Imagine taking a dip in the ocean each morning, watching the sunset from the water and traveling with your entire home wherever you go.
Living on a boat full time is an alternative lifestyle that’s all about simplicity — for the most part. Though it’s exciting to think about living on a boat or yacht instead of in a house, it’s important to acknowledge the different costs associated with claiming it as a full-time residence.
Our guide to living on a boat illustrates the high level of commitment this decision requires and outlines some steps to take to live out your dream.
It’s the big question — “How much does it cost to live on a boat?” To answer this question, you need to consider the cost factors involved in boat ownership and residency.
One of the biggest aspects related to cost is where you choose to live aboard. For example, fees in Florida may be higher than those in northern states. If the marina is vacant, they will often cut you a better deal compared to a marina with a waiting list. Other costs associated with living aboard include fees, maintenance and utilities.
Living on a boat in a marina isn’t free — although we wish it were. Three different types of fees exist depending on where you reside:
Maintaining a boat requires more specific and frequent tasks than what you typically complete in a house. You must consider each boat component to determine maintenance costs, including the living quarters, hull, topsides,underside, canvas and deck. The marine environment is harsh — even more so where there is direct sunlight.
Think about the following costs of boat upkeep:
When living on a boat full time, you have to maintain your engine. Your budget for living on a boat should include engine repair and upkeep materials, such as:
Depending on where you anchor your boat, you may have to pay the marina for utilities or handle them on your own. Several provisions to consider for your cost of living include:
Creating a budget and sticking to it is an excellent goal for managing boat living expenses. A liveaboard budget will include different categories and costs compared to that of homeowner’s budget. The following are some steps you can take to adapt a budget to life at sea.
The cost of living on a boat varies depending on factors such as:
If you have a large, well-accommodated yacht and plan to travel across the world, your cost of living will be higher compared to someone with a smaller boat living as a long-term mooring resident. Consider what your situation may entail so you can begin compiling a budget.
Your budget should cover two main categories:
Examples of some costs you may accrue while living on a boat include:
Note that property taxes and utilities will often cost less on a boat compared to a home. Maintenance and slip fees are what increase the cost of living on a boat the most. For example, marine parts can be expensive and the amount of labor required to install them may be extensive. Your maintenance costs may be less if you can DIY different repairs, but if you rely on a professional, you will likely have to pay a higher price.
Once you have an estimate of your monthly or yearly expenses, budget for a bit more. This cushion can help support you in emergencies or when you have unforeseen expenses.
When you have a budget in mind, consider how you will cover the necessary costs. You may opt to begin saving money or use money you’ve already saved. You can also choose to diversify your income if you’re planning to adventure for multiple years. To bring in extra cash, think about renting out your home or committing to freelance work.
You may be able to save money by gaining the right experience before living aboard. If you have limited knowledge about marine engines, volunteering at a marina or taking a few courses can help you learn the ins and outs of your sports boat or yacht. This may equip you to handle more maintenance tasks on your own, which can help save money on labor costs.
Knowing what you’re getting into, having the right resources and setting a budget can help make living on the water as smooth and relaxing as you’ve dreamed.
To get the most out of the liveaboard lifestyle, think about some of the following questions before you start your new venture:
A few other questions you may have include the following.
Unless you are constantly moving from one port to the next, you will likely have to pay property taxes. If you dock your boat at a marina or slip, you may pay taxes on the outline of water you occupy. These taxes help you and other boaters gain access to on-the-water services, onshore facilities and waterway maintenance.
If you have a slip, there may be a few additional steps you need to take before you move onto your boat full time. Review the following list for some tasks to complete before you move aboard:
While boat insurance is not required, it’s highly recommended if you plan to travel outside the marina. The cost of insurance per month will vary depending on the size and value of your boat or yacht. Other factors that can affect your insurance rates include:
Even though a boat is smaller than a house and has less space to take care of, living on a boat isn’t always simpler. For example, small spaces mean you have less storage for food and other amenities. You also need to consider how you’ll handle grocery shopping, laundry, mail and other things you may take for granted at home, like a dishwasher. With a little bit of creativity, you can adapt to the changes you’ll encounter on a boat with ease.
Many boaters choose to put their boats to rest once winter rolls around, but that isn’t your only option. You can live aboard during the cold months when you invest in provisions like:
Different makes, models and sizes of boats are available to accommodate your liveaboard home, so the best boat for you will depend on your lifestyle, budget, application and destination.
When determining the best boats to live on full time, here are a few questions to consider:
Once you have an idea of what you need, you can determine what type of boat you want to live on. You will want to invest in a watercraft that maximizes your space-to-budget ratio. For example, powerboats give you the most living space per square foot of the boat with spacious areas above the water, excellent headroom and good storage. Sport boats also have space above and below deck for dining, living and entertainment.
You can also match the boat to your lifestyle with a luxury yacht, like the Formula 45 Yacht. The 45 Yacht is plush and homey with multiple rooms, living areas and gorgeous furnishing to make your liveaboard life feel remarkable. It also features:
We deem the 45 Yacht as one of the best boats to live on full time because of its sought-after amenities, technology, comfort and transportation abilities.
Formula Boats is a family-owned company based in Decatur, Indiana. Since our beginning, we’ve been dedicated to continually improving and developing our line of sport boats. We craft incredible boats with uncompromised quality, fine-tuned designs and authentic craftsmanship.
Our boats are renowned for stunning styles, advanced engineering and exciting performance to help you enjoy priceless moments — whether you’re living aboard on your own or with your family.
We’ve advanced our marine manufacturing techniques over the past 60 years to offer the FormulaFlex™ program that allows for individual personalization. We understand that customization and flexibility are what you expect when it comes to creating your dream boat, so we enable you to control the following aspects in your custom design:
At Formula Boats, we aim to surpass all your expectations and take pride in our customer-oriented services. We build for you, not the masses, with our personalized and legendary line of boats.
You can rely on Formula Boats for standout products as you make the transition to living aboard. Our experts can engineer powerboats to your exact specifications in our 575,000 square-foot manufacturing facility. We work to deliver a gratifying experience on the water through superior quality and service.
When you’re searching for the ideal boat to live on at sea, we have the customization you demand. Browse our line of powerboats or contact our dedicated team of professionals to learn more today.