Boat Life,  News,  Pictures,  River Queen

Hard Decisions

We have received a fair amount of questioning from friends and family about what our plans are. I knew that at some point a decision about our future would need to be made but I kind of shoved it out of my mind for a couple of weeks. However, every day The Boy needs a bit more space, A is a touch plumper (in the good pregnancy way) and I’m still, well … fleshy. So, it has become rather obvious to me that one of the requirements that we need to fill is: – we need more room.

Initially, in a fit of spittle spraying panic, I strongly suggested that we had to start looking for a furnished apartment. Of course, the panic was a result of my putting the problem out of my mind for two weeks, and then feeling the pressure of it. A. gamely played along, but I suspect that even then she knew what the plan was. The next day, she called me at work and suggested that she had an idea that she wanted to present but NOT have me shoot down without hearing it. (That’s what she has to do when I get all lathered up about something.)

When I got home she sat me down and said that not only did she NOT want to move into an apartment but that she still wanted to stay on the water. How cool is that? She then proceeded to show me a series of houseboats on Yachtworld. At first, I was thinking – “oh no, not a stinkpot” (thats what sailors call powerboaters – while we sailors are called blowhards) but A. presented the logic to me.

  • We are not going to sail around the world in the next few years, not at least until the kids are 4 or 5 yrs old.
  • Sailing the 10 or so times a season does not justify us living in such a cramped space even if this is a great bluewater boat.
  • Even though I love sailing – the sails up, sun shining, the water whispering past the hull – my family needs more room.

So, we are officially on the hunt for a houseboat. This past weekend we went to look at a couple of 40′ foot steel houseboats – River Queens. They are houseboats with a hull as opposed to pontoons – twin engine … but no sails. Oh well … dream postponed, not dream over.


  • Anonymous

    I would hate to see you go from the Alberg to a box on the water… I have enjoyed reading your (mis) adventures. Your writing has given me hope that I can one day convince my wife to consider the possibility of living aboard 🙂 I figure that if you can do it in Canada, we can do it in Boston. However, you, A., and The Boy, have to decide what is right for you…

    As a comprimise to sailing with more room, have you considered a Pilot House design? Something like this:

    Good luck!


  • Anonymous

    Hey Cool !

    Does the waterhouseboat have a guest bedroom for a visiting auntie?? that’d be awesome ! Good luck with yer search !


  • Strathy

    @Ed – I know man, it’s tearing me up! I love my Alberg but my family needs room – a centre cockpit sailboat would be great but would still have far less room than the ‘box’ we are looking at. When the time comes, I’ll come back to the Alberg (or at least the sailboat) family.

    @Dee – It does not exactly have a guest room but both ‘couches’ are pull outs and turn into nice double beds. If (and that is still a big IF) we get this boat, all our friends and family that have felt they could not visit because of where we live – ‘Come on Down!!’

    We’ll leave the light on for you…

  • Anonymous

    Is that a kitchen I see – complete with oven??? I can see why A. would be for it!!
    Hope your search turns up more”family” room!! I want to come visit some time.


  • susan

    Thanks for both your and your wife’s blog. How much does a boat like yours cost?

    I am considering living on a boat and writing for a living.

    Can you tell me a general budget for buying a boat that is comfortable for one person, hermit writer, and monthly costs?


  • Anonymous

    Glad to hear that you are staying on the water, although a houseboat is basically an apartment on the water.I have to say that you will sit on the deck eyeing all the sailboats saying “wow, what a beautiful sailboat, I wish I had one”. Will a houseboat make your heart jump like your Alberg did? I am about to sell my house and move aboard in San Francisco!
    All the best,
    “Bestfriend” (thats my internet sailing handle, it was the name of my Dad’s boat.)

  • Jamie

    I must second bowiechick’s sentiments ~ it’s not really like you’re turning to the darkside or anything! As a fellow pregnant lady living aboard, I must say that the value of slightly wider passageways may be just the ticket for your lovely wife!

  • Don

    I really enjoy your blog and all pictures on you site. I am refitting a gutted A30 and your pictures have really helped me figure it out. As a Marine Surveyor I offer a note of caution regarding River Queens (or any older steel boat; Please have an ultrasound done on the hull and the cabin sides checked with a density meter. I have surveyed several including a total loss that sunk when it encountered a minor collision with a floating object that punctured the hull where corrosion had made it very thin. It was not readily apparent with the layers of fairing compound that had been used to fair the bottom, the ultrasound revealed it right away. Many of the cabin sides had dry-rot that was hidden behind the laminates that was revealed by the density meter followed by a visual inspection by removing a small plug with a hole saw.
    Best regards, Don

  • Strathy

    Hi Don,

    Thanks for the advice. Ultrasound was done as part of the survey and some 200 readings did not turn up any thin spots. There was a fair amount of corrosion but it appears to be mostly surface corrosion due to a poor application of anti-fouling over steel. It does not appear that there was much of a barrier between the anti-fouling and the steel. Two dis-similar metals together don’t mix. It is to be sandblasted, epoxied and new anti-fouling – should be done next week. The cabin sides are solid steel and neither I nor the surveyor found any problems at all there. It needs some TLC, but that is about it.

  • Anonymous

    hey howdy, sounds like you’ve got a plan. I’ve been living on a “69 riverqueen for 10 year or better would’nt trade it for nothing but due to health have to go shoreside. If you are looking to buy a profess maintained vessel, we’re down here in mississippi on the Tombigbee (it’s paradise)

  • fester

    Hey i’ve lived on a 69 riverqueen for 10 years would’nt trade it for nothing (the experiences not the boat ) good luck you’ll need it mike

  • tracy lagondin

    Sounds like you have yourselves a good boat. I heard the riverqueen is a solid boat. I just want to thank you for creating this blog and letting us get a chance to read about your amazing lives. Your stories are really interesting, I have not met anyone else like you guys.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

− 7 = 3