4 Months as Live Aboard Sailors – Q&A
Green is a word used to represent many things. A color, being eco-friendly, a political group, Kermit the frog and in our case being incredibly new at something. We are green sailors. Newbies, novices, and beginners at best.
For the past four months we’ve been full-time liveaboard sailors on our catamaran Curiosity.
Despite being so very new, we get asked a lot of in depth questions about the sailing lifestyle that we don’t feel comfortable answering. Sometimes because we don’t know the answer, other times because we simply don’t feel qualified to give the answer.
It’s a real struggle between wanting to help and not wanting to lead someone down the wrong path or encourage or discourage in a not-so-helpful way.
However, experience counts for something. We all learn from our experiences and sharing what we learn helps the next person along. That is why we share our lives and our experiences.
We’ve been tossing around the idea of filming a regular Q&A for the past few years…somehow we never got around to it. We always talk ourselves out of it thinking “we’re not experts, nobody wants to watch that, it will be boring, we should work on other videos instead”.
Yet, as we sit here docked at the marina in Ft. Lauderdale, waiting on a weather window to sail south, we decided to go for it. As sailing newbies, we have a I’m totally new at this stuff perspective that could be useful to others in the same boat.
I hope that was somewhat insightful?!? I know we mentioned a lot of different things, apps and gadgets. Here’s a quick recap of the questions with additional links and resources.
How is cooking on the boat different than before? Are there any appliances that you can’t use or one’s that you want to get (like an ice cream machine) ?
You can always find all of my favorite kitchen gadgets in our gear store. Just click on the tab “kitchen faves”: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/store
How are the kitties mastering their sea legs?
The cats are doing great!
It would be great if you can cover power logistics, e.g. what you generate (solar & engines) vs. what you need or wish you had – follow up to the pre-installation video. Also, there’s a freezer beneath the table, refrigeration somewhere, sometimes A/C is on for comfort or when leaving cats locked in… thank you!
Whew, that is a lot of stuff. Too much. There is no quick answer. We do plan on covering all of this soon. For now:
- We did install lithium batteries and you can learn a little more about that here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/lithium-batteries
- We installed the same solar panels from the RV onto Curiosity: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/solar
- The device that makes it possible for us to run our AC off batteries: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/air-conditioning-off-grid
- We will eventually cover all of our systems, how they are working and what they do and don’t do for us.
- The freezer beneath the table is super awesome and has been a huge help: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/dometic-portable-electric-fridgefreezer
Where do you store dried goods and how much do you carry? Saw the additional freezer for Nikki’s ice cream #obsession
We seem to have plenty of storage space. Right now we don’t carry more than one months’ worth of food. That will change once we start sailing too far off places. The freezer beneath the table is super awesome and has been a huge help: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/dometic-portable-electric-fridgefreezer
How is sleeping on the boat? Do you get dizzy, seasick, etc?
We sleep like babies! We use the app DragQueen (if you know of a better one, let us know). It’s an anchor alarm and having it gives us that little extra piece of mind. Other than that, we back down on our anchor really hard (both engines at 2200rpm). As for the movement…we wanted a catamaran because of it’s stability. When we are at anchor, we often forget we are on a boat because it is so calm inside.
Where and how often do you take on fresh water? What is your water capacity compared to the RV? Do you get your holding tanks pumped out and what if at sea? What are the rules on that? Do you worry about leaving your boat at anchor when leaving in the dinghy? How do you protect it to make sure it’s still there when you get back?
Sort answers…we fill up our tanks at a marina or make water using our water maker (more on that later). We carry 200 gallons of water, which is 100 more than the RV. We have lots of water! Holding tanks get pumped out if we are inland, and go out into the sea when we are over 3 miles out to sea. We try very hard to make sure everything we use is biodegradable and ocean friendly. What is really scary is thinking about commercial boats, big cruise ships and so on. Who knows what all the people aboard those ships are pumping out into the water.
We don’t worry about leaving the boat. We will talk about security another time.
Has it turned out being harder work than you expected? Are you enjoying it more than RV’ing?
Yes and no. We knew it was going to be a lot of work but that doesn’t make the transition or learning curve any easier. It is work, it is maintenance but it all comes with a great reward. It’s not all sunsets and snorkeling but the sunsets and snorkeling are superb!
How far are you willing to sail Curiosity?… ie would you sail up the East Coast as far as Maine? or even west to Mexico?
We want to go as far as we can. Around the world, remote islands…we want to do it all! We’re nervous and a little afraid but we will do it!
Overall, at this point in time – Great decision, or kinda sorta maybe miss the RV a little bit more than you thought?
Great decision. We miss being on the road and how easy things had become with our years of experience. However, we love the challenges that face us every day on the boat and the sense of accomplishment that comes with crushing tasks. We feel like we’ve opened a huge can of opportunity. Living on a sailboat gives us a feeling that our exploration options are endless. Looking at a chart and setting sail somehow makes the world feel a whole lot bigger.
We hope you enjoyed our first Q&A and if we didn’t make it to your question please accept our apologies, we thought a 20-minute video was already too much of Wynn’s rambling on sorta feature.
If you enjoyed this informal Q&A, please tell us and we’ll do more! We could try to focus in on an individual subject for some. For example, a Q&A on Solar, Sailing, Lithium, catamarans, kitty cats, the list is endless.
Thanks for joining us!!!