View Full Version : Live on a boat?

12-04-2011, 06:18 AM
Or know of someone who does? For an upcoming book I'd like to meet people with interesting lives (past or present) who live on interesting boats. Not your grand design vessels which cost more than most houses, beautiful though they may be, but boats which work for a living, take their owners on weekend adventures or all the way around the world. They can be large or small, gorgeous or ugly, even barely able to float - and this goes for the owners too! Whether sail, motor, canal or rowing boat, and no matter where in the world, I would love to hear from you. Please drop me a line at upintheair100@gmail.com Thank you very much.

12-04-2011, 08:52 AM
Bertie, start with this thread. Lot's of interesting stuff. - Norm


12-05-2011, 04:56 AM
Brilliant - Thanks Norm. These'll keep me busy for a while! Much appreciated.

12-05-2011, 06:03 AM
Welcome! Been aboard for 19 years now, but not as interesting as most live aboard's. The link above is great reading tho!

wizbang 13
12-05-2011, 08:48 AM
I have 17 years ,added together, funky home made boats mostly.No Marina.
But my brother has been engineless and mostly singlehanded since 68. Same boat since 76.

12-05-2011, 10:53 AM

12-07-2011, 03:35 AM
Some of the most modest have the best stories Skipper68! Thank you all again. I'd flicked through the living aboard book some time ago (amongst a few others) so good to be reminded of it rbgarr - all good research. Wizbang - Was it something you and your brother were fed as kids?? What great lives and I'm sure a good number of stories to tell.

Thank you all again for taking the time to reply. I'll write back individually with where I'm up to. To others out there, please keep 'em coming!

12-07-2011, 01:53 PM

Do you have a boat yourself? What part of the world do you live in? What gave you this idea (a very good one)?

12-08-2011, 07:51 AM
Bertie, What part of the world do you live in?

Good question! If it's Godzone (NZ), a visit to Westpark Marina might be worth your while. There are a large number of liveaboards here, in a wide variety of craft. Some of us have been here 10 years or more.

Chas Strange, who will be known to some Kiwi forumites, is about to publish a book of his liveaboard years (still continuing, though he's in his 80s) entitled "A Strange Liveaboard"

12-10-2011, 05:46 AM
Hi Zack, sorry for the delay.

I've had a few boats over the years but sold my most recent, an aged 31 foot catamaran, last year. The plan is to get something wood and old (er) next but it'll have to wait until later 2012. I've done a fair bit of boating over the past 30 years including an Atlantic trip a while back (with others). I'm not sure when/where the book idea came from but my interest in people on boats came a long time ago with my first - a 19 foot wooden Caprice sailing boat which came with a book called "Shrimpy" by Shane Acton. He'd had one and sailed the world in it (though it took eight years!) - an inspiring read. Various occasional meetings with 'liveaboards' since has just fuelled the flame. More recently I thought there may be a book here and on hearing from the good people on forums like this it seems I may have been right - some are just nuts!

I'm in the UK at the moment but spent a few years in the US and have travelled all over. I've never lived on a boat myself but have certainly dreamed of it - one day maybe!

CapnJ2ds - It seems there are a few places of liveaboard 'gatherings' so I'm presently getting a list of them together. Thanks very much for the info on Westpark marina. And Chas Strange sounds like someone I'd love to meet. Do you know when his book's to be published or if there's any way of contacting him? Or any of the others there for that matter?

My plan at the moment is to get details of as many candidates as possible over the coming months then try my best to get to visit them sometime in 2012. A bit of a tall order it seems (in view of their scattering) but I think if I can do my research well enough at the start then I should be able to work something out.

Thanks again everyone - this is all great.

12-10-2011, 12:38 PM
I have lived 12 years aboard various boats since the 70's, the last being my 1936 cutter that my family of three lived and sailed on for three years...up in the SF Bay area during the early 90's before we left, one did not say the "L" word (live-a-board) to too many people because it was mostly illegal in the marinas, and live-a-boards were not welcome. We learned to keep a very low profile, and to keep the decks clear of any clutter that might suggest that we did so. This may have changed since then ('93), but I doubt it.

12-14-2011, 09:53 AM
A 1934 cutter sounds a great place to live. I'm big into old boats. You talk about the "L" word and I've just watched a clip on youtube about the liveaboards in Bainbridge Islands (Washington State) and the problems they had with people not wanting them around. Very sad and I'm sure frustrating/annoying for those that just want a different way of life. These 'areas' with liveaboards are all around it seems - Galilee harbor in S.F. is another you probably know of. Great mixes of people.

12-14-2011, 11:42 AM
Well, you've added two years to the age of my boat, but that's ok Bertie...lol. I love living on my boat and still spend a couple of nights a week on her, but my wife sought greener pastures. I have friends in Gailiee Harbor even now after having been away from there for almost 30 years; it is a great little community...other places are not so nice, and the livaboards get blamed for all sorts of crazy things, most notably pollution of one sort of another. Even if you had suitable, legal head equipment people would accuse you of polluting the Bay just because you were a livaboard. The BCDC in the SF Bay Area went on a crusade against livaboards back in the 80's and 90's so we just went cruising.
We ended up in Morro Bay, got inspected and obtained legal livaboard status, and were still a scapegoat for all sorts of problems. One, specifically, was polluting MB, because repeated testing found fecal matter in the water...of course it had to be the livaboards! Eventually it was proven to be the backbay community of Lo Osos/Baywood Park which, having only septic systems in the sand, ran everything into the Bay in short order. There is still a huge fight going on there as to who is going to pay for a new system...So, in self-defense, we stopped using the "L" word until we had removed ourselves from the situation. It was ,and is, too easy for non livaboards to cast stones for perceived wrongs at the very few people who choose a different lifestyle.

12-14-2011, 12:02 PM
Sorry.......I have thick fingers!!

I suspect there's conflict of one sort or other between boat and land people in most places though where it works well it seems to work REALLY well. Such is life I suppose. So you still have your boat - I'm pleased about that. Hopefully you get to sail from time to time as well as have the odd night aboard. The concessions we make for our loved ones!! Good to hear from you Rogue and thanks again.

12-14-2011, 12:37 PM
Thanks Bertie, We sail the Rogue quite a bit in the summer months, when my son is around to help. Winter I try and do projects and have her ready for the warm months (if and when they show up..)...http://i622.photobucket.com/albums/tt307/blcrow/P8030435-1.jpg
This photo was taken by friends from G.Harbor when we cruised the Channel Is. three years ago..

Dan Payne
12-14-2011, 11:14 PM
Hello Bertie. I live on my 38' 1955 Stephens Bros. Farallone Clipper sailboat. Contact me here or feel free to call me (619) 890-9116

12-18-2011, 08:21 AM
Rogue is a fine looking yacht - and in such good shape. Those sails look like they're just out of the wrapping! And it seems you have similar problems with weather as us in the UK!

Many thanks Dan - I shall be in touch.