Many of us fantasize about trading our ordinary lives for a life at the beach to enjoy the endless rolling of the waves and general sense of joy that being at the seaside gives. But what about taking it a giant step further? What about leaving life on the land to live in a boat? With house prices inching beyond the reach of many and technology making it easier to work away from an office, living on a boat starts to make sense. It isn’t just a daydream about what to do when you retire or win the lottery. There’s a global community of people who have made their home on a boat, enjoying the beauty of the ocean every day.
Imagine spending whole days on the sea, encountering pods of dolphins and scanning the waves for the flash of a whale tail or spout of water. Instead of a lawn to mow and leaves to rake, you would be surrounded by mile after mile of blue waves. Yes, the living quarters are small, but life on a boat combines the benefits of the tiny house lifestyle with the enchanting beauty of the ocean and the freedom to move along as you wish, visiting ports around the world.
Some of the most beautiful cities in the world are ports – Dubrovnik, Croatia; Barcelona, Spain; Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; Nassau, Bahamas; Hoi An, Vietnam; and of course New York, USA are all port cities. A life at sea can be a balance of relaxing on the waves and exploring cities and beaches around the world.
What’s It Like Living on a Boat?
Choosing a boat instead of a house for your home gives you two main options. You can keep your boat mostly in one place, working locally and being a permanent part of the community, and take it out to sea for weekends and vacations. Or you can sail away from it all and live at sea for long periods, visiting ports around the world. In the long term, you can do a bit of both depending on your career. A teacher, for example, could spend the summer at sea and term time docked.
What about making a life on the waves full time? Imagine just sailing off, leaving behind the pressures of traffic, crowds and office politics. It can be a blend of freedom and serenity on the one hand with isolation and inconvenience on the other.
Fresh fruit and veg would be a rare treat, but fresh fish could be on the menu daily. Solar technology can bring many modern conveniences on board, but not household appliances. The weather plays a very critical role in life on a boat.
If you’re curious, you can follow the adventures of one Australian family at Sailing La Vagabonde. The Discover Boating website has a good guide on how to live aboard a boat. It is a very radical and challenging life change, but living on the water is also deeply rewarding, providing the confidence of being so self-sufficient and the joy of being close to nature, seeing marine life up close.