Liveaboard Houseboat Cost?


I have a pretty keen interest in taking on a liveaboard houseboat lifestyle.

I have a few questions, and was hoping to get a little info from someone whom has perviously or currently lived aboard a houseboat. So if you have experience living aboard please help me out!

I am looking to spend about $25000 maybe $30000 if she is perfect, on a boat I believe this will get me something relatively nice and ideal. I am one single person. I require a double bed space, reasonable clothing cupboard space and an upper deck, and the vital amities. I am looking to buy and live in Australia. QLD/NSW is this a reasonable amount?

Whats the rough average monthly cost of living aboard. One Person.

Electricity? 1-2hours of tv or computer time a day, weekends perhaps a few hours of stereo use. Also how common are solar powered boats and would this be cheaper?

Gas, if need be for heat? (a shower a day, a cooking meal a day)

Fuel: I would not be traveling to often, on the occasionally weekend I may do up to 80km give or take. And if I’m not doing that engine run checks. Relocation would be the only other big chunk out of the fuel but I am not looking to count that into monthly fuel cost.

However in the event of traveling how much is the average single person sized houseboat(which I am guessing would be around 36/40 feet) going to cost in fuel on a trip about 170km long.

Also while moving are you allowed to anchor and stay over night in your houseboat without being at a marine birth? If so how do you find out where this is and is not allowed?

What are liveaboard marina costs like? Can you stay for monthly periods? Maybe even a year? Are there clubs / or member kind of situations where you pay a monthly / yearly fee which allows you to birth in certain locations? If so what are these fees and locations like? Also how do you find out where liveaboard marinas are located?


Alcohol? What are the rules with drinking aboard a live aboard house boat?

I think thats all for now, I know my questions are pretty detailed, anyone who has the time it will be very much appreciated to hear from someone whom has actually had a few years experience living aboard! It is a big decision for me, I am in love with the idea but need to know the realistic costs, the marine birthing and pricing is what I am most clueless about.

Thank you

6 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    wow that's alot of questions,but i'll try to hit the high spots. i've lived on my 34' sport fish/express cruiser for 4 years with my girl friend and may not ever live in a house again, if that gives you any idea about the life style. it will be difficult for me to give you exact prices in your area, as i live on the gulf coast in alabama. fuel economy on boats is generally measured in gallons per hour. don't expect much more than 1 mile per gallon.also marina fuel is higher , even tho there is no road tax involved. i bring my fuel in, in 55 gal drums, but if your marina sells fuel(mine doesn't) don't expect them to be that nice. slip rent for liveaboards here averages about $10.00 per foot. i was lucky enough to find a nice marina that charges a flat fee of $250.00 per month. had to fight with the power company to get a residential rate, as they want to charge commercial rate for boats for some reason.power will be higher,boats aren't insulated that well. i have an 8,000 btu a/c with a 3,500 watt heater. a reverse cycle cruise air is more efficient. i pay up to $200.00 a month in the winter. there is NEVER enough space for all of your stuff. it may be difficult if you are a material person. if you aren't going to use something every month, you don't need it. i bought a storage building to keep some things in, but it's a pain at best. then there's haul out costs. you will need to haul the boat every few years to check/repaint the bottom and running gear.barnacles are not nice and will kill your speed/fuel economy. as far as pricing? i did a repower on an older 47' not long ago that cost $30,000.00 for the engines installed alone. a marine surveyor is worth his weight in gold to avoid getting ripped off. hope this helps. feel free to contact me through yahoo if you think i can help. good luck!

    Source(s): 30+years auto/boat tech
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago


    Source(s): Boat Plans
  • 4 years ago

    Live Aboard Houseboats

  • 5 years ago

    Any one of your questions could take an hour to discuss. 1 Live aboard costs are in general less than a house, How much to earn is an unknown - depends on your debt and the cost of the boat and your general lifestyle choices. I know people who barely need ten grand a year - and others who find 200 K a year not enough. 2 Power etc. will be enough to run up to a couple of thousand watts of load at least - check with the Marina Manager for details. 3 You don't need to know how to sail if tied up at the dock - but an immediate enrollment in a training course will only be for the good. It can take years to be truly competent, but the basic skills are critical to your safety - and the safety of your passengers. 4 You will want a 45' ketch rig cruising hull. Look at a boat that size as being the same as living in a loungeroom, bathroom a small bedroom and a couple of closets. Total. 5 You will probably use at least one fan heater, although many cruisers are fitted with small furnaces and even small wood stoves. 6 Yes. Google is your friend. 7 Yes - you can't piddle or poo in the water, so you either collect the greywater and blackwater in a holding tank, and pump out weekly, or use shore based facilities. You will do your clothes washing onshore too, mostly. Rent a boat for a week in a Marina to get a taste - go sailing with competent skippers on boats similar to your favoured type. The racing crews and boats will be pretty full on, probably scary to the uneducated. Take the girlfriend on these trips - no good finding out too late that she gets sea sick watching the ripples on a glass of water.... Educate yourself fully - rose tinted glasses on boats only cause you to stub your toes. Best of luck. Oh yeah - and only consider a boat after a competent marine surveyor has given a full written report identifying any issues. Ask around the live aboards in a marina - they will know the people that are honest and value for money. Edit - I guess it depends on the size of waste water storage system on the boat, if big enough you could go months, but most of the 200 - 300 litre ones I have dealt with add up to only 40 litres a day - for all water collected. Most marinas have very strict policies on what is allowed to be discharged into the water. Most have a zero tolerance, so every flush, every shower, every sink full must be collected. On my own I am lucky to use 10 litres a day, but most people use hundreds of litres a day at home - it's an attitude thing as mentioned, you develop a very green and responsible attitude to your consumption and waste. Cost of living ends up a lot cheaper that way too. Don't worry about the negative attitudes, you might try the lifestyle and find it just doesn't fit, but that's cool 'cos at least you will have had a shot at it. Don't die wishing you had done a lot of stuff but never got around to it - you only have this life so use it wisely. And you should consider converted fishing boats etc. as well, that is an excellent point - there are a lot of options out there and some are sure to fit you. See you on the water one day :)

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I would encourage you to check out the video on costs (Part 6) - all the way down the page.

    Also, there is a spreadsheet that will help with costs. Details require that you purchase the book, but the spreadsheet is free. Also, however, the free video does summarize a bit of what the book says about the costs.

    Specifically, the answers to your questions vary. I have put my own estimated costs into the spreadsheet, and this was accurate given my lifestyle.

    In the interest of full disclosure, this is my site and I wrote this book and present the material in the interview. Hope you find it helpful.

  • 4 years ago

    Here are literally thousands of organized woodworking projects in a members area and all you have to do is get them off your computer any time you want. Go here

    There are thousands of plans so decide which one you are going to tackle next. The choice is yours to make so just click on the proper button for the specific project and then they are right there for you to pick one. The diagrams and instructions will be right there in the computer for you to access at any time or if you prefer you can print them out.

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