Floating Newlywed Home in Boston

Our floating home

by Brian Aufiero

After dreaming and reading tiny house blogs and live aboard blogs for a few years we have made the move aboard. My wife and I live on a 1984 Catalina 36ft sailboat in Boston Harbor.

She and I sold or donated much of our furniture, clothes, and other items we no longer used. We made the move last October after being married in September of 2012. Hence the boat name, “Just Married.”

Thanks for the great inspiration to make BIG tiny decisions.

the living room

the happy couple

stove and ice box

Join Our eMail List and download the Tiny House Directory

Simply enter your name and email below to learn more about tiny houses and stay up to date with the movement.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Sailor - September 10, 2013 Reply

A nice newlywed story. but as a long time sailor and knowing organized live-aboard sailors, the couple simply moved onto a boat and the story is not very in innovative or interesting. Their set up looks like a garage work bench and hopefully in a few years it will evolve.
Perhaps you can do a story on live aboard transformations and clever use of space.
Good luck to these kids.

    wwatman - September 10, 2013 Reply

    a more interesting observation would be the inherent efficiency of boats and how/if we adapted the tiny house inherent logic, 12 volts, flex space etc. on land, we would be way ahead on getting to this place where smart shelter is acceptable. they are modeling the alternative.

    Anna - September 10, 2013 Reply

    I agree – and as importantly – do they know how cold it gets in Boston? – do they have heating baffles to put around the boat to prevent freezing Boston is frigid in Nov through April. I’m from CT – I know New England temps. Sounds like a couple of dreamers to me. I lived on a sailboat for 6 months in the Bahamas – great experience, but a more realistic environment. Yes, good luck – they will need it! This blog has become very uninteresting in the last couple of months – too bad for the changes – they are not for the better.

      Ken - September 10, 2013 Reply

      From the story, It is evident that they have already lived there thru one winter already. They said they moved in last October. So I would assume they know how cold it gets!

Elizabeth - September 10, 2013 Reply

Thanks for the inspiration.

Joseph Kelley - September 10, 2013 Reply

Hi. I like your story. I wish you two all the best. I’m wondering, where in Boston harbor are you allowed to moor your 36’er on a long-term basis? And, what is the mooring fee? Does the city issue permits or perhaps a “harbor master”?
Thanks.
Joseph Kelley
joseph_kelley_alm97@post.harvard.edu

Corri - September 10, 2013 Reply

In 1982 I was a park ranger of sorts on the Boston Harbor Islands and met a lovely man, named Eddie, who lived on a beautiful wooden boat all year round. He loved the water, his whole life was oriented to the harbor, not the land — I don’t think he knew how to drive a car, or if he did, I’m not sure he kept up his license. Good luck to the both of you. I think all the stories on the blog are helpful in different ways: as models and inspiration, how to do things etc.

Wendy Bailey - September 10, 2013 Reply

I love the story and hope there will be more to come- a blog perhaps? We had a 40 foot trawler in Port Townsend, WA, and although did not live-aboard, spent many happy times there, including a couple of Thanksgiving Dinners. I love Marina Culture- at least on the West Coast it is relaxed and friendly and there is always someone nearby asking you aboard for a drink and a chat. You are very smart to do this “just married”, before kids, mortgages, etc. come into play. I wish my husband and I had taken that leap. As far as the practical, nuts and bolts of living aboard- well- they’ll figure it out as they go along!
Good luck and best wishes for a long, happy and adventuresome marriage.

Paul - September 10, 2013 Reply

You’re very fortunate to have found in each other a shared vision. I have five acres of land up in Alaska that I dream of building an ‘off-the-grid’ tiny home on. I often wish she’d share my dream, but it’s not to be. While we have many things in common, she doesn’t want to live in a small space in a remote area.

I think your willingness to share a small space is a rare blessing. Congratulations and I wish you both the best of luck.

    Christina - September 12, 2013 Reply

    Find the place where your dreams intersect. Remote Alaska tiny is a lot to ask. Find a dream that you can dream together.

Paul Jenkins - September 10, 2013 Reply

Personally, I say well done and good luck to them!

I’m sure they would’ve done their homework before making such a decision. With the benefit of more experience (and, obviously, more money!) I’m sure they could’ve done more but not everyone is that lucky in the beginning.

I reckon they’re stepping in the right direction.

It would be nice to read their blog, if they have one?

