The cost of living on a sailboat is typically lower than that of living on land, but it is not entirely free of expenses. Sailing has long been considered a romantic and adventurous way of life, with the freedom to explore the world while being one with nature. For many people, it is an alluring lifestyle that can also be cost-effective.
Our current volunteer videographer, Enrique, created a video about two topics that didn’t meet his expectations. One is the cost of living on a sailboat. The other is the effort required to keep a sailboat going. Watch the video and carry on reading below for more information.
Cost of Living on a Sailboat (and Effort Too!) Video
The cost of a sailboat can vary significantly depending on the size, age, and condition of the boat.
However, it is generally cheaper to purchase a used sailboat than a new one. Additionally, the cost of a sailboat can be influenced by the type of boat, its equipment, and its location.
Once you have purchased a sailboat, the next major expense is likely to be mooring fees. This can vary depending on where you are mooring your boat. It can be as low as a few hundred dollars a month or as high as thousands of dollars a month for a marina berth in a popular location. And don’t assume that anchoring or mooring balls are free. In some cases, we’ve paid up to $300/night for a mooring ball. There are many hidden cost of living on a sailboat.
You also need to consider additional costs such as electricity, water, and waste disposal.
One significant advantage of living on a sailboat is the ability to be self-sufficient. This means that you can generate your power through solar panels and wind turbines, collect water, and have an onboard waste disposal system. However, this also requires initial investment and ongoing maintenance costs for the equipment. You may also need to factor in the cost of fuel for your boat’s engine, as well as the cost of maintenance and repairs.
Food is another essential cost of living on a sailboat.
Depending on your lifestyle, dietary requirements, and location, this can vary significantly. Like on land, it is usually cheaper to purchase and prepare meals on the boat rather than eating out or buying pre-packaged meals. Depending on where in the world you are, certain items will be more or less expensive so care is required when provisioning.
Other expenses to consider include insurance, safety equipment, and communication costs.
Insurance is a funny game when it comes to the cost of living on a sailboat. When we started out, we paid around $5,000/year knowing that the further we went, away from our home base, the more it increased. And after Hurricane Irma, in the Caribbean, our insurance provider changed the game dramatically.
We were no longer allowed to stay anywhere in the Caribbean without paying for additional hurricane insurance of $17,000. Previous to Irma, Grenada, Trinidad, and the ABC islands were considered outside the hurricane belt and additional insurance wasn’t required. Insurance is not an insignificant cost, so make sure to research what it is and the associated requirements.
Depending on the size of your boat, you may also need to pay for a license or certification to operate it legally.
Additionally, you will need to consider the cost of personal expenses such as health insurance, entertainment, and transportation to and from your boat.
The cost of living on a sailboat can be relatively affordable compared to living on land.
It is important to factor in all expenses, including the cost of purchasing and maintaining a sailboat, mooring fees, food, and personal expenses. Being self-sufficient can also help to keep costs down, but it requires initial investment and ongoing maintenance. Ultimately, the cost of living on a sailboat can vary significantly depending on your lifestyle and location, but it does offer a seriously unique and fulfilling way of life.
- Sailboat Buying Guide For Cruisers – Discover ALL the costs of living the sailing life. Get this guide!
- What Sailors Pay For Food
- Living On A Sailboat Full-Time 40 Benefits
Any Questions or Comments?
Please leave them below.
On the effort: I think Simon has the boat in topshape, so not so much time was spend on boatwork / repairs and upgrades. Those hours will be made up for during the down season I guess. We are still in the “getting the boat in topshape” phase ( now about one year in) so a little more projects going on still. Liked the video!
Kim Brown says
Yes! Simon does have the boat in top shape. That’s one thing we’ve realized…if you own a boat, it’s best to live on it and keep it in top shape. If you’re only going to use a boat now and then, it’s going to be a real headache. The more you use the boat, the better she works 🙂 Thank you for commenting. Kim