Lily and Hayden have been living the yacht life for three years now and have set sail to places in Australia others wouldn’t even know exist! Let’s dive into their world!


It’s easy to romanticize the idea of living on a boat – sailing off into the calm sunset, serenaded by the sounds of gentle waves lapping on the hull, and enjoying fresh fruit, cheese, and champagne in the cockpit. However, this alternative lifestyle takes preparation, resourcefulness, and the ability to adapt to changes quickly. 

Storms, safety drills, food preparation, navigation, mechanical, and electrical troubleshooting, having enough power, and internet (if you need it) – these are some of the biggest challenges you face when choosing a life at sea.

The challenges of living at sea do, however, fruit their rewards. We experience many raw encounters with incredible marine life, hike to the tallest peaks of remote islands, enjoy endless hours of watersports, source natural foods, and live and travel in one of the most ecological ways possible.



With the right resourcefulness, we’ve found that almost everything we need is around us. This lifestyle makes us feel part of the world more than just on it.

Yacht Life vs. Van Life

We started our travel journey on the road. We initially travelled Australia for three years in our 75 series Troop Carrier. The van life experience was terrific.

However, our yearning for the remote tropics, reef breaks, marine life, and freedom never seemed wholly fulfilled by what life on land could offer us. So naturally, we found ourselves moving our belongings from ‘Shelly the Troopy’ and onto ‘Haven the sailing boat’.



What we miss about van/troopy life is the ability to move quickly, source parts and food, and obtain help easily (mechanical, medical etc.).

A two hour drive is often the equivalent of a full day sailing. Plus, with sailing, you’re often in more remote areas. So, you can understand how these things can be tricky!

Day to Day Life on a Boat

Living on a boat is a unique experience that only a few curious Explorers get to experience. Living on the ocean isn’t like living on the mainland.



Typically, when the weather is good, we play, and when the weather is bad, we work. A day of play looks like freediving, foiling, paddle boarding, fishing, hiking, beach combing, scuba diving, completing citizen science surveys, and relaxing in the sun. A day of work evolves around editing content and boat maintenance.

Maintenance chores include polishing the stainless steel, servicing the winches, changing oils, servicing the engine, and everything in between.

How do you find where to stay?

Before setting sail, it’s good to look at the route you expect to take and get familiar with potential anchorages. We look at charts and satellite images to find nice sand or muddy sea-floor. We avoid bottoms like rock or coral so we don’t damage the coral or get our anchor stuck. If the ocean floor is soft or silted, that also isn’t a good place to anchor – think of the anchor pulling through the ground like a hot knife through butter.


Souring Food and Water

We typically stay out at sea as long as we can, usually 6-8 months, before we head back to port to re-provision. But everyone is different in how long they choose to stay away from land – there’s no right or wrong way to do it!

The advantage of going back to port more often is that you don’t have to prepare as much food.

Before we leave the mainland, we pickle, dehydrate, and freeze as many fruit and vegetables as possible. We also stock up on a lot of canned and jarred food for emergency supplies.



While at sea, we still try to keep some freshness in our diets. We grow sprouts and herbs, harvest coconuts, and catch fish. We also eat foods like wild-grown yams and types of seaweed. In the past, we dabbled with growing spirulina and mushrooms on board, but they struggled with the ocean life!

For water, we either catch rainwater or use a reverse osmosis desalinator, a machine that turns salt water into fresh water. The problem with desalinated water is that the water produced is stripped of vitamins and minerals. To combat this, we have a bottle of trace minerals that we continuously add to our water. And we also drink a lot of fresh coconut water – nature’s electrolyte!

OK, I want in. But I don’t know how to sail!

When we bought our sailboat, we had no clue how to sail (and no, yachts don’t come with training wheels). However, we’d spent a lot of time on power boats, so we both had boat licences and were very familiar with maritime rules and regulations, ocean courtesy, VHF radios etc.

If you’re relatively new to sailing, a good place to start learning skills is at your local sailing club. They usually have weekly races in the late afternoon, which they welcome newcomers to be a part of.



Then, read books, watch YouTube, ask people with experience questions. And, when you get your boat, start by taking short journeys and build up to the bigger ones. It’s all achievable, no matter where you are on your journey to living on the ocean. You’d be amazed how many people we meet out here started with next-to-no experience. You’ve got to start somewhere. Fair winds and following seas!

If you ever want to message Lily and Hayden about life at sea, feel free to do reach out on Instagram @thegreenertwo.