Living On A Small Boat

This is a neat video about Teresa who lives on a sailboat and sails all around, she even has a friend who sails with her in his own boat and she has a lot of interesting commentary on possessions/stuff.  Check it out!


Living on a sailboat: Meet Theresa | The Tiny Life

  1. What a wonderful video. Makes me want to go out right now and live on a boat! She is also luck to find a friend to travel with in another boat in case something happens to one or the other there is at least one boat to possibly escape to.

    Only question I have is what does she do for a living? How is she able to work and still travel as freely as she does?

  2. Maybe she works from her boat via her laptop. Or since she would not be paying rent (although I have no idea what upkeep on her boat would cost), it may be sufficient for her to stay in port somewhere for a month or two and work a temporary job and then move on, having enough money to sustain herself for a while.

  3. My husband & I also live aboard a small sailboat (slightly larger than Daphne). We find it very freeing to have few possessions (“possessions own you; you don’t own them”). I started off with so many items on the boat that it was difficult to find things I knew were there. I had so many books that I couldn’t read them all before some of them mildewed. My husband has always been a minimalist as far as possessions are concerned; I had to learn, but now appreciate the simplicity of it.

    We keep expenses to a minimum by anchoring most of the time, doing most of our own work, having only minimal electrical needs (running lights, cabin lights, navigation equipment, recharging camera & laptop batteries, but no refrigerator or other heavy users — I cannot believe what some people require on their boat!) that are supplied by 2 solar panels, foot pump for water rather than pressurized water which can fail & leads one to waste water. We have no inboard engine, only a small (8 hp) outboard for maneuvering in tight harbors so we have very low fuel costs — wind is still free and it is a sailboat.

    Living this way over the last 12 years has allowed us to spend months in multiple ports in England, Europe, on the Mediterranean, throughout the Caribbean, as well as along the Gulf Coast & Atlantic seaboard. Each place we go, we are home. We love to travel and could not begin to afford to do this kind of travel any other way. Staying extended periods gives us an opportunity to become part of the community — and if, for some reason, we don’t like a place, we can move on.

    We have met so many wonderful people that we continue to be in touch with, seen so much of the world with all its beauties — it is such a treat.

    It is wonderful that Teresa has discovered this early in life. She will be the richer for it and more resilient & resourceful for anything she faces.

    • My husband and I have a 5 year plan to get all our affairs in order and set sail on 22 ft Catalina. I’ll be honest, I’m nervous and excited. Minimalist lifestyle doesn’t worry me as much as preparedness. So I’m sure, like you, I’ll start out with still more than I need and scale back more with experience. Any other little pearls of wisdom are very much appreciated also!

  4. How’s this for tiny, minimalist living? Living aboard a 19-foot Cornish Shrimper along the Canal du Midi in the Langeudoc-Roussillon region of southern France. No heating, no air con, no flush toilet, no refirigeration, no shower-no problems! The cabin is 7′ X 7′ at its largest extent. The galley flat has a one-burner cooker on gimbals. The water supply is a 10-liter polyethylene jug. The toilet is a busket lined with plastic which contains a small amount of kitty litter so that it can be disposed of in a public garbage can. The shower is a plastic squirt bottle and a sponge. Monthly budget is 500 euros for food, cooking fuel, petrol, annual canal pass and spending money. How do you do it? Own and want little stuff beyond the necessities of food, clothing and shelter, own your boat, moor for free along the canal bank. Not a dream for everyone but bliss for me!

  5. UM…with all due respect, this version of onboard life is not so called sustainable living, and is a far cry from the live-aboard philosophy of most boat people who use their boats as a true life station. Teresa, I suspect, (and God bless her) comes from a well to do (relatively speaking) family, not the first of which clue is her boat, a very expensive Norsea 27 which sells used today for 30 to 50 thousand dollars. This is the “Cameo” version of on board living or sustainable homelessness, and should not be confused as such. However the theme of her philosophy, which states that everyone can live with less and be happy, is perfectly true. I’m just not convinced that the version we are seeing here goes beyond philosophy and into reality, as does, for example, the version of living as espoused by Shimsaw, above.

