Live Aboard Boating

Written by Peter Teuten

Our home, Our castle…Our boat!

Written by Peter Teuten

Fall and winter are times when we up north start to think of an open fire, hot toddies and dare I say it … Nor’ Easters. Perhaps it’s also time to spare a thought for the Live Aboard community.

It’s been a while since I socialized in a ‘pitching’ living room without spilling a gin and tonic. As if the alcohol isn’t enough to disturb an aging equilibrium, getting to the venue in the first place often involves narrow walkways, slippery decks and gangplanks that look like their last assignment was “one way walks” only.

For these reasons I take my hat off to the hardy souls that commit their residential aspirations to the mores of aquatic foundations. Sure, it’s a choice thing, but the lifestyle adjustment seems like a perilous mountain to a land lubber, such as myself.

The point; well, we all grew up believing that a man’s home was his castle, but unless Pixar’s creative folks have stretched that far, I have yet to see a castle that actually floats.Which leads me to the ever confusing conundrum of the live aboard — is the boat our house, or is it the other way around? No mud room, check. No back yard, check. No attic, check. Yep, it’s really a boat — we just happen to live on it!

A boat is a boat. So, to those of you who either are “living the dream” or want to take that big leap, on goes the “risk guys” hat; start with the boat thing (your COVE risks: Captain and Crew, Operation, Vessel, Environment and External and then determine how your permanency on board impacts these risks. Insurance companies have a nasty habit of turning away applications for live aboard risks for precisely the reason that, averagely, a live aboard owner is looking at his or her asset as a house on the water, rather than a boat.

Needless to say, there are other complications for live aboard owners — not the least of which is how to protect yourself when not on the boat (boater’s insurance won’t cover your liability to others unless the boat is involved — unlike homeowners insurance. Similarly, many marine finance companies won’t offer financing, but our partner Essex Credit does offer financing to live aboards) — but if you can adopt a simple methodology to assess and mitigate your live aboard risks, you will become, overnight, both more insurable, safer, and less likely to ever regret the live aboard experience.

For that piece of advice, all I would ever ask is a stable floor upon which to sip my gin and tonic. Cheers!


It is easy to get a quote.

> Live-aboard insurance visit:; call Peter Teuten: 410-752-0505 ext. 1004; or email:
> Live-aboard financing: Marinalife’s partner Essex Credit, offers financing for live-aboard boaters.Visit: or 866-377-3948

Peter Teuten hasmore than 34 years experience in the insurance and risk management fields in a number of diverse operational,management and ownership roles.He is a regular speaker at industry conferences and contributes to multiple global publications.