The shed roof is made from a clinker built boat that is 14ft long and 7ft wide at its widest point. The boat is an inshore fishing boat made between 1900 – 1910. It was placed on a frame of 4 telegraph poles with cross beams. Once in place the walls were filled in using aluminium windows from a 1940′s caravan and single glazed windows from our 400 year old farm house.
The windows are from the early 1980′s and we replaced them last year. Other walls are made of wattle and daub, a mixture of mud, clay, and straw stuck onto a woven frame. It is heated by a French enamelled stove also from the 1900′s in which I burn wood. There is also a 20w solar panel trickle feeding a leisure batter which powers 3 pairs of ultra-brite L.E.D. Lights and a 12v sound system. There is also a 12v refrigerator and a bottled gas cooker with 2 burners, a grill, and an oven. The shed is made from recycled materials except the 12v system. Continue Reading »
by Ron Miller
My “trailer on a toon” project came to fruition one evening while sitting in my backyard with my wife discussing some of the more memorable vacations we had. We both agreed that our recently purchased Chalet hard sided folding trailer was a great deal of fun, but that the lack of privacy at camp grounds was always an issue with us. We also agreed that time spent on or near the water was a high priority, and that Lake Powell was one of our favorite spots. We considered a speed boat purchase, but we both felt it would probably only see the water a few days a year. Quite simply, I blurted out, “Why not put the Chalet on top of a pontoon boat?”
The response from her was that I probably had one too many adult beverages and that it was time for bed. The idea lingered in the back of my head for a couple of months until I got the tape measure out, measured the Chalet and started making chalk marks on the driveway. Then it was serious. Continue Reading »
by Juliann Tallino
We weren’t looking to buy a boat, we definitely weren’t looking to buy a tugboat, we were just looking. We have a home in Port Townsend, Washington but the commute into the city for work was too much to do everyday, so at the time we were renting a house in Ballard (a neighborhood of Seattle). It was a nice house in a great neighborhood, but we really weren’t keen on being renters. When we saw the tug on craigslist we were just curious, but once we looked at the boat we realized we could stop being renters and have a place of our own in Seattle. A place on the water with a million dollar view.
The tug needed a lot of work, the decks needed to be replaced, the interior needed to be completely renovated, and the whole boat was in dire need of a coat of paint. But both my husband and I are comfortable with working in wood, so we decided it was a project we could handle. At first, my husband was worried the space would be too small for the two of us. I work at home and he thought I’d go stir crazy in such tight quarters. But when I thought about how much space I actually used in our rental house, I knew we could make it work. I think most people live in just a small part of their house, the rest of the space is taken up with storing stuff. Luckily we didn’t have a great deal of stuff. So two weeks after seeing the ad on craigslist, we bought a vintage wood tugboat, the Iver. Continue Reading »
Pat and Ali Schulte have been profiled on the Tiny House Blog before when they lived the nomadic life on their 35-foot catamaran and in their 1958 Volkswagen panel van. Now they are in the process of fixing up a 43-foot Spindrift sailboat and living on it with their two children: 16-month-old Ouest and another one who is on the way.
Their comprehensive and beautiful website profiles their living and working on the boat with a child in tow. They purchased the Spindrift in the San Francisco Bay area, and are living there until they can get the boat ready to sail down to Mexico. They purchased the boat for around $40,000 with money they saved up while working, and are doing much of the boat repairs themselves. For additional income Pat also does some day trading and they have written a book on their around the world sailing adventure. Continue Reading »
Tramp, gypsy, vagabond, nomad. Do you want any of these words to describe you? Robert Wells has lived most of his life as a gypsy, vagabond and nomad in various forms of vans and RVs, and documents the tips and tricks he has learned over the years on his website Cheap RV Living. He offers some fun information from people who have taken the plunge and have become full-time nomads on the cheap.
His little “How-To Guide” focuses on how to live a cheaper, lighter existence while still being independent. He discusses van conversions, boondocking, workamping, financial freedom, traveling with pets and children, safety and cleanliness issues, how to choose a vehicle, overcoming your fears, living on a boat, homesteading and working while on the road. He also shows how living a life on a $500 to $1,000 a month budget is possible.
Some of his fellow nomads discuss how they took the leap:
On a fateful day in 2006, I was struck by an idea so powerful that I stood up from my desk, walked to the personnel department and resigned. I would sell my house, the extra cars, all that important “stuff” and live on a boat with my family, and travel the seas as a free man.
Captain Keith of the Kismet
After 22 years of working at the Post Office, I was tired of not being happy with my job or my life and knew I had to do something. I remembered those happy days traveling in the travel trailer and was sure I could be happy again. I already owned my 1983 VW Westphalia, so it was the obvious choice when I decided to downsize. I wasn’t sure exactly how I would do it, or how long I could stand living in a van, but I knew it had to be better than the life I was living. I am delighted to say it has been 2 years now and I have no desire to go back to a more conventional life.
Photos courtesy of Cheap RV Living
If you love houseboats or floating homes, you may want to make a walking tour of the famous Sausalito Floating Homes part of your next trip to the San Francisco Bay area. I thought I would profile these particular floating homes because the community is maintained by homeowners and individuals rather than city officials. This makes this waterside neighborhood unique in that the designs of these homes, that are docked in Richardson Bay, are up to the owners.
The famous Sausalito floating homes community has a history that stretches over a century. During the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s improvised floating homes made from scrap wood, old tugboats, elegant ships and even old Pullman cars were built by professional artists, and since the dock areas were so small, most of the floating homes stayed small. Some of these homes are now offered as vacation rentals and there are usually a few for sale. Some of the homes have names including the Taj Mahal, the Train Wreck and the Pirate. Continue Reading »