one year sailboat q&a

One Year Living On A Sailboat – Q&A

We’ve hit a milestone this month; one year of living on a sailboat.  There’s a whole slew of people are out there living the sailing life.  This isn’t something new or that hasn’t been done before…exploration by sailboat goes back long before Christopher Columbus.  Nevertheless, it’s been a big change in our traveling lifestyle and one that comes with it’s own set of challenges and rewards.

To mark the occasion, last week we beached the dinghy, sat down and reflected on our first year as sailors and boat owners. But we thought, surely we’re missing a few (or a bunch) of curiosities that you may want to know about .  So we turned to our Patreon’s for a quick Q&A!  It’s one of the ways we show thanks to our Patron’s for being a part of our virtual crew, and we figure, if they have questions it’s most likely one’s others have too.

So, grab a beverage and join us on deck as we sail to Bimini and talk about life on a sailboat.

What a day!  Downwind sailing, especially on calm days like this one are dreamy.  It’s almost like we’re at anchor with only soft, gentle swaying so comfortable it’s easy to forget we’re moving.

Below are the questions asked in the video along with any links we mentioned that help better answer the question.  Also, we forgot a couple questions in the video so we’ve included those at the bottom, oops (that’s what happens when we try to do things pre-coffee).

Q  Could you share your monthly cost, not including equipment?

A  We will share soon. All current and future posts about expenses can be found under the expenses tab on the sailing page:

Q  I know you didn’t do this to explore pink beaches. What would be your criteria for the next adventure beyond the Bahamas?

A  We’re all about experiences and it’s a never ending curiosity and thirst to see and do everything that drives us.

Q  What has been your experience with the Patreon? How has it impacted your plans and opportunities? Is it contributing as much income as you wished?

A  Patreon has been incredible.  Being viewer funded is indescribable.  If you are not sure what Patreon is, learn about it here:

Q  A solar flair or crazy rogue nation takes out all of the satellites, are you gonna be able to manage the planet and continue to sail the high seas on charts?

A  Ha ha, gotta love the hypothetical.  Yes, we did learn how to navigate using charts in sailing school.  All of our Sailing Schooled episodes can be found through that tab on the sailing page:

Q  I’m worried about getting skin damage from the sun….is sunblock your only prevention and how much do you go through?

A  Sun exposure is a legit concern.  I (nikki) have worn mineral makeup for years which naturally protects my skin:  I also like this website as its an excellent place to learn about sunscreens that are good for us and the environment:

Q  Were you ‘handy’ before you became full time sailors?

A  Not really.  If you want to confirm that, check out these How Not To videos from the past: or

Q  A few years ago you posted about how you deal with mail, health insurance, etc. I’m curious if that process has changed since you’ve moved from RV to boat.

A  We are still working out our options for sailing and it all will be different.  Here is the RV post this question is referring to:

Q  How do you handle money?  Do you have a money manager here in the US or just manage things yourself via internet?

A  We’re finding we use way more cash than ever before.  The wonderful world of the internet allows us to manage everything from our computers.

Q  Is there one thing you miss about RVing? What one thing do you like best about sailing compared to RVing?

A  We miss the conveniences of RVing and how much faster we could get things done. If you haven’t checked out our RV’ing page, it’s how we spent our first six years as full time travelers trekking around North America:    As for the sailboat, the ability to make safe, clean drinking water anywhere in the world is a beautiful thing.

Q  How is the water system working that converts salt water to fresh, and how is the quality of that water, and do you drink it.

A  Love having a watermaker and couldn’t imagine not having one.  Here is our watermaker info:

Q  What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started? Any surprises.

A  We went back and responded to our own Thoughts Expectations, Uncertainties from a year ago here:

Q  What do think about cat vs. mono hull sailing.

A  We bought a cat because we knew it was going to be the best for our wants/needs/travel style.  I have always loved Pat from Bumfuzzles post on this subject:

Q  Do you think you bought the right size boat? newer model year?

A  If we were to do it all again, we would still buy the same boat.  The size is just right and we couldn’t afford a newer boat. We scarcely came up with the funds to buy this one.  That story here:

Q  What would you recommend to someone who is looking to purchase a catamaran to live on?

A  Find a good buyers broker who can help you find the right boat for your wants/needs/travel style.  We have had a great experience with Kent and the guys at Just Catamarans. 

Q  What are the top 5 things you would suggest someone planning to live this lifestyle do before buying the boat and getting started.

