Living Aboard a Floating Apartment

Here's To Us!! salon

Written by The Crew

Rev writes all the posts as "The Crew" at What Yacht To Do. It's just part of the First Mate duties. That list just keeps growing...

April 6, 2019

When we sold our 3-story brownstone home in Uptown Dallas and moved into an 800 square foot apartment, I really wondered if our marriage could survive.

We went from separate walk-in closets and more importantly, separate bathrooms to sharing both. UGH!

What we learned in this downsizing experiment is that we really didn’t need a lot to be happy and comfortable which is why we thought we could make it living for a year on a boat.

A Boat to Meet Our Needs

So, when our boat search began, we each created our “must have” and “sure would be nice to have” lists.

Sam’s list was functional and mechanical while Rev’s list was centered on relationships (staying married and entertaining).

We ended up with a two bedroom, two bath, two engine apartment with an open floor plan (kitchen and living room), patio, office and a taxi! It is bigger than our former apartment so I think we’ll be alright.

Well, those are called different things on a boat as you will learn below.

Very briefly, bedrooms are called staterooms; bathrooms are called heads; the kitchen is a galley and the living room is called a salon. The patio area is now called (thanks to our friends, Keith and Susan) the Lido deck (like a cruise ship) and the office is the bridge. There is also an area called the cockpit, which is an often confused term.

We found out quickly that we were going to have to use a new boating vocabulary. Besides the simple fact that the right side of the boat means starboard, and left means port, there are more unique words to learn.

New Boating Vocabulary

Here are the main new boating words that we have had to learn first to communicate in the boating community.

Staterooms: The Master Stateroom is in the back (aft) of the boat and the VIP Stateroom is in the front (fore) of the boat for privacy. Both have TVs in them and the VIP has a laundry area with a washer and dryer.

Heads: One in the Master Stateroom (aft), and another en suite the VIP Stateroom (fore) called the Day Head. Both have sinks and showers.

Salon: This area has a couch with recliner, a booth style table setting and the TV; there is also a DVD and printer. The Galley has a stove, oven, convection microwave, refrigerator and freezer, and sink.

Aft Deck: This enclosed area is up from the salon and down from the bridge. It has an L-shaped settee and TV and gullwing doors to access the walkways and is affectionately known as the lido deck.

Bridge: This enclosed area is where the boat is piloted and the navigation controls and radios are located. We updated the boat in 2018 with all Garmin navigation equipment (Plotter, GPS, Radar and Auto Helm). It has seating behind and in front of the helm (steering wheel).

Cockpit: While many people would think the word cockpit is akin to the area on an airplane, this nautical term refers to the area in the aft of the boat. The cockpit on our boat is where we gain access to the boat from the dock and tender.

Tender: This is our water taxi and is located on a hydraulic forklift of sorts. We can lower the tender into the water with remote controls, start it up and then head off for provisions or sightseeing.

Engine Room: Has two Cummins diesel engines each with 450 HP, a 13KW Kohler Generator and all the mechanical things that make life aboard comfortable.

Cost vs Comfort

Sam is known for being frugal. Sometimes to the extreme. And there certainly is a time and place for being cheap.

However, when trying to find a boat to live aboard for an extended period of time, it is imperative that you personally consider cost as well as comfort just like we did.

The cost of owning a larger boat is felt most at the pump (Here’s To Us!! has 4 gas tanks with a total of 688 gallons) and when docking at marinas (she is 50 feet long plus a tender on the back for a total of 56 feet).

Marina fees are calculated per foot. So a 37-foot boat would pay much less to spend a night than a 60-foot boat.

Have you ever taken a family road trip vacation? It seems like the longer the trip, the smaller the vehicle gets every single day! You can’t wait to get out of the car. You can’t wait to get home.

As the frugal side of us competed with the comfort side, we decided to go a little bit bigger and stay married. 🙂

So, we landed on this 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom floating apartment and we’ll have to let you know, as we get underway if it was the right choice.

Do You Know the Lingo?

Since we are in the learning mode, do you know any boat terms you could share?

Please let us know below.

Come on. Help us out.

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  1. ?on lingo. Are the furniture pieces secured? Speaking of recliner and like.

    • The benches are secured but they don’t have a bottom so you can see the carpet below. Thanks for the encouragement!


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