I moved onto Wisdom in September of 2012. My plan was to live on the hook and cruise while working as a dentist part time when I was back in Maryland. I spent a number of years while in school looking at different sailboats trying to find the best cruiser/liveaboard.
When I finally found my boat, she was in pretty bad shape cosmetically but wonderful shape structurally. She had been on the hard for the past three years, shut up and neglected. All the lines were covered in algae, the topsides horribly oxidized, and all the systems inside deteriorated.
When I bought her, she had 2 working light bulbs and a mostly working diesel engine. This was fine for me as I wanted to be engine-less and not rely on electricity. I had converted my electric water pump to a manual foot pump, I had no refrigeration, and I had no air conditioning.
If it was hot, I slept outside in a hammock. If it was cold, I would fire up the diesel heater and sleep in the sea berth close to the fire. It was a simple life with little to worry about. I had been 2 years in the marina and was waiting for my slip lease to run out to then cast off and live on the hook. Then I met Maddie!
When I asked Maddie to move in with me, she said she would under a few conditions:
Electric Water Pressure
Memory Foam Mattress
Exclusive use of the big closet
And so the plan went from minimalism to complexity. I installed the fridge, installed a reverse cycle heating/air conditioning, installed an electric water pump, reconnected the water heater, made a memory foam mattress, and relinquished use of the big closet.
We are now celebrating our third year in the marina! While I can't wait to cast off and go cruising, the comforts that a woman brings to a boat sure do make it nice! On hot days, the boat is nice and cool inside, the bed is very comfy and I can enjoy ice cream without stepping foot outside the boat!
It is important to remember that all of these comfort items are not necessary to keep moving. When we did our summer trip, we were able to relax and enjoy the sailing because we were not focused on the details. When the batteries ran low, we turned off the fridge. We made a solar water heater to give us a hot shower at the end of the day and had a comfy place to sleep at night!
As I look back on my time aboard, I see my first two years as getting the boat ready to go, and the past year as comfortable living. As much as I don't like the added complexity that these extra systems bring, I do appreciate having them available to use. We also kept the mindset that if any of them stop working, we won't let it stop us from having a good time!