking lot to the slip at night?
  • Will your nice car be okay outside the garage 24/7?
  • Who will call you if your boat starts to list when you’re on vacation?

There aren’t really more or fewer safety issues, just different kinds.

Daily Life & Socialization

Socializing is easier in a marina than in a neighborhood. Neighbors help neighbors in marinas but it’s a two-way street so be ready to lend a hand when needed. If you’d rather live anonymously, consider an end tie in the forgotten corner of the marina. Although there are challenges to living on a boat, if you’re prepared, you may find it a perfect fit.

I already have a boat in a slip in a marina, so can I just move aboard?

Most marinas require an application for you to move aboard permanently. In some areas, liveaboards aren’t permitted or there are long waiting lists. Liveaboard slip fees are usually higher and your insurance rates may increase if your boat becomes your primary residence.

How do I live aboard a boat with a pet?

Dogs, cats and other pets need to acclimate to their new environments. They need exercise, private space and easy access to food and a potty. Make sure stairs and docks are safe for them and that they know how to get on the boat or dock if they fall in the water. Be careful of small spaces where they can get trapped and wires they can chew. Teach them about their new environment and be patient.

Learn more in Boating with Pets and Tips for Taking Your Dog Boating .

Read Next: Boat Owner's Guide

Looking for more information on boat ownership? Read...

  • Boat Owner's Guide
  • Costs of Boat Ownership
  • Boat Maintenance Guide
  • Insuring Your Boat
  • Boat Safety Guide

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live aboard on a sailboat

How to Live on a Sailboat for Beginners

Life on a Sailboat - for Beginners

This is a guide for how to live on a sailboat – but be warned, if you have any desire for the liveaboard lifestyle, you might quickly become on of us! Living aboard a sailboat requires an enjoyment of water, being okay with small living, and a sense of adventure. It’s not hard to begin living on a sailboat, but a few tips can help.

Let’s consider a few basic liveaboard questions first:

Is it living on a sailboat a good idea?

Living aboard a sailboat give you freedom that you won’t find in any other lifestyle. A suburban house can not be moved from place to place. But living on a sailboat gives you the options to live anywhere – literally in any country in the world! Living aboard a sailboat offers such a unique feeling of freedom to explore that you won’t find anywhere else.

Is living on a sailboat hard?

It is tough to live on a sailboat in a place like San Francisco where everyone is trying to escape super-high rent. In resort areas, many marinas have years-long waitlists for a liveaboard slip, and these slips cost double than a regular slip. However, not all places, in fact most places are easy to liveaboard.

Are you thinking about living aboard? Well, it takes time, planning, and preparation to being living on a sailboat. Here are a few videos to help you make a few calculations.

Adjusting to Liveaboard Life

Today, Emily sits down with 3 other female friends in the harbor to chat about how they transitioned from being landlubbers to liveaboard sailors in recent years. We’ll let you in on the conversation, and 4 different perspectives (though there are MANY others in the world).

  • Emily, 34, aboard Temptress – liveaboard for 5 years
  • Kris, 57, aboard Sixth Girl – liveaboard for 1 year
  • Meredith, 44, aboard Tla Hla – liveaboard for 3 years
  • Hannah, 26, aboard Sojourner – liveaboard for 2 years

How to Afford and Start Living Aboard

Your dream is to become a liveaboard? You want to know more about sailboat life, and what it means to live on a sailboat? You want to know how to afford living on a sailboat and how to afford staying liveaboards? How it feels to daily hoist the sail and follow the wind?

Start Small, Start Now

One philosophy in getting started living aboard a sailboat is to start small, start now. That doesn’t mean you have to buy a major refit project of a sailboat. You can get started in a small 24 foot single cabin boat for less than $10,000 or a mid-size 36 foot sailboat (see video below) for less than $60,000. Or grab a 1980s fixer upper that’s 42 feet in length that costs $25,000 – but beware, a fixer upper is a major expense even when you do it yourself.

Is Living Aboard for You?

No one can answer this question except you. However, if you enjoy freedom, have a sense of adventure, and love the water, then you might enjoy living aboard a sailboat.

We hope you enjoyed this how to guide for life on a sailboat for beginners. Leave us a comment or question a below.

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Sailboat Living: 10 Things To Know Before Moving On Board

Sailboat living can sound like the dream life, and in many ways it is.

Beautiful sunsets, the freedom to travel with your home, dolphins and crystal clear seas are all a huge part of the sailboat lifestyle , but anyone who tells you it’s an easy life has obviously never really lived on a sailboat!

live aboard on a sailboat

There are times when sailboat living can feel more like a nightmare than a dream, and no matter how much you prepare there will always be a few troublesome scenarios that you just can’t predict.

However, with a little forethought and a lot of planning, there is a lot you can do to make the transition of moving from a house to a sailboat a relatively easy one.

If you’re prepared to put in the hard work now then we promise you will reap the rewards in the future. As we learnt the hard way, we’ve put together the top 10 things that everyone should know before they move onto a sailboat so that sailboat living for you can be 98% dream and only 2% nightmare!

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#1 A Sailboat Is Never Complete

a tiny cat looking at a set of tools used for sailboat living

Learn this lesson fast!

Don’t expect to finish boatyard work and stop working. A sailboat breaks. Constantly. Some days it will feel as though your to-do list is endless because unfortunately, it is.

This was one of the things Adam and I were prepared for before we moved onboard our sailboat. After living on a boat in the UK we understood the crazy amount of work that has to go into maintaining something that’s constantly working.

I think a good way of looking at it would be to think of it as a house and a car combined. It has all the working parts of a house – the pipework, the electricity, the leaky windows etc.

It also has all the working parts of a car like an engine, the tires could be the sails, the lines, and all that goes along with them.

Add to that the fact that you’re putting it under huge amounts of stress at all times, in some extreme weather conditions, and you can see why things constantly fail!

a boatyard that a sailor is living in at sunset

Adam and I spent the first few months of living aboard feeling as though we were just sailing from anchorage to anchorage to find chandlers so we could fix things. We made friends with some full-time cruisers who quickly put a stop to that!

They explained how if we actually wanted to enjoy time on board then we had to give ourselves time off the boat work. The broken things we could live with could wait a few days while we enjoyed a new destination.

Find out how much new sails cost

We now try to only do one or two days of boat work a week, which leaves us with a weekend ‘off’ when we’re working our jobs for three days. This suits us perfectly, but you’ll need to find a pattern that works for you to make sailboat living more enjoyable!

A bonus of living onboard is that you do have the extra time to dedicate to keeping the sailboat in tip-top condition.

Many weekend sailors find themselves with a long list of jobs at the end of the season, but (depending on how cheap/how lucky you get when you buy your boat!) if you get some jobs done every now and again through the season you’ll keep the long stints to a minimum.

#2 Sailboat Living = Tiny Space Living

sailboat living in a tiny space

Think of sailboat living as living in a glorified tent and you’ll be (partly) prepared! There is nothing glamorous about sailboat living!

You’ll be getting changed in tiny spaces where you may or may not be able to stand. You’ll be squeezing into the toilet or squeezing past people to use the kettle. It’s a juggling act, even when all your belongings are stashed away neatly.

Add to that the fact you’ll probably be ripping open cupboards every other day to find that essential item that was placed under all the other essential items and it becomes pretty hard to manage!

Our top tips for managing space onboard your sailboat are to downsize before you move in and to prioritise sailboat storage. It might be a hard thing to do to start with, but you’ll be so thankful you gave up all nonessential items before you even moved aboard.

It’s amazing how quickly you can fill a boat when you live on it! We have loads of handy tips on how to maximise limited space in our post on sailboat storage ideas – check it out before you start sailboat living!

#3 Water, Water, Everywhere But Not A Drop To Wash In

a calm sea with a sailboat cutting through the water

Get used to living frugally. We don’t necessarily mean your finances (though it is possible to live on a budget on a sailboat, check out what we spend monthly here).

Things like water and electricity are limited on a sailboat, especially if you’re spending the majority of your time at anchor.

Unless you have a sailboat watermaker (which we highly recommend splashing out on!) you need to get used to using as little water as possible . It’s not always easy to find when you live on the sea.

Get used to taking sea showers and washing dishes in saltwater. You can always rinse in freshwater, and washing in the sea really isn’t too hard once you’re used to it!

Set your sailboat up with a good way of making electricity as soon as you move aboard. You’ll want decent amounts of solar power and possibly a wind generator too, especially if you’re planning on spending time in countries that don’t see very much sunshine or spending winters at anchor.

You’ll also want to make sure you have a good battery bank for storing it over night, and you may even want to consider getting a small generator if you rely on power for things like charging laptops to work from.

#4 The People You Meet Will Be A True Highlight

The sailing community is what makes sailboat living. They are the most giving and generous community of people we have ever met and the best memories we have are the ones we spent with other cruisers.

It’s not always easy to meet other sailors while you’re living at anchor, so our advice is to make the effort and say hi where ever possible. People are always happy to share a drink or dinner, and a salty tale or two!

Meeting other sailors is also the very best way to learn more about sailing life. No matter how long people have cruised for they always have an experience worth sharing and learning from.

#5 The Weather Controls Your Life In Sailboat Living

sailboat living at sunset in an anchorage

We check the weather twice a day, every day. It may seem obvious that the weather is important on a sailboat, but until we moved aboard we didn’t realise quite how much it would affect our lives.

You might be desperate to move the boat and explore somewhere new but find you have no wind to sail. Or you might fall in love with an anchorage and want to stay but be forced to move because of a change in the direction of the wind.

We’ve had to leave beautiful anchorages in the middle of the night because an unpredicted storm had blown through, or been stuck in places we don’t like because the wind has meant it’s the only safe place to be.

The positives of being governed by the weather is that you’re so much more in tune with it. You get up when the sun rises, you notice subtle changes in the temperature and you learn to read the wind and clouds.

a rainy day on a sailboat

Before you move on board you should start checking the weather and anchorages around where you plan on sailing. It makes life easier if you’ve scouted out the best places to be in different weather conditions.

Check things like whether there are safe anchorages for different wind directions or whether you’ll need to use marinas (and how much they’ll be!), and check if there are any ‘bolt holes’ you can use as safe havens in the event of unexpected storms.

You’ll feel more confident and comfortable if you have all this information to hand when you start sailboat living.

#6 Sailboat Living Means Leaving Your Privacy On The Dockside

You’ll be sharing a tiny space with your crew and they will quickly learn literally everything there is to learn about you. And you them.

Before you move onto a sailboat make sure that you’re happy with sharing everything with the people you’re sailing with. I don’t mean you have to tell them about your childhood (though night passages can be pretty dull!) but be prepared to share what you eat, when you toilet, potentially what you throw up.

Expect to be walked in on while you’re changing or showering. Understand that boat toilets break – a lot – so no matter how careful you are you might well end up elbow deep in someone else’s last nights dinner!

#7 Learn To Work As A Team – Quickly

a couple on a sailboat laughing

Sailboat living requires a huge amount of team work (unless you’re planning on living alone of course). You need get into a very different mindset when you live and work with the same person or people day in, day out, and when you depend on them (quite literally) to survive.

One of the biggest reasons that people quit at sailboat living is because they fall out with their partners, or call it a day before they do. Sailboat living is hard on relationships, but it can also make your relationship better and stronger if you’re prepared to work at it.

There are lots of things you can do to prepare for this change and I’ve put together a whole range of tips to help you with spending too much time with your partner .

Ultimately, one of the best things you can do is know that this isn’t going to be easy, no matter how strong your relationship is on land. Be prepared for this as a couple, and be prepared to work hard on your relationship when the tough patches come!

#8 Nature Is Incredible

learning to freedive while living on a sailboat

I know, I know, we all know nature is incredible. But sailboat living brings you so much closer to it in so many different ways.

You see things you’d never get a chance to see on land. Every time you jump in the sea you find new sea creatures, either from snorkeling or finding them clinging on to your hull, or washed up on deck.

You see turtles, whales and rays. Birds come to find rest on your boat while you’re on long passages and dolphins swim beside you as you make waves for them to play in.

a man and his cat watching the sunset from a sailboat

Then there’s the sunrises and sunsets, and the endless starlit skies. The thunderstorms that you’re suddenly a part of, when before you could hide inside brick walls. The constantly changing sea and sky, and the sun and wind. You become part of it, and you depend on it, and you’re terrified of it.

Sailboat living makes you feel like you’re part of the nature around you rather than just a lucky spectator. It’s certainly changed the way I see the ocean and the weather for the better and I have a new found respect and healthy fear of it’s power and awe.

#9 Prepare For Sleepless Nights

falling asleep under starry skies

Before we set off cruising full time I had no idea how little sleep I would get. There are so many different things trying their hardest to ruin a good nights sleep on a sailboat.

Firstly, the weather. If it’s windy, you’ll be half awake all night just watching the anchor and wondering if this will be the night it pulls out and you drag into some rocks.

You’ll be waiting for the wind to shift slightly so that you’re no longer protected from the sea. And even if you’re super happy with your anchoring set up, the wind through the halyards makes a very disconcerting noise!

If the weather is calm that doesn’t mean the sea will be. You can never predict whether the anchorage you arrive in will be the rollyest place on the island, so you’ll spend a good few nights just rolling around all over the place trying your hardest to stay in your berth.

a star lit night sky

Then there’s the heat (or the cold, depending on where you sail). It can be unbearably hot inside a sailboat, so consider buying a decent hammock and sleep under the stars instead.

But if you decide to sleep outside you’re going to want a mosquito net, because those things are FIERCE. Never have I ever experienced so many sleepless nights due to a buzzing in my ears and painful bites all over my legs.

If you can find a comfortable set up with your hammock and mozzie net then sleeping outside on a sailboat is one of the most magical things ever. The stars are brighter than you could ever imagine, and there are shooting stars a plenty. The stillness of a calm night at anchor is one of the very best things about sailboat living.

If you’re sailing with a baby you can expect even less sleep – make sure you’re prepared for that!

#10 Sailboat Living Is More Difficult Than You Could Imagine (But Totally Worth It)

a couple and their cat on a sailboat at sea

Difficult sounds bad, but that would be inaccurate when describing sailboat living. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the best. And part of what makes it the best is that it’s the hardest. Does that make sense?!

Sailboat living can feel like a constant battle at times. You have to trek for an hour to find the gas to light your oven to make a cup of tea in the morning. You then have to go back again because you forgot the tea bags. Things break and need fixing. You can’t sleep because of a storm. You can’t leave the boat for days because the winds up and you’re scared the anchor might pull out.

two sailboats in an anchorage in greece

I think people run away to sea to find freedom, but like everything freedom can be defined in so many different ways.

Sailboat living takes away your freedom of easy access to food and water. It takes away your freedom to step out of your front door into relative safety. At times it even takes away your freedom to run and walk.

What it does give you is freedom from monotony. Freedom from daily routine. It gives you the freedom to travel where you want (if not when you want) and the freedom from material possessions.

