I Live in a 175 Square Foot Tiny Home – Sailboat Living

Are you interested in living on a sailboat? Back in August, I published Living In A 200 Square Foot Tiny House – Could You Do It? At the end, I asked if anyone was interested in taking part in an interview about their tiny home. Well, guest what? Someone said yes and today she is going…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: June 6, 2024

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Are you interested in living on a sailboat? Back in August, I published Living In A 200 Square Foot Tiny House – Could You Do It? At the end, I asked if anyone was interested in taking part in an interview about their tiny home. Well, guest what? Someone said yes and today she is going to share how she is living on a sailboat! 

I was able to interview the amazing Melody at Saving To Sail. She lives on a 175 square foot “tiny home” sailboat with her significant other and their 50 pound dog. It’s definitely a great read about living on a sailboat. Enjoy!

Hi, my name is Melody and I live on a sailboat.

Wow, that sounds like an introduction at a group therapy session! I’m sure some people secretly think to themselves that I need therapy once they learn that I, along with my significant other Chris and our 50lb Dutch Shepherd, have less than 175 square feet in our boat cabin!

Why did you move onto a sailboat and decide to start living on a sailboat?

We came to the decision to sell our 950 square foot house in Nashville (and most of the things that filled it) around 2011. Chris was a singer/songwriter and he hit a rough spot creatively.

I was complacent with my job and our daily routine, so we decided to shake things up and move onto a sailboat. We were both avid sailors, and it was one of the few ways that we thought we could see so many places, so we decided to take the leap and do it sooner than later.

We listed the house and as soon as it sold, we bought a 35 foot sailboat and promptly sailed it from Panama City, FL to the Keys, then up the East Coast and the Chesapeake Bay.

Since then, we’ve cruised up and down the East Coast 4 times, staying in bigger cities like Charleston, Fort Lauderdale and St. Augustine, as well as tiny, quaint towns you’ve likely never heard of such as Rock Hall, Solomons Island and Oriental, each with it’s own charm, and each one now home to us in some way, if only for a short time.

I Live in a 175 Square Foot Tiny Home - A Sailboat Picture. Living on a sailboat can be a fun way to live. It is a true tiny home when living on a small sailboat, and you can travel the world at the same time! Are you interested in living on a small sailboat?How was it to downsize to start living on a small sailboat, and join the tiny house movement?

The downsizing in the beginning was pretty difficult, I must admit.

While I was not materialistic, we did each have a lifetime each of stuff we had acquired, and thus, had to get rid of. I also had a closet full of shoes.

Girls, you can understand how hard getting rid of them all was for me.

The funny thing about us humans is how easily we attach emotions to inanimate objects. Of course some things are understandable, such as a quilt hand-stitched by my Grama, but there were some things I was so hesitant to get rid of, although they had zero sentimental value to them. I felt like I was giving away huge chunks of my life as I filled box after box with my things.

As the process went on, however, I found that I was actually enjoying getting rid of my belongings.

As I designated each item as trash, donate or keep, it was fun to reflect and laugh at some of the old photos and memories. The process became cathartic and when it was all said and done, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. I felt so free!

I Live in a 175 Square Foot Tiny Home - A Sailboat Kitchen Picture. Living on a sailboat can be a fun way to live. It is a true tiny home when living on a small sailboat, and you can travel the world at the same time! Are you interested in living on a small sailboat?What do you do for food when living on a sailboat?

One funny thing about living on a sailboat is that people ask you some really ridiculous questions. Oddly enough, the most common question we get is, “What do you do for food?”

Ummm… well, there’s this place called a grocery store…?

Seriously though, we do go to the grocery store like normal people, and we cook on board most nights although we do like to find a few local restaurants when we get to a new town.

We’ll sit at the bar and eat and have a beer or a glass or two of wine. We’ve found that this is one of the best ways to spark up a conversation with a local who gives you all the scoop on the town, and we’ve made lots of new friends this way. I’d like to say we fish a lot, but we are terrible fishermen, but I finally caught my first fish last weekend! It was awesome.

What about privacy since you’re in such a small space?

There is a certain lack of privacy that comes with the territory, and I would say that many couples I know wouldn’t be able to get along in such confinement.

You can’t get your feelings hurt when you’re in this situation and your partner admits they need space.

