Doesn't it get cold on the boat in the winter?
No, not at all. Just like many houses, we can heat our home with either a fireplace or an electric heater. The fireplace, (actually, a marine grade diesel heater by Dickinson) is by far the coziest.
In fact, the biggest problem with heating the boat in winter is trying to keep the temperature below 80F.
Also, a benefit of living on a sailboat is we get a lot of fresh air circulation through the dorades, (ventilation vents on deck), which prevents re-heating the same air over and over. The air in the boat probably gets completely recirculated every 1 to 2 hours.
How do two adults, a baby, a large dog and a small cat all live on a small boat?
Although we have less room than a house, we don't feel cramped. We all have our own space, and we love the beauty of living in, (and looking at), what seems like a beautiful teak jewel box. (It also helps that we truly like each other).
Looking at the floor plan below, one can see the layout. From our companionway (front door), there is just 1 step to our galley (kitchen). The galley is 4 steps from our main saloon (living room) and the main saloon is 4 steps to the "head" (bathroom). When we are done brushing our teeth at night there are just 2 steps to our forward berth (bedroom). As you can see we have the same rooms that you would find in a house, just less walking.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Does the boat rock when the wind blows?
How did you get the idea of living on a boat?
Steen: I was first introduced to the liveaboard idea by my colleague Joe. Joe and his wife Sue had lived on their sailboat in Seattle for 5 years, and the stories that Joe told really opened my eyes to a lifestyle that sounded very appealing. I was struck by the sense of community that Joe talked about, something both Angela and I were missing, living in our first house on a residential street not knowing any of our neighbors very well.
Angela: In my mind, people living on boats had large private cabins with big fluffy king size beds.
Our story starts out at Yachtworld.com looking at 50ft sailboats, which was the smallest on which we could ever imagine living. We did not really pay much attention to anything but how the photos looked and what color the upholstery was. We didn't care what type of hull it was or if it was a ketch or cutter, we didn't really know the difference anyway. Many winter nights in late 2002 were spent dreaming of large sleek traditional Sparkman & Stephens cruising yachts with warm wooden cabins. (That is how all dreams should begin - everything is possible and common sense does not necessarily apply.)
Soon after our online 'research' began, we went to the Portland Public Library and took out every single boat and sailing book they had. We discovered the term "seaworthiness". Hmm, that was strange - a bigger boat was not necessarily better. There was a difference between a fin keel boat and a full keel boat. A fragmented rig with smaller sails like a ketch or cutter was easier for a shorthanded crew to handle than a sloop with its two larger sails. And what was with that wineglass hull shape? This was getting a little more complicated. Most of those 'pretty cabin' boats did not really fit the bill anymore, let alone the budget.
We began to look at smaller boats and discovered that the designer paid much greater attention to the details in the layout of a 30-something boat compared to 50footer. The efficiency of the smaller layout appealed to us. The more cramped the floor plan looked, the better we liked the boat. (Angela: "That's not exactly what I was thinking...")
Spring of 2003 came around and it was time to begin the actual hunt. Our first trip was to Olympia, WA to look at a Cal 46. A nice boat with a very spacious layout perfect for short trips with a friend and for entertaining, but not what we were looking for. A couple of weeks later we went north again to look at a CT 41 in Sheldon. The CT 41 is a nicely designed boat, but this one, unfortunately, was a smelly leaky teaky. Maybe Joe was right, all liveaboards do smell like diesel. From Sheldon we continued to Port Townsend to look at a Gulfstar 44. Well , we had quite a different experience. The boat was clean and didn't smell. The entire interior was finished in wood-grain laminate, so we guessed it was easy to keep clean. We thought about the Gulfstar for a week or so, but agreed, it just did not have that feeling we were looking for. We were not in love. (Us with the boat that is).
Another one of Steenís colleagues, Pete, and his wife Suzi, had lived on their Union 36 for years and were getting ready to retire and cruise to Alaska. Pete and Suzi had a friend, Ed, that also lived on his Union 36, but was looking for a buyer. On Peteís advice we called Ed and asked if we could come down and see his boat. Now that was a pretty girl... we fell in love with the classic double-ender with all it's beautiful teak carvings and traditional lines. Unfortunately, she just did not have enough headroom for Steen's 6'2" frame. Steen considered getting used to bending down to walk into the galley or when using the head. (We do funny things when we are in love.) We did a little more research on the Union 36 and, to our pleasant surprise, found that the same set of plans for the Union led to the slightly larger Tayana 37. Now, we were on the right track. We just had to find a Tayana 37. There were tons of them for sale on the east coast, but none in our corner of the country.
In July 2003 our job situations changed - and by August we had moved from Portland, Oregon to Tacoma, Washington, which is right on The Puget Sound, (premier sailing ground for the west coast). We were now serious about finding that Tayana 37 and decided to rent a small apartment until we could find our boat and get her ready to move aboard. Steen had moved to Tacoma a couple of weeks ahead of Angela. The first night Steen was in Tacoma he got a little bored in his empty apartment and began looking at a map of the city. He found a road called Marine View Drive. He thought to himsef, "there has to be a marina on a road with that name"...and there was. Also on Marine View Drive, as luck would have it, was 'Admiralty Yacht Sales', one of the few Tayana brokers on the west coast. They did not have a Tayana 37 for sale that day, but they did have a stack of "48-North"s, the local sailing magazine. Steen grabbed a copy on his way out and sat in the car reading. And there it was; a listing for a 1978 Tayana 37, moored in Tacoma.
Two days later we met with the broker to look at "Radiance". She had been tied up in her slip for 6 years and really needed someone's attention. She had gotten a little sick from sitting still so long. But we were in love with her and did not see why a few ailments should keep us from making her ours. Six weeks later, after a not-so typical boat buying process, we were the proud owners of our Tayana 37, "Radiance".