affordable liveaboard yachts

6 Popular Boats For Full-Time Living (Affordable Options)

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It’s a big investment to get a boat you can live in full time.

Here are some of the more affordable boats out there that we can fully recommend.

Hang with us as we guide you through some of the most popular and affordable boats for full-time living.

Table of Contents

Don’t Get “Sticker Shock”:

If you are choosing to live aboard a boat in you will need to brace yourself for the expense.

While this article is showing you “cheap” or “inexpensive” boats to live on, you should not be comparing them to other boats.

We are not talking about small boats here, but boats you can live on, remember.

Daily use boats do not afford the luxuries that a live-aboard boat can. This makes them more expensive. When looking at live-aboard boat prices, you will want to compare it to traditional living expenses. All choices for live-aboard boats are expensive and you will most likely be looking for a used, possibly even a “project” boat.

If you are looking for a new boat, or even a luxurious used boat you will need to be prepared to spend $100,000 or more depending on the size and type of boat you want.

An Affordable TRAWLER You Can Live On

A trawler is an inexpensive option that allows for generous space. Trawlers are also durable and can take large amounts of use. 

The wider hull of a trawler allows for roomy interiors that include bigger kitchens, more spacious sleeping areas and more room. This boat is also stable and accessible. This makes getting on and off the boat much easier.

They also have less draft than boats with deep hulls like sailboats and lower clearance on top for bridges.

Some cons of a trawler include noisy engines that are slower moving. They also consume large amounts of fuel.

Trawlers also will need maintenance just like any other vessel and can often be older, so they might require more maintenance up front.

1. Albin North Sea Cutter

affordable liveaboard yachts

North Sea Cutters made by Albin are large, spacious and elegant. These boats offer multiple comforts and sleeping areas.

Depending on the year you select, you could have multiple cabins and many places that convert into sleeping areas. You can purchase a used Albin boat that costs anywhere from $20,000 to over $200,000. These prices vary depending on space, age and amenities offered.

Models older than 2000 will often range between $20,000 to $80,000 and they can get more expensive from there.

An Affordable YACHT You Can Live On

2. beneteau swift trawler.

affordable liveaboard yachts

These boats can be swift, fuel efficient, and stable. They offer a spacious deck as well as spacious living quarters.

They often come with more than one cabin and enough room to move around and house more than one person.

The Beneteau Swift Trawlers are more expensive than the Albin models and will likely cost you more than $100,000.

If you are looking for a brand new Beneteau, you could be looking at a base price close to or even over $500,000.

So you definitely want to get a used model if you are looking for a cheaper alternative here!

2 Affordable SAILBOATS You Can Live On

Sailboats can be a relaxing option for your live-aboard vessel. Sailboats come with an open deck and oftentimes have plush cabins situated in their hull.

Some of the appeals of a live-aboard sailboat are that you will spend less money on gas. They are also quieter than their motorboat counterparts.

If you choose to live-aboard a sailboat, you will want to make sure that you have a motor available in case you do not have a cooperating wind.

3. Island Packet 35

These boats are smaller than the trawler options and are better suited to housing smaller families.  They have one main living and sleeping quarters so there is not a lot of privacy offered. These will be ideal for a couple. 

These are very popular choices among sailing cruisers and they were designed with sailing in mind. They are very user-friendly sailboats.

The prices on an Island Packet range close to $100,000.

You will be looking for a used vessel, though, as these were not manufactured after the mid-1990s.

4. Cabo Rico 38

Cabo Rico boats were designed with luxury in mind and it is reflected in their prices.

Older models from the 1980’s and 1990’s range between $80,000 and $100,000 while newer models that were made in the early 2000s can easily reach over $300,000.

The main goal of these boats was to increase the appeal of their aesthetic.

Like the Island Packet, these boats are more ideal for smaller couples. This boat also has an abundance of clever storage spaces that will help you maximize the space that you have. 

Affordable MULTI-HULL Boats You Can Live On

affordable liveaboard yachts

Multi-hull catamarans can be either double or triple hulled.

The benefit of a multi-hulled vessel is the stability offered as well as the possibility for separate living spaces.

A catamaran offers a wide and spacious deck, however, the living spaces in the hulls are generally smaller than they would be on other vessel types.

The major disadvantage of a multi-hull option will be price. Because the construction of these boats is similar to building two separate boats, you should expect to pay more. If you want to live on a multi-hull vessel you could be looking at spending $100,000 or more.

Like a sailboat, you might consider a used catamaran.

In addition to a higher purchase price, these boats also might require two slips in a marina which can make them more expensive.

5. Lagoon 380

affordable liveaboard yachts

The Lagoon 380 is a smaller catamaran which is not the most common. The Lagoon 380 is the smallest catamaran in the Lagoon fleet.

Unlike some other inexpensive options, these are still being produced which offers you the chance to buy new, which means that you will be more likely to customize your boat.

This boat comes with a full bath and a large queen-sized berth or the chance to instead get four cabins. Stowage on this boat is impressive and it comes with many lockers and storage space.

The boat truly is impressive for its small size and will be comfortable for living in. The price of this vessel can range from $170,000 to over $200,000 depending on the year and the options available.

Other Lagoon options can be more expensive but are also great live-aboard vessels.

6. Leopard 44

affordable liveaboard yachts

If you are looking for a more luxurious catamaran, then you will want to look at the Leopard 44. 

The most inspiring part of the design of the Leopard 44 is the inclusion of two cockpits. This allows sailors to change where they steer based on the position of the sun and adds additional comfort.

This boat also provides edging on the surfaces so that you can feel where the boat ends. Attention to detail was key when crafting the Leopard 44. 

Like most catamarans, this vessel is also spacious and provides comforts and amenities that will be useful when living on board.  These include multiple berths and cabins that are well suited to housing more people.

The average price for this vessel is higher than the Lagoon 38 can range between $280,000 and $400,000.

Affordable HOUSEBOATS You Can Live On

affordable liveaboard yachts

If you plan on living aboard a boat without doing a lot of traveling, a houseboat might be ideal for you.

These allow for plenty of space, but are bulky and are not very efficient so they are generally used for living while moored and never actually venturing out on the water.

The most common form of houseboats is built onto pontoon boats. These boats can even offer full enclosures on the deck with plenty of windows and light.

Another downside to a houseboat is their price. Because these boats offer the most space and comfort they are pricey.

Houseboats can offer anything from multiple rooms to decks. They are essentially a house that floats.

Houseboats are often custom designed and are not generally offered as a part of a fleet or boating line. Prices also range wildly and could be anywhere from $30,000 used to over one million dollars.

When looking at houseboats you also have to consider location as a decision that needs to be made.

Houseboats are not designed to move so in addition to the expense of the boat, you are also often looking for a permanent place to put it, and that can be more costly than a marina or other available options.

What About The Bigger Yachts?

Even more expensive than the multi-hull vessel is the luxury yacht.

This is not an inexpensive option. These are the most expensive choice as they are essentially floating hotels.

For this reason, we have opted out of listing options for the luxury yacht, but they are an option that is available for consideration.

So How Do I Choose The Right Boat?

It is most important to choose your boat based on desired lifestyle, budget, and skill level.

If you do not want to worry about learning to sail, then you should look into the power boat options. 

You also want to make sure you pick the appropriate size.

If you plan to go down rivers often, you might not want a boat that is too wide or too tall. This can make river navigation tricky and stressful.

You also want to make sure that while you are conscious about how the size of your boat is external, you allow for enough space internally.

No matter what type of boat you choose you will be giving up some luxuries and living a more minimalist lifestyle. You need to look at what your minimum size requirements will be and start there.

Another thing that is extremely important when choosing is the condition of the boat. Because these types of boats are so expensive, you will most likely be looking at used options.

This means that you will want to get your boat fully inspected before you buy it.

Much like you would get an inspector for your home, you are able to hire marine inspectors who can see things on your vessel that you can’t.

The most important places of consideration are the hull and the engine.

Even a tiny hairline crack in the hull can expand and get worse over time. These are also the most dangerous because you are less likely to see them and get them taken care of.

A marine inspector will also be able to give you a rundown on the vessel and this might help you plan for future expenses and even to negotiate a better price.

In addition to this, when buying a used boat you want to make sure you do not buy a boat that is exactly your budget. You will want to save at least %10 of your budget for possible issues and immediate maintenance needed.

Maintenance will be an ongoing expense that you will have to plan for in order to maintain the integrity of your boat.

Is It Possible To Live On A Boat Full Time?

Living on a boat full time is completely possible if you know what you are doing.

Where to Moor Your Boat:

One of your most major considerations will be where to keep your boat. Many places require marinas to have a liveaboard license and many of the places that do have long waiting lists that could last years.

If you know you want to live aboard a boat full time you will want to start checking into places right away. It would also be wise to not close a deal on a boat until you know you have somewhere to put it.

You will also want to consider the location of where you are mooring your vessel.

If you choose to dock your boat in a marina you will be more likely to have 24/7 access to both electricity and water. This is not true if you choose to live at anchor or on a mooring bay.

This can make a big difference in the comforts afforded while you are living on your boat.

Another consideration to make is the ease of getting on and off your vessel. If you do not moor in a marina you could be relying on a dinghy to get on and off your boat and this can quickly become a hassle, especially if you are transporting things with you as well.

Live-aboard marinas often provide more comfort to you, such as cable, Wi-Fi, or even laundry.

Marina’s do come with a higher cost, so you will have to decide if this is worth it to you.

Comfort Issues To Consider

One major challenge of living on a boat is space. Even with a spacious boat, you will always be living in close quarters to your boat-mates.

Depending on the size of boat you get, you could be asking your partner to move every time you want to move to a different room or area of the boat.

This can quickly get annoying and you will want to make sure that you and your partner both understand the reality of the situation.

Even if you plan to live alone you can be looking as small and confined spaces.

One good way to know if you can handle the day to day challenges of a liveaboard lifestyle is to try it out first. There are plenty of ways to rent a boat to test the waters before you take the plunge.

Another challenge is living without the comforts that most people have every day. Most liveaboards that are affordable do not have hot showers or laundry. 

They also usually have small kitchens and bathrooms with small amounts of storage space. If you are a person who likes to have everything and minimal living is not something that sounds appealing, living on a boat is likely not for you.

To keep your space comfortable, you might want to also consider a dehumidifier to keep your humidity in check.

Important Safety Considerations

affordable liveaboard yachts

One major thing to make sure you plan for is safety. Like all boats, you will need to have the proper life preservers and flotation devices. This is a legal requirement on all water vessels.

In addition to the proper flotation devices, you will want to make sure you have all other required safety equipment.

This includes a fire extinguisher, a carbon monoxide detector in all enclosed areas, a flare, an emergency kit, and a first aid kit.

You should also have anything needed to repair unexpected maintenance issues. Depending on where you are, you will want to make sure you can deal with any issues that might arise until you can get to help.

In addition to the standard safety precautions, living on your boat comes with a few more.

If you are planning to live on your boat, and travel, you will want to make sure you are confident in your abilities and your boat itself before you get too far away from shore. It is wise to spend a few months cruising near land and shores before you attempt any long trips.

You also need to ensure you have the proper communication equipment on board.

Depending on how far from shore you get, you might not be able to communicate using traditional methods such as a cell phone.

A cell phone will be less effective the farther away from shore and any cell phone towers you get.

You should be sure to have satellite communications, a marine radio, and a Ham radio on board.

You will also want to make sure you regularly get your boat inspected and perform any routine maintenance. A boat that is fully functioning and well maintained will be the safest.

How Much Will Living On A Boat Cost Me?

Despite the large upfront cost, living on a boat can be cheaper than living in a traditional manner.

Costs that come with a live-aboard boat can include, but are not limited to:

  • Insurance: Just like with a home, car, or daily use boat you will need to pay for insurance. The live-aboard insurance rate will be higher than just recreational boating insurance. This insurance can sometimes compare to home insurance.
  • Moorage: Like insurance, live-aboard moorage is more expensive than traditional insurance. You will also need to go to a marina that holds a live-aboard license.
  • Mortgage Payments: If you cannot pay for your boat out of pocket, which is likely, you might have to make loan payments on it. Depending on what you spent on your vessel this could be costly.
  • Maintenance Costs: After your initial purchase you will still need to spend money on boat maintenance. This expense will vary based on the age of the boat, how often you perform regular maintenance, and how you use the boat itself.
  • Utilities: Based on how you have decided to live on your boat, you might have utilities or additional costs with the marina. This will likely still be less than you would pay in a traditional living situation.
  • Provisions and Entertainment: Just because you don’t live in a traditional manner, you will still need to buy traditional items such as food, toiletries, and entertainment. If you live completely without the comforts you are used to, your experience will not be very pleasurable.

Most importantly while looking at expenses, you need to make sure you are budgeting and stick to it.

If you are not able to afford your lifestyle, you will not have a lot of immediate options.

If you choose to travel while you sail, budgeting will be even more important. Traveling often does not allow for a traditional job and you do not want to overspend if you do not have any money coming in.

If you know this is the lifestyle you want to live, you might consider going all in. Many people sell their homes in order to live this lifestyle.

What Boat Should I Get For Full-Time Living?

Before you buy a boat to live aboard, you need to be clear about your needs.

There are a lot of options to choose from and this is not a decision to rush through. One of the first things that you need to decide when picking a boat is whether you want a motorboat or a sailboat.

A Sailboat Or A Motorboat?

Sailboats are not just appropriate for ocean living, they are also good for lake, river, or bay living. Sailboats are quieter than motorboats and are generally more economical because they use less gas.

One issue with sailboats is that they require more skill to handle and they might not be ideal for a singular person.

Like any boat, you will want to ensure that you are choosing the right size. If you plan on using your sailboat in a river, you will want to think about the required clearance when it comes to bridges.

Motorboats with ample cabin space can also be ideal for full-time living on a lake, river or bay.

These boats are often very spacious and easy to handle. Unlike sailboats, you do not have to take classes or training to be able to maneuver or handle the vessel. Motorboats that you can live aboard can range from trawlers to yachts to certain types of catamarans .

