Why were you inspired to do this?
Years earlier I had taken a five month trip to visit my aunt and uncle on their sailboat "Windfall" in the South Pacific. It was an experience that impacted my outlook on life and still does today. So, after I graduated from college I decided that I didn't want to live in an apartment like most people; I wanted to recreate the feeling of freedom from "normal" society that I felt in the South Pacific. I decided to buy my own sailboat and live aboard.
What were 3 things you did to make this happen?
Something I needed was money to buy the boat. My first job out of college was working at a bank in their training program and I didn't make very much so I got a job at night waiting tables and saved as much as I could. Luckily I didn't have any expenses at the time and after a few months I had enough to make a down payment and I started looking for my boat.
Finding the right boat was baffling. I had previous sailing experience but on smaller racing boats mostly. I asked my parents to help me look (my Dad is a lifelong sailor) but they thought me living on a boat was "impractical & ridiculous". Fortunetly, it didn't take too long to convience my Dad to come along & he helped me until I found "Majolie", a 33ft Morgan O/I.
Geting the boat ready &finding the right marina was the next step. My parents and I spent the next couple months nearly gutting the boat& putting it back together.I had electricity, cable, phone, a new head, refrigeration &various other things installed.I was lucky to get a slip at a marina in Annapolis,Md where there were other liveaboards& I could walk to the bars&shops.
How did you feel once you had accomplished this?
I felt like I learned a secret. I spent over 4 years living on "Majolie". I loved the feeling of walking home, down the dock in rain, sunshine, wind,or snow realizing how fortunate I was to be able to enjoy the water view and this unique way of living. I remember appreciating nuances, like how I was going to get off the boat for work in my skirt&heels when the tide was extra low(no floating docks) and the wind was blowing "Majolie" away from the pier. Every slight difficulty was a reason to smile; there were so many small challenges.The marina was like a neighborhood & living aboard would not have been nearly as fun without the companionship of the people on the docks& the friends I made.
Additional notes and tips:
If you want to live aboard I suggest finding a marina with other live aboards; it is a unique community and likely an essential part of the experience. My Dad told me that buying& owning a boat was an emotional process and that if I wasn't in love with the boat it wasn't the right one. After that it was a lot easier looking for my boat. *It took me longer than I want to admit to write this, and I did it for you Bill.