Best Sailboats To Live On (2020)

Written by Paul

Best Sailboats To Live On List | Contessa 32 | Gulfstar 44 | Nordic 40 | Peterson 44 | Bavaria 46 | Islander 36 | Hans Christian 33 | Catalina 30 | Najad N395 | Tayana Vancouver 42 | Best Sailboats To Live On Video

Looking for the best sailboat to live on? Well, look no further. These sailboats have been hand chosen by our community and from sailors and general boaters who have lived on different types of sailboats around the world.

The love of the ocean and the dream of exploring the open seas doesn't need to be a distant goal anymore. There are plenty of used sailboats at affordable rates.

We'll look at the price, interior, exterior and all the creature comforts these amazing vessels have to offer.

Other important things to keep in mind when looking for a top sailboat to live on are:

  • Size Of The Boat
  • The maintenance requirements
  • Limitations
  • Shower Facilities
  • Kitchen Facilities
  • Seating Area
  • Electric Items (Lighting, Plugs, Fans, Fridge/Freeze etc.)
  • Toilet
  • Ventilation
  • Space (both headroom height and width) 
  • Deck Condition
  • General Boat Condition
  • Boat Engine Condition

If you are in the market for a sailboat and want to live a life on the sea, make sure to check out and download (free) our used boat buying checklist. This will help with buying a boat.

Depending on the size of boat you want, you can find some (not all) of these mentioned for under $100,000 which is substantially cheaper than other options for living.

If you plan on moving onboard a boat and have a family with young children, make sure to read up on our sailing with toddlers article to keep your infants protected and safe.

So let's have a look at some of the best options out there.

Contessa 32

contessa 32
credit: wikipedia

Depending on the year and condition, this 32ft sailboat can be bought for well under $100,000. However, some of the newer ones will set you back more, approximately $120,000 +

If you have the budget, you can also contact Jeremy Rogers boat builders and get one custom built to your specifications. (they built the original ones) 

 You can get one from custom boat builders and these live-aboard boats generally come with 1 king sized bed and 2 single beds or with 2 double beds and 2 single beds, enabling them to sleep 6 total.

They also come with all the features you'd expect on a livable boat:

  • Marine toilet
  • Shower
  • Wash hand basin
  • Solar powered mushroom vent extractor
  • Vanity unit
  • Circular mirror with teak surround
  • Manual water tap
  • Liquid soap dispenser
  • Sliding teak door and curtains
  • Nelson two burner cooker, grill and oven
  • Standard sink unit
  • 3 storage boxes plus cupboards outboard
  • Cool cupboard beneath the sin
  • Cup racks
  • Pressurized cold water to galley sink

These boats also come with the usual and required safety features (fire extinguisher, fire blanket, etc.) They are also a lot of fun to sail.

You can find these boats on boat trader or on jeremyrogers.co.uk

Gulfstar 44

gulfstar 44
credit:yachtworld.com

This is another wonderful boat to make it onto the list. It is a 44 ft sailboat and comes in varying prices depending on year and condition.

Older versions cost anywhere under $85,000 whilst newer/higher spec ones will cost $100,000+ (newer

It comes with the usual boating interior features you'd expect to find on a live-aboard boat like:

  • Showers
  • Toilets
  • En-suite
  • Kitchen facilities
  • Seating area
  • Lighting & electrical plugs
  • Cabinets for storage
  • Large engine room
  • Dining table that fits 6
  • 2 Cabins
  • Fresh water tanks
  • Fridge?Freezer

This boat is powered by Perkins 4-154 62 HP diesel engine and has all the required mechanical features to help power your boat through the different climates and sea conditions.

The specifications mentioned above are on most standard Gulfstar 44 boats. If you are on the market for one, you can obviously get it custom fitted to your specific needs if you have the budget.

Getting it custom fitted can bring a modern modern look to a traditionally older vessel. You'll find used Gulfstar 44's for sale on Yachtworld or Boattrader.

Alternatively, you can contact your nearest boat builder or local marina and they may provide more information on where to find one.


