Welcome to the Liveaboard Candide Website!

Since August, 1999, at 3:15 that afternoon, I’ve maintained a Web site dedicated to my experience living aboard a 38′ Hans Christian Traditional sailboat named Candide. According to Alexa (a site that tracks Website statistics), SleepingWithOars.com has received over 3 million hits since its inception!

Over the years, I’ve received thousands of e-mails from people who dream of living aboard. I’ve dispensed information about air conditioning, auto pilots, teak care, selecting a boat, choosing a marina, and slip fees. The site went for several years without an update, and readers spoke their minds. Update the site! More pictures! More stories!

Your voices have been heard. So here’s the brand-new site complete with new text, photographs, and video. I’ve also come into the 21st century, and have created the new site using WordPress. You’ll now be able to post questions directly to a discussion group and have them answered by other readers of this site (I’ll moderate the discussions to help keep them civil). You’ll also be able to view my regularly updated blog so you’ll know about my current projects and adventures on board.

A lot of people have asked how I came up with the name “SleepingWithOars” for the site. During Christmas of 2000, my sister came for a visit and stayed in Candide’s aft cabin. One morning, I went into her berth to retrieve a pair of shoes and realized that I’d forgotten to remove my dinghy’s oars from their normal storage place. They were still on the bed, and my sister had been sleeping on top of them! “Sis!,” I said, “You don’t have to sleep with those oars!” For a few seconds, she had a confused look on her face and then burst out laughing. It took a while for me to realize what she found so funny.

I then realized that I had found the perfect domain name for my Web site: SleepingWithOars. I’ve come to accept that fact that I’m no longer living a normal lifestyle. I don’t have “next door” neighbors, they’re “next hatch” neighbors. I don’t have windows, they’re “portals.” It seems rather silly to call a bath-less lavatory a “bathroom,” so I refer to it as the “head.” There are a thousand other little differences about my sailboat-based lifestyle, and I’m proud to say that I “sleep with oars!”

Maybe you’re thinking about sleeping with oars, too. When I first considered the lifestyle, I was filled with countless questions; How does one purchase a sailboat? What types of things make a boat a comfortable home? How much boat can a guy like me afford?  There were also a lot of questions that I didn’t know enough to ask; How much does it cost to maintain a boat? How will my desktop computer get electricity? How will I get a reliable internet connection on board?

Unfortunately, this information just isn’t readily available. Sure, there are a lot of books you can read and classes you can take on boating and sailing…they’ll cover things like docking, tying knots, setting sails, and the nautical Rules of the Road. But they aren’t likely to teach what you need to know to live on a boat. They generally skip details like what happens when you flush the toilet on board (it either goes overboard or into a storage tank), where the water comes from at the faucet in the kitchen sink (fresh water tanks that have to be filled regularly), and how to keep the lights on (big banks of batteries which must be kept charged).

The purpose of this Website is to help you understand the things that make a boat liveable. So sit back and fix yourself a mimosa (if it’s morning), grab a beer (if it’s afternoon), or pour a glass of wine (if it’s evening). If you’re at the office, you may want to stick with coffee for the time being. Once you’ve secured your beverage of choice, find a comfortable reading position and start following the links! Enjoy your visit here, and please share your thoughts and questions (on the discussion forum, or by sending me a private message).

One last point on this introduction. My sister, who by sleeping on top of my oars, was a bit miffed that the old site didn’t include a picture of her. “Hey, I helped you name the site, and you don’t even have a picture of me on it!” she said. So, in loving tribute to my sister (who is alive and well in Philadelphia), I hereby post not one, but a few pictures that truly captures her spirit. Please click here to see them!

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  • Jon January 9, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Moving to Jacksonville, Fl at the end of the month. Considering this lifestyle. Currently unemployeed as of 2 weeks ago. Curious, and keep us excited and informed about this wonderful way of life. Thanks, Jon

  • JR January 11, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Been reading the site off and on for a while now… I always come back because I love what you have to say and the Hans Christian! I’m so excited to see it back and updating!

    • dotyrs321 January 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks, JR! As you have probably noticed, the site’s going through a major renovation. I’m trying to redo a section each day until the main content has been rebuilt. Please keep checking back!

  • Traysee January 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    ah….someday…..someday I hope to live aboard. Your comments about what to choose on a boat was very informative.

  • Courtney January 22, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Love your site! Do you have any advice where a person can find work (unpaid is fine) on a live-aboard? I’m 26, have a degree, and am female. I’d like something like childcare, tutoring, cleaning, etc. Any ideas? I have no idea where to look.

  • Courtney January 22, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Love your site! Do you have any advice where a person can find work (unpaid is fine) on a live-aboard? I’m 26, have a degree, and am female. I’d like something like childcare, tutoring, cleaning, etc. Any ideas? I have no idea where to look.

    • dotyrs321 January 23, 2012 at 12:36 am

      Hi, Courtney! You might try http://www.7knots.com

    • Theo leclerc July 26, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      Hi, if still interested, write me for more specifics.

  • Dan January 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Keep the updates coming! I’m planning on moving dockside in a few years and need all the information I can get…

  • Rachel Schaffner January 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Your site has been extremely helpful. My husband and I are moving to LA this coming May and are planning to live aboard when we get there. We’ve chosen a sailboat as opposed to a power yacht due to the fact that we would love to be able to take it out sailing. In your experience, how often are you able to take out your boat. Does the fact that you live aboard cause you to not sail as often because it’s a hassle to stow your stuff? We’re looking at a 38-42 footer to be able to acommadate both of us.

    • dotyrs321 January 25, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      Thanks, Rachel! I’m glad you’re finding the site to be helpful. Please keep checking back over the next couple of weeks, as the site is undergoing a major overhaul and I’ve got a lot more stuff to edit and post!

      When I first moved aboard, I made myself a promise to keep Candide in a condition that would allow her to be sailed within 10 minutes. After 13 years, I’ve pretty much kept her that way! This means that EVERYTHING on board has a storage place…and I’m pretty anal about putting things back where they belong. It’s really that simple!

  • Duane February 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Have enjoyed your site for some time. Nice update! We are in the process of buying a boat now so your insights were helpful. Keep it up!

  • JB March 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Dude, so happy you updated the site. One of my all time favorites.

  • Clayton Roney March 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Where for art though Robert? The dock master said you were heading North.

  • Eric Oh May 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Your boat has a 5.5kw diesel generator. What make and where did you mount the gen set? I enjoy reading your journey on HC38T

    • Capt'n Doty July 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      Hi, Eric! The GenSet is made by NextGen in Jacksonville, Florida. I gave up the quarter berth and mounted the unit there.

  • Gary Novotny April 26, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    As a fellow sailor your thoughts on what to think about on finding the right
    live aboard place are all correct.I too am looking for that perfect place and would like to ask any captains who have sailed from and stayed in IN BLACK SOUND, GREEN TURTLE CAY THE ABACO’S, BAHAMAS to Puerto RICO for their help on choosing the best live aboard marina and haul out place to put my boat on the hard in PUERTO RICO that would compare to AYS and a great marina that had every thing you say to look for that I stayed at. in Black Sound. Any info on those live aboard
    marinas from those who are their I would greatly appreciate in making the right choice since there so many . AS I said if you stayed in the ABACOS you know what I am looking for.Planning to be in Puerto Rico
    FEB. 2017.

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