Living on a boat. What's it really like

Not much got done this week because the weather was dreadful, we have really been bashed about this week. About the only thing that got done was a few connectors got cleaned on the engine panel and we decided to make a surround for it on the grounds that two of the screw holes have enlarged so much that the corners have dropped off. Seeing as the panel project has been put on hold, we decided to really explore one of our viewers questions which was what is it really like to live on a sail boat.

Living aboard a boat

Some times when the weather is bad, you live on a slant, even when you are in a marina you can be healed over so much that you have to cook with the cooker gimballed. Also when you are living in a small space, everything gets messy very quickly. It doesn't take much to clean it up, but a few documents out and the whole place looks like a dump.

In the galley we have really cut down on the amount of modern appliances, keeping it down to just a toaster and a kettle, which we only use when we are in a marina. The equipment that we do use are a self sharpening knife which gets sharpened ever time that we take it out of the sheaf. A small food processor that you pull the sting on to chop up vegetables etc. The other piece of cooking equipment that we have is Mr D our thermal cooker because it is a giant thermos flask so keeps food hot for a long time and allows you to slow cook food. Also when you are cooking then you really need to think about what you are cooking and how you are organising that. This is because although we have a fridge, we do have to prioritise the way we eat our food, with chicken being first, then pork, lamb and finally beef. Ours is a chest freezer so we need to keep meat at the bottom where it is cooler and have vegetables at the top. We also needed to think about how we were cooking as we only have two rings and our gas supply is just a small propane canister.

Another downside of living on a boat is that when we are in a marina then we use the marina facilities as much as we can especially if we need to do more than a wee.

The advantages of living on board is the sense of freedom, being able to go where you like. If you don't like the view then change it. When we started we were in marinas a lot, while in the second year we were on mooring balls more and last year we did a lot more anchorages. Being able to pick a wild spot to relax in is just fantastic. You see all sorts of things and it is just fantastic to live with the rhythm of life. The phone does not ring and you are liberated from so much stuff. When you are on land there are a lot of things that you have to deal with, but once you are out you are liberated from all of that. Getting into the lifestyle can take a while but it is just fantastic when you do.

There are a few more downsides to living on a boat for example doing chores like washing and shopping. Its much more of a task, doing washing at home can be fairly easy especially if you have a washing machine and tumble dryer like I did, but when you live in a boat there is not the space for that kind of equipment unless you are on a much bigger boat. So this means that these chores can take most of the day.

You also need to think about water, you have a limited supply on the boat so you need to use all the tricks that you can to limit water supply. You also need to think about power and making sure that you have an adequate power supply to meet your needs.

These are just some of the disadvantages but the real advantage is when it is summer and you can get out. It is just fantastic to be able to get out and explore, there are so many fantastic places out there. We also get to see a lot of things that most people don't get to see and we really enjoy these places, sights, sounds and experiences. I also like to be at one with nature and really understand just how every thing affect you. We also love seeing the animals like the dolphins, the seals and the gannets diving, that is just brilliant.