It doesn’t matter what you wear on a boat, it doesn’t matter how flashy your boat is or how much you smell! At the end of the day, out on the sea, it’s just you surviving. And in a way, that’s the most free I’ve ever felt.

live aboard on a sailboat

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I’ll be moving on a sailboat with my girlfriend this (still very new) year and I discovered your blog via Pinterest. We’re also writing weekly blog posts about our journey. Your writing is excellent, and I’d like to follow you on your mailing list. But it seems your form does not work. Fix it maybe? 🙂

Ah that’s strange! I can see people are still signing up, will have a look into that! Thanks for letting me know. Thanks so much for reading along. Where’s your boat? I’m so excited for you – those first few weeks aboard are the best!

I can’t seem to sign up for more. The web page has an error on my Android. Bummer.

Can you please add my email address to your email distribution list?

Thanks, Steve

So glad to come across you guys, finding out as much as we can before we take that leap. We are a couple coming to the end of a army career. The last 2 years will be in Kenya Nanyuki. Posted in June. Then we plan to get the dream sailing boat and travel. I am doing all my home work trying to find out as much as I can before we do this. Looking forward to reading about you both and tasking in everything any thing that we will I’m sure be incredible useful. Thank you Sandy

Sorry for the late reply, I’ve only just noticed your lovely comment. I hope you’re getting further along with your dream – would love to hear about it! If you need more help we’ve put together a huge guidebook detailing everything we’ve learnt, from the very beginning of the journey through to buying the boat and eventually living aboard and making it all work.

That’s really nice post. I appreciate your skills. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for the honest truth in this article. Doing all the research possible before following our dreams and in your footsteps 🙌💕⛵⚓

Thanks so much for your kind comment and really pleased we could help! Keep us updated on your journey, you won’t look back!

Wow! I am on a boat reading this while my partner is away for the first time in months, and it made me feel less insane and like there are tools to help us live our dream of minimalist sailboat life.. Thank you so much for your wise words and good tools..

I’m so pleased it helped and excited for you starting this journey! You won’t regret it, and we’d love to hear more when you find the perfect boat and move aboard! If you need more help we’ve put together a huge guidebook detailing everything we’ve learnt, from the very beginning of the journey through to buying the boat and eventually living aboard and making it all work.

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Any suggested reading on preparing your land life (home, insurance, anythin really) for departure. Sell the home or rwnt, thinks like that. Want to start preparjng a year ahead and struggling to make a plan..any blogs ir reading suggestions would be appreciated!

Hello, thanks for reaching out. First off – congratulations! You’re obviously set on your plan to move aboard and it will be amazing (and lots of other things too!!) We actually cover all this in part one of our guidebook. We go through everything we had to consider before moving aboard, things like whether to sell or not to sell, what to do with all your things, even little considerations like what to tell family and friends. We’ve included tick lists for planning the change in lifestyle. You can find it here. Part 2 is for after you’ve bought the boat – getting the boat ready for living aboard and all the other things that come along with living at sea. I hope it helps and please do let us know how you get on – perhaps we’ll see you out here soon!

It’s helpful to understand that when living in a sailboat, the weather controls every aspect of our lives. Not long ago, my wife and I decided to invest in a sailboat because we love the sea and nature. We’d like to buy one this year, and maybe in the future, we’ll need to read carefully your advice about living in a vessel.

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5 Best LiveAboard Sailboats – Plus 8 Important Buying Considerations




Taking the plunge to live on a sailboat is usually a huge decision, especially as living aboard a boat is an exciting lifestyle choice. However, there are lots of things to consider before buying a boat that will suit your needs and also be nearly as comfortable as a traditional home on land.

Whether this is your first time choosing a liveaboard sailboat, or you want to upgrade to a better option, you will find useful information in this article. But before we get into the best liveaboard sailboats and how to choose one, let’s see why living aboard a boat is a great lifestyle choice.

We’ve reviewed some of the best liveaboard sailboats and listed them here to help you choose one that will suit you most.

5 Best LiveAboard Sailboats

Islander 36.


The Islander 36 is the boat for you if you want a well-rounded sailboat with impressive cruising abilities. With close to a thousand of these boats built between 1973 and 1986, the model is one of the successful and best-selling boats of the company.

These sailboats are renowned for their well-adorned cabins, with many featuring exquisite wooden interior trim. Typically, the interiors are spacious and feature a long port and starboard settee. The settee is designed to fold out into a double berth for sleeping. There is also a nav station to port with a quarter berth at the back that forms an extra seat. The boat also has a spacious master berth with an enclosed shower, making this boat one of the best liveaboard sailboats for cruising.

The interior also features plenty of drawers, plus many caned and louvered lockers. The L-shaped galley is to starboard and equipped with an icebox (that can be upgraded to a refrigerator). It also comes with a three burner LPG stove and a double sink.

Perhaps the most eye-catching feature of the interior is the companionway steps that are easy to maneuver. This is by far better than having ladders, as the steps can serve as additional separate seats when you have guests onboard.

The amount of fuel the boat’s tank can take is ideal for coastal cruising. Although Islander 36s can embark on extended trips, you will need to get additional jerry cans for that purpose.

You can check here for pricing and listings .

  • LOA:   36 ft
  • Beam:   11 ft 2 in
  • Ballast:  5450 lbs
  • Displacement:  13,450 lbs
  • Sail Area:  612 sq ft
  • Fuel Tank:  30 gallons
  • Water Tank: 56 gallons

 Boats  →

If you are looking for a boat that is tough to beat feature-for-feature and size-for-size, perhaps this model will be of interest to you. Designed for comfort and performance, the Catalina 30 is arguably the most common production cruising sailboat to ever grace the open waters. Despite coming into the market as far back as 1972, their popularity to date is a glaring proof of high performance.

You can expect to find spacious accommodation in this 30-foot sailboat with modern features such as a fully equipped galley and electric pumps that supply running water. The layout features a “suite” style with a V-berth master bedroom that is closed off from the rest of the cabin.

The Catalina 30 also features a dinette that can also serve as a workspace or chart table. The boat also includes an enclosed shower and head, which makes living aboard a comfortable experience.

Check out listings for Catalina 30 here .

  • LOA:   29 ft 11 in
  • Beam:   10 ft 10 in
  • Ballast:  100 lbs
  • Displacement:  10,200 lbs
  • Sail Area:  446 sq ft
  • Shoal Draft: 4 ft 4 in
  • Head Room: 6 ft 3 in

 Yachtworld  →

Weatherly, comfortable, spacious, and fast – these are what readily comes to mind when you think of the Nordic 40 .

This large sailboat is perfect for long-distance voyages, so if you intend to buy a boat that will offer excellent accommodation for offshore cruising, you know where to look. Thanks to its large structure, the interior is extremely spacious, making it the perfect choice for couples who want to spend more time aboard a boat.

The standard Nordic comes with top-notch equipment, including a Navtec hydraulic vang and Navtec rod rigging, plus full hull insulation in the entire interior. There is standing headroom available throughout, along with a spacious master bedroom.

The galley is fully equipped with modern facilities and allows for comfortable living. With the standard Nordic 40, there is no worry about storage space. Remote living is a walk in the park with this boat, even if you intend to anchor out for a couple of months at a stretch with enough supplies and provisions.

Keep in mind that these boats are not very common, but if it is the type that appeals to you, it is worth searching out.

Check out listings for Nordic 40 here .

  • LOA: 39 ft 9 in
  • Beam: 12 ft 5 in
  • Ballast: 7,091 lbs
  • Displacement: 18,000 lbs
  • Sail Area: 756 sq ft
  • Water Tank: 120 gallons
  • Fuel Tank: 56 gallons

Thinking about taking your entire family for a coastal cruise or even a near-offshore cruising experience? Consider the Hunter 33 , one of the best liveaboard sailboats equipped for such purposes.

One of the longest-lived boats in its category, the Hunter 33 came into the market in 1977 and is still in production to date. The mid-sized sailboat comes with great interior accommodations, with ample room for sleeping and sitting. It comes with two private cabins, which is great for a 33-foot sailboat.

It features a shower and toilet aft the master bedroom. Plus, there is a full dinette and standing headroom throughout the cabin.

In a nutshell, this the perfect sailboat for those moving up in size and want a great boat with modern conveniences for an extended cruising period.

Check here for detailed listing and pricing .

  • LOA: 33 ft 6 in
  • Beam: 11 ft 6 in
  • Ballast: 3,579 lbs
  • Displacement: 11,016 lbs
  • Sail Area: 625 sq ft
  • Water Tank: 50 gallons
  • Fuel Tank: 25 gallons
  • Headroom: 6 ft 4 in


The Nor’Sea 27 is an excellent choice if you are single or searching for the best liveaboard sailboats for minimalists. This boat is arguably the best compact liveaboard cruiser available in the market today.

The compact boat has a surprisingly spacious interior for a 27-footer. Plus, it features almost every amenity you can find on a larger boat.

For comfort, the small sailboat feels more like a Catalina 30 and comes with a galley, shower, toilet, and two bunks below the cockpit. The forward berth also serves as a dinette.

The design of the sailboat is a huge success and has found a pretty strong following, which explains why it is still in production to date despite hitting the market long ago in 1976. As expected, the little sailboat costs less in slip fees. But the best part is that you can tow it on a trailer, and that’s all legal.

Don’t be fooled by its size, though. The Nor’Sea 27 isn’t cheap. Prices for new ones start from around $150K (with kits starting anywhere from $35K). You find used ones for as little as $15,500 or as much as $95,000 depending on age, quality of finish, and condition.

Find out current listings and prices here.

  • Ballast: 3,100 lbs
  • Displacement: 8,100 lbs
  • Water Tank: 20 gallons
  • Fuel Tank: 20 gallons

How to Choose the Best LiveAboard Sailboats – Buying Guide

There are several things to consider when choosing a liveaboard sailboat, but perhaps the most important factor is the level of accommodation that will suit your need. A boat with useful features such as a fully functional kitchen or electric toilets are well and fine, but many traditional sailors don’t really care about limited amenities. Any stripped-down sailboat with basic interior would do just fine.

live aboard on a sailboat

Most sailors are generally okay with any standard live about sailboats constructed after 1970 since these types typically have adequate ventilation , a usable kitchen, head, and shower. But whatever your preferences, you can be sure you will find something that will provide the level of comfort you need in most modern sailboats.

Here are 8 important factors and requirements we think are crucial when choosing the best liveaboard sailboats.

1. Standing Headroom

There’s nothing wrong with spending a couple of days in a week aboard a boat without standing headroom. However, if living aboard a sailboat is a lifestyle choice for you, consider one with standing headroom. Your body is not meant to crouch or crawl for months or years on end. With time, your back and other muscles will start to take a hit. For your overall health and wellbeing, it is best to choose a sailboat with standing headroom. Our recommendation is 5-feet 10-inch standing headroom or something within that range.

2. Basic Kitchen Facilities

A liveaboard boat without a kitchen can only mean one thing: you will be eating out every single day! While this is okay for some people, others will prefer to cook their own meals at least once in a while, regardless of their culinary skills.

We think a kitchen is a must-have for the best liveaboard sailboats, even if it doesn’t have all the modern facilities. Basic kitchen facilities should include a refrigerator or icebox, a sink, and a stove. If you find one with an oven, that’s a plus, too!

3. Toilet with Plumbing

The fastest way to spread diseases when you liveaboard a boat is to have improper human waste storage and disposal system. Sanitation facilities are among the top considerations when choosing the best liveaboard sailboats.

Using a porta-potty all year long is definitely out of the question. Besides, no one would like to live on a stinky boat or have guests come over a smelly abode. When you choose a liveaboard sailboat, look for one with a built-in and properly outfitted toilet. It should also have a safe sewage storage tank with a proper disposal system.

Many liveaboards prefer to use gym or marina facilities instead of their onboard showers. This is okay, but it doesn’t eliminate the need for bathing facilities on board. Choose a sailboat with a shower for convenience’s sake, even if you don’t use it all the time.

It is important to make sure that your bilge pump is always in good working condition, especially if you have a boat shower that drains directly into the bilge. Keep in mind that whatever goes into the drain will find its way below your floor.

5. Electric Lighting

Having kerosene lamps is okay. In fact, many sailors love to have them because it adds a certain feel and beauty to their boats. But you definitely want to consider the convenience and safety offered by electric lighting. If you plan on living aboard a boat for a long time, you will need some form of reliable electric lighting.

6. Availability of 120V AC

The best liveaboard sailboats come with 120V AC outlets for standard house electricity connections. The availability of electricity is a definite requirement for living aboard a boat. You want to have a way to charge your cell phones, computers, and use other electronic gadgets. A boat with only a 12V outlet is not good enough. It is best to choose a sailboat with 120V AC outlets if you want to enjoy electricity living aboard a boat full-time.

7. Seating Spaces

Apart from the main bed, the best liveaboard sailboats should have additional seating spaces. There should be separate spaces for sitting, working, navigating, and eating, especially if you plan on living aboard for a long time.  You don’t want to be bored with the monotony of using only one space (the main bed) for all your daily activities. Having separate seating spaces has the added advantage of making your day-to-day activities more agreeable.

8. Ventilation

Perhaps the simplest requirement for liveaboard sailboats is ventilation. But it is equally essential, regardless. An opening porthole or a passive solar roof vent should suffice. The important thing to consider when it comes to proper ventilation is a boat that provides a way to let in fresh air without needing to open the main hatch.

Coastal Vs. Offshore Accommodations

And now, here’s one final factor to consider before choosing a liveaboard sailboat. How do you plan to use your boat? Do you want a sailboat that will serve primarily as a long-distance cruiser, or do you intend to use it mainly for coastal cruising?

Your intended use significantly affects the style of interior design that will be suitable for your purpose. Sailboat accommodations are greatly impacted by their cruising purposes. Coastal cruisers are likely to feature more plush layouts, complex interiors, and larger sofas. Also, these boats generally have several amenities, so it is common to have smaller storage spaces in these sailboats.

On the other hand, offshore or long-distance cruisers feature cabins that are designed and arranged to make the journey as comfortable as possible. These sailboats generally don’t have unnecessary furniture and other extras below deck to make room for increased sleeping and storage spaces.

It is easy to get carried away during the physical inspection of a sailboat, especially if the boat is equipped with modern facilities and fanciful, eye-catching amenities. But don’t get swayed by those, even though they are important for improved convenience. Your top priority should be how you intend to use the boat – for coastal cruising or offshore cruising. This should inform your choice of accommodation.

Benefits of Living on a Sailboat

Okay, why should you want to give up living on land and opt for an unstable address somewhere in the middle of the ocean? Is it even safe to do so?

Living aboard a sailboat is an exciting lifestyle that offers several benefits and challenges, too! Thousands of people across the world choose this lifestyle, and because these boats are constructed from high-quality, durable materials, you can be sure it is safe to liveaboard one.

This lifestyle offers liveaboards a cheaper alternative than living in a traditional house. This is particularly the case in waterfront cities where rental apartments and houses in the marina areas are even more expensive.

It is a lot cheaper to live in a boat if you enjoy traveling around the world on the water. And if you enjoy the marina lifestyle, you could take it a step further by owning and living in one of the several best liveaboard sailboats available.

And come to think of it, these boats require some serious investments. What’s the point of buying a “house” on the water without living in it, right? To many people, it makes more economic sense to live in their expensive boats, instead of paying extra rent for a house on the land when there is one idling away on the water.

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Outdoors, I’m in my element, especially in the water. I know the importance of being geared up for anything. I do the deep digital dive, researching gear, boats and knowhow and love keeping my readership at the helm of their passions.

