Archive for the ‘Boating Lifestyle’ Category

Tips for Safe Boat Transport

If you’re a boater who lives in an area with major seasonal changes in weather, you have to go through the arduous process of hauling your boat from the water as the cold approaches and placing it in storage. Then when spring rolls around and the weather starts to break, you go through the whole process again in reverse, though returning your boat to the water is usually quite a bit more enjoyable than removing it.

Taking the steps to ensure that your sailboat or power boat has safely made it through boating season and performing necessary maintenance prior to stowing it away for the winter are great ways to extend its life. Properly winterizing your vessel prior to storage is also a great way to ensure that you’ll be able to get back into the water once the weather has broken.

One very important aspect of boat transport that can easily get overlooked though is the condition of your trailer. A thorough inspection of your trailer prior to hauling your boat is essential for your safety, your boats safety and the safety of all those around you.

Things like dry rotted tires, rotted boards and damaged rollers can spell disaster if they happen to get overlooked prior to hitting the road. The trailer isn’t necessarily an overly complex piece of equipment and most repairs can be addressed by boaters who are comfortable working with their hands. You may only use your trailer a few times a year, but it’s an integral piece of equipment if you need to haul your boat.

Homeschooling At Sea

If you want to buy a boat online, do you have visions of sailing around the world with your family? If so, have you thought about what it would be like to take an extended trip–not just a vacation–but to spend a year or more at sea?

Should you have a family with school-age children and decide to do this, you will have to plan for your children’s education. Life at sea can provide many wonderful learning opportunities–ones your children would not get if they went to traditional schools. Still, you will want to give them some standard schooling to prepare them for the future and a time when you stop sailing.

You can get information online and from other cruising families to see what will work best for you. Homeschooling information that pertains to people on land may help, but you will also need to be prepared for the specifics of homeschooling at sea. For example, you may need to use trial and error to figure out whether it is better to homeschool during passage or to leave more intensive work for when you are at anchor.

You may meet up with other cruising families during your travels and find that you can share the load of homeschooling your children. This will provide variety and take some of the burden off of you.


You Could be Very Happy in a Houseboat

The London Telegraph told its readers “Why you should buy a houseboat.” While some of the experts quoted warned that people should not simply consider buying a houseboat because they think it will cost less than living in a house, people who have taken the plunge discussed how much they enjoy life on the water. When you know that you will enjoy the payoff of being able to be so close to water and take all the comforts of home with you as you travel to other destinations, you will feel that a houseboat is worth it.

Some of these British houseboat owners have floated past the Houses of Parliament, made trips to the airport, fished off of their boats and then cooked what they caught, and watched sunsets on the water.

One happy houseboat dweller who lives in a floating home with her husband and young daughter said: “We’re in the middle of a capital city, yet we live around ducks and swans and belong to a friendly community of fellow boat-owners. We’d find it really hard now to live in a conventional apartment or house on land.”


Memories of a Family Sailing Adventure

Eileen Ogintz, creator of the syndicated column “Taking the Kids,” described her memories of a family sailing adventure in a blog for The Huffington Post.  Her children, who ranged in age from 14 to 21, wanted a chance to take charge of the family vacation, although Ogintz notes that “they expected us to pay for the privilege, of course…The kids’ pick: a week spent sailing around the British Virgin Islands. They would be captains, and [my husband and I] would be crew.”

She goes on to write about how her kids really did take the lead, with some help from Mom and Dad. Her children had sailing experience and had also backpacked and camped and traveled in the United States and internationally, so they were ready.

By the second day, she and her husband were able to relax, feeling confident of their kid’s sailing abilities. They snorkeled and swam, met interesting people. Sometimes the dined ashore and once they ate fresh lobster that had just been gathered from a remote island.

In the end, Ogintz writes: “We were still talking to each other — even talking about where we might sail next.”


A Peek into Life on a Houseboat

In Home ahoy! Couple finds the boating lifestyle really rocks, the Buffalo News described the easygoing lifestyle lead by a local couple that has a home on land but spends a good amount of their time during warm-weather months on their boat. The couple feels as if the dock is their neighborhood: they’ve socialized with other boat owners, dined at the Buffalo Launch Club, participated in a book club and bowling league and worked with a nonprofit that promoted boating safety.

This is not to say that living on a boat is effortless. As the husband points out: “There’s always something to fix on a boat, always something to do.”

There are adjustments to be made to living on a boat since everything is smaller. The couple searched online to find a couch they liked that was suitable for their living space. They note that one can’t just pick out things to bring back to the boat; you have to be certain that everything will fit into the space. And there is no room for clutter, so purchases for a houseboat must be given careful consideration.

