How Much Does It Cost To Live On A Houseboat

How Much Does It Cost To Live On A Houseboat?

Houseboats have become incredibly common. Some people intend to make the waters their permanent residence. The issue here is, “Are you prepared to live on a boat, and just how much does living on a houseboat set you back financially”?

The living costs on a houseboat is affected by a variety of things, including your utility company and property upkeep. If you decide to live on a houseboat, you need to budget at least $500 to $1,000 every month.

How Much Does It Cost To Live On A Houseboat

These estimates, though, may vary from country to country you reside in and the marina’s restrictions and rules. As a result, before you settle into a houseboat, it is critical that you are aware of the legislation in your area.

This article will teach you about the expense of residing on a houseboat, the many types of houseboats, and the benefits and drawbacks of life on a narrowboat.

So, What Is A Houseboat?

A houseboat is a vessel that has been built or modified to be used as a residence. Some boats are motorized, but the majority are anchored, or maintained immobile in one location and connected to the ground for practical reasons.

There are various types of houseboats offered. You can either buy a recently inhabited houseboat or a newly built one. Irrespective of which you pick, you should fit it to your personal style since, after all, you will be occupying that place.

1. Houseboats that are moored

These are not intended for use at sea. They are typically tied, anchored, or linked to a particular area, such as a port or pier. This is the most common type of floating dwelling.

2. Houseboats for Cruising

A cruising houseboat is preferable for those searching for a boat that can be utilised for both river transportation and trips. These boats are not licensed to run in large or open ocean waves, but they are authorized to function on smaller waterways.

The two fundamental types of houseboats I just stated are further subdivided into the following sub-categories:

The Pontoon Boat

This type of houseboat is popular because of its stability, practicality, and affordability. It’s a relatively flatboat made largely of marine-grade aluminum, with some wood, fiberglass, iron, and plastic thrown in for good measure.

It’s an excellent holiday houseboat option because it’s easy to clean and maintain, convenient to use, and requires no maintenance. It’s also a terrific way to get out on the water.

An Entire Hull

A whole hull boat is a primary option in the United States. Its design ensures that it is both stable and useful. It also has outstanding proportions, allowing it to provide extra living quarters.

When out on the sea, the boat’s shape provides increased buoyancy and a more comfortable ride. There is also lots of storage space beneath the floor.

A Barge

Barges are huge ships that may be anchored forever or hauled around. It’s one of the most frequent forms of houseboats since it has a large storage capacity and can accommodate up to 10 people.

Dutch barges are larger and more comfortable than ordinary barges due to their considerable breadth. These types of barges, though, can only be anchored on streams, and not on man made canals.


These trailerable boats are lengthy and straight, making them excellent for traveling in tight and tiny river basins.

Waterfront Home

Floating dwellings are intended for persons who do not want to travel by boat. It’s perfect for a retirement house or a seaside property.

High-end Vessels

A luxurious houseboat is a greater vessel that looks similar to a luxury yacht. Such boats have added features such as granite worktops, electric grills, refrigerators, and air conditioning units.

High-end Vessels

How Much Does Living On A Houseboat Cost?

The yearly living expenses on a houseboat are between $6,000 and $12,000. This is determined by factors such as your geography, activity, and the fixed costs of living on boats. Continue reading to learn more about these prices.


A canvas may make the experience onboard more enjoyable throughout the summertime by keeping you cooled and covered.

A canopy can shield the cabin and deck of your sailboat from the weather, and it must be held in place. Mold or ripping can be an issue in harsh temperatures, and a particular stitching kit can assist you in making the needed maintenance.

Cleaning A Space

You must clean the hull’s underbelly of muck and crustaceans. Maintenance can assist to preserve the rig in good condition.


Assess how much it would cost to keep your boat’s rails, surface ornamentation, trim, and other elements in good condition.


Waxing the deck of your yacht once or twice per year may keep it nice and clean and lively.

Membership Fees

Annual yacht club membership fees are another price you may have to consider. Users of these organizations have stated that they can cost up to $250 per month or even more!

The obvious solution is not to attend one of these organizations if you are attempting to live frugally, but you should make sure that your neighborhood marina does not force you to be a member.

What Are The Benefits Of Living On A Houseboat?

● You get to wake up every single day with a sea view. Your boat will be docked at a port, giving you unparalleled access to the water or harbor.
● Rowing, rafting, and angling would be available on a regular basis in the evening after work.
● You won’t have to do any landscaping work. You’ll have never had to shovel the snow or cut the lawn again!
● Depending on the area and city where you reside, you may not have to pay those taxes on your houseboat.
What are the disadvantages of living on a houseboat?
● A homebuyers’ organization will very certainly compel you to register and abide by its regulations. Most docks that permit the use of houseboats as temporary residences need owners to establish an organization that controls boat upkeep, docking, and other difficulties.
● Living on a houseboat comes with additional expenses. Virtually always, you will just have to pay rental costs.
● A houseboat may have less living space than a standard single-family dwelling.

Houseboat vs. A Regular Home – The Price Difference

In most nations, the price of housing or buying a property has risen significantly over the past few years. This has slowly become a problem for people who want to live nearby a metropolis but don’t want to pay the high cost of doing so.

But first, consider the average monthly rental expense in a normal US city. The rental rate for a one-bedroom apartment in 15 large cities is $1216. That expenditure is really just rent. It does not include utilities such as electricity and warmth. Not to add that it’s a 1 bedroom flat!

As a result, you may live on a boat for a fraction of the price. Not to mention Sir. Richard Branson, a renowned individual who lived on a houseboat. The stigma associated with living aboard these boats is long gone, therefore there has never been a greater time to explore moving into one of these.

Is Living On A Houseboat Affordable?

Houseboats may be the solution to your troubles when you’re on a limited budget. Generally speaking, the living expenses aboard a houseboat is substantially cheaper than the cost of living on land, and numerous reasons contribute to this.

You ought to be informed of each one since it will help you make an informed choice when purchasing one or comparing it to a standard home.

The cost of a boat varies significantly. On the one hand, and with chance, you may be able to obtain a fresh DIY project boat for nothing. Houseboats that have been converted into luxury penthouse apartments are on the other end of the range. These are normally worth $500,000 or more.

If you are searching for ordinary boats at an accessible price, there are several houseboats in the $20,000 – $80,000 area that you may move into right away.

Boats in the $20,000 range are typically compared to trailer parks but on the ocean. Houseboats, on the other hand, are more akin to a great starter home in the $80,000 area.

Bottom Line

You now understand the typical living expenses on a boat. In the event, you forget, take the above price form and then use it to keep filling your personal costs to avoid unpleasant shocks all along the way. One factor to consider is the cost of maintaining the houseboat, particularly the hull.

Furthermore, as previously stated, it is advisable to hire one of these vessels for a night or perhaps a week or 2 to get a sense of what life is like on-board.

It’s okay to lose $1,000 renting one and discovering you really do not like it than to invest $30k+ (minimum) on a boat only to discover you truly despise it. If you want to see what it was like to live on a boat, you could just rent one first to get a sense of what it’s like.

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