Living Tiny Aboard a 100 Year Old Tugboat

Pamela has a fascinating story to share about her life aboard a 100 year old tugboat called the Zenia Sophia. From the day before she got married, Pamela and her husband Ulrich, also known as Rich, have made this boat their home, raising their two daughters on board and creating a unique and adventurous lifestyle. We'll dive into their journey from the challenges of finding moorage for their 65 foot long boat, to the exhilaration of a rocky crossing. We'll also learn about the importance of supervising children around bodies of water and get a glimpse into the vibrant liveaboard community on the Pacific Northwest Coast. So let's jump right in and discover the joys and challenges of living on the water with Pamela.

In This Episode:

  • Living on a boat ⛵️: Pamela and her family have lived a unique and vibrant liveaboard lifestyle for more than 30 years.
  • Challenges of finding moorage 🚢: Pamela shares the difficulties of finding a place to dock their 65-foot long boat.
  • Raising children around water 🚸: Pamela reflects on the responsibility of supervising kids on a liveaboard.
  • Community and support 🤝: The liveaboard community is close-knit, looking out for one another.
  • Challenges of boat maintenance and repairs 🛠️: Pamela discusses the work involved in maintaining a 100-year-old boat, including unexpected repairs and highlighting the complexities of working on a wooden vessel.
  • Unique experiences and interests 🌍: Pamela shares the unique experiences that living on a boat brings, including a rocky crossing.
  • Importance of air circulation and temperature control 🌬️: Pamela shares how they maintain comfortable temperatures and humidity levels onboard.
  • Port Townsend as a hub for wooden boats 🌲: The speaker discusses Port Townsend's reputation as a dreamland for wooden boat owners.


Links and Resources:


Guest Bio:

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki

Pamela and Ulrich have lived onboard since the day before they were married. Since 1985 their home has been a 100-year-old tugboat, now named the Zenia Sophia, after their 2 daughters who grew up onboard. Ulrich, or Rich as he prefers to be called, is a public art sculptor with major installations across the country. Pamela handles everything outside the art studio: the website, proposals, marketing, shipping, etc. Together they have crafted a unique lifestyle. Their other interests include traveling in Colombia, especially Cartagena, cooking exotic foods in the galley and, of course, continuing to work on the Zenia Sophia.

This Week's Sponsor:

Tiny House Engage Community Group

Tiny House Engage

You might be looking for more support, more information, and more interaction on your tiny house journey. My online community called Tiny House Engage is going to be opening for registration for the first time since June. That is coming Tuesday, October 10. Inside of the community, I am there answering questions, there are people living in tiny houses answering questions, people who are currently building or buying tiny houses, and tiny dreamers who are just starting their journeys. All getting together, supporting each other, talking tiny and hanging out at some really cool weekly live events that we host inside the community. If you think this might be of interest to you, you can head over to to get on the waitlist and I will send you an email as soon as everything opens up again. I'm looking forward to meeting you inside of the community.


More Photos:


Launching Day Zenia Sophia

Zenia Sophia Tugboat

Zenia Sophia Tugboat at Christmas


More Photos:


The Zenia Sophia

The Zenia Sophia cityscape view

Life on a Tugboat


Ethan Waldman 0:00

Your daughter's Do either of them live aboard? Are they are they on land now?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 0:05

No, they're they're both on land. They love to come and visit.

Ethan Waldman 0:09

Yeah, it's funny you know, like kids rebel against their parents. So if you grew up on a boat I guess you rebel by like living in an RV or I don't know

