Living (Aboard) the Dream

No, The Dream is not the name of our new boat, although it's not a bad name for a boat. And no, this isn't where we live. Yet. It is, however, a picture taken from a restaurant window in Redondo Beach, California, where we enjoyed a waterside Easter weekend dinner. And it does resemble my future dream; a picture I have in my mind of where I would like to call home some day.

A little backstory. My wife is from L.A. and we met - and got married - in L.A. But for the entire duration of our marriage we have lived in the midwest. With long winters and short boating seasons, I would like to change that at some point in the future.

We both like Southern California, and both have family there, but our finances are not a good fit for the astronomical housing prices in the South Bay of L.A.

Case in point, while we were walking my sister-in-law's dog through her neighborhood recently, we went past a tidy home on a quiet, middle class residential street, about three miles from the ocean. So I looked it up online. $1.1 million for 1,200-square feet. And it was dated! Yikes.

But later, when we were at dinner, and surrounded by all those beautiful boats at King Harbor Marina, I got a brilliant idea. Or so I thought. Why not find an affordable liveaboard, say a 25-year-old trawler, maybe 34 - 38 feet, and make that our future home?

With my interest - and curiosity - piqued, while we were waiting for our food, I started looking at marinas. With a boat the size I was considering they charge $700 - $1,000/month for 24-hour security, parking, use of the party room, bathrooms, showers, even a fitness center in a couple of cases.

Then I began a quick preliminary boat search and found a couple of likely candidates that were already serving as liveaboard homes for happy couples (presumably, but maybe not, since they were for sale!).

Bear in mind, this boat doesn't have to be equipped with an all-glass cockpit, or the latest in anything for that matter. Heck, we might not ever even leave the marina. I just need it not to sink while it's moored, and we are in it.

Everything was looking good. Now all I needed was for my wife to get on board with my liveaboard dream.

I asked my daughter first. "Do you see that boat right there?" as I pointed to an older trawler, not dissimilar to the ones I saw online. "Can you see me and mom living on it?" I had barely finished the sentence when she exclaimed no. "I can see you living on it maybe, but not with mom." And maybe that's how this was going to go.

So I asked my wife if she could see herself living on that boat and her resounding no came just as quickly.

Lastly, I said, "Okay, can you point to a boat in this marina that you would consider living aboard?" She looked around, and pointed to an Azimut 80, docked majestically in the far corner of the marina.

At this point I am open to suggestions. If anyone knows how to help me (legally) put about three-and-a-half million dollars in my bank account in the next five to 10 years, or has a used Azimut MY for sale that is five figures instead of seven, or can help my wife to downsize her dream and share mine, I would love to hear from you.


  1. My wife and I have been visiting about this same idea. We are in our mid 50's and live in Devils Lake, ND. Great boating lake but a pretty short boating season. We are excited about wintering in gulf coast FL for a couple if months in the winter and are considering living on board a boat and traveling the intercoastal
    waterways of FL. My wife is actually in support if this but I would sure love to hear some stories of other couples that have done this and to pros and cons. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the comment Kyle. Certainly the cost of living is less in many parts of Florida than many parts of California, even if the cost of living aboard are comparable. As much as I love boating in Florida, it's off the table for us because my wife doesn't like the humidity and all of her family is in SoCal. But like you, I would certainly love to hear from some Boating Industry readers who have had experience doing this and made it work. Or didn't!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *