The cost of living on a sailboat full-time is approximately $1,880 per month or $22,560 per year.
Please keep in mind that the cost of living on a sailboat can vary depending on your specific location, the condition of the vessel, the size of the boat and your boating experience.
The cost of living on a sailboat can be broken down into 9 monthly expenses including:
- Boat Marina Fees
- Boat Insurance Cost
- Boat Maintenance Fees
- Fuel Expenses
- Grocery Costs
- Boat Gear Costs
- Entertainment Costs
- Internet Costs
- Miscellaneous Costs
Below is a cost of living on a sailboat table summary.
1. Boat Marina Fees
The first cost to consider when living on a sailboat is the marina fees/slip fees.
The marina costs for a sailboat are approximately $10 to $20 per foot per month.
For example, a sailboat owner with a boat size of 30 feet will typically pay between $300 and $600 per month in slip fees to stay at a marina.
A marina will charge a boat owner on a per-foot basis based on the length of the vessel.
The size of the boat and the location of the marina will have a large influence on the price charged to boat owners with marinas in Florida typically being the most expensive in America compared to other locations.
Paying marina fees gives boat owners access to boat cleaning services, electricity, internet access, pump-out services and facilities, waste removal services and a marine store.
Some boat owners prefer anchoring which is free of charge. Anchoring can be the best option during warmer months from April until November when marina facilities are needed less.
Boat marina costs can be reduced by mooring in cheaper marina locations, only using the marina when necessary or anchoring the boat off the coast away from the marina.
2. Boat Insurance Cost
The second cost to consider when living on a sailboat is the boat insurance fee.
The cost of sailboat insurance is approximately $55 per month or $660 per year.
This is an approximate cost for the average sailboat owner living onboard their vessel in America.
According to Progressive, the annual Progressive boat insurance policy cost for the insurance policies they issued to boat owners in America ranged from $250 to $700 per year.
To get an accurate boat insurance cost for your specific sailboat, contact marine insurance providers for quotes.
The cost of boat insurance will vary based on the size, location and condition of the sailboat as well as a boat owner's experience and claims history.
Typically, the boat insurance cost will be 1% to 4% of the total retail value of your sailboat.
Boat insurance is the most expensive in locations that suffer from hurricanes like Florida and Texas.
Boat insurance costs can be reduced by browsing insurance providers, using cheaper sailboats, using the boat in lower-risk areas and increasing your boat experience.
3. Boat Maintenance Costs
The third cost to consider when living on a sailboat is the maintenance cost.
The average cost of sailboat maintenance is $250 per month or $3,000 per year.
A sailboat's maintenance cost can vary based on the condition, size, age and location of the sailboat as well as the boat owner's experience with repairing and maintaining the boat.
Boat maintenance cost includes paying for spare parts, cleaning supplies, boat paint, engine services, repairing fridges, electronics, lines, cookers, windows, seats, toilets, deck materials etc.
Boat maintenance costs can be reduced by using second-hand parts, manually repairing the sailboat yourself and treating the boat with care.
4. Fuel Expenses
The fourth cost to consider when living on a sailboat is the fuel cost.
Sailboat fuel costs approximately $150 per month or $1,800 per year.
Sailboat fuel costs include paying for diesel or gas for the boat engine and buying propane fuel for sailboat heating and cooking while living onboard.
The factors that affect the sailboat fuel costs are the location, weather, size and condition of the boat as well as the frequency of use.
In the winter, sailboat fuel costs tend to rise whereas they are cheaper in the months from April until September.
To reduce the fuel costs of a sailboat, use the sails more often rather than the boat motor. Sailboat fuel costs can also be reduced by only traveling when it is the optimal time for the current which can make a large difference in fuel efficiency.
5. Grocery Costs
The fifth cost to consider when living on a sailboat is the groceries cost.
The cost of groceries when living on a sailboat is approximately $450 per month or $5,400 per year.
Grocery costs include paying for food, drinks, bathing supplies and kitchen cleaning supplies.
The grocery costs remain the same year-round. To reduce the grocery costs when living onboard a sailboat, boat owners can choose to catch fish by fishing from their boat. However, this will only cause a small reduction.
A saltwater-to-freshwater converter can be used to get a fresh supply of drinkable water without having to spend money on buying drinks. This will only cause a small reduction in costs too.
6. Boating Gear Costs
The sixth cost to consider when living onboard a sailboat is boating gear costs.
The approximate cost of boating gear when living on a sailboat is $100 per month or $1,200 per year.
Boating gear costs include paying for gear like sailing sunglasses, sailing jackets, swim gear, fishing gear, sunscreen, wetsuits, sailing hats, fire blankets, and general boating accessories.
The boating gear cost is the most expensive in the winter months when extra sailing clothing is needed to keep warm.
To reduce the cost of boating gear, take good care of your current boat gear to ensure it lasts longer and purchase high-quality boating accessories that will last for a long time.
7. Entertainment Cost
The seventh cost to consider when living onboard a sailboat is the entertainment cost.
The cost of entertainment when living on a sailboat is approximately $200 per month or $2,400 per year.
Entertainment costs include paying for tv subscriptions, board games, dining out, trips to the cinema, etc.
The entertainment costs will not change throughout the year.
To reduce entertainment costs, find free entertaining activities to do rather than spend money for entertainment.
8. Internet Costs
The eighth cost to consider when living on a sailboat is internet costs.
The cost of the internet when living on a sailboat is approximately $100 per month or $1,200 per year.
Internet costs include paying for a 4G/5G connection or satellite internet connection. It includes paying for a wi-fi router to connect to the sailboat too.
To reduce the internet cost on a sailboat, anchor the boat at marinas with a Wi-Fi connection included in the slip fees.
9. Miscellaneous Costs
The ninth cost to consider when living on a sailboat is the miscellaneous costs.
The miscellaneous costs when living on a sailboat are approximately $125 per month or $1,500 per year.
Miscellaneous costs will typically remain the same throughout the year without much change.
Miscellaneous costs include costs associated with buying items like boat rugs, personal care items, boat care basics, coolers, boating decor, cooking utensils etc.
To reduce the miscellaneous costs, reduce the number of general boating items purchased and ensure the items that are purchased are of good quality so they last longer.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Cost Of Living On A Sailboat
Below are the most commonly asked questions about the cost of living on a sailboat.
How Much Does A Large Sailboat (Over 50ft) Cost To Live On?
The approximate cost to live on a large sailboat (over 50ft.) full-time is $3,200 per month or $38,400 per year.
What Is The Most Expensive Cost Associated With Living On A Sailboat?
The most expensive cost associated with living on a sailboat is the marina slip fees which are a monthly cost of $10 to $20 per foot of boat size.
How Can The Cost Of Living On A Sailboat Be Reduced?
The cost of living on a sailboat can be reduced by using the sails instead of boat fuel to power the boat when traveling, mooring the sailing vessel in a cheaper marina or anchoring outside a marina, browsing for cheaper marine insurance policies, ensuring care when using the vessel to keep repair costs low, downsizing to a smaller sailboat and keeping entertainment costs to a minimum by finding cheaper or free entertainment alternatives.