Realities Of Boat Life: Watch Before You Buy!

Realities Of Boat Life: Watch Before You Buy!

If hindsight were 20/20 I don’t know if we would have done half the things we have done.

Four years ago, we bought a boat and set out to explore the world with absolutely no sailing experience. Experts and novices all around the world wide web told us we would fail, sink, and die.

Well, surprise, surprise, we’re still alive!  Turns out you CAN just go buy a boat and sail about the world.

BUT…that doesn’t mean it’s been easy.

To say we had (and still have) a lot to learn is an understatement.   Knowing we were clueless, we made a video so we would be able to one day reflect on our newbie expectations and compare them to reality.

Looking back at our peculiar beginning now is both comical and endearing.  We really had no idea what was ahead of us. We thought our RV experience would help…and it did…but there is sooo much more to boat life than we could comprehend.

Currently, we’re stuck in isolation in Fiji.  Restrictions and closures keep us from exploring so we’ve been sifting through years of videos, mistakes, misadventures, and victories.  Asking ourselves, if we could go back in time what advice would we give ourselves, what would we want to know?

So, if hindsight is 20/20, here it is, the realities of living on a sailboat. The stuff we wished we would’ve known before we bought a boat, and set off around the world.

We’re curious and we try not to stifle that with too much of our adult tendencies to worry and overthink things. This is why we don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on things that could have, should have, might have been…if only. Wasted time and energy if you ask me.BUT…reflecting back to help the next curious soul wandering down a similar path? That we can do!

Big Boat Life Takeaway!!!

Living on a sailboat is an alternative way of travel and life. You will live and travel at a slower pace but don’t assume that slower equals less effort.

Alternative means different not easy.  It’s up to you to decide if it is a better alternative.

As for us, we love our life at sea and we miss it desperately. We’re waiting impatiently to get back to our floating home, which is so close yet so far away.  Hopefully, this pandemic will loosen its grip on the world, and Tonga will open its borders.

It’s Your Turn!

Did we miss anything? Is there something else you would like to know about, another subject you would like to hear our thoughts on?  Let us know.

Topics discussed in the video (in order):

  • Learning how to sail is easy. But do this first.
    • Seamanship is important – educate yourself & take a class (ASA if you are in the USA)
  • Boat Life is a Full-Time Job. – expect double the time than what it takes on land
    • Finding a boat
    • Route planning, visas, bureaucracy, checking in and out of ports
    • Simple things like, groceries, fuel, doing laundry
    • maintenance, upgrades, and repairs
    • Being a Digital Nomad on a Boat can be challenging. Don’t assume you can work a 40-50-hour work week and sail/maintain/explore and not burn out.
  • Time is Money
    • Money is a resource
    • Budget 10-30% for yearly maintenance
    • Double your budget or double your sweat equity
  • You will become handy
    • Good tools are hard to come by once you leave civilization
    • Bolts, screws, spares, you can never have too many
    • The cruising community is fantastic. FB groups, local nets…get social, don’t be afraid to reach out.
  • Sleeping isn’t impossible
  • Ground Tackle is soooo important.  Learning proper anchoring techniques (lots of freebies on the internet) and invest in a solid anchor and high quality, high test anchor chain.
  • Seasickness is real, uncontrollable, and unavoidable for some.  But you can manage it.
  • Driving (helming) the boat
  • Things You CAN Live Without


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