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Thinking of Buying a Live-aboard Sailboat? Here's What You Need to Consider.

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

The idea of living on a sailboat is romantic and idyllic. And it can be! But there are some things to consider before taking the plunge, such as:

  • how many people will be living on board,

  • whether or not you want to be able to sail it,

  • what kind of experience you have as a sailor,

  • what kind of facilities (heating, water, toilet) are onboard (or you want onboard).

In this blog post, we'll cover the basics of what you need to know before buying a sailboat to live on.

How Many People Will Be Living on the Boat?

This is an important consideration because it will dictate the size of the boat you need to buy. The minimum size for two people to live aboard comfortably is about 30 feet, but this can vary depending on your needs and preferences.

Do You Want to Be Able to Sail It Too?

If you're planning on living on your sailboat full-time, then you'll need to be able to sail it yourself (unless you plan on hiring a captain). This means that you'll need to factor in whether or not you're comfortable sailing a boat by yourself. If not, then you'll need to make sure that the boat you buy is large enough for two people.

How Much of an Experienced Sailor Are You?

This ties in with the previous point. If you're not an experienced sailor, then you'll need to factor in whether or not you're comfortable learning how to sail a larger vessel by yourself. There are many resources available online and in maritime communities that can help beginners learn how to sail, but it's still something you should consider before making your purchase.

What Do You Do for Heating, Water, and Toilet?

When you're living on a sailboat, gone are the days of being able to simply turn on the faucet for water or flush the toilet without thinking about it. This is something that needs to be taken into consideration when choosing a boat, as some vessels will have more sophisticated systems than others. The same goes for heating; while some boats come with built-in heating systems, others will require that you purchase portable heaters.

Other Points to Consider When Buying Second Hand

When buying a second-hand boat, there are some "non-obvious" points that you need to take into consideration in addition to the obvious ones like price and condition.

Boats can leak, so you'll want to inspect the hull carefully for any signs of damage or leaks. Additionally, sails wear out over time, so if possible, try to find out how old the sails are and how often they've been used. Finally, engines can be expensive to replace, so make sure that you have a qualified marine mechanic inspect the engine before making your purchase.

If you're planning on buying a second-hand vessel, there are some important points (like hull condition and engine age) that you need to take into consideration before making your purchase.

We hope this blog post has helped clarify some things for anyone considering buying a sailboat to live on!


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