Mark Nicholas is an expert. He’s lived the life and learned many lessons the hard way. His goal in writing The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat is to share with readers all it takes to live aboard wisely and enjoy it. How? By being prepared. He believes there are essentials to living on a boat, so why not know what those basics are before embarking on the life?

You’ll find guidelines for choosing the right boat, purchasing it, and moving onboard. Whether or not you are a seasoned boater, you may find the pages covering general boating terminology a helpful way to make sure you know your boat. Next, examine the section on choosing a marina.

I found “Estimating Costs,” to be one of the most useful chapters in the book. Why make any kind of move without knowing what the financial outcome will be? Numerous easy-to-read comparison charts are accompanied by text explaining itemized costs. For example: The monthly cost comparison table is a real eye-opener. Want-to-be liveaboards are presented with the possible costs (for varying types and sizes of boats) that come along with the lifestyle — everything from your boat payment, insurance, slip fees, utilities, storage, parking, and more.

Read on to find out how to prepare to live aboard, and things to look at when families, children, and pets live aboard. This really makes one think. For instance, how do you keep cat litter contained?

In his chapter titled “Government Oversight,” Mark reminds us that government regulations require our homes (boats, in this case), be open for inspection. While many may consider the liveaboard lifestyle a way to get away from society, the effects of terrorism, and the state of the world in general, does impact life, whether we are land or sea dwellers. This section is a must-read for all. Some of the topics covered are:
• General boating requirements when on the water
• Safety laws
• Alcohol and drug use
• Search and seizure
• Forfeiture
• International law
Whether you are planning to move aboard, spend extended long vacations aboard, or already are a liveaboard, The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat is a great addition to any boat book library. Nicholas does a great job preparing us to enjoy living aboard — wisely.

The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat – the Definitive Guide for Liveaboards by Mark Nicholas (Paradise Cay Publications, 2005; 284 pages)