A  I don’t know that we have a top 5 list but Sailing School was incredibly helpful and it would have been great to do that even sooner.  Then, finding a good buyers broker was invaluable to us as newbies.  They guided us through the process and shared knowledge we couldn’t have learned otherwise.  We used Just Catamarans out of Florida and totally recommend them.

Q  Do you guys get lonely? It seems you spend a lot of time without any human contact other than each other.

A  Not at all, the cruisers we meet are incredibly friendly, helpful and all around an awesome bunch of humans to be around.

Q  Does anyone grow veggies on their boats?

A  Microgreens and herbs we’ve seen rarely, but no one growing veggies.  We sometimes grow herbs but clearing customs with potted plants can pose issues not to mention we have to battle the cats for anything green.

Q  How much has maintenance been? How do you even budget for that?

A  We have covered a lot of our maintenance and costs that you can find under the Mods & Maintenance tab on the sailing page:

We will eventually share more on this subject but until then I found this post from fellow sailors helpful when we were in the planning phase, and from our short experience it seems dead on:

Q  Your clothes always look “unwrinkled”. Why aren’t half your clothes with holes and oil stains?

A  Better than an iron – In a spritzer bottle combine 1 cup water (purified or filtered) with 1 tsp. liquid fabric softener (we like seventh generation or Mrs. Meyer’s).  If you want it to evaporate faster, add 1 tsp. rubbing alcohol to the mixture.

Q  I think I remember that you have AC in the cabin. How is it powered? From the motor, separate generator, or dare I say battery.

A  We are able to power our AC off of our lithium battery bank and here is the device that allows us to do so:

A couple of questions that didn’t make the video…don’t know how we missed them, sorry about that.

Q  What do you do with trash?

A  We haven’t had an issue finding places to properly dispose of trash.  Typically, if there is a place to land the dinghy, it’s a boat friendly place that has a dumpster nearby.  We do show us doing this occasionally on video.  We show it in both of these videos to give you an idea:

Q  I couldn’t survive without music. Did y’all bring Ipods filled to the brim or pick up music on radio?

A  We couldn’t survive without music either.  We have hard drives full of music we’ve collected over the years but we haven’t reached for them because we use Amazon prime music.  If you haven’t checked it out, it’s worth looking into.

If you are already an Amazon Prime member, the basic prime music is free and there are some 2 million songs. If you don’t know what Amazon Prime is, check it out here:  Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

If you are a hard core music fan, check out the Amazon Music Unlimited because it has tens of millions of songs. There is a 30 day free trial for that too:  Try Amazon Music Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

Extra Cruising and Sailing Information

There are a few blogs I have kept up with over the years that have provided both inspiration and information I found helpful.  There are tons and tons of blogs out there I follow for fun and I am discovering new ones every day so this isn’t by any means my complete list but rather the ones I was reading a couple of years ago when we were still dreaming and I was looking for helpful information.

Did we miss anything?  If you have curiosity about sailing life, leave us a comment below and we’ll chat.  Thanks for hanging with us and being a part of the journey!  And of course, a big thanks to all of our Patrons for helping us to keep the videos flowing.

Gear Used in Video

Cameras Used to Capture This Video

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 (36)

  • Mike Pond

    We really enjoy following your sailing adventures! We are curious tho. When it comes to biodegradable wastes like coffee grounds, veggie cuttings, etc., do you toss that overboard, compost it on the boat, or save it to dump when you go ashore?

    • Curious Minion

      Good question and the answer is: it varies! In general, the invisible border for international waters is located 3 miles offshore. If you are more than 3 miles from shore you can legally dump garbage overboard and pump your holding tanks out too. On a long crossing like this one to French Polynesia the Wynns I’m sure are dumping the biodegradable scraps overboard but they are stockpiling their non-biodegradable garbage until they reach shore. Whenever they’re inside the 3 mile limit, everything stays onboard until they dinghy in to a marina.

  • Ely Walton

    Hi — Just wondering how the composting toilet is working out at sea… I assume you have to shovel in some dirt from time-to-time. Imagine difficult to ferry dirt in the dinghy — or get it on the open sea. (I saw Waterworld!). Thanks for the videos…


  • I really appreciate that you explained Patreon. You are the first video provider that explained how it works. This made me sign up!

  • Kate n Lee

    Lee and I really enjoy all your videos and your web site. One of my big concerns is wifi, honestly. I saw Iridium Go and wonder how it works for YOU. Does it solve your problem with wifi as well as communication 100%? I’ve seen you on video looking for wifi on islands… Do you rent, or did you buy? Would you get it again? Watch for us to be coming from Chicago to Mobile (at least) headed for the Gulf of Mexico in TWO SHORT WEEKS! Kate n Lee, sv Great Debate.

