Living Aboard


Living Aboard Magazine, still printed on paper, is devoted to the concerns and needs of liveaboards. It’s a pretty cozy ...

Living Aboard Magazine, still printed on paper, is devoted to the concerns and needs of liveaboards. It’s a pretty cozy subculture, in part because the cost of mistakes on water are very expensive and possibly dangerous. Think of this as an old fashioned newsletter for liveaboard users; all material is generated by readers.



from Living Aboard Magazine

Living aboard is a dream many share and more and more are achieving. As jobs become more flexible, home offices become more powerful, and people demand more from their lives, the trend is on the rise. Many thousands of people from all walks of life live on all kinds of boats, forming a diverse community with a wide range of personal interests and experience. It is a lifestyle that transcends economic and social boundaries. A sailor in Seattle described the liveaboard community in his marina as comprised of engineers, nurses, mechanics, naval architects, entrepreneurs and salespeople. There are families with young children who live aboard, there are retired couples, single men and women, college students, and nine-to-five professionals. They live wherever there is water on all kinds of boats - of all sizes and makes. They live on lakes and rivers and oceans, north and south, east and west, in all kinds of climates. Some live in marinas, some live on the hook, some cruise, some stay put, leading different lives in different places. What they hold in common is a fierce independence, love of the water and a spirit of adventure. They are a community, albeit a diverse one, bound by their unique lifestyle.

We gradually realized that what had started out to be a vacation or a lark, a mid-life dalliance, had become something more. In our 50s, when most of the daily tasks ashore demanded only that we repeat what we already knew how to do, we learned new skills and rejoiced in knowing we could. At a stage when we had come to rely on a circle of old friends and family, we constantly met new people whose friendship we now prize.

Moving aboard a small sailboat meant leaving behind the accumulation of stuff that had clung to us over the years. I disposed of former treasures at a series of yard sales and rented a storage unit for the bits of furniture, ski equipment, winter clothes and memorabilia that we would use to jump-start our lives when we stopped wandering. I enrolled in classes called "Medicine at Sea" and "The Offshore Cook." We took part in a weekend seminar demonstrating rescue-at-sea techniques. I took scuba diving classes and Ham radio license exams. Finally, we sold our home in the suburbs, quit our jobs, and closed the bank account. It took six years from the time we decided to "live differently" until we were ready to go.

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