You might be sitting in your living room, your office or at your favorite coffee stop just thinking about how you can change or simplify your life, has the ocean always fascinated you, or are you just ready for a new adventure? If the answer is yes, then living aboard a boat or a yacht is a great way to change your lifestyle.
The number one question that arises is whether you are a powerboater or a sailboater. It is quite common that every sailor has tried powerboating, but not every powerboater has sailing experience. If you are not sure which one you are and you are new to boating, just go to the nearest boating school and try both. It will be apparent almost immediately to which category you fall into. There is another option and that is hoseboat or floating home, there is a difference. A houseboat has an engine and a floating home does not. Both of these options will leave you with a less of a choice of marinas.
Next, you have to think about what kind of activities you expect to enjoy while living on your boat. For example, entertaining. Comfortable entertaining is usually associated with powerboats, since they usually offer more comfortable seating in the cockpit and for the most part are easier to board. Generally, most of your landbound friends will expect a powerboat and will be fairly comfortable on it.
Sailboats, on the other hand, tend to intimidate most inlanders, as they are generally harder to board and the wheel is in the cockpit, making maneuvering more difficult. Your sailor-friends wont care, but non-boaters will almost always start the conversation with the question How do you manage with this small space?.
If cruising is your main drive, and if you are a powerboater, then you probably are quite wealthy. Sailboats have smaller engines and can use the power of the wind, powerboats cant. Therefore, most of your long-distance cruisers are sailors, not to say that there isnt powerboaters out there that cruise, thy most certainly do. But for the most part its coastal. Weekend sailing is pretty much for everyone.
Powerboats will almost always cost more to get to the destination, but will do it faster. If you are a sailor, then its as much about the trip as it is the destination.
If fishing is your choice of recreation, powerboats win this hands down. Sailboats rigging, deck maneuverability and lack of a proper bait tank are the biggest issues.
And finally, water sports. It is a fair ground for any kind of boat with a good dingy.
The last thing we want to mention, and it is one of the most important rules when living on a boat - downsize, downsize, downsize, and when you are done, downsize some more. You have to get rid of anything you have not used the past few weeks. Space is almost as valuable on a boat as food or water. At first, you will definitely have to get used to smaller spaces, but this is just a matter of time.