Living on a boat. Realistic cost breakdown.

So you’ve decided you want to live on a yacht full-time. Perhaps you have retirment on the horizon, maybe sailing the Caribbean has been in the back of your mind for a while, or you simply want to escape the rat race.

You love travelling but hate tour groups, you’ve been throwing up getting an RV or a yacht,

Why not both? Boat RV combo.


Ocean life. Once only for the wealthy and really poor. Has been an escapist dream for many middle-class folk with a looming midlife crisis on the horizon. Ever since the accidental invention  of fiberglass  in 1932 by a Games Slayter, boat ownership has become a financial possibility(albeit still an expensive one) for many..

So, what is the cost of owning a yacht?


Living on a barge?

The vision of relaxing sunsets, paired with tequila sunrises, although appealing is in between periods of maintenance and cleaning. and the price you pay for the boat is just the beginning of your spending. It is a bitter pill to swallow.

“The best two days of a sailor’s life; When they buy a boat – and when they sell it”

The escaping optimist assumes the only  fuel necessary comes from the wind and that electricity is a modern luxury not required for this new nomadic/nature driven lifestyle. Unfortunately constant stop over’s  for fuel, electricity, and fresh water are a necessity, one which marina owners can charge you whatever they please, as often the alternative may be hours away, and since you have a yacht that must mean you’re rich.

On average, 1 night in a marina, including re-fueling the petrol and water tanks, and recharging the batteries will cost you $50-100 a night. You might think ‘That’s ok i won’t moor at marinas, and will only drop anchor in the wild.” Be prepared to sacrifice your sleep for constant night-shift work, and have an ever-present feeling of insecurity of dragging anchor, knocking into something, or being robbed.

Palmarina, Bodrum. The nicest marina in the Mediterranean. About 20k/year for a 35ft.


But let’s put marina costs, licenses, registrations aside for the meantime, and talk about your two new hobbies, maintenance and cleaning.

For some odd reason, it seem’s everything on a yacht breaks constantly. You will always have something that needs work or replacing on your boat, and as soon as you fix one thing the great god Yachtius ascends the deep to break something else to ensure the law of the sea remains true and followed.

Do not be discouraged however life on the water is an otherworldly experience most will never have the fortune to live. You will meet the best people and forge a bond with the Earth so strong you will understand your part in it.