Motorboats do not rely on the wind and this can make them ideal for a boat you want to do both living and traveling on.

The issues with motorboats is that you will need to consider gas and other expenses that come with running an engine.  They are also louder than sailboats and often their engines are placed close to living quarters. This can make sleep difficult if you are moving.

Below are some inexpensive boat options that would be perfect for full-time living .

What Are The Benefits?

Even though this all might seem very expensive, there is a large list of benefits as well. 

Living on a boat can be cheaper than living in a traditional home, especially in high priced areas.

The main reason that you should live on a boat is the freedom and adventure that comes with it.

You would be able to take your home on vacation with you or just pick up and go to a new location.

You are also more likely to meet adventurous and like-minded individuals who will most likely have interesting stories to tell. 

One of the best parts about living out on the water is the views that you will see. There is nothing quite as beautiful as waking up to a sunrise over the water.

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13 Best Liveaboard Sailboats (under 30 & 50 ft)

Choosing a boat to live on is a big deal — something you definitely want to get right. There are plenty of options to pick from, which can make the choosing process a bit daunting. So to help you navigate those deep waters (no pun intended), here is an article summarizing the 13 best liveaboard sailboats under 30 and 50 feet.

affordable liveaboard yachts

So what are the 13 best liveaboard sailboats?

Catalina 30, pacific seacraft flicka 20, nonsuch ultra 30, aventura 34, island packet 35, peterson 44, prout snowgoose 37, gulfstar 44, beneteau oceanis 50.

Beautiful lineup, isn't it? Let me explain what makes these so special.

Picking the Right One Matters

Picking a liveaboard sailboat belongs among those kinds of decisions that require months, if not years of research and testing.

It is not like choosing a car - those are more or less the same, and although they vary widely in terms of comfort, feeling, and performance, rarely you would encounter one that wouldn't get you from point A to B reasonably.

The same goes for a house or an apartment. Regardless of if you get a 200 square foot condo or a 30,000 square feet mansion, it will most of the time provide a warm shelter with a shower and a kitchen and a bed, fulfilling its basic functions.

But this is only the case because there is extensive infrastructure in place helping cars and houses. A car can only get you from A to B thanks to roads. A house can only have a shower and a kitchen if it is connected to a grid.

But on a boat, you are on your own.

affordable liveaboard yachts

The sea doesn't adjust its waves for your comfort. If something breaks, there is usually not a repair shop nearby. You aren't always connected to water or electricity. And if you don't like what you see around yourself, it's not like you can just leave.

So a liveaboard boat needs to provide what a house does, what a vehicle does, and more, plus it needs to provide this regardless of if you are docked in a marina or in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. That is a lot to ask, especially if we are talking about boats around 30 or 50 feet.

Fortunately, every single boat on this list is an all-star that ticks all the right boxes. Let's see why.

affordable liveaboard yachts

I know, I hear you, it isn't exciting enough as it doesn't perform that well. Sure. But we are talking about a boat that is supposed to be a house too. So why is it on the list?

This boat has been in production since 1975, which means that it has been extraordinarily well-refined according to the suggestions of thousands of owners. And this manufacturer is known for listening to the sailors' feedback. It is a very popular model, so finding spare parts for it will always be easy. Its famous well thought through the salon, and cabin layout is generous and spacious, so Catalinas are comfortable boats to live on. Plus, the boat has quite a wide beam, great ballast/displacement ratio as well as low sail area/displacement ratio, making it a stiff boat under sail, which adds to stability and comfort.

Good condition MkIII Catalinas can be found for about $35,000, but given the volume of these on the market, you can find a usable one even for around $15,000.

This one is a hero. I'd be hesitant to call such a small boat a comfortable liveaboard if it wasn't for this model. For its size, the interior is very spacious. It is also made for comfort since it seems to be inspired by the aforementioned Catalina 30. In fact, after reading some reviews, I am confident in saying that you will not find a significantly more comfortable 27 footer out there.

It also has a talent very uncommon for liveaboard boats - you can put it on a trailer, which can make your life easier when it comes to certain trips. But most importantly, it is a beauty. Just look at it.

Pricing this boat is a tricky task. You can buy nearly new ones (2015) for around $140,000, but even for $50,000, you can stumble upon models from both the 80s and the 2000s. This means the condition is a big factor, and you gotta inspect your choice well. The good news is that whatever your price in that range, you will find a boat for that money. The bad news is that the cheaper you go, the more effort will the potential repairs take.

I thought the Nor'Sea 27 is gonna be it, but let's push the size limit even more with the 20 foot Flicka, this tiny, towable, but seaworthy beast that accomplished several circumnavigations. Upon entering, you will be amazed at how spacious and equipped with amenities the interior is. Its designer lived on this boat with his partner (who too was a naval architect) for years and cruised all around the world - and what a proof of confidence in his own design that is.

Truth be told, there is a lack of deck space, but underneath it has the comfort and size of a boat a few meters larger, a space you can comfortably live in. Due to its size, it is easy to operate, tow, and sails better than what you would expect from a boat this length.

This boat is incredibly charming, and so its owners rarely sell it. In fact, it has amassed quite a following since it was designed into existence. So expect to spend quite some time searching for one for sale. Once you do find one, it will cost you around $30,000 - $40,000.

This one's a weird one. But because of it, a very spacious one. It is structured as a catboat, that is, with the mast being all the way on the front of the boat, which makes for impressive space below the deck. It has all the necessary amenities, including a shower, so for the liveaboard lifestyle, this boat definitely deserves to make this list.

The single sail catboat design also means it is easy to handle single-handed, which makes for great solitary passages.

Expect to pay around $40,000 to $60,000 for this one.

Though I am trying to keep this list in lower price ranges, I have to put this one in. If you don't mind the price tag of around $170,000, this boat is marketed as the currently cheapest liveaboard catamaran. As previously mentioned, cats offer the most in terms of space, and this model is a brand new one. Thus when it comes to service troubles and costs, you wouldn't pay much. The look is modern, relatively minimalistic and sleek, so for those of you who would like to give the liveaboard lifestyle a go but get cold feet upon seeing boats from the 80s, this is a way to make sure things remain stylish.

The modernity, space, and attention to practicality when it comes to using this as your home, make this a great entry-level liveaboard choice.

Again, this is no performance vehicle. Rather it focuses on the usual cruiser aspects - space, stability, sturdiness, and convenience, which makes it an ideal candidate for your choice when looking for a new floating home. Aside from the spacious interior, this boat also has an unusually large cockpit, great for those lunches on the deck.

As if the designers knew this might be used by the liveaboard people, this boat is easy to handle, which means even under sail, you won't have issues focusing on what you came for in the first place - sea living.

This boat can be found on the market for around $75,000 - $100,000.

The great thing about the Hunter 33 is that it was designed as more of a house than a sailboat. The attention to accommodation details is great here; there is plenty of space for sleeping the owners as well as the occasional visitors, it has a fantastic headroom throughout the boat and one of the most spacious and comfortable dining spaces seen on boats this size.

Food preparation and consumption was probably high on the priority list of the makers; the kitchen has an L shape, which adds to the convenience.

The price spread on these is quite large, with the bottom around $55,000 for the 2004 models and the top around $95,000 for the 2013 models.

This one is for those who don't mind sacrificing luxury for space. If in the middle of the ocean, it makes sense that one would want as much of usable space as possible, so if you are okay with the simplicity that will inevitably come with a system like this, you have found your match.

An undeniable advantage of such a design approach is that the storage space is maximized. Long passages with the need for plenty of room for equipment and provisions won't be a problem here. The simplicity of this boat is not just in terms of design, but even the electrics and plumbing. Thus if something breaks, you will have an easier time fixing it.

This being an older model, you can get your hands on one for around $30,000.

Since we are mostly looking at cheaper boats here, most of them aren't new - in fact, they likely have quite a few years behind them. The build quality is thus important. You want to go for builds that will last. Peterson is known for this, so it's gotta be on the list. As far as this list goes, it is quite a large boat. Moreover, it is one that has been built with spaciousness in mind, both when it comes to living spaces and storage.

A neat thing about this boat is its attention to performance. It isn't a racer; rather, it fits in the performance cruiser category, but they haven't made too many speed-related compromises here.

Peterson 44 can usually be found for $80,000 - $100,000.

There needs to be a catamaran on this list - they are, by definition, more spacious than monohulls, providing a large living area, which is, of course, an attractive characteristic for a liveaboard boat. Especially if they have a solid bridge deck, creating yet more square feet of usable space, which Snowgoose has. Unfortunately, they tend to be costly. While it is easy to recommend a bunch of half a million dollar cats, to make this list more within reach of the average sailor, I've found this beauty that you can get for around $100,000.

Aside from the extra space, this model is a true bluewater cruiser, meaning you won't be limited by its abilities when planning your journeys.

Those of you who had the pleasure of sailing this boat know why it needs to be here. It was built for a liveaboard lifestyle. Its wide body makes for one spacious interior which is well ventilated, (a very important aspect) with a beautiful galley and it has a large aft cabin with a huge bed. It was made with comfort, practicality, and convenience in mind.

Not to sound like a salesman, but believe me when I say this boat is a genuine pleasure to be on. If you want the homey feeling, you don't get much closer than this in this size range.

Expect to pay around $80,000 - $100,000 for this one, though some digging around and 'fixing her up' can knock this number down significantly.

This is another easy choice, space being the reason. Not only does it have an extra-large main cabin and salon with a kitchen, many small Parisian apartments could envy, but it is also very generous in terms of storage space. Stocking up for longer crossings will be a pleasure on this one.

Also, it was built as a racer-cruiser, so you won't be making many compromises in terms of performance, as is often the case with comfortable boats.

All of this comes for a price, though. You might be able to find one for around $100,000 if you put some time into your search and won't mind a bit of travel to see it, but otherwise, the average price is around $130,000.

Let's end this list by stretching the ceiling too with this fifty-footer. It was designed as a holiday cruiser, and it is a popular choice among charter companies. The designers know that there are places in Europe where it is very easy to get a sailing license, so many inexperienced people who don't want to give up the comforts of their home end up on these boats. Oceanis 50 is thus comfortable, spacious, easy to sail, and the attention to accommodation details, amenities, and practicality, is very high.

As such, it is designed to house whole families, so if you live there as a couple, you will have a floating house for yourself, and if kids come, no need to buy a new boat. Even on the deck, this boat is designed for pleasure cruises, so as far as that goes, you will be taken care of. As far as their seaworthiness goes, some consider Beneteau an entry-level holiday brand, and some models are indeed more designed for coastal hopping than large crossings. But that can be fixed with some proper fitting.

If you fancy a new one, you will find yourself paying above the $500,000 mark, but older models start a bit above $100,000. Which is something a person who just sold all their possessions to escape to the sea is more likely to have. Just be a bit careful with boats sold by charter companies. Their previous owners serviced them regularly, but you can be sure the hundreds of sailors that touched the helm weren't necessarily skilled or kind to them.

So there you have it. $15,000 - $50,0000 range, 20 - 50-foot sizes, from cozy towable boats to large sailing houses. A range anybody can choose from to pursue the liveaboard dream. Nothing is stopping you now, so hit the website and start browsing.

Know though that if you really want to take advantage of the boat market, you might have to travel quite a bit. If you are an American, the strong dollar will make it enticing to look for a boat in European countries without the EUR currency. Or you might find plenty of cheap models in Turkey, for instance. It requires more effort, but in return, it might save you tens of thousands of dollars.

Fair winds!

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If your dream is to live aboard a yacht , United Yacht Sales has the inventory to connect you with the perfect boat. We feature more than 1,000 listings at any given time. You can always find a huge selection of live aboard yachts for sale in Florida. These live aboard yachts are made by a number of top brands, including Hatteras , Viking , Sea Ray , Tiara , Sunseeker , Kadey-Krogen , and more. Our inventory also represents a variety of dimensions, ages, amenities, price points and other characteristics and features.

PRE-OWNED Live Aboard Boats

affordable liveaboard yachts

70' Hatteras 1988

Stuart, Florida, United States

affordable liveaboard yachts

63' Viking Motor Yacht 1989

Little River, South Carolina, United States

affordable liveaboard yachts

55' Viking 55 Convertible 2013

Pensacola, Florida, United States

affordable liveaboard yachts

55' Novatec 55 Islander CMY 2002

North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, United States

affordable liveaboard yachts

54' Hatteras Motoryacht 1987

Savannah, Georgia, United States

affordable liveaboard yachts

54' Sea Ray Sundancer 2013

Cancun, Mexico

affordable liveaboard yachts

53' Hatteras 53 Motor Yacht 1980

Mystic, Connecticut, United States

affordable liveaboard yachts

52' Hatteras Sport 1999

Miami Beach, Florida, United States

affordable liveaboard yachts


51' Riviera 51 Flybridge 2008

Marathon, Florida, United States

affordable liveaboard yachts

50' Absolute 50 Fly 2019

Manhattan, New York, United States

affordable liveaboard yachts

50' Custom Trawler 1991

affordable liveaboard yachts

50' Carver 506 MY 2000

Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

affordable liveaboard yachts


48' Sea Ray 48 Sundancer 2008

North Miami, Florida, United States

affordable liveaboard yachts

48' Californian 48 Motor Yacht 1986

North East, Maryland, United States

affordable liveaboard yachts

48' Fairline Targa 48 GT 2015

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How We Can Help?

Founded in 2002, United Yachts Sales has grown to become the largest independent yacht brokerage in the world. In addition to our 1,000-plus listings, we have a team of more than 100 brokers spread across the United States and Canada. These brokers are experienced and knowledgeable, and each is more than capable of helping you find the perfect live aboard yacht for sale in Florida. Our team's talent is evidenced by our results - each year, about 600 transactions close representing about $100 million. When you want a live aboard yacht, we know how to find and secure it for you.

Take a moment to read our article, Liveaboard Boats Frequently Asked Questions and then let us know if you have any of your own!

