17. June 2022, updated 17. June 2022

The Best Reasons to Become a Liveaboard

Man on SUP board paddling through marina during sunset
Source: OC Gonzalez via Unsplash.

Here at Maritime Affection, we all have a deep affection for the maritime life. But what to do when this affection has become an inseparable love? It’s simple: become a liveaboard and experience the ultimate freedom right on the water! Especially in the last years of the epidemic, many people have become interested in living on a boat and the topic has probably never been as hot as it is right now. In the following we want to present you the best reasons for making a boat your primary residence.

Locational Flexibility

First, probably the most obvious advantage of living on a boat, the endless flexibility in terms of choosing a location. The fact that with a boat you are completely location-independent and can settle virtually anywhere in the world means that there are no limits to your preferences, at least as long as you have the option of traveling there by boat. No matter whether you prefer to live surrounded by nature or in the marina right in the heart of a vibrant city, as a liveaboard you have the choice and can always live exactly where you want to. Besides, you can live in places that others can only dream of, and whatever you choose, a waterfront property is guaranteed.

sailboat anchoring close to the shore in crystal clear water
The location is as good as it get’s! Source: Dominik Riesen via Unsplash.

In this sense, this absolutely unrivaled level of flexibility is quite in line with modern trends, as more and more people prefer to work remotely and location-independently, which has never been easier due to ever-improving technology.

Less Is More

The saying “less is more” is used by a wide variety of people, from architects and designers to full blown minimalists or even the most successful billionaires and many people understand throughout their lives that there is a lot of truth in this wisdom.

As a liveaboard you are more or less forced to adopt a more minimalist lifestyle than on land and to limit yourself to the truly essential things. This may be difficult at first, but once you have taken the step, you realize that you don’t really need so many things and that they are often more of a burden than a source of pleasure.

You should also keep in mind that you don’t really live a minimalist life, because you still live on a yacht, which more or less still allows you to live a true life of luxury, even with less possessions. And at the end of the day, no one is stopping you from storing whatever extra possessions you don’t want to part with somewhere on land.

Many liveaboards even feel they own more, because life on the water offers so much that you can’t buy at all. It’s not uncommon to consider the water around you as your own private pool or endless backyard…

More Self-Determination

In today’s world, we have to live with more and more regulations, requirements and restrictions, which to a certain extent are certainly necessary when living in a society. But the desire of some people for more self-determination and self-responsibility is understandable and a life on the water often meets exactly this desire. The water is still one of the few places on our planet where you can live this longed-for freedom. Compared to the mainland, there are significantly fewer restrictions in terms of self-determination, which of course means here and there more individual responsibility for oneself, but also for the environment (this freedom on the water can unfortunately also be to the detriment of the environment, as for example in the commercial shipping industry, see our article on bilge dumping).

Man jumping off of a boat into the blue paradise waters below.
Do whatever you want! Source: Dylan Alcock via Unsplash.

Of course, this additional self-determination and self-responsibility as a liveaboard is only an added option because a life based primarily in marinas and thus fully integrated into society is possible at any time.

A Wonderful Community

The liveaboard community is usually very pleasant and socially open-minded. You help each other with problems of any kind, learn from each other and simply spend a lot of fun time together and you will hardly be socially lonely as a liveaboard. In addition, among the liveaboards are many characters with interesting backgrounds, because this type of people is usually very open-minded, adventurous, fun-loving, and unbiased due to the diverse experiences that you collect by being a liveaboard. It’s only logical that in a place where a lot of things revolve around your common interests, you’re bound to meet a lot of like-minded people with whom you get along well and get a lot of new inspiration.

two dogs sitting on a boat
Your pets also enjoy good company. Source: jesse orrico via Unsplash.

But if you ever need time for yourself and want some social distance you can of course do that at any time and even disappear completely with your boat to a place off-the-grid.

Work As Hobby

For many liveaboards, boat life including all the work involved is also their hobby. The constant repairing, improving and other tinkering are rather carrying out this hobby than doing any actual work. Who can say such a thing about the normal housework that comes with a conventional home? We at least have never really enjoyed painting the walls of our own four walls, but when it comes to working on our boat, the situation is a whole lot different…

A Healthier Lifestyle

It’s no secret that a life out in the fresh air is generally very good for your health and living on the water guarantees this beneficial fresh air.  In addition, as a liveaboard you will most likely lead a much more active life and at the same time feel less stress thanks to the constant deceleration. You will hardly mutate into a lazy couch potato or experience days you were bored and had no activities at all. Besides, as a liveaboard, the pulse of time simply beats a little slower than, for example, when living in the middle of a big city with the never-ending traffic.

man relaxing on the deck of a boat
Don’t be stressed! Source: Ferran Feixas via Unsplash.

You also stay mentally fit, because you will always have problems to solve and new things to learn, but no one and nothing stresses you out with these and you can usually take all the time in the world (not when your boat is about to sink, of course!).

A Fulfilled Life

In German sailing jargon there is the saying “better a bad sailing day than a good working day” and we think that the essence of this saying can also be applied to life on a boat in general. Living as a liveaboard can be very fulfilling and exciting and you will escape the daily grind. Even though living on a boat may sound a little crazy to some, if it fulfills you, or you even just dream about it, then go for it. Because as we all know, at the end of our lives we don’t regret what we did, but what we didn’t do. With this in mind, take heart and live your dream!

four people relaxing at the beach with view on the ocean and three yachts in the distance
Source: Lena Varzar via Unsplash.

