What Essential Items Do You Need to Live on a House Boat?

Living on a houseboat is something that not everyone can handle (or even dare to). So, if you are one of those bold souls who live their lives surrounded by the unpredictable waters, you have our admiration.

People choose to live on a houseboat for all the best reasons. One sure thing is that these people love to travel to places where fun and adventure await. Others wanted a simple life in the marina – hearing the calming splash of water, away from the city pollution, and sometimes, people.

However, boldness and a sense of adventure are not the only requirements for living on a houseboat. It is such a huge life decision that it needs careful planning and preparation. If you muse on taking on this route or just starting on this road less traveled by, this article is for you.


1. Home Essentials

Simply put, houseboat living is just like living on a house, but instead of land, your home resides on the waterfront. Hence, some of the stuff you usually find in your regular home is equally important in houseboat living.

Home essentials include your kitchenware such as dishware, silverware, cooking pots, glasses, coffee mugs, and barbeque grills. Since a regular stove might not fit given the limited space, you want to settle to those portable stoves with refillable fuel cylinders. You can also bring in your mini-appliances like your coffee-maker (of course), mini-fridge, and other small appliances that you deem essential for your comfort.

Another inclusion to home essentials is your bedroom and bathroom stuff. Bed linens, extra sheets, pillowcases, and blankets are essential to keep you comfortable and cozy in the changing atmospheric conditions. For bathroom essentials, of course, you’ll need your basic toiletries and towels.

A quick note though, since you are living in the marina, make sure that you develop a safe system to dispose of your garbage, especially the plastics and chemicals, to help protect the environment that gives you space and shelter. It will also help to store essential cleaning tools to maintain your living space.

2. Boating and Survival Kits

You won’t be staying in one place while living on a houseboat, that is for sure. So, it is a must to keep boating essentials and survival kits saved for those unexpected water trips. You may not need these things every day, but they will come in pretty handy should the occasion allow.

These things may include life vests, first-aid kits, medicines (for allergies, headaches, etc.), swimsuits and goggles, snorkeling equipment, binoculars, water toys, hats, sunglasses, and the like. You may also add fishing gadgets on this list, as well as an underwater camera.

3. Extra Power Source

Living on the waterfront also means you can’t avail yourself of public utility services, including electricity. You can work around it by owning a power source that could supply the necessary energy needs of your houseboats. Power sources like batteries are essential when traveling as well, as many unexpected things can happen in the harbor.

You can also purchase a shore power cord and maybe prioritize this one. When choosing a shore power cord, see that the material is high-quality and corrosion-resistant, as sea breeze easily breaks down low-quality ones. Another option is solar panels, which could be pretty pricey but exceptionally reliable.

4. Hatch Screens

Houseboats need to be aerated, meaning you must allow fresh air to pass through the interior, or you will end up with some weird smells later. However, sometimes the wind doesn’t come alone, as insects often swarm through your window. To avoid this, you need to have hatch screens installed on your windows.

Hatch screens allow the fresh air to pass through while keeping the bugs (and other mysterious creatures) off your space. This one’s pretty essential, too, to keep your body safe from insect bites and sickness due to breathing problems.

5. Water Storage and Filtration System

We can’t reiterate how essential water is in our daily living as human beings. Storing water on a houseboat is simple, but having a tool to sustainably produce water without the hassle of getting off the boat is truly convenient. You can do this by owning a water maker or any water filtration equipment. 

6. Storage Boxes

Everything feels comfortable and orderly when your space is well-organized. In a houseboat where space is limited, it will help to have storage boxes to store your stuff. This way, you won’t see any clutter in your small space, and you can be at peace knowing that everything is in the right place.

7. Dock Steps

Houseboat living would require you to get on and off the boat inevitably. It is why you need to invest in a dock step. The fact that you or your visitors will frequently use it is what makes it super important. Choose a durable, heavy-duty dock step with a non-slip surface and worry less about accidentally falling while boarding your sailboat.