Mosaic Kids: Plans of Mosaic Voyage

<<Written by Evan, age 7 ~ Dictated to Mom>>

Our plans are to go sailing around the world. But I don’t think we can make it in one year. We are going to do so much fun stuff sailing around and finding other kids on boats. I hope we can go to Hawaii because I like the warm water. We went there once before and my mom and dad have been there several times.

We have coasters that show the Hawaiian Islands. The coasters were on the boat when we bought it.

Our boat is 40 feet long. It is a Fuji 40 sailboat. We’ve lived on it for a year now. I like it more now than when we first moved on because I didn’t want to leave my friends and my Oma and Grandpa. I feel a little bit better now because I know that we are going to stay here a little while longer.

When we leave, I will probably be pretty sad. But I will also be pretty excited for the big adventure. I can’t wait to tell you about it.

If you’re reading this and you’re a boat kid, leave a comment so that we can be friends. Let me know where you are!

Thanks for reading,



Virtual Tour of Our Home

As previously mentioned, we had TONS of friends and family attend our Renaming Ceremony and Boat Open House. Friends, family, and coworkers alike were curious what the boat is like on the inside. Just what kind of living space are we dealing with?

You can get some specifics on SV Mosaic on The Boat page, but here’s a short blog post with a tour.

Disclaimer! These photos were taken when we initially looked at the boat when she was for sale … or may even have been photos from the ad. I don’t remember, but it will give you a good feel for the layout and how beautiful she is on the inside. So obviously there’s a lot more stuff in all these spaces now, lol. If anybody out there wants a follow up tour of the space as it is currently being lived in, leave me a comment and I’ll tidy up and take some pictures!

So, for reference, here’s the layout:

Fuji 40 - sailboat data.2

At the front of the boat is the v-berth. That’s to the right in the pictures above if you’re trying to get your bearings. Just back from the v-berth is the head (bathroom) on the starboard (right) side of the boat and a big hanging locker to the port (left).

Next as you head toward the back of the boat, is our saloon, basically the equivalent of our living room. On the port side, as far to the outside of the boat as you can get, there’s a small berth, called the pilot berth. It is raised up from the main sitting level so that you have to climb up into it if you want to occupy that space. Whenever we can manage to keep that space clear, it is actually pretty comfortable to hang out up there and even watch TV. Below the pilot berth is the port side settee, or couch. There’s also the main dining table with one side that folds down to allow passage to the front of the boat. Then, to starboard, there’s an L-shaped settee, and our TV on the wall between the head and the saloon. Outboard of the settee is lots of cabinet storage and everything under the pilot berth and both settees is storage.

Moving further aft, on the port side is the galley (kitchen). We have a 3 burner propane stovetop and oven- the oven is non-functional at this point- sink, top-loading ice-box turned fridge, no freezer except the bottom of the fridge if we turn it down, ha!, and storage storage and more storage. At the center of the boat in this section is the ladder where we climb down into the boat to come and go, and beneath the stairs is the 40 horsepower diesel engine. To starboard here is the Navigation Station which we have set up as our onboard office.

Then you can move back through the doorway into the aft cabin. Our master berth is on the port side and about the size of a double bed. We have to crawl in and out of bed, not much standing headroom in the back except right in the middle of the room, so this is a little bit of a compromise, but we’ve gotten used to it. We’re below the cockpit here so the center of the room is walled off as the floor of the cockpit above. To port we have a large hanging locker just inside the door, and another smaller hanging locker under/behind the stairs out front. There’s also a short quarter-berth which is only about 4 or maybe 5 feet long. Because of the hanging locker (not shown in the graphic above as it was an owner customization built in on original construction), this berth isn’t large enough for an adult. If needed, we could have easily made this bed work for a small child or baby, but as both the kids are happy in the v-berth, this quarter berth is just used for storage.

Now, for the pictures.

The V-Berth: Kid’s Headquarters

Boat tour C

Above is the v-berth where Evan and Kali sleep. There’s a door so, yes, we can close them in up there after they’ve gone to bed. There is about 4 inches above and below the door that are open to the rest of the cabin and we’ve had a few hilarious instances with a child wanting to come out, toes or even fingers coming out the bottom of the door, pleading not to go to bed.