You can read more about 7 unique liveaboard boats and yachts that are currently for sale on the market.

Browse our selection of live aboard yachts for sale in Florida and contact the listed broker to get more details or ask questions. If you don't see a yacht that meets your needs, contact one of our United Yacht Sales brokers directly. We can watch the market for a boat that better fits your requirements.

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affordable liveaboard yachts

affordable liveaboard yachts

Affordable Liveaboard Havens: Top 8 Boats for Ocean Nomads

Ever dreamt of waking up on the waves? Dive into our treasure trove of the 8 most affordable liveaboard boats—your wallet and wanderlust will thank you!

affordable liveaboard yachts

I think, at some point, we all dream about scraping our normal existences and moving aboard a boat of some kind. The thought of a water-borne life is compelling and evokes visions of adventure, glamour, and excitement. Unfortunately, for the most part, these remain dreams and musings, often because of the perceived costs involved. However, buying that dream liveaboard boat may not be as out of reach as you think.

Living aboard a boat means different things to different people. You may have a vision of a trawler or a motor cruiser. A sailboat with beautiful lines may come to mind for the more romantic. A static houseboat, permanently moored to its dock, maybe more to your liking. In some countries, living on a canal barge is an alternative.

In any case, finding the right boat at the right price is the challenge. We have searched for what we consider the best boats in several categories. Our selections are based on livability, space, construction, maintenance, and possible uses. These are factors that most experienced liveaboard people mention when asked what to look for in a liveaboard boat.

For many, living aboard a boat means a sailboat. For many people, sailboats equate to freedom. With nature providing the wind for power, a sailboat looks like a perfect way to escape the mundane everyday world. We must admit that sailing is addictive. We have succumbed in the past to the sailboat urge and have never regretted our time spent with a sailboat.

Catalina 30

affordable liveaboard yachts

Sealion Yachts / YouTube

Average Used Cost:  $15,000 to $35,000

I know. It’s white, plastic, and almost boring. On the other hand, the Catalina 30 is probably one of the most chosen live-aboard sailboats when the overriding factor is cost.

This popular sailboat has been in production since 1975, and there are thousands of used Catalina 30 sailboats from which to choose. Over almost 50 years of making these sailboats, Catalina has learned a few things and these boats show that knowledge.

For a thirty-foot sailboat, the Catalina 30 is amazingly spacious. Several interior layouts have been available over the years, so you have some options when shopping for these boats if you have special needs.

Catalina designs the Catalina 30 with a wide beam which makes the boat comfortable to sail. The low sail area/displacement makes the Catalina 30 a little stiff under sail, but this generally means a more stable and comfortable ride.

The interior of these boats has standup headroom for all but the tallest people. Every Cataline 30 was originally outfitted with a full galley with plenty of storage space. The heads on these boats are functional for living aboard, with a full-sized shower and extra storage. Later boats feature a slightly wider transom incorporating a boarding platform and ports to the hull sides.

Catalina 30s, suffer from many of the same age-related issues that plague laid-up fiberglass boats of any kind. You should have any used boat you consider thoroughly inspected by a certified marine inspector. There are some issues in particular that you should watch for with a Catalina 30.

Catalina deck cores may be either balsa wood or plywood. Common problems with either construction is the deterioration of the core because of water infiltration and compression degradation, particularly at the mast step.

The deck-to-hull joint can show delamination issues caused by the flexing of the boat in rough water or physical damage from docking incidents.

Islander 36

affordable liveaboard yachts

Michael Facius / YouTube

Average Used Cost:  $15,000 to $36,000

When we start talking about cheap liveaboard boats, it is understood that we are considering used boats rather than new ones. That puts the Islander 36 in the mix of the best and cheapest live-aboard sailboats.

The last Islander boats were built in 1985. 750 of the Islander 36s were produced from 1971 to 1985. Many are still on the water and still being lived aboard by happy owners.

If you look at an Islander 36 you can’t help but notice that this boat looks fast. This is one of the few boats that you can race with confidence or cruise in comfort. These boats have a moderate beam that moves through the water easily. There is no dated appearance to these boats. You will look as good on the water as most much newer boats.

The interior is generous and provides ample amounts of space and headroom throughout. The Islander company paid a lot of attention to the appointments and fittings on the interior of their sailboats. However, many of these boats have been remodeled to accommodate upgraded marine navigation stations and galleys.

Construction-wise, these boats are built tough. The mast is stepped through the hull to the keel. The Islander 36 was available with either a shoal draft keel or a deep cruising keel. Originally, the Islander 36 came with a tiller, but most of these boats have been converted to wheel steering in the intervening years.

The construction of the Islander 36 is relatively light, which doesn’t make this a big water boat. These boats were designed for coastal and inland water cruising, so if you want to travel the world, you need to look elsewhere.

In addition, on older boats, the engine mounting, fuel system and the condition of the gel coat on the hull should get a closer look. As with any older boat, the care and maintenance the Islander 36 has been given should be a big factor in your decision when selecting a live-aboard boat.

You will find that most Islander 36s have been modified extensively through the years. Some of these modifications need careful attention to ensure they are properly done and don’t seriously compromise the boat’s safety. Tankage may also be a problem for liveaboards that intend to cruise extensively. The original aluminum tanks may need replacing.

Multi-Hull Sailboats

In the late 1970s and 1980s, multi-hull sailboats gained popularity, especially among live-aboard sailors. The wide beams and multiple hull spaces offered a lot in interior space, deck space, and stability. Even charter companies recognized the benefits of the multi0hull arrangements. Many of these boats entered charter fleets in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Many live-aboard cruisers are still enjoying their multi-hull sailboats in these popular waters.

Gemini 105C Catamaran

affordable liveaboard yachts

multihulls / YouTube

Average Used Cost:  $50,000 - $90,000

As liveaboard cruising sailboats, nothing quite compares to a catamaran. Large open deck spaces, generous interior space, and stable sailing characteristics make these boats some of the most popular with liveaboards.

The Gemini 105C is extremely popular as a liveaboard coastal cruiser for families needing more space than a standard monohull sailboat can provide.

If you are used to going belowdecks on a standard monohull sailboat, you will be overcome when you step into the saloon of a Gemini 105C catamaran. The fourteen-foot beam of this sailboat is almost twice as wide as a conventional hull, providing more than ample space to move around. An array of portlights give almost 360-degree visibility. Visually, using fiberglass and wood veneers creates a warm and inviting space.

The shoebox design of the hull and deck are extremely well-engineered, with stainless steel hardware on five-inch centers around the perimeter of the hull/deck joint. The wide beam of these boats gives a gentle and comfortable ride in even the most extreme conditions. If the wind doesn’t blow, a Westerbeke diesel gets you where you want to go without hassles.

By and large, these are easy boats to sail and maneuver for even novice operators.  The construction is solid and uses the highest grades of materials. The extra space provided below decks makes these catamarans a great family option if you are considering a live-aboard lifestyle.

As well-built as they are, Gemini 105C owners report some issues you should look for when purchasing a used boat. The balsa-cored decks show a tendency to get spongy over time. This is usually caused by water intrusion where perforations or fasteners are mounted. Some owners have experienced problems with the original centerboards rotting or becoming worm-eaten.

Any boat with a beam of 14 feet may become a problem when needing berthing space. Some marinas may not have large enough berths for the boat, and putting your Gemini into a slip may mean paying for two slip spaces.

If the boat you are considering still has a Westerbeke engine and drive, it will probably pay to have it replaced with a newer engine and drive.  The company that services the drive leg of these systems is out of business, and parts can be an issue. Many Gemini owners find it more efficient to scrap the diesel and the drive leg in favor of an outboard.

affordable liveaboard yachts

Click and Boat

Average Used Cost:  $45,000 to $90,000

Edel is not a well-known name except among catamaran sailors . These boats were first introduced in 1987, and many are still afloat. Owners of Edel 35 catamarans speak highly of the quality of the construction and the handling of these boats. The spacious interiors maximize the wide beam and the overall length to provide generous amounts of cabin and storage space.

Over the years of production, Edel offered several different interior layouts in these boats. Perhaps the most popular for family cruising and liveaboards are the 3-module design which offers 4 separate double cabins. This interior design gives even a large family room for private space and a large cabin for communal time.

Edel adopted a simplistic approach to the design of the Edel 35. The goal was to provide a solidly constructed boat at a reasonable price that combined performance and stability. This design philosophy made the Edel 35 popular with many charter companies and sail schools. It is also why many private owners opted for this boat since it became a great foundation for customization.

The Edel 35 can be quite nimble under sail, producing 7 to 8 knows upwind and 11 to 12 knots on a broad reach.  This speed still produces a stable and gentle ride in all but the roughest weather conditions. The interior appointments are simple yet tasteful without showing their age.

Early-year models of the Edel 35 showed some problems with the composite construction of the crossbeams. Beginning in 1087/88, Edel began using three aluminum crossbeams which proved to be much longer lasting given the rhythmic stress loading these members must endure.

If considering a used Edel 35, pay particular attention to the electrical systems. This is one area where repeated problems seem to surface as these boats age. The interior lining used in some of these boats may also not endure well when exposed to saltwater intrusion. As with any fiberglass boat with sandwich construction, careful inspection of the strength of the hulls and decks should be made.

Early versions of the Edel 35 were designed for use with outboard motors.  Later versions were fitted with inboard diesels. In particular, a twin-motor version with a diesel engine in each hull was very popular. Maintenance records and upgrades should be considered if the original equipment is still installed.

Motor Cruisers

If sailing isn’t your thing and power is king, considering a motor cruiser as your liveaboard may be the right idea. In many cases, a used motor cruiser is a cheaper alternative than a sailboat or sailing catamaran of comparable size. In addition, you don’t have to learn to sail, and you aren’t at the mercy of the wind.

Hatteras 40 Double Cabin

affordable liveaboard yachts

Portside Yacht Sales / YouTube

Average Used Price:  $50,000 - $130,000

Hatteras is well known for building solid and dependable boats.  The Hatteras 40 Double Cabin is no exception. By any standard, these are heavy-weight boats that produce sold stable rides while providing massive amounts of interior space, making them a good choice as a live-aboard motor cruiser. Depending on the boat age you are considering, you may even find some unexpected amenities for a boat at these prices.

The aft stateroom on the Hatteras 40 double cabin is a bonus, especially considering it comes with a private head. A queen-sized bed dominates the space, but there is still plenty of room for storage and living. Couple the live aboard amenities with the company’s reputation for building quality boats, and you have two very good reasons to consider the Hatteras 40 double cabin as a liveaboard vessel.

Outside you will find an oversized cockpit. Most used boats have the enclosure for the cockpit plus the flying bridge just a few steps above. For many families living about their Hatteras 40, the cockpit is not just an outdoor space, it becomes a waterside dining room and an extension of the main cabin. Most used Hatteras models will feature upgraded electronics and navigation equipment as well.

From a performance standpoint, the Hatteras can hold its own. The diesel engines can deliver speeds of up to 20 mph. The deep V hull easily powers through even the choppiest seas, and the heavy, solidly built hull gives a stable ride. These boats come standard with tanks to hold about 350 gallons of fuel, so they have plenty of cruising range.

As with any boat of this age, the care and maintenance it has received during its life are critical to its condition. There are some issues known that should be thoroughly investigated. As with purchasing any used boat in this price and size range, a complete marine inspection by a qualified surveyor is a must before making a deal.

If the Hatteras 40 you are considering still has the original gasoline engines, you are probably facing a major refit to install more modern marine diesel engines. Newer engines will deliver more power with greater economy than older gasoline engines. This will also require new fuel tanks and fuel lines and may require new controls for the new engines.

Many Hatteras 40 yachts have seen service in areas where they are exposed to some heavy seas during their life, particularly along the eastern seaboard, where crossing big breakers regularly puts much stress on the boat. Hull-to-deck joints can see the damage, which can lead to delamination. Check these areas well.

Sea Ray 415 Aft Cabin

affordable liveaboard yachts

Yacht and Boat

Our second choice in the Motor Cruiser category is another aft cabin model. The Sea Ray 415 aft cabin is just a tad larger than the Hatteras 40 but is in the same class and delivers the same sorts of features and qualities.

Owners of Sea Ray 415 models rave about the spacious interiors, the quality construction, and the amenities that are included in these boats. There are many of these boats that have spent their lives on inland freshwater lakes that are in pristine condition.

For interior space, you won’t find many boats in this class that offers this amount of living space. The aft cabin has a queen-sized pedestal bed with walk-around access, storage galore, and a private head with a shower. If privacy on your liveaboard boat is a concern, the interior design of the Sea Ray aft cabin models will allay your fears.

The full galley is a plus, as is the flying bridge.  Most of these used boats include the full enclosure for the cockpit area. The flying bridge is only a few steps above the cockpit which keeps the operator in the miss if you are entertaining friends. Many owners find the large forward deck area is another great place to spend time on the water.

From a structural standpoint, these are well-engineered and well-constructed boats. Given the proper care and maintenance, you can expect these boats to perform well into the future with few problems. Most of these used boats are still sporting the original gasoline engines, which do well on inland protected waters. If you are considering coastal cruising, you should probably look for a diesel-powered model or plan to upgrade the power plants yourself.

To be honest, we didn’t hear many disadvantages from the owners of these boats. Some of the problems that were mentioned include electrical wiring. It seems that the wiring is not as big a problem on these boats as the repairs or maintenance on the electrical systems. The wiring on Sea Ray boats runs in tight channels and often terminates in compartments with no access. Check the fuse box and see if the breakers have been changed, indicating electrical problems.

Another problem with some Sea Ray boats is foam saturation, which can affect how the boat floats and handles. If you find areas of the foam core that have been saturated, this can be fixed but may prove costly in the long run. Look at the boat when it is on the water and empty of everything but the fixed equipment. If the boat doesn’t float level, the cores may have a problem.

Water leaks around through hull fittings, portlights, and deck-to-hull joints are a problem in any boat that has seen a lot of heavy weather or stressful situations. Sea Ray owners report the same sorts of problems with their boats. When shopping for a used Sea Ray 415 aft cabin, a certified marine inspector can be your best option to ensure the boat is sound.

