Liveaboard lifestyle

Sailing across the Tasman SeaAh, the quintessential vision of life aboard a sailboat. A trade wind breeze, cocktail stable in hand as the boat gently heels over, a burning sunset on a beam reach to your next tropical island only 5 miles away, your lover ascending through the hatch with two plates of fresh caught fish.

Yeah….no. Life of the live aboard sailor is not easy, and many never make it to the tropics.

How about said lover jumping ship, or no lover at all? Mechanical and mental breakdowns? Rowing the dinghy in a stiff chop to get to the grocery store (’cause let’s face it, you’re not very good at fishing, or provisioning) and getting stranded onshore? Not having a trust fund, or being too young to have any kind of retirement plan, so you have to drop the hook and find a job cleaning toilets or slinging plates?

Everything corrodes, money is always tight, and moving aboard a little boat all by yourself can feel a lot like you’re sequestering yourself from society. But all of the work, repairs, and loneliness is what makes way for the great satisfaction that comes from sailing, fixing, and living aboard sailboats.

I just bought a sailboat that’s pretty far from perfect, pretty far from the ocean, my family, or any of my friends, and it’s pretty much the best decision I’ve ever made.


  1. Emily – What kind of boat did you buy?

  2. It’s good to be your own Plan B. I am not usually proud of someone I have never met but I am glad you have a dream that you fulfilled. I can’t wait to see the nitty gritty details! !

  3. Congratulations! You have a great attitude and it must be a wonderful feeling to move from purchaser to owner. I am a few steps behind you in the journey and sometimes I just get cold feet about the whole thing. Huge commitment and responsibility. It’s good to hear it can all feel ok in the end.

    • Virginia, you will find your boat. It is a big commitment, but in the end it’s just money. You’ll get more. If it doesn’t workout you can sell the boat or give it away. But if you want it to, it WILL work out.

  4. Well Em, it could be worse! You could be a sailor, get married 3 times, divorced twice, have two kids, and court orders that prevent you from being free ( damned swimmers!). Then you spend a few decades convincing yourself that you planned it all that way! You could be a f’ing good sailor, mechanic, rigger, money getter, etc.; but, “You were lonely”, E’gads! So, anyways, what did you buy?

    p.s. Yup, spring fever!

    • Haha, yep! I’m free as they say, err rather I was, now I’ve got an old ball and chain, or should I say an old anchor and rhode. And I got a Bristol 24 !!!

  5. I am early in the process of pushing far away from everything I know, too, and await word of your trials & tribulations with bated breath!