These New Yorkers Traded in Their Tiny Apartment for a Tiny Sailboat

These New Yorkers Traded in Their Tiny Apartment for a Tiny Sailboat

Nancy Mitchell
Apr 7, 2016
Victoria and Jon aboard the Scallywag, the 200 square foot sailboat they call home.
(Image credit: Max Touhey for Curbed)

For most New Yorkers, living in the city means squeezing into an apartment that people in other parts of the country would consider tiny. But one New York couple decided to forget all that and traded in their tiny apartment for a tiny houseboat.

The boat that Victoria Fine and Jon Vidar now call home isn't really a houseboat, actually — it's an approximately 200 square foot sailboat that they dock in a harbor in Jersey City. The ferry to Manhattan stops just a short walk from their door.

The boat's main room has plenty of seating, and a table that folds out for dinner parties. It can even be used to turn the surrounding benches into a bed.
(Image credit: Max Touhey for Curbed)

Victoria and Jon didn't always live on a boat: when they first moved to New York from Los Angeles, they rented a two-bedroom in Nolita, and spent weekends on the boat. But when their rent suddenly escalated (a pain that anyone who's been in New York for very long probably knows all too well), they thought, why not try living on the boat full time?

The boat's bedroom - the bathroom is on the left, and there's a small closet on the right.
(Image credit: Max Touhey for Curbed)

Living on a boat isn't without its challenges, although storage, surprisingly, isn't one of them. Victoria and Jon were already used to living in a smaller apartment, and the sailboat has little storage compartments practically everywhere — behind the benches, beneath the benches, above the benches, under the bed. There's even a small closet. (The couple does rent a storage unit for a few heirlooms and seasonal clothing.) The real difficulties are the kitchen, which is teeny, and the bathroom, which doesn't have a shower — they shower at the boat lounge in their marina.

The tiny kitchen.
(Image credit: Max Touhey for Curbed)

The couple pays only $360 to dock at the Jersey marina, which may seem like a great deal, but they caution against living on a boat to save money, because the money they save in rent they spend working on the boat. Says Victoria: "You do not save on time and you do not save on money by living on a boat. You really have to enjoy living on a boat and enjoy the work that goes with it and have the time to do it…you're going to be really bummed otherwise."

Well, there goes my plan to save thousands of dollars on rent.

Read more about sailboat life and see many more photos (including pics of Honey, the sailboat dog) on Curbed.

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