Cheap Living Sailboat: 6 Affordable Sailboats For A Liveaboard

If you’re looking for a small, affordable sailboat to take you on great adventures, consider investing in a cheap living sailboat.

These boats are perfect for those who want to experience the open ocean and have fun.

They come in various sizes and prices and have a range of features and amenities to make your sailing experience more enjoyable.

So, if you’re on a budget and want to take your sailing activity up a notch, invest in a cheap living sailboat.

In this article, we’ll be revealing the best cheap living sailboats and how you can maintain them.

Cheap Living Sailboat: An Overview,

A living sailboat is a boat that is designed to cruise on the open seas.

These boats can be used for both pleasure and professional purposes and are built to last.

Sailing boats are a popular choice for many people, both experienced and beginner sailors.

The popularity of sailboats has two main reasons: the ability to get around on the water with little or no assistance and the fact that they can be set up in various ways to make them as comfortable as possible for whoever is riding aboard.

Sailboats come in many different shapes and sizes, but all have one common goal: getting people around safely on the water.

Sailboats are not only a popular type of boat but also one that can be very expensive to purchase.

Sailboats use sails to make them move and can be used for various activities, including cruising, fishing, and even racing.

They are often considered luxurious vessels and can cost upwards of $100,000.

Because of this, sailboats have become one of the most popular types of boats on the market.

However, because they come in various sizes and styles, some can be available for as little as $5,000 – that’s where a cheap living sailboat comes in.

Benefits of A Cheap Living Sailboat

1. Living aboard a sailboat can be a great way to experience the natural beauty of the sea and have some fun, too. There are endless opportunities for variety on a sailboat, from exploring new ports and sights to learning about sailing and other maritime activities.

2. Sailboats are lightweight and easy to care for, making them perfect for people who want to live near the water but don’t want to spend a fortune on Maintenance.

3. A sailboat is also perfect for those who want to travel extensively, as it offers plenty of space for storing food and equipment and has an easily accessible cockpit and galley.

4. Sailboats are also great for people who don’t have the time or money to put in the extra effort needed to own a land-based home or condo.

5. Sailboats are also an ideal way to get from A to B quickly and easily and can often be used as a means of transportation.

Tips for Buying a Cheap Living Sailboat

When buying a cheap living sailboat, there are several factors you need to consider:

  1. Condition and Maintenance: Always carry out a thorough inspection, preferably with a professional, to check for any signs of wear and tear, structural damage, and other potential problems. The hull, deck, rigging, sails, engine, and electronics are key areas to check.
  2. Size and Layout: The sailboat’s size and layout should suit your needs. Consider the number of people living aboard, the sailing you plan to do, and the spaces you’ll need for storage, cooking, sleeping, and relaxation.
  3. Cost of Ownership: Aside from the initial purchase price, consider ongoing costs such as insurance, mooring fees, maintenance, and fuel. Remember, a cheap purchase price doesn’t always mean low overall costs.
  4. Sailing Performance: Depending on how you plan to use your sailboat, you may need to consider its performance characteristics. For example, if you plan to sail long distances, you’ll want a seaworthy boat that can handle tough conditions.
  5. Documentation: Ensure the boat’s documentation is in order, including the ownership history and maintenance records. This will give you a good idea of how the boat has been cared for.

Cheap Living Sailboat: Best 5 sailboats for liveaboard

Many different types of sailboats can be bought for a meager price.

One such sailboat is the cheap living sailboat.

This type of sailboat is made from a lightweight material and is easy to operate.

It can be used for both recreational and competitive purposes.

The best thing about this type of sailboat is that it can be easily converted to several different sailing styles.

Here are some of the cheapest living sailboats:

1. Catamaran

Catamarans are renowned for their stability, spaciousness, and speed.

They are characterized by their two hulls, providing more water stability than a traditional monohull sailboat.

This makes them ideal for living aboard, particularly those new to sailing.

In terms of living space, catamarans are hard to beat. Their wide beam offers plenty of room both above and below deck.

The cabins are typically large and comfortable, with ample storage space for personal belongings.

Most catamarans also feature a large cockpit and saloon area, perfect for relaxing or entertaining.

Speed is another advantage of catamarans.

