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Many of you have been following along with our boating adventures on Instagram this summer since we purchased our sweet old boat with the intention of living on it part-time a couple months ago. It has been a transformative experience for us since Bob and I both have a lot of wanderlust, but at this stage in our careers and with our kids being the ages that they are, extensive travel isn’t in the cards for us in this current season of life. Making the leap to live on a boat part-time in the summer months allows us to have some pretty incredible weekend adventures while feeding our souls and giving us a place to get away from the stress of daily life. We feel immensely fortunate to have made this huge longtime dream of ours come true, and over the last couple of months we’ve been working on figuring out little ways to make our life on the boat feel both simple and easy, but slightly luxurious, too. Today I’ve teamed up with my friends at Walmart to share how we’re living our best lives on our boat this summer! And if you’re wondering if I’m already dreading fall, that answer would be a resounding yes!
Our boat is a 1988 Chris Craft Catalina 372, which is a large 37′ boat featuring two staterooms, two heads and a good sized main cabin. You can kind of think of it as a floating RV! My favorite part is easily the light-filled galley and dinette with the gorgeous original woodwork and teak and holly floors. There are some things we want to upgrade throughout the space (like the light fixtures, outdated upholstery, and adding a pretty backsplash to the galley), but overall it’s light, bright, neutral and has been the perfect backdrop for many family Monopoly games and Farkle grudge matches already. From our tiny tot to our little yellow lab to our two overgrown teenage boys, the boat has become our favorite place to be as a family and it brings us such joy to spend time floating along the St. Lawrence River.
When we started thinking about stocking, organizing and spending a lot of time on the boat, one of the first things we thought about, if not the very first, was coffee. No joke. We both love coffee and our Saturday morning coffee-sipping ritual is something we weren’t willing to sacrifice on the boat. We immediately bought a bounty of our favorite K-Cup Pods and pulled a small handful of our favorite mugs from home. We’ve recently upgraded to the Keurig K-Latte, which is the first Keurig that can make both a coffee and a latte, and is available exclusively at Walmart for an incredible price tag of only $99. The attached milk frother allows you to make lattes and cappuccinos with basically any kind of milk (almond milk is my personal favorite), which is perfect for me since I love a good unsweetened latte. I make mine on the boat using the Green Mountain Vista 44 N Espresso Roast K-Cup Pods, which make an amazing latte using the espresso shot button on our Keurig. Bob, on the other hand, prefers a simple cup of strong black coffee or even an espresso now and again, so the Keurig K-Latte gives us both the delicious coffee we want without having to stock a bunch of bulky coffee equipment on the boat. Not surprisingly, we’ve earned a bit of a reputation as being the go-to boat on the dock for coffee. On Saturday mornings you’ll find us and all of our dock friends congregating on our boat making coffee and making plans for where we’re boating to that weekend. It’s one of my favorite parts of the week!
While we have a list of things we want to invest in throughout the cabin over time, the space is so great as is that for the most part this year we’re just embracing our time on the boat without delving into a bunch of projects or expensive purchases. I did update the bedding throughout, especially in the master stateroom since I’m a bit of a bedding snob and wanted something more comfortable and stylish than what we inherited. I layered pretty jersey sheets, a lightweight woven blanket with cute polka dot pillowcases, and an embroidered comforter set for a look that I love – more importantly, the look is super versatile and allows us to layer up or down for the weather. Since we don’t always have power overnight if we’re out traveling, we’re often beholden to the temperature outside and our room can get incredibly hot when we don’t have access to run the A/C overnight. Walmart has loads of cute bedding options at amazing prices, so you can bring a touch of luxe to your bedroom, whether on land or on sea, without having to cough up a mortgage payment or two.
A lot of boaters will use paper or disposable products on their boats for practicality purposes, however, it was really important to me that we have well made pieces we could use over and over again. These sweet black enamel plates from Walmart are not only durable and look super chic, but also cut down on paper waste, which is something super important to me. Likewise, we use all cloth napkins at home, which was something I also wanted to do on the boat, so I picked up a ton of these pretty floral handkerchiefs from the accessories department in Walmart for just $1.00 each. They make amazing, super stylish cloth napkins – to clean them, I just bring a laundry bag back and forth from home to the boat to wash up napkins, hand towels, beach towels and any other laundry we might make. Those little details also make things feel a bit more chic and ever so slightly luxurious, which is honestly the lifestyle I personally gravitate toward. This is my happy place, so whatever little elements we can add simply to make the boat feel more like a resort retreat the better in my book.
Be sure to follow along on Instagram for all of our adventures this summer! I’ll be sharing more photos and Stories as we live our best summer ever. Does anyone else live on a boat or in an RV over the summer? What are your must-have little luxuries? Fill me in! I want to know all the things.
[Art direction by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson.]
This post was sponsored by Walmart. I received compensation for this post, but all opinions are my own. Read more about our editorial policies.