Many a seafarer dreams of living on a boat full-time. As Americans are becoming enamored with the "tiny home" lifestyle, they're taking a close look at living in RVs and vessels. If you're interested in the nautical life, here are some of the best qualities of the liveaboard lifestyle.
Most marinas have gated access, and some have 24-7 security staff. Boat owners at private marinas tend to be more cautious than those at public facilities, but you'll still want to be wary of unauthorized persons walking in when a member or resident doesn't want to be rude by challenging the stranger to show their own key or provide verification of their access rights.
Not all marinas allow full-time living, but most set aside roughly 10% of their slips for liveaboard residents. These slips are hard to come by, and tenants who don't want to be expelled tend to stay on their best behavior. After all, it's far easier for a harbormaster to eject a floating home than it is for a homeowner's association to sanction the owner of a house and physical lot!
Liveaboard residents tend to be gregarious, easy-going people who, while valuing privacy, will go the extra mile to lend a hand whenever possible.
"Can I get high-speed internet access? A landline?" Absolutely. All but the most primitive marinas have power, water, and phone hookups, as well as either cable communication services or a wireless network.
Marinas maintain private restroom and shower facilities so boaters can have long, hot showers without having to dry off their onboard head and sink. Marina laundromats save time and travel, and you'll often find—at the least—convenience stores and coffee shops within walking distance.
Relocation is a Breeze
Aside from the hesitation to give up a prime slip, or the challenge of finding one in your destination city, liveaboards can pick up anchor and move whenever they want a change of scene. Hired crews can take over when the trip is either too far or too much of a challenge, and depending on the size of the boat, overland transport can take it to inland waters or across the country.
Living in a limited space isn't for everyone. Most seasoned full-time residents recommend that you purchase the smallest vessel you can tolerate—around 40 feet LOA—since liveaboard slips are hard to come by. You might not be able to pull it off with a nuclear family, but a couple and a small pet (provided the marina allows it) can happily thrive in the smaller space. You can find blogs and Reddit subs with experienced nautical nomads contributing wisdom and actionable advice.
Most marinas offer storage lockers, or you can rent one off-site to stash less-used belongings like sporting gear and seasonal clothes. Of course, many people embrace the Spartan lifestyle for the same reason others choose to live on a boat: freedom and flexibility.
Find the Right Boat
The San Francisco Bay Area has a lot of liveaboard opportunities if you know where to look. From Sausalito's famous liveaboard barges to quiet moorings in the Sacramento River Delta to cozy marinas dotting the entire shoreline, you've got options based on your preferred lifestyle, budget, and vessel preferences. Let Atomic Tuna Yachts help you find the right boat and community for your liveaboard dream.