October 23, 2017 - 5 comments

Why we decided to live on a boat

By now, most of you know that Chris and I live on a boat in San Pedro, CA. What you may not know is why we decided to do it, what we love about and what we miss about living on land. Today, I thought I would take a break from posting about weddings and give you a little peek at our life on water!

living on a boat in california

Why did we decide to live on a boat?

A lot of you Southern Californians know how expensive renting can get. I quit my corporate job in 2016 and decided to give my wedding planning business a chance to grow. With that big leap came some financial insecurities but still so many dreams of traveling and adventuring. So paying $2000+ per month on a tiny apartment in a less than desirable neighborhood didn't exactly feel like something we wanted to do.

border collie looking out at the water

Why a boat?

Flashback to his early 20s, Chris lived on a small sailboat up in the Ventura Harbor. He didn't know anything about sailing but met other liveaboards and old time sailors who showed him the ropes (literally...so many ropes). He told me about his experience and how inexpensive it was to live on a boat, but still I wasn't sold.

What really did it for me was this YouTube channel called SV Delos. This crew from Seattle bought this amazing sailboat, sold their belongings, quit their jobs and sailed around the world. I loved everything about their lifestyle. The adventure, the way they cared about the people they met, their ethical fishing methods, the way they all had roles and responsibilities on the boat and just their overall outlook on life. Why wait until you retire to have all the fun, right?

paddleboarding in cabrillo marina san pedro

little dog looking out into the marina living on a boat

So next thing you know, we are boat hunting! We opted for a power boat instead of sail because of the comfort and space aspect. We're both working on land for a few more years and I love all of the big windows and space we have on our current boat. Her name is Solstice.

living on a boat in San Pedro 42ft trawler

What do we love about living on a boat?

So many things! But if I were to name a few, the first thing would be the fact that we OWN a home! I know this sounds crazy but so many people our age do not and will never be able to afford a home in Southern California. Although we do pay slip fees (about $900/month which includes water and power and use of marina facilities), we were able to buy our boat and that feels so good.

Also, I love the minimalistic living. We sold all our furniture, donated a lot of items and live off of the essentials. I can't complain. We truly have everything we need on this 500 square-foot house on water.

Last but not least, we can take our whole house to Catalina! We've already done it 3 times where we've secure the dogs in their seats, brewed some coffee and motored the three hours to Catalina Island surrounded by dolphins every.single.time.

newlyweds living on a boat in california

margarita cheers in boat galley kitchen liveaboard

dog and couple living on a boat

What do our dogs think of this lifestyle?

They absolutely love it. Every morning we take the dogs out for a walk around the marina and stop at a big grassy area where our border collie, Fiona, anxiously waits for us to pull the frisbee out. Our little chihuahua, Cheech, is really the boss of the ship. No one shall enter unless authorized by this little fur ball!

liveaboard on old fishing trawler

girl on paddleboard living on a boat

What do we miss about living on land?

Not much really. I do like living in a marina as opposed to being out at anchor because we do have the opportunity to get off the boat and go on some hikes or meet up with friends whenever we want. I do miss live TV. Not gonna lie. But I think I'll be ok without it!

couple living on a boat hanging out on rooftop

wind blowing in hair on top of boat

couple walking down on boat dock with dog

newlyweds boat living with border collie and chihuahua

All in all, we figured that we most likely will never look back and say "man, I really regret living on a boat as newlyweds". If we decide to move back on land to have kids in a few years, then so be it. I just never want to go through life regretting not doing something adventurous.

sunset from a boat in san pedro

bistro lights on rooftop of boat for dinner

bistro lights on boat and dancing at sunset

HUGE thank you to Tiffany Luong Photography for capturing these intimate and all too real moments of Chris, me and the pups on our boat, Solstice!

Published by: Gabrielle Pinkerton in Boat Life


October 23, 2017 at 9:58 pm

So much that I love in this post – you two, of course, the way you wove your photos through your words, your life narrative + outlook, and that that our homes are the same size! Congrats on your newlywed status and hope to see you two again soon! <3

    Gabrielle Norton
    October 24, 2017 at 2:26 am

    You represented us so well through your lens! Thank you again and I can’t wait to see all of the other “day in the life” that you feature!!

October 30, 2017 at 6:01 pm

I had no idea you lived on a boat, Gabrielle! How freaking cool is that?! I feel like this could be something straight out of a Wes Anderson film! What a charming little life you have and what sweet, handsome boys you’ve got! fur babies and husband included ; )

October 30, 2017 at 9:50 pm

I LOVE following your boat adventures! This is just the coolest thing that I wish I had the bright idea to do years ago. Truly. You are an inspiration! Also, Tiffany’s photos are just dreamy!

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