How do you live on a sailboat? (July 2017)


The house is for sale and we are all on the boat.  We still have our two cars with us for frequent, necessary errands.  We have some items in storage in OH (photos, kid projects, tools and some furniture Steve has made over the years).  But we, and the articles that we will use in our day-to-day life, are all here.  Yay!  That’s it, right?  Easy Peasy.

Unfortunately, in all of the excitement of making the move to the boat (in the beginning of July), there are some details that we hadn’t fully thought through.  Things like… HEAT.  HUMIDITY.  BUGS.  Are those the first things you think of when you imagine Georgia in the summertime?  Why oh why didn’t we think this through a bit more you might (rightly) ask?

To be honest, with all of the thinking, planning, executing, lack of sleep, stress and giddiness just to get to this point, we glossed over a few, minor details.

Let’s go back a bit to explain how we ended up here…sweating bullets in Georgia.

When we purchased our boat in November 2016, it was docked in Ft. Lauderdale, FL .  For insurance purposes, we decided to move it north of the Florida/Georgia state line before June, 2017 for hurricane season.  Brunswick, GA is one of the locations with a marina that is north of this insurance requirement.  It fit our needs.  So here we are.

We had grand notions of moving onto the boat mid-June.  (This notion was quickly shattered thanks to an emergency hospital visit in OH mentioned in the previous blog post.)  Once moved onto the boat, we guesstimated that we would finish up some projects over 2-3 weeks, then set off on some day trips.  Maybe even some overnights up the East Coast.  Hahahaha.  How very optimistic of us.

It turns out that even if you are happy about moving onto a 53′ sailboat with your family of 4 and a small dog, there are adjustments.  Despite not having a lot of “stuff” to put away, it needed to go somewhere.  Somewhere on a boat means hoisting up beds and settees (couches) to store items in the space underneath.  Lifting up hatches in the floors and under the table.  Crawling over settees and beds to reach more lockers and cubbies.  Once you think you know where something will live, you realize that another item should be there instead and so it gets moved.  Again.  For the fifth time.

All of this stowing, organizing and rethinking how much we thought we “needed” on the boat happened along with figuring out how to live life on the boat.  Cooking on the galley stove, shopping and storing food for a family of 4 (with a glorified dorm fridge and a drop in freezer that’s under the seat at the table).  Prodding individuals to make trips off the boat, up the ramp and to the bathhouse to use the bathroom and shower (we don’t go on the boat when at dock).  Providing shade with awnings to help cool the boat in the blazing sun along with the luxurious assistance of air conditioning.  Encouraging sisters to share a room and sleeping space with opposing thoughts on organizational standards.

In addition to the routine living every day, don’t forget the boat projects.  And the other projects.  And those projects too, don’t forget about those.   All of this coincides with the heat, humidity and bugs outside.  (I think I’ll hide inside with the air conditioning and find projects that need attention there, thank you very much.)

Despite the demands and the newness of it all, it felt right.  It was challenging.  There was problem solving to be done.  There were disagreements and new skills developing for each of us.  There were board games and reading and family fun.  The girls had their imaginary play with stuffies and “solid” figures.  We walked the dog, we laughed, we were together.

These were memories made.

-KJ (and the SV TouRai crew)

Sweet Dave-the-girl-dog loving life on the boat.fullsizeoutput_6692
Playing Ticket to Ride, one of our favorite family games.fullsizeoutput_6d04
Tougy giving the electric keyboard a go.IMG_6278
Nurai giving Dave a lesson on how to dig a hole in the sand.fullsizeoutput_66a2
Calico critters making use of objects around the boat for daily adventures. fullsizeoutput_6690
What else might one use the companionway steps leading in and out of the boat for besides a home for the calico critters?fullsizeoutput_668f
KJ’s first true boat project…replacing the SeaGull water filter for the drinking water.  Everything in a boat is in a tight space!IMG_6205


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s