Some people want to classify trawlers as motor cruisers, but I tend to separate them. Trawlers feature entirely different hull designs and different design philosophies. Motor cruisers tend to be sportier and more performance-oriented. Since they originated as work boats, Trawlers tend to be a bit more stable and offer a different kind of liveaboard experience. A trawler may be your answer if you want a more classic look in a boat that will get you where you want to go in style and comfort.

Californian 42 LRC

affordable liveaboard yachts

Average Used Price:  $48.000 - $70,000

If you are looking not just to live aboard but to do some serious cruising as well, a Californian 42 LRC (Long Range Cruiser) is a great place to start looking for your boat.

These boats, built in Costa Mesa, California, are built for just that purpose. With twin engines, large spacious interiors, and a nicely raked bow, these boats provide ample live aboard room and a conservative easy ride in rough water.

The prominent bow, high freeboard, and semi-displacement hull give great blue water characteristics to these boats. You probably won’t win any distance races, but you will get to where you want to go reliably and comfortably. Most used Californian 42 LRC came equipped with gasoline engines.

Many owners have since replaced the older engines with modern marine diesel engines. In most cases, with new engines, you can expect to make about 9mph on calm seas and get about 1.5 mpg.

Inside, the Californian 42 features a private aft compartment with walk-around arrangements. The aft compartment has its own head. These boats came equipped with either a full-height shower or a bathtub. There is more storage than on most boats this size making life aboard much easier.

The forward stateroom may have either a double berth or stacked single berths. A separate head opens into this stateroom and is accessible from the main cabin. Most of these forward heads only came with a shower. The helm is center mounted on the flying bridge and has back-to-back seating. The console has plenty of room for electronics and navigation equipment.

Used trawlers can suffer from the same sorts of maladies that are common on any aged boat. You should invest in a competent marine surveyor to look at any boat you are considering. Californian 42 LRCs don’t get a lot of bad reviews, nor do I see many comments about problems with these boats other than as they age, they take a bit more maintenance and TLC to stay in top shape.

Some owners do mention the blistering of the gel coat on the fiberglass. This is typically not a structural issue if the blisters are repaired promptly. This condition is often problematic with the binding agents under the gel coat and not the fiberglass itself. Blisters are relatively easy to fix and well-suited for most boat owners.

If possible, get the history of the boat you are considering. Former owners are a wealth of information about how well the boat has been maintained, the types and frequency of repairs, and any upgrades that may have been done to enhance the boat’s value.

CHB 42’ Sundeck

affordable liveaboard yachts

CHB is a Taiwanese company that was founded by an American who saw the benefits of lowering manufacturing costs by going offshore.

The results are some of the best boat designs on the market, especially in the used boat market. The CHB 42-foot Sundeck trawler is a great example of this and offers exceptional value for anyone willing to shop carefully for a well-used trawler to live aboard.

You can get a lot of boat for the money with a CHB 43-foot Sundeck trawler design. The aft cabin design is perfect for a live-aboard couple. The second cabin forward provides ample room for weekend guests or a couple of kids. A private head in the aft stateroom and another forward give these boats much appeal to anyone who has frequent visitors on board and also wants a little privacy.

The twin-engine design provides plenty of power to handle big seas. Most of these boats came from the factory with John Deere diesel engines. Many of the used CHB 42’s still had these original engines and, if properly maintained, will continue to provide years of service without problems. The interior appointments are above average and provide a level of inviting warmth you won’t find on many fiberglass boats.

This trawler design has a wide bow with a deep rake and flare that provides a dry ride in moderate to heavy seas. You won’t win any speed contests, but you will feel comfortable with the handling and ride provided by the hull design on these boats. As with any displacement boat, they tend to rock and roll a bit at anchor.

A few areas on CHB 42 Sundeck boats need to be examined carefully if you are considering purchasing a used boat. Any time you spend money on a used boat of this category, a competent marine surveyor should be hired to inspect the boat thoroughly. Good marine surveyors will know what to look for on specific models of boats where problems are common.

On the CHB 42 Sundeck, the motor mounts should be checked carefully. In some cases, dry rot on the support structures has been noted. Don’t worry too much about engine hours. Diesels, with proper care, can provide thousands of hours of dependable service. While in the engine compartment, sniff around a bit. The smell of diesel in the engine compartment could indicate that the support structures have absorbed diesel fuel which can be a major issue.

CHB installed teak decks on the aft cabin and in the wheelhouse. Many owners have since replaced these teak decks with fiberglass to mitigate problems with the teak. These teak decks have proved to be a source of problems as the boats age.

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affordable liveaboard yachts

5 Best Liveaboard Boats

affordable liveaboard yachts

Table of Contents

Want to live aboard a boat? Maybe you’re looking for more affordable waterfront living, or an alternative lifestyle – either way – living on a boat has many rewards. That said, choosing the right boat will make all the difference to your happiness. Before you commit, consider these five best liveaboard boats : 

  • Motor yachts and cabin cruisers 
  • Trawlers 
  • Sailboats 
  • Catamarans 
  • Houseboats 

  Find Live Abroad Boats ready for rent here

Motor yachts and Cabin Cruisers

Motor Yachts and Cabin Cruisers

Motor yachts is a broad term that encompasses large(ish) motorboats with accommodations like a bed (sleeping cabin), a head (bathroom), and a galley (kitchen). These boats can be quite large such as an Absolute 50 with a flybridge that provides extra space for outdoor recreation/entertainment, like the backyard of a house. 

Models like these usually have three cabins and two heads to accommodate an entire family. Of course, big boats come with big price tags and lots of maintenance needs, so you may not save much over living in a condo. 

Consider how much space you need and check out some best liveaboard boats under 40 feet. Cabin cruisers like the Cutwater 32 are great choices. This boat has one cabin as well as a galley and lounge area (living room) with large windows that bring in lots of natural light and air. 

The twin outboard engines can transport your home to new surroundings in the blink of an eye. Best of all, boats under 40 feet may save you a million dollars (literally) over large motor yachts and provide many of the same amenities. 

2. Trawlers  

Trawler Liveaboard boat

Trawlers are a great option because they are built with the liveaboard lifestyle in mind. They’re typically slower boats designed for long-distance cruising, and they come in many sizes from a large Nordhavn 60 built for tough ocean conditions to a more compact Beneteau Swift 35 that’s ideal for coastal cruising. 

Most trawlers have good liveaboard layouts and will travel at speeds 8-10 knots, where they offer good fuel consumption , which is important with high diesel prices. 

Pro Tip: Not all trawlers are slow – the French Swift series is designed to run at planning as well as trawling speeds, so you get the best of both. 

READ MORE: Don’t Ignore Your Bucket List: Great Loop  

3. Sailboats

liveaboard sailboat

Perhaps you’re contemplating living aboard in preparation for long-distance cruising under sail. Sailboats come in all sizes, just like motor yachts, but they’re usually narrower, and most of the living aboard happens lower down in the boat, so they’re not as airy and light. 

On the plus side, because space is more premium, sailboat design is very efficient, so you can pile a lot into a sailboat and still have room for sailing necessities. 

Looking for a compact sailboat? Consider the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 380 with two or three cabins in just 38 feet. For something a bit roomier, check out the new Hanse 510 . This massive model can be spec’d with up to five cabins and even has a tender garage. 

The great thing about sailboats is that you can travel long distances when you want to change your neighborhood entirely – and with little money spent on fuel. 

4. Catamarans

liveaboard catamaran

Catamarans are boats with twin hulls and they can be both power and sail models. They have many advantages including more room aboard than the same-length monohulls with better cabin privacy and more system redundancy for backup options. 

They’re more stable both in motion and at anchor (dock) so they produce less seasickness and are more comfortable in a rolly anchorage at night. They’re roomy platforms for kids as well as older folks but due to their beam (width), it’s harder to find a slip for them in a marina. 

Sailing cat models come in various sizes and prices. Production boats like the Fountaine Pajot Isla 40 and the Excess 11 are both around 40 feet but feel much bigger than a monohull sailboat of equal length. 

Many cats come in an “owners’ version” where one entire hull is dedicated to the master suite which is like a bedroom at home. Models like these start around $500,000 but upmarket, carbon fiber, semi-custom designs like the HH55 will set you back multiple millions.

Powercats are growing in popularity and offer the same amenities as their sailing counterparts, except they have bigger engines to travel at much greater speeds. Powers can be on the smaller side, like the 32-foot Aspen C100, or quite sizeable, like the Aquila 54. Cats tend to be more expensive to purchase and to own since there are two of just about everything to maintain. 

5. Houseboats

liveaboard houseboats

If you want to live aboard but have little interest in being mobile, you may consider a houseboat. These boats usually maximize living space and are shaped more like houses than boats. Household-sized amenities, including side-by-side refrigerators, massive sofas, and large TVs can be had.

Because they don’t require much technical gear like engines, electronics, and advanced power systems, houseboats can be quite affordable and can make the best liveaboard boats under $100k. 

A few companies build houseboats like Eco-Sea Cottages, but many will be one-off and home-built designs. Although these boats don’t move (much), they must still have a solid floating foundation to be safe, and only some marinas will allow them to dock there.

One more thing to consider

There are no hard rules as to what makes a great liveaboard boat! You just have to find one that suits you and your budget. Read our Living on a Boat post for more insight, and be sure to browse through Boatsetter to find the perfect liveaboard boat. 

About Boatsetter 

Boatsetter is a unique boat-sharing platform that gives everyone — whether you own a boat or yyou’rejust renting — the chance to experience life on the water. You can list a boat , book a boat , or make money as a captain .  

List. Rent. Earn— Only at Boatsetter


Zuzana Prochazka is an award-winning freelance journalist and photographer with regular contributions to more than a dozen sailing and powerboating magazines and online publications including Southern Boating, SEA, Latitudes & Attitudes and SAIL. She is SAIL magazines Charter Editor and the Executive Director of Boating Writers International. Zuzana serves as judge for SAIL’s Best Boats awards and for Europe’s Best of Boats in Berlin. 

A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana founded and manages a flotilla charter organization called Zescapes that takes guests adventure sailing at destinations worldwide. 

Zuzana has lived in Europe, Africa and the United States and has traveled extensively in South America, the islands of the South Pacific and Mexico. 

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Best Liveaboard Boats to Live On Full-Time

Living on a boat represents a significant and thrilling life choice . Departing from the comforts of traditional dwellings and the spaciousness they provide in favor of an unconventional lifestyle is an option that an increasing number of individuals are embracing. Escalating urban living costs, particularly in major cities, coupled with the daily routines of life, have led more people to seek a simplified existence on the water . A previous article examined the merits and drawbacks of residing on a boat. This piece delves into the diverse range of liveaboard boat styles. It identifies the most suitable Boats to Live On for year-round living.

Options for Living on a Boat Full-Time

Best Liveaboard Boats encompass a broad spectrum of possibilities. From stationary houseboats to highly maneuverable sailboats and an array of options, the choices continue to expand with innovative , designer-driven , and spacious vessels .

Ultimately, practically any boat can serve as a domicile. While some may find the space restrictive, it remains feasible . The decision largely hinges on one's preferred lifestyle, whether residing in a water-based community near work and social circles or embarking on seafaring adventures worldwide.

Types of Best Liveaboard Boats

Sailboats for full-time living.

A diverse range of sailboats designed for those seeking a life of adventure on the sea.

Sailboats, available in various shapes and sizes, epitomize the essence of maritime freedom. They offer an economical means of purchase and travel, as wind power is free . Moreover, finding a berth for a sailboat is generally easier and more affordable than larger houseboats. On the downside, sailboats often have limited space, and smaller models may lack showers or hot water. Size considerations, such as single-handed sailing capability and budgetary factors , are crucial for operational feasibility , as larger sailboats tend to incur higher operating costs.

Sailboats are known for their:

Economical purchasing and maintenance costs. Ease of finding berths compared to larger houseboats . Versatility in terms of mobility. However, they may need more conveniences of larger houseboats and have limited space.

The Best Sailboats to Live On

Whether one seeks a new or used sailboat, the options are vast . While identifying the absolute best sailboats may prove elusive, some standout choices include:

Catalina 38

The Catalina 38: A classic sloop offering comfort and practicality for couples living aboard.

Produced from 1978 to 1999 , the Catalina 38 sloop offers a comfortable living space for couples. Its thoughtful features, from electrical outlets to a well-equipped galley, provide a cozy cruising experience. Despite limited space, the Catalina 38 is an excellent choice for adventurous living.

Hunter 33: A blend of spacious interior and sailing efficiency, perfect for long-term living.

Originating from the 1970s, the Hunter 33 , an aft-cockpit sloop, enjoys enduring popularity. With ample interior space, including a full dinette , head , shower , master cabin , and standing room height , this sailing yacht offers comfort. It boasts a contemporary design and a homely atmosphere.

Peterson 44

Peterson 44: Spacious and affordable, ideal for families or extended cruising.

Slightly larger than the previous options, the Peterson 44 is a double-spread cutter that caters to various living needs. Ideal for small families, it combines affordability with home comforts like a shower , galley with oven , fridge , freezer , three cabins , and a practical center cockpit .

Catamarans for Full-Time Living

Luxurious and spacious catamarans, offering stability and ample living space for full-time residents.

For those seeking an ocean-going liveaboard with extensive amenities, including a house-sized kitchen and bathroom , multi-hull boats like catamarans and trimarans excel. The bridge connecting the hulls creates a spacious, well-lit living area above water, with bedrooms within the hulls . These boats offer enhanced stability compared to monohull vessels. However, their higher purchase and berthing costs warrant consideration.

Catamarans are prized for their:

Abundance of space relative to monohull yachts . Full-sized kitchen and bathroom facilities. Enhanced stability in rough seas . Nevertheless, they tend to incur higher acquisition and berthing expenses due to their wider dimensions.

