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So we found a boat and it has been surveyed. Better yet the survey came back with a clean bill of health. Now what?

Working with one finance company they said we can have the loan if we used our vehicles as security. At an interest rate of 10% it’s not greatest compared to the current 5% for a mortgage, but at the end of the day it isn’t a mortgage and we hope to pay it off before the 5-year term.

We were currently renting and had furniture. Not a lot but just big items we couldn’t bring onto the boat obviously. So gone was our bed, TV, cabinets, dining table, sofa, fridge, outdoor furniture and pretty much everything we owned. Gone was all the hard work we put into finding items we liked, and even some of the stuff we brought back to New Zealand from when we moved back from Australia… It all had to go. No point paying hundreds a month for a massive storage unit, especially when we don’t know when we will be living on land again. Getting rid of these things felt strangely liberating though, and the boat had all the furniture we needed anyway. We already have a fridge and TV onboard. Beds are already there and we have a dining table too.

Slowly each night we took our things on to the boat at Half Moon Bay before we moved Sognare to her new home at Bayswater Marina. We chose Bayswater because it worked for us. We can live on board there and the commute to work wasn’t too bad. A berth for rent was sitting on Trademe so I called the owner and asked if it was available. Bayswater, unfortunately, is among only a few that let you live on your boat. The rest of them have a 48-hour policy. For Auckland to be known as the City of Sails and also previously home to the America’s Cup you would think you would be able to live at all the marinas…

We took on board only the items we needed.¬†We wanted to avoid the mistake so many others write about online and make sure we keep the boat light and always ready to sail, not overloading it with stuff we don’t need.

Rule #1 – If you are bringing an item onto the boat then something must be taken off

Always (ok, mostly…) following this rule ensures we keep the boat light. Sognare is a boat first and a home second. In time we have found we really love this minimalist lifestyle.

We cut back so much and the really important, mainly sentimental items, went to storage. I hate storage units with a passion but they serve a purpose. Slowly but surely we want to downsize the storage unit too.

I elected to motor from Half Moon Bay Marina to Bayswater Marina, which is 12 nautical miles. Cadi was coming back from work and we timed it well so that we pulled up to the berth just as she got there.

Having been on Sognare for a total of an hour and a half, I attempted to reverse stern first but it didn’t go too well. Some quick throttle work and I went and tried again. Bow in worked much better. Our previous boat was nice and narrow but taking Sognare into the berth for the first time I felt I was still working out exactly how close to the dock I actually was. As a boat owner it doesn’t take long before you know how to do some expert manoeuvring, but when you have decided to live on your boat the last thing you want to do is create a gaping hole in the side on day one!

Plugging the shore power in we tripped the shore power circuit breaker, and our on-board circuit breaker, immediately. It had been a long day for myself and poor Cadi had to work most of the day so we were becoming tired and grumpy quite quickly. It took a lot of trial and error to figure out why it kept tripping but eventually we got it working. There isn’t much now that can surprise us on the boat but the first few days were definitely a different story!

The next part of the story is all about our first days living aboard… and the problems we had to solve.