Do Sailors Live on Ship When Not at Sea?

Sailors spend most of their life after getting deployed on the sea so it comes as you surprise that you might wonder if they actually live on a ship when they are not at sea. You made it to this blog post probably because you are concerned about it. If that’s the case, then you should pay keen attention and read this article to the end because, by the end of this article, you’ll be able to tell whether or not sailors live on ships when they are not at sea.

Do sailors get days off on a Navy ship?

Before I’ll be telling you whether or not sailors live on ships when not at sea, the important question to answer would be if you’ll even get off days as a sailor on a Navy ship. 

On the Navy ship, you’ll get off days but the off days are usually reserved for when the ship is in port. So that literally means that if the ship is not in port you may not get any off days.

Do sailors live on a ship when not at sea?

As a sailor, there are a variety of factors that determine whether or not you’ll live on a ship even when you are not at sea. The factors that determine whether you’ll have to live on the ship when you are not at sea are:

  • The deployment.
  • The Assignment and
  • Your marital status.

So the answer to the question is yes, no, and partially. Confused? Not to worry, I’ll be explaining everything quickly. 

Shore duty

If you are on onshore duty, you’ll not be living on the ship. For single sailors on shore duty, you get to live on the Base Quarters (also known as the barracks), Bachelor Officers Quarters (BOQ) or Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ).

If you are married you still wouldn’t live on the ship, rather you’ll get to live in an off-base apartment or house.

Sea duty 

If you are on sea duty and you get deployed then you’ll have to live on the ship 24 hours every day. Sleeping on the ship isn’t as comfortable as sleeping at home and because that a lot of sailors have trouble sleeping when they are on the ship. If you are thinking about joining the Navy or you are already in the Navy and it bothers you that you don’t get to sleep properly then consider getting yourself fleet sheets before your next deployment.

If you are stationed at your home port and you are at sea then you’ll have to live on the ship but if you are not at sea and you are in port then it’s slightly different. If you are assigned to the duty section in port, then you’ll have to live aboard the ship. If you are married, you’ll have the same privileges as those on shore duty so you won’t live on the ship. Single sailors on surface ships have to live aboard the ship except the ship is undergoing extended overhaul or refit then they have to live in the base quarters (off-ship). Single sailors on a submarine SSN may not live on the ship since there aren’t enough bunks for everyone on the boat, rather they’ll live in the base quarters. The single sailors who are part of the submarine SSBN off-crew, don’t live on the ship, they live in base quarters.  

As seen above, in some cases married sailors get to live in family housing (not on the ship) or they can choose to live off base in any location they desire since they are usually given monthly housing allowance to cover for that.

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