    • Curious Minion

      The Iridium Go (or other satellite connection) is the only connection when you’re offshore. Cell coverage and WiFi are only land-based. The Iridium Go lets the Curiosity crew download weather and send or receive small (ie: no or very small pictures) messages but most satellite upload speeds are waaaaaaay too slow to upload a 20 minute HD video in a reasonable length of time. There are really fancy satellite systems that are faster, but they systems and the monthly data plan are pricey. In countries other than the U.S., you can either buy a cell plan to cover you there, or look for places like coffee shops & bars with WiFi that you can use.

  • Mike

    You should check out “” too. Another couple from Dallas with two 90 pound white labradoodles sailing around the Bahamas

  • Liz

    My question is for Nikki…where do you get all your cute clothes?!?

  • jacques

    Thank you for all your videos. Just found your blog and learning a lots. ( perfect timing) We just sold ours house and are following your step… kind a incredible finding you on youtube ,… you really are more helpful them you can imaging. Still have smooch to see but thank you for all your effort and congratulation on making what you want a reality. My wife and me are getting ready for this new adventure … Mahalo

  • Jennifer Francisco

    Have you ever tried sprouting to get some fresh “veggies” during times where fresh produce is too expensive, poor quality, or not available? Sprouts are nutrient-dense superfoods contained in such a small package! I can see how difficult it would be keep fresh herbs out of the cats’ reach, but sprouting is fully contained in your covered sprouting vessel. Also, with your abundant source of fresh water via RO, daily rinsing would not put a strain on your supply. A small amount of seeds sprout into a good sized serving, many times greater than they start out. If you can find a way to store the seeds in a dark, dry place, you can easily store a good amount until you can replenish your supply.

    Finding a source of sprouting seeds may be challenging where you are at now, but dry beans, peas, and lentils are staples in many cultures; they can be used for sprouting until you reach a location where other organic, food-safe seeds and grains can be found (like alfalfa, radish, broccoli, quinoa, wheat berries, buckwheat groats, etc).

    Here are a couple resources if sprouting is new to you, FYI…

    I really like these sprouting toppers made to be used with wide-mouth Mason jars…

    Hope this helps you meet the need for greens! 🙂 ~Jenny

  • Bill

    Great videos! do you still have the motorhome? are you going to spend the summer on it? or are you going down to central america soon.

  • Michael E Turnage

    You seem so happy! I can feel it!!! Good for you!!! I enjoyed your many RV videos and continue to enjoy these (although I have no intention whatsoever of sailing anywhere, anytime) Youi are adorable people and I wish you the very best always!

  • John G

    My comment is more for your viewers than yourselves. Having lived full time in an RV for 5 years and then sailing full time for 3 years I have an alternative perspective to share with everybody. I honestly think Nikki and Jason could make a video about shoveling poo on a Texas pig farm in the middle of July and make it look appealing. So remember a few things: The grass isn’t always greener on the other side and wherever you go, there you are. In other words, if you, at this moment in your life aren’t happy or fulfilled wherever you are or whom ever you’re with then why in the heck do you think that travelling across the U.S.A. in an RV or sailing across the world is going to change anything? When I read their blog or watch the videos they post I feel like I am nothing like the people that comment here. I wonder nothing of lithium batteries or solar power or water generation or composting toilets or diesel or gas power or monthly expenses or how do you make money travelling or why don’t you have kids or where do the cats take a sh*t or what size sailboat or rv or where do you wild camp or blah,blah, blah. The ability to challenge yourself and learn and fail and achieve is the essence of life. How fulfilled have you been when you passed an open book test with flying colors? The most amazing times in my life have been when I have overcome setbacks or hardships or hell all by myself. That is life! Having a manual is a nice fallback but get your butt out there and just do it! My question after travelling the world over the last 25 years is: Where in the heck did you find a partner that shares your love of adventure? There are 3 keys to an amazing life: 1) Someone to Love. 2) Something you love to do. 3) Something to look forward to. If you have found all three than your search stops here! Most of us are lucky to have one or two of the three. I am more enamored by the connection that you two share of exploring, seeking out new experiences, and living a life of adventure than I am of questions of how did you afford a this or a that or what camera equipment do you use? Oprah Winfrey once said “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” AMEN to that. I’ve been through several relationships over the last decade and one thing in common with all the women I’ve been with is that my lifestyle of spontaneity, travelling, and adventure is something that they only love temporarily. Family, friends, routine, security, and stability always trumps this type of lifestyle for them in the end. I for one have no interest in a 40 hour work week, a mortgage payment, 2.5 kids, health insurance, a 401K, and a white picket fence. That to me is barely one step above of spending your life on Riker’s Island in prison. The connection you two share of life is more intoxicating than a weekend at burning man. I applaud you for the amazing transparency you share via the internet, the absolute professional quality of your videos and blogs that would make any London or New York ad agency cringe, and the information you freely give that not only saves potential globe-goers a lot of time but certainly a ton of $$$. For what it’s worth to the people reading this that are considering dropping everything for a fulltime life of anything. I found that there was no ONE answer for me. So after 25 years I found a happy center by RV’ing 3 months a year, Sailing 2 months a year, working a seasonal job 3 months a year, spending 2 months at home, and then 2 months flying to a different continent every year. Movement and change has been the key to my life……now if only I could find someone to share it with!

