How to liveaboard a boat
Can you live aboard a boat full time?
So you think being a liveaboard on a yacht or a boat slowly cruising around the world is a dream. Do you imagine sailing from one exotic location to another with the sun shimmering on the horizon? Do you want glamorous naked models draping themselves seductively everywhere and cheap wine that flows like a firefighter’s hose? You may just want to live aboard a boat in a marina or live on a canal boat all year round. To become a liveaboard you need to practice at home first and these simple practical tests will prepare you for life afloat with “real liveaboard knowledge”
Practical liveaboard boat tests
Move everything out of your living room. I know it is bigger than a boat but we have to break you in slowly. You can bring the fridge back provided you lay it down face up and put everything you will need first right at the bottom under everything else.
You are allowed a small mattress provided it is no thicker or comfortable than a slice of burnt toast. Spray it liberally with water to simulate condensation. Fire elastic bands repeatedly at any exposed skin to simulate a mosquito attack. Do not go back to sleep until you find the offending elastic band. Men should put their golf clubs on view in the front garden. This will simulate your anchor. It will guarantee that you are awake all night keeping watch. Set the alarm for 3am to simulate another boat coming in and anchoring on top of you. To make it more realistic go outside into the street wearing only a head torch, wave your arms around and point. It won’t make any difference but it looks good. This can also be done naked to prevent too much conversation.
Unless you have a water maker then water is your most precious commodity on a boat. If it comes to a choice between the wife or water I am afraid she will have to go, especially if like most women she likes to wash. If she is prepared to clean herself in seawater or the condensation from the windows this may be acceptable. If for some strange reason she needs to wash her underwear rather than wear them for a month then wait for rain.
All meals are to be cooked on a camping gas stove but turn it off half way through the meal to simulate running out of gas. Break out a tin of cold baked beans. You may eat the neighbours prized “Koi Carp” provided you can catch it.
You are allowed a computer provided you use it on battery only and can pick up a dodgy internet connection from the bar a mile down road. Curse anyone who sends you a link to a “You tube video” or an image that is bigger than a postage stamp. If you have mobile phones turn them off. If for some reason you do forget it will be the bank trying to give you a loan you cannot have. The phone call price will be the equivalent of buying four beers. Expect them to ring again tomorrow.
Provisions are limited to what you can carry or drag back from a petrol station 2 miles away. This includes a cylinder of gas. All purchases have to be made by sign language to simulate your total inability to speak the local language. Let 20 people go in front of you to mimic those locals who will push in front of you or have just popped in for a chat. Check all produce for anything that can crawl, jump or eat you such as cockroaches and rats.
Every time you use the toilet throw at least two toilet rolls down afterwards and push them in with a plunger. You might as well get used to dismantling a toilet now as you will be doing it in the future… a lot.
Take the car engine out and put it in the smallest cupboard it the house. It has to only just fit and the oil filter and water pump has to be impossible to get at. Change both at regular intervals and learn to curse loudly. Have a first aid kit handy.
Forget the big breasted supermodel. Get three old German men to spend all day naked outside your front window. They have to be able to touch their toes at random intervals for no apparent reason. Occasionally get a well-worn naked woman that needs a good iron and has boobs that she can throw over each shoulder to walk past to window.
The liveaboard has got to learn how to socialise. Go to a complete stranger’s house and invite them back to your house for drinks. You will either become instant lifelong friends or they will bore you to death and drink your year’s supply of alcohol. In either case once they have gone never see them again.
Use one light at once and only when absolutely necessary. Pretend your room thermostat is your battery monitor and casually glance at it every 10 minutes. Occasionally get the neighbour to run his petrol mower outside your window for a couple of hours to simulate a generator running. At these times you can use two lights but still continually check the thermostat.
Take deckchairs and a bottle of wine down to the local car park. Watch all the cars parking and comment how differently you would have done it. Tut or snigger when they cannot park first time. If there is only one vehicle in the car park, watch out for the French. You can tell them as they will come in at 40mph not knowing where the handbrake is and get out before the vehicle has stopped. They will also park within 2mm of the other car.
Take your better half into the bathroom and lock yourself in for a week. After all you need to find out if you can actually live with each other. It will probably be the most time you have spent together since you met and the main reason why so many bodies are found drowned in the bath tub!
Sometimes there are dreams
Then there is reality and reality often turns out to be just perfect
So, now you are getting a real idea of what daily liveaboard and sailing life is really like. Can you think of anymore? Would you land lubbers be able to cope with the liveaboard dream? Why not leave a comment below or send us a message about the liveaboard life?