Read also this : Best Catamaran Fishing Boat Brands

The Best Catamarans to Live on

The catamaran market, encompassing motor and sail models, thrives, particularly among Boats that Live On Full-Time liveaboards. Notable models include :

Privilege 435

Privilege 435: Elegance and luxury combined in a comfortable, technologically advanced catamaran.

Founded in 1999, the Alliaura Marine Privilege 435 impresses with its comfort and spaciousness. Its luxurious finishings , latest technology , and navigational equipment create an elegant and homely atmosphere. Featuring four bedrooms and the iconic central 'hull' for added space, it accommodates a range of activities, from living to coastal cruising.

Lagoon 46: A perfect mix of comfort and compactness, with impressive amenities and design.

Situated within the Lagoon's range of luxury catamarans, the Lagoon 46 offers comfort and ample space while remaining compact for ease of handling and mooring. It boasts a spacious galley and dining area with abundant natural light , three cabins , a plush master suite , and a generous deck space .

Trawlers for Full-Time Living

The ultimate choice for luxurious, spacious, and long-distance cruising homes.

Trawlers represent a unique category of powerboats designed for long-distance cruising, ideally suited for Living on a Boat Full-Time . Evolving from their origins as commercial fishing vessels, modern trawlers differ significantly. They feature wider hulls, reduced draft, increased below-deck headroom, and more space for modern amenities. Trawlers often include full-sized kitchens, showers, and multi-level living areas, especially on larger models. Despite potential initial costs and higher operational expenses , their roominess makes them a preferred choice.

Trawlers offer the following advantages:

Ample interior space relative to length . Luxurious designs are akin to penthouses. Compact dimensions for straightforward berthing. However, they typically involve higher initial purchase and operating costs than sailboats.

The Best Trawler Yachts to Live on

Modern newly built or converted trawlers showcase innovative designs and luxurious features. Notable examples include :

Grand Banks 60

Grand Banks 60: A fusion of luxury and long-range cruising capabilities in a modern trawler.

Grand Banks has transformed the humble trawler into a long-range cruiser with the luxury of a small superyacht. The GB 60 combines impressive cruise speed , a customizable interior , advanced technology , and a signature deep V hull for a smoother , faster ride .

Beneteau Swift Trawlers 48

Beneteau Swift Trawlers 48: Elegance and power combined for a comfortable and efficient liveaboard experience.

Beneteau's Swift Trawlers offers elegance and power , ideal for comfortable living at anchor or long-distance cruising. They feature a central living space with panoramic views , abundant storage , stylish cabins , and efficient engines .

Ranger Tugs R-43

Ranger Tugs R-43: High-quality, affordable living with a cozy and inviting interior.

Ranger Tugs specializes in high-quality, affordable vessels. The R-43 boasts a light-filled interior , two cozy cabins with en-suite shower rooms , a chef's galley , wrap-around decks , and advanced tech features , making it suitable for families or friends seeking a shared living experience.

🚀Recommended article:   Types of Boats With Cabins: A Comprehensive Overview

Houseboats for Full-Time Living

Houseboats: Stationary or powered options that bring the comfort and space of a home onto the water.

Transitioning to life on the water need not entail traversing vast oceans . The allure of awakening to birdsong and the gentle lapping of water against the hull, or reconnecting with nature and embracing a simpler existence, is at the heart of year-round boat living. Sacrificing seaworthiness for space leads to various types of static or houseboats that offer a more residential ambiance.

Non-powered houseboats featuring a steel floating pontoon supporting a mobile home-style structure deliver spacious living areas, large windows, and all the comforts of home. While they can be towed, they typically reside in residential communities along rivers, lakes, sheltered bays, and inland waterways . These houseboats often provide municipal utilities, cable television, and broadband internet connections, offering the best of both worlds.

🚀Recommended article:   Exploring the Most Popular Types of Lake Boats

Powered houseboats are self-propelled residential vessels available in various configurations. While some are suitable for shorter journeys and resemble static houseboats, others possess substantial cruising capabilities . Their squared-off silhouette accommodates ample living space relative to their length.

Houseboats are esteemed for their:

Affordable pricing compared to ocean-going yachts of similar size. Abundant interior space with home comforts. Creative interior design possibilities. Securing a residential berth for houseboats can be challenging due to their popularity ; some are exclusively towed rather than powered.

The Best Houseboats to Live on

Innovative architects have introduced a range of luxurious , creative , and imaginative designs for static and powered houseboats . These designs incorporate floor-to-ceiling windows , roaring fireplaces , and rooftop hot tubs . Some noteworthy choices include:

American Houseboat 'The Zion'

American Houseboat 'The Zion': Classic houseboat living with modern amenities and ample space.

Resembling a house floating on water, these quintessential all-American houseboats measure 14 x 14 feet , providing two bedrooms with an additional loft area for up to eight guests. Featuring ample windows , a full kitchen , and a spacious private deck off the master bedroom , they combine home comforts with the joys of waterfront living.

Gibson Cabin Yacht 5000

Gibson Cabin Yacht 5000: Spacious, reliable, and luxuriously designed for long-term living on the water.

Gibson Boats' Cabin Yacht 5000 combines affordability with spaciousness and reliability . It offers a comfortable and well-equipped living space with two or three double bedrooms , carpeting , high-quality electrical appliances , air conditioning , heating , and two full bathrooms .

Bravada Yachts Atlas V-Series

Bravada Yachts Atlas V-Series: Redefining luxury with futuristic design and unparalleled home comforts on water.

The Atlas V-Series powered houseboats redefine traditional notions of houseboat living. With futuristic silhouettes , expansive windows , two floors , and an array of home comforts , including a fire pit and rear waterslide , they elevate water-based living to new heights.

In conclusion, choosing the ideal liveaboard boat depends on individual preferences, budgetary considerations, and lifestyle goals. Sailboats offer economical and adventurous living , catamarans provide spaciousness and stability , trawlers deliver luxurious long-range cruising , and houseboats offer diverse options for embracing life on the water. Each vessel type presents unique advantages, catering to those seeking unconventional, waterborne lifestyles.

Frequently Asked Questions About Living on a Boat

Is living on a boat more affordable than a traditional home, do i need special skills to live on a boat, can i live on a boat with a family, how do i secure a mooring spot for my boat, are there any legal restrictions on living aboard a boat, can i work remotely while living on a boat, what kind of boat can you live on, how big should a boat be to live on, which boat is the strongest, can you really live on a boat.

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The PowerBoat Guide Blog

Tracking Today’s Fast-Paced Yacht Boating Market


March, 2018

For many senior boaters, packing it in and retiring on a boat for a few years has a lot of appeal. Fortunately, there are hundreds of older powerboats that possess the attributes boaters look for in a good liveaboard. It’s all about size and living space, that much is obvious, but after that comes storage space—the more the better. A large galley is important, and in boats over 40 feet it would be useful to look for a model with a built-in dinette. For those looking a something in the 50-foot range, a washer/dryer is a tremendous asset in a liveaboard boat. Further down the wish list are features like a master stateroom tub, galley freezer, good engine access, and lots of outdoor space for entertaining.

With so many great older models to choose from, here are eight  popular (and reasonably affordable) motoryacht choices that aspiring liveaboards might consider.

At a Glance: Last of the so-called “small” Hatteras motor yachts — great styling and a roomy layout made 40 DC a top-selling model. For the first few years of production the galley-down teak interior featured an L-shaped sofa to port in the salon with a serving counter to starboard overlooking the galley. The aft master stateroom includes a centerline queen bed, hanging locker, and en-suite head with shower. The interior was redesigned in 1990 with a salon dinette and wet bar, more open galley area, and enlarged bow stateroom with three bunks. Additional updates in 1990 included a new flybridge layout with a swept-back windscreen and forward helm station, and a full-height entry door to the salon. Also in the newer floorplan is space for a washer/dryer. A lower helm station was optional. No lightweight, standard gas engines cruise at just 13–14 knots. Optional Cat 425hp diesels cruise 18–20 knots. Over 125 of these yachts were built.

Price Range: From $50–60K to the low $100s.

Hatteras 56 Motor Yacht

Hatteras 40 Double Cabin

At a Glance: A classic twin-deck Hatteras motor yacht — the definition of 1980s yachting luxury. The galley and dinette are down in the Hatteras 56 resulting in an expansive main deck area with the salon completely open to the wheelhouse. There are three staterooms and three heads on the lower level including a full-beam master with walkaround queen berth (or twin berths in early models) and en-suite head with tub/shower. The amidships VIP stateroom has twin berths, and the second guest stateroom (or crew quarters) is forward with over/under berths and private head access. Split walk-in engine rooms flank the corridor leading aft to the master stateroom, and a washer/dryer is located at the base of the companionway steps. Double doors open from the spacious salon to the semi-enclosed aft deck with hardtop and enclosure panels. No lightweight,  cruise at 14–16 knots with Detroit 735hp diesels.

Price Range: From the low $200s to low/mid $300s.

At a Glance: A modified version of the classic Hatteras 53 Motor Yacht with an enormous full-beam salon.  A partition separates the wheelhouse from the salon, and centerline teak doors open to a small aft deck area. The mid-level galley—three steps down from the deckhouse level—features large counter spaces, abundant storage, and a booth-style dinette for four. Forward is a guest stateroom (or crew cabin) with over/under bunks and private head/shower. Aft of the split engine rooms, to port, is the guest stateroom with twin berths. A full head with stall shower is opposite. Further aft, the full-beam master stateroom has a walkaround queen berth, dressing table, and en-suite head with shower. The flybridge is greatly enlarged from that of her predecessor with an updated helm and additional lounge seating. Detroit 465hp 6V92TA diesels—or 450hp 8V71TI engines—cruise at 15–16 knots.

Silverton 402-422 Motor Yacht

Hatteras 53 Extended Deckhouse

At a Glance: Popular entry-level cruiser with the features and amenities of more expensive boats. Her two-stateroom cherry interior is a model of efficiency with a roomy main salon, two double staterooms, two full heads, booth dinette, and full-service galley. A serving counter overlooks the galley from the salon, and big wraparound salon windows provide panoramic views of the water. A convertible L-shaped sofa is to starboard in the salon and an entertainment center is to port. Down and aft three steps, the master stateroom features a centerline double berth and en-suite head with stall shower and mirrored vanity. The aft deck, with its standard hardtop, wing doors, and wet bar with refrigerator, is perfect for entertaining several guests. Molded steps from the transom make boarding easy. Most were sold with big-block gas engines for a cruising speed of 14–16 knots (about 20 knots top).

Price Range: From $75K to the mid/high $100s.

Carver 4207

At a Glance: One of the best selling motoryachts in her class throughout the late 1980s. Roomy two-stateroom interior of the 4207 delivers the comfort and amenities often associated with a larger boat. Two floorplans were offered, one with a U-shaped dinette opposite the galley, and the other with no dinette but an expanded head and a much-enlarged forward stateroom with island berth. The spacious, teak-trimmed salon features an entertainment center, wet bar, L-shaped sleeper-sofa, and salon chair. A full-service galley offers a combination microwave/convection oven and double-door refrigerator.  A lower helm was not available. The wide side decks are a plus. While diesels are generally preferred in a boat this size, the majority of 4207 Aft Cabins were delivered with standard 350hp gas engines (13–14 knots cruise/22 knots top). Cat 375hp diesels were optional (20 knots cruise/mid 20s top).

Price Range: From $50–60K to just under $100K.


At a Glance: The top-selling cockpit yacht in this class for several years. Basically a Carver 396 Aft Cabin with a good-sized cockpit. The 444’s huge full-beam interior — made possible by raising the side decks to eye level — comes as a surprise. With its panoramic views and nearly seven feet of headroom, the salon’s dimensions are those of a much larger boat. To save space, the forward head is split with the shower stall to port and toilet compartment to starboard. A sliding glass door in the (smallish) master stateroom opens directly into the cockpit. In 2004, an optional "Extended Salon" floorplan with a full-size dinette, enlarged galley and redesigned VIP stateroom became available. Topside, the helm is forward on the spacious flybridge with lounge seating and wet bar aft.Twin Volvo 370hp engines cruise at 18–19 knots. Carver sold a ton of these versatile boats.

Price Range: From the mid $100s to low/mid $200s.

Carver 500/504 Cockpit MY

At a Glance: A super-popular model for Carver, basically a condo on the water. This is a c ockpit version of the Carver 455/456 Aft Cabin model produced during the same years. Spacious two stateroom maple interior has a folding bulkhead in the forward VIP stateroom that conceals a small guest cabin/den to port with convertible bunks. (This feature was eliminated in 1999 when the interior was redesigned and the name changed to Carver 504.) The large U-shaped galley is aft in the salon rather than forward as it is in most motoryacht floorplans. In the master stateroom, the walkaround queen bed faces aft to permit the installation of cockpit access door. Washer/dryer is in forward stateroom. The huge interior is the result of moving the deckhouse well forward in the hull (note the relatively short foredeck). Twin 450hp Cummins diesels cruise at 18 knots.

Price Range: From about $150K to mid/high $200s.

Carver 444 Cockpit MY


Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge

At a Glance: Stylish 1990’s cruising yacht with three stateroom interior and extra-large cockpit. The salon is impressive, a wide-open (carpeted) living area with cut-down galley, long leather sofa, entertainment center and big wraparound cabin windows. The forward master stateroom is huge with an island queen bed, two hanging lockers, vanity, and private en-suite head. Roomy guest stateroom has a full-size berth, and the second guest cabin has over/under bunks. Both heads have stall showers, but guest head is tight. Lower helm was optional. Center transom door is flanked by built-in bench seats in the cockpit. In 1996, the flybridge ladder was replaced with molded steps and the helm was relocated aft. The 550’s drooping bow is distinctive enough, but the possibility of stuffing the bow in rough seas might be a concern. Detroit 625hp 6V-92 diesels cruise at 22–23 knots.

Price Range: From $125–150K to the mid $200s.

Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge

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Eight Affordable Older Motoryachts that Make Great Liveaboards


My Cruiser Life Magazine

17 Best Sailboats to Live On + What You Should Know First

Many dream of living aboard a sailboat, but finding the right one can be daunting. There are many different types, and countless manufacturers have come and gone over the years. 

