Tiny Floating Homes: Dos Libras

Tiny Floating Homes: Dos Libras

Last week I shared a personal story about one of my Favorite Things I brought with me when moving onto a sailboat last year. Inspiration for that post came from my friend and fellow cruiser, Tammy.

Now I’d like to give you a little perspective and introduce you to Tammy’s own tiny floating home. Tammy and her husband Bruce live and cruise on a 45′ sailboat, Dos Libras, with their two cats. Tammy has put together a great article and photo tour of what a typical liveaboard sailboat looks like and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you!

*The following post and photos are being republished with permission from Tammy Swart, originally published on her blog, Things We Did Today. The original post can be found here: <HERE>. 

Cool before it was COOL?

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Never let it be said that I was any kind of trendsetter… I had bangs when nobody wore them… now that I’ve let my hair grow to all one length… the “Cool People” are wearing BANGS!!!

After spending decades aspiring to a bigger house full of more (useless) things… we’ve thrown it all away and moved onto our 45 ft floating home.  It has now come to my attention that there is a new movement afoot… the Tiny House Movement.  HA!  We’re finally on the leading edge of something!!!  We were doing something cool… before it was cool!

Tossing years of collected stuff out and walking away induced a healthy dose of stress.  But once the deed was done, it became less difficult. I will admit that we have not gone “cold turkey”.  We do have a pretty big boat… and we still own a townhouse where some of our things are stored.  But the amazing thing is that I really have to think hard to remember what those things are!!!  (Mom, that doesn’t mean you can start selling things off!)

Moving from almost 2,000 sq. ft. onto this small (comparatively speaking) boat, was accomplished in stages.  We moved onboard two years ago with our favorite things and household items we thought we would need, and then continued bringing things from the house as we needed them for a while. That eventually dwindled to nothing, and then we began to actually take things OFF the boat in the never ending fight against Clutter.

Clutter is a problem in a small space.  If a thing had no designated place, it must either find one or GO!  Every few weeks, usually spurred by a search for something, we identify things that we forgot we had.  Toss!  Now if only we could make good on our vow to never experience Winter again… we could offload about half of the clothes and blankets we carry around and we’d be set!

Fortunately for us, we have a lovely garage v-berth that we use to store things used less frequently where they can be out of sight and out of the way until we need them.  Unfortunately… those things must be shuffled to temporary homes whenever we have guests aboard.

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The garage V-Berth

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Port side v-berth

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Starboard side v-berth

Off the charts on the Clutter Scale!  Don’t get me wrong… we LOVE having guests!  But if you come to visit us, prepare yourself to live as if you’re spending the weekend in the bottom of a teenager’s closet.

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V-Berth as a Guest Room

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V-Berth stuff shuffled to the Aft Cabin

Why would we want to leave all of our STUFF and do this?  Well, the reasons are different for everyone considering downsizing… but for us, it means that we no longer have to divide our time between caring for a home, and cars (and a job) and doing what makes us happy… SAILING!  We can spend our time doing the things that we enjoy doing.  We can travel together and see parts of our country (and the world) that so few people ever see.  Every day can be different from the last… and all the while, we’re snug as bugs in our cozy little home.

Now I’ll get to the fun part, the part where you get to see how we live.  But before I do, I have to say that we are so very lucky to have found this boat.  Lots of Cruisers are living happily with so much less than we have.  And… there are also those who have far more luxurious floating homes…  We have found the perfect niche somewhere in-between… Even “Tiny Houses” can be as individual as the people who live in them.

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Making pancakes in my little Galley

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Galley

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Our “kitchen table” Starboard side saloon

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Our forward head (bathroom)

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Port side settee main saloon and nav station

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My vanity in our aft cabin

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Port side aft cabin showing our drawers and hanging locker

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Our bedroom

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In suite head (bathroom)

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The aft head with designated shower and bathtub

That’s IT!  That’s all there is to it.  Everything you’ve seen shows all of our available living space down below.  We do spend lots of time in the nice center cockpit with full enclosure to keep out the elements.  Our boat has a lot of hidden storage space below the floors and inside the built in furniture.  Living in a home this tiny, the builders have taken maximum advantage of every possible inch of useable space. Are there things we miss about living in a house?  Well sure… Bruce misses having a real garage to store his tools.  I miss having a full size bathtub and our cozy reclining leather chairs that we used to watch TV in upstairs… but the tradeoff is that we now get to lounge on the deck and watch nature and the world go by.

** You can read more about Tammy’s Tiny Floating Home on her blog, Things We Did Today. For more details and specs on Dos Libras, click <HERE>.

