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Adventurous Couple Living on a Sailboat Year-Round in Alaska

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Megan and Rob are a pair of adventure seekers who are working hard to create the life of their dreams. The couple bought a 1979 Cal 31 sailboat in April 2015 up in Juneau, Alaska and they’ve been living on it ever since.

They’ve added a wood burning stove in the living room and extra insulation in the v-berth to stay warm in the winters, and they’ve also installed flexible solar panels and a small wind turbine to produce their own electricity.

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Adventurous Couple Living on a Sailboat Year-Round in Alaska


Images © Venture Lives

For the first couple of years they plan to stay docked in Juneau during the week so that Megan can work at her job as a dental hygienist, while Rob has already secured location independent online work, working for a soil and water testing company. Once they’ve paid down their student debt, and paid off the boat, they plan to sail around the world. For now, they explore on the weekends and when they’re on vacation.

venture-lives-living-on-a-sailboat-in-alaska-photo-exploring-alternatives-photo-2 venture-lives-living-on-a-sailboat-in-alaska-photo-exploring-alternatives-photo-1

Images © Venture Lives

Watch the video below to take a tour of their sailboat, and to learn more about their liveaboard adventure in Alaska.

VIDEO: Adventurous Couple Living on a Sailboat Year-Round in Alaska


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Danielle is a digital nomad who is passionate about tiny spaces, living with less, reducing waste and eating plant-based food. Danielle is half of the Exploring Alternatives blog & video project. You can find more of her at www.ExploringAlternatives.ca and her Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel.
{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Sally
    November 2, 2016, 1:23 pm

    Wey Hey ! .. Good on Ya ! Wonderful ! ..

    • Natalie
      November 3, 2016, 9:09 am

      Yes 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

    November 2, 2016, 2:42 pm

    I know first hand living on a sailboat to be somewhat challenging, But I could only imagine what it is like to live aboard a sailboat in Alaska…! Not me, I’m not that brave to live in their weather conditions, especially come winter….!

    • Eric
      November 2, 2016, 7:48 pm

      Had similar thoughts to you Zachary… then I thought, hey, maybe, just maybe they have antifreeze running through their veins. LOL

      • Natalie
        November 3, 2016, 9:11 am

        Agreed 🙂 I’m not cut out for this. But kudos to them 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

      • December 4, 2016, 6:15 pm

        Antifreeze… haha! Superhuman!

  • Dave
    November 2, 2016, 3:20 pm

    Be careful with that wood stove.

    • Natalie
      November 3, 2016, 9:11 am

      🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Shane
    November 2, 2016, 5:22 pm

    I think they are in for more than they bargained for re: weather. I m Canadian and have visited friends who have their larger sailboat docked in Toronto. It’s bloody cold, Alaska is a tad bit farther north than there. By the way, why wood stove and not a multi fuelled stove???

    • Natalie
      November 3, 2016, 9:11 am

      Only time will tell 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

    • Scott
      November 10, 2016, 1:48 pm

      I would choose wood because the fuel is cheap and carbon neutral.

    • Rev
      November 10, 2016, 5:17 pm

      I bet one reason they choose wood == it’s free! From California to Alaska, the eastern Pacific is littered with millions of tons of dry driftwood.

      Although your suggestion for other heaters might work if they stay safely docked in some harbor (but safely docked is not the purpose of boats nor sailors…), electric heaters probably require too many PV panels and batteries.

      • Natalie
        November 11, 2016, 4:43 am

        I love a good wood stove 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

      • December 4, 2016, 6:22 pm


        When we first got the boat, I wanted electric everything. After learning about DC currents, the upkeep and expense, you’re right. It just requires too much. There’s definitely a balance in everything on a 31 foot sailboat. Although for the Winter, the boat is docked with a cover, and we have eco electric heaters with a dehumidifier to give her a break from the moisture.

  • Large Marge
    November 2, 2016, 7:58 pm

    How soon to Hawai’i? How soon to Baja? How long can you stay? Doing the ditch?

    Sea Gypsies forever!

    Give us a shout, we’re on the net == Large Marge and crew in Baja

    • Natalie
      November 3, 2016, 9:12 am

      🙂 haha — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Dawn Hanthorn
    November 2, 2016, 8:11 pm

    Hi Megan and Rob!! How are you liking the Kimberly Stove? We will be installing ours in a few months and would like your feedback on how it’s working for you. Be safe, stay warm, and have fun!!

    • Natalie
      November 3, 2016, 9:13 am

      I hope it’s a great one! — Tiny House Talk Team

    • Megan
      December 4, 2016, 6:11 pm

      Hi Dawn! We love our Kimberly wood stove! It works most efficiently with compressed sawdust logs. The owner is obsessed with this stove and will do anything and everything to make sure you’re 100% satisfied.

  • Peter
    November 2, 2016, 10:05 pm

    Nice video,very good.happy sailing

    November 5, 2016, 9:56 am

    Tiny, but nicely done. Would love to go sailing too. Maybe one day!

  • lynn faulkner
    November 5, 2016, 5:27 pm

    Bravo! My husband and I loved aboard sailboats for 7 years, but mostly in the Bahamas. It was a grand adventure. One caveat: Don’t succumb to thinking it would be easier on a larger boat. It isnt, and the expense will eat you alive. Best if luck.

    • Natalie
      November 7, 2016, 9:30 am

      Good advice!– Tiny House Talk Team

      • December 4, 2016, 6:13 pm

        Lynn, that’s what we keep thinking. Cheers!

  • Steve
    February 1, 2021, 1:33 pm

    Lived in S.E. Alaska for 17 years aboard our sailboat exploring amazing bays, harbors, nooks and crannies. We treated our boat like our personal “space” ship.
    Knowing how all the systems worked and how to maintain/repair everything gave us the confidence to explore confidently. Learning to harvest edible foods along shore lines and trading for salmon,crab,cod and shrimp rounded out our diet. Going ashore and walking on eel grass in our “Juneau Tennis shoes”uncovered bucket full of cockles.
    Part time teaching and boat repair (electrical,mechanical, wood and fiberglass repair kept our monetary coffer replenished as well.
    Just thought I’d give a complementary supplement to your and other’s adventures.

  • Ramie Adib
    February 2, 2021, 12:52 am

    just wanna say i scare to do this how come you not scared what make you that strong to make such great trip .

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