Thanks to their lightweight and dual-hull design, they can reach higher maximum speeds than most monohulls. This feature makes catamarans popular for those who wish to travel long distances.

On the downside, catamarans can be more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces due to their wide beam.

They also tend to be more expensive to purchase initially.

However, considering the cost spread over many years of living and sailing, it may be worth the investment.

In conclusion, a catamaran is an excellent cheap living sailboat option, providing a balance of comfort, speed, and stability.

It’s an investment that could provide a home and offer a lifetime of adventures on the sea.

2. Catalina 25

The Catalina 25, a popular choice among cruising enthusiasts, is known for its practical design and affordability.

This monohull sailboat has an impressive reputation for its sturdiness and reliability, making it a reliable choice for long-term living aboard.

At 25 feet long, the Catalina 25 may seem small compared to other sailboat options.

However, the smartly designed interior optimizes the available space, offering a surprisingly roomy and comfortable living area.

It has basic features such as a small galley, head, and sleeping quarters that can comfortably accommodate up to four people.

The Catalina 25 performs well under sail, boasting a manageable and responsive sailing performance that a solo sailor or a small crew can handle.

This makes it a great choice for those new to sailing or who prefer shorter coastal trips to long offshore passages.

The Catalina 25 is one of the more affordable options for a living sailboat, both in terms of purchase price and maintenance costs.

Its straightforward design and popular model make finding spare parts and accessories easy.

3. Ericson 27

The Ericson 27 is another well-regarded sailing vessel often enlisted as a comfortable, affordable liveaboard sailboat.

Known for its robust construction and exceptional sailing performance, this sailboat is equipped to face diverse weather conditions, making it a competent choice for adventurous people.

The interior of the Ericson 27 is modest yet well-appointed, providing adequate living space for a single person or a couple.

Its arrangement includes a compact galley, a quarter berth that can double as storage, and a V-berth in the bow, offering enough sleeping space.

A salient feature is its substantial head with a shower, a rarity for a boat of this size.

The Ericson 27 is a breeze to handle on the sailing front, thanks to its responsive steering and balanced sailing behavior.

It’s reasonably fast and can cover long distances without much effort, making it perfect for those wanting to explore farther afield on a budget.

In terms of cost, the Ericson 27 offers good value for money. It’s relatively affordable to buy and maintain, especially considering its solid build, sailing prowess, and live-aboard amenities.

As an added bonus, its popularity means finding spare parts and getting advice won’t be a problem.

4. Cal 28

The Cal 28 is a well-regarded sailboat that offers comfort, performance, and affordability, making it a viable option for those looking into inexpensive live-aboard sailboats.

Known for its seaworthiness, the Cal 28 is built to cope with weather conditions, ensuring confidence in long-range cruising.

While compact, the interior of the Cal 28 is surprisingly well organized, allowing for a comfortable living space.

It includes a fully equipped live-aboard galley, a sizable head compartment, and comfortable sleeping quarters.

The quarter berth can sleep two, and there’s an additional V-berth in the bow, suitable for single occupancy or a cozy couple.

On the performance front, the Cal 28 does not disappoint.

It’s agile and responsive to handle, and with a full keel and a spade rudder, it displays commendable stability and speed under sail.

Its capabilities extend to both coastal cruising and open-sea voyages, making it adaptable for various sailing adventures.

Finally, the affordability factor of the Cal 28 is one of its most attractive features.

Initial buying costs are relatively low, and maintenance costs are manageable.

Given its robust construction and minimal repair needs, this sailboat promises value for money.

The Cal 28 is a good investment for those wanting a seaworthy, cozy, and economical liveaboard sailboat.

5. Aloha 28

The Aloha 28 is a solid choice for a reliable, cost-effective, live-aboard sailboat.

This Canadian-made vessel is renowned for impressive build quality and durability, designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Its solid construction and smooth and stable sailing performance make it an ideal candidate for long-term living on the water.

The interior of the Aloha 28 is compact yet intelligently designed to maximize living space.

It features a well-equipped galley, a comfortable saloon, and sleeping quarters that accommodate up to four people.

Its notable feature is the considerable storage space, a critical need for liveaboard sailors.

Regarding sailing, the Aloha 28 is easy to handle with predictable and steady performance.