Welcome to the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast, the show where you learn to plan, build and live the tiny lifestyle. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman, and this is episode 282 With Pamela, Pamela has a fascinating story to share about her life aboard a 100 year old tugboat called the Zenia Sophia. From the day before she got married. Pamela and her husband Ulrich, also known as Rich have made this boat their home raising their two daughters on board and creating a unique and adventurous lifestyle. We'll dive into their journey from the challenges of finding morage for their 65 foot long boat to the exhilaration of a rocky crossing. We'll also learn about the importance of supervising children around bodies of water and get a glimpse into the vibrant liveaboard community on the Pacific Northwest coast. So let's jump right in and discover the joys and challenges of living on the water with Pamela on this episode of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast. Before we jump into the episode, just a quick word to anyone who is looking for more, you might be looking for more support, more information, more interaction on your tiny house journey. So I want to let you know that my online community called Tiny House Engage is going to be opening for registration for the first time since June. And that is coming on Tuesday, October 10. Inside of the community I am there answering questions. There are people living in tiny houses already there answering questions people who are currently building or buying tiny houses and tiny dreamers who are just starting their journeys, all getting together, supporting each other, talking tiny and hanging out at some really cool weekly live events that we host inside the community. If you think this might be of interest to you, you can head over to to get on the waitlist and then I will send you an email as soon as everything opens up again. That's I'm looking forward to meeting you inside of the community.

Alright, I am here with Pamela, Pamela and Ulrich have lived onboard since the day before they were married since 1985. Their home has been a 100 year old tugboat now named the Zenia Sophia, after their two daughters who grew up on board. Ulrich or Rich as he prefers to be called, is a public art sculptor with major installations across the country. Pamela handles everything outside the art studio, the website proposals marketing, shipping etc. Together, they have crafted a unique lifestyle. Their other interests include traveling in Colombia, especially carta haina, cooking exotic foods in the galley and of course continuing to work on the Zania Sophia. Pamela Welcome to the show.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 3:18

Thank you.

Ethan Waldman 3:20

Yeah, thanks for being here. We were chatting before we started recording and you asked me where I where I found you and I found a tour of the Zenia Sophia on the Tiny House Giant Journey YouTube channel and it's it's a wonderful tour which we'll put in the show notes for this video.

I guess maybe we could start I want to dive into the the history of the boat and kind of how it came to be but but for people who are just curious who are maybe just you know just tuning in, can you just talk about like, this is a tiny house podcast, how big is the living space on your boat? Like what's, how big of a house is this?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 4:00

Well, it kind of depends, because of course it's a boat. And so we don't have exactly square footage because we have a lot of curved space on the sides. Yeah, I think where we get somewhere around 1000 square feet.

Ethan Waldman 4:16

Okay, so that's that's a decent amount of space

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 4:20

It is for about it's huge. We're probably the biggest liveaboard setting right now with the biggest liveaboard in Marina.

Ethan Waldman 4:30

Wow, wow. Okay, yeah. 100 feet. That's that's long. I mean, the average tiny house on wheels is like 25 or 30 feet long. So it's...

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 4:37

oh, this is 65 feet long.

Ethan Waldman 4:40

Oh, sorry. That's okay. Sorry. I saw 100 on my notes and that's how old the boat is not how long right 100 feet would be a would be a big boat.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 4:51

Oh my god, that'd be huge.

Ethan Waldman 4:53

So, so you you raise two daughters on this boat and I, you know, in the tour, you kind of go through the whole, the whole layout, and they each had their own cabin.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 5:07

Yes, we all live down below deck. And when we had two very, very little ones, we had them both in the same bunk, it was just easier. But then they got to be older, and I realized that we can convert the other cabin. And believe me, these are teeny little spaces. These are about the size of two telephone booths. Wow, habit, you know, so, . But they got their own space. And they were really thrilled with that.

Ethan Waldman 5:36

I'm sure I'm sure. So let's, let's talk about the history of the boat. I understand that it's, it's gone through many renovations and also a name change. So maybe start at the beginning?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 5:50

Absolutely. Yeah, she was launched in 1926. As the Robert A Young, excuse me, Edward A Young. And as Tacoma Tug and Bard. So she's always been a beaded sound boat. But in 1969, she was converted from a standard tugboat into a liveaboard. And at that time, she was turned into a, the owner put two masts on her and turned it into a sailboat.

