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Living on a Boat

Posted by Erik Fabregat on Jun 1, 2021 10:47:54 PM

We all have the desire, at one point or another, to escape the mundane. To leave the commuting and the traffic behind. To lead a more simple yet enriched and fulfilling life. It usually creeps up on us in high-stress situations, like during last minute holiday shopping, and we find ourselves thinking "how great would it be to leave all of this and...sail around the world?"

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Aquamarine waters and white sand beaches seem to beckon. Sun filled days and warm starry nights start calling. Quaint villages, open air markets and swimming with sea turtles fill the dreams of people who have made the life-changing decision of trading in their sneakers for deck shoes to live on a boat. 

 

As enchanting and romantic as the seafaring life can be, boat ownership is a much larger commitment than say, buying a house with a pool you never use (to go along with that gym membership.) Liveaboard boaters have a rich and rewarding experience that very few get to explore, because, well... it comes with considerable challenges.  

 

Many Storylines residents are making the switch from yacht to ship and they have delighted us with colorful stories on this subject. The one common thing that all those stories share is that living on a boat simplifies your life and allows for more freedom; but the proverbial road isn't always smooth sailing. 

"A boat requires a lot of ongoing work. There's always something breaking or you need to do maintenance on something, and with Storylines we don't have to do that. We just live and enjoy ourselves." ~Bob 

"Sailing is really nice, I really like it but it's very physical. There's just the two of us so we have to be on watch all the time. On Storylines we won't need to make sure we don't wreck into anything, or navigate, or do any route planning. We can just relax and enjoy the journey." ~Carol
 
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Boat Chores – Unless you are fortunate enough to be able to afford to live on a megayacht with staff, there are a lot of time consuming details to consider when living on a boat that wouldn't take up nearly as much time in your land life. Provisioning on maritime voyages can take half the day. The same is true for laundry unless there is both a washer and dryer on board. Night watches are another inconvenience with interrupted sleep to ensure the course is safe overnight. Liveaboard sailors often find that the dream of exploring exotic ports every day ends up being more like one or two days each week spent exploring with the remainder of the time spent on chores and maintenance.   

 
Customs and Immigration - There is a lot to consider when crossing international borders and clearing customs. Preparing for each country's procedures and requirements, including visas, can take weeks or months according to Yachting World.  It can involve visiting embassies for interviews and fingerprints for people entering on private yachts. Also expect boarding by customs, immigration or quarantine officers upon arrival. Some smaller island nations are still using hand written paper systems and the article goes on to say that “locating the customs and immigration offices is often the biggest part of the problem." Corruption can still be an issue in some countries and an agent or sponsor is advised in these areas. The paperwork can be extensive and some countries require health inspections in which they fumigate the boat. There are also agricultural rules which indicate a long list of foods that cannot be brought in to some countries.  
 
When Nature Intrudes – When you're floating in an anchorage or tied to a mooring, what may pass for a mild storm for those ‘land-lubbers’ can feel like a mighty squall when you live on a boat. Once those winds start kicking in, that boat will commence to rocking along with you and anybody or anything else that happens to be onboard so you better have a system in place to keep things locked down. And try as you may to plan the perfect sailing route, the reality is that sailors are often left 'on the hook' for additional days or weeks waiting for a clear weather window to embark. Then, of course, you must be alert for insects, birds and rodents that might be drawn to a secluded boat where they hope a free lunch is waiting. 
 
No Easy Fix - Maybe the most troublesome and costly aspect of living on a boat is the constant maintenance. When the foundation of your home is water (especially the salt variety) you will have to learn to contend with the forces of rust, mold and mildew. If not treated in a timely manner, these can lead to either some very pricey repairs down the road or, worse yet, outright replacement due to irreversible damage. If you want to keep costs down, you’re going to have to do the work yourself which is about as 'un-fun' as it gets. shutterstock_1824240998

It’s no wonder Storylines residents who have spent time yachting collectively breathed a sigh of relief when they discovered us. For the first time, they get to enjoy only the best things about living on a boat (freedom, nature immersion, laid-back living, glorious views, exotic discoveries) without any of the hardships. Absolutely everything has been considered in order to provide a luxurious global lifestyle at sea so that Storylines residents only have one responsibility...

To live their best lives on the high seas!
 

 

Topics: Experience, General, Sailors

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