Nordic 40

nordic 40 sailboats
credit:yachtworld.com

The next on the list is 40ft Nordic 40. With a generous spacious interior, you can fit a couple comfortably.

It's one of the more rare boats on the list and as a result, there aren't that many made. You can find a used one of these boats for $130,000 +

This sailboat comes with all the interior features you'd need like:

  • 2 x Bed layout – Master V-berth, Double Quarter-berth aft to starboard
  • Shower
  • Toilet
  • Fold away dining table
  • Teak Cabinets
  • Lighting & Electrical (Plugs etc)
  • Kitchen Facilities ( Oven, Fridge, Freezer, Sink etc) 
  • Fresh water foot pump

It also has a fully insulated fiberglass hull to keep your comfortable in the winter and cool in the summer months at sea. It's powered by a 44 hp diesel engine.

Being a rarer boat, finding one for sale can be tricky but you'll typically get one on Boattrader, Yachtworld or by a simple google search.

Peterson 44 (KP44)

peterson 44 sailboat
credit: moreboats.com

This 44 ft boat is another popular sailboat to live on. There is plenty of space onboard for a couple and a baby. The price to get one of these is $60,000 + depending on condition and year so it's one of the affordable options for people.

It comes with the usual interior features like:

  • Toilet
  • Shower
  • Kitchen
  • Dining Table
  • Kitchen Facilities (Oven, Fridge, Freezer etc) 
  • Electronics & Lighting
  • Bedrooms

It's powered by a 62 hp diesel engine and comes with 3 cabins. It is most definitely a more budget friendly option for those dreaming of living on a sailboat.

It also comes with the regular fire safety features like fire blanket, extinguishers etc. When buying any used sailboat, always check the extinguishers/fire blankets. If they've been used, ask the owner why and where on the boat it was use.

You'll find these vessels for sale in the usual places like Yachtworld, Boattrader etc. Alternatively, contacting your local marina might be helpful in finding one for sale in your local area.

Islander 36

islander 36 sailboat
credit: yachtworld

The Islander 36 is the next boat on the list. This is one of the cheapest options available with most boats under $55,000 so it's a budget friendly option for most people.

In some instances, we found these boats for sale for under $30,000 so it's worth shopping around.

It comes with the ideal living features like: 

  • Toilet
  • Shower
  • Cabin
  • Kitchen (cooker, fridge, freezer)
  • Lighting & Electronics (plugs etc)
  • Seating area
  • Dining table
  • Cabinets/Drawers
  • Freshwater tanks (54 gallons)
  • Spinnaker/whisker pole with track on mast and deck mounts.

You'll also get all the fire safety gear you need to ensure safe travels.

It's powered by a 42 HP boat engine and you can find them for sale in the same spots as mentioned above, I.e. Yachtworld, Boattrader or contacting your local marina to help put you in touch with someone selling their Islander.

Tayana Vancouver 42

Tayana Vancouver 42

The Tayana Vancouver 42 is another sailboat you could live aboard. You can pick one of these up for under $150,000 in most cases.

Depending on specifications, it can come in 2 cabins or 1 large one. It also has a fresh water tank of 150 gallons. It's interior features include:

  • Kitchen (Cooker, Fridge, Freezer, Microwave Oven)
  • Heating
  • Dining table
  • Seating
  • Beds
  • Eclectics & Lighting
  • Cabinets
  • Shower
  • Toilet
  • Cockpit speakers
  • Radio
  • GPS
  • VHF
  • Deptsounder

The boat is powered by  44 HP diesel engine and comes with all the regular fire safety equipment like fire extinguishers, fire blankets etc.

It also comes with an electric bilge pump. As like all the boats on the list, you'll find one on Yachtworld, Boattrader or by contacting your local marina or local boat builders and asking.

Alternatively, you can try get in contact with this builder- Ta Yang Ltd. (Taiwan) They are the builders of this specific boat.

Catalina 30

Catalina 30
credit: yachtworld

Next up is the popular Catalina 30. This is another budget friendly option with prices generally under $40,000. As it is one of the cheaper options, it makes a great option for those beginners planning to live aboard their boat.