It’s not personal – we all need “me time”, and luckily, we both understand that. When those times come, one of us will take the dog for a walk, or someone will go up on deck to read so the other can have some alone time.

It’s also crucial to have excellent communication when you both live in such a small space.

Even though our actual living space is tinier than even most tiny houses, it’s all relative, I suppose. Since we have less stuff, our space doesn’t feel cramped in the least. I think if we were pack rats, I would be absolutely miserable but as it is, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. If we need more room, we go up on deck, where we are treated to million dollar views and sunsets that take your breath away. It’s a good life.

What about money when living on a sailboat?

The hardest part for me is work when living on a sailboat, and worrying about money. I’m in my 30’s and Chris in his 40’s so we’re on the younger side of retirement.

I’m lucky, because the promotional marketing company I work for lets me work remotely from the boat. I have a Verizon Jetpack mobile wifi device that keeps me connected, and since most of my work is done via email and phone, it’s not too difficult – logistically, of course.

However, I will admit that it’s tough to be in some of these wonderful places and still be tied to a computer each day for 8 solid hours. My need to be constantly connected has also kept us from sailing to further places such as the Bahamas or Nova Scotia, so while having a steady income is awesome, it’s not without its downfall.

This is the reason I actually became such a huge fan of Michelle’s blog and the whole side hustle thing! I’ve learned so much from Making Sense of Cents, and I now have a few side hustles – writing, making jewelry and website building, and Chris wrote a book about our transition, so he gets royalties from that and from his music.

One of these days, I hope to do what Michelle has done and break free from the standard 9-5 as I know it and work strictly for myself, on my own schedule, so I can better enjoy this wonderful little life we have created for ourselves.

Melody is the author of the blog Saving To Sail, and makes nautical jewelry which she sells in her online shop, Maggie & Milly. Chris DiCroce is a singer/songwriter and is working on his 4th album. He is also the author of the book You Gotta Go To Know, available on Amazon.

Could you live in a tiny home? What about living on a sailboat? What would be your DREAM living situation? 

If you have any questions for this couple about living on a sailboat or something related to that, leave them in the comments below. They will be replying to comments 🙂

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. that is a totally different way of thinking from mine. i never thought people could live on the water

    1. To be honest, when I first met Chris, I had no idea people could live on the water, either! I learned about this “cruising lifestyle” later on via some very cool blogs and was hooked!

      1. Richard

        Hi Melody! Are you still living on the sailboat?
        I would like to ask you a few questions!

  2. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies

    Buying a boat and sailing around is high on our list of things we want to do when we reach FI in a few years. I’ve always loved catamarans, but lately Mr PoP has been looking at 28′ single hulls as starter boats.

    Did you guys intend moving to the boat to be a fairly permanent move? Or did you plan on moving back to land after “X” number of years or anything like that?

    1. Catamarans are NICE, but as such, they are pretty expensive, both to own and maintain. My advice is always to initially go as small as possible without sacrificing comfort or happiness – after all, this is your house. Live in the small boat for awhile to see if you even like the lifestyle. Small spaces tend to be a reality check and you learn what you can live with and more importantly, what you can live without. You’d be surprised at how quickly you can adapt with an open mind! Then if you do like the lifestyle, you can upgrade later!

    2. This is something we want to do eventually as well Mrs. Pop! I loved hearing Melody’s story.

    3. Oh, and to answer your other question, when we took the leap, we agreed to give it a year to see how we liked it. From there we would decide if we wanted to continue. So far it’s been 2.5 years and I can’t see myself living any other way for the foreseeable future. We’ve decided that the perfect scenario for us would be to have a small (under 500 square feet) house somewhere and a boat somewhere else.That way you could have a “home” base as well as the ability to go wherever you wanted by boat!

      1. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies

        Oh so amazing! I think you did something similar to what we want to do. We’ll probably end up with a smaller boat to start with and will keep our house (1100 sqft in S FL) and rent it out for a year or so while we “test the waters” by sailing around FL and the Caribbean. Then if we really love it, we’ll evaluate where we want to go (RTW?) and if we need a bigger boat at that time. We’ll keep renting the house out, too… because we know we want it to be our home base that we can come back to.
        That’s all still probably 3 or 4 years off, though – so will be when we’re hitting our mid 30’s.