Peggy - September 10, 2013 Reply

It is wonderful to see young love… but just a word of advice from someone who has lived in small spaces and sailed many parts of the world. The tiny house secret is ‘everything has a place’. The boat mantra is always keep it clean and always be ready to sail… so everything must regularly be stowed away. Even at anchor, storms can come awfully fast which could toss the boat relentlessly; with everything finding a place on the cabin floor.

On a boat, safety is absolutely important. You should not need to reach over a burner or hot pot to get at spices. The plastic bread is too close to a flame. And just in case you are not aware… no paper bags or cardboard should come aboard. Bugs, especially cockroaches, find this a good method of transportation and hiding. Once on board, it is almost impossible to get rid of them.

Find a place for everything, including the lines on your counter, and you will find bliss in a small space. Good luck on journey of ‘happiness together’.

Rich - September 10, 2013 Reply

I think it’s great that they are finding their “bliss”….. life is a journey not a destination, right?
I have a small technical question: is the frig/freezer gas powered, are you happy with it? Brand? Tx and congrats 🙂

laura - September 10, 2013 Reply

This is totally exactly what I want to do. I just have to get my husband on board (pun intended). 😛

gmh - September 10, 2013 Reply

I like stories like this that show us it is possible to buck the McMansion culture and do lots with a little.
I recently sold my 1800 square foot house and am buying one that is about 1100. It’s not tiny, but that will have to wait until kiddo goes to college. Baby steps, huh?
Best wishes to you both!

Hydrophilia - September 11, 2013 Reply

Wonderful! Now, if only we can get boats built with some decent insulation to deal with condensation and other issues…

Ann - September 11, 2013 Reply

Love this blog and this story! Why can’t the HATERS stay away. Read another blog. The constant negativity is such an irritant. Go read some right wing blogs…you can spew your hate with the rest of them. Stay away from inspirational, positive blogs like this one.

Allie H - September 11, 2013 Reply

Great read! Hubby and I live on a 27 ft Catalina in the San Fran Bay and it’s amazing. People ask us what living on a boat is like and we ask them, “Do you like camping?” If they say yes, chances are they could live on a boat at least part time. I’m guessing all the naysayers and professional sailors either wouldn’t like it at all, or have boats simply for sport and are happy to live on land. It takes us about 15 minutes to put things away securely enough to go sailing for the day and once you figure out your routine, you can have a well-functioning house/boat. Keep up the dream!

Br. Curt Beardsley - September 11, 2013 Reply

I hope we can get an update on their story. I know folks who lived in their sailboat in Hastings, MN. They lived there for several years and enjoyed it thoroughly. I always looked forward to the lights they strung up at Christmas time. Beautiful!

Best wishes on your marriage.

Shell - September 11, 2013 Reply

That’s a great and quite inspirational story. Many positive thoughts for a happy marriage. Would love to see a blog too. Thanks for sharing. Namaste

Paul - September 12, 2013 Reply

I have a 36ft Vanderstadt down at the pens here in Albany Western Australia – and I am just planning to move aboard for the spring and summer. Big decision, especially with a little dog. I have to work away for a few hours most days. But Hey! nothing ventured nothing gained right?
Good on those guys for sticking their neck out.

billy - September 16, 2013 Reply

Grumpy Old People. it’l come to you. Have fun. i’m 68 and still having fun. i looked to boats but to many rules, to many neighbors. just me. they certainly appear to be having fun. just remember if you are wasting doing something you like, it’s not wasted time. peace up billy

    billy - September 17, 2013 Reply

    it’s if you are wasting time doing something you like, it’s not wasted time peaceup billy

Lisa - November 13, 2013 Reply

Hi everyone!

It’s been a little over a year since we moved aboard, and so I did a little blog post about our year. If you’re interested, take a look:

http://www.msmaggiemoo.blogspot.com/2013/10/crazy-boat-people.html

Lisa & Brian

mark - February 12, 2014 Reply

LISA AND BRIAN,
CONGRATS ON THE MOVE. I SPENT TWO YEARS IN HOTELS IN SAN DIEGO AND DECIDED TO LIVE ABOARD. MOVED ONTO A 30′ CATALINA. LIVED ON IT FULL TIME FOR 6 MONTHS. THEN THE COMPANY I WORKED FOR LOST THEIR CONTRACT. THE CATALINAS ARE GREAT LIVE ABOARDS. THIS WAS A DREAM OF MINE FOR MANY YEARS. I WILL DO IT AGAIN DOWN IN BAJA. ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT. MAKE SURE YOU USE THE BOAT FOR IT’S INTENEDED PURPOSE TO GET YOU AWAY ON THE WATER. BEST OF LUC MARK

Leave a Reply: