I moved on to my (previous) boat
at the beginning of last June. I had just sold my apartment, and that in itself was a huge relief. Friends, colleagues and family
were all asking what I was going to do. Not being one that is prone to a fanfare, I just said that I was moving on to the boat
full time "for a bit", and that I would evaluate things from there. That way, if it did all turn out to be a disaster, I could bail out without an inquest.
It hasn't been a disaster; far from it in fact. I upgraded to a different boat after a few months. That hadn't been planned in the short term, but the model of boat I had been looking at came up fairly locally (i.e. 100 NM away) and at the right sort of money
, so after umming and ahhing for a few days, I decided that another might not come along so nearby for a while, and a deal was struck. Whilst only being 2 feet longer than the boat it replaced, it is far better suited as a liveaboard
. I am very much in the camp of 'keep it simple'. and didn't want to go overly large in order to keep the marina costs down and the maintenance
The replacement boat has full standing headroom
, good beam (8 feet), the galley
is outwith the living area and has adequate ventilation and I have the forward vee berth as a separate sleeping area. Since I cruise
in waters that tend to be rather rainy, and as the boat is in the water
all year round, she handily has a small wheelhouse with inside helm
position and an area that nav equipment
can stay dry. The compromise is in the sailing. She doesn't point particularly high, being long, shallow keeled and with a fairly outboard genoa
sheeting position, but she does well on all other points of sail, and I passage
plan at 5 knots usually.
I still work
, and commute Monday to Friday to my job, and it looks realistically like I will need to do that for another couple of years until the sprog finishes Uni. Then, the plan is to cast off the lines from the marina during the summer months and go cruising, returning for the winter to hunker down a bit and find some paying work
to keep the kitty topped up.
No plans at all at this stage to return to land dwelling. In fact, last month I was doing some work in a rental that I own and stayed there for a couple of weeks, and it didn't feel at all 'right'. It was great to get back to the boat...
So for anyone who is thinking of doing something similar, I can attest to having 90% of a positive experience so far. The 10% is knocked off for the week of around 18 inches of snow on the pontoons, which to be fair, was a bit of a PITA to deal with. That's an unusual occurrence mind you.
You will need to be thoroughly OK with life in a very small space. Maybe set up camp in small bedroom for a couple of weeks as your total living space first, to see if you can hack it!