What You Need to Know Before Deciding to Live on a Boat

A happy senior couple sitting on the deck of a sail boat on a calm blue sea

The rising cost of properties and taxes in places such as London, San Francisco, Singapore, and basically anywhere in the world caused people to look into alternative living conditions. Have you thought about what it would be like to live on a boat — whether moving or anchored in a marina? Before you jump the gun and start considering living on a boat, know what you’re getting into.

The cost of living has significantly risen all over the world that it feels like you’re living in properties for rent in Monaco. But while Monaco continues to attract the ultra-rich even though it cost millions to own a property there, the rest of the world can’t even afford the mortgage of a small piece of land. That’s why the idea of boat living has become popular in recent years — it’s cheaper, cooler, and in a sense a lot practical than renting an apartment downtown.

You Still Have to Pay Rent and Taxes

Living on a boat is cheap. Sailboats cost about $10,000 and even cheaper if you’ll settle for one with fewer amenities. You need to rent a space in a marina, though, and that can cost $500 a month. You can tie your boat to a mooring ball for just about $150 a month, but you will have to give up access to a dock and to the roads. There are other expenses that you need to consider: liveaboard insurance costs about $800 a year and more if you’re cruising, electricity and water cost a fraction of living in apartments, mortgage will depend on how much your boat is and the interest rates of the bank, and the taxes which is about 1.1% of the boat’s value assessed annually.

It Is Not a Suitable Living Condition for Families

family sitting on the couch

It’s okay to live on a boat when you’re single and just enjoying life. But when you’re about to embark on a new life as a family man, your boat living might not be what your partner imagines for herself. Prepare for this eventuality by saving as much as you can while you’re living cheaply on a boat.

You Need to Spend for the Boat’s Maintenance

Living in an apartment unit is expensive because you have to pay the utility bills and shell out money for the maintenance of the unit. A boat needs to be maintained, too. There could be leaks. There could also be mechanical problems in the engines. All of these possible problems would need to be addressed. To save money, learn as much as you can about fixing common problems in your boat so that you don’t have to call the mechanic every single time.

You Will Give up a Lot of Space

Even if you can afford to live in a 100-foot boat, that is still not the same as living in an apartment or a house. You will need to give up a lot of your personal space if you’re going to live with someone else on a boat. While that might be okay in the first few months, it can take its toll in the long run.

Before investing your money in boat living, consider the many things that can affect your lifestyle. Look at the bright side of things: You will have a fantastic view of the city when you live in the marina, and you’ll get front seats to sunrises and sunsets. Although boat living isn’t the most comfortable living situation, the practicality of it and those sunset views might be worth it.