Here’s a list of 17 options – a sailboat for every sailor on every kind of budget. 

Best Sailboats To Live On

Table of Contents

17 best sailboats to live on, pros of living aboard a sailboat, cons of boat life.

  • Find Your Type of Boat 

Set Your Boat Budget

What size boat to pick, best liveaboard sailboats under 35 feet (< 35 feet), best liveaboard sailboats under 40 feet (35–40 feet), best liveaboard sailboats under 45 feet (40–45 feet), best liveaboard sailboats under 50 feet (45–50 feet), best liveaboard sailboats under 60 feet (50–60 feet), want to live on a sailboat, best sailboats to live on faqs.

  • Catalina 34/35
  • Panda/Baba 35, Tashiba 36a
  • Gemini 105MC
  • Islander Freeport 36
  • Passport 40
  • Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42DS
  • Leopard 42/43
  • Beneteau Oceanis 473
  • Hallberg Rassy 46/48
  • Leopard 46/Moorings
  • Amel Super Maramu 2000
  • Privilege 585

What to Know First

So, boat shopping is a challenge, to say the least. Understanding where to start and what to look for comes down to understanding what you want to do with your boat.

Here’s a look at some pros and cons of living aboard to get you started.

  • Seaside living at a fraction of the cost of a waterfront home
  • Ability to travel anywhere by water
  • Ability to move anytime—not tied to one location/town
  • Different liveaboard lifestyle options to choose from: at a dock, mooring, anchoring, cruising (traveling)—tired of one, mix it up for a different experience
  • Small living space lacks storage and privacy
  • Limited resources: you must meter your fuel, water, and electricity use when not at a dock
  • More exposed to the elements and more affected by weather events
  • Seating and furnishings are less comfortable than in a house
  • Constant maintenance to keep the boat seaworthy and clean

How to Find the Best Boat to Live on Year Round

At first, you might think boat shopping is like looking for a new car. But when shopping for a car, you have a small pool of manufacturers and models to choose from. In the end, you might have five choices and already have an opinion about each maker’s quality and reputation.

Boats are different. We’re usually shopping for boats that are a decade or more old. The manufacturers may have gone out of business years ago. When you total up all the possible makes and models of each type of boat, you might have dozens of choices with brands you’ve never heard of. Yikes!

Find Your Type of Boat

There are dozens of types of boats you could live on, depending on where you want to live and where you want to take it. Most people shopping for a sailboat will choose between coastal cruisers, bluewater boats, and sailing catamarans.

Here are some of the pros and cons of these sailboat types. 

The Coastal Cruiser

  • Inexpensive compared to bluewater and catamarans
  • Perfect for dock living or near-shore hops
  • With modifications and the right outfitting, many have island-hopped the Caribbean
  • Many to choose from, and often they are lightly used
  • Designs are often race-inspired and faster than typical heavy bluewater boats
  • Newer, bigger boat for your money
  • Often production boats have low-quality, lightweight builds

Related: Best Trailerable Sailboats

The Bluewater Sailboat

  • The best bluewater cruising sailboats are capable of going anywhere
  • Built to last and take anything
  • Give the most comfortable ride in rough conditions
  • Newer examples are expensive
  • Good ones sell quickly
  • Older vessels may be tired and in need of an extensive refit
  • Often lack the living space that coastal cruisers have—narrower beams and transoms

The Catamaran

  • Cruising cats have the maximum living space, especially cockpit dining and upper salon
  • Light-filled with plenty of airflow, perfect for the tropics and living at anchor
  • Larger models (40+ feet) are bluewater boats capable of going nearly anywhere
  • A shallower draft than most monohulls allows for more cruising and anchoring choices
  • More expensive to purchase, keep, and maintain than similar-sized monohulls  
  • The most in-demand vessels, prices are high and good ones sell fast 
  • Sometimes hard or expensive to find dock space and boatyards that can haul it out for maintenance

Still unsure which side of the monohull vs. catamaran debate you’re on? Try to get aboard some boats and experience the living space first-hand.

17 Best Sailboats To Live On + What You Should Know First

Everyone has a budget when going boat shopping, even if you’re Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk. Establishing how much you can spend on your boat is the biggest factor that will affect your decision, and it’s the backbone for all other decisions. 

You must understand just how much boat costs increase as the size of boat increases. Boats are already expensive, and the average cost of owning and buying a liveaboard sailboat varies dramatically. But when the boat gets bigger, it needs bigger hardware, lines, rigging, sails, motors…everything. And bigger means more expensive, so these costs add up fast.

And then there are your storage and boat maintenance costs, all of which are charged per foot. The marina might charge you $15 per foot/per month for a dock slip, and the boatyard will similarly charge you per foot to haul and store the boat. Divers charge per foot for bottom cleaning, as do detailers for annual compounding and waxing of the hull.

When it comes to budgeting, there are two rules of thumb. 

  • Always pick the smallest boat you can comfortably live on.
  • If you have an amount budgeted for your boat purchase, spend half on the boat and save the other half for outfitting and maintenance.

As you’ll see below, boats can be grouped by price and size. When you go up in size, you go up in price—often by a lot.

The size of the boat is a factor of your budget, but also of how big a boat you can handle. Most people believe this means driving it and maneuvering it, which is true to some extent. But a good training captain can teach you what you need to know to drive any size boat in just a few sessions. 

No, the size of the boat you can manage refers more to how much maintenance you want to do. The bigger the boat, the more complex and plentiful its systems. There’s more to break on a bigger boat, and more things broken means more time fixing things.

Catamarans compound this by doubling a lot of the systems. Two engines, two saildrives, two hulls to wax, two hulls to bottom paint—you get the idea.

Another factor you should consider early on is getting insurance. Yacht insurance has gotten harder and harder to get in recent years. If you’ve never owned a boat and have no experience, you might be forced to get something small (think an under 30-foot daysailor) to get some experience on before you move up. It’s also difficult because many underwriters won’t write policies for liveaboards. 

As a general rule of thumb, most people will find boats under 35 feet too small to live on full-time. Most of these vessels don’t even have standing headroom. There is often only a “wet head,” one where you take showers while sitting on the toilet.

Boats 35 to 40 feet are good for solo travelers or couples who don’t mind living in small quarters. The beds will be small and accessed only from one side, as in a v-berth or a Pullman-style berth. If there is one, the second bunk is likely only for the occasional guest. 

You’ll get better accommodations when you move up to 40 to 45 footers. The second bunk may be in its own stateroom. The main suite will have an island-style berth that can be accessed from both sides—a huge upgrade for most couples. The head will likely have a separate, enclosed shower. This size sailing yacht makes a good liveaboard sailboat for most boaters.

Boats bigger than 45 feet are best for bigger families. If you often travel with kids or guests, these are the boats for you. They’re extremely spacious and make boat living easy, but the extra maintenance and cost may not be worth it.

The List — Best Sailboats to Live Aboard

All lists, whether found in internet blogs or international sailing magazines, have issues. There’s no one list to rule them all because there are simply too many different boats out there. And everyone uses their boat differently, so the “best” for you might be a terrible choice for me. Different boats for different folks, so to say.

So, what’s the deal with this list? It’s made from personal experience of having seen a lot of boats out cruising. And it’s a list that tries to put aside the fantasies—Oysters and Gunboats are pretty in magazines, but like Ferraris, not many of us will ever own one. So let’s look at some practical boats that fill each size category. 

For every boat on this list, a dozen or more could’ve been included. Use these models to research brands and see which sizes suit your needs.

Boats under 35 feet tend to be best suited for solo travelers or couples comfortable living in small spaces. As always, coastal cruisers in this class have much more space than bluewater boats do. Catamarans in this class are also coastal cruisers—you need more length and volume to get real bluewater performance out of a cat. No matter which type of boat you’re looking at here, storage space on this size of liveaboard boat will be limited.

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Coastal Cruiser Under 35 — Catalina 34/35

If you want to move aboard, you’re on a budget, and you want the most space you can get, it’s really hard to beat an older Catalina. Starting with the Catalina 30, these beamy boats have a surprising interior volume. They make great first liveaboards.

Bluewater Sailor Under 35 — Panda/Baba 35, Tashiba 36

The famous yacht designer Bob Perry drew these Taiwanese-built boats, all tracing their lineage to the older Tayana 37 . They’re updated slightly and built by different yards, but all full keels with cutaways and built for bluewater cruising. They all have gorgeous teak joinery and are comfortable and forgiving at sea. 

Catamaran Under 35 — Gemini 105MC

The Gemini 105M and 105MC were arguably the most popular cat models ever. They’re American-built, with a single diesel engine and a narrow beam that allows them to be parked in a standard boat slip. In the US, this means many more marina choices if that’s how you roll. The boat has centerboards and kick-up rudders, so the board-up draft is a scant 18 inches—gunkholing perfection. 

While some Geminis have crossed oceans, they aren’t made for it. They have average (sometimes below-average) build quality and fiberglass work. However, they’re perfect coastal cruisers and capable of heading into The Bahamas.

The Gemini should be on your shortlist if you’re looking for a cheap catamaran .

Runner Up: PDQ 32

Are you looking for a small cat with better build quality? They didn’t make many of them, but the PDQ 32 is what you seek. It’s an attractive small catamaran with a wider beam. It came with twin outboards in wells, but the LRC (long-range cruiser) option had inboard diesels.

best liveaboard sailboats under 40 feet

Forty feet is the sweet spot for most cruising couples—big enough to be comfortable and carry enough provisions but small enough that handling and maintenance are manageable. This class of boat has a lot of excellent choices in both coastal cruiser and bluewater boats, making it a good size range to find the perfect affordable liveaboard sailboat.

The catamaran group from 35 to 40 feet has a few very popular choices, but they are right on the edge of being too small for most cruisers. Counterintuitively, these cats are perfect for couples who don’t mind downsizing and traveling lightly. These shorter cats are prone to hobby horsing and don’t provide as comfortable a ride in bluewater as slightly longer cats do. 

Coastal Cruiser Under 40 — Islander Freeport 36

The Islander brand is no longer around, but these California-built production boats from the 1970s and 80s were well-built and well-liked. The I32 and I36 were very popular cruising boats designed by Bob Perry. The Freeport 36 is a before-its-time European deck salon with enormous windows. The swing-down swim platform is another bonus for a boat from this era, as are the Pullman-style berth and forepeak-located head (some layouts). If you can find one in good condition, these boats make excellent liveaboards. 

Bluewater Sailor Under 40 — Passport 40

Yet another boat from the desk of Bob Perry, the Passport 40, is a sharp-looking aft-cockpit bluewater cruiser from one of the best yards in Taiwan. They feature a long fin keel and skeg-mounted rudder. Everything about this sloop is just right for long-term cruising.

Catamaran Under 40 — Prout 38

The Prout 38 traces its heritage back to the earlier Prout Snowgoose. The boat is still being made, now under the Broadblue brand. It’s a sturdy British-built cat made for serious offshoring. While it lacks some of the open feeling that newer charter boats have, it more than makes up for it with its robust and high-quality build.

Runner Up: Leopard 40 (2005-2009)

This early L40 (don’t get confused with the newer ones built around 2020) was designed by famous multihull designers Morelli and Melvin. It’s got more of the things you might expect from your typical charter cat: a sliding salon door, galley-up layout, and a huge walk-through cockpit.

While this seems a small step up from the size of boats above, prices increase rapidly above the 40-foot mark. At this point, the boat’s gear needs to be bigger and heavier, from all the lines and rigging to each block and winch. Engines are now larger four-cylinder diesels, and there’s much more hull area to clean and paint. 

A 45-foot coastal cruiser has enough space to keep a small family happy for short trips or a couple happy for any length of time. These boats usually have island berths in a spacious master bedroom, so no more crawling over each other just to go to the bathroom! Bluewater boats in this class are a little smaller inside, making them just right for most couples doing a long-term cruise.

As far as catamarans go, the 40 to 45-foot range is the perfect sweet spot for most cruising couples. A spacious interior plus excellent seakeeping abilities make these top picks. There are tons of boat choices out there, and most of the best cruising catamarans come from this size group.

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Coastal Cruiser Under 45 — Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42DS

Jeanneau is part of Groupe Beneteau , but their boats often have a more refined finish than Beneteaus. The DS stands for “deck salon.” They feature larger windows that let in more light and have better visibility than a standard cruiser. This is especially welcome if you’re attracted to the living space in a catamaran but need something smaller and more affordable. 

The 42DS also has an enormous island berth, plus a huge twin-helm cockpit with lots of space for entertaining.

Bluewater Sailor Under 45 — Hylas 44

The Hylass 44 is regularly picked as one of the best offshore cruising boats. It’s a center cockpit boat designed by German Frers.  It has a wonderful layout with tons of living space and a large, usable galley. The aft cabin has a large island berth with an en suite head. 

Catamaran Under 45 — Leopard 42/43 (2001-2006)

These early Leopard charter cats are highly sought after on the used market. Like all charter cats, the best finds are the “owners versions” with one hull dedicated to the master stateroom with en suite head and shower. The Leopard 42, which came out in 2002, had a soft canvas cover over the cockpit and was updated to the Leopard 43 with a hardtop. 

Above 45 feet is another big price jump. For beginners, these big boats will require some training and experience before you head out on your own. 

Related: Best Boat for Beginners

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Leopard 46 "Shanties" (@leopard46shanties)

Coastal Cruiser Under 50 — Beneteau Oceanis 473

This big Beneteau came with either 2, 3, or 4 staterooms. Finding the right layout is as important as finding the right boat. The two-stateroom version has enormous berths and lots of storage, perfect for couples with occasional guests or families of three. Most have the standard keel with less than a six-foot draft, making this fin keel/spade rudder boat a rare find. They were built from 2000 to 2005.

Bluewater Sailor Under 50 — Hallberg Rassy 46/48

Hallberg Rassys are well-regarded boats built in Sweden, mostly designed by German Frers. These are high-end boats of the best quality, so don’t expect to find one available cheaply. They’re gorgeous, however, and make wonderful world cruisers.

