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The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat, Revised & Updated Paperback – December 11, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Paradise Cay Publications (December 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939837668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939837663
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Without any question, this book helped me save thousands of dollars and really keep perspective when I chose and bought my boat. If I had to sum it up, this book is mostly about perspective on a lot of things, such as the lifestyle of living on a boat, and also on choosing a boat, buying a boat and upgrading a boat. I walked away from 2 boats because of this. And the cost table is like one big myth buster revealing all of the tons of hidden costs of boating. It not only should be read by every liveaboard but I recommend this book for every boater too.
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Format: Paperback
I had initially read Mark's first edition of Living Aboard prior to reading this edition. I enjoyed and found the first edition so informative and helpful that I acquired and resd this edition. Mark has truly tried to write, "the Definitive Guide for Liveaboards." The areas covered amount to the A to Z coverage with much depth to each of the areas. Mark includes how to choose a boat, estimating the cost of purchasing, selecting a marina, maintaining, preparing to live on a boat, Amenities ( communications, entertainment, refrigeration) safety, sanitation and many more. He also discusses the liveaboard issues and accomidations for families, children and pets. Mark has chapters on many issues that are often not considered by the first time liveaboard and I found some issues and ideas about livingaboard related to cruising that I had not considered myself even though I often cruise both inshore and offshore. I have recommended Living Aboard to many friends and individuals on websites for liveaboards and cruisers. Many have emailed me to let me know they found the book beneficial in their decision making process.
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Format: Paperback
A seasoned and experienced sailor, Mark Nicholas has written an ideal introduction for anyone aspiring to enjoy life aboard any kind of boat in The Essentials Of Living Aboard: The Definitive Guide For New Liveaboards. The reader will learn how to choose and buy a boat that is appropriate for one's needs, including the finesse of the buying process, negotiations, insurance, and financing, amenities aboard a boat, navigation and safety matters, sanitation issues, legal issues, tips, tricks, and techniques, and more. Of special interest is the warnings about search, seizure, and forfeiture - even though a boat may be one's home, it does not have the same protections against search and seizure as a landbound home. Furthermore, forfeiturelaws mean that the government can seize property (including the boat one lives upon!) and never return it, even if the owner is never accused or convicted of any crime. An absolute "must-have" for anyone considering making a boat one's permanent dwelling.
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Format: Paperback
A good book.

The subtitle "the definitive guide for liveaboards" is a too aggressive. Nicholas' experience is primarily living in a marina in Boston year round; the book is based on that experience. This book puts forth Nicolas' idiosyncratic views; they are sound and interesting enough, but this book is not an "essential" manual nor a "definitive" guide.

Dock side living in winter climes; dealing with or balancing the electronic entertainments; and cost estimating are the subjects in which this book shines. There are also many tidbits relating to existing in the landlubbers' world while residing dockside.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have no experience in boating except for occasionally riding ferries and cruise ships, and I live in a landlocked area with few boats. However, I decided to read this book after several vacations in coastal areas, where I saw a lot of marinas and yachts, and this piqued my interest in this topic. And for me, the book met its intended purpose, in giving a comprehensive overview of the "liveaboard" lifestyle, as well as an introduction to the topic of boat ownership. The information presented is very basic, which of course was fine for me, but I imagine it might seem obvious or already-assumed knowledge for readers with a lot of boating experience. As other reviewers have noted, the book draws heavily on the author's experiences in a Boston marina, meaning there is a lot of information presented on coping with cold weather.

For me, the most interesting part of the book was the estimated costs section about mid-way through. Using five widely disparate examples of boats and liveaboard situations, the author systematically reviews all the categories and subcategories of costs that one could incur with boat ownership, especially buying the boat and owning it for the first year. This was really eye-opening - definitely shows that the purchase price is only the very beginning! Some of the listed expenses are not ones I would have thought of right away, as a person unfamiliar with the topic (e.g. new sails really cost $2000 - $5000?). Only one example of a liveaboard powerboat is included in the cost surveys; I would have preferred to see another in this category included, perhaps a different size or price - if only because I have seen so many powerboats in my coastal travels.
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Format: Paperback
This book far exceeded all of our expectations. If you want a book on living aboard while underway or even just cruising, get another book (like the Pardey book). But the author says that himself in the first chapter. Living aboard is just about living aboard, perhaps even right at the dock. If you already know all this, then find another book. On the other hand, my husband Will and I think that this is the most helpful boating book we've ever read.
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