Many of us have always had a dream to live near the ocean and breath in all the gifts the sea bestows upon us. Making it a reality in today’s real estate market can be a challenge. With the cost of ocean front real estate sky rocketing year after year the dream my become closer to the moon than to earth. The reality is, that dream does not have to be hard to obtain as long as your are good with living on the water and not merely at the ocean’s edge.
There is so much to be written about living aboard a yacht/boat. Today we are just going to talk about the very first steps in starting the liveaboard process. First and foremost let’s clear up whether a vessel is a yacht or a boat. Most of us think of a big luxurious vessel when we hear the word yacht, but the reality is the definition of the word yacht is:
1. a medium-sized sailboat equipped for cruising or racing or 2. a recreational boat or ship.
So as you can see a “yacht” is a term used for a pleasure boat and we will use this term for the remainder of this blog mostly because it sounds cooler than “boat”.
The first step in creating a liveaboard fantasy is finding out if there are marinas or moorages that accept liveaboards in your area or the area you want to live in. How to do this….well pick up that thing we all have in our pocket and give some marinas a call. Living at a marina as opposed to a mooring is much more convenient since it is a whole lot easier to step off your boat onto a dock and be on your way to wherever you may be going. Living at a marina is also more expensive for the most part. If you live on a moorage you will need a dinghy or a tender to get you from your yacht to the shore and back. Some places might have shuttles, but as a liveaboard this would not be the most convenient way to live life on the water.
There are marinas of all types. Some are like resorts, some are like floating junk yards, some are like a floating trailer parks and everything between. Since owning a yacht is not cheap most of them are pretty nice and offer ammenities such as laundry facilities and bathrooms with showers. Prices vary from place to place greatly so make sure you budget accordingly.
Moorages vary in price as well, and some may be free. This lifestyle is for the true adventurer and is as liberating as it is hard work. Maintaining your yacht without fresh water, electric at your command and easy access can be a challenge, but it is very doable and can be very rewarding. If you plan to live on a mooring remember that a generator would be almost a necessity if you want to keep your lifestyle somewhat in this century. Remember that means extra fuel to run the generators and to fill up your tender since you will be using these items quite a bit. Also take into account that you will need to park your tender somewhere for the day without it getting stolen or vandalized since this is your ticket home each day you return to your abode at sea.
Most marinas and some moorages will require you to carry insurance, have a survey, sign a lease and give a deposit before accepting you as a tenant. Most marinas will also charge a “liveaboard fee” in addition to the slip fee. Most marinas provide electricity and charge a flat or metered fee for usage. Water is also usually provided along the same parameters. As far as sewage you have options; 1. drive your own boat to a designated pump out station and get rid of that nastieness on your own. 2. Hire a mobile pump out service to come take care of your unspeakables. 3. drive your yacht out at least 3 miles and let her flow if your yacht has the capability. You have essentially the same options as a water world liveaboard on a moooring.
These are just some of the first considerations to explore when deciding on a liveaboard lifestyle. We will examine more in my next segment. Hope you enjoyed mate.