By Jody Pountain for the [Tiny House Blog]

 

Wishbone Tiny Homes

The Asheville, NC based Wishbone Tiny Homes has not only been making waves with their exquisite craftsmanship and interesting architectural details, but the Wishbone team have a three step process set up to walk new owners through and into their ideal home. It all starts with a dream and defining exactly what the tiny house will be: a primary residence, an office, a rental or a transition space.

“The dream phase is the most important,” said Teal Brown, the son in the father and son building team. “It’s where the inspiration for the ultimate design comes from. Nothing is off the table. We collect links, videos, images, screen shots, poems, emails—anything—and create our own version of a Pinterest board for each client. We also use a questionnaire. All of this information gives us a sense of the client’s unique aesthetics and design preferences.”

Next comes the design phase and the final building phase which is where the precision craftsmanship and locally sourced materials come into play.

“The design phase brings a healthy dose of reality to the situation,” Teal continued. “After an in depth interview about lifestyle and possessions, we draft a floor plan and exterior elevation. We then create at least two more iterations of the design before arriving at an agreed upon final design. Once a final design is in place, we get to work building the client’s dream tiny home! The entire process can take anywhere from 12 weeks to a year, depending on the client’s timeline and our production schedule.”

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Their current model home showcases the team’s woodworking skills (they love cedar) and their unique doors.

“Everyone notices our doors,” Teal said. “Since my dad has been honing his door-making craft the last 17 years, he knows a thing or two about them.

Along with attention to detail, Wishbone has listened to customers’ requests and realize that they want a place that feels like a home.

“We seek to incorporate as much of the client’s furniture and keepsakes as possible to provide familiarity and charm,” Teal said. “Most people like this design approach. Aside from that, people want stairs, downstairs bedrooms, off-grid capabilities, solutions for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), and Universal Design concepts for ADA compliance.

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Wishbone is just finishing up a 24 foot modern shed-style home for a couple in Philadelphia. The house has a cozy den, two lofts and a large galley kitchen as well as a large shower and a climbing wall. A dog crate was built under the stairs and the house is powered with a 1 KW roof-mounted PV system with 4 6V 420 AH batteries.

Teal said the best part of building tiny homes is the people they encounter and work with.

“Almost everyone who wants a tiny home is at an interesting point of their lives and has a great story to tell. Getting to work with my dad is great too.”

The challenges the team has run into are the financing of tiny homes, legal gray areas and plumbing. Wishbone currently does not sell plans, but does create custom plans.

“We firmly believe that if you are going to live in a tiny home, it should fit you like a tailored suit,” Teal added.

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Photos courtesy of Chris Tack and Wishbone Tiny Homes

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Cedarshed Industries

Cedarshed Industries in British Columbia has been designing and building shed and small structures for backyard use since 1992 and several of their designs could be used as tiny houses—or combined to be a tiny house community—without taking up too much space.

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All the Cedarshed Industries kits are made with Western Red Cedar for its endurance, dimensional stability, beauty and distinct aroma. The kits come as either precut kits that take 2-4 days to assemble with a professional carpenter or as panelized kits that take about a day to assemble. Each kit comes with all pieces including floors, cedar shingles and hardware. A level foundation will need to be installed before the kit is placed.

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The Cedarshed designs that could make potential tiny houses are the Ranchhouse, the Cookhouse, the Farmhouse, the Cedarhouse and the Haida Cabin. The Ranchhouse includes a 5′ wide double door and is available in four prefab kit sizes from 12 ‘x 12′ to 16′ x 14′. It includes a 4′ deep porch, two windows and decorative shutters and planter box. The Cookhouse is available in three sizes from 12′ x 10′ to 16′ x 14′ and has an enclosed gable porch. The Farmhouse has four sizes available from 16′ x 12′ to 20′ x 14′. It also has a double door and a porch. The Cedarhouse is available in five sizes from 10′ x 8′ to 10′ x 20′ and includes a Dutch door. The Haida Cabin is a panelized kit that requires no cutting and is available in 12′ x 8′, 16′ x 8′ and 20′ x 8′ sizes.

Another smaller kit that could be used as a tiny house is the darling Clubhouse. It’s available in six sizes from 8′ x 12′ to 10′ x 20′ and includes a Dutch door, three windows and a drop down window. The Clubhouse could be used in conjunction with another kit to create a tiny house compound.

Prices for the kits range from $2,884 for an 8′ x 12′ Clubhouse to $6,384 for a 20′ x 14′ Farmhouse. Shipping costs will vary by distance and take about 3-4 weeks. The company has a free online catalog where you can view their different designs.

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Photos by Cedarshed Industries

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]