South Florida is a funny place. Nowhere else in the world could someone casually bring up the topic of owning a boat without anyone batting an eye. If someone way up north or in the Midwest mentioned owning a boat, you may think of a fishing dinghy. Of course, we use our boats to go fishing out here, too. But for some of us, owning a boat – and living on it -- is actually a lifestyle choice. While it may seem like a fun and exciting one at first, the truth is, living on a boat may be something that’s best reserved for fantasy if you’re not properly prepared for it.

Let me put it in another way: living on a boat (even a fancy yacht) just may be glorified form of camping. Except instead of being tucked away in one of our many awesome National Forests, though, you’re instead adrift at sea. Ignoring the boring paperwork (Fort Lauderdale boat tag renewal, boating licenses, etc.), there's a host of other obstacles to prepare for with a boat as your domicile. Not sure what I mean? Allow me to elaborate.

Bathing is Optional

When you’re miles away from the shore, do you really think you’re going to have access to a luxurious hot shower or an incredible soaking tub? Oh dear…nobody told you? The bathrooms on a yacht (also known as heads) are politely described as “quaint” at best. Even the most decked-out bathrooms are sorely lacking in hygiene facilities. When you live on a boat, you can kiss your fifteen-minute showers goodbye.

The Bathroom Situation, Part 2

If you’re looking for Part 1, it went over the side of the boat. In other words, you won’t be missing just your showers when you live on a boat. If you need to go Number 1, you’ll learn to do it over the side of the boat. If you’re a lady, I’m not sure what to tell you. You’re going to have to learn new skills, I suppose. And if you need to go Number 2? The bathroom is all yours, but nobody is making any promises that it’ll smell like roses in there.

Privacy? What’s That?

Yachts can range in size and shape, and while they can seem quite large and expansive, with more than two or three people aboard, it can quickly start to feel cramped. If you’re not best friends with your boatmates when you embark, you certainly will be by the end of your journey. There simply aren’t that many places you can hide on a boat. Even if you go seeking solitude, sure, you’ll be miles away from civilization, but lo: there’s your bunkmate again. Get used to them. You’ll be seeing a lot of them while you’re at sea, whether you like it or not.

Look, living on a boat doesn’t have to be awful. Life is what you make of it, and if you’re really going to be the ungrateful wretch who complains about living on a yacht, take your complaints elsewhere. I’m just grumpy that I live here on land while everyone else is enjoying the salty spray of the ocean air aboard their massive 27-foot yacht. The truth is, the more I tell myself that living on a boat is a terrible experience, the less I feel like I’m missing out. But if you live on a boat, then there’s a good chance that you’ve found the lifestyle that works best for you and that’s awesome. And, um, why not drop me an invite sometime to tour the facilities? I promise, scout’s honor, I won’t try to be a stowaway!


Boat tag renewal: get it without waiting in line. Call Auto Tags of Florida at (954)848-4808 for same-day service.


Photo credit: Peng Louis