Ethan Waldman 6:24

I did not know that you could do that.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 6:26

Well, the hulls back in the 20s. Were the same for tugboats as they were for sailboats. Okay, so, these days, you wouldn't do that.

Ethan Waldman 6:37

Yeah, it seems it seems like it'd be a very different design and a lot of force in different places.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 6:42

Exactly. So there were two masks on it. Not only that it was rigged with these big square sails, like something that you think of belonged more in like the 18th century. Okay. In addition, they also had a cannon on the fourth peak. They wish they would lashed out and fire up when it was cocktail hour. That's fun.

Ethan Waldman 7:09

Maybe not like the best for small children. But it still sounds kind of fun.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 7:12

Exactly. Well, they had kids on board too. There's a lot of families that live onboard. It's always made better. And you just you talk to your kids about what's safe and what's not safe. On a regular basis. Yeah. And if they're too young to really understand, then you're simply holding on to them whenever you're outside of the interior space. Okay, so then she went through a couple of different kinds of sail riggings. She was off the Oregon Coast in Tillamook for a while and then she came up here to Puget Sound. And then when we bought her in 1995 then we eventually took her as she was an Edward A. Young until 69. And then she was the Crusader she was the Crusader from 69 until 2010.

Ethan Waldman 8:08

Now, at this point, your daughters don't live on board anymore because they're grown and they they're, they live on their own. Do either of them live aboard? Are they are they on land now?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 8:20

No, they're they're both on land. They love to come and visit. Okay, but they've done enough haulout so they get too close to the boat. Yeah, we're gonna have to go to work again. Yeah, it's

Ethan Waldman 8:33

funny, you know, like kids rebel against their parents. So if you grew up on a boat, I guess you rebel by like living in an RV or an apartment? Yeah, there you go. Well,

let like the haulout is something that you mentioned in the video. But it's I don't I don't have a sense of what what exactly that means what is entailed in that and how often does that have to happen?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 9:02

Normally we these days especially we head up the Port Townsend because Port Townsend is the Dreamland for woodenboat abilities. They have so many people there that are really knowledgeable in all sorts of different ways to boat for sail and motor because now we're motorboat. Okay, and so first we drive up the Port Townsend, and then they pick your boat up out of the water and if you are watching your home, with everything in it in slings, slowly swaying back and forth. It is completely unnerving. I'm sure. Oh, yeah. And you just hope that the guy who's running the lift knows what they're doing and they did really professional and then they sit you down in a part of the boatyard. And they put blocks underneath you so that your vertical and as horizontal as they can get to it And you work on it there. But that means climbing up and down a 20 foot ladder to get into the boat. Yep. When we went for our first big haul out, we only had our one daughter, Sophia. That was in 1995. And we were hauled out for 21 months. And living it with without, we really didn't have a sink. We didn't really have showers, we had to go use the ones outside. That's pretty normal. But then I got pregnant. And so I went through my full pregnancy, climbing up and down these 20 foot ladders, which a number of my friends thought that was crazy. But I mean that was our home.

Ethan Waldman 10:43

So that's your yet you got to get it. And it's right. So I have a couple of friends here in Vermont with sailboats. I live right near Lake Champlain. So there's there's some nice, nice sailing to be done here. Certainly nothing. Not many boats is as big as 60 feet. But like when you say Boat Yard, like I'm like, okay, that's basically like you're living in a parking lot, because that's kind of what it is.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 11:04

That's exactly what Yes, it's usually up in port townsend, and they have something that's more permeable than asphalt. That's essentially it and you're surrounded by a whole bunch of other boats that are also up on top, in the parking lot.

