So We Bought a Boat


And we’re gonna live on it.

It’s really expensive to live in the Bay Area. As in, you can’t buy a decent two bedroom house for less than a million bucks. And we don’t have that kind of dough.

But San Francisco (and more specifically Marin County) is home. All of our friends and family (not to mention our jobs) are here. Plus we just really, really like it.


So we bought a boat

And we're gonna live on it.

We’d been paying way too much ($3,100 a month) to rent a cozy condo in Sausalito that may or may not have had some structural issues. And although we loved our little home, we couldn’t shake the feeling that we were throwing thousands of dollars away every month. A brief exploration of our real estate prospects made it clear that a traditional home wasn’t an option. So, we started thinking outside the box.

I’ve been tiny home curious for a while now. I mean, how cute are those little houses? And how on earth do people fit their entire lives into a couple hundred square feet? Turn on an episode of Tiny House Hunters, and I’m hooked.

So, we looked into buying a piece of land and plopping down a tiny house. Dreamy right? Ugh, the bureaucracy didn’t think so. Not only are there minimum square footage requirements for building a home in Marin County, but you also have to be prepared to pay fees. Like a lot of fees.

Then we got really into the idea of buying a renovated airstream. If you haven’t check out Hofmann Architecture or Mavis the Airstream yet, do yourself a favor. You’ll be considering a shiny cylindrical home on wheels in no time. The only problem with an RV is that it’s virtually impossible to find a decent place to park in Marin County.

Enter the boat.

We’d lived on a floating home in Sausalito a couple years ago – so why not go all in with a boat? A quick call to a yacht broker yielded a very promising option: The Lady’s Choice. This 46-foot beauty was in mint condition, came complete with TWO bedrooms and TWO bathrooms, and was tentatively approved as a live-aboard vessel. Plus, the seller was asking a fraction of what a comparable unit on land would cost. So what if it didn’t come with an oven, a dishwasher or a washing machine?  We’d draw inspiration from my hero, Tim Gunn and make it work.

As soon as I stepped aboard, I knew I was home. This boat was perfect. Sure, the living space is tiny, but we’d have space for everything we need. And the views from the upper deck were pretty epic.

It didn’t take long for us to make an offer. And boy, was it a process (more on that later). But, after several long and arduous weeks, we were the proud owners of a beautiful new boat.

It’s exciting and scary and overwhelming. We’re going to have to sell all of our furniture. I’m going to have to learn how to tie knots. We’ll have to make sure our dog’s life jacket still fits.

But first. We’ve got to change that name.

Jaclyn Westlake