I’m thrilled to welcome back Soul Mate author Ryan Jo Summers to the Power of 10 series. Today, Ryan Jo discusses the advantages of living in a houseboat and shares her latest release, Upon the Tide.
Here’s Ryan Jo!
I have long had a fascination of living in a houseboat, upon the tide. I liked television shows that featured some character living such the dream. However, in feeding my fantasy, I’ve learned a couple key differences between true houseboats and floating homes, which the names are sometimes used interchangeably.
The houseboat, which can be a cabin cruiser, trawler like the one used in the story “Upon the Tide” or a yacht, must meet certain requirements. It has to be capable of leaving the dock under its own power and fulfill the US Coast Guard standard call for having seaworthy hulls, engines, navigational equipment and more. It also needs to have floatation, fuel, electronic and ventilation systems.
Floating homes, by contrast, are not considered a water vessel but a structure built on a floating apparatus–like a raft. It is not necessarily capable of independent movement.
Now, since I would much prefer the actual houseboat, like a cabin cruiser or trawler, here are the top ten advantages of living in one:
Mobility: Usually one rents the slip where the boat is docked. There is no need to pack and unpack if you want to change docks and move to a new neighborhood.
Lifestyle: Arguably one of the foremost reasons people move to the water. No lawn or yard work. Few things beat the serenity and romanticism of feeling the motion of the water and hearing the soothing sound. Sunrises and sunsets are something else to behold.
Investment: Because the supply of houseboats is somewhat limited, compared to land housing, the prices tend to stay high. It is a good return on your investment if you wish to sell later down the line. So a houseboat is a good financial decision if you have the initial funds.
Property: Speaking of funds and finances, boats are not considered real property like a house, so there are no property taxes to pay. There is, however, personal property taxes just like a car.
View: As mentioned before, the sunsets and sunrises are beyond description. And to be able to enjoy them day after day, always different, would be cheaper than all the blood pressure medication people are taking. In addition, you have a constant view of the water that can never be blocked by someone building a house or structure in front of you.
Soothing: In the same realm as health benefits, imagine being rocked to sleep each night by the natural motion of the water. Picture the gentle slap of waves lapping the hull. Imagine the salt tinged smell of sea air. Sunshine, fresh air, and who could ask for more?
Simple life: Space is a precious commodity so by nature you have to put everything in a space. By default, you have less clutter. Keeping personal possessions becomes less important over having a streamlined living space.
Wildlife: Dolphins, whales, otters, manatees, turtles, tropical birds, tropical fish and more can all be your everyday visitors depending on where your boat is installed and where you take your sailing outings to. As a side note, snorkeling and viewing coral reefs could be as simple as stepping off your deck.
Green: It’s natural to become more environmentally conscious living on a boat. You use less resources like water, fuel, paper and electricity and depend on different, greener and natural, cleaning agents. This is better for the planet.
Commute: No traffic to hassle with. Most people either work from the boat or walk/ bike to work or shopping. Therefore, there is usually not a commute to deal with.
Tossed together by happenstance, fleeing for their lives and falling in love under the Caribbean sun as paradise turns deadly.
New York Fashion designer, Piper Kincaid, just wanted a pleasant visit with her cousin down in Florida. That was before she and handsome beach bum, Kade Wyatt, become the targets of a gang of robbers and killers.
Kade simply wanted some fish for his pet seagull. Now he and the lovely exec from out of town are caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse. He’s busy concentrating on Piper when he should be focusing on keeping them alive.
Fleeing for their lives aboard Kade’s houseboat, ‘The Hightide’, they experience risk, surprises, mystery and romance during the Great Caribbean Boat Chase. However, the biggest surprises are waiting for them back at port.
“Dolphins are pretty nice animals. I like having them around. Sailors say they are a sign of good luck.”
“We certainly need some now. Maybe they’re a sign things will get better.”
Kade pondered that. Right now, it didn’t seem things were all that bad. In fact, it was almost out of a storybook. The water softly slapping the sides of the boat, the gentle rocking motion, the full moon slowly rising above, the twinkling of the stars, a salty breeze stirring around them. They were all conspiring to create a romantic scene good enough for a movie. Where the hero takes the girl into his arms and kisses her.
Kade peeked over at Piper, noticing the blush in her cheeks, the hooded way she was watching him and wondered if the same thoughts were also going through her mind. Was it possible?
First the dolphins, then the moonlight skipping along the water, the stars shining, the water playing tricks. They were a lethal mixture for one’s heart. At least his. He felt like he was falling overboard.
Years ago I loved the tv show ‘Riptide’ with Perry King and Joe Penny. Later it was Don Johnson in Miami Vice. What drew me to the weekly series was mostly the boats. In both cases one of the main star’s characters lived on houseboats. I thought that was the most incredible way to live. I don’t recall much about the plots of the shows but I remember those boats. Then country music artist Dierks Bentley arrived on the music scene, and he lived on a houseboat. Why did these guys have all the luck?
Thinking it so unfair, I created a character, Kade Wyatt, and had him living on a houseboat called ‘The Hightide’. I fell in love with that trawler and went aboard as frequently as possible in my dreams.
Now, since I work security for a fashion retailer, I am exposed to fashion and clothing to the point of almost being force fed it. However, that does have it advantages. I created a heroine who lived and breathed fashion and clothing as much as my work environment did and plunked her into Kade’s world. A fish out of water? In the Caribbean.
Interestingly, work became helpful for dressing fashion conscious Piper. I was working on a beach dance scene and took a break to go to work for the afternoon. Walking into the back area, I spotted some dresses hanging up, staged to be stored. Literally, I stopped. Immediately I envisioned Piper wearing one of those dresses at the beach and what it would do to poor Kade. I wrote that scene that night when I got home and the beach party is still one of my favorites.
Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolina author who specializes in writing romances with a twist. Love stories blended with inspirational, paranormal, suspense or time travel–or several at once. She also writes non-fiction for regional periodicals. Ryan’s dad is a songwriter and his aunt wrote poetry so she claims she came by her writing skill honestly. Apparently it’s in the genes.
Her hobbies include bird-watching, houseplants (50 ish and growing), poetry and yard work. She loves to gather with friends, hike in the forest with her dog, paint ceramics and canvas and work on wiggly word find puzzles. She lives in a 1920 cottage with a menagerie of pets. Living in the mountains, she dreams of the shore and frequently uses the water as scenes for her stories.
Where to find Ryan Jo…