Sustainability In Action

Many liveaboards live comparatively more sustainably, because it is common to generate your own electricity using solar panels or a wind generator, and you also develop an awareness of the limitations of resources and consequently use them more sparingly. In addition, through life on the water and the inevitable confrontation with marine environmental problems, many develop an awareness of the fragility of our marine ecosystems and therefore seek to actively protect them.

over and under water shot of fish and a fishing boat
Source: Chase Baker via Unsplash.

In addition, many rely on far more local foods or even catch their own food when they fish, which arguably is the most sustainable way to consume fish.

Much of the boats and boating equipment also have a long lifespan and are still traded on the second-hand market after many years. There are actually many liveaboards who live on a boat that is older than they are themselves and such an understanding of consumption is definitely commendable and makes the lifestyle as a liveaboard exemplary.

Relocation is also very environmentally friendly, at least for sailors, and instead of polluting the world with emissions-heavy flights, you can circumnavigate the entire globe using only the wind.

Yacht Parties and Special Dates

Have you ever dreamed of throwing a yacht party? As a liveaboard, nothing is easier than that! You will have a lot of fun inviting friends and family to your unique home and you will surely have an unforgettable time. But beware, they might all want to move in with you afterwards.

Also, for dates of the special kind you will be able to convince as a liveaboard because you show, you are certainly not a boring person. No matter whether you dream more of a romantic sunset like this

 “I’m flying” from Titanic

… or rather have something like this in your mind (Attention, please take it with humor!)

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 6 Episode 3 “The Gang Buys a Boat”

Increased Safety

Some would argue that life on the water is more dangerous, thinking you could sink and drown. But in fact, life as a liveaboard is often safer than a conventional life. In many places around the world, dangers such as crime or even traffic accidents lurk when living on land. But as a liveaboard you are usually better protected from such dangers, especially if you are moored in a marina. Most marinas have restricted access and are guarded 24/7. Especially in regions with a lot of crime, such a safe place to live is worth its weight in gold. But even if you prefer to be at anchor, it is still safer than on land. Although there are problems with piracy in a few areas, statistically speaking, you are still very safe on the water.

In addition, you can easily escape impending natural disasters or even political catastrophes such as war, and thus escape this type of danger as well.

Coming back to the danger of shipwreck, yes, this is of course a danger that can’t be denied, but with the right preparation, good know-how and suitable equipment, you can minimize this danger very well. In the end, this danger is of very little importance compared to the dangers on land.

More Affordable Than You Think

So now we’ve convinced you of all the great benefits of living as a liveaboard, but you’re thinking that you certainly can’t afford such dreamlike life. But we can reassure you, life on the boat is not as expensive as you might think.

One of the main expenses of living conventionally on land is typically rent or paying off one’s property over many years. Especially in the popular metropolises, the high real estate prices cause a lot of despair. If you take a closer look at the most popular metropolises, you will notice that many of them are located by the sea and usually have a well-connected marina in a central location. In such places, the rental prices are often off the charts, but the mooring fees are usually much more affordable. You are then in your own floating four walls, in a central location and even with a view of the water. You can imagine what a conventional residence costs under such conditions….

view on marina of Monte Carlo
Well, we admit that the marina in Monte Carlo is not exactly cheap… Source: Nick Karvounis via Unsplash.

In addition, the fee for a berth often already includes many amenities and you only must take care of your own boat and not the rest of the infrastructure or meet any other obligations.

Another financial advantage is that a boat has a lower cluster risk than real estate, because unlike real estate, a boat can be sold without being tied to a place. Thus, you avoid possible value fluctuations, which are a massive risk with real estate in certain regions, especially if you look at the current tense real estate bubble in many areas. Boats can also fluctuate in value, but to a much lesser extent. Used boats in particular can be owned without significant loss of value.

Are You Ready to Become a Liveaboard?

We hope that we could convince you with all the different benefits of living on a boat and maybe some of you got some fresh input and will even take a step towards becoming a liveaboard yourself soon. In doing so, we want to emphasize once again and encourage you to just do it if it appeals to you. Every change requires strength and overcoming, but as we have already mentioned under the section of a fulfilled life, you will not regret what you did, but what you did not do. Please take this to heart and do what excites you. Spend time on the water, one day you will probably look back happily on your wonderful experiences.

In all of this, always keep in mind that no one will force you to be a liveaboard forever. You do it as long and exactly in the way you want it. Many liveaboards live like this for a few years and then eventually return to the mainland. But nobody regrets the time as a liveaboard, and many have gained a lot of valuable life experience and new wisdom during these years.

Finally, here is a video about the science journalist Teresa Carey, who reports from her point of view about living as a liveaboard. We think she finds very nice words and conveys well what it means to be a liveaboard. Click here for her blog and here for her website.

Have you already had experiences as a liveaboard? Are you thinking about trying it out or are you already in the middle of preparing for this new chapter of your life? Let us know in the comments, we’re excited to hear from you!

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