I love that there’s a nice built-in step up so that Kali can easily climb in and out of bed on her own. We’ve installed two child bed rails so that there’s just a fairly small opening at the step up and the kids are not likely to fall out of bed even if they move around in their sleep. You can see all of the storage spaces and, of course, under their beds is all storage as well. Above the beds in those open cabinet like spaces is where most of their toys are stored and some extra out-of-season clothes. The little door at the very front opens up to the chain locker for our anchor.

In the bottom left side of this picture you can see a couple small drawers. There are 4 of them and this is where almost all of their clothes are kept. We don’t keep a ton of clothes since we just don’t have the space. Each kid has probably 10-15 different shirts and 5-8 pairs of pants. One drawer is taken up entirely of underwear and socks, then Kali has a drawer and Evan has 2 drawers since his clothes are bigger and take more room. Sometimes he has Kali-overflow in one of his drawers though.

The Saloon (pronounced like salon – don’t ask me why!)

Boat tour D

Here is the saloon as seen from the Nav Station looking forward. Pilot berth above the settee on the port side and our fold out table.

Boat tour E.jpg

Here is the saloon as seen from the doorway of the v-berth and looking toward the back of the boat. You can see the doorway into the aft cabin and the stairs, under which resides the engine.

The Galley

Boat tour B

Pretty self explanatory: sink, stove/oven, and the large pull-up opening on the left side is the top of the fridge. It’s a pretty small space, only one person can effectively use the galley at any one time, but it will be a secure place to prep food even underway in rough seas. Lots of places to brace yourself if the boat is bucking around in the water. Of course, the stove is gimballed, meaning that it can pivot to stay level even if the boat is heeled over at an angle while sailing.

Aft Cabin: Master Bedroom

boat tour A

Here’s our bed. I don’t have a photo of the starboard side quarter berth area but you get the idea, hopefully.

So, there you have it. There’s our living space inside this 40 foot sailboat. You know, honestly, the space doesn’t seem too small to me. Brenden and I have discussed it many times and neither of us feel overly cramped living aboard this vessel. One thing that definitely helps is that there’s standing headroom throughout the boat, well over Brenden’s 6-foot-2 frame. If we didn’t have standing head room, I think the comfort level would drop drastically.

And, just for fun and because I love her so much, here is a photo of the outside. I LOVE the blue hull. She’s not super ‘salty’, but she’s a good looking boat, strong and capable.


I’m so so so happy to call her home.

As always, thanks for reading our blog! Follow along with current events on our Mosaic Voyage Facebook Page. We are a family of 4 living aboard our 40 foot sailboat in the Pacific Northwest. We plan to set off for indefinite cruising aboard our boat in the next couple years. ~Rachel

Looking Back at Last Winter

As my Facebook timeline alerted me this morning, we’ve officially been living aboard for a year today. Wow. I’m going to let that sink in for a moment. My kids are a year older, we’ve been living in this tiny space for a whole year … and the time has flown by! I honestly love this lifestyle and cannot wait for a time when we’re away from the dock more.

The nights have started turning colder. We’ve started running our heaters again which has caused me to think back to last winter on the boat. We only had one or two weeks of nice weather, after moving aboard, before the rain and cold really hit and we were blasted with one of the nastiest winters that I can remember here in the Pacific Northwest. Granted, I may have just been that much more attuned to the weather and the elements being as we’re so much more affected by it now. But, I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that last winter was a pretty harsh winter here.

I like to say that we made it through last winter and we’re still loving living on a boat so I think we’ll be OK!

So indulge me on this blog post as I recount some of the storms we weathered last winter and share some of the photos I took.

On December 8th, 2016, we had our first snowfall aboard the boat:


dec 8 first snow.b

dec 8 first snow.d

One awesome thing about living aboard a quality cruising-type sailboat is that we’ve got lots of storage (much more than you would expect in a living space of about 300 sq. feet, but this boat was made to be away from the dock for weeks or months at a time and the built in storage is nothing short of amazing) so we had stores of food packed away and we kept cozy warm inside.

Some live-aboard boats in colder climates than ours actually shrink wrap their boats in the winter time for better insulation but that’s not an option we’ve explored, although it may have helped last winter since we ended up being stranded at the dock with an inoperable engine for many months (that’s another story altogether…) but I’m hoping that this winter we may still make a few trips out onto the water on nicer days so no shrink-wrapping for us!

