Who wouldn’t want to live, work, and island hop all from the comfort of home? This is the lifestyle that Alison Hartzler and Armani Kaiser had in mind when they purchased their sailboat home. On this episode of Dream Big, Live Small, the Long Beach, California-based couple gives us a tour of their dream houseboat where they plan to live, work, and travel.
When the couple was considering their next move during a brief stint living at Hartzler’s parents’ home after Kaiser moved from England to the U.S., they knew they wanted to own their next home. “We wanted to have something that [if] we put money into it, we could possibly see it back again,” Kaiser tells In The Know. For Kaiser, who naturally enjoys refurbishing things, their sailboat, Bon Adventure, ended up being the perfect investment.
Beginning with its exterior, the boat extends a total of 55 feet and includes approximately 400 square feet of interior space plus additional seating room on the deck. Before commencing the tour of the interior, Kaiser shares that the boat had been docked for 15 years, and, as Hartzler says, was basically being used as a “garage.”
Now, the floating home features a cozy main living space with wrap-around seating that still has the original vinyl upholstery from the 1970s, which Hartzler says “still needs a little love.” One of the first areas the couple tackled for the boat’s renovation was the galley or kitchen. “Everything is built-in, and everything has multiple uses,” Kaiser explains. “So the idea is to increase the efficiency of everything.”
Beyond the renovation itself, making the move from a house to a houseboat was an adjustment for the couple. “We live here. So, if something goes wrong, no matter what it is, you have to figure out how to fix it,” Hartzler relays.
Despite the minimal space, the boat includes a cozy guest room with a private bathroom which should be up and running once fully sealed and varnished. Another hidden surprise, which happens to be one of Hartzler’s favorite spots on the boat, is their mini, pull-out coffee and tea station perched above the microwave in a cupboard.
Last but not least, the couple shows viewers the charming primary bedroom. Similar to the rest of the boat, the couple made every design choice in their bedroom with intention. Hartzler mentions that a termite infestation in the navigation station prompted her and Kaiser to demolish the whole area and extend the adjacent bathroom. More built-in shelves and cupboards occupy the leftover space for more storage.
Summarizing the bigger philosophy behind living in a small sailboat, Hartzler notes that the couple realized they value a lifestyle free from convention. “One of our dreams with the boat is to sail it to the Caribbean and go island hopping and work remotely,” Hartzler mentions before Kaiser chimes in, saying, “Imagine just working on the beach, drinking your margarita. Don’t tell our employer we’re drinking margaritas, but that’s what we’ll be doing.”
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