Essential Items for House Boat Living

Living on boat  is different from living on land, and where you live on your boat matters as well. Whether you’re planning on a houseboat trip or moving out to live on a boat permanently, you have to be aware of the things you need to bring with you. Here are some of the things you need to bring for living on a houseboat:

1. Everyday home items

The setting might be different, but there are many things that you use every day that you will need on the boat. Bringing your top essentials with you can make your houseboat really feel like home. Here are some important items to bring aboard:

Kitchenware, such as:

  • Dishware
  • Silverware
  • Cookware
  • BBQ tools
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Drinking glasses
  • Coffee mugs
  • Beverage pitcher

Kitchen appliances:

  • Toaster
  • Griddle
  • Blender
  • Coffee maker

Kitchen appliances:

  • Stove
  • Refrigerator
  • Toaster
  • Grill
  • Griddle
  • Blender
  • Coffee maker
  • Microwave
  • Washing machine

Bedroom and bathroom essentials:

  • Bed linens
  • Sleeping bags or pillows
  • Towels
  • Curtains
  • Shower caddy
  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, etc.)
  • Air freshener

According to home & decor expert Dmitri Kara, you’re likely to come across a custom boat mattress of V-berth shapes which means that the standard sheets will likely not fit, so don’t let that surprise you.

Cleaning tools:

  • Sponge
  • Dish soap
  • Rags
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Mop
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Trash bags

Other essentials:

  • Food
  • First aid kit
  • Camera
  • Flashlight
  • Games
  • Cellphone and chargers

2. Boating essentials

Probably the reason you want to live aboard a boat is to feel like on vacation every day. And speaking of vacation, think of the things you typically bring when you’re going to a place where there is water. Here are some of the things you can bring aboard:

  • Ice chest or cooler
  • Ice – can be purchased at marinas
  • Swimsuits
  • Water toys to float on
  • Hats and visors
  • Sunglasses
  • Water shoes/flip flops
  • Fishing equipment
  • Life vests
  • Binoculars
  • Insect repellant
  • Sunscreen or tanning oil

3. Shore power cord

When you get in a boat for a short time or for a vacation, you won’t think about electricity if you want to getaway. With the wind on the sails and the beautiful water around, it can be easy to forget about technology (except your camera because you definitely want to take a selfie on the boat).

But anywhere you live on a boat, a shore power cord is essential. You will make use of electricity once you live on a boat. Get some new, heavy-duty, high-quality, and corrosion-free cord to reduce the risk of complications. It is important because the leading cause of fires at the marina is shore power cords. Make sure that you inspect every receptacle before plugging your cord in.

The Marinco EEL ShorePower Cordsets is one of the best power cords you can get. It’s safe, thanks to its jaw-clamp, to provide watertight seals. It also has a cord light to let you know you’re plugged into a dock, and the cord is powered.

4. Shade cover

In the boat, you can be faced with really hot summer days at the marina, and the curtains won’t be enough. In times like these, you have to keep yourself cool on the boat. One way to do it is to buy a shade cover. Whether it’s a bimini cover or a boating umbrella, you will appreciate this on a hot day. For your sailboat, this boom tent and forward tarp will be perfect! 

5. Marine hatch screens

In a boat, keeping the windows shut can make the interior stuffy and stinky, but opening the windows can be dangerous at night. If you want to keep your boat getting fresh air while you’re sleeping at night, hatch screens are your friend. Hatch screens are great because you can get plenty of cool, fresh air flowing into the cabin while you sleep without getting eaten alive. It can also keep away mosquitos and insects that can bother you inside. Marine hatch screens can make the liveaboard life really comfortable.

The Waterline Design Bug Screen is a great screen that can be mounted inside by magnets or suction cups. You can also get the Waterline Design Boat Campanionway Mosquito Net so you won’t need to put up the entire camper cover before you sleep. 

6. Watermaker

You may not need this if your marina or dock provides freshwater, but if you want to be self-sufficient, having your own watermaker will be helpful. You are going to need a freshwater supply if you want to stay at anchor far longer.

7. Rolling cart

At the end of a long dock, carrying stuff can be laborious and exhausting. Many marinas provide large, plastic carts that can be used by boat owners for hauling belongings from the car to the boat. Boaters will have to return and retrieve the cart and walk all the way back to the entrance. This gets annoying if you’re entertaining guests because they have to wait for you to come back.

If you have your own rolling cart, you don’t need to walk the cart back because it’s yours. The best thing to invest in is a folding metal cart like this one from Whitmor. It can transport jumbo loads like groceries, laundry, and other supplies. It’s also foldable, so you can easily keep it in your dock box.

8. Dock box

Dock boxes are to boats, while sheds are to houses. When you need extra storage, dock boxes can provide it for you. It helps you make most of the dock space that surrounds your boat, and it’s a huge bonus when docking the boats at marinas instead of moorings. It’s a great storage area for your large items or your things with no definite shape, as well as the boat must-haves that you don’t use every day.

Taylor Made Stow ‘N Go Dock Box is a good choice because it comes with a lock, and is made of weatherproof and UV-resistant materials. Meanwhile, Taylor Made Stow ‘n Go Fiberglass Dock Boxes is a better choice if you want something tougher.

9. Dock steps

When you live in a marina, your life consists of going on and off your boat a lot. If you have a sailboat, this means you have to keep holding the boat close enough for people to get in and out of the boat safely. This gets old after a while. To make life easier, invest in dock steps like the Taylor Made StepSafe Dock Steps. It’s made of heavy-duty weatherproof plastic with a non-slip grip on its threads. It comes with pre-drilled holes that help you easily screw the steps right into the dock, making it sturdy and stable.  

10. Dehumidifiers

Due to your environment, expect your boat to be damp. Your solution is to manage it using dehumidifiers. You have to use more than one inside your boat. For your closets and cabinets, use simple and easy-to-use DampRid Refillable Moisture Absorber. This will help manage musty aromas out of areas that need extra love. This fragrance-free product is perfect, so your salty boat won’t end up smelling like mountain air.

For your cabins and rooms in the boat, it’s best to opt for an electric dehumidifier. It’s especially a need inside the cabin shower. The Eva-Dry Edv-2200 is a highly recommended product for its size and portability. It’s a simple dehumidifier that draws moisture from the space.