    John G

  • I love what you said about why you travel, you are “always seeking experiences.” I think that will be my new motto…it can apply to everyone and, really, shouldn’t that be what life is about? Thank you.

  • Bill Williams

    This is what I worry about for you guys. Please be super super careful.

  • swaan

    Wonderful video, thanks for making them!

    Can’t wait to hear about the inverter issues 😀

  • steve

    Sense we have cats too. I was wondering if your carrying boxes of litter with you, or do you just fill the litter box with sand from a beach:)

  • Charles Babb

    Pleased to see that you guys have reached Ft. Lauderdale safely.

  • Dave Berg

    I have learned a bunch about sailing from my chair by watching your videos Nikki & Jason.
    I look forward to each mail and video as quickly as you put them out there for us.
    We have followed you since the RV thing started with your travels.
    We have a 40′ diesel RV and travel when we can part time.
    Hope to retire in the next year and do it way more full time.
    I am sure you two have done a bunch of research but if not you might also learn things.
    I also watch and they brought up a bunch while traveling the south pacific and around Africa. Dangerous winds, waters and wide gaps of no land between landings.
    Please make sure you are both safe at all times and careful when out in the open sailing waters !
    We watchers and readers care for you and your SAFE travels.
    I sure hope the crew thing goes good for you and maybe someday my wife and I can join you for a sailing ride of a lifetime at least once or twice

  • Jeff Engle

    Curious, ever thought about having kids?
    And, it truly amazes me how we get used to our income and lifestyle so much so that we think at times, “why don’t they all do this” …. wealth is a state of being…. reality? 2300. Per month and qualify for every kind of government assistance program …. paycheck to paycheck. But, in my mind (and my wife’s of nearly 25 years) what we’ve been able to occomplish with little…. yeah, that’s the success story there. And no, those government programs are for the folks that really need it:-). Oh, we thought long and hard about kids…. didnt have any. Bought our 2013 Airstream… and sweet truck…. now, for that day off….. sorry for the ramble.

  • Tracy H

    In the beginning of your video you mentioned Andros. Were you able to stop at Andros Island? Went there last summer with my daughter, an educational program for middle schoolers. Stayed at Forfar Field Station. Saw Blue Holes, lots of snorkeling, basket weavers. Anyway, you mentioned it and it brought back wonderful memories. Love reading and watching your travels. Stay safe. Oh, and I will be trying your wrinkle mist.

  • John Dieker

    Hi, what is that cool coffee press that you are using at the beginning of the Video? Please let me know…. I love watching your videos, beautiful, entertaining, and make my day!

  • Doreen

    Love your wrinkle solution! Will try that even though we are not on a boat. Not a fan of ironing, lol

  • Scott & Monica Vanover

    Hi Guys!

    My wife Monica and I have followed your travels. We are currently in Nassau on our way to Exumas this week if you guys are in the area love to meet up for a sunset. We are in a 46 Grand Banks but have our sights on a cat

    Cheers Scott & Monica

  • Thanks so much for including The Boat Galley in your list! Glad to know I was able to be of help 🙂

  • George

    Do you ever get tired of your fawning, loving fans saying that we love you two and are blown away by you?

  • Stephen Lamb

    Thanks for the video. I watch “Sailing La Vagabonde” and they now have a Catamaran. Is it true, that when sailing a monohull, in a good wind, that you are always listing as opposed to a Cat? I think not being level would but me! Thanks ~ Steve


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