Living aboard a sailboat is an exciting and unique lifestyle choice that many people around the world are now considering as an alternative to staying tied down to land-based living.
With the right boat, supplies, and equipment, you can live full time on the water in comfort and style.
In this article, we will go over the basics of living aboard a sailboat year round, including different types of cruising styles, necessary supplies and equipment, legalities, costs, maintenance and upkeep, safety considerations and social life aboard a sailboat.
Benefits of Living Aboard a Sailboat
Living aboard a sailboat gives you the tremendous freedom to explore new places every day while being part of nature in its most beautiful form – the open ocean!
You can travel to places that are only accessible by boat, moor in exotic ports or anchor in secluded coves away from civilization and enjoy the stars at nightfall without any light pollution or distractions from other people around you.
Being able to move your home with you wherever you go is also a great perk! Plus there’s something incredibly romantic about living on your own floating vessel in the middle of nowhere that just can’t be beat!
Necessary Supplies and Equipment
When it comes to living onboard full time, there are certain supplies and equipment that you need for your sailboat to make sure it’s safe and comfortable for extended periods at sea or in port.
You’ll need items such as anchors, rope, fenders and lines for docking as well as all the necessary safety gear like life jackets, flares, fire extinguishers etc., plus items like navigational aids (GPS/chartplotter), marine radios/VHFs/AIS transponders/instruments etc.
water storage tanks/watermakers etc., solar panels/batteries etc., propane tanks & stoves etc., dinghy & outboard motor etc., refrigeration/freezer system etc., generator & air conditioning unit (optional but highly recommended) etc., cooking utensils & provisions etc.
toilet & shower facilities etc.. All these items should be carefully researched before making any purchases as they will all add up quickly!
How to Find the Right Boat
Finding the right sailboat for your needs is crucial when it comes to living onboard full time – it must be able to withstand long periods at sea or in port without issue while being comfortable enough for extended stays on board with all the necessary amenities onboard such as cooking facilities, refrigeration/freezer systems for food storage (unless you have access to shore-based facilities), bathroom & shower facilities etc..
Look for boats with good construction quality (fiberglass is preferred) & hull shape (shallow draft boats are better suited for shallow waters), ample deck space & room below deck (for storage), plenty of natural light & ventilation (important!),
Adequate fuel capacity (important if you plan on travelling extensively), good engine performance (diesel engines preferred) and most importantly – look into hiring a competent surveyor who can properly check out any potential purchase before taking it home!
Safety should always be your number one priority when sailing – so make sure you invest in all necessary safety equipment such as life jackets/harnesses/lines etc., flares/fire extinguishers etc..
Take some time out beforehand to research different types of weather patterns so that you know how best to prepare your boat if heavy weather is forecasted – reefing sails early can help prevent damage from strong winds while having extra lines handy will keep everything secure if conditions worsen suddenly!
Last but not least – always let someone know where you’re going before setting off so they can keep track of your progress in case anything goes wrong!
Maintenance and Upkeep
Living full time onboard requires regular maintenance & upkeep when it comes to keeping your boat running smoothly – basic tasks like cleaning surfaces regularly, checking fluid levels, inspecting hoses, replacing filters, checking batteries, inspecting rigging, servicing engines, checking through hull fittings, greasing blocks, testing bilge pumps, topping up fuel tanks, maintaining sails & lines, checking steering system regularly, performing engine winterization if needed….
all these tasks should be done regularly by yourself or by qualified professionals if needed in order to ensure everything is functioning properly at all times!
Cost of Living Aboard a Sailboat
The cost of living aboard a sailboat depends largely on what type of boat you buy and what type of cruising lifestyle you choose – from liveaboard cruisers who stay put in one place for months or years at a time (which requires fewer expenses since no long passages are made) to offshore cruisers who constantly travel long distances (which requires more supplies & fuel).
Generally speaking though – expect additional costs such as moorage fees (if applicable), insurance premiums, maintenance expenses, fuel costs…all these expenses add up quickly so make sure budget accordingly when considering full-time cruising lifestyle!
Legalities of Living Aboard a Sailboat
Different countries have different laws regarding living aboard boats so make sure do proper research beforehand before setting sail – this includes proper registration processes, visas & customs requirements depending on where you plan on sailing too…all these regulations need to be followed strictly otherwise penalties may apply!
Social Life on a Sailboat
Having an active social life aboard your sailboat is important when it comes to living full time onboard – get involved with local marina activities such as potluck dinners or other social events which provide great opportunities for meeting new people who share similar interests with yourself!
Other means include joining worldwide sailing organizations where members come together from all over the world who share their experiences sailing around different parts of the globe – this is great way get tips about destinations plus invaluable advice about maintaining your boat too!
Different Types Of Cruising Styles For Year-Round Sailors
There are many different types cruising styles available when it comes to living fulltime aboard your sailboat – each style has its own advantages and disadvantages depending upon what type sailor you are…
For example: liveaboard cruisers who stay put in one place tend enjoy more relaxed lifestyles while offshore cruisers cover more ground but require more resources along the way…
At end day though whatever style suits best always remember that safety always come first no matter what type cruiser you decide become!
Living aboard a sailboat offers an amazing experience unlike anything else available out there – not only do get chance explore new places every day but also become part nature’s beauty open ocean without being tied down land based life…
Plus freedom move home wherever decide go cannot beat either! With right boat supplies equipment necessary safety considerations taken into account cost budgets set aside following legal regulations social life maintained appropriate cruising style selected then yes definitely possible live fulltime aboard own sailboat year round…happy sailing!!