It would be nice if we had a wall mounted diesel heater to provide our warmth on board, but they’re expensive and we haven’t decided if we’re going to need/want that long term, at least not enough to make the purchase, so last winter we ran a couple electric space heaters to keep the boat toasty warm inside. We haven’t come up with a better option for this year, and it worked well enough last year, that we’ll probably just do the same. Of course, if we lose shore power we would lose our heat but we do have family close by that we could stay with if we ever needed to.

Last winter we saw not only snow storms, but several major ice storms which actually shut down nearly the entire Portland-Metropolitan area! We didn’t venture out of the boat much during the worst of the ice storms, but we did a few times, and afterward, to explore and get some photos of the beauty.

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Of course, Mosaic was warm inside so the worst of the snow and ice would melt away quicker on our boat than on others that didn’t have anybody living inside them- so the most dramatic photos were to be found elsewhere.

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We definitely had some days where we held tight to the kiddos out on the docks as it was treacherous to just walk around due to the layer of ice. It would be nice in the winter if the docks had a handrail, at least on one side, but they don’t.

Mostly, we stayed inside the boat where it was safe and warm, but I remember two times where the weather hit while we were away from the boat, when the dock ramps were pure sheets of ice and I had to hold Kali’s hand with one of mine to keep her at my side, as she would have simply slid down the ramp and likely off into the icy water, and with my other hand move carefully down the ramp in a controlled slide holding the handrail. Evan had to hold onto the handrail with strict instructions to go slow and stay behind me so that he could grab onto me on his way down if he were to slip and fall. Those were treacherous and somewhat scary trips from the car to the boat but luckily we didn’t have any problems.



These two photos were from a voluntary outing after one of the ice storms where Evan and I trekked up to the marina restrooms to shower. It’s hard to see it, but there’s a good half inch of ice covering that dock ramp and zero traction. Evan and I both had to hand-over-hand it both on the way up and on the way down. It was quite a workout actually.

And then, when we weren’t having ice storms, we also had some major snow events. In January, we were hit with a snow storm that ultimately dumped about a foot of snow on us at the marina, and some areas in the region got two feet or more. This was the most snow that Kali had ever seen so, of course, we had to gear up and go explore and play in it!

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Besides the ice and snow storms, it also just got really cold. I didn’t think that the water in the marina would freeze … but it did! In fact, we had well over an inch of ice all around our boat in the slip at the coldest and it stayed for a long while.

Here, the ice is just beginning to form in the water.:

jan 6.b

jan 6

And, on January 15th, Brenden’s 30th birthday, he broke this chunk of ice away from the ice surrounding our boat:

jan 15

It was strange to feel the boat moving in its much hampered space and feel it bump against the ice periodically.

So, we’ll see what this winter brings. I am definitely hoping for a milder winter- more rain, less snow and ice would be great. Or less rain, too, but we do live in the Pacific Northwest after all …rain is just a part of life here! But it sure is beautiful.

jan 28.a

Thanks for reading, and following along on our sailing adventure blog! Check out our Mosaic Voyage Facebook Page for current adventures and more day to day pictures. We’re a family of 4 living aboard on 40 foot sailboat in Portland Oregon. We love the PNW but plan to leave in a year or two for extended cruising aboard our sailboat. We’ve got dreams to travel the world! Much love and thanks! ~Rachel

Renaming Ceremony & Open House

On July 15th, 2017 we held our Renaming Ceremony & Open House aboard Mosaic. This was a project that we’d been working on for months involving a lot of details and, namely, getting the new name on the stern of the vessel.

Here’s the previous name, complete with actual graphic of Ariel, The Little Mermaid, in the flourish of the “A”.


Getting access to the rear of the boat in order to remove the old name proved more of a challenge than we anticipated. You see, our boat is built like a tank, she’s big and tough and I feel safe living aboard her, but she is very difficult to drive backwards in anything resembling a purposeful direction. She backs up, and goes to port (left). That’s about as good as it gets. This isn’t too big of an issue really. Its something that we know and understand about our boat and can work with in most circumstances. Our home slip is easy enough to reverse out of and get moving forward in the proper direction to exit the marina. We dock bow in (head first) and tie up with the front of the boat facing the main dock.

