Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Aboard my 44' Catamaran
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I can tell you from experience that living aboard is a challenge with a family. I was lucky however and my significant other was skeptical at first and then came to love the life after the first year. Here are my suggestions, and what worked for me in my own experience.
1. Move to a warmer climate. The less resistance, the better life is aboard.
2. Get her involved in your excitement, have her invovled in all of it, show her the books, how to navigate, the boat systems, etc.
3. Get the boat underway and travel asap. Show her the unihabited islands, dolphins, fishing, sea turtles, etc.
4. Learn to meet her halfway on some things.
5. Keep your boat as large as possible. We traded our 34' catamaran for a 44' catamaran, and it was a huge difference and comfort for my significant other.
We have raised our son aboard since he was a year old. He is now three and loves the boat and gets invovled in small things for now. He knows the anchor lines, the jib sheaths, the main halyard. I am proud to be raising him this way and having him in touch with nature.
We plan on sailing to south America and then Austraila soon. I am lucky to have a job where I have that kind of flexability. It is easier for your wife once she sees the kids adhere to the lifestyle. However certain land comforts are always nice on occasions (like long showers, and the occasional buffet). Make the boat as comfortable as possible (A/C, Television, 110volt power inverters) My reasons for living on the water were similiar to yours, so baby step her into it. But get further south. NJ sucks in the winter to live aboard!