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]

 

Yellow School Bus Home

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by oPhelia and Julien

Our story begins with 2 city-dwellers and their little dog who love being in nature We spend most of our time off playing in the great outdoors: rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing etc. Two years ago, we made the leap and rented a cabin in the forest nestled in the mountains. After a year, we decided that we wanted something of our own. Unfortunately, we were not able to find land that we loved and that didn’t require us to sign over the rest of our active lives to a mortgage (we live in one of the most expensive real estate areas in North America). That’s when we got creative and this school bus home came to be.

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We live in our school bus all year-round. It is currently parked on a bio-dynamic farm with cows, chickens, horses and plenty of forest along a river. After just one year of being in it, we have paid it off and the rent for the land is a quarter of the rent of living in the city. Our plan is to one day find land that we love and to drive our bus home there. At that point, we can continue to live in the bus as is… or expand it (adding an extension and/or a second floor)… or build an actual house and turn the bus into a B&B… or use the bus as a guesthouse… or even sell it… The possibilities are endless!

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School bus living reflects our values. We believe in living simply (i.e. not having too much ‘stuff’ and having a smaller footprint on the earth). We value our time and prefer to spend it doing the things that we love rather than spending countless hours at work to pay off a huge mortgage. We found a way to minimize our expenses without compromising having a beautiful home. We built it into the wood cabin that we dreamed of – the interior is lined with wood, from the floor to walls to ceiling. It is a super cozy space with all the modern luxuries: a gas stove (and oven), fridge, washer/dryer, shower/toilet, on-demand hot water, electric heaters.

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When we look out of our (many) windows, we see only trees and mountains. We are a short walk to the river and the lake, and a bike ride away from the Pacific Ocean. We have access to fresh eggs and milk from happy animals and a plethora of organic veggies from our farmer/gardener neighbours. If we drive one hour in one direction, we arrive in Vancouver – and have all that a big city has to offer. Half an hour in the other direction brings us to Whistler – a world famous ski resort and mountain town (2010 Winter Olympics). When we are not outside, we can be found on a yoga mat, at the library, talking about the meaning of life, or drinking wine. Our bus home allows us to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world in an affordable way that does not require us to compromise our values and way of life. Not to mention that it is just cool to live in a big yellow school bus! :)

We have documented the journey of school bus conversion (from bus seats to cozy cabin living) in our blog: teenytinyliving.blogspot.com

Our bus is also published in the book: Tiny Homes on the Move
http://www.amazon.ca/Tiny-Homes-Move-Wheels-Water/dp/0936070625

oPhelia (Julien & Pico)

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Big Holiday, Tiny Houses: A Gift Guide for Those That Love Living Small

by MJ Boyle

Dear Santa,

I am writing you on behalf of all tiny house enthusiasts. (If you look on your Nice List, you’ll see them all listed there.) Since we are working very hard to reduce our footprint on the earth, as well as to simplify and downsize, the gifts you have given us in years past just won’t do. Now, that’s not to say we certainly do not appreciate your gestures. We do! And, in that spirit of gratitude, we are giving back to YOU! We’re also a very helpful group of people and full of great ideas!

As you have no doubt noticed, tiny house enthusiasts span the globe. But, we’re a very tech savvy bunch. So we all got together via the internet and complied (just for YOU!) this list; of all the things that tiny house enthusiasts need, and love, and that will fulfill our heart’s desires for better relationships, a closer community, and a healthier world.

Life Experiences – Instead of stuff (what “normal” people like) we crave life and embrace opportunities to experience it. We like to cook, hike, kayak, ski, eat out, garden, paint, knit, go to museums and movies, ride our bikes, write, jump out of airplanes, take road trips, read, build, attend tiny house events and classes, and spend lots time with our pets and loved ones. In our neighborhoods, and nearby cities, there are people to meet and places to go and we want to see them all! So, if you can think of a way to put all of these experiences (or even some of them) in our tiny stockings this year…that would be awesome. (I understand that gift certificates are very popular nowadays?)

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One on One – As I’ve mentioned already, we love spending time with our family and friends. Finding that time, however, can be a bit tricky. So, if you could tell everyone we love that we would really appreciate nothing more than for them to carve out a day, a weekend, or just an afternoon for just us; that would be truly great. Oh….and if they can find some time to help us build our tiny house; we promise we’ll make them cookies or buy them beer.

Stuff that will fit in a TINY box – Truth be told, there are a few things we actually do need. But, the key word here is “NEED.” So if you’re thinking that we might like organic vegetable seeds, tiny multi-functional kitchen gadgets, new towels, a welcome mat, slippers, sulfate-free soaps and cleaners, sawdust (don’t ask) a little tiny hammer, or a book about tiny houses; you wouldn’t be too far off the mark.

MJ

Outside the Box – For those of us who live in tiny spaces, having a place for everything, and having everything in it’s place is a key to maintaining our sanity. We might love our tiny house, but we never said it would be EASY to get used to. So, instead of gift wrapped boxes or bags this year, would you mind sending our gifts in organizational bins or baskets? (Have you heard of IKEA or The Container Store?) We also love mason jars for kitchen storage and if you find a vintage storage tin (or five) at an antique store, that’s even better!

And Last But Not Least – Sometimes we don’t know what we need, until we need it. And for those occasions, there is simply nothing that fits the bill as well as a gift card to a local hardware store. We won’t spend it, until we need it, we promise. But if you’re going for a peace-on-earth kind of message/vibe, having one of those on hand will certainly help with the peace-of-mind part of our tiny little house dwelling lives.

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I know you’re a very busy man this time of year. And I know this list may seem long. But, there are so many of us out here, I sincerely hope you will consider reading this as time well spent. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed researching it.

Thank you for being the awesome give-back kind of guy you are. And if you ever need a hand, fixing up your toy shop or painting some lovely accent colors on that sleigh of yours, you know where to find me.

Tiny Hugs and Kisses From Your Biggest Fan,

MJ Boyle

P.S. I am also selling coffee gift bags to help fund my tiny house build. If you’d like some enthusiastic help with filling all those stockings, hit me up!

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Michelle is an outgoing single mom, published author, speaker, patented inventor, blogger, craigslist stalker, enthusiastic Glamper, and Northwest native. Her interest in all-things-tiny-and-old started when she was only 12 years old. With pencil and graph paper in hand she’s more than ready for the next phase of her life. Her Tiny House, aptly named “My Empty Nest”, is the culmination of a life spent dreaming of a tiny reclaimed space, all her own.”*
Facebook Page Link:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Empty-Nest/494081560700467
Blog link: <http://mytinyemptynest.com>