Saturday, February 13, 2016

How we live on the hook

Years before leaving, Steve read everything he could find on living and cruising on a sailboat, especially if it was the “old” way. He likes to be as self sufficient as possible. Meaning as long as I agree. 

He would ramble his findings to me and what he felt was the best strategy for us. I took it all in and looked around myself and we came up with our lists of priorities for living on the hook before leaving. 

On the top of our list was ground tackle. My thoughts were go big or go home. Steve is the frugal partner where I am all about the moment. So we hunted for somewhere in the middle. He agreed with me about the importance so he had to give in on spending the money because it made sense for the future. He went between two of the newer models in anchors, the mantus and rocna. 

Mantus got scratched off the list because the mantus’ dealer couldn't figure out how to fit it on our boat. So the Rocna was our choice and we went up on the suggest weight, go big or go home. He also explained to me about the two choices we had in chain or rope and how some people use a combination of the two.  We went with all chain but our second anchor has rope. 

When living on the hook ground tackle is your foundation of your home. I want to sleep when winds are high and that can be an issue when you are depending on it so greatly. I appreciate our AIS’ anchor watch feature. It helps me sleep because I know if we move from the perimeter we set it will alert us in time give us to start the engine and reset or find somewhere safe before dragging into a fellow cruiser or worse reefs or land. 

The second thing on our list is power source. You need power, well I need power. I like having my electronics and refrigerator. So solar panels are how we regenerate power.   

Steve installed six T105 Trojan batteries because they are reliable, cheaper and easy to find around the world. He uses the charger that is matched with our Honda 2000 generator that we use to operate power tools, shop vacuum and to top the batteries off when the solar panels. Our panels are two 140 wts each. He has them where he can rotate them down in rough seas or to catch the sun better. He has a Victron monitor to view the state of charge and a Morning Star 45 amp solar regulator smart charge 10 amp. I have links to these items under our treasure chest tab. 

Next on our must have when living on the hook is a reliable dinghy. We chose the Portland Pudgy. Simple reason, she can't pop or leak air, she is stable, she rows easily, you can sail her and she is a certified life raft. She is slow but we both agree that we rather have all of the above for the price of speed. 

Another important necessity is water.  Saga Sea holds 150 gallons. We use the Seagul water filter system for our drinking water. We haven't had any problems finding free or almost free local water. Yes, Steve has to gerry can it to the boat but he says he is young and needs the exercise. So far this is working well for us. 

We enjoy living on the hook over marinas. Marinas have their place in our life, we use them when leaving our boat for any length of time. We will use them if I am left with the boat alone, simply because I don't want to handle the boat. Remember I'm not the sailor, Steve is and this is his choice, I would have a narrow boat or RV, Lol.  But, I prefer the breeze at anchor and the gentle motion. As well as the privacy and less bugs. 

In regards to sewage when living aboard we follow what the rules state in the area. We have an operating holding tank that can be emptied at a pump out station or we can manually empty it with a hand pump out at sea. 

We have a LVAC toilet with a huge hand pump. Steve loves those bilge hand pumps. We have them everywhere and many back ups. I dont mind the LAVAC system but I dont care for cleaning it because of all the caskets. 

Our laundry is usually taken to a local or business that washes and folds for a resemble price. If a place is not available I do it in the bucket. I have started using the amonia technique with my towels and sheets. 

1/4 cup of amonia with a bucket of water

I soak the items over night then in the morning I wringer them out and hange on the life lines. No need to rinse. So far so good. Luckily there is usually someone who does it so it hasn't been too much of an issue. 

Sun shades are a priority for me but it would be the same at a marina. Steve and I go around and around in regards to the shades. He knows they are needed but he also knows they are vulnerable. All I know is I want shade and protection from the elements.  One day I will have a decent place to sit outside but it might not be on Saga Sea, or with Steve. Hahah 

I can't think of anything else that might be questioned when living on the hook. If you have any please feel free to ask. I want to help you get out here as well 


  1. Great advice, i like the detail for your choices. Water jugs still with 150gallons on board with a water maker? we have 300gallon capacity but the water maker is in need of repair, not sure if that'll get checked off the list before we leave..

  2. When I wrote this we didn't have a water maker.. but we do now so haven't had to use the water just.