How to Choose the Right Liveaboard Boat - SYS Yacht Sales (2023)

The galley, for example, is an important element to any liveaboard experience. Galleys vary greatly in size and accommodation. Some are functional for light food preparation, while others are well-equipped for cooking complete meals and entertaining a large number of guests. Some yachts have a ‘galley up’ layout, where the galley is located on the same level as the salon. This layout ensures the chef is easily a part of the party. ‘Galley down’ implies that the galley is below salon level, and therefore more isolated from the common salon areas. Many buyers have a strong preference when deciding between these two options.

A good entertainment system is also important to most people, such as having a large screen TV and the ability to play music both indoors and out. Now that we have over-the-air digital TV on our boat, primary channels can be received at no charge with an inexpensive antenna (within about 30 miles from broadcast stations). For the widest selection of sports, news and movie channels, satellite signal receiving equipment is required, in addition to a monthly subscription. Satellite TV, data and music can be received over a far greater area than alternative signals such as WiFi.

A reliable head system, with an adequately-sized holding tank, should be considered, as it can avoid frequent pump-outs. Also, large water tanks are important if/when a marina’s water supply is not available. A water maker is another handy option to have, although it requires some maintenance. In places like the Bahamas, where fresh water is relatively expensive, this feature is a welcomed one.

Where should you start your search?

Once you have narrowed down what you are looking for, the next step is to contact a reputable yacht broker to assist you in your liveaboard boat search. An experienced, professional broker works as a trusted advisor who can explain all the variations in quality, maintainability, and performance across different boat types and brands.

Your yacht broker will also be there for every step of the purchasing process. Their goal is to protect your interests, from the initial consult to taking delivery of your vessel. Learn more

What do you enjoy most about living aboard?

My wife and I enjoy the freedom of living aboard, as well as the opportunity to take charter guests out from time to time. We really enjoy being outdoors, more than we did living in houses. The ability to easily “change the scenery” without a moving van is a real benefit. At first, it is a strange feeling to travel without the need to pack, realizing that everything you need is already on the boat.

We prefer to spend our time “anchoring out”, rather than staying in marinas. However, we find marinas to be very enjoyable communities, where people are friendly and helpful to each other, more so than in the 16 different land neighborhoods we've lived in.

Not everyone can adapt to the smaller quarters, but through this experience we've realized how little we really need on a daily basis. Now, when my wife (the Admiral) and I, visit friends and family in larger living quarters, we think “what an inefficient use of space, why air condition all that, when you need so much less?”

Living aboard has really changed our lives for the better and expanded our community.

To learn more about choosing the right liveaboard boat, contact Charles Giambalvo. Charles combines his marine industry knowledge and sales know-how to provide his clients the highest level of professional service.


How do I choose a liveaboard boat? ›

Some of the most important amenities to look for when selecting a liveaboard boat is heating and air conditioning, adequate closet space, a fully-functional galley, comfortable master stateroom, and a practical salon with entertainment systems.

What is the best size boat for a liveaboard? ›

Suggested length for liveaboard boats
  • 25-35 ft. range if you're single.
  • 35-45 ft. for couples.
  • 40+ ft. for 2 or more people.
Jun 21, 2023

What is the best yacht to live on? ›

Catamarans. If you're looking for a full suite of amenities such as a house-sized kitchen and bathroom, plus oodles of extra living space then a multi-hull – catamaran or trimaran - makes for an excellent ocean-going liveaboard.

What is the best size boat to sail around the world? ›

Modern round-the-worlders most often choose boats between 35 and 45 feet in size. The minimum length is due to the boat's behaviour in open water and, as a result, the desired level of comfort and safety.

Can you live on a yacht year round? ›

Most people who live on a yacht do not reside there year-round, but instead will live there for certain parts of the year or for short durations – like a water-based vacation. Living on a yacht can be more or less comfortable depending on the amenities your boat is outfitted with.

What size boat is recommended for ocean? ›

If you are planning on traversing the oceans and seas where the waves and waters can get fairly rough, you should consider looking at boats 30ft and up. A boat this size will better handle the choppy and unpredictable water and currents, as well as longer trips offshore.

How big of a boat is needed to cross the ocean? ›

For comfort and safety, yachts crossing the ocean should be a minimum of 30ft. This size boat allows you to travel securely across the Atlantic Ocean. When yachts cross the ocean, it's important to have enough fuel, supplies and food for those on board, which means that the larger the boat, the better.

What size boat is good for offshore? ›

The most common offshore boats are usually between 30 to 40 feet, which is perfect for long trips and most weather conditions. Anything less than 30 feet will not handle weather and waves as well, but they still make for great boats if you pay attention to the weather.

What is the best time of year to buy a used yacht? ›

In September and October, you can do sailing tests, making November and December the best months to start the process of buying a boat.

How much money should you have to own a yacht? ›

Calculations and Qualifications. Plan to put at least 10% down on your yacht and pay somewhere around 5% APR for 10 years. That $100,000 entry-level yacht (a used one would be around 30–35 feet long) is going to incur monthly payments of nearly $1,000 after you make your $10,000 down payment.

What is the safest yacht in the world? ›

The Kraken 50, billed as the 'safest blue water yacht in build today,' has been launched. Unlike all her contemporaries, the K50 has the unique 'Zero Keel' construction: An all-in-one hull and keel with scantlings to match.

What is the hardest sea to sail? ›

Drake Passage, Southern tip of South America

This is one of the world's most renowned stormy seas, also known as the “Sea of Hoces”.

What is the best sailing yacht size? ›

For a sailboat to be considered as a liveaboard, it needs to be at least 30ft. Anything smaller and the boat will be cramped for anyone other than a solo sailor. However, the larger the boat, the greater the cost of ownership. The ideal size sailboat to live on would be 35-45 feet for most people.

What do you need for a liveaboard? ›

  • CLOTHING. Don't stress over what to wear on board. ...
  • SAVE-A-DIVE KIT. ...
  • BATTERIES AND CHARGERS FOR ALL ELECTRONICS — cameras, dive computers, flashlights and toys. ...

Can you live on a boat in a marina? ›

Most marinas require an application for you to move aboard permanently. In some areas, liveaboards aren't permitted or there are long waiting lists. Liveaboard slip fees are usually higher and your insurance rates may increase if your boat becomes your primary residence.

How hard is it to live on a boat? ›

Boats are a lot of work, far more than a house. Stuff breaks all the time and you'll need to be a good problem solver and ideally handy with tools. It's hard work, but on the plus side, you'll develop a whole bunch of new skills.

What qualifies as a liveaboard? ›

Liveaboard can mean: Someone who makes a boat, typically a small yacht in a marina, their primary residence. Powerboats and cruising sailboats are commonly used for living aboard, as well as houseboats which are designed primarily as a residence. A boat designed for people to live aboard it.


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