I'll try to stay practical and save the sappy crap for the end. This is stuff that I actually had to find out by living aboard in 6 months so far in Maryland with no AC or fridge.
- Ants. They get in normal syrup caps, honey caps, bags of sugar, bags of splenda! Screw-top containers for all sweets are a must. Its an excuse to buy maple syrup.
- Mosquitos. They come in the evening when there is no breeze. Either make a breeze or close the window.
- Buy the smallest one. Whatever it is.
- Marine ACs and fridges are effing expensive.
- A blower is a heckuva good buy. Something like this lasko high velocity utility fan Lasko at Lowe's: 12" High Velocity Utility Fan
Basically something squat and compact that moves A LOT of air without getting in the way. If you can rig a window fan in a companionway hatch so you can get around it without it taking a spill, you're smarter than me. This utility fan can put out a match all the way across the boat, keeps mosquitos out, and it's easy for me to leave it in the cockpit and step over it.
- Boom tent. This had been mentioned. In the summer, the deck gets hot from the sun. Some radiates in, making the boat unbearable. Boom tent plus my utility fan, i'm comfortable in a maryland july. No joke.
- Cetol comes off easily with a heat gun and a scraper.
- Get comprehensive towing insurance if you sail. If you don't sail, shame on you.
- I can fill a 12 gallon holding tank in three weeks if I try hard. A beer drinking night will really tax it. It is a real pita when the tank's full, it's the middle of the night and... Anyway, if you gotta go to a pumpout dock it's good incentive to learn to single-hand!
- Boat iceboxes tend to have crap for insulation. I dropped a cooler in mine, it'll keep ice for 3 days if i'm lucky. In the end i gave up and get ice about once a month when i'm feeling beer-y.
- Put beer in clean sock, soak sock in water, place in front of blower. Evaporative cooling will get the beer below ambient. Not much but enough for me.
- Propane kicks ass, but my rice cooker/steamer is most used. It does steel cut oatmeal, grits, spaghetti, macaroni, beans, chili, steamed veg, steamed shrimp. The best thing is I can plug it into a timer and have oatmeal ready when i wake up.
- Non-perishable foods: oatmeal, rice, grits, dry beans, pasta, canned sauce, powdered milk, pancake mix, flour, yeast. Individually wrapped cheese does ok, but not american-style slice packaging, they melt out. Tortillas. Regular farmers market trips. I can really friggin believe it's not butter, I need a better fix there.
- They got camping spice shakers that hold multiple compartments, great stuff.
- Vee berth is not for sleeping. Too cramped, too cold, condensation is nuts.
- Where you gonna put your fancy road bike? I got a folding bike, keep it in my car. Brand's called downtube, like dahon but way cheaper. Recommended.
- Manual head rebuild is surprisingly easy.
- Soap won't clean the brown crap off the water line. Not even bleach. Just get the stupid hull cleaner.
- Do the varnish when you can still sleep with the companionway open and the fan blowing.
- Tank water can get nasty. Use the water tank purifier stuff. I also got a rv water purifier that screws in the hose, at the "Market of Wal".
- Marina wanted my year's fee in advance. They didn't get it
but they tell me thats how they do business.
- Buying a boat costs a LOT OF MONEY. Survey, captain for sea trial, survey haul, I PAID ALMOST $1000 TO GET A BOAT LOOKED AT.
- Man, a boat sure gets cold fast. It's my first winter so I'm learning as I go. I'm thinking cork floors and polystyrene insulation on the bulkheads, gonna get some sunbrella+thinsulate curtains made. Still wondering at an elegant foam+drop board setup. Not much info on the internet about insulating boats!
No more gunfire, dogs barking, roommates, ghetto blasters, lawn mowing, lawn edging, sweeping up grass clippings, nazi neighbors calling your landlord when you dont sweep up the grass clippings... I'm real happy I moved. I like birds OK and especially herons, just my luck there's a night heron that stands on a nearby piling some mornings and is staring in my window when i wake.
My primary advice to prospective liveaboards is, if you're a real minimalist, if you really have no problem with tight spaces, lord knows i am and i don't, then grow a friggin pair and do it.