However, this configuration wasn’t conducive to getting any work done on the stern of the boat so we had to come up with a plan.

We had a lesson with a licensed captain in June and we planned to have him help us back her into the slip at the end of the day so that we could work on the name. We figured that a lot of our issue with backing the boat in a purposeful direction was due to our inexperience. Turns out that’s not the case. Even our hired captain couldn’t make her ‘behave’ in reverse. We didn’t get her backed into the slip at the end of that lesson- and that left us in a pickle.

So, we decided that the best way to go about getting her turned around was to get a few friends over to help us, back out of the slip, have tons of lines ready to throw to the various dock fingers, and muscle her back into the slip. So with Brenden at the helm, me on deck running lines, and three friends on various dock fingers, we executed the plan beautifully and managed to get Mosaic settled stern in. Phew!

So Brenden’s biggest boat project yet was ahead of him and he ended up spending several hours after work each day for a week working on grinding off the old vinyl name and then cleaning and polishing the stern to prepare it for the new name decal.




We had ordered our name decal several weeks or possibly even months earlier from Do It Yourself Lettering and we were very happy with the product. We wouldn’t have to try to line up each individual letter and they had a great selection of colors, fonts, and other options. Plus their turn around time from order to shipping and delivery was great. We’ll likely use them again for future needs. (I’d like to get the name or maybe a logo on each side of the bow!)…

It was an exciting day when this package arrived in the mail!


So we spent hours cleaning and preparing the inside and outside of the boat for the big day. We’d invited friends, family, and coworkers out to check out our new home. We set the party for Saturday July 15th and left the timeframe open from 2pm to dark so that hopefully anybody interested could work it into their day to come see what living on a 40 foot sailboat with 2 young kids is really all about.

And, true to form, Brenden and I were still trying to finish getting ready, Brenden was actually still applying the name to the stern!, when our first guests arrived! Ha!

We had an amazing turn out with probably about 50 people visiting throughout the day, touring the boat, chatting about our grand plans and seeing what it’s all about. I’m not actually sure what time it was that evening that we finally decided it was time to do the ceremony! So we brought out the champagne and gathered on the bow and at the dock for the speeches.



And then, we finally were able to reveal the new name and declare her to be SV Mosaic!



She’s our home, a huge part of our lives now, and I love her dearly. We’ve been living aboard for a year and I couldn’t be happier with the direction that we’ve decided to steer our lives. It will take time, and a lot of planning, to get where we want to go. We’ve got so much to learn, but when I look back at where we were three years ago when this dream took root, I can’t help but be proud of what we’ve accomplished.

Mosaic has a history, a depth about her- it’s like she’s got a soul and Brenden and I both felt it when we first saw her in San Diego. There’s something about this ol’ sailboat that makes me trust in her and I know that if we have the heart, if we put in the time and learn the things we need to learn, she can take us anywhere in the world and open the door to a whole different life than I ever imagined I could live. We just need to be brave enough to reach out and take it.

As always, thanks for reading this blog post, and I hope you’ll follow along on our Mosaic Voyage Facebook Page to keep up with current events and our sailing adventures! We are a family of four currently living aboard our 40 foot sailboat in the Pacific Northwest. We have cruising goals and plan to travel the world. Hope you’ll follow along on our adventure and gain inspiration of your own, as we’ve done from others! Thanks! ~Rachel

Bringing Her Home

After the boat left the boat yard on Thursday afternoon, we were finally free to enjoy the last couple days of our vacation. That evening we spent a good deal of time on the beach with the kids, getting ice cream cones, and exploring the San Diego Pier.

On Friday, we again spent hours at the beach, soaking in the sun and enjoying the warm waters of the southern California Pacific. That evening, we took a sunset stroll along the waterfront and enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the water.

9-11-16 sunset walk

Saturday morning was time to beat feet northward. We had to be home by Sunday night so we knew it would be a long couple of days in the car for the kiddos, along mostly just straight freeways. We wanted to see the Sequoias though so we planned an inland detour to visit the Sequoia National Park.

We got a phone call from the truck driver on Saturday morning though and received the news that his truck had broken down and he and the boat were sitting along the side of the freeway in central Oregon. Thankfully, the boat was fine and the driver was confident that the truck’s fix wouldn’t prove overly complicated. He did, however, need us to hurry to meet up with him to give him the 2nd half of the delivery payment so that he could have the truck repaired.