  3. I admire this couple I’d like to live in a sail boat too, I alove sea and whatever is connecte d to it (ok saws no thanks), However I think this is a good testimonial about the fact is real possible DOwnsize our enire life…

    1. I can honestly say, I never EVER get tired of seeing the water. Even when we go to restaurants, we always ask to sit outside on the water, so I know what you mean about being connected to the sea. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Wow, so cool. I spent some time in High School sailing around on a friend’s parent’s 30 foot boat, and it seemed like an ideal size. Large enough you could comfortably(ish) sleep 4, but nimble enough that a mostly green crew of high school kids can handle it.

    How’s your dog like the lifestyle? Does s(he) like swimming, or how does it get exercise? For that matter, what your exercise routine look like while cruising?

    Thanks for doing the interview, it’s really neat to learn about this lifestyle!

    1. Thanks for commenting! We joke that our 35′ boat is perfect – it drinks 6, eats 4 and sleeps 2. haha We’ve actually had 11 people down below on our boat – drinking wine no less! But yes, it’s surprising how little space you need when you think about it – a place to work, a place to relax and a place to sleep. Need to stretch out? Go up on deck!

      Our dog Jet is a Dutch Shepherd – he loves the lifestyle in the sense that he is constantly stimulated with new sights, new smells, and his favorite thing to do is just run around like crazy, sniffing and peeing on everything when we get somewhere new. His tail wags like crazy and he’s just thrilled. He’s a great swimmer, but only does so to cool off or to chase the ducks. He’s not the biggest fan of being out on the ocean – when the boat heels over, we just make a little bed for him in the cockpit and stuff pillows around him so he doesn’t slip around and he’s fine, and when we do go offshore with him, we have kept it to a minimum of 24 hours or less if possible. We do a lot of day hops and coastal cruising to make sure he’s totally comfortable.

      1. I completed forgot to ask questions about your dog. Glad to hear more about how that works for him!

  5. Liz

    That sounds like such a fun way to live. Even though you still have to work a day job, I would think that it still must feel like an adventure sailing! Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. It is awesome, even with the job, and we’ve seen so many cool places that we had never even heard of – when you go somewhere by sailboat, everything moves more slowly, so you really have a chance to take it all in and appreciate these little towns that you’d normally pass up if you were in a car. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  6. Not an odd question at all! We use a service called St. Brendan’s Isle, based out of Green Cove Springs, Florida. Having their service allows us to receive mail there (they send us an email whenever we get new mail, and we just tell them when and where to send it, depending on where we are). An address with them also counts as our “home” address and as such, can be used for getting driver’s licenses, registering to vote, etc. It’s really a phenomenal service for location independent folks.

  7. That is a big transition from the normal life. I commend you on being brave. Is there any sea sickness or adjusting on land after a long journey? What is the best town you’ve visited with great seafood?

    1. Thank you! Thankfully I’ve never been seasick (knock on wood). My significant other has only been seasick once, but when we go out, he eats very lightly for the first few days, just in case. Not me – I think I have an iron stomach, and when we go out on long passages, I eat everything in sight.

      Oh man – great seafood? That’s a tough one. The blue crab in the Chesapeake Bay is to-die-for. It’s not hard to find excellent crabcakes on the bay, or you can just get a bushel and make a mess. Another favorite is the Skull Creek Boathouse in Hilton Head. It’s a huge, somewhat touristy place, but the service and food was excellent. My favorite two restaurants on the East Coast, however, are Provision and Co. in Southport, NC, and Poe’s Tavern on Sullivan’s Island, SC. Poe’s isn’t really a seafood place but the Telltale Heart burger is hands down the best burger I’ve ever had.

  8. Such a neat story! I don’t think I would personally want to do it, but I will say that I grew up boating. My grandparents had a boat and my grandpa even taught sailing lessons. There’s nothing like being on the water! But I don’t think I’d want it for my home haha.

    1. It’s definitely not for everyone, but being on the water is pretty amazing!

  9. Megan

    Have you had any issues with weather and boat maintenance?

    1. Ooooooh yes. We’ve lost our sail in a storm, and had a few other really scary times in bad weather. Lightning on the water terrifies me. We’ve also had some maintenance issues along the way. There’s a saying that “cruising” is just a fancy term for fixing your boat in exotic locations. I can attest to that. haha

  10. How’s the internet speed? What all internet options did you consider? If you sailed around the world, would the time zones affect your work schedule or can you work whenever?

