7 years on a sailboat
by Lynn Faulkner
(Columbus, New Mexico)
Starting in 1968 my husband and I lived on sailboats for 7years.
The first, a Bahamian sloop, the 2nd, a 30 ft. Ericsson sloop, and the 3rd, a 48 ft. steel ketch. The most fun we had was on the Ericsson, because fiberglass is just so much easier and less expensive than wood or steel.
We kept a permanent berth at Bahia Mar in Ft. Lauderdale, but spent most of our time in the Bahamas. My husband was a diver, so we lived on fresh fish, and when the fish were too large to eat in one day,I would salt and dry it for rainy days. I had a dozen ways of preparing conch.
We anchored out almost always, used our dinghy to go to shore. We didn't have refrigeration, so ice was a real treat.
For showers, we waited for rain, gathered it in our rain catchers to store, and "bathed" in the dinghy. The salt water showers got very old at times, and there was a great deal of roughing it. I'll never forget how thrilled I was to find a laundry onshore.
I wrote an article for Mother Earth News about our experiences. This was years ago, so there was very little crime on the seas there, but it was beginning even then.
Altogether, it was a marvelous experience, but I agree with you that a great deal of learning and preparation should go into planning for living aboard.
I'm glad to see that people are still doing this.
Lynn in New Mexico