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My Cruiser Life Magazine

17 Best Sailboats to Live On + What You Should Know First

Many dream of living aboard a sailboat, but finding the right one can be daunting. There are many different types, and countless manufacturers have come and gone over the years. 

Here’s a list of 17 options – a sailboat for every sailor on every kind of budget. 

Best Sailboats To Live On

Table of Contents

17 best sailboats to live on, pros of living aboard a sailboat, cons of boat life.

  • Find Your Type of Boat 

Set Your Boat Budget

What size boat to pick, best liveaboard sailboats under 35 feet (< 35 feet), best liveaboard sailboats under 40 feet (35–40 feet), best liveaboard sailboats under 45 feet (40–45 feet), best liveaboard sailboats under 50 feet (45–50 feet), best liveaboard sailboats under 60 feet (50–60 feet), want to live on a sailboat, best sailboats to live on faqs.

  • Catalina 34/35
  • Panda/Baba 35, Tashiba 36a
  • Gemini 105MC
  • Islander Freeport 36
  • Passport 40
  • Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42DS
  • Leopard 42/43
  • Beneteau Oceanis 473
  • Hallberg Rassy 46/48
  • Leopard 46/Moorings
  • Amel Super Maramu 2000
  • Privilege 585

What to Know First

So, boat shopping is a challenge, to say the least. Understanding where to start and what to look for comes down to understanding what you want to do with your boat.

Here’s a look at some pros and cons of living aboard to get you started.

  • Seaside living at a fraction of the cost of a waterfront home
  • Ability to travel anywhere by water
  • Ability to move anytime—not tied to one location/town
  • Different liveaboard lifestyle options to choose from: at a dock, mooring, anchoring, cruising (traveling)—tired of one, mix it up for a different experience
  • Small living space lacks storage and privacy
  • Limited resources: you must meter your fuel, water, and electricity use when not at a dock
  • More exposed to the elements and more affected by weather events
  • Seating and furnishings are less comfortable than in a house
  • Constant maintenance to keep the boat seaworthy and clean

How to Find the Best Boat to Live on Year Round

At first, you might think boat shopping is like looking for a new car. But when shopping for a car, you have a small pool of manufacturers and models to choose from. In the end, you might have five choices and already have an opinion about each maker’s quality and reputation.

Boats are different. We’re usually shopping for boats that are a decade or more old. The manufacturers may have gone out of business years ago. When you total up all the possible makes and models of each type of boat, you might have dozens of choices with brands you’ve never heard of. Yikes!

Find Your Type of Boat

There are dozens of types of boats you could live on, depending on where you want to live and where you want to take it. Most people shopping for a sailboat will choose between coastal cruisers, bluewater boats, and sailing catamarans.

Here are some of the pros and cons of these sailboat types. 

The Coastal Cruiser

  • Inexpensive compared to bluewater and catamarans
  • Perfect for dock living or near-shore hops
  • With modifications and the right outfitting, many have island-hopped the Caribbean
  • Many to choose from, and often they are lightly used
  • Designs are often race-inspired and faster than typical heavy bluewater boats
  • Newer, bigger boat for your money
  • Often production boats have low-quality, lightweight builds

Related: Best Trailerable Sailboats

The Bluewater Sailboat

  • The best bluewater cruising sailboats are capable of going anywhere
  • Built to last and take anything
  • Give the most comfortable ride in rough conditions
  • Newer examples are expensive
  • Good ones sell quickly
  • Older vessels may be tired and in need of an extensive refit
  • Often lack the living space that coastal cruisers have—narrower beams and transoms

The Catamaran

  • Cruising cats have the maximum living space, especially cockpit dining and upper salon
  • Light-filled with plenty of airflow, perfect for the tropics and living at anchor
  • Larger models (40+ feet) are bluewater boats capable of going nearly anywhere
  • A shallower draft than most monohulls allows for more cruising and anchoring choices
  • More expensive to purchase, keep, and maintain than similar-sized monohulls  
  • The most in-demand vessels, prices are high and good ones sell fast 
  • Sometimes hard or expensive to find dock space and boatyards that can haul it out for maintenance

Still unsure which side of the monohull vs. catamaran debate you’re on? Try to get aboard some boats and experience the living space first-hand.

17 Best Sailboats To Live On + What You Should Know First

Everyone has a budget when going boat shopping, even if you’re Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk. Establishing how much you can spend on your boat is the biggest factor that will affect your decision, and it’s the backbone for all other decisions. 

You must understand just how much boat costs increase as the size of boat increases. Boats are already expensive, and the average cost of owning and buying a liveaboard sailboat varies dramatically. But when the boat gets bigger, it needs bigger hardware, lines, rigging, sails, motors…everything. And bigger means more expensive, so these costs add up fast.

And then there are your storage and boat maintenance costs, all of which are charged per foot. The marina might charge you $15 per foot/per month for a dock slip, and the boatyard will similarly charge you per foot to haul and store the boat. Divers charge per foot for bottom cleaning, as do detailers for annual compounding and waxing of the hull.

When it comes to budgeting, there are two rules of thumb. 

  • Always pick the smallest boat you can comfortably live on.
  • If you have an amount budgeted for your boat purchase, spend half on the boat and save the other half for outfitting and maintenance.

As you’ll see below, boats can be grouped by price and size. When you go up in size, you go up in price—often by a lot.

The size of the boat is a factor of your budget, but also of how big a boat you can handle. Most people believe this means driving it and maneuvering it, which is true to some extent. But a good training captain can teach you what you need to know to drive any size boat in just a few sessions. 

No, the size of the boat you can manage refers more to how much maintenance you want to do. The bigger the boat, the more complex and plentiful its systems. There’s more to break on a bigger boat, and more things broken means more time fixing things.

Catamarans compound this by doubling a lot of the systems. Two engines, two saildrives, two hulls to wax, two hulls to bottom paint—you get the idea.

Another factor you should consider early on is getting insurance. Yacht insurance has gotten harder and harder to get in recent years. If you’ve never owned a boat and have no experience, you might be forced to get something small (think an under 30-foot daysailor) to get some experience on before you move up. It’s also difficult because many underwriters won’t write policies for liveaboards. 

As a general rule of thumb, most people will find boats under 35 feet too small to live on full-time. Most of these vessels don’t even have standing headroom. There is often only a “wet head,” one where you take showers while sitting on the toilet.

Boats 35 to 40 feet are good for solo travelers or couples who don’t mind living in small quarters. The beds will be small and accessed only from one side, as in a v-berth or a Pullman-style berth. If there is one, the second bunk is likely only for the occasional guest. 

You’ll get better accommodations when you move up to 40 to 45 footers. The second bunk may be in its own stateroom. The main suite will have an island-style berth that can be accessed from both sides—a huge upgrade for most couples. The head will likely have a separate, enclosed shower. This size sailing yacht makes a good liveaboard sailboat for most boaters.

Boats bigger than 45 feet are best for bigger families. If you often travel with kids or guests, these are the boats for you. They’re extremely spacious and make boat living easy, but the extra maintenance and cost may not be worth it.

The List — Best Sailboats to Live Aboard

All lists, whether found in internet blogs or international sailing magazines, have issues. There’s no one list to rule them all because there are simply too many different boats out there. And everyone uses their boat differently, so the “best” for you might be a terrible choice for me. Different boats for different folks, so to say.

So, what’s the deal with this list? It’s made from personal experience of having seen a lot of boats out cruising. And it’s a list that tries to put aside the fantasies—Oysters and Gunboats are pretty in magazines, but like Ferraris, not many of us will ever own one. So let’s look at some practical boats that fill each size category. 

For every boat on this list, a dozen or more could’ve been included. Use these models to research brands and see which sizes suit your needs.

Boats under 35 feet tend to be best suited for solo travelers or couples comfortable living in small spaces. As always, coastal cruisers in this class have much more space than bluewater boats do. Catamarans in this class are also coastal cruisers—you need more length and volume to get real bluewater performance out of a cat. No matter which type of boat you’re looking at here, storage space on this size of liveaboard boat will be limited.

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Coastal Cruiser Under 35 — Catalina 34/35

If you want to move aboard, you’re on a budget, and you want the most space you can get, it’s really hard to beat an older Catalina. Starting with the Catalina 30, these beamy boats have a surprising interior volume. They make great first liveaboards.

Bluewater Sailor Under 35 — Panda/Baba 35, Tashiba 36

The famous yacht designer Bob Perry drew these Taiwanese-built boats, all tracing their lineage to the older Tayana 37 . They’re updated slightly and built by different yards, but all full keels with cutaways and built for bluewater cruising. They all have gorgeous teak joinery and are comfortable and forgiving at sea. 

Catamaran Under 35 — Gemini 105MC

The Gemini 105M and 105MC were arguably the most popular cat models ever. They’re American-built, with a single diesel engine and a narrow beam that allows them to be parked in a standard boat slip. In the US, this means many more marina choices if that’s how you roll. The boat has centerboards and kick-up rudders, so the board-up draft is a scant 18 inches—gunkholing perfection. 

While some Geminis have crossed oceans, they aren’t made for it. They have average (sometimes below-average) build quality and fiberglass work. However, they’re perfect coastal cruisers and capable of heading into The Bahamas.

The Gemini should be on your shortlist if you’re looking for a cheap catamaran .

Runner Up: PDQ 32

Are you looking for a small cat with better build quality? They didn’t make many of them, but the PDQ 32 is what you seek. It’s an attractive small catamaran with a wider beam. It came with twin outboards in wells, but the LRC (long-range cruiser) option had inboard diesels.

best liveaboard sailboats under 40 feet

Forty feet is the sweet spot for most cruising couples—big enough to be comfortable and carry enough provisions but small enough that handling and maintenance are manageable. This class of boat has a lot of excellent choices in both coastal cruiser and bluewater boats, making it a good size range to find the perfect affordable liveaboard sailboat.

The catamaran group from 35 to 40 feet has a few very popular choices, but they are right on the edge of being too small for most cruisers. Counterintuitively, these cats are perfect for couples who don’t mind downsizing and traveling lightly. These shorter cats are prone to hobby horsing and don’t provide as comfortable a ride in bluewater as slightly longer cats do. 

Coastal Cruiser Under 40 — Islander Freeport 36

The Islander brand is no longer around, but these California-built production boats from the 1970s and 80s were well-built and well-liked. The I32 and I36 were very popular cruising boats designed by Bob Perry. The Freeport 36 is a before-its-time European deck salon with enormous windows. The swing-down swim platform is another bonus for a boat from this era, as are the Pullman-style berth and forepeak-located head (some layouts). If you can find one in good condition, these boats make excellent liveaboards. 

Bluewater Sailor Under 40 — Passport 40

Yet another boat from the desk of Bob Perry, the Passport 40, is a sharp-looking aft-cockpit bluewater cruiser from one of the best yards in Taiwan. They feature a long fin keel and skeg-mounted rudder. Everything about this sloop is just right for long-term cruising.

Catamaran Under 40 — Prout 38

The Prout 38 traces its heritage back to the earlier Prout Snowgoose. The boat is still being made, now under the Broadblue brand. It’s a sturdy British-built cat made for serious offshoring. While it lacks some of the open feeling that newer charter boats have, it more than makes up for it with its robust and high-quality build.

Runner Up: Leopard 40 (2005-2009)

This early L40 (don’t get confused with the newer ones built around 2020) was designed by famous multihull designers Morelli and Melvin. It’s got more of the things you might expect from your typical charter cat: a sliding salon door, galley-up layout, and a huge walk-through cockpit.

While this seems a small step up from the size of boats above, prices increase rapidly above the 40-foot mark. At this point, the boat’s gear needs to be bigger and heavier, from all the lines and rigging to each block and winch. Engines are now larger four-cylinder diesels, and there’s much more hull area to clean and paint. 

A 45-foot coastal cruiser has enough space to keep a small family happy for short trips or a couple happy for any length of time. These boats usually have island berths in a spacious master bedroom, so no more crawling over each other just to go to the bathroom! Bluewater boats in this class are a little smaller inside, making them just right for most couples doing a long-term cruise.

As far as catamarans go, the 40 to 45-foot range is the perfect sweet spot for most cruising couples. A spacious interior plus excellent seakeeping abilities make these top picks. There are tons of boat choices out there, and most of the best cruising catamarans come from this size group.

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Coastal Cruiser Under 45 — Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42DS

Jeanneau is part of Groupe Beneteau , but their boats often have a more refined finish than Beneteaus. The DS stands for “deck salon.” They feature larger windows that let in more light and have better visibility than a standard cruiser. This is especially welcome if you’re attracted to the living space in a catamaran but need something smaller and more affordable. 

The 42DS also has an enormous island berth, plus a huge twin-helm cockpit with lots of space for entertaining.

Bluewater Sailor Under 45 — Hylas 44

The Hylass 44 is regularly picked as one of the best offshore cruising boats. It’s a center cockpit boat designed by German Frers.  It has a wonderful layout with tons of living space and a large, usable galley. The aft cabin has a large island berth with an en suite head. 

Catamaran Under 45 — Leopard 42/43 (2001-2006)

These early Leopard charter cats are highly sought after on the used market. Like all charter cats, the best finds are the “owners versions” with one hull dedicated to the master stateroom with en suite head and shower. The Leopard 42, which came out in 2002, had a soft canvas cover over the cockpit and was updated to the Leopard 43 with a hardtop. 

Above 45 feet is another big price jump. For beginners, these big boats will require some training and experience before you head out on your own. 

Related: Best Boat for Beginners

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Coastal Cruiser Under 50 — Beneteau Oceanis 473

This big Beneteau came with either 2, 3, or 4 staterooms. Finding the right layout is as important as finding the right boat. The two-stateroom version has enormous berths and lots of storage, perfect for couples with occasional guests or families of three. Most have the standard keel with less than a six-foot draft, making this fin keel/spade rudder boat a rare find. They were built from 2000 to 2005.

Bluewater Sailor Under 50 — Hallberg Rassy 46/48

Hallberg Rassys are well-regarded boats built in Sweden, mostly designed by German Frers. These are high-end boats of the best quality, so don’t expect to find one available cheaply. They’re gorgeous, however, and make wonderful world cruisers.

Catamaran Under 50 — Leopard 46/Moorings 4600 (2006)

If you want a big catamaran, it’s hard to go wrong with the 2006 Leopard 46. Where modern Lagoon and Leopards have tall profiles with tons of windage, this is one of the newest, largest boats that still have single-level living. It has distinctive hull chines that increase living space without increasing wetted surface and plenty of sail area for good performance. In true Leopard fashion, all lines are led to the helm for easy short-handed cruising despite the boat’s large size.

best liveaboard sailboats under 60 feet

Boats in this class are borderline yachts based on their sheer size. If you were to charter these boats, they’d usually come with a crew. That size means they’re more expensive and more of a handful to manage daily. 

Coastal Cruiser Under 60 — Irwin 54

The Irwin brand is long gone, but many examples are available on the used market. They were known especially for their large center cockpit ketches, like this 54-footer. This is a spacious, big water boat that certainly meets the qualifications of most bluewater boats. They can go anywhere, but they may need maintenance and refit given their ages. 

