Liveaboard Life: A Tiny Home at Sea

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to go out with a friend on the bay in a small boat they plan to live in part time. It gave me a chance to see what it would be like to live on a boat. Teresa Carey shares her experience here.

When Teresa Carey lost most of her possessions in a house fire years ago, she felt liberated.  “I didn’t miss a thing. It was almost like a burden lifted off my shoulders.”

This was the first step toward a more minimalist lifestyle. The second motivating catalyst was her decision to life aboard her sailboat. Before making the move she began to downsize her stuff keeping only what would fit in her car. When she finally made her move to her 27 foot sloop she had given away or sold the majority of her belongings.

Today, Teresa lives on her sailboat Daphne with no flush toilet or shower, an icebox for a refrigerator, no television and few electronics. She doesn’t see it as a sacrifice, but as an opportunity to live a bigger life unfettered by her possessions.

In this video, Teresa gives us a tour of her boat and shows us a few days in the life of a liveaboard.

Video via

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Alfred - February 16, 2011 Reply


I think is an absolutely fantastic lifestyle, I am envious! So much so, that if I were your age, I’d be taking sailing lessons….

One thing about this though, being a live-aboard (even if simply tied to the dock) may be the trickiest way to achieve a minimalist lifestyle. It certainly isn’t the least expensive. But then again, there are those vistas…

One final caution: the sea can be one of nature most unforgiving venues.

But hey, I am an old guy, don’t listen to me. Go for it!

jon - February 16, 2011 Reply

Nice job! Great video, excellent message, and I have fallen in love with about every Tiny House girl that you have featured in this blog. Why, because they are HAPPY with what’s important in life, (well, that, and they all have been cute) Honestly though, Its not all about the excellent storage compartments, or using less, wasting less, or enjoying little spaces more, or saving money (ALL good things) but, its about being in the world, talking to neighbors, and watching the sun come up, that’s Tiny House living to me.

Ryan - February 16, 2011 Reply

I think this is a great idea… but I’d go crazy living on the water, just a personal preference.

It’s inspiring how brave and adventurous she is to live like this and explore on her own.

alice - February 17, 2011 Reply

My 7 year old granddaughter and I watched this together and she got very thoughtful afterwards. So far she’s been a big fan of all the land based options but this one definitely captured her interest.

Kevin microhomesteadblog - February 17, 2011 Reply

I have been following this gal for a while now and very much envy her and her partners life.they are planning a trip north to see an iceberg this year.she has a blog.

Heather - February 17, 2011 Reply

Very cool indeed.

Kirsten - February 18, 2011 Reply

Also I posted a second video with Teresa on her relatively self-sufficient lifestyle.

liz - February 18, 2011 Reply

How can I learn how to do this? How do you get a captains license? So inspiring.

Teresa - February 18, 2011 Reply

Thank everyone for the encouraging comments. I’ll be posting more vids on my blog and surely filming a lot this summer when I begin production for an environmental film.

Kirsten did a great job with the videos and I really appreciate her doing them.


Daniel - February 20, 2011 Reply

I’ve been looking at living (or at least having) a sailboat for years.

Looks so Fun!


Anne - February 22, 2011 Reply

I had seen her video before, but am just as impressed this time around. Not only does she appear to truly believe in the benefit to the planet but she is a ‘true’ live-aboard in a ‘real’ boat, not a RV on water… with all the hard work that entails 😉 Very cool life, Teresa.

Life on a little boat – JFF 3/4/11 | Jeanne's Fun Facts - March 4, 2011 Reply

[…] Posted on March 4, 2011 by jeannesfunfacts Today’s JFF are two videos I came across on The Tiny House Blog on minimalist living on a boat.  Fair Companies produced these videos Teresa Carey’s life on […]

Merry - May 3, 2011 Reply

Hi all posters! Teresa is hosting a meetup and chat in New York this Thursday. Meet her, and learn more about her environmental documentary here:

Dan - August 4, 2012 Reply

Boy it is something I always wanted to do.

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