Best place to live on a boat in the world

So you want to live on a boat and wondering where the best place to live on a boat in the world is? This article will cover exactly that, starting with our list of top places for living on a boat:

  • Mazatlán, Mexico
  • Lagos, Portugal
  • Punta Del Este, Uruguay
  • Destin, Florida
  • Long Island, New York
  • Newport, Oregon
  • Scarborough Bluffs – Ontario, Canada
  • Tagg’s Island – London, United Kingdom
  • The Ijburg District – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Living aboard a Boat on Every Content?

Best place to live on a boat in the world

As you can already tell, the best place to live on a boat anywhere in the world spans from beautiful great lakes to salt water galore from the Pacific Ocean. If you have your eyes set on prime real estate for your boat home, then this list is your insider’s guide.

Why you want to live aboard in Mazatlan, Mexico

Mazatlan is complete and historic capital that comes with a beach resort set next to a romantic town that is surely a perfect backdrop for any houseboat. From the gorgeous beaches, the food, the weather, the music – you’ll be happy you settled here and will never want to leave!


Live aboard a boat in Mexico

First, as places to live aboard go, Mazatlan is a port city on the coast of the western state of Sinaloa. It’s location is perfect to sail up into as it is right at the meeting point of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea Of Cortez beginning. Second, Mazatlan is considered to be northern Mexico. That is to say, the climate is much more mild than the jungle to the south. Third, the prime coastal real estate means your sailboat can enjoy breezes year-round.

Sailing Pro Tip:

The best BEST time to visit Mazatlan is the fall months of October and November. Why? You’ll enjoy perfect temperature, no reports of rain, and quiet without tourists.

Why you want to live aboard in Lagos, Portugal

Lagos is a perfect destination for boats and home communities filled with people who share boat life as a passion. Lagos shows off year around with its moderate climate meaning – average temperatures ranging from 52 F in winter to 75 F in the summertime. Specifically, during the summer season, when the normal average population of 22,000 expands with visitors from around the world.


If you want to take a journey away from the boat, Lagos Offers:

Lagos, Portugal for Boater People Offers:

  • The best conditions for Kayaking
  • Paddle Boarding
  • Surfing
  • Kite Surfing
  • Windsurfing
  • Sailing

Living aboard a boat in Lagos is Cost Effective

As boats and living on a boat enthusiasts, you can enjoy a more cost-friendly visit for your stay in Lagos. Here’s why:

Cost CategoryMonthly Expense in USD
Cost of Rent$900/month
Digital Expenses$100/month
  1. Average Cost of Rent for two-bedroom furnished apartment: $900/mo
  2. Utilities (Gas and electric) + Water: $130/mo
  3. Transportation/Mass Transit: $100/mo
  4. Internet/Cable/Digital Expenses: $100/mo

Total expenses to live on land in Lagos per month = $1230/mo

Cost to dock your boat in Lagos = ~$20/day for personal water-crafts!

Get a full spread of docking costs at the International Living Website

Living aboard a boat in Punta Del Este, Uruguay

Access some of the most exclusive boat life regions in the world at Punta Del Este! This is Uruguay’s most popular resort. It comes fully stocked with a gorgeous and iconic cityscape bustling with high-end parties. Without a doubt living aboard a boat here will provide you with a coastal city nestled in paradise.

punta del este

If you stay long enough, imagine sailing out along the coast and spotting southern right whales that visit Punta del Este’s shores every winter. Surely one of the more vibrant places to live aboard on this insider’s list, you’ll share experiences with people from all over the world well into the late hours of every night!

This peninsula is washed by two different sources of water. On the one side, the calm waters of the famous and historic Río de la Plata, and on the other, the wild and powerful Atlantic Ocean.

Argentinians, Brazilians and Uruguayans are the main visitors to Punta del Este during the summer time in the Southern Hemisphere.

Living aboard a boat in Destin, Florida

United States home to many, live aboard a boat next to stunning white sandy beaches, emerald green water and known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”. Specifically, Destin Florida sits in the Florida Panhandle on the Gulf of Mexico.


Expect to enjoy a small beach town with its iconic fishing, challenging golf courses, mouth-envying seafood restaurants and some of the best Gulf views and sunsets ever.

Why travel to live aboard in Destin?

When traveling to the often described picturesque town, boaters will be surrounded by emerald green waters and sugar-sand beaches. For water lovers, this makes Destin a truly treasured place of the Emerald Coast.

Five places to explore in Destin with your boats:

  1. Crab Island
  2. Gulf Islands National Seashore
  3. Joe’s Bayou
  4. Norriego Point
  5. Destin’s East Jetties

Access Crab Island:

Reported as THE most popular boating destination in Destin, Crab Island picturesque with shallow, crystal clear waters where you can relax on your boat, float away into a dream, OR eat at a floating restaurant.

Boat to Gulf Islands National Seashore:

Live aboard and explore Gulf Islands National Seashore. It consists of approximately 4 miles of natural, undeveloped seashore along the Choctawhatchee Bay. The seashore is the perfect place to pull up on a boat and relax in private. Swim amongst old driftwood, scuba dive or snorkel along the shallows or soak up some sun in quiet solitude from the comfort of your boat.

