If you want to live on the water, but you don't want to pay the sort of prices for houses on the coast, one option you have available is to live on a sailboat. While it might seem like an easy, Bohemian lifestyle, though, a lot goes into putting your life on the water... particularly if you want to live on a boat that actually function.
For those who are thinking about taking the plunge, keep the following advice in mind.
Tip #1: Don't Buy A Fixer-Upper
Boats can be a money sink, and that's before you raise the prospect of living on one. While it might be sorely tempting to buy a boat that just needs "a little work," you need to seriously ask what it's going to cost in terms of materials, time, energy, and money to fix any problems a boat has. Especially if you want your sailboat to be a functional craft so you can travel while still living on it. This is particularly important to remember as boats get more expensive to maintain over time, rather than less... especially when they're constantly exposed to the elements.
Tip #2: Get Something As Small As You Can Tolerate
Most folks, when they choose to live on a sailboat, opt to get something as big as possible that they can still handle. That's not a problem if you have a crew on board to help you sail, but if it's just you then it's a good idea to think smaller. Not only are smaller boats easier to handle, though, they also tend to be cheaper to buy up-front, and they can fit in marinas where larger boats wouldn't. This increases your options and maximizes your freedom, which can be more than worth giving up a few feet of space here and there.
Tip #3: Be Realistic About Your Slip Options
While it's true that the cost of renting a slip in a marina is often way cheaper than the local rent in any given coastal area, there is a caveat that comes with that; waiting time. Most marinas have a select number of slips for boats that people will also be living on, and in popular areas the wait time on being allowed to move into that spot can be years long. So if you're planning on pursuing this option, be sure that you've done your research and you know whether you can move in right away, or if you're going to be waiting for a decade or so for someone else to move out.
Tip #4: Make Sure You Know What You're Doing
Sailing might not be the most complicated task in the world (humanity has literally been doing it for centuries, after all), but you should still be familiar with the rudiments before you decide to move your life onto a boat. Take a course or two, and make sure you're comfortable with the boat you're going to be living on before you commit. Just like if you were going to live in a land cruiser, you'd need to make sure you can get it to move the way you want, and that you can find your way when you're out on your own.
Tip #5: Minimize Your Lifestyle
Living on a boat means you need to make room for the essentials, while keeping your own needs to a minimum. Even if you're used to living in a relatively small space, you need to make sure you leave your non-essentials on the shore when it comes to living on a sailboat. Everything from clothes, to books, to your electronics needs to be re-evaluated, and you need to be sure you've got the room while you're out on the water.
For more tips on getting the most out of your time on a sailboat, simply contact us today!