This is the story of Bobby and Linda Easton-Waller. When they became empty nesters, they moved into a boat. That one lasted about a year. Then they found this tiny floating cottage on pontoons on Craiglist and immediately bought it. And they love it!
So here’s our interview with Bobby and Linda along with a photo tour of their tiny floating cottage nicknamed the Sacramento River Floating Cottage.
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Empty Nesters Move Into Tiny Floating Cottage
What are your names?
Bobby and Linda Easton-Waller
Where are you from?
Walnut Grove, CA
How did you first become seriously interested in tiny houses?
We’ve been looking at tiny houses for years. When our youngest son left home and we became empty nesters, we decided to look at boats because they are more affordable than tiny houses. We bought an older boat and lived in it for about a year. It was leaky and cold, and we were pretty miserable that winter. We found our current boat, a floating cottage, for sale on Craigslist and bought it immediately. We love it!
What type of floating tiny home is it?
Floating cottage. It’s on pontoons. No engine or steering, so it’s just meant for living on. The previous owner added a pitched roof made of corrugated asphalt, so it looks more like a home. Because it doesn’t have a flat roof, we don’t have to worry about leaks! They also insulated the roof, which made it easier to heat and cool.
Why did you go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of it for yourself?
We wanted to simplify our lives and save money. And it’s a fun place for our kids to come and visit us. We can dive right off the front deck and go swimming!
What did you have to do to make it move-in-ready?
We bought it already built, but it needed improvements. We converted one twin size bed into a closet area and converted the other twin bed into a full-size bed. We also added a mini-split unit for heat and a/c.
Did you do you make the improvements yourselves?
We made about $5,000 in improvements. We converted the twin bed areas but had the mini-split professionally installed.
How did you figure out where to put it?
We are in a marina that allows liveaboards. We pay a slip fee of $550 per month, which includes water, garbage, and electricity.
What’s been the most challenging part about going tiny so far?
Finding room for the musical equipment. Bobby is in a band. Luckily, our boat has a lot of storage under the bed, above the bed, and in the closet area.
What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny?
We love gardening and chickens. We thought we might have to give those up, but Linda traded some graphic arts work for space behind the local community church where she has a mobile coop with 8 bantam chickens in it.
We had to go door-to-door to get permission from all the neighbors before we set up the coop – in case they had any issues with having chickens living in the area behind their back fences. Luckily they all said yes (as long as we didn’t have a rooster). The chicks lived on the boat for the first 8 weeks. One of them escaped and jumped up to the dock, walked to the neighbor’s boat, jumped over the water to get onto the boat, walked in through her open sliding glass door and “asked” to be put back into the brooder!
Also, we met people in the next town over who let us keep our beehive on their land. They also offered to share their garden space.
Going tiny has required that we reach out and meet people in our new community. Now we have new friends all over town!
Wow, that’s amazing! I love it! So what helpful piece of advice would you give to others who are interested in going tiny?
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo changed our lives. Her method of downsizing really worked for us.
Our big thanks to Bobby and Linda Easton-Waller for sharing!🙏
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