Life on a sailboat

In 2018, Gene (aka Sailor-Man) and I downsized our possessions and moved aboard a C&C Landfall 48 which we named Makana2. Since then we have “lived aboard” in a marina on BC’s Fraser River and enjoyed cruising in the Salish Sea.

Moving fulltime onto a sailboat was a significant life transition and faith-stretching endeavor. I know God is up to something much bigger than I can possibly fathom. We’re experiencing His strength and provisions in new ways in this somewhat unique living arrangement.

Please scroll down for pictures of our sailboat and to discover more about what our life looks like now.

Know you are loved,


Moving aboard a sailboat was a faith-stretching endeavor.

Our liveaboard home
How did we get here?

For starters, you should know that I grew up on the Alberta prairies–a true landlubber. But I married a man who grew up on the Washington coast. Boating has always been his passion. Water-skiing and sailing are part of his make-up.

And second, it was a twenty-year process as God directed the steps which led to this time in our lives.

In 1998, on a spontaneous (and first) trip to Vancouver’s Granville Island, Gene and I walked along the wharves admiring the sailboats. That was when Gene said, “Wouldn’t it be fun to live on a sailboat someday?” I replied, “Sure, why not?” I didn’t think it would ever happen, so there was no reason to pop his joy bubble. We tucked that thought into our back pocket and returned to our lives at Camp Homewood.

A couple years later, we sold the lakefront house we’d left behind in Washington and used some of those funds to buy a 27’ sailboat. We moored it at Camp Homewood’s dock. Gene was the program director there at the time, so he developed a sailing program for teens and adults, and our boat blessed countless campers for nine years.

By the way, that boat’s previous owners had named it Makana, which is the Hawaiian word for “blessed.” We thought that was most appropriate, so we kept the name.

We sold our little sailboat to Homewood when God directed us to move to Abbotsford in 2007 to launch the Canadian office of International Messengers. Gene felt like he’d lost his right arm, but we had no option.

In August 2017, we returned from a ministry trip to Poland and, within a couple days, traveled to Vancouver Island to meet our newest grandbaby. With several hours to spare, we stopped at a marina. Which happened to have four sailboats for sale. A lady at the brokerage office unlocked them for us and invited us to take a look inside.

That’s when God said, “Now.”

“Well, Gene,” I said as we stood inside a 44’ vessel. “What do you think? We started this conversation twenty years ago. We’re healthier and stronger now than we’ve been for years. If we don’t do it now, we may never do it.”

My words shocked Gene. They shocked me too. Nonetheless, both of us felt an undeniable peace about pursuing this.

One of the first sailboats we looked at was in—you guessed it—Granville Island. We saw it twice within a couple of weeks at the broker’s insistence. Both times I felt like we were wasting our time. It was far beyond our budget. We didn’t even consider it an option.

Meanwhile, Gene spoke with a banker. “For what size loan can we pre-qualify?” he asked. The answer came back within a few days: “Your loan is such-and-such.” We were shocked again. “We didn’t ask for a loan,” said Gene. “We just wanted to know how much we could pre-qualify for.”

The banker answered, “I’ve combined the remaining mortgage of your townhouse with a loan for a sailboat. You’ll have one monthly payment at a lower interest rate than you’ve been paying for the past ten years for your townhouse. This offer is good until January 4th. Use the money by then or you’ll have to re-apply, and I guarantee that the interest rate will be higher.”

With the pressure on, we made offers on two vessels but both were refused. We felt badly that the bank loan with its appealing interest rate would be lost, but we needed a miracle to meet the deadline.

We got our miracle

But then we decided to take an afternoon off and visit Granville Island again. On a whim, I googled the sailboat we’d seen in August and September. To my surprise, the price had been reduced by $20,000. The new price put it within reason.

We made an appointment with a broker and spent four hours aboard, scrutinizing every nook and cranny. We made an offer the following week. It was significantly less than the new asking price, but it was what we could afford. Acceptance would take a miracle.

We got our miracle. Timing was everything. The end of the year had come, and the broker wanted to move it out of the marina to make room for the 2018 stock.

We had one last hurdle to clear though – finding liveaboard moorage. Especially in the Vancouver area, it is almost impossible to find a marina with liveaboard slips available without years-long waiting lists. But we found one available space, and it was the right size for our 48’ vessel.

We chose the name Makana2 because we feel as though God exponentially blessed us when He so clearly led us down this path.