Don’t get to lured by the low prices of these boats. You’ll have to lay out some serious cash to get one ready to cruise long-range. But if you aren’t opposed to some hard work and projecting, the Irwin can get you a lot of boat for not much money.

Bluewater Sailor Under 60 — Amel Super Maramu 2000 (53′)

Made famous by the Delos YouTube channel, the Amel is a French-built brand of high-quality bluewater boats. Today, this brand’s new models look like many others—wide sterned, flat-bottomed sloops. But the Maramus that made them famous were unique—ketch rigged and ruggedly built, designed to take a cruising couple anywhere. Electric winches were standard on everything to keep such a large boat easy to operate.

Catamaran Under 60 — Privilege 585

Privilege is the French-made catamaran that you don’t hear enough about. Unlike Lagoon and Fountaine Pajot, these are beefy cruising boats ready to take you anywhere. Their construction and fit-and-finish are first-rate, as is the joinery down below. 

Living on a sailboat is an adventure—it’s not for everyone. Finding the right boat is an important part of doing it successfully, but it’s not the only step in preparing for the lifestyle.

You should also consider checking my post on liveaboard catamaran options, to make sure you research thoroughly enough!

What makes a great liveaboard sailboat?

Everyone’s priorities for a liveaboard sailboat are different—a bluewater cruiser looking to sail around the world might pick a very different boat from someone who lives full-time dock life. In general terms, you need to find a boat that is safely capable of taking you where you want to go and has enough living space to be comfortable while doing it. 

Sailing catamarans are some of the most popular liveaboard sailboats because their living space is unmatched. Most are also bluewater-capable cruisers that can go pretty much anywhere. 

What is the best size sailboat to live on?

The size of the boat you’ll be comfortable on long term is a personal choice that depends on your personality and the number of people you’ll be traveling with. Solo travelers may be content with a sailboat around 30 feet, while most couples are comfortable on something around 40 feet. Forty-five to fifty feet is more realistic if you often have guests or kind on board. 

With all of this in mind, however, it’s really important to remember that the costs of buying and maintaining a sailboat increase exponentially with length. Getting the smallest boat you are comfortable living on is always better because that will be easier to manage and keep in the long run.

What are the negatives of living on a sailboat?

People live on their sailboats differently, so it’s difficult to narrow down the biggest negatives. Everyone struggles with the small living space that a boat affords. You’ll have to downsize your possessions to the absolute minimum you need. And getting personal space away from your spouse or family is pretty much impossible on a small boat. 

Why are sailboats so expensive?

New boats require a massive investment in time and resources to produce. The nicer the boat, the more time and skill it takes to build, which makes costs soar. Some production companies, like Beneteau, have found ways to reduce production costs and keep the price of new boats more reasonable. But these boats pale compared to other yachts in terms of overall quality. 

Older used boats can be found pretty cheaply. In fact, it’s often possible to find free or nearly-free boats that are on their way to the junkyard or dumpster. The key is understanding how much work and money it will take to get these boats ready to go again. 

Is it a good idea to live on a sailboat?

Living on a boat is an amazing way to experience seaside living or traveling the world by water. But it’s also a unique, out-of-the-ordinary lifestyle choice that’s not without challenges. 

Before you move onto a sailboat, you’ll want to research the topic carefully and talk to some folks who already to it. Many people start with occasional boating, spending a week or more onboard to try it out. With a little experience, it’s easy to see if it’s something you could do for the long term or if it’s best to keep a land house and enjoy the water occasionally.

Can you live comfortably on a sailboat?

Many people live comfortably on sailboats, but a lot depends on the size of the sailboat and your tolerance for living in a small space. Even the largest sailboats can feel cramped, while some folks love the cozy feeling of living on the tiniest boats. 

live aboard on a sailboat

Matt has been boating around Florida for over 25 years in everything from small powerboats to large cruising catamarans. He currently lives aboard a 38-foot Cabo Rico sailboat with his wife Lucy and adventure dog Chelsea. Together, they cruise between winters in The Bahamas and summers in the Chesapeake Bay.

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Home » Budget Travel » Boat Life 101: How to Live on a Boat and Travel the World! (2024)

Boat Life 101: How to Live on a Boat and Travel the World! (2024)

Waves lap at the hull of the boat. Your feet are in the glassy water, a glass of rum in your hand, and a glorious sunset in front of you. Of course, the weather is perrrfect .

Just another day in the life of living on a boat.

Surely that’s not all what living on a boat is like though, right? What about the sea monsters ? What about getting shipwrecked and floating for days on end at sea awaiting rescue?

And as if a broke bum can really live on a sailboat. Come on!

Rest assured, greenhorn – I’ve got you.

I went from a baby sailor who almost blew up the boat, to hand steering my way across the Pacific Ocean using the Southern Cross as my bearing. And I did it all with very little cash to my name.

Now I’m here to pass on to you what it’s really like to live on a boat AND how to do it . It’s the how-to-poop, how-to-cook, how-to-sail – and the best places in the world to do it all in. PLUS how exactly you can put a budget on a dream.

Avast! I give you, how to live on a boat and travel the world.

A man stands on his sailboat and raises the mainsail at sunset.

Living on a Boat: What’s it Really Like?

How to live on a boat full time, best places in the world to live on a boat (and when to go) , the cost of living on a sailboat (and how to minimise it) , can you live on a sailboat for free, last tips for living the boat life.

“Indigo, where’s the F**CKING coffee?” 

Yeah, you want to buy a boat. And then you’re going to sail off into the sunset – travelling the world without spending a dime – with twelve babes on one arm and the world’s greatest rum in the other. Oh, it’s going to be so lovely, isn’t it?

Welllllll , I’m not here to burst your bubble, but I am here to give you a wee reality check. 

Living on a boat is not for suckers; it’s not for the impatient; it’s not for the stupid. I realise that many people who suck and are stupid, can and do sail. They give the rest of us a headache – don’t be them. 

If you forget the coffee, the rest of the boat may very well feed you to the sharks. The only shop for the next 200 nautical miles is now a distant speck on the goddamn horizon, after all. 

However, provided there is ample coffee, rum, and good conversation, there is nothing better than living on a boat. No, that is not a cliche.

A girl stands at the helm of a sailboat looking at the horizon.

Life on a sailboat is life at its most .

  • The duality of boredom and near-death experiences.
  • Harnessing the wind and moving soundlessly across the great blue spectacular.
  • Fresh sashimi.
  • Deep introspection.
  • The oscillating moods of the crew that spread like the flu.
  • Long stretches of time with no goddamn Instagram.

A boat becomes a very miniature village, and in this, you can touch on a very primal way of living; one that has been passed down to us from many millions of years of evolution. 

The simplicity is not always poetic. But it will make you appreciate every damn cup of coffee – and isn’t that what life is all about? 

live aboard on a sailboat

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So here it is folks! The basic and hyperbole-filled how-to of living on a boat.

It’s just three simple things. (Sort of.) And then, the ocean is your oyster.

Hoist those sails and may the wind be ever in your favour.

Boat Life 101: Pooping 

Four underwater toilets looking gross as a reminder to sailors that how you poop on a boat is important.

Don’t laugh! Pooping on a boat is your first lesson in how different living on a sailboat is to land life.

You have to think about the consequences of your every action: sustainable travel MATTERS . If it’s a small sailboat, it will likely have a manual pump instead of a flush. You do your business, and then pump, pump, pump. 

And that’s not where it ends. You need to think about where exactly your poop is going. 

It becomes very clear that all drains lead to the ocean. 

Usually, your poops will be going into the boat’s holding tank, but they only hold so much. You need to know the regulations in the national waters of wherever the boat is because you can’t empty the holding tank until you’re far enough away from shore, certain mooring fields, and protected areas… for obvious reasons.  

Now, I would argue you haven’t lived until you’ve dealt with a malfunctioning head (marine toilet). Nothing makes you appreciate modern sewerage systems like the sweet smell of shit. 

Boat Life 101: Cooking + Provisioning 

A girl is smiling on a sailboat while holding up bags of fruit.

The consequences of your actions continue here. Even if you are sailing in proximity to shops or markets, the basic fact remains that the shops are on land and your boat is on the water.

That means there is no nipping to the servo for some extra milk that you forgot. You have what you have on the boat, and you make do. 

So yeah, not bringing enough coffee for the passage? A dumb mistake you only make once. 

Living on a sailboat has made me an organised (one might say obsessive, but one would be wrong) motherfucker. I am a HARDCORE list-writer, but you need lists when you live on a sailboat.

live aboard on a sailboat

WRITE LISTS. And keep them going all the time.

  • The food and supplies list.
  • The fix-it list for maintenance.
  • The visa requirements and beaurcracy list.
  • The all-important books to read list .

If you go on an overnight sail and you know there’s food at the next anchorage, then you can get away with forgetting the coffee just this once. If you’re crossing the biggest ocean on Earth, that’s not gonna fly. You need to write a bloody list.  

Also, food sometimes needs to be refrigerated. Refrigerators come with limited space and the frustrating tendency to gain sentience halfway through a passage. With sentience comes a severe attitude and willingness to ruin your food.

All I’m saying is, you gotta plan your meals, know how you’re going to store them, and write lists.

Oh, and it sounds obvious, but while sailing, the boat moves.

Yes, the stove on a boat is on a gimbal which means it swings with the motion of the boat and compensates for the movement. But when King Neptune feels the sailors on board have grown too comfortable, the soup says hello to the floor.

Boat Life 101: How do I sail this thing? 

four men sailng a dhow (type of sailboat)

If you can take a shit and cook a meal while on a sailboat, you’re 90% done. 

Collectively, we humans have been chucking some cloth on a bit of wood to capture the wind since the original discovery of Australia and the Solomon Islands (50 000 – 25 000 years ago).

Over the millennia, the process has become more refined. Now we can sail upwind and tack and all this fancy stuff. But ultimately, with a little patience and a lot of practice, anyone can learn to sail. 

Four small figurines are on an electronic chartplotter as they learn to sail a sailboat.

There is a multitude of electronic tools – chart plotters, AIS, GPS, Iridium GO – that help you keep a track of where the hell you are and give you detailed charts about where you want to go.

You can even get the weather sent in a tiny little electronic file via a device like the Iridium GO, even when you’re sailing across the Pacific Ocean . Very handy for avoiding boat-sinking storms!

Putting some sail on a mast and heading off has never sounded so sweet! But if you learn a thing or two about the trade winds , you can make your journey even sweeter.

The trades are these delicious winds that blow reliably from east to west, meaning you can access a reliable source of energy to propel you forward (provided you want to head west).

Trade wind sailing is famous for being fucking chill, with few gnarly storms and not too many becalmed days of boredom. The merchants of the tall ship days and the modern boat bum circumnavigating the globe both love the trade winds. Yes, for the easy sailing, and also for the good rum found at many of the ports along the way. 

But when all else fails – say if your mast is struck by lightning and all your electronics are fried – there are still ways to orientate yourself on the big blue. These are methods that have evolved over our collective sailing history:

  • Celestial (star) navigation : Using the constellations and a sextant, plus some maths, to figure out the boats latitude and longitude.
  • Cloud navigation : Recognising the flat bottomed clouds associated with land to keep you on track back to terra firma.
  • Reading the swell : This is just fascinating. This means understanding the persistent swell that move across world oceans and their relation to the star quadrants to estimate where your boat is and where it is going.

Test the Waters BEFORE You Sail – The Liveaboard Experience!

Another way you can get a taste of the boat life before you commit to a lifelong project is to charter a boat! Sailo does just that: Sailo lets you rent the boat life.

Banner image showing Sailo - an online platform to rent the experience of living on a boat

You get a boat, a sampler of the experience of living on a sailboat, and people on deck that actually know what the bloody hell they’re doing! With over 30,000(!) boats to charter from and a fabulous selection of the BEST places to live on a boat around, you’re guaranteed to find something that… floats your boat.

Sure, it’s not the no-frills boatbum style, but ultimately, you can choose to do it bareboat – with no captain and you bring all your own provisions. Or you can choose to have the boat crewed so you can sit back, relax and, learn a thing or two about boat life. (And drink champagne.)

Living on a boat comes with a host of challenges (and juicy rewards) that are made that much easier by picking a good place to do it in.

Access to quality boatyards, provisioning, internet connection – these are all big plusses for those living on a sailboat!

But also, all the stuff that made you want to partake in this mad boat lifestyle in the first place rate highly too. A plethora of remote beaches, magic sunsets, and a friendly cruising community of cool travel buddies (soon to become treasured friends) can make or break a dream destination.

I’ve also considered how easy it is to top up the cruising kitty with funds by rating how easy it is to find work in each place.

Australia + New Zealand 

a kangroo is on an australian beach proving that it is the best place in the world to live on a sailboat.

  • When to go: November – May (NZ & southern Australia) April – September (northern Australia)
  • Best suited liquor: EMU BITTER MAAAATE Whatever the Australians aren’t drinking.

I don’t care that the citizens of both these fine nations will be after me with pitchforks for lumping them in the same pile. Honestly, mate, bro, whatever, come at me. They’re both equally dope places to liveaboard your sailboat.

Yup, gonna say it right now, both these places can be expensive for the boat bum. But they also provide good-paying work opportunities if you can play the visa game right. So they are great places to slow down, pick up a travel job , and stack some cash for future ocean adventures.

You can also take a break from the boat life, and go on an epic backpacking adventure around New Zealand . You won’t know how much you miss the ocean until you take a break from her, trust me.

Also, the sheer diversity that I’ve so callously dumped in one heading is incredible.

Honestly, you can sail down to Stewart Island in the subantarctic waters and then back up to the Eden on Earth in the equatorial Torres Strait .

You could spend a whole, wonderful lifetime sailing between these two continents and still die regretting not having seen everything.

The long and the short of it:

  • You can make bank here $$$!
  • You can get your boat fixed properly here. Island nations like Australia and New Zealand have a wealth of boat building and fixing experience.
  • There are well stocked supermarkets here, so you can stock up on bulk items that prove tricky to find in more remote locations.
  • People are cool, remote beaches are cooler. And there is a metric shitton of incredible beaches here.
  • There’s also an opportunity for non-boat adventures (like backpacking around Australia ) that will make you appreciate the ocean nomad life even more.
  • Diversity! Of landscape and cultures.
  • Dude, the first nations of Australia managed to cross over from Papua New Guinea (probably) 60 000 years ago. SIXTY THOUSAND (louder for those in the back). The knowledge on this ancient continent will humble you if you pause to listen.
  • And the seafarers that made it to Aotearoa? The Maori are some of the most badass, friendly, wise, creative, HILARIOUS people you will ever have the privilege of meeting.
  • $7 bottles of wine. Sorry. But like, yes please.
  • There’s epic diving in New Zealand and all over Australia with endless (and scrumptious!) spearfishing opportunities.
  • Living on your boat here is easy . Not without its struggles of course, but it’s always easier to struggle close to wifi connection.

The Caribbean

A photograph of a turtle taken by a diver living on a boat in the Caribbean.

  • When to go: The conventional advice says December – May, but you can sail here year-round if you know how to dodge hurricanes.
  • Best suited liquor: Rum. Obviously rum. Maybe with a squeeze of lemon and a splash of cola.

