Marina Del Rey: How to Live Aboard a Sailboat
The Marina where the boat is
How to Live Aboard a Sailboat
When we sold our home in Oregon, the deal was that my husband would be allowed to buy a sailboat. We lived in two houses for the past six years traveling between Arizona and Oregon. Neither home was a vacation place, but two separate living dwellings. We had the same problems and issues that occur living in a house--except double. I finally got tired of this two home living arrangement and the three day shlep back and forth with the cats twice a year. We had to change mail delivery, internet hookup and settling in--not to mention the expense. So we sold our home in Newport, Oregon and took a major loss during a downturn market. However, the house was going to need some repairs and we avoided that.
The lucky person who bought the house got a bundle of lovely furniture, appliances plus much of what we accumulated during our time there. We even had purchased a brand new freezer from a garage sale and he got that also. We hooked our trailer up to the car and filled it with 1000 pounds of our most valued possessions, as that was all we could haul safely. We also shipped about twenty boxes. However that is another story--now back to the sailboat.
Buying the Boat and Finding a home
Jim wanted to buy a sailboat to be close to the water that he dearly loves which would make up our leaving Oregon. After searching high and low he found our new home--away from home. The boat we have is a 1968 Cal 34--a boat familiar to boat lovers. The gentleman who owned the boat spent many hours beautifying the boat and fixing it up as a tribute to his late wife. It was a therapy project to help him deal with his grief. Thanks to him this old boat has lots of beautiful wood work and upgrades. The motor is in good condition as well as the sails, and many other things that I do not have a clue about seem to work okay. Oops--the toilet didn't work, and my husband had a new one installed in my honor.
The boat is residing in Marina Del Rey in Southern California. We are located on the poor-man's dock so the slip fees are mananagable. The boat had a lot of junk that I could not live with.I threw away old bedding, pillows, blankets and old towels. We added new fresh linens and pillows which gave the boat a clean and fresh feeling. We also bought a coffee pot, toaster, dishes and glasses to create a home like feeling.
Marina Del Rey
It takes us about seven hours to get to the boat from our home in Arizona, a short trip when compared to our trek up to Oregon. We do leave the cats at home as it would be very difficult to navigate with them on the boat and take care of their needs.
Marina Del Rey is a great place to have our boat. We can walk to the beach in about twenty minutes and we have found many restaurants that we have tried and others that we want to try.. The boardwalk is filled with interesting people to watch. We love walking out on the pier and enjoy a sea breeze and watch the waves.
There is a small local coffee shop about 100 yards from our boat where people gather to have coffee in the morning. The weather is generally pretty perfect. We have found several bike paths on the beach and we can easily get in a 25 mile ride. There are several marinas in Marina Del Rey. Our boat resides where the older boats are and the docks are a need of some major repairs. So far we have very inexpensive slip fees and get to enjoy the area.
The Boat Interior
Living on the boat is one or two steps above camping out. There is no running water--cold or hot, no stove and no shower. Improvisation is the mainstay of existence. We boil water in the microwave to clean the dishes. We have bottled water for drinking and city water for all else. The boat is very narrow and we cannot pass each other. We have a large comfy bed but have to be careful and raise heads slowly or get hit.
The boat is not always easy to keep tidy, as we have to remember to put things away after using, and there is a lot of stuff around that we have no place to store. We try to keep some order but not always successful with this. But we love our floating cabin.
The Interior of the Boat
Where we keep our bikes
Everything is Extra Work
We love to ride bicycles but we have to tie them up every night on the boat and take them down when we are ready to ride. When we leave to go back home, we move the bikes into the cabin (not easily). We bought a dinghy which we use to cruise around the marina. We tie the dinghy on top of the boat when we leave to go back home. Getting on and off the boat is often a challenge as the dock is not totally stable and a bit rickety. We always have to remember to take our keys when going to the locked bathrooms. Actually I wear it around my neck all the time.
There is always something that needs either some work or just tending to on a boat. Jim is always washing, polishing or talking about what needs to be done. We have the toilet on the boat tended to by a company called Royal Flush. I like the name of the company as it has to do with poker. The bottom of the boat requires monthly cleaning to keep it in shape. Jim is always purchasing some gadget that he claims is a major necessity for the boat. He was going to hire someone to wash the boat one day, but I nixed the idea reminding him that the boat is his project.
Taking a Shower
There are both men and women's bathhouses. However there is one shower stall in each one, and if you are lucky enough to get it before someone else does, you get to take a shower. I have waiting for over an hour while someone soaks away. The bathroom is very rundown but seeminly clean enough. I get in and out very quickly. We have organized our shower taking routine with the least amount of work and fuss. We park our car about 50 feet from the bathroom. We get a towel, soap, and clothes from the trunk of the car, and put the dirty clothes back into a laundry bag we keep in the trunk after the shower. Of course, I have forgotten the soap a few times and had to make an extra trip to the car. This method of dealing with showers spares us carrying our bath stuff to and from the boat. We leave the towels over the seats of the car to dry. I go back to the boat after the shower to put on makeup and do my hair.
It is meal time
You really get tired at night
Jim is resting after a tough day
Cooking and Meals
We usually eat breakfast on the boat. Jim does all the work (not like at home). He makes the coffee, and toast with peanut butter. We sometimes eat lunch out and have just snack for dinner. We did get a special barbecue for the boat and tried it one night. Amazingly it worked just great. To simplify the meal I got some premade salad and a bottle of salad dressing (the first one I have purchased in about 25 years). And of course, Jim does the dishes--an unwritten law. There is a Chart House restaurant close by and they have happy hour with cheaper drinks and an inexpensive snack menu. We usually go there once or twice during each trip to the boat.
Sleeping on the Boat
As you can tell by the photo the bed is very inviting. We have a very comfy mattress. I sleep better on the boat than at home. The boat rocks very gently and puts me to sleep immediately. It is a little work getting out of the bed as I have to slide to the end.
The Best Time of Day
Late afternoon is the best time of day. We sit out on the deck and watch boats go by and enjoy the very cool ocean breeze. You can see Jim here relaxing after a hard day of work. It is a tough job but someone has to do it. So now you know how to live aboard a sailboat.
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