Sometimes its the little things that can make a big difference when living on a boat. Things like being able to drink out of the sink in the head because we now have a water filtration system instead of walking to the galley in the middle of the night to get a drink. We have a TV at the foot of our bed so we can watch movies and we now have a 12 volt freezer for long term storage. I am a firm believer that if there are things you can do to make life easier or more comfortable then it is something worth doing.
Ashley and I are both outdoorsman. We like camping, backpacking and spending time in nature. I have spent weeks at a time backpacking through both the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. Ashley spent her summers as a youth driving cattle on horseback in South Dakota on her family's cattle ranch. We each don't mind roughing it and living without basic comforts, but if given the option, why not have some of those comforts? Especially since we plan to be on our boat for many years to come.
I have never quite understood this theory that living on a boat means you have to give up basic comforts. I see those who preach that refrigeration is a waste, stoves and ovens are needless, TVs have no place on boats and Air conditioning is a wasteful luxury. Why? So you can claim to be closer to nature? You're on a boat, likely anchored in paradise that you reached by harnessing the wind and few to no humans as far as the eye can see. I think that even with luxuries, you're still close to nature. Now I totally understand if you decide that there are things you don't want. There is added maintenance, larger battery banks and more systems to fail. Also there is the cost of extra things on board. Then there really are the people that want to keep things as simple as possible. Good for them I say. It just seems there is a large group who preach their superiority because they rough it.
Well off of my soap box. We decided to cough up the money and have a custom mattress made. I was shocked at how much the cost was even though it was done at a local mattress factory. Before we just had 5 inch foam cushions, now we have a real mattress. So long achy back! I also recently found a shower curtain rod at the RV store that is hinged so that it swings out to give more room. I had to modify it to fit on the boat but the difference it makes is huge! If you feel cramped in your shower, I suggest you check one of these out.
We are now having a custom dodger, bimini and full cockpit enclosure made. I cannot express my excitement at having this done. Right now we have no protection in the cockpit and we want to have a comfortable place to sit outside, protection from wind and seas and so the dog and cat can go out as well. The bimini will also allow us to mount our solar panels so we can work towards being energy independent. I will be sure to update as this project moves along.
I hope I did not offend anyone on this post, these are just my random thoughts written down. Everyone has their theory on living aboard and cruising and what is needed on board. I just like to have comforts.