John and I having lived, worked and traveled aboard boats for most of our lives. So we can speak from experience as to the many ways to embrace a life afloat as a new adventure. Many people have the dream to Live Aboard, or Sail off into the Sunset. It is also helpful to understand that there is not just one way to Live Aboard or One way to Sail off into the Sunset (better known as cruising).
Here are some variations on the theme.
Live aboard at a marina fulltime, live on an offshore Mooring, live on a boat at Anchor, buy a boat and use it like a dockside Condo and never leave the dock, live aboard a cruise ship by buying your own cabin, live on a houseboat, get a job on a yacht or a cruise ship. Do any of these in another country or an exotic island. Raise your kids on a boat, have your pets on a boat.
Cruising can be done in a Sailboat or a Powerboat. There is Blue Water Cruising where you cross oceans, there is Coastal Cruising where you hop port-to-port. There is chartering, crewing and racing where you don’t have to own a boat. Do you want to do it with someone else or be a single-hander?
All of these variations are someone’s fulfillment of their Life Afloat dream. There is no Right Way. Only you can determine which best fit you. Living aboard and cruising have yielded us amazing experiences and opportunities.
Here are a few fun resources to explore:
Books and a Movies
The Complete Live Aboard Book It’s an old book but a great book. Our cruising sailboat model, a Fantasia 35 is on the cover and featured throughout the book. The Complete Live-Aboard Book
The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat by Mark Nicholas- a well-organized book that lives up to its name. The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat
Captain Ron – just for fun Kurt Russell and Martin Short are hilarious in this movie about a family that goes to the Caribbean to live on a boat. Captain Ron
Discover Boating – A great website for exploring the possibilities of boat ownership.
Sailing Blogs is where many sailors post their free blogs. Tap into sailing now.
S.S.C.A.- Seven Seas Cruising Association – a not-for-profit community of Cruisers. This is a wonderful pool of knowledge from real live aboards and cruisers that generously share their knowledge. They host rendezvous’ around the world every year. We are post-Commanders of SSCA.
Orange Coast College or O.C.C. – A dedicated Seamanship facility preparing you for all types of boating. We’ve taken Safety-at-Sea, Medicine at Sea, Celestial Navigation, Marine Weather and a host of other courses. They have a semester at Sea program on the Alaskan Eagle that you can enroll in and do a leg around the Pacific.
Offshore Sailing School – Started by and still run by Steve and Doris Colgate, the Offshore Sailing School has earned a fine reputation. Their courses provide a wonderful way to immerse yourself and learn from the best.
National Women’s Sailing Association – This is an amazing cohesive and committed organization that I’ve been proud to belong to.
U.S.Coast Guard Auxiliary hosts free classes on boating safety.