I would actually like to offer an opposite view to all this “simple life” stuff.
Half a lifetime ago I lived aboard with my family
in the Mediterranean
for seven years, so I know what live-aboard is about. My wife and I are now planning to do it again aged 72.
I understand the theory of the simple boating
life and there is nothing wrong with keeping things simple if it actually suits your lifestyle. But we are certainly not prepared to forgo anything we want to make our lives on board easier, just because they might prove complicated.
Okay, on a 45 footer you can have many things which would be a cram on a 30-35 footer. But nowadays, with all the electrical sources available there is no reason why people should not have devices which make life at sea that much better.
I have installed a freezer
and just fitted a marine
washer/dryer, which works perfectly both in harbour and at sea. We sleep on commercial
air beds, which are a million times more comfortable than any quality of foam. They have an electric
air pump, but can also be inflated by hand.
I built myself an electric dinghy winch, considerably reducing the effort of hauling the dinghy and outboard up on the davits
. This is obviously more prone to failure than a simple block and tackle, but infinitely better and it hasn’t broken yet.
All my sails
are roller furled, operated from the cockpit
on winches using a winchrite electric winder. We have an electric windlass which has so far never failed, because I maintain the batteries in good order. This is much more satisfactory for us than the old hand cranked windlass it replaced.
Certainly, we’ve had problems with breakdowns, but since I installed most systems I can usually repair them myself, and I haven’t used any outside contractor for years.
This brings me to another observation over many years of sailing. A lot of simple life type boaters can’t afford to maintain their boats, and if something breaks down it is blamed on too complicated systems. Some are to lazy to maintain their boats, even when a good clean, or can of paint would make a big difference.