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Living on a boat: A complete guide

Living on a boat: A complete guide

on September 18, 2021

Living on a Boat: A Complete Guide 

We all love imagining the idea of owning a boat and living on it. However, it's not all "Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice" as we dream. You need to be very organized, prepared, and alert while staying on a boat. Also, you will have to make sure the boat is maintained to ensure its long life. 

One has to prepare themselves mentally, physically, and financially to start their life aboard. Boats are like other automobiles; they need your attention, time, and timely servicing. If you want to ensure that your vessel has a long service life, then you must follow our quick Guide! 

Socializing Made Easier

You must be wondering how living on a boat can help you socialize? Isn't liveaboard about having solitude? Well, in reality, it is the opposite. When living on a boat, you will have loads of neighbours, or fellow Liveaboards, to interact with. You will find many people like you with similar 'Wanderlust' and preference for having a unique lifestyle.

However, if you still prefer being left alone, then you can look for a corner space in the Marina or Dock. Where you can find the calm you were looking for. Furthermore, there are other responsibilities that you need to tend to while living onboard.

Focal Points

Here is how the focusing on 3 points, you can ensure complete boat durability:  

  1. Scrubbing the Exterior

Apart from giving out a sleek look, this also hinders the growth of invasive species. One never know what creature latched itself on your precious vessel during a ride. They will not only affect the boat's performance but are also detrimental to its longevity. Therefore, regular outer cleaning has dual benefits. 

  1. Boat Storage

Just like a collectible, storing a boat is an important aspect of its maintenance. This will keep your boat safe from the harmful effects of the weather. The main focus here should be- Keep Rain & Snow out! By following this mantra, you can prevent the growth of mildew and allow sufficient airflow. 

Sometimes, people tend to lock the boats for longer periods. You must run the boat through a proper servicing to prepare it for the inactive phase. By following this, you can ensure that upon reuse, the mobile operates properly. 

  1. Focus on Engine Maintenance

One doesn't need professional experience or knowledge to work on their Boat's Engine. You just need to be attentive and take measures to guarantee a long life for the machine. To find the right advice, go through the manufacturers ' provided recommendations and suggestions.  

These were three basic points to remember, but what about regular maintenance? Well, it's fairly simple. Follow these five tips to upkeep your boat's standards:

5 Routine Boat Maintenance Tips 

  1. The Engine

Starting with the groundwork; By Engine Maintenance, we mean keeping a check on the oil level and replacement. If you find that the oil levels range from zero to low, then get it to the required amount. This should be a priority. Moreover, we advise that after every 50 to 100hrs of running the boat, perform a complete oil change. To know how to start, read the manual; it will get you complete information on the frequency of change and oil type.

  1. Engine Flushing

Yes, we are still on the engine. No matter whether you take a ride in fresh or saltwater, make sure you flush the engine afterward. Flushing basically means stopping the deposition of salt crystals in the machine. The collection of these crystals can damage the internal parts. This also helps in removing the crud, muck, or sand. 

  1. Save the Prop

Cotter Pin & the Prop Nut are important for making the boat run. Many Liveaboarders advise that beginners should make sure that these parts are secured just like the manufacturer specified. Not paying proper attention to these can cost you a lot. 

  1. Make a Dry Storage

Living on a boat means you will have a lot of liquid to tackle. You need a dry and safe place to store your essentials, which is pretty obvious since you're living on the water. Create or demarcate a high and secure place for storing clothes, food, water, tools, and other important items. 

  1. Customizing Flooring

Most boat cockpits come equipped with self-draining floors. This also makes cleaning an easier task for the resident. But! If the boat has a snap-in carpet, get rid of it as soon as possible. This marine-grade flooring option allows food crumbs, dust, and water to accumulate under it. Now, that is not hygienic or safe. 

Make a Checklist!

It's time to focus on what your vessel demands and needs at present because the maintenance process can go on forever. To make your own Boat Maintenance Checklist, we suggest you take a complete walk-through of the boat. This will help you understand the state and plan your next moves accordingly. 