If you can dodge the hangouts of the rich and the famous (or work out how to make money off them) sailing the Caribbean and living on a sailboat is very rewarding.

Salsa lessons in the streets of Puerto Rico , rum-soaked nights in the Virgin Islands , goat hunting, spearfishing , azure waters, and white sand beaches all the way down to Bonaire .

Getting into the charter boat game provides a great way to make dat money. During the high season, this is one of the most popular places in the world to charter a boat.

If you are happy to do your own boat repairs, a lot of fishing, and get clever with your travel budget , the cost of living in the Caribbean is not super expensive either. You just gotta know where to go for what.

Cheap coffee and rum can be brought in bulk in the Dominican Republic . There’s a Costco not far away in Puerto Rico , so you can get some bulk toilet paper. Then it’s onwards to a deserted island, a reef, and some endless fun in the sun.

  • Cheap boat repairs are available in places like Rio Dulce, Guatemala. So, for those big projects you can save quite a bit of money by getting them done here.
  • The rum. I mean, it has truly been perfected here.
  • There are oodles of work opportunities in the charter business or in the superyacht world.
  • Cheap flights back to the USA means you can feasibly travel between the USA and El Caribe guaranteeing you an endless summer.
  • The glorious azure waters and their 27-degree celsius temperatures. Helllloo, nude night diving.
  • Warm, deliciously WARM, diving.
  • More people at the anchorages = a very social and welcoming community of cruisers. There is a great liveaboard culture that’s hard to replicate elsewhere.
  • Easy trade wind sailing.
  • Did I mention the rum?

The South Pacific

A glowing sunset at an atoll in French Polynesia.

  • When to go: May – October (You can arrive in the Marquesas in April with no problems.)
  • Best suited liquor: A little vodka, a lotta soda, a squeeze of lime.

I won’t even try to hide my bias. I LOVE the Pacific.

Is it the best place to live on a sailboat for most people? Probably not. Because the distances between your boat and a grocery store are usually mind-boggling. It can be expensive. It can be lonely.

There’s just no way quite like travelling to places like French Polynesia the way you can on a boat. Out in the middle of the ocean life is not always easy, even if it is full of palm trees. 

But fuck it, I love the Pacific, so we’re including it. 

No, honestly, if you can mitigate the challenge of distance, you are rewarded with the best planet Earth has to offer. Incredible diving, a slow pace of life, some world-class hiking trails (and world-class peaks), lazy sunshiney afternoons. Perfect postcard sunsets. Mmmmm.

A full one-third of the globe is consumed by the Pacific Ocean, and scattered throughout this utter vastness are innumerable tiny little islands. Luckily for the bum of the seas, the trade winds can carry you from the Americas to these little flecks with few problems.

In fact, all the technical sailing here is relatively easy. As long as you don’t get becalmed at the equator thanks to the weirdness of the ITCZ band, it is easy sailing.

But you’re going to need a water maker and have a solid solar panel set up for power. Because between Panama and the Marquesas , there are approximately 3800 nautical miles – more if you go stop in at the Galapagos.

That’s a long way between places to buy coffee. And there’s not much in the way of supermarkets until you get to Tahiti , another 800 nautical miles away.

If you leave IndigoRadio on for long enough, inevitably Kiribati will come up. You can hide from hurricanes here. The South Pacific is defined by island life at an island tempo:

  • You can get delicious fish on the end of your gidji real fast here.
  • People-less anchorages.
  • Dreamy atolls.
  • And not a damn supermarket in sight.

Ok, not everyone’s idea of easy sailing, but certainly my idea of the best that living on a boat has to offer.

There is a multitude of lifetimes that could be spent escaping the rat race and kicking back in the Pacific. There is an awesome amount of diversity of landscapes and cultures here too, not to mention a proud seafaring tradition that we aspiring boat bums should shut up and learn from. 

A Tip From One Pirate to Another

Okiedokie, you wild little circumnavigator-to-be! There are multiple ways to criss cross the globe. Resources like and Jimmy Cornell’s cruising guides will be invaluable to you in the planning  and execution stages of your journey.

A map with a line of a good route to follow for someone travelling the world by boat

But at a glance : I would suggest starting in Europe and the mediterranean and picking up the trade winds west across the Atlantic in this order:

  • Through the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal.
  • Onwards across the South Pacific, kissing New Zealand and Australia before either…
  • Circling through South East Asia and back across the Northern Pacific…
  • OR continuing up past Sri Lanka then…
  • Around the Cape of Good Hope before…
  • Going back across the Atlantic and the northern coast of the USA and back home!

Use the trade winds to your advantage! Go west until you can go west no longer.

packable travel medical kit

Things go wrong on the road ALL THE TIME. Be prepared for what life throws at you.

Buy an AMK Travel Medical Kit before you head out on your next adventure – don’t be daft!

No sugar coating here. Buying and maintaining a sailboat, no matter how much it resembles a tin can, adds up real fast. 

But when the eternal sunshine and the lessons of the great blue spectacular call you – when King Neptune drafts you into his eternal service – it’s time to find a will and a way. 

Here are a few tips to help you plan a trip that I’ve picked up from my short time making various vessels my temporary abodes: 

  • Don’t buy a project boat unless you want a project.  It will cost you more to fix everything on a broken boat than it will to buy a boat that’s good to go.
  • But, when you do need to repair, DIY. Endless learning, yay! Or, plan your sailing route to include time in places like the Rio Dulce where repairs are cheaper.
  • Anchor more often than you stay in marinas.  Marinas are devilishly expensive; anchoring is deliciously free.
  • Volunteer on someone else’s boat before you get your own. 😉 If done right, this is win-win. You can take share in the labour of running a boat (for example by standing night watch) while learning the finer points of sailing from a master.
  • Get seasonal work. There are so many options when it comes to this, from ‘backpacker’ staples like agriculture and hospitality to working on superyachts or as dive instructors.
  • Or have residual or passive income if you’re real cool. If you’re on that elusive property ladder or earning money online , why don’t you have a boat? Just head off now and live off your automatic wealth. Be a cool kid.

A man repairs something on his liveaboard sailboat.

Of course, when a backpacker asks about the cost of living on a sailboat, they really want to know if you can live on a sailboat for free. When a family looking to take a sabbatical asks about the cost of living, they just want to know hard numbers and a budget breakdown.

At the end of the day, you can hoist a heavily patched sail on a jerry-rigged mast and work on the boat yourself, and eat only what you catch or grow. At the other end, you can set sail on a superyacht replete with full-time staff and jetskis.

We anchor in the same sand and watch the same sunset though, so you choose what you need to spend.

I would suggest being honest about your lifestyle. Consider being a little obsessive organised about your annual costs. Because costs are going to vary greatly from boat to boat.

How Much Does it Cost to Live on a Boat? (Pricing Breakdown!)

Obviously, the variables that go into the cost of running a liveaboard boat are vastly dependent on your style of living and where in the world you are sailing.

Generally speaking, it is cheaper to spend more time at anchor and in countries with a lower cost of living. However, insurance will still be 1% – 2% of the cost of your boat and port fees are port fees. Still gotta pay ’em, whether you’re a broke bum or a gazillionaire.

Sailing and Diving Go Together Like… Sailing and Diving!

A way to combine two of the best things on Earth is to indulge in a liveaboard experience .

This is exactly what it sounds like – you live aboard a boat, usually in some fantastic and tropical destination. You can indulge in some wonderous diving, and pick the brains of the crew about their tips on living aboard a vessel!

live aboard on a sailboat

The focus of the liveaboards is the epic diving experiences in destinations that just aren’t as accessible when travelling in other ways. Also, it’s a great inspiration for you to hustle your way onto your own boat so that diving amongst reef sharks becomes as normal as your morning coffee.

Now the controversial stuff.

I’ve had someone say, a little tongue in cheek: damn yachties get the wind for free and now they want everything else for free!

A sailboat mid-cruise on a sunset lake.

While I think being resourceful and a bargain hunter is the best way to live your life, boat or no boat, it’s just as important to have a bitta respect. So when you hit the seas or the road, I don’t see the point in haggling hard over what amounts to 50 cents.

When it comes to boat stuff, in particular, break it down into your shelter, food, and fuel, and don’t aim to get everything for free .

Aim to sustain your lifestyle for as long as possible in a way that doesn’t compromise it for everyone else. In other words, be ethical about your damn budget travel. The most rewarding consequence of trying to keep costs down is creating a more or less self-sustaining yacht. Better for you and your personal growth; better for this pale blue dot we call home.

Sailboat Cost Cutter #1: Shelter 

A girl is in the engine of the sailboat she lived on while covered in oil.

Maintaining your shelter (i.e. your boat) is not going to be a ‘free’ exercise. You will pay with money, or your own labour and time, to maintain it. 

It will be an exercise in learning all kinds of systems – both mechanical and electrical – and time management. Do you want to pay for that task with money or your labour? Whatever you land on for each maintenance task that inevitably comes up, you will learn that to sustain this boat bum lifestyle you just gotta take care of your wee home and she will take care of you. 

It is always free to sleep on your boat while underway. Well, it doesn’t cost any money anyway. You are investing a lot of time and energy into the passage, but you’re not paying to sleep on your boat!

Once you arrive, you can choose to stay in a marina, on a mooring, or at anchor. Anchoring will always be the cheapest (usually free) and so you don’t have to spend a lot to live in paradise. But don’t be a dick.  

  • Have the right visa.
  • Be respectful of others in the anchorage.
  • Don’t dump shit (literal or otherwise) overboard unless you are sure you’re allowed to.
  • Be friendly and offer your neighbours a hand if they need one.

This lifestyle can bring out the best in us provided we’re responsible travellers , so lean into that. 

Sailboat Cost Cutter #2: Fuel

live aboard on a sailboat

As my friend said, damn yachties get the wind for free! Much of the energy needed to go from A to B is yours for the taking, provided you can harness it efficiently with your sails. But as with DIY vs paying for repairs, sometimes you pay just as dearly with your time as you would have with your money. 

If you are becalmed, the engine may be just the thing to help you out. When coming into a marina, you’re not going to want to be under sail. Likewise, in a storm, it is time to put the sail away and turn on the engine for stability. So having a little diesel onboard is necessary.  

Compared to land life, people living on a boat can minimise their carbon footprint and live very simply. But it’s difficult to ask the Earth for none of its resources. Just be mindful about the way you live, be eco-friendly , and try your best to not waste resources. 

You can recharge your boat batteries for electronics with the sun though – provided you can harness it with solar panels. And a lot of liveaboards will have a wind turbine for extra power on the less sunny days. This stops you from needing to use the engine so much. Yay for money, yay for the environment. 

It’s never going to be completely free. You either pay with time or money. But you can certainly save a lot of money on fuel while living on a boat. This is a rewarding way to sustain your lifestyle and be kinder to the planet. 

Sailboat Cost Cutter #3: Food

A tuna caught while sailing with a lure in its mouth and a spike in its brain so that it died quickly.

I apply the same principles to food as I do to food and shelter: you pay with money or you pay with time and labour. Also, don’t be a dick, and be good to the environment. What comes around goes around. 

This means, when it’s available, I will spearfish and I will hunt. This is me paying for my food with my time and labour rather than money. But I would also argue that it’s fulfilling my other principles of:

  • Not being a dick and…
  • Being good to the planet. 

Hear me out: I think vegans and hunters alike would agree that factory farming and the industrial scale of meat production are fucked up. It’s a waste of our water, arable land, and produces poorer quality meat. Furthermore, the animals suffer tremendously. 

But if I’m kicking it in Kiribati, there is no way I’m going to be a vegetarian and still believe I’m doing a solid for the planet. The carbon footprint required to get my strictly vegetarian tofu to the remote islands is greater than the carbon footprint of me harvesting a fish every few days. 

A man and a woman on their liveaboard sailboat. A goat they killed is in front of them.

That fish has swum about its whole life having a good time doing cool fish stuff. And then, like all of us will, it died. I have immense gratitude toward this being for providing me with sustenance. I feel like I am part of a cycle of life that predates my puny existence. 

In the same vein, to bring tofu to the Caribbean has required a process that is on the whole less ethical than going for a shoot and getting a feral goat for dinner.

The land cleared to grow the soybeans + the production of soybeans into tofu + the carbon cost of flying the tofu product into the island = YIKES.

The feral goats that destabilize delicate island ecosystems? They had a good goat-y life and then they became a good goat-y curry that fed 12 people. 

Ok, I’m done. Eat meat or don’t; ethical animal tourism and all that jazz, however, morality is complicated. There are ways to reduce the money you spend on food and your carbon footprint without being a dick.

I’d also say that in the process of harvesting your own food, you gain a greater appreciation for life on this planet. And get a sense of urgency around stepping up to protect it.  Give it a try; you might be surprised.

Epic Tips for Broke Boatpackers

  • Know your knots. Apart from knots being fascinating in their own right (knots were probably invented alongside stone tools?! ), they are the foundation of boat life. Knowing a couple of basics , like a bowline, will give you a good leg up when joining a boat. 
  • Be able to cook at least two decent meals, also be clean. You aren’t only working, but living on this boat with someone. Take care of your space and bring some good food to the table and you will go a long way as a crew member. 
  • Go to docks and ask around. This is a good way to meet people – even if you just end up crew for a day sail. Be friendly, make yourself known, and find you’ll find yourself on a boat in no time. 
  • Facebook can be your friend. When walking the docks fails, there is a multitude of Facebook and other social media groups dedicated to connecting wannabe crew with boats!
  • Know how to write about yourself on your Facebook adverts. But you’ve got to know how to sell yourself! If you can cook a bomb-ass puttanesca and can tie a reef knot – mention it! Don’t sell yourself short! That being said, don’t exaggerate and tell fibs about the sailing experience you (don’t) have. The truth will come out painfully during the first bit of real sailing you do, so be honest. There’s usually captains willing to teach the basics for a bit of company and a good meal. 
  • Knowing how to fillet a fish is handy. Sailors know how to sail. They don’t necessarily know how to fish. So if you can bring this skill to the table, you’re going to be a beloved crew member in no time!

grayl geopress filter bottle

Drink water from ANYWHERE. The Grayl Geopress is the worlds leading filtered water bottle protecting you from all manner of waterborne nasties.

Single-use plastic bottles are a MASSIVE threat to marine life. Be a part of the solution and travel with a filter water bottle. Save money and the environment!

We’ve tested the Geopress  rigorously  from the icy heights of Pakistan to the tropical jungles of Bali, and can confirm: it’s the best water bottle you’ll ever buy!

Sweet, glorious tips from a pro-pirate to a soon-to-be, the seas are calling, so go sail them!

Stay Safe, Boat Bums!

One thing that many intrepid little sailors are not good at? Estimating danger and the likelihood of death.

Maybe this is a good thing because you do have to be the right sort of mad to get into a sailboat and cross an ocean.

Maybe, just maybe, you should consider purchasing travel insurance before shit hits the fan though. But enough from me, hear it from a fellow adventurer.

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

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SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

FAQs About Life on a Boat

Here’s what I know you want to know about living on a boat!

What is the cheapest place in the world to live on a boat?

This will depend on your spending habits, of course. If you give yourself a budget of $3000 per month, you will spend $3000 per month. That being said, travelling around Southeast Asia and South America is an exquisite choice. They have superb cruising and a low cost of living. The Philippines stands out as a paradise to explore while on a budget.