Catamaran Under 50 — Leopard 46/Moorings 4600 (2006)

If you want a big catamaran, it’s hard to go wrong with the 2006 Leopard 46. Where modern Lagoon and Leopards have tall profiles with tons of windage, this is one of the newest, largest boats that still have single-level living. It has distinctive hull chines that increase living space without increasing wetted surface and plenty of sail area for good performance. In true Leopard fashion, all lines are led to the helm for easy short-handed cruising despite the boat’s large size.

best liveaboard sailboats under 60 feet

Boats in this class are borderline yachts based on their sheer size. If you were to charter these boats, they’d usually come with a crew. That size means they’re more expensive and more of a handful to manage daily. 

Coastal Cruiser Under 60 — Irwin 54

The Irwin brand is long gone, but many examples are available on the used market. They were known especially for their large center cockpit ketches, like this 54-footer. This is a spacious, big water boat that certainly meets the qualifications of most bluewater boats. They can go anywhere, but they may need maintenance and refit given their ages. 

Don’t get to lured by the low prices of these boats. You’ll have to lay out some serious cash to get one ready to cruise long-range. But if you aren’t opposed to some hard work and projecting, the Irwin can get you a lot of boat for not much money.

Bluewater Sailor Under 60 — Amel Super Maramu 2000 (53′)

Made famous by the Delos YouTube channel, the Amel is a French-built brand of high-quality bluewater boats. Today, this brand’s new models look like many others—wide sterned, flat-bottomed sloops. But the Maramus that made them famous were unique—ketch rigged and ruggedly built, designed to take a cruising couple anywhere. Electric winches were standard on everything to keep such a large boat easy to operate.

Catamaran Under 60 — Privilege 585

Privilege is the French-made catamaran that you don’t hear enough about. Unlike Lagoon and Fountaine Pajot, these are beefy cruising boats ready to take you anywhere. Their construction and fit-and-finish are first-rate, as is the joinery down below. 

Living on a sailboat is an adventure—it’s not for everyone. Finding the right boat is an important part of doing it successfully, but it’s not the only step in preparing for the lifestyle.

You should also consider checking my post on liveaboard catamaran options, to make sure you research thoroughly enough!

What makes a great liveaboard sailboat?

Everyone’s priorities for a liveaboard sailboat are different—a bluewater cruiser looking to sail around the world might pick a very different boat from someone who lives full-time dock life. In general terms, you need to find a boat that is safely capable of taking you where you want to go and has enough living space to be comfortable while doing it. 

Sailing catamarans are some of the most popular liveaboard sailboats because their living space is unmatched. Most are also bluewater-capable cruisers that can go pretty much anywhere. 

What is the best size sailboat to live on?

The size of the boat you’ll be comfortable on long term is a personal choice that depends on your personality and the number of people you’ll be traveling with. Solo travelers may be content with a sailboat around 30 feet, while most couples are comfortable on something around 40 feet. Forty-five to fifty feet is more realistic if you often have guests or kind on board. 

With all of this in mind, however, it’s really important to remember that the costs of buying and maintaining a sailboat increase exponentially with length. Getting the smallest boat you are comfortable living on is always better because that will be easier to manage and keep in the long run.

What are the negatives of living on a sailboat?

People live on their sailboats differently, so it’s difficult to narrow down the biggest negatives. Everyone struggles with the small living space that a boat affords. You’ll have to downsize your possessions to the absolute minimum you need. And getting personal space away from your spouse or family is pretty much impossible on a small boat. 

Why are sailboats so expensive?

New boats require a massive investment in time and resources to produce. The nicer the boat, the more time and skill it takes to build, which makes costs soar. Some production companies, like Beneteau, have found ways to reduce production costs and keep the price of new boats more reasonable. But these boats pale compared to other yachts in terms of overall quality. 

Older used boats can be found pretty cheaply. In fact, it’s often possible to find free or nearly-free boats that are on their way to the junkyard or dumpster. The key is understanding how much work and money it will take to get these boats ready to go again. 

Is it a good idea to live on a sailboat?

Living on a boat is an amazing way to experience seaside living or traveling the world by water. But it’s also a unique, out-of-the-ordinary lifestyle choice that’s not without challenges. 

Before you move onto a sailboat, you’ll want to research the topic carefully and talk to some folks who already to it. Many people start with occasional boating, spending a week or more onboard to try it out. With a little experience, it’s easy to see if it’s something you could do for the long term or if it’s best to keep a land house and enjoy the water occasionally.

Can you live comfortably on a sailboat?

Many people live comfortably on sailboats, but a lot depends on the size of the sailboat and your tolerance for living in a small space. Even the largest sailboats can feel cramped, while some folks love the cozy feeling of living on the tiniest boats. 

affordable liveaboard yachts

Matt has been boating around Florida for over 25 years in everything from small powerboats to large cruising catamarans. He currently lives aboard a 38-foot Cabo Rico sailboat with his wife Lucy and adventure dog Chelsea. Together, they cruise between winters in The Bahamas and summers in the Chesapeake Bay.

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Best Inexpensive Bluewater Sailboats

Best Inexpensive Bluewater Sailboats | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Jacob Collier

December 28, 2023

Sailing is an exhilarating experience, but it can be expensive. If you are looking for the best inexpensive bluewater sailboats, then this article will help!

The best inexpensive bluewater sailboats are the ones that are small, fast, and sturdy. If you can find one that is easy to build as well, then you will have to pay much less for it. These sailboats are also seaworthy enough to handle the open ocean without being too big or complicated.

Sailing is a great way to spend your free time. It's an activity that has been enjoyed by people for centuries, and it can be done with just about anyone of any age or physical ability. The only problem many people have is the cost associated with purchasing a boat, which can really put a damper on things if you are on a tight budget. But don't worry! We have found some of the best inexpensive bluewater sailboats, so you won't have to break your bank account in order to enjoy sailing!

There are many options available, but not all of them are worth your money. That is why we have looked at some of the top boats on the market and picked out our favorites. Whether you're an experienced sailor or just getting started, these boats will get the job done right!

Table of contents

‍ 1. Cape Dory 30


If you're looking for a quality, affordable bluewater sailboat, the Cape Dory 30 is definitely worth a look. This boat has been cruising the world's oceans for over 30 years and has a well-deserved reputation for being sturdy, reliable and easy to sail.

The  Cape Dory 30  is a moderate displacement boat that's designed for coastal and offshore cruising. She features a full keel with a rudder, making her stable and seaworthy in rough seas. The hull is hand-laid fiberglass with balsa core construction, which makes her strong and durable. The deck is also fiberglass with molded-in non-skid surfaces for safety while sailing.

The layout of the Cape Dory 30 is simple yet functional. The cockpit is roomy, with plenty of space for lounging around but not so much that you can't work the sails if needed. The self-draining cockpit has two lockers underneath that are perfect for storing tools or other nautical gear that you need to keep dry.

This bluewater cruiser offers a moderate sail area, which makes it easy to handle even under windy conditions. Because of this, she requires some wind to get going -- in 10 knots of breeze, she can reach speeds up to 6 knots under power and 7 knots under sail. As far as storage space goes, there are lockers on both sides of the berth area plus shelves above the berth for items like books and clothing.

The Cape Dory 30 was initially outfitted with worm gear steering. This sort of gear is durable, simple to use, and does not require a cockpit steering pedestal. The wheel will also keep the rudder in place without the help of a brake. The biggest disadvantage is that there isn't much rudder feedback, making it difficult to know when the boat is properly balanced. Not to mention worm gear steering will not help you sail better.

The berthing area is good, with enough room for two people to sleep comfortably. There's also plenty of headroom at six feet. The Cape Dory 30 is a great boat for coastal cruising, ocean passages, and extended cruising. She has all the features that you need to make your journey comfortable while still being able to handle a variety of sailing conditions. The estimated price for the  Cape Dory 30  ranges from $12,000 to $32,000

  • Sturdy and reliable with a long history of ocean crossings
  • Good performance in windy conditions
  • Functional layout with plenty of storage space
  • Comfortable berthing area for two people
  • May require modifications for ocean passages
  • Not as fast as some other bluewater sailboats
  • A tad expensive for an entry-level cruiser

2. Sabre 28


The  Sabre 28  is another fine bluewater cruiser in this price range. Made by Sabre Yachts, these boats have a solid reputation for being reliable, seaworthy cruisers that will last you for many years to come.

When making their 28-foot bluewater sailboat, Sabre Yachts took every aspect into consideration when designing her. They made her strong with a full keel and fiberglass hull construction but light enough to allow for better sailing abilities under power or sail. She also has plenty of storage space with lockers on both sides of the berth plus shelves above the berth to give you ample room for all your belongings while cruising.

The Sabre 28 is built with a solid fiberglass hull and deck, making her strong and durable. She has a moderate displacement of 6,000 pounds and features a full keel with encapsulated ballast. This helps her handle well in various sailing conditions while still providing good performance.

While she may not be fast compared to other bluewater sailboats in her class, the Sabre 28 makes up for it with her great handling and seaworthiness. She can handle a wide variety of sailing conditions with ease, making her the perfect boat for coastal cruising, ocean passages and even extended cruising.

The Sabre 28 comes standard with wheel steering, which gives you better control over the boat in varying conditions. There is also plenty of cockpit space for lounging around or working the sails. And because of her moderate sail area, she's easy to handle even under windy conditions.

The berthing area is good, with enough room for two people to sleep comfortably. There's also plenty of headroom at six feet. The cabin is spacious and well-ventilated, making it a great place to relax after a long day of sailing.

The Sabre 28 is also outfitted for single or double hand sailing, making her the perfect choice for couples or small families who want to explore new waterways together. She's easy to sail and forgiving, making her the perfect boat for novice sailors. The  Sabre 28  will set you back anywhere from $7000 to $27000. If you're looking for a smaller cruising sailboat, the Sabre 28 should definitely be on your list!

  • Solid reputation for being a reliable and seaworthy cruiser
  • Handles a wide variety of sailing conditions well
  • Good performance under power or sail
  • Plenty of storage space for all your belongings
  • Not as fast as some other bluewater sailboats in her class
  • Designed primarily as a coastal cruiser so it may not perform well in open waters without modifications
  •  Can only accommodate two people comfortably underneath the V-berth (greater than that might be too crowded)

3. Island Packet 31


The  Island Packet 31  is another great bluewater cruiser for people looking to explore new waterways. They are known as one of the best sailboats for bluewater cruising due to their strength and durability.

If you're looking for a bluewater sailboat with stability, speed and comfort, then the Island Packet 31 might be the boat for you! She has excellent performance under power or sail, can handle harsh conditions with ease, and is comfortable enough to spend long periods aboard.

Designed by Bob Johnson (a boat builder and naval architect), this 31-foot boat was made specifically for open ocean sailing. Her hull is strong yet thin, making her fast while still being able to handle a wide variety of conditions. The Island Packet 31 is built with a solid fiberglass hull and deck, making her strong and durable. She has a moderate displacement of 11,000 pounds and features a full keel with encapsulated ballast. This helps her handle well in various sailing conditions while still providing good performance.

The Island Packet 31 is also built with a full keel, giving her plenty of stability should the weather become rough while out at sea. She was designed to handle large amounts of wind and waves without losing her composure, making her perfect for bluewater cruising!

She's also easy to sail, even under intense winds and stormy conditions. She has very good stability with a wide beam and moderate displacement, making it nearly impossible to capsize while sailing in open water.

The  Island Packet 31  is easy to sail and forgiving, making her a great choice for novice sailors. With a top speed of 8 knots, she's not the fastest boat on the water, but she's certainly no slouch. She also has a shallow draft of just 2 feet, 6 inches, which makes her ideal for exploring coral reefs and other shallow waters.

Though she can be somewhat slow when traveling under power or sailing alone (due to the long keel), the Island Packet is able to reach speeds up to 8 knots when using both methods together. This is still quite impressive when compared to other sailboats in her class.

One downside to this boat's construction is the lack of plywood in the deck and cabin. This can cause some concern among people who are looking for a bluewater sailboat that can withstand harsh weather conditions. However, it should be noted that the Island Packet has numerous positive reviews from sailors - proving her strength and reliability.

The Island Packet 31 is a great choice for people who want a sturdy and reliable bluewater sailboat. She's perfect for small families or groups of friends who want to explore new waterways together. With her stability, speed and comfort, she's sure to make your next sailing trip an enjoyable one! Depending on the model, the price ranges from $35,000 to $50,000.

  • Excellent performance under power or sail
  • Great option for novice sailors
  • May require some modifications for offshore sailing (depending on your experience level)
  • Some are concerned about the lack of plywood in the deck and cabin construction.
  • A tad expensive

4. Caliber 40 Sailboat


Bluewater cruisers are on the lookout for a robust, durable boat that is simple to operate and can handle all of their belongings for a lengthy trip without breaking the bank. With features like that, the  Caliber 40  comes to mind, and it's distinctive in that it's a boat that (with modifications) has been developed over many decades and has demonstrated success.

Caliber Yachts Inc. was founded in 1979 by George and Michael McCreary, along with Marshall Jones, as a backyard boatbuilding business. The brothers grew up sailing in the bay area and across Florida and the Caribbean, so they were no strangers to the sailing world.

The layout of the Caliber 40 is comfortable and accommodating for a cruising couple, with six feet, four inches of headroom and plenty of storage. There's also an optional in-mast furling system to make sail handling a breeze. The cockpit is roomy and perfect for lounging around or entertaining guests.

Because of her heavy displacement, she requires some assistance from the wind. However, sailing 5 knots in 9 knots of wind with a beam reach isn't bad and can last up to 140 miles in the trade winds, which is not too shabby. This sailboat sails well and has a surprisingly light helm. The boat heels to 15 degrees, but it doesn't have the signature hobbyhorse effect that heavy displacement boats typically have.

