Last summer, I tied the knot with a Captain, and I don’t mean a clove hitch. We wed in one of his favorite places: on the bow of his Nordhavn 40, while docked in the urban marina of my hometown, Thunder Bay, Ontario, on Lake Superior. Needless to say, I married into a lifestyle— of which I was baptized by the cold spray of the largest freshwater lake in the world, as we cruised from early spring to late autumn while living aboard our motor vessel. Though it sounds romantic, in reality, residing on a boat full-time is more like camping than a stay at a luxury resort. Yachting requires a certain degree of roughing it. Over the course of our adventure, I learned making the most of full-time boat residency, like most things, takes practice. Here’s a handful of tips to ease your transition from land-dweller to sea creature, so you can reap the most out of live aboard life.
Cruising life is rife with contradictions. One night, you’re the lone boat anchored in a bay, only the moon to keep you company. The next, you’re sandwiched between vessels in a marina like sardines on buttered rye bread, able to peer into your neighbor’s galley from your cockpit. While this latter setting could serve as the premise for a Rear Window reboot—called Stern Porthole, in which a spry deckhand inadvertently witnesses the murder of a yacht-owner millionaire— to an introvert this situation is already sufficiently terrifying. No Hitchcockian homicide necessary.