You can always upgrade once you get more experienced. The Catalina 30 is powered by a 23 HP boat engine and comes with interior features like:

  • Kitchen (cooker/oven, Fridge, Freezer, etc)
  • Cabinets
  • Sink
  • Toilet
  • Shower
  • Dining table
  • Seats
  • Lights & Electronics
  • Autopilot
  • Depthsounder
  • VHF
  • Radio

It comes with all the regular fire safety equipment like fire extinguishers / fire blankets. You can get one from Yachtworld/Boattrader etc.

It's also one of the smallest sailboats on the list at 30 feet as is really only ideal for a couple or 2 people as things get crowded fast with more.

Bavaria 46

Bavaria 46
credit: yachtworld

Next up is the Bavaria 46. This is a more modern sailboat to live on compared to others on the list. Depending on specifications, you can get one under $100,000 but some of the higher specs are $150,000 +

This is a great option for more people as it is more spacious and comes generally with 4 cabins (will vary depending on spec) 

Some of the interior features include: 

  • Kitchen ( cooker/oven, fridge, freezer, etc)
  • Dining table
  • Seats
  • Lighting & Electronics
  • Beds
  • Cabinets
  • Sinks
  • Toilet
  • Shower
  • Depthsounder
  • Log-speedometer
  • Wind speed and direction
  • Plotter
  • Autopilot
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • VHF
  • Radio
  • CD player
  • Cockpit speakers

It's powered by 2 engines totaling 75 HP. It comes with all the safety equipment needed (fire extinguishers, fire blanket, first aid etc) 

You'll find these for sale on websites like Yachtworld or Boattrader. Alternatively, you can contact your local marina and they'll put you in touch with someone selling.

Hans Christian 33

Hans Christian 33
credit: yachtworld

Another boat to make it onto the list is the Hans Christian 33. Generally, you can find a used one for under $100,000. It's powered by a 29 HP diesel boat engine.

This 33 ft boat comes with features like:

  • Kitchen (oven, fridge, freezer etc)
  • Sink
  • Dining Table
  • Seating Area
  • Toilet
  • Shower
  • Cabin
  • Beds
  • Cabinet Storage
  • Electrics & Lighting
  • Autopilot
  • Radio

These vessels come with the regular safety gear to like fire extinguishers/fire blankets and first aid kits.

You'll find these for sale on Yachtworld or Boattrader. Alternatively, you can contact your local marina to find if there are any for sale in the area.

Najad (N395 AC)

Najad (N395 AC)
credit: najad.se

The next boat to make it onto the list is the high end Scandinavian Najad (N395 AC) This is one of newest sailboat on the list and is quite luxurious and has plenty of features.

As a result, it's also the most expensive on the list with prices starting over $600,000. It is 39.5 ft and is powered by a 80 HP Yahama boat engine.

Some of it's features include: 

  • 2 cabins
  • Toilet
  • Shower
  • Seating Area
  • Heating
  • Lighting & Electronics
  • Kitchen (cooker/oven, fridge, freezer etc)
  • Sink
  • Beds
  • Cabinets
  • Radio
  • Air Conditioning
  • Temperature gauge
  • GPS
  • Autopilot
  • Chart plotter
  • VHF

There are plenty of features to list and the boat also comes with standard safety equipment like fire extinguishers, fire blankets, etc) 

You can find the boat for sale on websites like yachtfocus.com or alternatively, you can contact najad.se directly.

Again, this is a much newer boat on the list and has plenty of modern features which makes it the most expensive.

Best Sailboat To Live On Video

Want to see some other options? Have a look at the video below by Sailing Followtheboat channel:

The video highlights some of the benefits of these sailboats and what it's like to live onboard a boat. It's a great option for people who prefer the open seas than being tied to one place.

And as you can see from the list above, it doesn't have to be super expensive like buying a property. Alternatively, you may want to find the best boats under 40 ft which throw up some amazing finds too that can be lived on.