Many people think they are ready to move aboard and have slimmed their possessions down enough to make the move. But as much as you thought you have slimmed down your possessions, it still isn’t enough. You will want to cut what you think is enough by half again. Are you a book reader? There are not many boats that can accommodate the kind of book library one owns in a home.
Consider donating your books and start using one of the digital options. Buying digital books is easy and sometimes even more cost effective. This way you will no longer have to worry about storage and, as a bonus, you can take all your books with you when you travel.
Another big storage buster that many don’t think about is the clothing issue. You will have to cut your wardrobe dramatically. Just remember that you won’t need all those clothes anyway. For women, the high heels are not only a clutter bug, but also not very functional.
A good rule of thumb is clothes in fives. Five pairs of socks, five long-sleeve shirts, five short-sleeve shits, five pants, five shorts and so on. If you are living aboard in a marina, most have laundry facilities, so washing clothes is not a problem.
How about all those family photos? It might be time to gather them all and have them converted to digital formats. The CDs or flash drives you put them on will store much more easily on a boat.
Many think that moving on a boat is cheaper and more cost effective than living on land. Not so. First, you have the cost of the vessel. It could be any where from $25,000 for a vessel that needs TLC, on upwards of well over $100,000. It all depends on size, age, condition and style of boat, sail or power.
After you have the vessel, you need to consider the cost for maintenance. Remember B-O-A-T, Bust Out Another Thousand. Boats require a lot of maintenance. There is always something that needs maintenance or replacement because they are out in the weather year round and sitting in a corrosive substance, water.
Most ports also require yearly inspections for proof of environmental stability. The marina needs to know your boat is not going to sink and leak hazardous liquids. Not only do most marinas require this inspection, Some marinas may also require up to $500,000 worth of liability.
You also have septic pumping. Most marinas require live aboards to have logs of all your septic pump out dates to verify that you are not dumping sewage overboard. You will most likely still have electrical fees and water fees. Don’t forget your satellite TV and Internet.
Many people think living aboard will allow for a pristine and serene living environment. Not always so. Living aboard puts you in very close proximity to your neighbors. Boats are not insulated the way homes are, and voices coming from inside the vessel can be heard quite well on the dock and vice versa.
Also, keep in mind that you and all your neighbors have engines in their homes. They will be coming and going and at all times and doing repairs at the dock that require the boat to be running its engine.
This can get extremely loud and annoying. Boaters tend to leave the slips at early hours as they head out on their vacations. You will be awakened by this more in the spring and summer months than in the winter. Even in the winter when certain fishing seasons are in full swing, it can get a little crazy.
Earplugs are a great staple when living aboard. As you will be within reaching distance with your arms to your neighbors, you must realize that your windows are only a few feet away from your neighbors. Not only can neighbors see clearly in your windows, but also those looky loos that wander up and down the docks.
Some of those looky loos don’t realize that some vessels are live aboards and you might find someone with their face right up on the glass of your stateroom window in the morning when you wake. So privacy is not something that is a luxury when living aboard.
Keep in mind the space concerns, costs incurred and privacy issues when you are considering living aboard. If all these issues are not deal breakers, then living aboard might be great for you.