Final Dock Days

I’m coming up on my final week of living at the dock, and I must admit I’m thrilled the end is near. While the convenience of land is easy to take advantage of, I’ve found over the past seven months that it comes with a price: a lack of privacy, noise, and sometimes a sense of entrapment. Having been raised a country girl, living out in the sticks for most of my life, and testing positively introvert in Susan Cain’s test Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert (really, this was just confirmation of a life-long truth, and fun to take), I shy away from excess everything in favor of open and silent space. As our warm and spectacular April is coming to an end, more city folk are perusing the docks, checking out the boats. Busy and loud yacht clubs are hailing in from all corners of Puget Sound to take up entire docks at my marina. It’s time to get out of here and have me some adventures.

This means I must put off my procrastinating tendencies for another time and get ready to get out there. Living on the hook, and doing some cruising, means prepping for life without AC power, and making the boat more comfortable for long distance journeys.

I feel pretty secure in stating that, fantastic as she is, Libby is not going to be my only boat, and I’m committed to upgrading. How and when is still uncertain, but after living on this boat for nine months, I now know what I can live with and what I can’t live without. The boat would be perfect as a weekend or even weekly cruiser, but needs too many additions to make her a year round comfortable liveaboard, at least for me. Realistically I’ll have and enjoy this boat for the summer, but I’m actively searching for my new girl, while still showering Libby with affection, care, and fast sailing. My dream boat is a Tashiba something, either a 31 or 36 footer. For more on what I want my new boat to be, check out Robert Perry, I Salute You.

I mention that I’m looking for a new boat for one reason: this summer I’ll be relying, once again, on the loud generator for power. Solar panels are pricey, and if I’m determined to get a new boat, it makes little sense to invest hundreds of dollars into this one to outfit it with silent power, as I’ll never make up the cost in the boat’s sale. A fellow liveaboard, Al, who is knowledgeable about a great many things, pointed out that gasoline for the entire summer, needed to power a generator, would cost much less than outfitting a boat with panels. His logic made too much sense to be ignored. As to how well I’ll be able to cope with running the generator for an hour a day to charge up…we’ll see. Me hates the noise.

Full speed ahead to getting rid of my refrigerator, space heater, and excess junk that’s accumulated and bred over winter. It’s time to sort through some of my winter clothes and trade them for summer attire. Time to add a bit more insulation to the icebox. Final cleaning and engine checks are also in order.

Minimizing and organizing stuff does something to the brain, at least mine–it leads to a desire to streamline and minimize everything else, intangible things like focusing on how I want to run my business, spend my time, and who to spend it with. Perhaps thats why I love living minimally, I enjoy the mental clarity it demands.

Also, with my leaving dock life, I’ll also leave docking stories until next winter, and hope to write about real adventures! Open water, here I come.


  1. Fred Facker April 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    You know, you can always take your panels and brackets to the next boat …

    I keep thinking about adding solar to mine, but right now I have nothing on the boat to power except lights and a radio. It’s the price of converting the ice box to a refrigerator that would then require me to add solar that is keeping me back.

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