    I sound like a 5-year-old but I don’t care! I has questions for you!

    1. Haha! Well, my day job is working for a promotional marketing company that is on central time, so my hours coincide with theirs. Since I’m currently on eastern time, I work from 9:30am to 6pm, M-F. I use a combination of wifi options. I have a Verizon Jetpack (mobile hotspot) and I also have my iPhone through AT&T that I can tether to get my internet. I like having both because some places have better coverage with one or the other and I’ve pretty much had no problems with the ability to have fast wifi service.

      We’ve not yet been able to go to the Caribbean like I’d love to because of the spotty wifi over there, and I have to guarantee 100% connectivity for my work. This is why I’m working hard on my side hustles so that I no longer require being tied to my computer and wifi so stringently.

      Someone also just recently turned me on to a service called Your Karma that has mobile wifi, but without a contract, and your data rolls over if you don’t use it all, so I’m definitely going to be looking into that! I spend a ton of money on my wifi use – over $300/mo so any way I can save is a good thing!

      1. Thanks for answering my questions! GL on replacing your full-time job with self-employment!

  11. Kim

    I don’t think I’d be good on a boat, but we seriously talk about living in a travel trailer and taking a year or two to go across the country. I think my goal might be to not experience winter for a while. I’m curious, do you have to know in advance where you want to dock? Is it like booking a campground for your boat? I’m guessing you can’t just pull in and drop anchor anywhere you want.

    1. While making plans is ideal in some cases – if we are going to be staying at a marina for any length of time, we do plan for that since we want to keep costs down and also be in a good location since we don’t always have a car to get around in. Alternatively, on a sailboat, you’re never guaranteed to get anywhere in the allotted time, so you have to remain flexible if you’re in “travel mode”. For example if we make plans to get to point B but weather or some other issue keeps that from happening, we then alter our plans and find another spot. If you’re anchoring, as long as you’re adhering to the local laws, you can anchor just about anywhere you can get your boat. It’s pretty cool, actually.

  12. This is awesome! We’re hoping to live in a trailer for a year next year while we travel around the country, if we can get everything together.

    1. That’s awesome! Where are some of the places you plan on traveling? I think a cross-country RV trip would be such a blast!

  13. That is so awesome that you get to experience life on the water!! Honestly, I would LOVE to do that!! Even if only for 6 months or so 🙂 We have two little girls right now, so I don’t think it would work, but this is something I’m adding to my list of things to do once we’re retired (or at least once the girls are out of the house!).

    But seriously – what an awesome life you lead!! Congrats for making your dreams come true!!

    1. Sarah – thank you so much for the kind words! It can definitely be a challenge, and it’s certainly not for everyone, but it’s a very fulfilling and rich life in terms of building strength, character and all kinds of other things that I never realized I was lacking until I explored a more simple life. And just in case you do ever decide to do something crazy like this, I know several families who are raising their kids on sailboats, just sayin’. 😉 Either way, you should totally try it out, even if for just a week-long charter! Being on the water is so therapeutic!

      By the way, I see your blog is pretty new – good luck, and I can’t wait to read more! It’s hard to be transparent when it comes to money, so I wish you the best in your venture!!

      1. Samantha

        My husband and I are planning to live aboard a sailboat with our 13 mo daughter and our 2 dogs. We’re making the move in a few months. SO excited! You have any tips for a new family on the water?

    2. Sue

      I sailed for 9 years from the UK to Hong Kong and our children were 6 and 3 when we left, so it can be done 🙂

  14. When my wife and I were on our honeymoon in St Martin we took a cruise for an afternoon and the woman running it lived on her sailboat. She would dock it and come ashore for food and meeting up with friends. I don’t think though that I could live on a boat….I’m claustrophobic and I think the tiny space would get to me.

    1. It’s probably not a great idea if you’re claustrophobic, as there are some tiny places you have to get into at times, especially when doing repairs and such! My boyfriend and I sleep in the V-Berth (named so because it’s shaped like a V), so we’ve just resigned ourselves to the fact that our feet will always touch. haha

  15. Carolyn Flanagan

    I really don’t think I’d be able to do that. For one the small space and for two being on a boat and the water! just couldn’t do it!

