Ah, 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.