Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Braley House Elevation Project : Sleeping on a Sailboat

You would be amazed at how many people tell us they would love to be able to sleep on a boat. I guess I might say the same thing but since I actually do sleep on a boat, I thought I would describe the experience.

Our 1969 26' Snapdragon snuggled in to our dock

Sleeping on a boat is really a wonderful experience overall. Once the sun sets and we come into our cabin, I feel like I am at home. We close up the hatch to keep the bugs out. However, we made a slight adjustment to keep us from feeling totally closed in by cutting a plexiglass window for part of our wood door. We plug in our extension cord that goes from our single outlet on the control panel and to our ultra efficient LED flat screen tv. Eric usually pours us a glass of wine and we proceed to fuss about changing our clothes, washing up in the little sink with water warmed in our electric kettle and charging our phones if needed. We have a couple of pop up led battery operated camping lights that we use until we are in bed. We could use our cabin lights, but on this old boat they are still wired to the battery and that only charges while the engine is running - which we are not doing much of right now.

Our ropes add a nice sound as they tighten and loosen with the wind and tides

Our berths are twenty-seven inches wide at their widest and go down to fourteen inches at our feet. The opening is about fourteen inches high on top of our cushions so when we add in blankets, that space becomes even smaller. Instead of a V-berth like a lot of boats, ours has two separate berths that hug the outside of the boat with a walking area between that leads into our bathroom.


We love watching the sun set on clear evenings

We crawl into our berths and situate our pillows to watch a little Netflix, Amazon or YouTube shows on the television that we mounted between us on the bathroom door. For those interested in how we can have television reception, we use my T-mobile phone with unlimited high definition data for our hotspot. Usually within 30 to 40 minutes, we are starting to nod off with the gentle rocking of the boat. I will say when we first started sleeping on the boat, I was very claustrophobic and and to really concentrate on not thinking about the fact that I was in a tiny compartment in a tiny cabin on the water where I could sink or be hit by lightning or float out to sea. Now I am much more comfortable about crawling into my berth where just turning over takes several little micro moves.

My tiny but comfy berth


The sounds. The absence of human noise is quite refreshing, although if the wind comes from the north, we can hear traffic from the highway a few miles away. We do hear the Marc train or sometimes the freight trains as they pass in the night, but they are far enough away that we don't think about them. What we do hear is geese, lots of geese. They fly in at sunset and make quite a racket. Once in a while, they make noise in the middle of the night but we don't mind. Ducks are the second noisiest and it's quite fun to hear them right outside our hull. Then we can hear owls, or the weird and awkward honk of the blue herons. Would you believe we even hear fish?! We have a lot of carp that jump out of the water around the boat and sometimes they will even wack the boat - surprising me out of my sleep. Then there are the early morning fishermen that don't know we are staying on the boat and talk as though they are the only ones around. Sometimes that is irritating; sometimes kind of funny, too. The tree frogs are starting to sing at sunset and we have a couple of bullfrogs that lend their bass notes to the evening calm. Rain is my favorite sound when it is not associated with a storm.

Love seeing the baby ducks

Overall, our boat with its dual keels is very stable and I have a hard time realizing that I am even rocking. Comically, I do notice the movement when I am off the boat and realize the ground is not moving.

This little camp light works perfectly for our little cabin at night

By morning, when the sun rises and lights up the water around us, we are refreshed. I tend to get up first as there is only so much room to walk around. I heat up a kettle of water and while I wait, I brush my teeth in the little sink we have with a manual pump whale faucet. When the water boils, I make two cups of black coffee with our AeroPress and use the rest of the hot water to take my morning sponge bath before I get dressed. Then Eric gets up and does his similar routine while I dry off the outside seats from the morning dew. We sit out there and enjoy our coffee loving the beauty and calm of the water.


Love the old parts on our boat