    1. Haha – it’s definitely not for everyone! 🙂

  16. Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore

    I’ve read a lot about the Tiny House Movement, but I’ve never thought about living on a sail boat. Are there any issues, like having a permanent address/physical address or any thing you have trouble with tax wise?

    1. We have a mail service that serves as our “home” address and is legally recognized and allows us to register to vote, get driver’s licenses, and more. You are also allowed to use your boat registration number or Coast Guard documentation number as your address, however, unfortunately most state employees don’t know that (and neither did I until fairly recently). I once went to a Post Office to register for a PO Box (before I got the mail service I’m with now). When I got to the address part, I left it blank. The postal employee told me I couldn’t leave it blank, she needed an address. I told her I lived on my boat and she said (and I quote), “Honey! According to the United States Government, you are HOMELESS! I can’t give you a PO Box without an address!” Which was totally flawed logic… I mean the USPS is bankrupt… I’m trying to give them money… and they refused it based on the fact that I was “homeless”. So that was a problem. haha Logistically it can be a pain in the butt at times, but we’ve managed to figure it out along the way! And taxes are just like anything else – we pay sales tax, federal tax on our wages, etc. The only thing we don’t have is property tax.

  17. Jaafar

    Awesome. Good luck to you guys.

    1. Thank you, Jaafar! To you as well!

  18. anna pry

    I would hate living on the water but I do want to have a small home. Our dream is to build a cob house which will be only as big as necessary since we’ll be doing all the work ourselves. We did move from a house to a little duplex and got rid of probably 75% of our stuff. If only I could get my hubby to part with more of his!

    1. Hi Anna – I had never heard of a cod house but just went to Google it – wow! Some of them are cool looking. Amazing what people are doing for homes! Good luck in your simplification venture!

  19. olla

    one day i will acquire my sailboat and also live in it….. yipee

    1. Good luck in finding the perfect boat for you! 🙂

  20. Myles Money

    Wow! That sounds amazing. Some people in the UK live on canal barges and I always imagined that would be miserable and cold in the winter, but your pictures at the top of the post make living on the water look far more appealing. How much does a boat like that cost to buy and to run?

    1. Hey Myles! Well, let me tell you, it’s not all sunshine and rum drinks. As I am typing this, I’m up in the Chesapeake Bay where the temperatures are getting down in the 40’s at night. I have a small space heater that I borrowed from a friend because I was so cold! Not to mention storms and the necessity of becoming totally self sufficient at times… think MacGuyver type stuff, because if something breaks when you’re out in the ocean, you can’t just run to the local hardware store to get a part, or plug in a power tool to fix it. I know more than you could imagine about how to repair a diesel engine! But on the flip side, we have the amazing sunsets each day, and yes, days like the photo at the top. Yin and Yang. That’s what life’s all about, huh? Some days are just terrible and frightening, but then you have one good day and you get amnesia, forgetting about the bad long enough to decide to do it all again the next day!

    2. Valve79

      My coworker lived on a canal in UK with his wife for 9 years. He bought a 2 bedroom apartment. And regretted ever since.

  21. Great post! I love reading about people who do things “differently.” I especially love tiny houses. I’m leaning towards saving up to buy one myself. I was watching one of those TLC home shows not that long ago and they were showing house boats in Juneau and I thought “I could do that.” I’ve definitely lived in some really small spaces before.

    1. I saw the TLC show on Tiny Houses when visiting my brother recently (since we don’t have TV on the boat), and I loved it! I love the way designers really push the limits and think outside of the box when designing for small spaces. Thanks for commenting!

  22. This is so awesome! I love stories like this with people living outside the norm of what we usually consider possible. I don’t know that we’ll be moving onto a boat anytime soon; I’m a bit of a claustrophobe and the husband isn’t the biggest fan of open water, but I really admire that you guys were able to make the sacrifices to live such an amazing adventure and call it everyday life.

    1. Thank you! You really do learn a lot about yourself when you test your limits – and it doesn’t mean doing something crazy like moving onto a boat – it’s just about challenging ourselves and changing the way we think, and the things we value. Even just financially – Michelle and her followers are daring to push their limits and say, “we’re not going to live in debt for the next 50 years”, but sadly, most people aren’t willing to do that. Most people are too scared or too lazy to take the necessary steps to achieve true financial, emotional or physical freedom. That’s why I credit Michelle for opening my eyes to the possibilities. Here’s this normal girl (not some slick dude in a suit posing on a yacht) who just works her butt off to have financial success, and is cool enough to tell us how she does it!

