Living on a boat OUT OF THE WATER

Life on the hard.  That’s what we yachties call it when our boat is on dry land.  Why?  I can only assume because living on a sailboat out of the water is hard.

Do you know that old saying, like a fish out of water?  It’s sort of like that, except we don’t die.

Most everything on our boat relies on water to function.  For example, our engines, air conditioners and generator are all water-cooled…so NO water, NO workie.

Life on the hard isn’t glamorous but nothing about major renovations is (except for the final product perhaps, that should be fabulous).  This is why we’ve been staying at our friend’s resort while we did the major cleaning and mold remediation.

I am thrilled to report the cleaning is done and Curiosity is ready for liveaboards once again!  Join us as we make the transition back to full-time boat life, take you on a tour of the yard, and explain how we live on a boat when it’s hauled out of the water and sitting on the hard.


More Info on:


Electricity For Our USA Wired Boat In Foreign Countries


My Frankenstein Setup totally works because the NOCO charger can run on 50hz and 60hz.  I own the 15a version but if I could purchase it again, I’d go for the 26a version linked here.


I would buy the 2000-watt model linked below.  It’ll run the NOCO charger and have some spare power leftover for a laptop, or another small device.  If you wish to run power-hungry items like a water kettle, instant-pot, toaster, etc. you may want to buy the bigger 5000-watt model:


Notes From A Pro

Rafael was our service advisor and all-around guru for boat projects when we were doing our major refit jobs in Florida at Just Catamarans.  The man knows power and boats.  Luckily, he still answers our questions almost four years later.

He gave some solid advice that we wanted to pass along.

“The most Primo way would be to install a Shore power converter like an ASEA power cabinet.  You can put any Frequency or voltage in and it will put out what you want.  Price is in the neighborhood of $15k for the unit and then a couple grand for the display to know what’s going on.  This unit weighs around 230 lbs, so it’s not lite.

Next best option is a similar unit that is more reasonably priced (almost 50% less) from ANG.  It can convert frequency, but it’s limited on input voltage.  It can’t handle converting 440v…but who the heck plugs their sailboat into that?

Best bet for you at this moment is a dual Frequency and Voltage Charger with a dedicated inlet and cable adapters. You can install multiples of these units to charge your batteries.  Depends of course on what you have inverted on your vessel if this can work for you.

Another option is using a Step down converter.  The issue here is 110v units are never set up for dual frequency. Your aircons will go from spinning at 60hz to 50hz.  Aircons will work, but won’t be as efficient.  Inverter/charger won’t care about the frequency, but the issue is you’ll be passing through 50hz to items that are designed for 60hz.

Ideally you would have a 230v boat with dual frequency aircons. You set up a Large inverter charger that can charge your lithium’s and invert your aircons and hot water if you like. For the rest of the boat you can just have pure sine inverters for your 110 voltage units.  The main issue with most boats we work on is the space and load requirement needed to fit all the inverters, batteries, etc…then there’s the whole budget thing!

Of course, you could just add more solar and lithium 😊


For all the money and hassle…we like the more solar and lithium battery option. Thanks Raf!  





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Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (29)

  • Michael

    That’s weird about the power. If you have a shore power receptacle, and you clearly showed us the standard three-prong adapter, then why didn’t you power the whole boat from the step-down device with an extension cord? That way you could keep your batteries up and have plenty for everything else.

  • Jock

    Same question: cyclone season has officially started round there. What are your plans?
    Coming to NZ?
    Love your stories and humour!

    • Curious Minion

      They’d love to come to NZ but until the border opens they can’t. They will splash and stick around Tonga for probably the rest of the season.
      Curious Minion

  • Stephen

    Yea! Bloopers. I know the shrimpers in the Florida Keys ride out hurricanes in the mangrove islands on the gulf side. What does one tuck up in Tonga? “Cyclone mooring” makes me nervous.

  • Alan Solomon

    Another great video Nikki and Jason. Getting out and being out of the apartment is sort of like your last tie to covid and all the obstacles and problems covid created and brought on.
    Living on the “hard” as it is spoken is better for you both and Curiosity.
    I am Happy you are back in control mostly of reality.
    Follow me on this. As I remember, the guest cabin you are sleeping in now is the same cabin Dale and Justin were in when they were on board a while back.
    Is that correct?
    I could not remember their names so I watched the Geisha coffee trip in Boquete, Panama to remember them. Did Dale and Justin ever get the boat they wanted?

  • Keith Vauquelin

    Hey, Guys – following closely the effort and taking notes! I moved one step closer today on my plans. Looks like “planning ahead” is delivering dividends. Happy you are close to getting back on the water. To better days ahead, and to reiterate a previous compliment, the camera work and music is absolutely spot-on. Be safe!

  • Lisa

    I sooooooo appreciate all the clever camera work you do to tell the story. Good stuff!!

  • Jeanette Brennan

    Wow — you guys have done amazing work bringing Curiosity back to life. Soooooo much cleaning, scrubbing and fixin’ things. You are so close to regaining the life you love. You guys are incredible.
    Keep pushing forward; you’re almost there. Watch out for that cyclone season… Stay safe and well – take care of each other. 💖⛵️🏝🙏

  • Lynda

    I learn so much watching your videos! Would you tell me the model # of the water filter you are using? I went to the Sawyer web page but did not find the same configuration that you are using in your video. And, do you have any concerns about what your filter will not be able to remove? What dangerous elements might remain in the water?

    Thank you so much.

  • Anita

    You two are the most amazing resilient people I’ve ever seen. Was going to say “met” and I haven’t met but feel like I know you.

    Jason – my husband is an incredible handy man but you have mad skills. Did you know this before? My husband loves working on electricity the most which is kind of scary. He would approve of how you Frankensteined that. Impressive.

