Living aboard: your questions, please!

Riley on top of the cabin, looking mighty confident and snazzy in his life vest.

August 1, 2012, will be my one year anniversary of living aboard. Last year I posted a lengthy article about why I’d be living aboard a sailboat, and I’ve gotten a few requests to write a One Year Later styled post on my experiences aboard, if the lifestyle has lived up to, exceeded, or even fallen short of my expectations, and so forth. August 1st is coming soon, and rather than write from the seat of my shorts (which is what I typically do), I want to ask you what you want to know. So, what are you wondering? Do you have questions about the boat, about me, Riley? Anything within reason. Please leave a comment or, if you prefer, send me a question or comment through my contact form. The reason I don’t list my email is not because I’m extremely anti-social, I just hate being spammed with offers to enlarge certain parts of my body which, incidentally, I do not have, what with being a girl.

I wrote an ariticle about 7 months living aboard, which you can read on Three Sheets Northwest. It was penned in the middle of winter, as the photo of Libby will attest.


  1. Rick Gggggg July 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Were there any items that you had while living on land that you sold or did not bring with you to live on Libby that you wished you would of kept. Not so much things that would be great (TV, boom box ect.). But something that would have been real “handy” and useful?

  2. mcameron July 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    since i bought a 32′ boat and am getting prepared to live on it (something i have been dreaming about for ten years), i would like to know:
    How do you prepare yourself and your boat for PNW winters? Is an electric space heater enough?
    Did you install those solar powered fans instead of cowls (i think that is what those things are). I think they start with an N…. Just thinking about how to keep things from feeling gross and mildewy.
    Do you have a hot water heater and all that stuff, or do you do the kettle in the insecticide sprayer thing?
    Do you do wind power (i’m not sure solar power does much here in rainy vancouver)
    Good books besides your own of course, to get you through the night? (i just finished “the corrections” by jonathan franzen and it was great!)
    How do you make enough electricity to run nav/anchor lights while anchored out? Still withthe motor?
    That’s about it. I don’ want to hijack the post, but i was wondering. And i have to replace the rotten balsa core in my deck, so that will keep me busy until your anniversary post. Looking forward to it, and congratulations!

  3. Pingback: Living aboard: your questions, please! | Courtney Kirchoff

  4. Jaye July 20, 2012 at 9:43 am

    How has your first year aboard changed you? Has living almost without possessions and close to nature clarified or shifted your priorities/values? What were they before and what are they now? Has living aboard made it easier or harder to move toward your long-term goals such as writing?

  5. jakebrownson July 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Being a recent move-aboard myself I have a specific and hopefully not too personal question. How do you stow your clothes? I have a couple hanging lockers I jam some of my hangable things in, but I’m not quite sure what to do w/ the socks and pants and things like that.

  6. Thor July 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    So what is your greatest wish for the boat? And what is your ideal future with the boat (or maybe without? Or maybe with other boats?)? Top five tips for living aboard?

  7. Courtney July 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    These are all great questions! Thanks everyone!

  8. Paul & Amber July 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Amber and I just passed our liveaboard year anniversary a few months ago. We still love it, but one thing that I’ve noticed is that I sometimes dwell on boat projects instead of sailing! I’ve definitely learned to just screw it and go sailing and have actually turned into a little more of a beach/boat bum (which is good, I think…that’s why we live on boats, right?). We wondered if you have also felt pressure to keep the boat ship-shape and how you balance that with the need for adventure!
    -Paul & Amber

  9. Fred Facker July 23, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Where does Riley poop? Do you row him ashore multiple times a day? My dog refuses to go on the boat, so it makes sailing for more than 5 hours at a time complicated.

  10. Fred Facker July 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Really sorry to hear about Libby getting hit.