Can you live on a boat in a marina?

You absolutely can! Now, call me biased, but the point of living on a boat is to go adventuring so I’d keep marina stays  strategic . Only stay as long as it takes to get repaired, or get provisions, and then take off into the sunset!

Can I sail around the world?

It doesn’t take much to put the sails out and follow a bearing. It also doesn’t take much to lose your mast in a surprise squall. Of course, you can sail a boat around the world, but you need to be organised. Provisions, finances, weather. The trip of a lifetime is not for the faint-hearted. Not that that should stop the intrepid adventurer!


Follow instructions and ACTUALLY LISTEN. Put that ego aside, mate. The Captain ALWAYS has the final say, and if they say duck, you DUCK. The boat life can be real unforgiving. Oh, and learn how to handle your rum! It’s a pirate’s life and, well, nobody wants to be at sea with  that guy…

Do sea monsters really exist?

Oh yes. Without a doubt. You just won’t meet the monster until you’ve been at sea for more than 25 days straight. The crew are tired of each other. The boat keeps breaking. There’s a storm on the horizon. It’s night watch again and the clouds are hiding the stars. You wonder if your mother is worried for you and when you might be able to call her again. Briefly, you lean over the side of the boat and wonder what it would be like to just walk off. Would you sink or swim? The sea monsters don’t live in the sea.

Fair Winds, Sailor!

Living on a boat will challenge you.

There is no other lifestyle that forces you to be attuned to weather patterns, engine maintenance, personal dynamics, ethical dilemmas at every mealtime; to consider watermakers and wind turbines; to completely surrender while also stepping up and getting shit done. 

The nitty-gritty of how to live on a sailboat will not be fully revealed to you until you step onto one and do it. But, if you can poop and provision you’re halfway there! 

You gotta lick your finger and hold it up to the wind. Ah yes, the trades blow west. Rum and a seriously sexy sunset await.

A man sitting on his boat in Myanmar with a beautiful sunset.

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Indigo Blue

Indigo Blue

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I truly enjoyed this read. I am under a government contract for the next while, but have a plan to retire and become a full timer somewhere warmer than Canada. I have been making my own notes and your writing gave me plenty more tips. Please feel free to email and keep me in the loop. Thanks so much and happy sailing!

Amazing read, thank you so much! I’m planning to get on with my own boat living dream and was curious if you (and fellow readers ) could share your thoughts on some of the big issues of boat living you have experienced? Much obliged 🙂 Keep up the good work!

First of all, welcome to the boat life! Biggest issues: Realistically the biggest issue is usually finances. The ocean is constantly wearing away at your boat and trying to sink it. Buying and maintaining a boat is expensive. That’s why so many boat lifers end up in the charter or delivery business – either as crew or as owner/operators – because it pays well.

Once you have your cruising kitty sorted, the next biggest issue is crew dynamics. Sailing alone is demanding, lonely, enthralling, and incredible all at once. Having crew on board and stepping up as captain is a trip in itself. Managing a team is always challenging – let alone when your team lives on a tiny sailboat and is constantly fighting the elements and can never take a break from each other.

The actual sailing and reading of the weather – that stuff becomes easy! This is why you should make yourself stop every so often and remind yourself how wild and wonderful it is that you’re getting around using the freaking wind! Also, the stars, man. If there’s one reason I’d cross the Pacific again for, it’s the stars.

Good luck and fair winds!

That is a f*cking great 101 boat guide! ahah Thank you Indigo for it and welcome to the writer’s team 🙂

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The True Cost of Living on a Sailboat: Our Monthly Expenses

pin of of man standing on front of catamaran holding onto jib rigging looking out at horizon

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Catamaran at anchor on the water

How much does it cost to live on a boat? This was my biggest question when we were planning and saving to cruise. I was clueless when it came to creating a budget for our future life aboard. I was looking for someone to tell me exactly how much it would cost ME to live on a sailboat full-time.

I quickly learned some people cruise for less than $1,000 a month and some for upwards of $10,000 a month. Most are somewhere between.

Not so dissimilar from living on land, different people cruise on all sorts of budgets.

For us, our cost of living on a sailboat isn’t so far from our land-based spending.

Part of this journey was learning to live with less, but we still maintain some creature comforts on the water.

Here is a breakdown of our cost of living on a boat full-time while cruising the US east coast.

Cost to Live on a Sailboat

pie chart of cost of living on a sailboat

Average cost of $2,424 per month*

Sailboat Maintenance Expenses

Average cost $1,006.

Sunnyside captain working in bilge on the sump pump

Maintenance, Parts & Tools ($687)

It’s no surprise boat maintenance is top of the list.

You will continuously be fixing broken things or maintaining things on a sailboat. You will also need different tools, spare parts, cleaners, etc., as you cruise.

There will be months when you won’t need much in the way of tools and parts (especially if you already have a lot of tools and spare parts onboard). Then in one month, you might spend 40% of the annual budget.

We make a strong effort to do most boat projects ourselves.

Shortly after we began cruising, our wallets learned the hard truth of paying people to work on your boat.

Since then, we’ve been our own plumber, mechanic, seamstress, and electrician.

You’ll always be learning. But if you can maintain and fix your vessel, you’ll save boatloads of cash (pun intended, I couldn’t resist).

READ NEXT: Check out our 9 Helpful Things You Need in Your Sailboat Tool Kit .

Insurance ($233).

If you are a newbie cruiser, your boat insurance options will most likely be limited. Insurance was a considerable expense in our first year. In our second year, the cost dropped from 2.8% of the boat’s value to 1.3%. (We now have restricted cruising grounds for July – November.)

Do your research and consider using a broker. Get quotes based on where you’ll be cruising and staying in hurricane season.

Miscellaneous ($86)

The miscellaneous category is everything else boat-related. This includes any small purchases we make for the boat (ex. rug for the salon), our USCG documentation, Amazon Prime membership, etc.

We also have a Boat US membership , which more than pays for itself. We get dockage and fuel discounts often. And, of course, the towing service is priceless when you run aground with only one engine. (What, just me?)

For a modest fee, this membership is a no-brainer for boat owners.

Marinas vs. Anchoring

Average cost $339.

Sailboat at anchor with dinghy behind it at sunset

Marina Costs

If you’ve been researching the cost of living on a boat, you know it is more economical to anchor than to dock in a marina slip. We love anchoring out, but it does come with a set of variables that dictate comfort and safety while you’re on the hook. Not to mention, it requires a lot more planning.

Marinas can be expensive, especially in popular cruising areas. Dockage is usually charged per foot, so the bigger the boat, the higher the costs associated with docking fees. However, you can find liveaboard boat marinas with slip fees that are paid monthly.

Many cruisers prefer to dock at a liveaboard marina during hurricane season and save anchoring for cruising season. This allows you to keep your cost per night at marinas down, and your overall costs balance out throughout the year.

READ NEXT: Check out our post on Liveaboard Marinas: Finding the Best One for You .

Anchoring challenges.

Dreaming of our cruising days, I had the idea we would anchor out and rarely pay for marinas.

In reality, that’s not what worked for us out of the gate. Being beginner sailors and newbies to cruising and boats in general – there was an enormous learning curve.

Learning to live this lifestyle is not always easy. And yes, marinas make it easier. Especially when you REALLY need it to be easier.

Anchoring out requires the captain to always be “on”. You must be aware of the weather, wind direction, currents, and tides. You also have to be aware of the boats around you. None of this stops when you leave the boat or when you sleep.

The reality is you need to slowly become more comfortable living on the hook.

With experience, you can build more confidence.

You’ll become more comfortable with boat systems, weather, and making repairs while on the anchor. Conserving power and water becomes more natural, and you learn how to stay warm in the cold and cool off in hot weather. With some practice, you can spend less time (and money) at marinas.

For folks dreaming of this lifestyle, I’m not saying you won’t be able to start living on the anchor immediately. But the stress level accompanying living on the hook will lower with time and experience.

Average Cost $449

Provisions are consistently one of our most significant expenses on the boat.

Anticipating my new life on the water, I knew I wanted to learn more about cooking, baking, and making things from scratch. And since we planned to live on a smaller budget, I also wanted to be conscious of spending on food.

A game I often play with myself is to see how long we can go until the next big provisioning trip.

Buddha bowls with lettuce, carrots, peppers, chickpeas, tomatoes and hummus

You might be thinking – that sounds miserable. But we eat pretty darn well most of the time.

We ration veggies and fruits, ensuring we leave the hardiest for last. We start with fresh salads and other raw veggie meals, such as cilantro hummus bowls. As the freshest veggies thin out, we work our way to curries and stir-fries. Then, when the fridge grows empty, we move on to rice and bean dishes, pineapple and jalapeño pizza, and bean tacos with pickled onions and cabbage.

One skillset you develop living on a boat is the ability to eat more sustainably.

Learning to make bread, yogurt, and vegetable broth from scraps is super satisfying.

Spend time learning to make flexible meals. Use a balance of fresh, canned, and dried ingredients. Do this, and you can stretch your provisioning budget without sacrificing flavor.

You can also save money by minimizing disposables, such as paper towels, sandwich bags, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil.

READ NEXT: Check out our ideas for Flexible Meals on a Boat and our Best Zero Waste Swaps for Small Spaces .

Having sundowners is a bit of a staple in the boating community. It’s a common way to meet and greet other boaters in a marina or in an anchorage. Given that, we always like to have a few extra beers onboard or the ingredients for a simple cocktail.

We love good wine, but we managed to find some enjoyable boxed wines. (Bonus, lose the boxes at the dock, and there’s very little trash to contend with.)

Sunnyside crew on beach with beers

When we find a deal, we stock up on beer. Nothing hits the spot like a cold beer after the anchor drops. We even discovered a reasonably priced rum we enjoy. (No boat is complete without rum!)

Expenses here are based on personal taste. For us, it was possible to have more affordable beverages and still enjoy sundowner traditions!

Average Cost $233

Sunnyside crew member enjoying a seafood platter at a restaurant

As a couple who dined out regularly in our Colorado ski town, it was going to be tough to start cooking three meals a day living aboard.

I read a lot of advice that said, “if you like eating out, you probably won’t stop eating out because you move on a boat.”

There is truth to this. Whenever we are in a place where eating out is convenient, we tend to fall back into old habits.

However, when we dock in remote places or anchor away from shore access, there is less (or no) opportunity to eat out.

Instead, we experiment with different types of food to make meals onboard rewarding.

We still enjoy going out to experience the local cuisine, but it has become a treat instead of how we live.

A great way to cut costs is by dining out for a late lunch rather than dinner or skipping the alcohol. Opting for a refreshing drink on the trampoline while watching the sunset isn’t a bad way to close out a night.

Average Cost $103

Sunnyside boat captain driving the dinghy

Diesel, gas, and propane are three resources you will continuously be aware of while living on a boat.

Here are a few adjustments we make to maximize our fuel efficiency.

  • We use our sails. This isn’t easy as new sailors on a big boat. We have slowly become more confident, but it took us months of traveling on the water to start getting comfortable using the sails. We are still learning.
  • We don’t put ourselves in a position where we are in a hurry or have a schedule. This almost always leads to running the engines more.
  • We run on one engine. We can run one engine instead of two on our catamaran and only lose about 1 – 1.5 knots. On the ICW, we unfurl the jib to improve speed if the wind is right.
  • We always make sure to travel at an optimal time for the current. Some areas of the Intercoastal Waterway can have a current that’s pushing 2-3 knots. Choosing a departure time around the current makes a big difference in travel time and fuel efficiency. 
  • Heating water with the electric kettle if the engines are running or we are on shore power.
  • Using hot water from the engines (when we have it) to get water boiling.
  • When cooking pasta, we use a minimal amount of water. We’ll often turn the propane off and let the noodles finish cooking in the hot water.
  • Quality cookware makes a big difference. Once brought to a boil, some dishes can finish cooking with the lid on. This is helpful when coming into an anchorage. Often, I’ll kill the propane, and by the time we are anchored, dinner is ready.
  • If we plan to make a few trips to shore, we’ll anchor closer to the dinghy dock. This doesn’t always work out, but being conscious of it has helped us stretch our gas budget.
  • If it’s a short trip to the dock and we aren’t carrying supplies, we use the kayak. Paddling is free (and fun)!

Average Cost $140

Working on the computer on the boat

When we were saving for the cruising kitty, we found ways to cut our mobile bill by using data on our home and work WiFi. When we moved aboard, our phone plan became the primary internet source. We quickly realized we would need to rethink our data plan.

There are a lot of options for unlimited data in the US, as well as hotspot data. I recommend having at least unlimited mobile data for research and logistics involved when cruising. If you need to work from the boat, you may also want to invest in an additional mobile service as backup or satellite internet. Starlink is starting to become popular in the boating community.

Our Mobile Plan

While cruising the east coast, we use T-Mobile. With this carrier, we get unlimited data and 40GB of hotspot data each month (20GB per phone). This is on the pricier end, and we have been looking into other options, but we enjoy having the hotspot data. Even after the 40GB, we still have hotspot data at 2G. When we cruise the Bahamas, we are planning to use My Island WiFi service .


Average cost $23.

TV with streaming services loaded on the screen

This category is for consumable entertainment since most other entertainment on the water is free.

Music, movies, and books are popular forms of entertainment onboard. Even when we cut down on spending, we kept a few options that provided these services. Instead of ditching all the monthly streaming apps, we looked hard at our memberships and cut back or found free services to supplement.

  • Spotify membership for music (we can download or stream) $11
  • Movie library on an external hard drive created before we ditched our DVDs Free
  • Hulu (included with Spotify) Free
  • Disney Plus (prepaid for three years during a special offer) $4
  • Nexflix (included with T-Mobile plan) Free
  • Tubi (a free streaming app) Free

Spotify and Audible are great for downloading books and playlists for when you are out of service or on passage. You can also download movies and shows through many streaming apps for playback when you don’t have a signal or are running on a budgeted amount of mobile data. An external hard drive of your favorite movies is also a great source of video entertainment that will never let you down.

Personal Care & Clothing

Average cost $73.

Crew member applying tinted moisturizer

Hair & Skin Care

Go more natural with skin and hair care. Most boats won’t have spare power for hairdryers and straighteners. On top of that, the sun and humidity will destroy makeup.

Start now researching ways to simplify your personal care regimens. It will make the transition abroad much easier.

Tips for Hair & Skin Care

  • Get a tinted moisturizer with SPF for your face (I like Raw Elements ), a flexible eye shadow, and waterproof mascara. Opt for reusable makeup remover cloths to cut down on waste.
  • Work on a natural look for your hair, and see if you can find a style you can cut yourself. Shampoo and conditioner bars are a great way to save space and are typically made with clean ingredients that won’t harm sea life.
  • Opt for a simple personal care routine. The fewer products you use, the more space, time, and money you’ll save.
  • We love to use UPF clothing in combination with sunscreen. The more you can cover up, the less sunscreen you’ll need.

For us, this area is where expenses remain similar to land life. There are no unique expenses with health or dental care, although finding healthcare coverage for multiple states can be challenging.

For the lady sailors, I recommend researching ways to have a zero-waste period. A menstrual cup is something I wish I had transitioned to before cruising. It will make your life easier, plus save you money and storage space.