Her overall performance is respectable, with a top speed of 9 knots under power in 10 knots of wind. In ideal conditions, she can reach up to 14.5 knots under power, so this one's no slouch when it comes to getting around quickly or having fun on the water!

In terms of storage space, there are six lockers below for all your gear and a large anchor well for bigger stuff like a spare anchor and chain, as well as other nautical tools you may need during your trip. There's also plenty of headroom at six feet, four inches. As a storage unit, the Caliber 40 has a couple of hanging lockers and shelves that are perfect for keeping belongings organized and out of the way.

The berth is full-size with plenty of width to fit two people comfortably or three in an emergency situation. One drawback about the berth is that there's only room underneath to store suitcases, so you'll have to be creative if you plan to keep anything else under there.

This boat can be outfitted for single or double hand sailing, depending on your preference! It's easy to see why this popular cruising yacht has been around for decades -- it's roomy, strong, sturdy and built to last a lifetime.

The major downside to this boat is that it can be expensive. The Caliber 40 can range anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000. However, it is possible to get a better deal on older models.

Overall, the  Caliber 40  is a great boat for coastal cruising, ocean passages, and extended cruising. It has all the creature comforts that you need to make your journey comfortable while still being able to handle a variety of sailing conditions. If you're in the market for, well-made cruiser and are willing to spill some cash, the Caliber 40 should definitely be on your list!

  • Roomy and comfortable for a cruising couple
  • Durable and long-lasting with a cored hull and deck
  • Respectable performance, with a top speed of 9 knots under power
  • Full-size berth that can comfortably fit two people or three in an emergency situation
  • Only room to store suitcases under the berth
  • May require modifications to be fully equipped for ocean passages
  • Newer models are very expensive

5. Endeavour 37


The  Endeavour 37  is a great option for people who want a bluewater sailboat that can handle harsh weather conditions. She has excellent performance under power or sail and good stability and storage space.

If you're looking for a sailing boat that can withstand harsh conditions, the Endeavour 37 might be a perfect choice! She's known as one of the best bluewater cruising yachts due to her ability to handle large amounts of wind and waves without much trouble.

This classic yacht has a long list of positive reviews from sailors - proving she's reliable and durable enough to take you on countless adventures throughout the world. The majority of owner reviews give this boat high ratings, with most being four stars or better.

With a displacement of 21,000 pounds and a beam of 12 feet, the Endeavour 37 is not only durable but also quite spacious. She has more than enough room for any sailor - whether you're cruising with your significant other or taking your family out on an extended voyage!

Even though she's known to be strong and reliable, the Endeavour is also fast and comfortable under all conditions. She can reach speeds up to 7 knots with two powerful diesel engines while cruising in calm waters. Her top speed drops slightly when sailing in rougher weather or against stronger winds - down to 6 knots.

She's also very easy to maneuver with either power source at hand. Her Perkins 4-108 diesel engines make it simple to get her to where you want when you want.

The Endeavour 37 is equipped for cruising, with plenty of storage space for all your gear. There's a large V-berth that can comfortably fit two people, as well as an enclosed head with a marine toilet and sink. The cabin is spacious and well-ventilated, making it a great place to relax after a long day of sailing.

Though the Endeavour 37 is a high-quality boat, it's important to keep in mind that she does have some downsides - she can be costly to maintain. The Endeavour 37 can be expensive to maintain, making her a costly vessel to own and operate. If you decide to purchase this boat, make sure you have enough money saved up for regular upkeep!

Another downside is its poor up sail performance - especially in light winds. When sailing the Endeavour 37, you have to have a good sail plan and be careful not to use too much power under certain conditions.

Though the Endeavour has a few downsides, she does have a lot of benefits as well - such as her impressive speed and durability under all weather conditions. The  Endeavour 37  is estimated to be around $20,000 to $50,000. It's important to weigh both sides before making your final decision, but overall most people are very happy with their purchase!

  • Powerful wind and sea boat
  • Strong construction capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions
  • Plenty of storage space for any sailor or family
  • Good stability and handling abilities
  • Poor up sail performance
  • A bit expensive to maintain (depending on user experience)

6. Tartan 37


The  Tartan 37  is a seaworthy, sturdy boat that's known for its strength and stability. She's very similar to the Endeavour 37 in terms of both construction and performance - with two significant exceptions: she doesn't have as much storage space, and her overall exterior design is less attractive.

With a displacement of 15,500 pounds and a beamwidth of 12 feet, the Tartan 37 can handle large amounts of wind or waves without any trouble. Like the Endeavour 37, she has two powerful diesel engines, making it simple to maneuver even in rougher conditions.

With an overall length of 37 feet 2 inches, you'll find that this sailboat offers quite a bit of room for its size. There's more than enough space for a few people to sleep comfortably, and you'll find that it's easy to move around even when at sea.

Though the Tartan 37 is very reliable and durable, she has some downsides, such as her high maintenance costs, small water tank, and inefficient interior design. If you're spending most of your time on the boat, then these will likely be little issues that don't take away from your overall experience.

If you do decide to purchase this boat, make sure you can afford all the necessary upkeep it requires! It's also important to note that owning a Tartan 37 comes with its fair share of risk as well - they haven't been manufactured for over 30 years, which means there isn't much help available should you run into some problems down the line.

The  Tartan 37  comes at around $34,000 to $70,000.

  • Sturdy boat with a strong design capable of handling large waves and winds
  • Easy to maneuver even in rougher weather conditions due to her powerful diesel engines
  • Plenty of space for both people out on the water and gear you need to store ashore
  • Not as many storage spaces as similar sailboats (such as the Tartan 37)
  • Higher maintenance costs than most other vessels on this list
  • Small water tank that can easily be tainted if not careful when cleaning or using it
  • Inefficient interior design that doesn't allow for too much privacy among family members or friends who may venture abroad from time to time

Related Articles

Best Liveaboard Bluewater Catamarans

5 Best Liveaboard Bluewater Sailboats

Born into a family of sailing enthusiasts, words like “ballast” and “jibing” were often a part of dinner conversations. These days Jacob sails a Hallberg-Rassy 44, having covered almost 6000 NM. While he’s made several voyages, his favorite one is the trip from California to Hawaii as it was his first fully independent voyage.

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    affordable liveaboard yachts


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  4. €995K Custom LIVEABOARD Explorer Yacht For Sale!

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  1. Best Liveaboard Boats Under 600K

    Some look like actual floating houses rather than boats, others look like more modern and sleek vessels. The 2021 Planus Nautica Aquadomus houseboat in the photo above was listed for sale on YachtWorld for $388,119 by Planus Nautica. With a balanced distribution of space, the capacity is extended to 12 people onboard.

  2. 6 Most Affordable Liveaboard Sailboats

    The Aloha 28 is under 30 feet in length, making it relatively inexpensive to dock at most liveaboard-friendly marinas. You can find this affordable liveaboard sailboat for a fraction of the cost of a new boat, as most models sell for around $10,000 to $15,000 in clean and usable condition.

  3. 13 Dirt-Cheap Liveaboard Sailboats (That Are Actually Good)

    Liveaboard sailboats that are cheap but actually good include Westsail 32, Alberg 30, Tayana 37, Catalina 30, Ericson 35, Albin Vega 27, Bristol 32, Morgan 323, Contessa 32, Pearson 365, Hunter 31, Cal 34, and Tartan 30. The prices of these boats range from $5,000 to $50,000 or more. Living aboard a sailboat on a budget doesn't mean you have to ...

  4. 6 Popular Boats For Full-Time Living (Affordable Options)

    The boat truly is impressive for its small size and will be comfortable for living in. The price of this vessel can range from $170,000 to over $200,000 depending on the year and the options available. Other Lagoon options can be more expensive but are also great live-aboard vessels. 6. Leopard 44.

  5. Affordable Yachts: Best Boats For Your Budget

    Ranger Tugs tops the list in terms of affordable, feature-packed "pocket yachts" that can be great family boats and longer distance cruisers, that can also be easily trailered to different locations (and even used as campers along the way at RV parks). Prices start at US$ 149,000. 2022 Ranger Tugs R31 Command Bridge.

  6. Affordable Live-Aboard Boats

    Specifications: LOA: 33' Beam: 11' 5" Draft: 2'7" Fuel: 132 gallons Water: 79 gallons. Pricing: Base Price: $255,000. View Greenline 33 boats for sale on Boat Trader. Visit for more information. A guide to live-aboard boating and expanding options while Contracting Space.

  7. 5 Liveaboard Boats Under 200K

    3. Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349. Those in search of a sailboat for living aboard will find the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349 of interest, as this boat can be bought new in the neighborhood of $200K or used in the $150,000 to $200,000 range. The model is available in several arrangements, including two- or three-cabin layouts with a single head, and deep ...

  8. The Live-Aboard Life: Best Liveaboard Yachts

    The boat brands may be the best place to start your search on YachtWorld. You can set up your search alerts criteria and be alerted anytime someone listed a live-aboard style boat that matches your criteria. Best Live Aboard Sailboats Brands. Catalina Yachts (the Cataline 30 is the most popular) Beneteau Boats; Pearson Sailboats

  9. 13 Best Liveaboard Sailboats (under 30 & 50 ft)

    Conclusion. So there you have it. $15,000 - $50,0000 range, 20 - 50-foot sizes, from cozy towable boats to large sailing houses. A range anybody can choose from to pursue the liveaboard dream. Nothing is stopping you now, so hit the website and start browsing.

  10. Used Live Aboard Yachts For Sale

    You can always find a huge selection of live aboard yachts for sale in Florida. These live aboard yachts are made by a number of top brands, including Hatteras, Viking, Sea Ray, Tiara, Sunseeker, Kadey-Krogen, and more. Our inventory also represents a variety of dimensions, ages, amenities, price points and other characteristics and features.

  11. Affordable Liveaboard Havens: Top 8 Boats for Ocean Nomads

    When we start talking about cheap liveaboard boats, it is understood that we are considering used boats rather than new ones. That puts the Islander 36 in the mix of the best and cheapest live-aboard sailboats. The last Islander boats were built in 1985. 750 of the Islander 36s were produced from 1971 to 1985.

  12. 5 Best Liveaboard Boats: Compare Boats

    2. Trawlers. Trawlers are a great option because they are built with the liveaboard lifestyle in mind. They're typically slower boats designed for long-distance cruising, and they come in many sizes from a large Nordhavn 60 built for tough ocean conditions to a more compact Beneteau Swift 35 that's ideal for coastal cruising.

  13. Best Liveaboard Boats to Live On Full-Time

    Options for Living on a Boat Full-Time. Best Liveaboard Boats encompass a broad spectrum of possibilities. From stationary houseboats to highly maneuverable sailboats and an array of options, the choices continue to expand with innovative, designer-driven, and spacious vessels.. Ultimately, practically any boat can serve as a domicile.

  14. Budget-Friendly Liveaboard

    What to Expect on a Budget Liveaboard. Although not as luxurious as some, budget liveaboards still offer relaxed and memorable scuba diving vacations.Amenities vary, but affordable dive charters usually provide: Good Value - This is the hallmark of a budget dive boat. You'll often find that the diving, accommodation, travel and food add up to far less than you would spend during a week on ...

  15. The 80 Best Liveaboard Boats

    Draft: 3'5". Beam: 15'4". The Carver 4207 is one of the best-selling motor yachts in her class from the 80s. It has a 350 hp gas engine with a cruising speed of 13-14 knots and a 22-knot top speed. The Carver 4207 has two staterooms, a decent-sized head, a dinette, a linear galley and a large cockpit with a hardtop.

  16. Five Great Live-Aboard Yachts

    Above: This 1988 DeFever 48 trawler is currently for sale for $159,000 through YachtWorld. Image via Murrary Yacht Sale/DeFever. Though this is the smallest yacht with live-aboard potential we're willing to consider, the DeFever 48 is most certainly worth considering. One of this builder's most popular trawlers, older models can be found ...

  17. Best Liveaboard Catamaran Sailboats

    The Voyage 44 is an excellent liveaboard catamaran due to its wide beam and extremely spacious living accommodations. Out of all the boats on this list, the Voyage 44 is likely the best value overall as it's relatively affordable. The Voyage 44 may be the perfect long-term liveaboard catamaran under 50 feet in length. Quick Facts:

  18. $349,000 1963 FAIRMILES 82' Classic Affordable Liveaboard ...

    This Yacht is for Sale: us on the self-guided;) Tour of this 1963 FAIRMILES 82' Classic Affordable Liveaboard Superyacht. This...

  19. Eight Affordable Older Motoryachts that Make Great Liveaboards

    No lightweight, cruise at 14-16 knots with Detroit 735hp diesels. Price Range: From the low $200s to low/mid $300s. At a Glance: A modified version of the classic Hatteras 53 Motor Yacht with an enormous full-beam salon. A partition separates the wheelhouse from the salon, and centerline teak doors open to a small aft deck area.

  20. 17 Best Sailboats to Live On + What You Should Know First

    This class of boat has a lot of excellent choices in both coastal cruiser and bluewater boats, making it a good size range to find the perfect affordable liveaboard sailboat. The catamaran group from 35 to 40 feet has a few very popular choices, but they are right on the edge of being too small for most cruisers.

  21. Five Affordable Trawlers Under 40 Feet

    Here's a trawler under 40 feet (39'9" LOA, 14' 6" beam) that has impressive cruising credentials. The Nordhavn has established itself as one of the most capable ships in its size range with both a circumnavigation and an Atlantic crossing under its waterline. And the owners of this salty trawler are among the most serious cruisers you ...

  22. OUR YACHT Build UPDATE & Affordable Liveaboard Yacht Tour ...

    ShipYard Update!!! Go to to get started on your first purchase and receive a FREE 1-year supply of Vitamin D3+K2 and 5...

  23. Best Inexpensive Bluewater Sailboats

    Table of contents. ‍ 1. Cape Dory 30. If you're looking for a quality, affordable bluewater sailboat, the Cape Dory 30 is definitely worth a look. This boat has been cruising the world's oceans for over 30 years and has a well-deserved reputation for being sturdy, reliable and easy to sail.