Let’s break some common myths about the liveaboard lifestyle:
It’s only cocktails and sunshine
Yes, if you live in your house near the Mediterranean and have a big yacht with all the comforts and which you take out on the sea once in a month on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Liveaboard lifestyle is completely different from just owning a boat. Very few could afford staying only in the marinas and paying the high mooring fees. Liveaboards mostly anchor, for that you don’t have to pay anything.
We cook 98% of the meals in the boat, mainly because in this village there aren’t a lot of restaurants and it is way cheaper to prepare the food ourselves. When you live on a boat you will learn to cook all the one meal pots you could think of (’cause gas is precious). The storage space in the fridge is limited and vegetables will rotten fast because of the humidity. In the marina a lot of the time it’s either 30 knots (15 m/s) of wind outside or raining. And if you want to wash your head you have to push trough it all for a 5-minute walk to the community showers in the marina.
Often your home will become the center of your life, quote: “Your beloved boat will generate a to-do list for you each and every day. You’ll grow tremendously tired of having to fix another broken part, mend a ripped sail, unclog the head, and investigate another strange sound. You may have to blow hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on a suddenly flooded engine. You’ll have no choice; every task will be central to your existence.“But we love the liveaboard lifestyle.
You own a boat, therefore you have loads of money
Owning a boat is a matter of priorities and a choice we made. The average person has a loan and probably bought an apartment or a house. Most likely they own a car or two for which they have to pay the lease for. We just chose a sailboat for that – to be our home and vehicle. It is a different kind of life, often way less comfortable, lonely and therefore not right for everybody. The only thing we really have to spend quite a lot on is the mooring fee for wintering, but even this is cheaper than renting an apartment. It’s true that at times owning a boat can be expensive – it’s when something breaks. And something will break for sure. The price of marine equipment will make your eyes water, but often you just have to skip the marine shops and buy your fridge from a local department store. Most of the stuff can be made or fixed yourself. This saves you a lot of money in the long run.
Liveaboards want to get off the grid
Not always. Most of the liveaboards here love the community vibe and being able to chat with others. A lot of the folks still work either on the boat or go back to homeland for a couple of months for some work projects. For us staying on the grid is extremely important, so we wouldn’t feel alienated from the rest of the world. I could imagine it might be a bit different for older people who enjoy more privacy.
Liveaboards don’t work
The average liveaboard we’ve seen is 60+ and doesn’t really have to worry about money anymore. They have done their part and can now enjoy the life they have worked so hard for. As we are doing it while still young we have to work all the time during weekdays from 9am to 5pm to maintain this kind of lifestyle. Basically the only thing we need is a good internet connection and a plug for a charger. We are busy with design work, Skype meetings and keep up with projects via Slack. Nowadays there are so many digital nomads and work can be done remotely and of course it’s great that our clients also support that.
But there’s not enough space
Yes, you will have to leave behind most of your books, clothes and other things you don’t actually need for survival. I’ve been wearing the same black sweater and jeans every day for a month now – mostly because it’s one thing less to think about every morning and because the storage space is limited. Besides that when you open the hatch you have the vast reaches of space around you. When you live in a boat your world becomes much bigger than when living in a house. One thing good about the liveaboard lifestyle is that the stuff you don’t need or you cannot find the use for are not welcome on board. You have one of each and everything has its own place.