Living on a boat and Joe’s Bayou:

Joe’s Bayou is a protected inlet with no no-wake laws, making it the perfect place to take the family tubing, wakeboarding, or jet skiing.

Boater Paradise in Norriego Point:

Norriego Point, located at the very tip of Holiday Isle, separates the Destin Harbor from the East Pass and offers beautiful scenery and sugar white sand to lounge upon.

Boats Meet Destin’s East Jetties:

Destin’s East Jetties are famous for their snorkeling. Specifically, rocks placed by the Army engineers decades ago helped stop erosion and became a marine habitat to explore.

Living Aboard a Boat on Long Island, New York

Long Island and specifically – New York City—with its 578 miles of coastline—has a thriving houseboat community. A $90 million project, which is expected to get underway by 2021, will include a host of upgrades to Pier 79 that result in a vast expansion of the pier’s capacity to host year-round residents.

long island live-aboard

Consider this when living aboard a boat in Long Island:

In the United States, even if you are carrying a loan on a boat, combined with docking fees, it is usually possible to live in one’s waterfront home for approximately $1,000 monthly.

Better yet, in most but not all U.S. cities, houseboats equipped with an engine are classified as vehicles rather than “floating homes,” and this means that most boat owners pay no property tax!

Live aboard a boat in Newport, Oregon

live-aboard newport

According to the Live-Aboard laws for the State of Oregon in the United States:

  1. Dwellings on state-owned waterways require a lease. As of January 1, 2017, “Limited Duration Use” (formerly Transient Use) is allowed without authorization. “Limited Duration Use” means any temporary or infrequent use of state-owned waterways, with no long-term or extended use intended.
  2. If long-term use is intended, a lease is required. Use without authorization constitutes trespass.

The South Beach Marina in Newport Offers Home Boats:

Easily access fuel dock and close proximity to the ocean make the Port of Newport Marina & RV Park one of the best places on the Oregon Coast to moor a pleasure craft. 

The South Beach marina features a paved launch ramp with a courtesy dock and staging area. Daily boat trailer parking is available. Furthermore, Yaquina Bay is home to sailboat regattas as well as one of the largest and most sophisticated commercial fishing fleets on the coast.

Live Aboard a Boat Scarborough Bluffs – Ontario, Canada

There is much to love about places like Scarborough Bluffs. With its close proximity to Toronto, the sounds of the city are blocked by the bluffs. These bluffs also act as a natural barrier to keep wildlife safe. Boat home dwellers often report seeing trumpeter swans, beavers, deer, turtles, salmon and even mink!

live-aboard canada

Your boat destination at this location comes with a full service marina, yacht clubs, sailing school, restaurants, and solitude that is some of the best in the Greater Toronto Area.

Common questions about Scarborough Bluffs for Boater Residents are listed below

Are floating homes suitable for year-round?

Yes, float homes are suitable for year-round living, in fact the float homes at Bluffer’s Park built to R2000 standards and are fully insulated which is reported to be better than most homes.

How does Boat Sewage Work Here?

A hose is attached to the outside of the float home and then to an attachment on the dock, the pump is turned on and the septic tank is emptied.

Is electricity Covered in Mooring Fees?

Electricity is metered and billed separately to each float homeowner, as is normally the case with renters in houses and apartments

Do we have to pay a land transfer tax?

When purchasing a float home, you do not pay land transfer tax.

How big of a boat can I have in Scarborough Bluffs?

Float homes range in size from 500 sq. ft. to 2000 sq. ft.

Live Aboard a Boat in Tagg’s Island – London, United Kingdom

live aboard taggs island

Why live on the water in Taggs Island? For starters, there is a big community of houseboats and floating homes of all shapes and sizes. Specific to the island, you will notice a non-tidal part of the River Thames near Hampton Court. Also, the island is accessed by a single track road bridge from the North side of the River Thames.

Tagg’s Island, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, is an island on the River Thames on the reach above Molesey Lock and just above Ash Island.

Living aboard a boat in The Ijburg District – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Ijburg District is one of the best places to bring your boats where you can enjoy the gorgeous country of Amsterdam right from the water. The IJburg neighbourhood is the latest district of Amsterdam built over a number of artificial islands. These islands were raised from IJmeer lake. To date, the project is still under construction, but more than 20,000 people have already moved in!

live aboard amsterdam

Specifically, if you’re looking for a place in the Ijburg District, Waterbuurt, is part of the IJburg neighbourhood. Waterbuurt is located on ‘Steigereiland’ (Jetty Island) which forms IJburg’s main access route via the Enneus Heerma Bridge.

The neighbourhood has 75-93 (depending on who you ask) individual floating houses moored around slender jetties like house boats!

Bonus places boaters live

The official World Sailing Charters places to live on your boat guide wouldn’t be complete without some honorable mentions in the United States:

  1. Lake Washington
  2. Tampa Bay
  3. Lake Murray
  4. Chesapeake Bay
  5. Tennessee River Blueway
  6. Corpus Christi
  7. Chickamauga Lake

Regardless of which continent you decide to take your boat to and live on, this insider’s guide is a perfect start. Consider different activities that you’ll enjoy both on and off your boat, like scuba diving or boating tours.

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