With the new year approaching it seems like a good time to reflect on living aboard our sailboat here in the Northwest. I'll admit - these 'best of 2012' posts and news articles that litter the web around now drive me a little crazy after awhile. But hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!
Living on a sailboat full time (myself, captain wifey, and Kali cat) definitely comes with pros and cons...here's our top ten favorite things about the lifestyle (our top cons come in our next post)...Do you feel the same way? Are there any we forgot to add? Are some of our pros your cons (I'm thinking wildlife and/or neighbors)? Leave us a comment! ~Paul & Amber ETC
1. Dock carts.
You can't beat them. These are the primary mode of transporting stuff to & from your car to your boat home. Doing laundry? Leaving the boat for a few days to housesit for some friends (a.k.a. doing laundry)? Taking groceries to the boat? Dock cart, dock cart, more dock carts. Just don't grab a squeaky one as you pass by all of your neighbors on the way to the end of the dock:) Why don't we have these on land?
Sure, they're a pain 'cause they leak all of the time (in houses too), but you can't beat falling asleep every night under the moon and stars.
3. Water Heater.
That's not our water heater, that's a solar shower. Our water heater is a little non-photogenic 6 gallon metal box under one of our salon (saloon if you prefer) seats. Just flip a breaker and give her a 1/2 hour to warm up and pow - hot water. Combined with our water pressure (no pumps here) means we've got hot showers when you need them. Also, once the water is hot it usually stays hot long after the breaker is turned back off.
Organization. Living aboard a 32 foot boat requires quite a bit of organization. We've found that having containers (many from Ikea) of all sorts keeps everything under control. Shirts in this one. Pants in that one. Tools here, bathroom stuff there. Do you only use/wear something a couple times a year? Get rid of it. Books? Get a Kindle.
5. Water Views.
The most affordable water views in Seattle? Yep. Do we get tired of Shilshole sunsets? Not yet:)
When we first moved aboard at Shilshole Marina in Ballard we were blown away by all of the animals and sea-life on our doorstep. Birds of all kinds (including crankies lurking on the docks), otters, seals, sea lions, fish, jellyfish like crazy, & more!
Weather is everywhere of course, but living aboard we really feel the weather. We hear the rain & move with the wind and waves. We can tell new weather is on the way when the wind switches directions. Pretty cool.
8. Closer to kayaking/sailing.
Do I still make excuses not to go paddle or take the house out for a spin? Sure. Do I kayak & sail way more being this close to the water? Yes!
It's nice to know more of your neighbors. We've never been so friendly with our land neighbors as we are with our marina ones. Maybe it's because we look out for each other and each others' boats. I can't really say but I like it. Now, our Golden Gardens friends aren't always so nice…although they do like to party:)
10. The Laundry Room.
It's not about the washing machines. It's really not about the cleanliness. It's because the laundry room is the unofficial place to leave some stuff and find some new treasures. Finished with a book? Drop it off for someone else. Does that t-shirt not fit like it use to? Drop it off. I've uncovered all kinds of great free stuff here - pants, books, line, boat cushions, snowboard boots, dishes, etc. one sailor's trash is another's treasure!