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Living on a sailboat ain't all that glam

By Suzette · Sep 8, 2021 · ·
  1. Several people have commented on the "romance" of living on a sailboat. I always assume they mean "romance" in the sense of Hemmingway, not Romance<3 <3 <3 in the sense of a Harlequin novel.

    Yes, there is some adventure but often living on a boat is just hard work. It certainly is not convenient.

    To go to the store, for example, we get in our 8 foot dinghy and motor (electric motor) about 1k to the nearest dock. Easy peasy. Except an 8 foot dinghy sides are only about 10" above the water. When the wind blows water can spray everywhere and you get drenched from head to toe. Charter boats are also a problem sending up big wakes that can toss the dinghy to and fro and drench you again.

    Assuming you have survived the crossing, you still have to schlep your groceries through the parking lot and down the dock. Including all our drinking water. Repeat the steps above when you need to do laundry.

    Then there is the work of keeping the boat afloat. There are whole books on that basically it can be summed up that the amount of money you spend is directly proportional to whether you sweat or not. We sweat a lot!

    Cooking on the boat is always fun. Our refigerator door opens from the counter top, so you have to get all of your ingredients out before you start and you can't put stuff away or get more out once you start. Now all your ingredients are out, covering your 40" counter top and there us no where to assemble your meal. So you put a few things in the salon and an item or two in the sink (which is too small to lay a dinner plate in) and a few things in the head (bathroom). Now you can cook but the oven is inefficient and you only have 2 burners (one burner is too low powered to boil water). So you play tricks like swaping pots on the burners, trying to keep stuff warm in foil and making as many one pot meals as possible.

    And I hope you like playing tetris. Boat lockers are like tetris, the thing you need is as the bottom so you have to dig through, and remove, everthing above the needed item and put it all back in again in the same way or your stuff won't fit. This game must be played with some of your food, your tools, your clothes and everything else.

    Oh, and if your doggy needs to pee you have to take him to shore in your dinghy. And if he has an icky tummy you have to take him to shore at 3 a.m. wind, or rain whether you want to or not.

    That is enough about that!


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  1. Flown
    This is really relatable. I lived off grid in a motorhome (with a composting toilet) for around 4 years. We are back on grid now (temporarily in a campground), but there is nothing glamorous about off grid life or living in a motorhome/caravan. It is constant work. I definitely don't see the appeal of composting toilets, and I don't recommend them.
      Suzette likes this.
    1. Suzette
      I had a lovely reply but the system is telling me it was too long!

      I hope you find a more permanent home if you desire it. : )
  2. Aneka
    How did you come to live on a sailboat?
    1. Suzette
      We were lake sailors but wanted to sea more. Haha!
      Flown and Aneka like this.
  3. James45
    I have lived in caravan for 5 years with no toilet, so I am very familiar with a lot of what you describe. I also store all the boxes of stock for my business in there, so the tetris thing is also very familiar...upside is the connection to the weather and nature not sure I could ever live in a house again.
      Suzette likes this.