COVID-19 and Houseboats: What You Need to Know

10 Reasons Why Your Houseboat Is the Best Place for Nautical Isolation


With the Covid-19 Pandemic reaching its peak and self-isolation becoming the new norm, living on a houseboat may be the saving we all needed from social distancing. All we need is a margarita, a houseboat and the ocean waves to keep us sane from this pandemic. 

  • Relocation Is Easy and Allowed.

While friends and family are stuck quarantined in their homes, houseboat owners are basking in the glory of marina living. If you want to leave the marina and take a cruise around the area on the boat, nothing is stopping you. If you want to go out and moor somewhere else feel free to do so. It gives you a change of location. Since a lot of people that are living on their boats spend a lot of time exploring the idea of being self-isolated is already a common occurrence for houseboaters. When you own a houseboat, you can sometimes be with just the people on your boat for sometimes weeks at a time when at sea. When the views from the marina get boring take a cruise and you may discover something new or maybe see some wildlife. The confines of the houseboat seem so much wider when you’re outside of the marina. Leaving your home may be frowned upon, but when your home is one large moving vessel there’s no reason to take advantage of a weekend away from the marina during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • The Views Are Incredible. 

While people are at home in their home office which may be in their basement where there are no windows to look out of or they are looking out onto their driveway and neighbourhood, houseboat owners are looking out onto ocean and lake views. You can take your morning meeting with a coffee in hand looking out onto some of the most incredible views while also taking in some sunshine if you take your meetings on the deck of your houseboat. At lunch time, people are tending to the children and cooking lunch in their homes while the houseboat owners are making lunch with the breeze from the ocean or lake breaths on them. You then would get to enjoy the meal in paradise. If you want to take the boat out of the marina and have lunch in different locations. At the end of a stressful workday, you have the ability to sit on the deck and watch the sunset. Some houseboats have a fire pit on board that you can enjoy at the end of the day. Watching the stars from the middle of the ocean is incredible because there is no light pollution. So, take the boat out and enjoy a different view at every hour of the day. 

  • Living on a Houseboat Is Low Cost

During this pandemic many people have lost their jobs, it can financially be difficult for families to be able to pay a mortgage or rent. When you own a houseboat, there’s a good chance you bought it out right or have a very low-cost mortgage. If you have lost your job living on a houseboat may help, because you are saving a lot of money living either on the open sea or in a marina. Marina fees are approximately between $400 and $900 a month including your electricity. This is a lot less than a home mortgage with property taxes and utilities. You can be saving thousands a month. Living on a houseboat, you will also see cost savings when it comes to repair. Homes are always in the need for some kind of repair and the upkeep can be a lot more tedious for homeowners. Owning a houseboat comes with minimal repairs. This means that houseboaters get to keep more money in their pockets and more money in savings. This money can now be used in the wake of COVID-19, because someone in the family may have lost their job. 

  • Safety

Marinas are known for their safety and low crime rates due to a lot of them being gated. Marinas have CCTV cameras everywhere so that deters burglars from entering boats. Your boat is safe because you would immediately know if someone was entering your boat due to the shift in weight. Since you can also hear someone approaching your dock, it would be easy to see someone snooping near your boat. If you are out at sea and anchored there is no chance for a break in as you are truly alone on your houseboat in the vast ocean or lake. Houseboats will withstand most weather. If you have high winds, floods or a thunderstorm, your houseboat will ride the waves. Homes may not always withstand the tests of weather like a boat will.

  • Close to nature and is calm. 

Your mental health will thank you during this pandemic if you are living on a houseboat. People that live in cities don’t have the ability to be one with nature on the open waters. Waking with the sunrise to the fresh ocean air will have you excited to wake up. Houseboaters have the joy of smelling ocean or lake air every day. Watching the fish, and dolphins pass by the marina. Enjoy the outdoor air during your day while sitting outside has most houseboaters clear mind and level-headed. It has been said that living on a boat actually helps with anxiety and depression. This is due to the relaxing environment houseboaters are immersed in. 


  • If you’re travelling on the boat already, you are away from people. 


A lot of people living on a houseboat are already living the cruising lifestyle with no homestead marina. This is why if people are travelling the ocean already, they can continue to do so without a worry. They are already nautical isolating. If you are travelling across the ocean, there is no chance of running into your neighbor or having someone coming to your home unexpectedly and not respecting stay at home orders. Although they may be asked to station at a marina in the country of origin where the boat is registered, they are so used to remaining on their boat and nautically isolating this will not be a culture shock to the cruisers like it is for the people living in homes on land. 

  • Maintain cleanliness of a home is a lot of work but a boat is small and easy to keep clean.

The average American home is about 2700 sq feet while a houseboats average is about 1200 sq feet. Although this is a lot less room for moving around, it is also a lot less sq. footage to get dirty. While the typical American is spending their quarantine time cleaning, people living on a houseboat will have more time to enjoy the beauty around them from the deck. Houseboaters won’t be spending all their time cleaning because with such small amount of sq. footage they have fewer things, like dishes to clean or laundry to do. Cleaning and maintaining a houseboat is easy and as long as you keep up with the maintenance—which can be seen in a previous blog post—repairs are fairly inexpensive. This gives you so much more time to enjoy nature and the outdoors. 

  • Embracing a Minimalist Lifestyle

Houseboaters have been living the minimalist lifestyle for a while, this change will not be a burden for them. Typical houseboaters have one piece of cutlery per passenger. Since space is limited, there isn’t enough room for “stuff.” They are used to having fewer things and spending quality time together without TV and Internet. Living on a houseboat is a bit like going back in time and learning to make do with the least amount possible. 

  • Children probably are already home schooled

While parents are at home scrambling to help their kids embrace the new at home learning, houseboaters are already used to homeschooling their children. When you are living the houseboating lifestyle and are often travelling, parents often opt in to teaching children from home making it easier to travel without affecting the studies of the children. They are already accustomed to the idea of homeschooling and are already in a set routine for their studies. This would be a struggle for the regular family, but this is just another Wednesday for the kids of houseboaters.  

  • Working from home is already common amongst the houseboat living community.

Since working from home is so common for houseboaters this wasn’t much of a change for a lot of us. They are often travelling on the ocean or lakes exploring new areas to travel. The best way for us to do that is to adopt the work from home lifestyle. What may be a new type of work for some people to work from home is normal for houseboaters. Our lifestyle demands a lot of us to work from home. A lot of people that live in marinas already work from home and use Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams as a form of communication. Having to learn new software is out of the question for houseboaters as they are already using these products.


Since there are so many great reasons why nautical isolation the best kind of self-isolation, I decided I would give you a bonus reason. Extroverts may be struggling with self-isolating but that is not a problem for living on a houseboat, this is why I included bonus number 11. 

  • Staying on your boat and still speaking to your neighbour was common before social distancing. 

Living in a marina with your houseboat is a lot of fun because your neighbours are close and are very community oriented. People that live this lifestyle all have the same mindset which makes instant friends. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can see boaters sitting on the deck of their boat having a conversation with someone 4 yards away. Social distancing in a marina is common practice prior to the pandemic and will continue on. You never truly feel lonely in a marina and when you need a bit of socialization you can just get on your deck and wave to your neighbour. They will certainly come out and join you with an adult beverage. 


If you have been thinking about moving to a houseboat there isn’t a better time than right now to find the perfect houseboat to nautically isolate yourself and your family. Living the houseboating lifestyle has so many benefits and being able to enjoy the open waters while being quarantined is the best way to enjoy it.

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