Ever wonder what it’s like to live on a sail boat?  Well, you are not the first! So here are our FAQ’s! (Frequently asked live aboard sailboat questions):


Current Number 1 Question:  Aren’t you guys afraid you’re going to get sick of each other?!?

I guess it’s a possibility.  We’ve been living on the boat for 1 1/2 years.  We’re used to the size/closeness.  And we’ve been married for 21 years.  So we’re used to each other.  Will it be different to be together 24/7?  Sure.  We’ll let you know how it goes, but we’re both looking forward to it.

Who’s bright idea was this? 

Most people assume this is Mark’s dream, and Jennifer is tagging along. People should never make assumptions.

So you must be lifelong sailors, right? 

Uh, nope. We’d never sailed before our Sea Trial on Luna Sea…  Really.  But we’ve had 3 years with our boat, and are sailing right along!  We’ve done so many weekend trips, week long trips, multi-week trips, over-nights, etc.  All to increase our skill and secure our confidence in our boat.  Is there more to learn?  Of course – isn’t that what life is all about?

Your dogs are on the boat with you?!  

Yes, yes they are.  And to answer the next common dog question – they go to the bathroom on a “grass” pad on the regular.  But we also walk them for exercise when we’re near land.  You can read more about the “grass” here.

Where do you sleep?  

In our bed.  On the boat.  It’s a queen sized 10″ memory foam mattress in our aft cabin for now.  As we move away from our convenience of air conditioning, we will likely move to the forward cabin where we have more natural air flow.  There’s a 5″ memory foam full size mattress in the forward cabin.  (Thinner is cooler…)

Where do you shower? 

Again, on the boat.  Some people don’t like to shower below decks once they hit the islands, due to the inability to get the moisture out of the boat.  So they shower in the cockpit or on the stern, etc.  We will revisit this when it’s time.  For now, we like the convenience of our own bathrooms rather than hiking up to the marina showers.  And we can’t really shower in the cockpit yet – the boat yard boys get to work really early…

You live on it?  Well, how big it is?  

300 sq feet.  We measured it.  Three. Hundred. Square. Feet. It feels big, though 😉

How long are you going to do this?

As long as it’s fun!

What will you do for $$$? 

We are currently setting ourselves up for a frugal, yet comfortable living – without the need to work.  We need to bridge a gap of 15 or so years before Mark’s pensions kick in.  If we have to work, we will.  If we can avoid it, we will.

Aren’t you afraid you’ll get bored? 

Jennifer is not. She is very easily amused.  And she maintains the blog and is getting into video editing, so she has no worries.  She is, however, curious about Mark’s ability to sit still for more than 5 minutes.  Fortunately, boats break and he is handy.  He won’t have any problem finding things to do.

What if there’s a major repair/your budget is trashed?

Jennifer is a chef/artist/fitness instructor/quasi-seamstress.  Mark is a SCUBA instructor with a Master’s degree in business and mad handyman skills.  If we can’t do repairs ourselves, we can make some money to pay someone else to do them.  We’re smart.  We’ll figure it out.

Do you have solar power?

Yes – and we love it!  Luna Sea came with 3 panels that were 5+ years old.  That’s pretty old for this technology, and we wanted to leave with newer, more powerful panels.  We upgraded to 4) 100w flexible panels.  They are our major source of power when we’re not plugged in at a dock.  And we don’t plan to spend much time at docks when we get out there cruising.

Do you have a generator?

Yes.  We have a small Honda 2000i.  It is made to run on gasoline, but we’ve also set it up to run on propane.  We do not have (nor do we have space for) a larger, built-in generator for A/C etc, when we are on anchor.  So we will use the wind to keep cool.  Or try to, anyway.

Where do you get water? 

This is similar to the solar panels, in that we truly need water to live/function on the boat. We currently fill our two water tanks from a source at the marina.  Before we left, we will installed a water maker.  That way, we can create water almost anywhere, via reverse osmosis.  The water in GA is not clean enough to use, so we won’t really be using the watermaker until we reach some clearer waters.

Won’t you be sad to leave your friends/family?

Yes.  Of course.  But most of our friends are travelers, as well.  So we will be saving space for them to visit us on our journeys!  Our only family in the area is our daughter.  She recently graduated from college and is sorting out her own life now.  As you can imagine, we’ve raised her to be independent and take care of herself.  And she is.  But she, too, will always have a bunk to crash on at whatever island we happen to be exploring.


UPDATE: October 1, 2016!!  Soon people, soon.  But we want to do this right.  We don’t want to get out there and realize we should’ve put that water maker in after all (or any other upgrades we would have to skip to leave now).  Or rush it and run out of money and have to come back to “real” jobs.  But to be fair, it’s kind of like having a kid – you’re never “ready.”  So we have hard goals on the Adventure Fund and the upgrades. And when those goals are met, we are out of here.

Have more questions?  Feel free to send them our way – either via comment or, here, via our Contact page.

  • Drew Hood


    What are you doing for health insurance?

    • Jennifer Prince

      Hey Drew!
      Sorry for delay – just saw this. We don’t currently have any. We hope to eventually settle in a place with affordable health care. In the meantime, we are keeping a close eye on the changes happening in the States..

  • Susan W


    I love following your journey! If you get a chance, could you share how you prepared your puppies for your adventure? I’m curious what paperwork needs to be processed to enable them to be able to island hop with you. Thanks and have fun!!

  • Jennifer Prince


    Hi Susan! Thanks so much for following along!
    We just had to train them to use the bathroom on a pad on the deck. As far as other countries, they all have a variety of regulations. You can Google it or check out Noonsite website for leads on country specifics. There are definitely some hoops to be jumped through.

  • Lori


    Can you check out living conditions on land in Nicaragua in the next 5 years?? Safety? Affordability? Comfort and amenities? My sea legs are no good, but I’ll meet you at the beach any day! ; ^ ) See: https://www.afar.com/magazine/what-its-really-like-to-retire-to-nicaragua?

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