When I decided to live on a boat it wasn’t for any of the reasons which I’m going to pitch to you.  Like 99% of the planet you likely haven’t been educated that living on a boat is even an option.  Your only options are to live in an apartment, tiny condo or for the privileged a house.   Or, like most Millennials live with their parents till the ripe age of 50 and/or wait it out till they die and claim the inheritance.  Then they would probably take that and still go mooch of somebody else!  lol


I thought I needed that thing, that car, that TV, that tool, that whatever.  I had good paying jobs and somehow I felt entitled and justified to buy stuff on a whim.  How many homes have we been to where the lady of the house has closets crammed full of clothes and shoes that either haven’t been worn or at best once?  Next thing you know it’s out of fashion or she gained a pile of weight and nothing fits. LoL  (I know I’m going to hell for that dig)  Let’s be clear here each and every single one of us is guilty here, some more then others.   We suck and we know it.  We are slaves to the landfill Gods.


In my research I came across on youtube video of a young brilliant charismatic speaker named Teresa Carey.  Sorry Benji you need to play second fiddle here.    This short 10 min video is fantastic and is about being a minimalist at sea.  It applies to landlubbers too.


The house, cars, massive wardrobe, patio furniture the stuff.  YOU can kiss all that stuff good-bye if you want to live on a boat.  How does that make you feel?  Sick?  I bet you’re thinking twice now about living on a boat now!   Admit it that stuff owns you!

When I moved onto my boat.  I had one tiny closet and one drawer.  I brought one bag of cloths and two pairs of shoes.  My daughter got the extra three drawers and that’s because I’m the coolest dad.   Some pots and pans and that is about it.   Eventually sold the car and guitar and now I bike to get around.   It’s only when you can get to that level is when you see the light.  YOU need to let go, it’s the only way to truly understand has been holding you hostage.

When it comes to possessions here is the truth about living on a boat.  First that possession has to have a purpose.  And two when you buy something you need to think about what needs to go.  You can’t keep everything you simply won’t have room or you’ll never find it.


  • I will not buy designer clothes.  I will wear what I have till they are no longer functional.
    • You will rip, stain or get diesel on your cloths.  Don’t buy expensive stuff.
    • The idea of buying brand name $400 sunglasses is out of the question.  The first thing that will fall off your head is the eyewear and into the water.  LoL
    • That $40 dollar Roger Federer cap I had, yep blew off and sank.  Won’t do that again.
    • Get rid of your high heels honey, you’ll look funny on a boat and an accident is waiting to happen walking on a dock.
  • I meal plan.
    • For food you use everything for the most part till it’s gone.  For example when I open a bag of pasta or loaf of bread.  You use it all till it’s gone.  You plan your weekly meals based on what you can store and stretch it out.   You just do not have the freedom or space to make 20 different things throughout the week.  The days of throwing out spoiled food is over.
    • I buy better and smarter.  I went from $200/week down to $80/week even less on some weeks.  Now for you Americans just to give you an idea of food costs here in Canada.  $14 for a six pack of beer.   $20 for a prime steak.  $20 for a whole chicken.   Trust me it adds up real fast.  Oh and you want a bottle of Rum?  $40
    • The days of restaurants are basically a thing of the past.  For two to eat at the keg $100.  All those years eating out!  Grrrr
    • Because I cook full time, I’m better skilled , efficient and I save a pile of money.  I have more friends over and my social life is better than it’s ever been and I don’t have to go to a bar to host anything.
    • I invested in a damn good coffee/cappuccino machine.  Tim Hortons and Starbuck you can kiss my keister.  You won’t get another dime from me serving that swill anymore.
  • Laptop and cell phone is my only day-to-day electronics I need.  No more gadgets.
  • I loved my VW TDI Jetta.   It was my last major “thing” to let go.  It was one of those things where you have to pour piles of money into it and drive it into the ground or sell it when you can.  I sold and I’m glad.  No more payments, gas, Insurance upkeep etc.
  • I bought a killer used carbon fiber bike on Craigslist for $450.  I bike everywhere I go and loving it.  I’m fitter and OH I can make it downtown Toronto in 1 hour.  Try doing that in a car during rush hour!  Now I got my daughter doing it.  Ya, she whines sometimes but tough.  The royal carriage days are over for her and it’s time to get fit!


I wish when I was younger somebody could have told me If I lived on a boat it would force me to have habits that ultimately would make me happier, wealthier, lived more life and a whole lot smarter.  Let me explain.

On a boat you buy less, buy smarter, buy only things that server a real purpose. Everything for the most part is used.  Not functional out it goes.  You learn to fix everything yourself, you will become an mechanic, electrician, cook, entertainer and deck cleaner, weatherman and helmsmen.

So when it comes to wealth.  Here is my take.   Ever heard of or read Rich Dad / Poor Dad?  If you don’t know about it then the short and skinny of it is, let somebody else buy the house!  In the end I’d bet if you learned to live on a boat you’re not going to leave to go back to a house.  Eventually the house will be paid for and you’ll sell it and start travelling far and wide on your boat.  Because now you’ve mastered skills that are pretty much useless living in a house.  You’ll get bored and your life will wilt away.

Beside who has great house stories?  Let me guess once you had an epic backyard party.   Only sailors do.  Argggg!

Living on a Yacht you’ll be living the “boss’ life”.  You’ll gain skills that are far more superior compared to a homeowner.


BOATS ARE NOT AN Investment.

Boats can kill you financially.  So here is some of my wisdom.

  • Shoot for comfort over toys (Electronics).  You don’t need that chartplotter or radar unit.
  • Really understand the survey report and what it is telling you.  Ask somebody if you don’t.
  • You don’t need the electric flushing head.   Hey princess show some muscle and pump that handle!


  • My mast step was rotted out, another $1k.   It just never ends.  Eventually you learn to live without.  Wait till you find out what a tiny marine fridge replacement costs.
  • Stay away from stinky moldy boats if it’s leaking you’ll be forever trying to fix it.
  • I bought my boat knowing that had bad wiring, household wiring and bad connections etc.   I rewired it myself at a cost of $600.   If you get an electrician to do it slap on another $2k or more.  Warning:  If you do not know what you are doing be careful you could cause a fire in no time.  Take water and electronics in small spaces seriously.
  • Take a marine electronics and engine course.  You have to know it.  Otherwise open your wallet and watch the money start flying out.

I’ll say it again BOATS ARE NOT AN Investment.  Eventually the coffee maker will be worth more then the boat.

The whole lesson here is to be frugal and learn stronger life skills, living on a boat forces the issue.  And if you’re smart that hard earned money you make that is extra, invest it.   Dude you’re going to live on a boat!

Jim and Karen live here with me.   Check out this article that was posted on National Post.  – Liveaboards