1. You’ve never said “not my job.”
For the most part, you’ve always been the cook, the engineer, the fireman, the medic, the naturalist, the captain, the cruise planner, and the entertainment director.
2. You wear Bateau Haute Couture to every event.
You might like to dress up on occasion, but more often than not your evening wear consists of flip flops, shorts, and a shirt — probably all looking like Jackson Pollock just got his hands on them.
3. You were upcycling before upcycling was a thing.
You’ve turned a bucket with plexiglass caulked onto the bottom of it into a beach-combing tool. You use bicycle inner tubes for emergency hose ruptures. Burlap rice bags, bits of old line, pallet wood — you save it all. What others call junk you call treasure.
4. You’ve hopped on board the tiny house movement.
You can see the charm in oddly-shaped drawers, small closets, cupboards hidden behind cushions, and storage spaces that are practically inaccessible. And you love it when living rooms become dining rooms become bedrooms.
5. You never get on a boat without a power tool.
Some people think that boating is an idle activity of sun tanning and others think sport fishing. You think of your local hardware store.
6. You understand that refrigeration is precious real estate.
Eggs, cheese, butter, jams, fruit, vegetables, leftovers — those are on a shelf or swinging in a net. You’ll defend to the death the fact that ketchup does not need to be refrigerated. Check the label.
7. The importance of conservation is not news to you.
You turn off the faucet between rinsing each dish. And before you rinsed those dishes, you washed them in saltwater. You’ve always been conscious of the environment because you know what it’s like to live with limited resources, so you make them last. When you run out of potable water, you actually have to go get more.
8. Houses are boxes, yard work is silly.
Honestly, when was the last time someone raked and mowed an anchorage?
9. Nothing should be simple, you want an ordeal.
In a house, you press a button or flip a switch. On a boat, you open a valve, light the burner, and run out of gas. Close off the propane, find the wrench, scrape your knuckles, switch tanks, repeat the process. Half an hour later: coffee and a sense of accomplishment.
10. You’re willing to be cold, wet, tired, hungry, financially broken, and risk storms and jagged reefs…
All for waking up and seeing the sunrise over the water.