It began in 2002 when we were preparing to move aboard La Luna and started telling folks about the process -- selling stuff, selling the house, finding interim housing, preparing the boat and moving aboard. It continues to this day. Telling folks that we live aboard, year round in Maine, can really hi-jack a conversation. So, in an order roughly related to how often we have heard a particular response from least to most -- The Top Ten Responses to Living Aboard are:
Number 10: Cool. I know/knew someone who has done that. Do you know So-and-So? If they have lived aboard in Portland in the past few years, we probably do. There are only two live aboard marinas here.
Number 9: Is it a houseboat? No it is a sailboat.Often these people don't get it at all and continue to use the term "houseboat" when talking with us. La Luna is NOT a houseboat.
Number 8: What did your family say? Our adult son called dibs on the artwork and the tools. My sister thinks it's great -- one of my brothers thinks we are crazy and has never been below. Having a beer on deck on the dock was all he would accept. My other brother and EW's sister and brother support the idea and have been sailing with us. I do think we are considered the strange/cool aunt and uncle -- depending on the family. (Three people have said that they were pleased I didn't do this until after my mom -the worrier- had passed away. That was not mean, it was insightful.)
Number 7: Please talk my wife into this. No. I will not. First of all - you both have to want to do this totally willingly. It works for us but you have to make it work. Secondly, some of these guys who want me to talk to their wives - I wouldn't live aboard with them. At least one person on board needs to be able to fix things. Fix a lot. Fix a lot of different things. If you can't do this, don't move aboard. We went to a party with yacht club members right after we made this decision and a wife there asked us to "talk her husband into it." She could definitely live aboard. He (rather rudely) actually pulled her away from us as he wanted no part of it. I wouldn't have tried to talk him into it either.
Number 6: What did you do with all your stuff? Got rid of most of it. Stopped buying things we didn't need. One of the best benefits of living aboard. We had too much stuff.
Number 5: Good for you - no snow to shovel. (See the condo reference in Number 3.) Actually, we have a shovel and use it to clear our own pier. When the marina crew is slacking we have been known to shovel the length of the docks.
Number 4: Are you planning on sailing away? Absolutely. We've actually stuck around longer than we intended. When we leave, we plan to sail until we are done. We have a long list of destinations we would like to see all around the world.
Number 3 Nice! No lawn to mow. (These people need to move to a condo.)
Number 2: Whoa! No property taxes. Well, actually we pay dock fees to a marina that pays property taxes. What do you want to bet that we pay property taxes? By the way, this is most often stated by someone in finance and accounting.
And the Number 1 response when boaters find out we live aboard: Do you sail a lot? Really? (Alternatively put - Do you ever get off the dock?) Yes. We have the fifteen minute rule. In the sailing season, we keep things stowed and on a normal, non-project day can leave the dock in 15 minutes. We live aboard because we like to sail. It is why we are here.