While checking the boat, consider these points: 

  •  Is the Bimini Top ripped? 
  •  Are the Lights working? 
  • Do the Lines look worn out? 
  • Are the rails fixed properly? 
  • Do the fenders look good? 

Moreover, no one knows your boat better than you. This means that you must know the features of the vessel and the equipment & tools it requires. Staying aware of these basics can help you recognize the areas that need more attention. 

By having a checklist, you can stay organized during all phases of routine maintenance. Never look over the small details; they can create major problems in the future. Also, you will be preventing any mishaps or issues throughout the journey. 

Also, regular maintenance plays an important role in ensuring the value and durability of the mobile. This also showcases your efforts towards precaution and safety, not just for you but also for your family, guests, and other Liveaboards. 

What tools do I need to complete the maintenance?

Boat servicing and upkeep isn't all about hiring professionals to do it for you. You can perform routine maintenance by using basic tools and supplies as well. Rather than looking for expensive substitutes, you must have- 

For minor repairs: 

  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Adjustable Wrench

For cleaning: 

  • Boat Cleaning Soap
  • Motor Flusher
  • Anti-corrosion Lubricant 
  • Small Wire Brush 
  • Long-handle Brush/ Spray Wand
  • Digital Multimeter

Having a Pet Onboard

Many people from the Liveaboard community are pet owners. But having a pet on a boat is different than having one in a normal house. The area for their movement is restricted, and so is their private space. Also, boat rails have quite enough space from where your beloved pooches can slip out and hurt themselves. 

To avoid such situations, you must secure the boat & the dock and make it "Pet-proof." Since the area for movement, eating, and freshening up is limited, train the pets to use the specific area as a Lavatory. This will not only save you from extra cleaning chores but will also keep your pets healthy, happy, and safe.  

5 Tips for becoming a Liveaboard 

Know the Rules

The first and most important thing is that you know the norms and regulations of the place you dock your boat in. It can be an anchor, a marina, or a mooring. Abiding by the rules of the space, you can keep away from possible conflicts. Moreover, many local authorized directives must be followed; make sure you check these as well.

Be Self-Sufficient 

One has to be independent and resourceful when planning to on a boat. Many times, the automobile will need a part replacement or demand extra work. But, you will have to be focused and get through all of this to lead a happy liveaboard life. Water will be your base and constant enemy. You can't wait for a plumber to rush in to fix a pipeline while your house is sinking. You will have to get it done yourself!

Stay Determined

Becoming a Liveaboard can be difficult for many and can take its toll on you. For people who are planning on changing their lifestyle, Liveaboard requires them to be vigilant, active, and independent. They will face problems during the start with water/ electricity supply, postal services, and even with the garbage disposal. They will have to make arrangements for the same by themselves. 

Befriend Bad Weather

Living in a villa or normal house presents the least bad weather issues. However, with the Liveaboard pattern, you might have to stay in for days without leaving the boat. Being inside the vessel, at such times, can protect it from weather's implications and other surrounding boats. 

Welcome Peace & Solitude

While we have said above that Liveaboard is healthy for socializing, it is also a great way of getting away from daily life for a short while. You will have the support of a large community while having your privacy. Also, keep smiling because many neighbors would love to stop by and say Hi! 

Liveaboard Expenses

If you think that living on a boat will decrease your expenses, then you might have to rethink that. Here are a few common expenses that you will encounter when you shift to Liveaboard life: 

  • Food & Water
  • Gas
  • Boat Mortgage
  • Boat Insurance
  • Slip Fees
  • Waste Disposal & Management 
  • Charges for Anchor/ Mooring/ Marina

You won't have to worry about these if you plan and stick to a budget plan. The listed expenses will depend largely on the size and requirement of the vessel. These might hike if you get professionals to clean and repair the boat. However, if you follow the "Be Self-sufficient" tip, then these will become easy and inexpensive for you. 


Living on a boat, you need Boat parts, Boat products, Boat accessories, Boat maintenance, and the best place to find it is at your online marine store Marine Supplies US




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