What to Expect From Houseboat Living
Choosing to enjoy life on a houseboat is appealing to people from a variety of backgrounds but can be a distinct departure from life on land. Those who have taken the plunge and purchased a floating home should be aware of the benefits and considerations that accompany this unique and rewarding lifestyle.
Houseboat living is generally divided into two categories: life on the water and life in port. To travel the world while simultaneously enjoying the comforts of home is an enviable situation and one of the greatest appeals to the houseboat lifestyle. This kind of travel is not, however, completely carefree. Planning is required to ensure your domicile does not run out of fuel or fresh water. It is not guaranteed that both of these necessary liquids will be available in any port, nor is it guaranteed that reaching a port will always take the same amount of time. Never set sail in weather you are unsure your particular class of boat can handle easily, double check safety measures like lifeboats, life vests, and fire suppression systems, and always carry extra provisions in case of emergency. Keep your navigation equipment serviced and up-to-date and be certain there are multiple people on board familiar with its use, as well as the use of any communication systems installed.
While remaining docked at a marina might seem like an easier option, do not forget that your boat is still a boat while in port. Leaks can occur at any time, and it is important to inspect your vessel regularly. Marinas are also incredibly varied in what they offer and how they operate. Each has its own rules and amenities. While certain small ports might allow you to dock for free, many charge fees based on the size of your boat and the corresponding slip required. Marinas may also have limits on how long you can stay or require applications or reservations in advance. It is best to research any of these regulations before pulling in and dropping anchor. Despite these limitations, marinas can be extremely convenient, often offering useful services for houseboat owners as well as access to food and entertainment. Perhaps most importantly, docking at a marina is an easy way to make friends with other houseboat enthusiasts. Many marinas are friendly places where people are eager to socialize with those who clearly share a passion for travel.
Living on a houseboat offers a rare combination of freedom and community. While you are out at sea, it is easy to forget about the complexities of life on land. The farthest reaches of the world are suddenly within your grasp. After returning to port, you are warmly welcomed by a diverse community of houseboat enthusiasts. By embracing a few unique responsibilities, any houseboat owner will get the most out of both of these rewarding experiences.