  23. Veronica Lee

    Sounds like a fun way to live – something I wish to do someday. How awesome! I can imagine the many adventures you must have had.

    1. Thank you! It’s definitely the perfect life for me – it’s not without hardships, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

  24. Melissa @ Sunburnt Saver

    This is the COOLEST post I have read in a while. 175 ft. sailboat living – wow!! I think it’s really great you guys made the leap to just do it – I’m not a sailor at all (only been on a boat maybe 5 times in my life), but I LOVE the small house movement. I would do it in a heartbeat – just have to find the right place to settle 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story with us!

    1. Thank you, Melissa! Wow, what an awesome comment! Good luck finding your right place to settle! And if you can’t decide on one place, you can always get a boat! 😉

  25. Carolyn Flanagan

    i couldn’t do the whole boat thing, maybe living in a small house but not a boat.

  26. Ahhhh amazing! Yes, I could totally live on a boat. I’ve spent loads of time sailing and I have to say, even though the boat’s cabin might be small, it feels so open when you’re up on the deck. I love the idea of sailing up and down the coast and around the Caribbean. Wishing you a speedy switchover to fully independent work so that you have more freedom! Really loved & connected with this post, I’d love to live this lifestyle in about 15 years time 🙂

    1. Thank you, Charlotte! I just checked out your blog – LOVE it. 🙂

      1. Ahhh thanks so much!

  27. That looks like a really fun lifestyle! I am in Guatemala and using a similar device for internet, and have used them in more countries, you just buy a local SIM card and USB stick and you’re good to go, so unless you have 8 hours jet lag you should be ok to work from abroad.

    1. Thanks Pauline! It’s a pretty cool lifestyle! And good to know on the hotspot. I know in the Bahamas it’s super expensive and I don’t know how much it is elsewhere. I use about 30GB of data a month or so (sometimes more) just working. I’ll have to do more research on that!

      1. I pay $4 per Gb, while not cheap you’re looking at $120 which is what some people seem to be paying in the U.S.

        1. Thanks so much! It’s definitely cheaper than what I’m paying now! I’m paying around $10/GB now. Looks like I got some travel planning to do. 😉

  28. A-MEN on the not driving part! Being without a vehicle at our disposal at times is a blessing and a curse (we do still have a car and depending on how long we’re going to be staying somewhere, we sometimes fly to pick up the car, bring it to our next destination) but now, I’ve been going at a slower pace and when I drive, I’m super nervous. People are CRAZY on the roads!

    Modest is good. Otherwise you have to buy a lot of crap to fill the space in the huge house in rooms that you rarely use anyway. 🙂

  29. Manolis Saviolakis

    Thanks so much.I like this giveaway. It’s a pretty cool lifestyle.
    I just checked out your blog .

    1. Thank you for checking out the blog! Cheers!

  30. Catherine – oh man, we want to get up to Nova Scotia so badly! Lunenburg is on our sailing bucket list!

  31. Love seeing stuff like this, how people make an unconventional space work. And funny part is that their oven is still bigger than mine (French ovens must be small)! Cool post!

  32. Aaron

    Melody, I moved to Florida about a year and a half ago for work and my landlord has a great marina in Niceville, FL in the panhandle area near Destin. He met me at his marina when I first arrived to show me the apartment he had, etc. I immediately fell in love with sailing years ago and here I was standing on a dock with about 50-60 sailboats, needless to say I was drooling being from central Missouri. I asked him if anyone ever takes a land boy like me out and he said no but he has several boats for sale. I laugh and say, “I don’t need a to buy a boat, I’ve only been here 20 minutes!” A month later and I am the proud owner of a 1981 25′ O’Day that is awesome.
    Unfortunately now I’m in North Carolina for work and away from my boat and find myself longing to quite my job and “cruise” Florida and the Gulf ICW. I work construction, am a carpenter and was wondering if you think there is a living to be made at different cities/towns all over?
    What you and your husband have done is exactly what I want to do. I don’t have a house, just a garage full of stuff that goes inside a house at my parents (which I’m sure they would love for me to get rid of) collecting dust since I’ve been on the road for work the past 4 years.
    I think my biggest fear is starving lol.

