Are you new to the world of sailing or just had the pleasure of buying your first boat? Guest blogger, Genevieve, of the sailing blog, It’s a Necessity, is keeping it real when she explains the joys and sacrifices that come along with living on a boat. From cutting down shower times to changing your wardrobe, here are a few things fellow sailors have to get used to when they decide to live life at sea.
Most of us have been there, thrown into the sailing life, green as can be, with no real clue as to what is going on and what is going to happen next. Stuck in the highs and lows of “sailing is amazing, I can’t believe we didn’t do this sooner” and “OMG, we are going to die!” If you are lucky at all you have had some sailing in your background, if not than you are in the same nautical shoes as many and will learn from your adventures.
In honour of all you newbies out there, and for a walk down memory lane for all us old fogeys:
1. You still get surprised by the cost of “Marine” items.
Yes it has been marked up 75%, but that’s because it’s marine.
We have all heard the unfunny definition of BOAT (Break Out Another Thousand). But the sad part is it is true. Boats are expensive. As soon as an item falls into the MARINE realm, it gets an added 0 to the end of your items cost.
So don’t get your panties in a twist when you reach the check out, you just have to decide, “am I going to find a work-around, a cheaper way, or am I going to save the time and spend the money”. It’s all still in your power to decide just how much money you want to be dishing out.
2. You still keep your food in its store packaging.
You may think that boaters are all complete lunatics when we are at the grocery store, just finished paying for our food, and are now ripping everything out of its cardboard boxes way before that food comes anywhere near our boat. But it only takes that one time when you open the cupboard to your toothbrushes and have a cockroach run over your hand, to realize that no one wants roach-egg-infested cardboard coming on to their boat.
Boat bugs are strong. Like apocalyptical! Cockroaches, ants, weevils, termites, you don’t want any of those nasty suckers on your boat, because it is a headache evicting them. The simple act of trashing those cardboard boxes may save you a couple hundred in extermination products…so that you can spend on the above mentioned marine products!
3. You still take half hour showers or you have become a Water Hoarder.
It always starts off as one of the extremes. Either you think, hey, its not that hard to refill our tanks, I don’t need to change my shower routine, or you have figured out every way possible to cut your shower time down to 2 minutes. One day you will find your happy medium.
On one hand you may find that filling your boat tanks with the local island’s water tap is a painful duty. Every trip, every pound of water you must carry, ever ounce of sweat that you shed doing so, you will scold yourself and say, “ok, I get it”. On the other hand, cleanliness is kind. When you live in 41ft of space it is only nice of everyone to make sure their pits and bits are fully scrubbed, because no one wants to be hanging out in anyone else’s scent for the sake of saving on water. It’s all in finding a healthy balance.
4. You still have not hit the perfect ratio of clothing to swimwear.
You are on a boat, surrounded by water, the sun hovering above, and nothing but fellow boaters around…why do you still own clothes!! Ok, some days you have to run errands…so why do you own more than one outfit!?
We all hold on to them, newbie or not, for those what if moments. In the event that something does break on your boat and you have to make a trip to the marine store, you look much more sane if you show up in shorts and a tank rather than a bikini.
Hold on to a couple pairs of shorts, maybe some slacks for the cooler days, and remember, if ever you plan on taking a slip on a dock, marinas prefer for us to be clothed.
5. You still spend your days sun worshipping.
Most people that you see out on deck suntanning are either weekend warriors, or under the age of 20. Once you are living aboard for long enough you start to notice every new freckle and wrinkle and wonder if all this tropical sun is actually good for you or turning you into a sun-baked prune.
Only the newbies are out there, care-free, sunbathing. The rest of us are buying stocks in sunscreen. Soon you will be buying the biggest hat possible and hugging the shade when you hit the beach.
Once you have surpassed some of these newbie milestones you will find yourself comfortably reclined in your cockpit, gazing out over the island top, thinking, “hey, we may have gotten the hang of this”. Don’t be foolish! When you least expect it something will throw you for a loop, enjoy the ride.
Find out more about the Stolz family’s seafaring life on the blog It’s a Necessity.
Of course, the best way to see if you are ready for a life at sea is trying out a sailing holiday. With a stock of over 8,000 boats in more than 30 countries, Zizoo will help you find the perfect boat to fit you and your party’s needs.