5 Best Bug Out Boats for Beginners

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest contribution from Cher Zevala to The Prepper Journal.  As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today

It is estimated that the USA has upwards of 95,000 miles of “coast line”…

In the past, we’ve studied the possibilities of bugging out by boat. While there are some serious complications that come with ditching terra-firma for the big blue sea, some preppers find the benefits vastly outweigh the dangers. For example, bugging out by boat means you have a higher likelihood of avoiding angry mobs and gangs interested in stealing your stuff. In your boat, you can stockpile more tools and gear than would fit comfortably in your car or bug-out vehicle, and you could have less dependence on non-renewable energy, giving you greater opportunities to roam.

However, if you aren’t an avid boater, you probably don’t know how to begin shopping for the perfect bug out boat. This guide should help you decide what you need in a boat, which boat to buy, and how to become an expert before you need to get gone.

The Perfect Bug Out Boat

Just as there are considerations when choosing a bug out bag, a bug out vehicle, and other essential survival equipment, you must be careful about how you select your boat. Not all boats are ideal for long-term living – especially in an EOTW scenario. The following qualities are preferable in beginner bug out boats.

Low cost. While an old salt might feel comfortable acquiring a brand-new, top-of-the-line, expertly updated vessel, boating beginners shouldn’t bother breaking the bank on a boat they will rarely use. Used fishing boats for sale online are incredibly affordable, and many make excellent bug out boats. And there is never a downside to limiting the things that can break and need a qualified technician to repair.

Low maintenance needs. The worst thing that could happen is rushing to your bug out boat when things go bad only to find it broken down. Like cars, boats require regular repairs, but it shouldn’t be in such bad shape that you are never sure it will run when you need it.

Renewable energy sources. Most realistic EOTW scenarios include a dearth of oil and other common fossil fuels. Though a gas motor isn’t a bad feature on a bug out boat, you should also have renewable energy options available, such as sails, wind turbines, and solar generators.

Comfortable living spaces. Most bug out boaters expect to spend extended periods of time on board their vessels. That means you should have a cozy and secure cabin, in which you can cook, sleep, and perform other common activities.

High storage capacity. Even if you are using your boat merely for a quick getaway, you should have enough storage space on board to hide away all your survival equipment. Then, you don’t have to keep it cached in your car or home.

5 Bug Out Boats to Consider

Some survivalists are perfectly happy toting an inflatable raft to their nearest waterway and floating to safety, but most bug out boaters want a more durable and permanent vessel. The following live-aboard boats are perhaps the best options for survivalists, beginners and experts.

Powerboats. On one hand, powerboats tend to have the greatest amount of livable space, but on the other hand, they are slower and handle more poorly than other boats.


Sailboats. Sailboats come in two varieties: mono-hull and multi-hull. The former provides greater speed at the expense of navigability; the latter provides greater space. Still, all sailboats require a bit more practice to sail proficiently. (Editors Note: The REAL deal breaker to consider is sailboats under 26 feet are NOT required to have an on-board head!)


Trawlers. Technically a type of powerboat, a trawler is built for long, economical travel. They are even less speedy and less maneuverable than power boats, but they are usually exceedingly spacious.


Motorsailers. A marriage between powerboats and sailboats, motorsailers have engines and sails, are quick and capacious. These could easily be the ideal bug out boats for their flexibility and stamina.


Houseboats. Designed for calm waters, flat-bottomed house boats can’t roam far, but they provide all the comforts of home. There are houseboat varieties with and without engines, so you must be careful to purchase a boat that can move.


Before You Bug Out

Even worse than finding your boat broken-down when you need it most is realizing, as the world is crashing down around you, that you have no idea how to work your boat. As soon as you purchase your life-saving vessel, you should enroll in classes to learn boating basics. You should get on the water as much as you can to feel comfortable maneuvering your boat through all sorts of conditions. Then, it won’t matter what the weather if you need to make a quick escape – you’ll be ready to bug out.

Final Editors Note: This is MY TEOTWAWKI and/or “I have run out of money” plan! I would have to sail the “horn” or get through the Panama Canal to become a Caribbean Pirate, or just become a Barbary Coast pirate and pillage the California and Oregon Coasts!

Author Bio: Cher is a content coordinator who assists in contributing quality articles
on various topics. In her free time she also enjoys hiking, traveling and
getting to know the world around her. Cher has built up many strong
relationships over the years within the blogging community and loves
sharing her useful tips with others.

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