  33. Liz

    What do they do about mail? o.o

    1. Liz

      Never mind—I see others asked. 😉

  34. Deirdre Schumacher

    This is such an encouraging article! Thank you so much for sharing your experience.
    My husband and I are in the process of making the decision to live aboard a 40′ Morgan Sailboat. We have the opportunity to buy this through owner financing. We have a lot of “stuff” as well! Any tips and advice is greatly appreciated!

  35. Gregory Jay Chaney

    Hi ya’all. I’m Greg Chaney, Oriental, North Carolina, Pecan Grove Marina. My fiance and I live aboard part time and part time in our condo on treasure drive. We have both retired and moved to Oriental to finish out our time. We know of Provision Company in Southport and several other of the restaurants you mentioned. Do you pull into the harbor in Oriental or hook in the anchorage. We live on land under the bridge in the yellow condos on the penninsula and probably have seen you If you anchor up. Nothing in it for me but on the harbor is Toucans seafood restaurant and a great motel or hotel I forget the difference.!! Also M&M and Brantley village restaurant. Also fresh seafood you cook Fulchers Seafood Company. Also check out Pay at Provision Company in Oriental. Deaton Yacht Service recently voted best repair facility in the entire east coast. I can vouch for them personally and they’re yanmar dealer, warranty service, and sailboat service. Honest folks!! I admire you and your significant other and but for heart problems we would be there with you. If you post this thank you. Though I am new to Oriental, I’ve lived all over and this is a wonderful community made up of hard-working, honest people. I do appreciate your comments on receiving mail. Also check out Vaca Botel in marathon Florida. Shout out to Tracey. We were friends when I was in college in Marietta Ohio. I love your blog and will follow you both. Does your significant other have an album we can purchase or whatever we can do to help you people. I’m an electrical engineer and Carolyn a nurse so if I can get heart issues solved…we’re on a voyage with Pecan Grove our home port. Thanks: Greg and Carolyn…p.s.. We’ll buy you dinner if and when you get back to Oriental. Contact us here. Fair winds to you both. !!

  36. Martin

    Great to hear about your big adventure. Whilst working really hard (just to survive) in the UK 7 years ago I lost my sister to breast cancer at 53 which was a big wake up call to me.
    Since then I sold up and moved to Bulgaria permanently, and realised my life long ambition to become an artist. Whilst teaching watercolour painting last Summer we bought an 8 mtr yacht in Greece, and we don’t even sail !!! Talk about an impulse buy…. I am not a sailor, not mechanically minded but just loved being on the back of the boat moored up in the harbour. Boaty people are so nice and helpful, and I can’t wait for our adventure on the water to start. Oh and I am scared of the sea lol….

  37. Skip

    My wife and I just purchased a Cal 24 T4.It is in good condition and we plan on sailing it a lot here in the Norfolk Va area. My wife wants us to sail it to Florida down the Intra Coastal this fall. Her idea is to stay in Vero Beach this winter and move up to a larger boat.
    I have wanted to do this all my life. So happy she wants to share the dream and found this boat we just bought.
    We are new to sailing except for my Sunfish days and Hobie Cat days of years ago.
    Any advice is appreciated!

  38. Darren

    Hi there I’ve read so many blogs on cruising and know I’d love it recently done a week competent crew course across the English Channel and loved every minute so am now looking forward to my day skipper course and would love to one day be doing the cruising life only my wife has no interest at all so a lot of persuasion is required and hopefully thing will work out 🤙🏽

  39. BritniB

    Hi there! It is wonderful hearing about how you guys live on a 35 ft boat. That is my & my husband’s goal in a few years (or sooner if we can). We are in the processes of downsizing all our stuff and buying a 35-40 ft sloop sailboat to live in the Keys, FL. Do you live in a slip, on a ball, or are you anchored out in the water a good bit? Do you know if it’s hard living just anchoring out (not on a ball)?

  40. Rey


    Hope all is well still! Finding land in America to place a tiny home on is really hard. So many NOs or rules and regulations!! What about living on a boat?? Is it easy to just park it anywhere? I was thinking more inland like a large lake or big river. Any info for us regarding this? Thanks!