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The Ins and Outs of Life on a Boat

Sat, Nov 22, 2014 at 9:45AM

Do you know someone who’s made their boat, their home? It’s not the most conventional path, and is certainly not for everyone. But for those who pursue it, life on a boat can be rewarding, exciting and adventurous. Do you have what it takes?

First, let’s look at the logistics of living on board. The lifestyle seems simple and minimalist (and, thus, tantalizing to anyone who’s ever thrown their arms up in exasperation at work, school or other pressures), and it very well can be. But getting there requires some work and careful planning. For example, you would need a boat big enough to accommodate you and whoever else will be living on board—but you also don’t want a massive vessel that requires upkeep and care beyond what you can reasonably do.

When it comes to cost, your mileage may vary. Those who’ve taken on the challenge and moved life on board say boat life can be on either end of the expensiveness spectrum, depending, of course, on the type of lifestyle you lead on the water. Mark Nicholas of LivingAboard.net put together a very interesting (and very detailed) spreadsheet on the finances of boat living, based on his own experience. 

As for the type of person who’d best be suited to the live-aboard lifestyle, it’s not so much a question of who can live on board as a question of who should. Could you deal with neighbors a couple feet from your own “front door?” Are elaborate home-cooked meals essential to your family, or can you get by with simpler dinners and more frequent dining out? These are a few questions you’d have to ask yourself before embarking on the live-aboard journey.

It may not be for everyone, but living on board is definitely something interesting to think about. What do you think—would you try it? Perhaps a new Monterey 360SC, shown below, might be a good start. Let us know in the comments!

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