    Are there other people living on board fixing up their boats like you are? Is there 24/hour staff there? It would seem a little bit like living in a cemetery if not.

    Looking forward to the next time and hopefully being on the water soon! I always watch on a Sunday night with a glass of wine so felt I was sharing in cocktails with you. Cheers!

  • Paul Reynolds

    Hi Nikki n Jason,

    What a lovely home you have, to those that built it, great job.
    How is mum getting on with her travels Jason ?
    You are both looking so fit and healthy, so that’s great.
    Looking forward to your next post, I really like them a lot 🙂

    Kind regards


  • Tev

    I can feel your contentment at being back “home”. Only one more step to go and that’s to get back on the water. Hopefully sometime soon. Noticed your Crema mug and I must tell you I still curse you for ever introducing us to Geisha coffee. Loved your video from back then and I was able to get some Geisha from Crema ONE time and never again. It was the BEST coffee ever and I still hope to get some again one day. LOL
    Enjoy each day.


    Hi Wynns,

    Congrats on fixing your power issue!! Nice video as always!!

    I have 1.5kw of solar on my boat and two DC air conditioners . Mostly we run the DC air conditioner at night to keep the master cabin cool and dry.

    The whole boat runs off an inverter so it is completely isolated from incoming power in that regard. The Victron charger switch mode power supply you mention above is OK but there are others that are also dual voltage and 45 to 65 cycle so “world power” compliant. I went with this approach as dock power is so unreliable -even in the Bahamas and I got tired of power fluctuations, but this approach also works as you travel around the world. The DC air conditioners are from Cruise N Comfort and because they use DC compressors are more efficient than AC. We use about 300amp hours of power at 12V overnight to cool our rather large cabin.

    We still have the AC air handling units that came with the boat but we never use them. Solar plus generator every now and then keeps up with our needs. We also have 1200amp hours at 12V of lithium batteries, so that helps.

    Something to keep in mind – not all power supplies are created equal. Some are fine at rated power for a while but not designed to be used long term ie 24/7.

  • Pat

    What a great way to start Sunday with an uplifting video from you both. Makes me happy to see that you are snuggled back into Curiosity and feeling once again at home. Thanks for the videos and thanks for making us feel happy …….take care and stay safe.

    Have a great week

  • Pat

    What a great way to start Sunday with an uplifting video from you both. Makes me happy to see that you are snuggled back into Curiosity and feeling once again at home. Thanks for the videos and thanks for making us feel happy …….take care and stay safe.

  • Bernard

    Hi guys, I always am looking forward every Sunday to your new video! I am picking up on Sandy’s question, will you be on the water during cyclone saison??

    • Curious Minion

      The plan is to splash Curiosity as soon as all repairs & upgrades are completed. Tonga actually has some good places to tuck up to escape a cyclone, and the Wynns also know someone who has a “cyclone mooring” that they may be able to use. Or, they could always get hauled out again I suppose.
      Curious Minion


    Hi Guys,
    I was just wondering, why you don’t have a composting toilet in the owners cabin?
    Enjoy your videos.
    Stay Safe.

    • Curious Minion

      Well, when they embarked on this crazy journey they weren’t 100% sure that they could find composting medium in some of the more remote areas. So they left one toilet as a regular marine toilet JIC. Turns out that they’ve had no trouble finding medium, but hindsight, ….. Jason does hate that marine toilet though, so maybe one day.
      Curious Minion

  • Marjorie Nehlsen

    You accomplished an amazing amount in a short time. Soon you will be floating around the world again. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to on Sunday morning.

  • Laurence

    Well, I just had an “in-sight” that being colorblind might partly explain being cooking-challenged

  • Mary

    The boat looks like it’s coming together nicely! Clean and organized once again. It looks like you guys have a great plan and you’re sticking to it.

    I’ve got that NOCO charger for my GO Power lithium battery in my RV, it’s amazing!

    It looked like a race between you both to get to the boat and it looks like Jason won out- Just in time to get Nikki unloaded from the van. Actually, maybe Nikki one out!

    I’m so glad things are coming together for you both! I hope you get things in order so you can get the heck out of there!

  • Liisa OMaley

    Nikki and Jason, Every Sunday morning I look forward to your post! I find them enlivening, uplifting and always, all ways filled with inspiration in spite of this past year’s unexpected twists and turns. I can be assured of a laugh, a tear and I love learning something new. I have been following the both of you for some years now and your weekly adventures (and cleaning, toileting, composting, oh and eating /imbibing at sunset, etc) still incite new and brights views regardless of any challenges. Both of you really turn lemons into the most awesome lemonade ( a bit of spirit added, both kinds). May you continue to feel loved, blest and filled with humor!! Keep carrying on!!! Yipeee….it’s a new moment!! Light, Peace and Love!! Liisa (2’i’s Finnish) from Taos New Mexico


    “It’s amazing how much we can accumulate.”
    I seem to remember you saying that in earlier videos. Transferring everything from one RV to another being one. Transferring from the RV to the cat another.

    This was a good video, coming out at a good time for a smile. The smile? Never has there been a lady so in love with a toilet as Nikki.

  • Jacquelyn Partin Hall

    How do you plan to refurbish the interior, and being where you are, have availability to “decor” items?

    • Curious Minion

      They set the bar back up, what else do they need? (Just kidding!)

      I’m not sure they’re planning to “refurbish.” Everything’s a little topsy-turvy at the moment until the fuel tanks can be reinstalled & engines tested, but then everything will get back to normal.
      Curious Minion

  • Mike Freimund

    I look forward to your videos. You guys are living the dream. Stay safe and enjoy.

  • Sandy

    You mentioned that cyclone season is coming (again!) – how will you pass that season this year?

    • Mary

      I know for sure they won’t be coming back home! ☹️❤️


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