Ever thought about what it’d be like to live on a boat?

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Korum and his girlfriend (now wife!) getting ready for the homecoming dance. School dance photos become more unique when you're floating.
I’ll admit that I often entertain the fantasy of giving up the land and living on a boat. I love the idea of a (possibly) every-changing water view, of the waves rocking me to sleep every night, and knowing that I could take my ENTIRE home with me when I travel. Of course, there are definitely negative aspects that have kept me from ditching my city apartment and buying a boat — no yard for my dogs, not a lot of space, and, what with renting a slip and boat repairs, living on a boat can be pricey.

But over on Offbeat Mama, Korum Bischoff, a father and drummer who lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, is giving us all an in-depth look at what it was like for him to grow up and live on a boat…

I lived aboard a 37-foot sailboat from the ages of 9-23 with my parents and younger brother (who was five when we moved aboard). Unless we were travelling, we kept our boat in a marina instead of anchored in the harbor so that we had access to power, water, and bathroom facilities.

Speaking from our family’s experience only, growing up afloat was an amazing experience, and probably one of the top three decisions my parents made that created the person I am today. I lived at home into my early 20s and even spent three years after high school travelling the world in our floating home, meeting many other liveaboard families of all types along the way.

Head over to Offbeat Mama to learn more about the ups and downs (get it? Cause of waves?) of boat living, as he gives advice to a pregnant couple thinking about raising their child on their boat.

And then tell me, have you ever thought about living on a boat? DO YOU live on a boat? Is it worth giving up living on the land?

Comments on Ever thought about what it’d be like to live on a boat?

  1. As I read the title of this post I cracked a big grin. My mom, dad, two big brothers, our basset hound and I lived on a boat year round from ’79-’89 then cut back to summers only until ’94. Our 1960 36′ Criscraft Cruiser was named the Centerfold but we called her home. The only word I can think to sum up my experience is Bliss. We used to radio our coordinates to other boaters, meet up out in the middle of a lake, tie up and have “block parties” where seven or eight boats would tie onto one another. Kids would leap from boat to boat like pirates, or split off into small groups and paddle our dingys to patchy little islands to play Explorer, or just jump off the 15 foot upper deck and swim. Grown-ups drank and grilled. There were always dogs and babies around. My dad used to let me sit on his knee, wear his captain hat and steer when we were out cruising. My brothers sometimes let me sleep out on the roof with them. One I rolled over in my sleep and fell 15 feet into the lake below, still wrapped in my Star Wars sleeping bag. Rude awakening. I think that sleeping bag in still at the bottom of Lake Champlain today. We got our groceries at the Marina Store, cooked in our kitchenette or grilled out. We did laundry at the Marina Laundromat, showered (under extreme duress from my mother) in the pay-bathrooms. Although if you asked me, I would have told you that 25 cents for a 25 minute shower was a huge an unnecessary expenditure as I was perfectly happy to be filthy. We didn’t have a lot of clothes or toys and it didn’t matter. I remember my dad complaining about how expensive gas was, and that the marina fees were high but we weren’t a wealthy family. I could write volumes about our adventures. I’d give anything to be able to give that experience to my kids someday- including giving up my life on land.

  2. Oh man, my parents were teachers so we lived on our 36′ sailboat for over 2 months every summer, in the wilderness of Canada, for my whole childhood. Best times of my life.

    We would anchor in a bay (somewhere we could have a bonfire on the rocks and go swimming and hiking and blueberry-picking) for most of the week, and come in to port for one night every weekend to get groceries and take hot showers (otherwise we bathed in the lake). We would meet so many, many interesting and wonderful people! The only thing that ruined it was the mosquitos; they would terrorize me to no end, and I often didn’t get any sleep simply because one little blasted bugger got in through the screen at night and I was terrified of it biting me and adding to the million other bites. But despite that, I would give anything to go back there every summer again.

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