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A SCUBA liveaboard vessel on the Red Sea

Liveaboard can mean:[1]

  • Someone who makes a boat, typically a small yacht in a marina, their primary residence. Powerboats and cruising sailboats are commonly used for living aboard, as well as houseboats which are designed primarily as a residence.[2]
  • A boat designed for people to live aboard it.[3] The liveaboard lifestyle has many attractions and many downsides. Most boats are much smaller than nearly all shoreside residences, they are more exposed to bad weather, and require special maintenance skills. However, they are mobile, provide inexpensive water access, and allow for integrated recreational, transportation, and housing costs. With the high cost of housing, a liveaboard lifestyle is becoming more popular with people around the world. Although it is generally regarded as being a cheaper way to live this is not always the case. Liveaboard boats can be luxury vessels moored in expensive marinas or small vessels in need of restoration. One attraction of the lifestyle is there is something to suit everyone. Because of this you find that liveaboards are very diverse people coming from many different backgrounds.[4]

Scuba diving liveaboards[edit]

Dive deck of a SCUBA liveaboard boat in the Great Barrier Reef

In the recreational scuba diving industry, a liveaboard service offers its guests to stay on board for one or more nights, unlike a day boat operation. This allows time to travel to more distant divesites. Normally a liveaboard operation charters for ten to thirty passengers.[4]

While most liveaboards around the world are usually made from fiber and steel hull boats, in Indonesia, traditional pinisi boats made from teak wood are commonly used. An example of a pinisi style liveaboard is based in Komodo National Park.


  1. ^ "liveaboard definition". Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Nicholas McLaren. "Liveaboard meaning". Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "AUTHORIZATION TO LIVEABOARD - document" (PDF). Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Nicholas, Mark (2005). The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat: The Definitive Guide for Liveaboards (2 ed.). Paradise Cay Publications. ISBN 0-939837-66-8.