The accept the challenge to keep their cozy home in order. “The docked Cloud IX functions as a “floating cottage,” one that can be comfortable and relaxing even when it’s raining outside.”


Reasons to Buy a Houseboat

Some people ask: why would you want to live on a houseboat? The question is why wouldn’t you want to live on a houseboat. There are many advantages to a floating residence. Even though you live there day in and day out, life does not become routine. Many people pay good money for a home with a view of the water; when you live on a houseboat, your have the freedom to change your waterside view anytime you want.

When you live on a houseboat, you take the comforts of home with you wherever you go.

Depending on your area and where you work, you may never have to leave home to travel to work—you could just float to work and dock where you need to. When work is over you have a quick commute back to the dock.

If you like to fish, you can catch, clean and cook fish at home.

While a houseboat does required maintenance, you will no longer have to do yard work.

Having a houseboat makes you one of the “cool kids.” Your friends will be impressed. And when you own a houseboat, you often get the best  view of summer fireworks.


Underfloor Heating Systems for Houseboats

Would you like to buy a houseboat or do you already have a houseboat that yon only use for part of the year? Is cold weather one of the reasons that you do not make more use of your houseboat?

While houseboats certainly have a luxury all their own, there have been some luxurious upgrades that have been enjoyed by people who own houses on land that did not seem possible for houseboats. Underfloor heating definitely seemed to be one of those things but now there are companies that say they can install underfloor heating on houseboats.

Adding an underfloor electric heating system will make living on your houseboat that much more comfortable. While not having underfloor heating would not prevent someone from living on a houseboat throughout the year, it can make this a more attractive option.

Some people have allergies and prefer not to have carpet, so an underfloor heating system can bring warmth and make a houseboat cozier. Plus, these systems can also be installed under tile floors. And while installing an underfloor heating system under carpeted floors is not easy, under certain circumstances, this technology can be adapted to provide heating below carpeted floors.


Bling for Boat Owners

In the opinion of one boating expert. “…the best bling you can add to a boat is stuff that makes it more functional by enhancing an existing feature, or creating a new one altogether.” His idea of bling isn’t really about being flashy or showing off.

This writer goes on to detail some interesting new gadgets for boat owners:

One is a waterproof padlock that also acts as a burglar alarm. This sounds good to us because gadgets that can multitask work twice as hard and help you get your money’s worth.

A bolt-on, shallow water anchoring system is also discussed. It is activated with a button. And you fishers out there will be interested to know that the writer who tested it out said that it was instrumental in helping him catch more fish.

He also got to preview LED lighting kits that he says can be “anyone with basic knowledge of electricity.” And anyone who has been boating knows the difference an extra light in the right place can make.

But if you are contemplating what to add to a boat and you don’t even have one yet, you need to buy a boat first. Check out classified used boat ads to buy a boat for less and save for the “bling.”

Boating Community Confronts Pest Problem

When you buy a boat, you have so many options for how to use and store your boat. Many people choose to become part of a boating community by getting a slip in a marina. You may not realize that you are joining a community, but you are. There is more to getting a slip in a marina than parking your boat there.

A boating community in the Isle of Palms had to put their heads together and come up with some solutions after they found their marina run over by homeless cats. The marina owner is an animal lover who was okay with some cats roaming around the marina, but when the numbers increased and the cats become more of a nuisance, he became concerned. Whereas once he felt like it was okay to have a few cats around for rodent control, he had to step in when he got angry feedback from boat owners.

Some boat owners would be upset and maybe some others would not be upset by this situation. When you are picking a marina, it helps to talk to people who already have slips there. They can give you important info about the daily happenings and how management handles these situations.

Enjoying Houseboats in the Winter

When many people think of boating, their minds immediately go to warm weather fun. So when people think of houseboats, they also imagine that houseboats are great fun in the summer, but less so in the winter. This is not necessarily the case. You can enjoy a houseboat, and any other boat, throughout the year. Do not think that if you buy a houseboat, you are purchasing something that you can only use for part of the year.

Some California houseboat owners recently profiled online in the article Families chill out on a quieter Lake Oroville in the winter enjoy their houseboats all year round, one even saying that “Houseboating is really luxury camping.”

Houseboat owners may not spend a lot of time sunning themselves in the winter, but as the article points out, they can fish on the back porch of their boat. They can marvel at plants and animals that are only present in the winter. Families can also enjoy quality family time without some of the distractions they would have on land.

While winter boating may not be for everyone, if you enjoy winter weather, enjoying the water in the winter with your own houseboat accommodations may be for you.