Throwing money while sailing

This Is What It Really Costs to Quit Your Job and Sail Full-Time

Sailing the open seas, free from the demands of modern life, is a dream for many. For some, that dream becomes a reality as they quit their jobs, sell their homes, and embark on a full-time sailing adventure. However, before making such a life-altering decision, it’s essential to understand the cost of this lifestyle.

Today, we’ll explore the financial, emotional, and practical implications of quitting your job to sail full-time. By the end, you’ll have a clear idea of what it takes to realize this dream. 

So, whether you’re considering this as a long-term lifestyle or just curious about the realities of life at sea, read on to discover the costs of quitting your job and sailing full-time.

Let’s dive in!

Throwing money while sailing

Can You Live Aboard a Sailboat Full Time?

Living aboard a sailboat full-time isn’t just a dream; it’s entirely possible. Many people embrace the nomadic life on their boats. This can be a unique and rewarding experience, offering freedom, adventure, and independence.

However, the lifestyle is far from perfect. It can be incredibly challenging as it requires self-sufficiency, limited living space, and adapting to constantly changing conditions. If you intend to do this for an extended period, it will require careful planning and consideration of the costs and practicalities.

Trust us; you want to avoid jumping into this lifestyle and discovering that it’s not for you or that you can’t afford it. Take your time when deciding whether it’s right for you. Set sail on shorter adventures to get a taste of it to help you make an informed decision.

Start planning your sailing adventure by watching these 10 Up and Coming Sailing YouTubers.

Who Is Sailing One Life?

Gary and Brooke are the content creators behind the brand Sailing One Life. The couple purchased a sailboat, quit their corporate jobs, and set sail in 2019 toward the Bahamas. They’ve been sailing the open waters ever since, learning to sail and embracing tiny living.

They document their travels, share insights into their lifestyle, and offer tips and tricks to others dreaming of life at sea. Whether you enjoy sailing, traveling, or nomadic living, this is one channel that you’ll want to follow.

What Does It Cost to Sail Full-Time?

The cost of sailing full-time can vary widely depending on many factors, like the size and condition of the boat, the destinations and routes you plan to take, your level of self-sufficiency, and your personal lifestyle choices. Luckily, there are many ways for your adventures to be as luxurious or economical as necessary.

Some of the most common expenses for boat owners include the boat, maintenance and repairs, insurance, mooring fees, fuel, and provisions. These fees vary depending on your situation and where your travels take you. Unfortunately, some locations are more expensive than others, but plenty of budget-friendly destinations exist.

For Sailing One Life, their first year cost them $23,552, and their second year was $22,222. This averages out to be $1,907 per month. However, your expenses could vary depending on whether you finance your boat purchase or pay in cash. Additionally, repairs and other unexpected expenses can significantly increase the costs.

What Are the Highest Expenses Associated With Sailing?

Whether you’re traveling full-time or not, sailing can be expensive. There are many expenses to consider, but some are larger than others. Typically, the most significant expense will be the boat itself. Costs for these can range from the thousands to several millions, depending on your budget. No matter your budget, hiring an inspector can help ensure you’re investing your money wisely.

For most sailors, the second largest expense is in maintaining their investment. Just because you’re spending a hefty sum doesn’t always guarantee it’ll be free from issues. So ensure you budget for these expenses and have a healthy emergency fund to avoid unexpected maintenance or repairs stranding you in a port.

While you may plan to spend most of your time floating in the water, that’s not always the case. Many sailors end up spending more time than they planned in marinas. These expenses can add up quickly and throw a wrench in your budget-friendly travel plan.

People sailing full-time

How Does Sailing One Life Make Money?

Unlike many travelers, Sailing One Life didn’t sell their home immediately when they started their adventure. They opted to rent it out as an Airbnb to generate some income. They did this for the first 18 months or so. However, they discovered managing a rental from thousands of miles away was challenging.

The couple took advantage of the favorable market and sold their home. They took the profit from the sale and put it in the bank, and the couple is living off their savings. They plan to continue traveling and adventuring until they run out of money or until it’s no longer fun.

While Sailing One Life didn’t mention it, YouTube monetized their channel. Many online personalities profit from their content through ad revenue and partnering with brands. They also have a merchandise section on their website and more than 100 patrons on Patreon. Having many revenue streams is the key to enjoying the lifestyle as long as possible without draining their savings.

Ready to set sail? Head to these 5 Best Places to Sail for Beginners.

Where Can You Find Sailing One Life?

If you want to keep up with Sailing One Life, subscribe to their YouTube channel. They tend to post every week and engage with their viewers regularly. You can also like their Facebook page and follow them on Instagram for more frequent updates. For those who want to support their adventures and help them continue to make content, you can become a supporter of their Patreon.

Is Sailing Full-Time Worth It?

Deciding to sail full-time is challenging. Many people dream of living the lifestyle and quickly discover it’s much more than they anticipated. While you may see exciting adventures and constant sunshine, that’s not always the case.

It can provide the ability to explore new places, meet new people, and gain a deeper appreciation for the natural world. However, the need for ongoing maintenance and repairs, the potential isolation and limited social interaction, and the financial costs of owning and maintaining a sailboat can make it challenging.

Do your research, carefully consider the costs and challenges, and clearly understand what you hope to gain from this lifestyle before making significant commitments. However, don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back from taking an exciting step.

What kind of boat would you use to sail full-time?

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