Looking to seas the day? At one point or another, we all have the desire to escape the mundane and leave the commuting, chores, and daily life stresses behind for an exotic alternative lifestyle. One that involves swinging in a hammock in faraway tropical destinations and leading a simple yet meaningful life. Perhaps living abroad or sailing around the world on a 40-foot yacht full-time.
Liveaboard Sailing: The Dream
Aquamarine waters and white sand beaches beckon. Sun-filled days and warm starry nights are calling. Open-air markets and swimming with sea turtles fill the dreams of people considering making the life-changing decision of trading in their sneakers for deck shoes.
The weather is always perfect in these dreams and you sail from one exotic place to the next without a care in the world. Exploring all day and then barbequing with sundowners is the norm. Days are spent learning the local languages, cave diving, hiking in rainforests and volunteering in quaint villages.
You may even envision yourself working remotely from a yacht and bringing the whole family along, knowing they can study from anywhere in the world. However, the truth is that the reality of yacht life can be drastically different from the dream.
Liveaboard Sailing: The Reality
As enchanting and romantic as the seafaring life can be, liveaboard yachters have a rich and rewarding experience that very few experience because it comes with considerable challenges.
Many people give up or put off the idea after considering the extensive yacht costs involved, such as yacht insurance, boat maintenance, and docking fees, to name just a few. And motor yacht costs are considerably higher yet.
Then there’s mastering your boat’s systems and being across local laws of waters you wish to dock or drop anchor in. There’s a certain level of knowledge and beneficial skills all experienced sailors have, including first aid and mechanical skills.
Storylines residential ship has found that some residents are switching from private yachts to buying a home aboard the vessel due to the ease of traveling by ship. The common thing they share is that while the yachting life allows for more freedom, the proverbial road isn’t always smooth sailing.
“Sailing is really nice, I 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 worry about wrecking into anything, or navigating, or doing any route planning. We can just relax and enjoy the journey.” ~ Carol, Storylines resident
Unless you are fortunate enough to have a crew, there are a lot of time-consuming details to consider for a successful yacht lifestyle. Chores that wouldn’t take up nearly as much time in your land life, for example, provisioning in remote villages on maritime voyages can take half the day.
Even if you have a crew on your yacht, there are still many logistics involved and people to manage, not to mention the expense. But at least you don’t have to stay up for night watches which are another inconvenience for most yacht owners, with interrupted sleep to ensure the course is safe overnight.
Wannabe liveaboard sailors often dream of exploring exotic ports daily, but it is more like one or two days each week. The remainder of the time is spent on sailing, chores, maintenance, logistics, course charting, and other tedious planning.
Customs and Immigration
There is much to consider for yacht owners when crossing international borders, including local laws 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 a private yacht. You can also expect boarding by customs, immigration, or quarantine officials upon arrival. Some smaller island nations still use handwritten paper systems. The article says 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 indicating a long list of foods that cannot be brought 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 kick in, that yacht will start rocking, so you'd better have a system to keep things locked down.
And try as you may 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. You are at the mercy of the weather and should not underestimate it. One wrong decision can destroy your home (or worse) if you're not extremely cautious.
No Easy Fix
The most troublesome and costly aspect of living on a boat is constant maintenance. When your home’s foundation is water (especially the salt variety), you must learn to contend with the forces of rust, mold and mildew. If not treated promptly, these can lead to some very pricey repairs down the road or, worse yet, outright replacement due to irreversible damage.
Then there is the challenge of finding the right marine parts when you live aboard. You do not have the easy access you would have back home for marine parts such as a water maker, not to mention hybrid propulsion components. Sourcing such parts means finding a marina with plentiful products and services. Even then, it often means ordering parts that can take weeks in a remote area. Boat maintenance and repairs can be deal breakers for many considering living on a yacht.
“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, Storylines resident
There’s a reason so many boat enthusiasts choose to charter or opt for fractional yacht ownership or yacht shares. You get the good parts of cruising with amazing views and adventure without all the hassles. However, now there is an even easier and more comfortable way to live at sea and travel the world.
The innovative, effortless and luxurious alternative
Storylines MV Narrative is a private residence ship. You can purchase a condo and travel the world in luxury and comfort from your home at sea. All the aforementioned pain points of sailing are removed, meaning you can focus on relaxation, wellness and adventure.
It’s no wonder Storylines residents who have spent time yachting breathed a sigh of relief when they discovered the company. For the first time, they can enjoy only the best things about living on a yacht (freedom, nature immersion, laid-back living, glorious views, exotic discoveries) without any of the hardships.
While most residents plan to live on the ship at least part-time, there are also shared purchase options. If you are the type to charter a boat or do a yacht share, shared purchase options might interest you. Here, you can buy a 25% share of a residence for three months of the year.
The best part is that absolutely everything has been considered 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!