Tue 17 January 2017
For those who have been involved in boating for a long time, the pull of the water for a longer period, let’s say sailing round the Canary Islands is a large pull. You’ll observe yachts moored and on the water when holidaying in the Med with lithe, sunbathing babes hunkering down on the top deck ready to bronze themselves into oblivion. This may seem like the life you’ll get while living on board a boat but that’s not always the case unfortunately. Even the most experienced yachtsmen can be seduced into forgetting that there are a lot of details to think about when living on a boat long term and they’re not always fun details either! Living in colder climates means for the most part, people reach out and yearn for a warmer climate. Being on a boat in a colder climate is an entirely different story to being on a boat in the heat of the Mediterranean and cruising across the Med is a dream for most.
Those who are able to take the time for themselves to cruise in the Mediterranean tend to be of an older generation and sometimes, the business of a sailboat transporting company becomes limited to that generation. A combination of lack of boat hauling companies and sailing experience and wrong assumptions about what it takes to sail long term really can lead to large problems coming about after significant amounts of capital have been deployed. The dream of living on a boat needs to be thought through thoroughly in the first instance as it’s all well and good to dream but if you don’t go over the practicalities then being seasick will be the least of your worries.
Living on a boat abroad is not the same as a coastal cruise. Holidays cruises and charters end – again, unfortunately – but deciding to actually live on a boat is a little more permanent. Living on board your boat is a tough option even when it’s warm and in practice is far removed from the on seen with rose tinted glasses. The first misconception that most people have is that living abroad in the Med is cheaper than in the UK. Based on real experiences, you will likely find that your shopping costs are the same if not more. Spain itself is usually quite cheap but not when it comes to food shopping.
Marina fees are pretty much the same as in the UK and in the summer even casual moorings can be majorly expensive. Finding somewhere to fill water tanks can be a problem if not in the marina and even if you are living on a small boat you will need a minimum of ten thousand pounds a year to simply get by. There are places you can go that are cheaper of course but the disadvantages make it unsuitable for many of those who live aboard. So moneywise the cost of living in the Med for yourselves and the boat is rather the same as in the UK but with nicer weather. It’s a bad misconception to think you would be living the life of Riley on a tiny budget abroad. That’s not to say you should give up your dream of doing so but you should be more prepared. Living aboard your own boat can be a fantastic experience and re-establishing yourself on shore can be costly. As with anything in life, we can only recommend you give it a go. You may regret it but if you don’t go, you will definitely regret it!