If you can minimize laundry and wash some stuff on board, you can limit the need to find a washing machine.

Tips for Laundry on a Boat

  • Wear clothes that are easy to wash and dry and can be worn several times between washes.
  • In the summer months, wear UPF synthetics and bathing suits that can be washed by hand. This will also extend their life.
  • In the winter months, wear merino wool and dress in layers to get the most wears out of your clothes before washing.
  • Save sheets, towels, and bulkier clothing for when you have access to a washing machine. We aim to do machine washing about once a month.

Having a solid system in place for handwashing clothes helps limit our laundry budget. We average $8 per month spent on machines.

We try to buy high-quality clothing that is durable for boat life. Once you’ve created a boat wardrobe that works, you’ll find there is little you will need.

In six months, the only clothing I have purchased is a UPF shawl, a sun hat (to replace one I lost overboard), and a tank top. I previously spent a lot of money on clothes. Now I enjoy dialing in a functional, minimalist wardrobe for living on a boat.

READ NEXT: For more on clothing for boat life, check out What to Wear Sailing and How to Downsize Your Wardrobe .

Average cost $58.

View from commercial airline

For us, our travel budget for many years has consisted of only credit card membership fees. These help us earn points that pay for our travel.

Booking a flight or rental car without worrying about how it affects the budget is a nice perk in this lifestyle. There are times you need a car to get a project done or to book a last-minute flight to visit family.

We also get an annual travel credit with the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. We use a lot of the credit toward Ubers and Lyfts – great for when grocery stores aren’t within walking distance or you need to make a larger provisioning run.

Getting Started With a Cruising Budget

Sunset on the Intracoastal Waterway

Here are some final thoughts when creating your future sailboat cruising budget.

  • The above expenses are based on actively cruising on our 38-foot catamaran. For us, extended time at the dock is just a redistribution of funds. Maintenance and fuel go down, and marina expenses go up.
  • Our maintenance costs are at about 4% of the hull value. Aside from the trampoline, we have not replaced any big-ticket items, so we expect this percentage may increase over the next couple of years.
  • If you hope to stretch your cruising kitty, give yourself time to overcome the learning curve. Learning to maintain, operate, cook, and just be on a boat will take time. As you get more experience, your spending habits will improve. Be patient and keep moving forward.
  • I highly recommend you continue researching and reading as much as possible about the cost of living on a sailboat. Get perspectives from different cruisers. This will help you create a cruising budget that will be unique to you.

Other Resources

  • Gone with the Wynns created a very detailed article and video that breakdowns their cost of living on a boat.
  • Sailing Kittiwake also has a great video on the cost of living on a sailboat on a budget .

*Costs not included in this overview are health insurance, taxes, business expenses, and gifts or donations. These expenses are particular to each individual’s situation and so are excluded from this article.

Want more tips on how to get started cruising on a boat?

For more information on the reality of boat life and tips for living on the water, view our complete guide.

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5 Big Costs of Living on a Sailboat

Morgan, the founder of The Home That Roams, has been living nomadically for over five years. She began her journey traveling across the U.S. in a motorhome and cruising on a liveaboard sailing catamaran. Currently, she lives full-time in a travel trailer, sharing resources on RV living and boat life to help others downsize their lives and thrive in an alternative lifestyle.

Excellent article. Thank you!

I started getting the urge to return to the sea not long after I got out of the Navy in 1974…. Started out on a 15′ Phantom…. Up to 21′ Keels, up to a 26′ Bristol and finally a 28′ Newport…. You learn alot of tricks of the trade at a working marina… Barter system, I used to go up the mast or anything Aloft in return for favors with anything that I had a problem with …. Had to give up the sailboat when I couldn’t sail it by myself anymore … Looking for a 35′-38′ trawler to live in the Tampa Bay area for the rest of my day…. From the Sea I came, back to sea I will return … Anchor’s Aweigh….

Hi George, it sounds like you have lived and breathed boats for a while! One of my favorite things about a good liveaboard marina is how everyone trades boat maintenance favors and helps each other out. I sure hope you find a good trawler to liveaboard in Tampa – sounds lovely!

Do you use a specific budgeting software or anything to track your transactions? Please share if so

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13 Dirt-Cheap Liveaboard Sailboats (That Are Actually Good)

live aboard on a sailboat

When it comes to selecting a dirt-cheap liveaboard sailboat, you don't have to compromise on quality. There are many classic models and a few hidden gems that provide comfort, space, and sailing capabilities at a very affordable price. In this article, you'll find a list of classic liveaboard sailboats, as well as a few original finds that can fit your budget.

Liveaboard sailboats that are cheap but actually good include Westsail 32, Alberg 30, Tayana 37, Catalina 30, Ericson 35, Albin Vega 27, Bristol 32, Morgan 323, Contessa 32, Pearson 365, Hunter 31, Cal 34, and Tartan 30. The prices of these boats range from $5,000 to $50,000 or more.

Living aboard a sailboat on a budget doesn't mean you have to settle for less. These affordable boats can still provide the comfort and performance you're looking for. We've included some models that you can find on Craigslist.

  • These budget-friendly liveaboard sailboats offer a great combination of affordability, performance, and comfort, making them ideal choices for living the sailing dream.
  • Some classic models that provide you with enough room to move around and store your belongings include the Alberg 30 and the Tayana 37.
  • Classic models such as the Westsail 32, Alberg 30, Tayana 37, Catalina 30, Ericson 35, and Albin Vega 27 are known for their seaworthiness and versatility.
  • The cheaper the boat, the more likely you'll need to invest in repairs and spare parts over the years. This is where some more obscure finds can surprise you, such as the Contessa 32 and the Cal 34, which offer easy maintenance and relatively cheap spare parts.

On this page:

13 cheapest liveaboard sailboats that are good, key features of a good liveaboard sailboat, classic liveaboard sailboat models, affordable liveaboard sailboats.

When looking for an affordable yet reliable liveaboard sailboat , there are several important features to consider. These can greatly affect your overall experience and satisfaction with your chosen boat.

Layout and space : On a liveaboard sailboat, space and layout are crucial. You'll want a boat that offers efficient use of space, a comfortable living area, a functional galley, and adequate storage. Generally, 25 to 35 feet in length is the ideal size range for a liveaboard.

Sailing performance : Even if you plan to live aboard primarily , sailing performance should still be a priority. Consider its ability to handle light winds, heavy winds, and everything in between. Your boat should be able to handle various sea conditions and be easily maneuvered. It should be versatile enough for various wind conditions and sea states.

Hull design : The hull design of your sailboat will affect its stability and performance in the water. Look for a design that offers a good balance between comfort, safety, and speed. A full-keel or modified full-keel design provides stability and tracking in rough seas, while a fin keel offers better maneuverability in tight spaces like harbors and marinas.

Maintenance and construction : Pay attention to the boat's construction materials and quality. Fiberglass and aluminum are popular choices due to their durability and low maintenance requirements. Wooden boats tend to be more affordable but may require more maintenance and care.

In this section, we will discuss some classic liveaboard sailboat models that are known for their affordability, functionality, and reliability. These boats have stood the test of time and are excellent choices, especially for novices.

Westsail 32 is known as "the cruiser that launched the cruising boom"

The Westsail 32 is a sturdy, reliable, and comfortable liveaboard option for those seeking a classic, bluewater cruising boat. Designed by William Crealock, it boasts heavy construction, a full keel, a roomy interior, and seaworthy capabilities. With many of these boats available on the market, you can find a Westsail 32 in good condition at affordable prices.

Alberg 30 is a classic full-keel cruiser known for its seaworthy design

live aboard on a sailboat

The Alberg 30 is a classic design from the 1960s, created by Carl Alberg, and built by Whitby Boat Works in Canada. This boat is known for being easy to sail and is a perfect choice for new liveaboards. The Alberg 30 has a simple layout, adequate living space, and enough storage to make it a suitable option for long-term living, all while keeping to a budget.

Tayana 37 is known for its seaworthiness and durability

live aboard on a sailboat

Designed by Robert Perry and built in Taiwan, the Tayana 37 is a popular and capable bluewater cruiser. This well-built classic boat is known for its comfort, safety, and ease of handling when sailing long distances. The Tayana 37 offers plenty of space and storage, making it a delightfully practical liveaboard choice, even for small families or couples.

Catalina 30 is one of the most popular sailboats of all time

live aboard on a sailboat

The Catalina 30 is one of the most popular sailboats in its size range and has a reputation for being an incredibly spacious boat, given its 30-foot length. Designed by Frank Butler, the Catalina 30 is known for its roomy interior and user-friendly layout, making it a fantastic option for liveaboard enthusiasts. The affordability and availability of the Catalina 30 also make it a top choice among sailors. It’s a tried-and-true option for liveaboard enthusiasts.

Ericson 35 has solid build quality

live aboard on a sailboat

For those looking for a slightly larger liveaboard sailboat, the Ericson 35 is an excellent option. Designed by Bruce King and built by Ericson Yachts, it is praised for its solid build quality and comfortable accommodations. The practical layout and generous storage space make the boat a desirable choice for those looking to live aboard on a budget .

Albin Vega 27 is a proven ocean cruiser

live aboard on a sailboat

The Albin Vega 27 is a smaller liveaboard option for those who prioritize simplicity and affordability. Designed by Per Brohäll and built in Sweden, the Albin Vega 27 is a proven ocean cruiser with a surprising amount of space for a boat of its size. If you're looking for an affordable liveaboard sailboat with a compact yet functional layout, the Albin Vega 27 might be the perfect fit for you.

In your quest for a dirt-cheap liveaboard sailboat that's actually good, there are some finds worth considering. Let's dive into these affordable gems that were built for liveaboard life and sailing.

Bristol 32 is known for its classic design and solid construction

The Bristol 32 is a classic liveaboard sailboat with a solid reputation for its sturdy construction and excellent sailing performance. Designed by Ted Hood, this boat is known for its comfortable living spaces and adequate storage. A used Bristol 32 can be found at a reasonable price, making it perfect for those with a tight budget.

Morgan 323 provides stability and safety

live aboard on a sailboat

Next is the Morgan 323, which offers a great deal of interior space for a 32-foot sailboat. The well-designed layout ensures you have all the necessary amenities for living aboard while maintaining high sailing performance. Equipped with a full keel and skeg-hung rudder, the Morgan 323 provides stability and safety while underway.

Contessa 32 has a solid reputation for being safe, seaworthy, and comfortable

A British classic, the Contessa 32 is a small yet capable liveaboard sailboat , perfect for a couple or solo sailor. With its sleek lines, excellent performance, and well-built hull, the Contessa 32 is a go-to choice for many budget-conscious sailors. It's a rugged, seaworthy vessel that can handle various weather conditions with ease.

Pearson 365 is suitable for long-term and weekend cruises

live aboard on a sailboat

The Pearson 365 is another popular liveaboard sailboat, known for its spacious interior, comfortable accommodations, and reasonable price. With a roomy cockpit, plenty of storage, and a versatile sail plan, the Pearson 365 is well-suited for both long-term liveaboards and weekend cruisers.

Hunter 31 is well-rounded and spacious

live aboard on a sailboat

Affordable and easy to find, the Hunter 31 is a popular choice for budget-conscious sailors searching for a suitable liveaboard. With its beamy hull, the Hunter 31 boasts a spacious and functional interior. While not a traditional bluewater cruiser, the Hunter 31 can hold its own in coastal and nearshore environments.

Cal 34 offers solid sailing performance

live aboard on a sailboat

Another solid liveaboard option is the Cal 34. This well-designed sailboat has earned a reputation for its quality construction and comfortable living spaces. The Cal 34 strikes a suitable balance between performance and affordability, making it a popular choice among budget-conscious sailors.

Tartan 30 has enough space for living aboard

live aboard on a sailboat

Last but not least is the Tartan 30. This sturdy sailboat is known for its seakeeping abilities and high-quality construction. The Tartan 30 provides adequate space for living aboard while maintaining its performance capabilities. Finding a used Tartan 30 at a great price is an excellent opportunity to secure an affordable, comfortable liveaboard.

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Living Aboard: Make it Easy

  • By Wendy Mitman Clarke
  • Updated: January 16, 2014

Over four years of cruising, as we put equipment to the test aboard Osprey , our Adams 45 steel cutter, we came up with a list of ideas and gear that fall under what’s known as the “pink jobs” category. Unlike the “blue jobs” list (see “ Simply Indispensable, ” January 2013), this is generally made up of simpler, mostly inexpensive systems or items that just plain work for everyday use. In their own small ways, they make the care and feeding of a family of four on board a little more efficient and easier.

Water Savings

1. Galley saltwater foot pump

This sounds old school, especially on many new boats that seem to want to make people feel like they’re living in a condo, not on a boat. But more than one fellow cruiser has envied ours. They resort to schlepping buckets of saltwater down to the galley to pre-rinse their dishes, or they lug the dishes to the transom to do the same. We just use the saltwater foot pump at the sink, then wash and final rinse with fresh water.

2. Freshwater foot pump (or hand pump) in the galley and head sinks.

This is the partner to number one, and I bring it up because so many boats I see use constant-pressure water in the head and galley. It doesn’t matter how frugal you are; pressure water systems invariably use more water than foot pumps.

Osprey came equipped with a freshwater foot pump for the galley and the head. In the head, hot water is pressure, but cold water (for daily stuff like tooth brushing) is via foot pump. In the galley, we added pressure hot and cold water but we rarely use it. It’s become so much a part of our routine to use the foot pump at either sink. If we want warm water for washing dishes or faces, we just heat it in a tea kettle and pour it in a bowl, rather than run the engine to make hot water and then turn on the pressure water pump to deliver it.

Even though I consider myself a low-maintenance female when it comes to personal buffing and fluffing, my one prerequisite is a hot shower. Daily. Osprey has a terrific shower, but whenever we are in climates and circumstances that permit it, we use the outdoor sun shower, which we hang from the aft arch. It accomplishes two things: One, it uses less water than a pressure-water shower; and two, the sun, rather than the boat’s engine, heats the water. So it’s a triple bonus, minimizing wear and tear on the boat’s hardware, saving fuel and helping conserve what is arguably the world’s most precious resource. We try to keep two on hand, since no matter the manufacturer, they only seem to last a season under heavy use.

In the Galley

4. Carbonated water makers

We don’t drink a lot of soda on Osprey , but we do mix carbonated water with fruit juices, and when you’re sick of Crystal Light and plain water there’s nothing so quenching as an ice-cold ginger ale or orange soda. Many of our cruising friends like the Sodastream system. It does take up counter space, and it’s a challenge to get replacement gas cartridges once you’re out of the country, so load up on them before you head out. We’d grown fond of the iSi Twist ‘n Sparkle, which is a smaller system, but the company has recalled its plastic bottles, citing a risk of bursting. The manufacturer is working on a redesign. For the record, nothing has exploded on Osprey . Either way you go, these eliminate a ton of can and/or bottle trash, and you don’t take up valuable storage space with flats of soda or spend stupid money to buy it in other countries.

