Last year, Gillian bought a 30ft. sailboat to live on, and as a project to keep busy when the lockdowns happened in Canada. Blue Moon is a 1978 Catalina 30 MK1 with a standard rig, and she bought it for $9,000 CAD. The price includes the boat, a tender, and a mooring ball in the Gulf Islands. Gillian is living full-time on her boat and in this video, she and her boyfriend Jonas share their experience spending their first winter as liveaboards.
One of the advantages of living on a boat in a central urban location like theirs is that the cost can be much lower than renting or buying property in the same area. Marinas usually charge by the foot, so with Blue Moon being just 30 ft. long, the monthly cost for Gillian and Jonas was about $500 CAD. That said, it can be incredibly difficult to get a spot like theirs because there are often long waitlists, and many marinas open these spaces up in the summer to tourists, so it's not always available as a year-round solution.
One of the main challenges of living on a boat in Canada's cold climate is that there can be a lot of condensation on the interior of the hull when the air is warmer inside than outside. Jonas and Gillian say it was their main enemy over the winter, and they had water dripping down the walls making their couch and bedding damp. They've got a small dehumidifier, they've insulated their v-berth, and they do have a wood stove that can help burn off excess moisture, but it's an ongoing problem that a lot of boaters have to deal with.
What this couple loves about living on the boat is that it feels like a cozy tiny home, and they have exactly what they need on board. It also makes them feel more self-sufficient and more connected to their consumption when they have to monitor their electricity and water use.