This is at the top of my list of the pros of living aboard.
There is something about the challenges and rewards of living aboard a boat that enhance your feeling of well being. You are doing something that not everyone does, and is also something that many people are interested in doing.
When things go wrong it's up to you to figure out what to do about it and make it happen. There is no one to pass the buck to, and when you solve a problem it makes you feel very good. It is a boost to your self esteem.
The gentle rocking of the boat at night when you are safely in your bunk is a subtle reminder of the distant past when we were happy little babies being rocked to sleep in our cradles.
More on the Psychology of Living on a Boat.
I lived in one marina where my non-liveaboard neighbor was an avid fisherman. He loved to fish with his buddies, and they always went out after dark and came back well after I had gone to sleep. They were usually well lubricated with beer and very noisy.
Finally I complained to the dockmaster and he made the fishermen move their boat to a non-liveaboard dock. If he hadn't, I would have moved to another marina. In other words, you have the freedom to choose your neighbors. This is one of the best pros of living aboard.
You also have the freedom to live just about anywhere you want - as long as it's on water - and still have all the comforts of your familiar home. And if you have a boat that is seaworthy, you can go somewhere on a cruise any time the mood hits you.
CLOSENESS TO NATURE
Evolutionists say that we humans all originated in the sea millions of years ago. A boat may be a hole in the water into which you pour money, but it is also a place where you are safely cradled by the sea. It seems to be our natural home.
When you live aboard you become part of nature whether you want to or not. Sea birds will get used to you and perch on your boat or dock lines. Manatees will come nuzzling up to you looking for a snack or a drink.
Dolphins will cavort around you and blow at you to get your attention. The shrimp will nibble at the seaweed and barnacles on your hull. Wading birds will ignore you as they go about their feeding work. You become a familiar part of their world.
Sunsets are more spectacular, the moon is nearer and the sky is your ceiling as you sit in your cockpit quietly taking in the ever changing scene around you. This is one of the big pros of living aboard.
Another thing that happens to most liveaboards is a big change in their biorhythm. In other words, you find yourself going to bed much earlier and getting up much earlier. It seems the natural thing to do even if you've spent much of your earlier life as a night owl.
When you live aboard your boat, you have more in common with your neighbors than if you live on land. First of all, you have all chosen the same lifestyle. That choice is more important than what you do or did for a living or where you are from.
The common joys and problems of owning a boat create a bond that is deep and lasting.
When you live aboard, you by necessity learn to keep your possessions to a bare minimum. Your family and friends will understand that if they want to give you something, a consumable will be greatly appreciated. Any other gift takes up space and usually requires you to get rid of something else.
Your eating habits will quite often improve also, and you will lose weight. And since a boat moves all the time, even if gently in a marina, you will find your muscle tone improving.
Living aboard can be an inexpensive way to live if you do it right. If you are handy around boats, you will save money by doing your own maintenance and repairs. Your small living space will cost less to heat or cool than even the tiniest apartment or house.
In some cases, your boat may not even have an engine. That removes one of the biggest expenses of maintaining or operating a boat.
Some folks are content just to stay in the marina and never go out. If they want to move, they call a tow boat. These folks quite often love houseboats.
If you pick the right marina, you will feel safer living on your boat than almost anyplace else. Many marinas have locked access gates, security guards and good police protection.
Another safeguard is your neighbors. They know who belongs in the marina and who does not. It's like having a full time community watch on duty.
LIVING OFF THE GRID
With governments worldwide going deeper in debt, the cost of living will probably go way up.
You and I will be paying more for food, water, clothing, power, medicine, health care.....you name it.
Your liveaboard boat can be a little self sufficient island that you can learn how to power economically and move quickly. You can store the basics of what you need to survive, and push off and get away if you feel the need.
You can drop the anchor in a quiet cove far from the big city riots and food shortages that may lie in our future.
If the bad stuff never happens, you will still be having a lot of fun.
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By Mike Miller, Copyright 2012-2022 Living-Aboard.com