Pressure cooker

This is the most basic piece of galley gear every serious cruising boat should have. They come in all sizes and models, ranging from the simplest jiggler to those with snazzy pressure-relief systems — whatever suits your fancy and comfort level. Osprey is equipped with an older-model Presto. From Presto online I ordered new gaskets and seals, and it works like a champ. Here’s how it makes life easier: You can cook complete one-pot meals hours in advance and they’ll stay warm and secure on the stovetop without having to reheat them. It’s a bonus when sailing in rough weather. You can make a nasty, tough cut of meat tender and tasty; you can cook the potential bacteria out of foods of questionable provenance. A recipe that requires several hours on the stovetop or in the oven can be cooked in a fraction of that time, saving on whatever cooking gas you’re using.

Recipes from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day ** by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François

This book explains a method for quickly making excellent bread with no kneading that helped me keep a hungry family fed when we were sailing in remote areas that were short on just about every food staple but flour. You need enough space in your fridge for a plastic container of at least four quarts: I use a vertical rectangular container and there’s still plenty of room for everything else. This is where you toss the ingredients — flour, water, salt, yeast — mix, let rise once, and refrigerate for up to a week.

When you want a quick loaf of delicious, crusty bread, you pull out a hunk of the dough, shape it, let it rise 20 minutes, and then bake it in a hot oven for half an hour. The book recommends you use a pizza or bread stone; we bought one and cut it down to fit Osprey ‘s stove. But my friend Julie has also had success simply using a cast-iron frying pan that she pre-heats, and you can also just use standard bread pans.

Stand-alone 12-volt freezer

Osprey has 12-volt cold-plate refrigeration, and if you lay something right against the plates eventually it’ll freeze. But it’s not a practical method, nor can you freeze a lot of stuff. We debated installing a full freezer but then had the good sense to learn from our friends, who raved about their Waeco 12-volt freezer. This cooler-size unit lived beneath their saloon table and easily froze meats, cheeses, ice and ice cream. We used a Waeco for the first three years and it performed admirably. In this last year we have switched to an Engel, which we like even more because it seems more efficient and sweats less than the Waeco did in humid climes.

Food vacuum-bagging system

There are several brands; we bought a FoodSaver because Sam’s Club carried it and the proprietary bags in quantity. We use this versatile tool all the time. When we catch fresh fish that’s too big to eat in one or two meals, we can instantly vacuum bag and freeze it. Likewise, I can buy bulk quantities of meats, divide them into smaller portions and freeze them. Vacuum bagging eliminates freezer burn, and it also compresses the food so that you can fit more into the freezer. I also use it to seal and store coffee, flour, sugar, pasta and anything else that bugs can otherwise get into. Johnny has even used it to seal tools, spare watermaker filters and any other parts that he doesn’t want exposed to salt air.

9. Galley chamois and cloth napkins

Living in a house I routinely bought truck-size quantities of paper towels. On a boat, I lack the space, and in many countries paper products cost twice as much as they do in the U.S. Both reasons were incentive enough to try out Trader Joe’s Super Amazing Kitchen Cloths. These are like chamois cloths for the galley, and at $4 for a two-pack it’s hard to go wrong. They’ve completely eliminated the need for paper towels, with the exception of when we check the engine oil (we keep one roll for that). We use the cloths for cleaning all surfaces throughout the boat, inside and outside. When they’re dirty, we wash, dry and reuse. Saves on trash, saves on trees, saves on money. Likewise, we now use cloth napkins that we make from quilting scrap remnants you can buy cheaply at any fabric store, and you can use the same thing for wrapping paper.

10. Portable spin dryer and washer

These are on my wish list, because I haven’t figured out a place to store them on Osprey , but I have enough cruising friends who’ve had great success with them that I feel confident recommending them.

There are several brands; my friends swear by the Wonder Wash from the Laundry Alternative . It’s a little hand-cranked washing machine that uses only elbow grease and minimal fresh water. Then, switch to the Laundry Alternative Spin Dryer, which does use 110-volt AC, but spins your clothes nearly dry in a couple of minutes, so a half-hour on the lifelines does the rest. I could recoup the cost of these nifty machines in maybe six laundromat trips in a destination like the Bahamas. These tools are a lot more fun than hand-washing in a drywall bucket, believe me.


11. Yotreps

This wonderful service, provided by Pangolin, a New Zealand-based website, costs nothing and enables family and friends to follow your track anywhere in the world, as long as you have an SSB and Sailmail or Winlink to send position updates. By registering your boat and sending daily position reports, you provide weather and sea state information to other sailors, and those at home with an Internet connection simply click on your boat’s name to see where you are. A Google Earth map pinpoints your latest position with whatever pithy little report you wish to add (it limits you to 80 characters).

12. Powered Wi-Fi antenna with router

A powered Wi-Fi antenna that you run up a halyard can mean the difference between handling email and surfing the Web comfortably at anchor or dinghying ashore to spend hours in some dirt-floored hut sweating onto your keyboard. Likewise, an onboard router makes it seamlessly easy for more than one computer to access the Internet at once, thereby preventing nasty territory disputes among spouses and siblings. There are many options for these; on Osprey we use an all-weather Ubiquiti Bullet and POE (power over Ethernet, which powers the system), a multidirectional antenna and a standard Cisco router. The whole system costs about $200 and can reach out and touch Wi-Fi sources several miles away.

Handheld VHFs

These are the cellphones of the cruising family. Get a lot of them. It doesn’t really matter what brand. Especially when you have kids who spend a lot of time on the beach, running around and dropping stuff in the water; they’re vital for staying in touch and they take a beating. We used to have two; now we have four. Two for standard use, and two for backup. And we’ve had to use all four, at one time or another.

Osprey has landed for a while on the Chesapeake Bay and its crew is between voyages. This article first appeared as “Make it Easy” in the October 2013 issue of Cruising World .

Click here for more articles about living aboard.

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11 Best Liveaboard Marinas In The US

Best Liveaboard Marinas In The US | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

June 15, 2022

Finding the best marina in a country as large and as wealthy as the United States of America is not an easy task. Each state with any kind of boating scene can boast at least a few top-notch marinas.

So, how do you determine which are best? By looking at not just the marina itself but where it is, what its surrounded by, and whether or not you might want to live there. After all, the best liveaboard marina for me might not be the best one for you. This article outlines the best marinas in the US, in no particular order, so you can decide for yourself which might be best for you.

Table of contents

1) 5th Street Marina, Florida

The 5th street marina in Miami Florida is one of the best marinas in the state, which when that state is Flordia is no easy feat. The marina is perfectly situated with access directly into the city itself through the use of the easily accessible water taxis. The marina is moments away from all the bars, restaurants, and nightlife that Miami is famous for. Whether you are planning on staying for a week or a year you will never find yourself tired of what this marina has to offer. The city center skyline is just a stone’s throw from the deck of your boat, you really couldn’t be any closer if you tried.

2) Miamarina, Florida

Miamarina in Miami Florida is not cheap. The cost of living aboard your sailboat here full time is not for the faint-hearted. If your bank account can take it though, you are in for a real treat. This marina boasts luxury and convenience above all else. You are getting the best security, the best amenities, and the “right” kind of neighbors. This isn’t a marina for partying, this is a marina for relaxation. If you are hoping to find yourself living next door to a celebrity, to find yourself, slip mates, with a member of the Miami Heat, this is the Marina for you. It isn’t cheap, but the best things in life never are.

3) Regatta Pointe Marina, Florida

Regatta Pointe is the only Florida marina on this list that isn’t in and around Miami. Regatta Pointe can be found in Palmetto, meaning you are getting the Floridian weather but with less of the party life. The speed that Miami moves at isn’t for everyone, sometimes you want to take it easy. Regatta Pointe lets you do just that. The marina has all the amenities you could need, wifi, gym, salon, spa, restaurants, all right at your doorstep. You also have wonderful access to the coast and the gulf. Perfect for avid sailors.

4) Montauk Yacht Club New York

Montauk Yacht Club, in the Hamptons, is one of the most impressive and beautiful marinas in the country. You are getting the new york lifestyle right at the marina itself. There are three heated pools, two illuminated tennis courts, and a cigar bar. If you are looking for a liveaboard marina to retire to you can’t do much better than the Montauk Yacht Club. You can rent one of the 200 plus slips at this marina on a nightly or a seasonal basis. Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway or a summer home of sorts, then Montauk could be what you are looking for.

5) Bergers Marina, Lake of the Ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks is one of the most famous boating areas in the world. So famous that it even had a hit Netflix drama named after it. There are plenty of marinas there, finding the right one for you is not going to be easy. So, if you had to pick one marina which would it be? Probably Bergers Marina. This marina is one of the most historical and well-loved marinas in the area. Bergers is located close to all the shops, bars, cafes, and activities that you could want. It is the only marina that truly makes you feel like you live in the town. Not just near it.

6) Marina Del Ray California

Marina Del Ray is the biggest marina in not just California but the entire country. You are going to feel like a small fish in a big pond. And that’s exactly why many people choose to live there. Here you will find countless celebrities, wealthy elites, and likeminded nautical lovers. There are bars, cafes, restaurants, and every kind of boating amenity you could need. They have the best mechanics, details, painters, electricians, and plumbers on-site for 24/7 call-outs to your boat. There are even boat valet and storage services available for residents.

7) Elliot Bay, Washington

*** No longer allows liveaboards

Living in Seattle is not cheap. It’s about as not-cheap as you could imagine. It is far cheaper to live in Elliot Bay than to get a small place in the city itself. You get all the benefits of living in Seattle with a much smaller price tag. Elliot bay has two restaurants and plays host to events all year round. If you work in the tech industry, living near Seattle might be a must for you. Having a well-paying Seattle job without the price of rent can make living in this beautiful marina the financially savvy thing to do.

8) Roche Harbor Marina, Washington

Roche Harbor is one of the more interesting marinas on this list. It is very exclusive, not in price but location. Getting to this harbor without the use of a boat, or a plane is not easy. This means living here can be very a peaceful and idealistic way of living. If you are going to be trying to find a job, then this marina is probably not what you are looking for. If you can work from your boat, with the free wifi, then you are in for a real treat. If you are hoping to spend the day hiking, cycling, fishing, climbing, and camping then Roche Harbor is the Marina for you.

9) Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore is an up and coming part of Maryland. The marinas there is state of the art, without the price tag. Since the cost of living there has yet to adjust to the quality of life you are getting great value for money. The marina is so close to the city that you will be spoilt for choice choosing how to spend your days. The marina is also adjacent to the world-famous Baltimore aquarium, spending your free time here with a season pass is a treat very few people get to enjoy. There are wet slips as well as lift slips available so you have plenty of options when deciding how to store your boat and all of your belongings. The sailing around Maryland is tremendous, so you will feel able to stretch your sea legs whenever the water calls to you. Plus, Maryland seafood is some of the best not only in the country but the whole world.

10) Orleans Marina, New Orleans

Living in New Orleans is a unique and interesting experience. The food is phenomenal, the people are down to earth, and the countryside is beautiful. What’s not to love? The marina itself is pretty darn good. You get the basic amenities included for free, plus a few extras. This is one of the cheaper marinas on this list. But that is in no way of a reflection of how good the marina is, just where it is. Out of the US’s major cities, New Orleans is one of the most affordable. If you are lucky enough to be around during Mardi Gras or one of the various jazz festivals you are going to be in for a real treat. New Orleans during Mardi Gras is a truly unique experience. You certainly won’t want to miss it. New Orleans has an up and coming team with the Pelicans, NBA stud Zion Williamson is bound to drag the team to success in the league. Perfect for sports fans and casual viewers alike.

11) David L Clinch Marina, Michigan

The David L Clinch Marina in Michigan is one of the most scenic places for sailing in the world. Not just the country. The city has clung to its roots relentlessly, you get the small-town charm with the big city services. There is everything you need yet you still feel like you are part of the community. There is also a surprisingly great food scene to be found there. Bars, restaurants, breweries, whatever you want you will find. Plus, the cost of living isn’t through the roof. Sure, you can expect to pay a premium for the best slips. But you won’t be breaking the bank.

This list contains a huge array of different marinas, each one has its pros and cons. Though the cons are few and far between. If you are still unsure, perhaps check out the marinas websites to find specifics about what they have to offer and how much it might cost. Pricing a marina is a difficult thing to compare. Some charge by the foot, some by the day, some by the season, some by a mixture of all three. Which marina is best for you will, of course, depend on price, but if money is no object y0u are looking at a pretty hard choice. Do you want peacefulness or a good nightlife? The best food or the best fishing? That’s up for you to decide. Good luck on your quest for the best marina and happy sailing!

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    Oahu, Hawaii. Hawaii is an awesome spot for sailing and the island of Maui is considered to be one of the best in the U.S. but Oahu island has a lot to offer liveaboard hopefuls. Honolulu may seem like an obvious choice but there are other options elsewhere on the island that offer practical alternatives.

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    Insurance ($233) If you are a newbie cruiser, your boat insurance options will most likely be limited. Insurance was a considerable expense in our first year. In our second year, the cost dropped from 2.8% of the boat's value to 1.3%. (We now have restricted cruising grounds for July - November.)

  20. 13 Dirt-Cheap Liveaboard Sailboats (That Are Actually Good)

    Liveaboard sailboats that are cheap but actually good include Westsail 32, Alberg 30, Tayana 37, Catalina 30, Ericson 35, Albin Vega 27, Bristol 32, Morgan 323, Contessa 32, Pearson 365, Hunter 31, Cal 34, and Tartan 30. The prices of these boats range from $5,000 to $50,000 or more. Living aboard a sailboat on a budget doesn't mean you have to ...

  21. Tips to Make Living Aboard a Sailboat Easier

    They resort to schlepping buckets of saltwater down to the galley to pre-rinse their dishes, or they lug the dishes to the transom to do the same. We just use the saltwater foot pump at the sink, then wash and final rinse with fresh water. 2. Freshwater foot pump (or hand pump) in the galley and head sinks.

  22. 6 Most Affordable Liveaboard Sailboats

    No liveaboard sailboat list is complete without the Catalina 30. This sailboat is one of the most popular 30-foot sailboats ever built, and it features an exceptional interior layout that's perfect for living aboard. When it comes to size, 30 feet is just about perfect for a single person or a couple living aboard a boat. The original Catalina ...

  23. SV Magnus

    6 likes, 1 comments - sailingmagnus on April 23, 2024: "One of our upgrades to Magnus! Once we got Tiller we knew we'd have to add netting around the lifelines. We followed the Sailrite video and here's what we learned! - This can be a time consuming process and once you start on a section, you gotta finish it. So time it right with daylight! - Sailrite mentioned wrapped an additional line ...

  24. Mads and Ava

    286 likes, 9 comments - saillife_ on April 17, 2024: "Link in our bio :) @seldenmastsoutherneurope @selden_mast #diy #sailboat #sailboatproject #boatwork #saillife #liveaboard #liveaboard...". Mads and Ava | Link in our bio :) @seldenmastsoutherneurope @selden_mast #diy #sailboat #sailboatproject #boatwork #saillife #liveaboard #liveaboard ...

  25. 11 Best Liveaboard Marinas In The US

    8) Roche Harbor Marina, Washington. Roche Harbor is one of the more interesting marinas on this list. It is very exclusive, not in price but location. Getting to this harbor without the use of a boat, or a plane is not easy. This means living here can be very a peaceful and idealistic way of living.