What do you need for liveaboard cruising? We had absolutely no idea when we started our journey. We researched anything and everything sailing, and still do!
Below is a list of useful resources we have found along the way. We have personally used most of them, while some were recommended as worthwhile.
***We will update as more useful resources are discovered.
Note: I do not own credit to any of the images on this page. Each picture will link to their respective websites.
Before we found Willow Mist, we were home, following other sailors along their journeys. We spent our days reading the blogs and watching videos of their adventures.
**We also discovered a few to follow along the way that are included below.
- S/V Delos
- Wicked Salty
- Accidental Sailor Girl
- LiveBloggin’ The ICW
- Tula’s Endless Summer
- Follow The Boat
- Those Crazy Critters
- Sailing La Vagabonde
- Where the Coconuts Grow
- Sailing Anarchy
- Zero To Cruising
- Bob Bitchin’
How do we pass the time on those windy, rainy days when we find ourselves closed inside for unpredictable periods of time? Reading and watching movies help keep us entertained enough from developing cabin fever.
**It’s also relaxing to have a great movie after a long day of sailing.
Below is a list of movies, documentaries and TV Shows great for anyone to have in the boat video library.
- Captain Ron (A must have!)
- Hold Fast (Free download)
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- All is Lost (Especially if you don’t like listening to people talk much)
- White Squall
- Deep Water
- The African Queen
- Between Home
- Dead Calm
- Maiden Trip (The youngest, a 14-year-old girl, sailing the world alone)
- Black Sails (TV Show)
- Deep Water Horizon
- In The Heart of The Sea
We do not use our paper charts often. Nor do not use a Garmin, so we completely rely on our smart phones, computer and tablet software. We couldn’t navigate anywhere without these tools, most of which are APPS. We use many of them every day, all day.
As far as checking the weather, you cannot have too many weather related resources. Download many APPS as a reminder to constantly check the weather at least 10 times a day. Check the VHF radio weather several times a day too. The weather is a matter of extreme importance to staying afloat and living out here.
**You cannot have to many weather related resources. Check the wind, tide, and current as often as possible because it can change fast and sometimes with little to no warning.
- Navionics (Free. Well worth the paid upgrade version for Sonar Charts)
- Active Captain (Free. A must have for anchorages )
- Drag Queen (A lifesaver)
- Windyty (Not available on iPhone/iPad, unless using a browser)
- Marine AccuWeather
- My Radar
- Weather Underground
- Sea Status
Other Useful Apps:
- Knots Art
- Sail Flow
- WiFi Finder
- Animated Knots
- Plex (Great app for storing all of your digital movies on a computer server, whether on your boat or in your home)
How do we get mail? We use a mail delivery service. Several mail services offer mail forwarding from a fixed postal address, to wherever you are.
Many marinas also offer mail delivery if you are staying at or anchoring near their marina. Especially the city marinas. You can also use the post office for General Delivery.
In some cases you may need a ride to pick up your mail once you dinghy to land. We prefer Uber, when available. Most locations also have communities of cruisers that can direct you in the right direction for almost anything you need in the area.
During our first year of cruising, we purchased a membership with Sea Tow. They provided us with excellent service. We had ran aground on Christmas Eve in Islamorada. He came out to tow us off of the sandbar, and even offered to tow us back to our anchorage!
We decided to switch over to US boats this year as we already use them for our West Marine membership and boat insurance. It was just easier. Either is well worth the investment in my opinion.
Marine purchases and Consignment:
Books and Guides:
- Sailing for Dummies (Some serious information here)
- Nigel Calder’s Cruising Handbook
- Skipper Bob Cruising Guides
- Glossary of Nautical Terms
- Sailing Illustrated
- Cruising Outpost
- Idiots Guide to Boating and Sailing
- Cruisers Forum (A great community)
- Mikes Weather Page
- US Coast Guard
- National Data Buoy Center
- Free Boaters Safety License
- Boat Cards
- Sail Magazine
- US Vessel Documentation
- Women Who Sail Group
- The Frugal Mariner
- Sailing and Cruising Group
- Women and Cruising
- Cruising World
- Marv’s Buoy Report
- Sailboat Cruising
- Cruising Outpost
- US Sailing Association
- Sailing World
- National Hurricane Center
- Compass Marine
- Boot Key Harbor Cruisers
- St Augustine Cruisers Net
- Port of Call St Augustine
While I know this isn’t a comprehensive list of every helpful resource for living aboard, it is what we have found useful so far. We seriously had no idea what we were doing or how we were going to do it. We learned along the way by locating every single book, link, chart, app, and manual we could find.
**We have learned alot with these resources, with so much more to learn. If you have any questions about any of the resources or notice we have forgotten one, you can contact us here.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”