Julie May is a 42′ salmon trawler built in 1968, at Port Alberni Engineering on Vancouver Island. The boat was commissioned by Peter Mayede, a Ucluelet BC fisherman, who fished the boat off the west and north coast of Vancouver Island for the next 30 years.
Julie May was then sold to Lyle McMurdo, a retired logging company engineer, who spent the next eight years converting it to a live aboard yacht. Lyle was meticulous and exacting and did a wonderful job of following the original lines of the boat and converting her to pleasure boat use.
Jude Brooks and I bought Julie May about eight years ago, having finally decided to give in to a life long ambition to live full time on the water. We had previously built and lived in an 800 sq ft float house but, had moved to the city and really did try to join the rest of our generation, buying a condo and working full time. That lasted about a year, but the real estate market in Victoria BC was booming right along at that time, and the sale of the condo financed the purchase of Julie May.
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We now live in a beautiful old boat in a glorious marine environment where birds, seals river otter and fish and other live aboard boaters are our neighbours. We catch crab off our back deck and ling cod, prawns, and sometimes salmon when we are cruising. One of our kids and a new grandchild live on a nearby island 20 minutes chug away where we go often.
We live on 30 amps max when plugged into shore power and a 175 watt solar panel charging eight golf cart batteries when on the hook. We can heat with a diesel heater in the main salon or 500 watt oil filled heaters when on the dock. The boat has a 12 volt fridge/freezer that draws 4.5 amps and we cook with propane. Fresh water consumption is kept to a minimum. We often cook and wash dishes with salt water. Our heads also flush with salt water (into onboard holding tanks).
We have also given up our automobile, relying on public transportation for shopping in town and visiting friends. Haven’t missed the car at all and that decision has saved us thousands of dollars a year. We also walk a lot. Good exercise for people in their sixties.
Jude and I love living in a small space where everything has a use and we are not encumbered by a lot of “stuff” we really don’t need. We read books both in paperback and online from library. We are connected to the internet but, have not TV.
Thanks for letting us share our chosen lifestyle. More information at BC Nautical Residents Association: www.bcnr.org.