This arrangement made us more than a little nervous, but it all worked out okay in the end.

We still made the side trip to see the Sequoias, and we’re glad we did! Those trees are monstrous! Pure majesty. And the sunset we witnessed up on the mountain was the most stunning sunset I’ve seen in my entire life. Surrounded by that old growth forest, with some of the largest trees on the planet, was a borderline religious experience for me.

9-10-16 sunset

If you ever have the chance to visit the Sequoia National Park, do whatever it takes to get there.

The next day was full of driving, driving, and more driving as we rushed north to meet up with the truck driver and lay our anxious eyes on Mosaic to assure ourselves that she’d come through the breakdown no worse for wear. Finding everything to be as the driver said it was, we handed over the money and continued on up the road to Portland, with Mosaic following along behind.

Thanks for reading and please follow along on current events and adventures on our Facebook page. ~Rachel

9-10-16 family selfie


Road Trip to Bring the Boat to Portland

Well, now that I’m officially a year behind on the blog, I’ve been feeling more and more daunted by the thought of trying to catch up. So I’ve decided, after much procrastination, to lessen the burden and pressure on myself and just write a few quick posts, maybe even just one, to get us pretty well caught up to where we are and I’ll continue on with more in-depth posts from our recent adventures and projects.

We may end up going back and writing up individual, more detailed blogs on specific things we want to touch base on, but for now I want to just get caught up and start working on current events.

So, that brings us back to our family road trip to San Diego to prepare the boat for a long drive North on a semi trailer. We intended this trip to be a combination of vacation and also working to get the boat ready to hit the road. It was, but there was a lot more work involved than we initially thought (welcome to boat ownership!).

Road Trip 1

The trip started on a Friday evening, exactly one year ago, September 2nd, 2016. We had everything packed and ready to go and we left directly after getting off work on Friday night. The kids were excited to finally get a chance to see the boat which would become our home- they hadn’t seen it yet except for in pictures and video. Brenden and I were looking forward to a few days road-tripping down highway 101 along the Oregon and California coastline and taking in the beautiful sights along the way.

That first night, we made it from Vancouver WA to Coos Bay OR. We stayed in a hotel casino and the kids were SO excited to sleep in a hotel. Ha- the exuberance of childhood is infectious. Even though it was quite late by the time we made it to the hotel and checked in, the kids were pretty amped up and it took them a good 45 minutes to calm down and fall asleep in their shared bed.

The next day, Saturday, we moved inland a little in California to visit the Redwood forests of Northern California. We stayed that night, I believe, in Willits CA. On Sunday morning, we headed back to the coast, to Glass Beach and Fort Bragg for some more sight-seeing. Then on South to Salinas for the night.

Glass Beach

Monday, September 5th, we were awwed, and a little freaked out (in my case), by the ‘vista viewpoints’ along the cliffs of Big Sur. That drive was one of the most stunningly gorgeous drives I’ve ever witnessed. I was sure glad Brenden was driving – there were a few times that I had to fight off a full blown panic attack at the sheer drop off cliffs just inches from our tires.

On the evening of Monday the 5th, Labor Day, we made our way into San Diego. We had another night in a nice hotel in Coronado. The following day we took possession of our beautiful sailboat. The broker snapped this photo as we motored away from the marina where she’d been living to the boat yard where she would be decommissioned for transport.


Tuesday and Wednesday were taken up with many hours spent on the boat stowing items, removing the sails, bimini and dodger, boom, and eventually the crane to take the mast down. Brenden spent pretty much his entire day at the boat yard both days. I tried to help as much as I could but quickly came to the realization that I could help best by taking the kids elsewhere. By this time, we were all pretty beat from the long drive to get there and everything going on, so the kids and I mostly just relaxed in our AirBNB condo with its meager air conditioning.

Finally on Wednesday, the boat was hauled out of the water and I took the kids to the boat yard to see her up in the air.

Kali and boat 9-8-16

On Thursday morning, the truck arrived which would take her to Portland. Her trip didn’t go exactly to plan, but she made it. Read more about the boat’s trip north, and our return drive as well, on the next blog.

9-8-16 on the truck

Thanks for reading! Follow along on our Facebook Page for current events!  ~Rachel