    • Actually she explains this in one of her posts, it seems a lot of people shared your thoughts.

  6. We bought our 22 ft motor cruiser for only £650 and have been living on it for 10 months now. She was cheap but she did need a lot of work even to be liveable, which to date I would say we’ve spent at least £1500, and there’s plenty more to be done. By most peoples standards that is still a very cheap abode. However, when we bought the boat we had no savings what so ever, using only money from selling our belongings. We had no assets, rented our house, and were in total financial melt down when we acquired her.
    Income is surprisingly easy to come by, especially because we don’t need much of it! I would advise anyone thinking of doing this to secure some kind of online income before setting out, acquire some kind of universal skill like construction, electrician, plumbing etc that you can offer people, be social, be flexible and do your homework before taking the plunge! We were very lucky to find our boat for what we paid. She was still afloat and the engine worked! If you’re budget is anything like ours was be prepared to do A LOT of work! We spent six weeks just stopping the leaks in the roof and windows! It was like camping in a very old, very damp shed. She’s still no oil painting, but we are warm, and dry. I have said on several occasions to my partner, since we bought this boat I have had some of the worst experiences of my life, but I’ve had some of the best ones too, and above all, through all of it, I’ve felt genuinely alive. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I love it for it’s challenges, and I love it for it’s benefits.

  7. I wanted to say how impressed I am with this young lady’s outlook o life.. I am 51 and now about to do the same as she, own my own boat and go out there, live free and with peace and quiet.
    I think everyone should do it.. I envy her for her age and her growth so young, but its never too late and always a great learning experience no matter the age..
    No need for the Silicon Valley over consumer system I want out of, its taken me all this time to realize I am in no need..

    Kudos to her for the simplistic attitude and overall well being of life.. SHE IS LIVING !

    Awesome !

  8. Great video! What make/model boat is Daphne? She looks to be a solid blue water capable boat. I’m 57 yrs and plan to retire in 3-5 yrs and live on a boat. I would like to know more about her. Thanks so much for sharing M

  9. Good girl! After a divorce and living in a small apartment, at age 65 I decided to to find an affordable sailboat and become a live aboard. I found a Chrysler 26 that needed a lot of work and bought it for $1500.
    I sailed it to a “nice” marina and went to work on it I don’t do a lot of long distance sailing but I have plenty of coastal sailing.
    Although my boat, S/V Brat, is a 26 footer, by having a small (of course) outboard motor I have a roomy boat for it’s size. The little Brat survived hurricane Katrina with no damage , but the marina was destroyed.
    The things that I had procrastinated on getting rid of and had in storage were taken away by Katrina.
    Unfortunately I had also taken all sails. electronics and valuables and put them in the storage room. they all disappeared.
    Aboard. I have refrigeration and TV. Rent at the marina is very affordable and I have all the amenities; showers, WiFi. etc. Today, at 79, I’m healthy and happy. My only regret is that I should have made this decision at a younger age. Young girl or old man, this is a good life.

    • Its nice to hear about people in more advanced years doing this sort of thing. Although I applaud the young for doing this they at least can bounce back if it goes horribly wrong, with people of more senior years its a lot harder. I am at 58 going to live aboard in the next month or so and tour the south coast of England for the season to get my sealegs as it were. After that who knows .

      • 58 is still young. I’m now 80 and still living in my 26 footer. I started living board at 65. Been through several storms and still love it. Thanks for your comment. Al

        • That’s reassuring to hear that Al gives people to realise that with the right attitude age is not a barrier asking as your active and positive.

          Tony Slattery

  10. My wife, Catalina and I are moving aboard our Compac 27 in January of 2017.

    We will be aboard for a 1 month trial to see how it goes We are retired and in

    our 60s. Wish us luck !

  11. Hi I am from South Africa 51 and want a change, I am thinking of purchasing a 27 ft yacht in Florida, sailing around there and may even live there for a couple of years, on the boat of course.. Any advise will be appreciated. I do not have tons of money but will be OK for about a year.i have a small construction company, so very handy, and have been concidering this move for about 4 years.. Looking forward to some advise thanks Pieter

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