A Couple (and Their Two Dogs!) Call This 43-Foot-Long Boat Home

published Sep 7, 2023

A Couple (and Their Two Dogs!) Call This 43-Foot-Long Boat Home

published Sep 7, 2023
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Brittainy Smith and Ryan Carter get to live full-time in a home that floats. For the past seven years, the couple, and their two dogs, have lived full-time in this Ocean Alexander 43-foot flush aft deck trawler built in 1985. Based in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, the couple of course has the luxury of exploring with their home, too.

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“Ryan was the one who wanted to originally live on a boat and did all the research, ultimately decided on this one. Ryan used a boat broker but found this boat himself on yacht world,” Smith — who chronicles #boatlife on her Instagram account, @livingaboardseattle — begins.

“What set this boat apart was really the layout, how well maintained it had been, and how sea worthy it is,” she continues. “It has taller ceilings than a lot of boats and with Ryan being 6’3”, ceiling height is important. It also has a large aft state room with an island queen size bed and a lot of storage. We looked at a lot of boats before settling on this one, and the comfort and layout was by far our favorite.”

The couple didn’t have to do any major changes to the design of the boat when they bought it, so there were no renovating challenges to overcome before moving in. But Smith does say keeping a boat in good shape takes a lot of maintenance.

“There’s always something to be done whether it’s repairing the teak aft deck, varnishing the brightwork, diving under the boat to clean the haul and change the anodes, and repairing the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. It’s a never ending project,” she admits.

When it came to the boat’s interior style, Smith says she’s never been a fan of “coastal” style, so you won’t find any seashells around. But, she does say she likes vintage pieces that remind her of the sea, so you’ll spot vintage boat art, brass accents, and more sprinkled around.

Though each room in the boat home is incredibly small, lots of built-in storage helps the couple stay organized. And even the teeny kitchen is big enough for Smith’s other passion: Sharing oil-free vegan recipes cooked on this very boat on her other Instagram account, @vegan.of.the.sea.

The key to living in such a small space, according to Smith, is to not be “afraid to purge. I go through my clothes, shoes and decor almost quarterly and bring a load to the Goodwill. I love clearing up space to either enhance a room, or open it up for something new. I hate clutter, so holding on to things that aren’t useful or loved in a small space makes no sense to me.” 



  • Throw pillows — Mostly Etsy 
  • Large rug — Amazon
  • Chair cushions — World Market
  • Plant holders — Swansons Nursery



  • Bedspread — The Joinery
  • Flamingo painting — Etsy
  • Rug — Etsy
  • Pillows — Ballard Consignment and Etsy


  • Art — Etsy
  • Hanging plant holder — Swansons Nursery
  • Small hanging mirror — Swansons Nursery
  • Brass heron — Ballard Consignment

Thanks Brittainy!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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