Considering living on a boat?

For some, living on a boat is the ultimate fantasy.

Here is a selection of the most commonly asked questions related to living on a boat.

Will I save money living on a boat?

Whether you save money or not depends on where you were living previously and what type of boat you intend to live on. Some vessels are very basic with few amenities, others are multi-million-dollar luxury yachts.

Can I finance the purchase of a boat as my home?

5- to 20- year mortgages are available but lenders will consider any boat a luxury item, even if it is your primary residence. Expect to pay significantly higher interest rates compared to a home loan.

What factors affect insurance?

While not all states require boat insurance, risk increases significantly when you live aboard with all your belongings. Rates are influenced by:

  • Value of the boat
  • Length and age of the vessel
  • Type of engines
  • Navigational area
  • Boat ownership experience
  • Safety education and equipment
  • Credit score and previous insurance claims
  • Age of the operator and motor vehicle driving record

What are the typical costs of living aboard?

  • Loan payment
  • Slip fees
  • Live aboard fees (some marinas charge extra for full-time residents)
  • Insurance
  • Routine maintenance and repairs, operating costs and utilities
  • Extras such as internet, satellite TV and telephone service

You may also need to rent a storage unit for possessions you do not wish to sell or give away but do not fit on your boat.

Is life on a boat as romantic as it sounds?

In some ways, it is.

Fall asleep to the gentle rocking of the waves. Wake up to the sunrise and watch the sun drop into the water every night. Move your home to another marina whenever the fancy strikes. Life aboard can offer the ultimate freedom.

And in other ways, it isn’t.

Constant maintenance. Mildew and mold. Scrubbing the decks. Bracing for heavy winds and storms. Living quarters tend to be small and neighbors are close by.

Living on a boat is simply different. You can’t directly compare the experience to how you live on land. There are advantages and disadvantages, and you get both when you take the plunge and lift anchor.