More Aussies choose #boatlife

More and More Australians are choosing to explore their own backyard, as a result of travel restrictions in the wake of COVID-19. And while the #vanlife trend has well and truly taken off, there’s another version gaining momentum, #boatlife.


According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a growing number of families, couples and other boat lovers are choosing to live onboard their boat. There are plenty of YouTube channels and Instagram accounts chronicling their journeys.


Here’s more on the story.


Embracing boating life

It’s no secret that boat sales experienced a marked increase in the wake of COVID-19. (We wrote about this here.) With many states in Australia going in and out of lockdown, having a boat to escape to really is the perfect socially isolated activity.


There are also immense health benefits that come with being on the water – like improved mental health – which is more important than ever in these uncertain times. Search #boatlife on Instagram and you’ll find a trove of incredible sunsets, tropical waters and smiling faces.


The Sydney Morning Herald spoke with Terysa Vanerloo and Nick Fabbri, a couple who embrace a digital nomad boating lifestyle. The couple document life onboard, with their YouTube Channel, Sailing Ruby Rose. The channel has around 132,000 followers and more than 17 million views. They are able to live off advertising from the YouTube channel, as well as crowdfunding through Patreon, and corporate sponsorships.


The cost of #boatlife

Nick told the Sydney Morning Herald that the costs associated with living on a boat are similar to those accrued when living and traveling in a van. He said a boat capable of travelling safely across the ocean may set you back around $38,762, but at that price, it may need some love and attention.


According to Nick, this cost is similar to purchasing a fully-equipped Mercedes-Benz Sprinter panel van, second hand. The couple said they budget $3,800 a month, which includes flights home, maintenance for the boat, marina access and eating out, on occasion.


“I know people who’ve done it on $US5 [AUD$6.42] a day in the Caribbean, living at anchor, catching their own fish and eating local fruit and vegetables and it’s not a bad life,” he said.


The boat they have called home for the past six years is a 38-foot monohull called Ruby Rose.

The couple crossed the Atlantic Ocean and sailed throughout the Caribbean on her. Right now, they’re living on a 41-foot catamaran while waiting for their next home – a 45-foot catamaran called Ruby Rose 2, which they’ll use to navigate the Pacific.


A new adventure

Terysa said #boatlife is becoming popular because people are seeking more adventure and challenge in their life.


“I think the pandemic has only hastened that particularly now that people can also work from home so they can live on their boat, sail around and continue with their jobs so they don’t have to sacrifice their careers,” she said.


If you’re thinking about embracing #boatlife and living onboard permanently, you’ll have to check out the regulations in your state or territory. Depending on where you live, there are laws that govern how long you can anchor in a given calendar year.


Checking out forums on the topic are a good starting point, as well as researching relevant boating regulations in your area online.


Need cover?

If you own a boat and need insurance that covers you for the stuff that matters, then please get in touch. We provide cover for boat lovers all over Australia, so you have peace of mind on the water.


Talk to us for more information and stay safe out there!


white sail boat on body of wate