It performs well in various weather conditions, adding to its appeal for those who wish to embark on more adventurous trips.

Cost-wise, the Aloha 28 stands out as a value-for-money option.

While it may not be the cheapest on the market, its robust construction, reliable performance, and comfortable living facilities make it a wise investment for the budget-conscious sailor.

Overall, the Aloha 28 is commendable for those seeking an affordable yet comfortable and reliable liveaboard sailboat.

6. Small Dinghy

While the Small Dinghy may not seem like the traditional choice for a liveaboard sailboat, it can be quite an adventure for the minimalist sailor.

As the most affordable option on this list, these compact boats are typically under 15 feet long, making them an economical choice for those on a tight budget.

Due to the limited space, they are best suited for single-person living or short-term camping-style adventures for two.

While the interior is minimal, with just enough room for sleeping and storage, it’s important to remember that the charm of living aboard a dinghy is in embracing a simpler lifestyle.

The space constraints can lead to innovative storage solutions and efficient use of space, embodying the idea of ‘less is more’.

Sailing a Small Dinghy requires a certain level of skill and experience, as their small size makes them more susceptible to weather conditions.

However, their lightweight and compact design makes them highly maneuverable and fun to sail.

Living aboard a Small Dinghy can be a unique and fulfilling experience despite the seeming lack of amenities.

A Small Dinghy could be perfect if you want a cost-effective, simple, and minimalist approach to living aboard.

Ways to Maintain A Cheap Living Sailboat

1. Start with a clean and new sailboat. Keep the boat in good condition by regularly cleaning it, mending leaks, and renewing sails.

2. Inspect your boat for damage. Look for any dents or chips in the hull, rusty parts on deck, or signs of neglect.

3. Make sure your sailing supplies are up to date. Get fresh water, fuel, and new safety gear if needed.

4. Maintain your boat’s equipment – keep charts, lights, weapons, and navigation tools updated!

5. Keep a lookout for “tricks” – These could include using unauthorized systems (such as GPS), using unsafe materials (like paint that is thin and easily peeled off), or overloading the boat (sailing too hard without giving it time to slow down).


Is living on a sailboat realistic?

Sailing experience on a sailboat will vary depending on the type of boat, the wind speed and direction, and the weather conditions.

However, some people find sailboats peaceful and calming, while others find them challenging and thrilling. Ultimately, it depends on the individual’s preferences.

What is a good-sized sailboat to live on?

The ideal size of a sailboat to live on can vary greatly depending on your personal needs and circumstances.

However, most sailors agree that a sailboat between 30 and 40 feet long strikes a good balance between comfort and manageability.

This size allows for adequate living space, including a separate sleeping area, a functional galley, and a comfortable saloon, without making the boat too difficult to handle.

Of course, for those who are comfortable with larger boats, a sailboat up to 50 feet can provide additional luxury and comfort.

When deciding on the ideal sailboat size for living aboard, it is essential to consider your sailing skills, budget, and lifestyle preferences.

Where is the best place to live on a liveaboard?

The best place to live on a liveaboard sailboat can vary greatly depending on personal preferences, sailing skills, and climate tolerance.

However, some popular choices among liveaboard sailors include the Caribbean, particularly the British Virgin Islands, due to their warm weather, beautiful scenery, and friendly sailing community.

The Mediterranean Sea also offers a unique mixture of cultures, cuisines, and historical sites, making it another top choice.

For those who prefer a more urban setting, marinas in cities like Miami, San Diego, and Seattle are well-equipped to accommodate liveaboards and offer convenient access to city amenities.

Ultimately, it’s important to consider weather conditions, cost of living, sailing conditions, and local laws when deciding the best place to live on a liveaboard.


Choosing the ideal sailboat for living aboard is a journey that requires careful consideration of your personal needs, sailing skills, and budget.

Whether you’re drawn to the practical features of the Hunter 36, the value offered by the Aloha 28, or the minimalist appeal of the Small Dinghy, there are options available to suit every type of liveaboard sailor.

Maintaining your sailboat in good condition will ensure it serves you well in your seafaring adventures.

Regardless of the boat you choose, or the location you set anchor, living on a sailboat can offer a unique perspective and a lifestyle filled with freedom, adventure, and a constant connection with nature.