Ethan Waldman 11:21

So during the period of time that you're hauled out, this is like your chance to do maintenance on the on the outside of the boat.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 11:30

Exactly, that's when we replace planks. And we're an old wooden boat. And we are an old tugboat. So our planks, most planks out there, they're probably somewhere about an inch, maybe our planks are two and a half inches, two to two and a half inches thick. And they can be quite long, they can be 20 feet long. And so and we cold mold them we cold pressed them into the boat. And that is where we have all sorts of running rigging that we've got pulling the piece, this huge piece of wood in shaving off the sides to make it fit in. Exactly, it is quite the art. And we do that every single time. In the first major haulout not only were we doing that, we were also tearing into the boat and finding out that our boat was full of much more rot than we thought. So we ended up taking off the deck completely all sixty five feet of her, and then found out that all of the ribs of the boat, well, the tops of those were rotten, too. And so we had there was there was all sorts of work that we had to do, just to get it to the point that when we put a plank on that we could actually attach it

Ethan Waldman 12:43

attach it to something. Exactly. It

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 12:45

couldn't be rippled us back there. Yeah, so that was it these days, it's more making sure that our bottom is renewed. That's one major thing because you don't, you're always going to get some growth on the bottom. But you don't want a lot of bottom growth. It can wood, it can slow you down when you're going through the water. The other thing that we do is we replace zincs we have what are called sacrificial zincs. And if you don't have sacrificial zincs on the bottom of your boat, then there's something called electrolysis. And in turn your engine shaft your shaft that runs you know, that runs the propeller and turn it into Swiss cheese. Yikes. Exactly. And literally can disintegrate. So we put lots of zinc on the bottom. And then anything else that we need. And that's where our girls would come in handy in the past. You know they've been they end up doing a lot of work.

Ethan Waldman 13:52

So, yeah, well, it sounds like in exchange they got a pretty unique upbringing

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 14:00

Absolutely. Well, that's another thing I mean, our tiny house versus a lot of the tiny houses were surrounded by tideland. And so when we get these big negative tides that you have here you having on the east coast as well. You know you get them really super super low tide while we'd go out in the in the girls and go out while Rich was at work and we can wander around the tide flats, combined all sorts of interesting things. They're both living and, and manmade. As well as you know, spritz of water coming up all over the place.

Ethan Waldman 14:35

Yeah. I'd like to kind of learn more about just like I know it's probably hard to say like what's what's a day in the life like when you're raising kids on a boat, but like I'm curious, how often often do you leave? Did you leave the boat because I would imagine that you're at the end of of a long dock somewhere. And it's probably like quite an excursion to, like, get to a road and a vehicle and like, go shopping for groceries.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 15:08

Oh, it is, it is. I mean, I, you know, when especially when the girls were younger, just getting them off to school, that meant making sure that they got out of their bunks, and then get to get them up to the galley make sure they have something to eat, and wherever they were doing their homework that that went with them, and then getting off the boat when they were really little. Everybody were like this. Yeah, yeah, but but when you're going to school, and the guy out there, get all their school clothes on, I would make sure that they got on the boat, you always have a boarding ladder, but it's only maybe two or three steps with a little ones. I just pulled them off and put them on the dock. And then I would have a hand. That was why I've never had more than two children. More than two children, you need more than two hands more than two hands. Exactly. Because especially when they're little. Now they've never seen anybody walk off the side of the back, but they don't want the child to see the Coldwater, Puget Sound. So I would always have a hand with the one. And we would walk the oh gosh, every place that we were you walked at least a couple 100 feet to get up early. But as they got older, also they were able to to navigate themselves. And once they got over 10 years old, then, you know they they better be able to do what on their own younger than 10 as I do with them. The other thing is, is that we have a community there on the docks, as well. Always have other level boards, and everybody watches after everybody else and especially the kids. So it wasn't it wasn't unusual for one of my my fellow Liveaboards to yell out the gangway there, they'd open up their hatch and go stop running on the dock. That was the last thing anybody wanted to see was to see one of my kids or any of the other kids getting. Yeah, yeah. as I as I used to tell my kids, if I hear a splash there's going to be a second splash right after that. And that's going to be me going in the water after you and I'll be really mad

Ethan Waldman 17:31

really pissed. Really. So they always went to school. They didn't do any school on the boat. They went to school at a school.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 17:40

Absolutely. They went to Seattle Public Schools, all of their years. Sometimes they will be getting picked up by a school bus. But most the time I would be taking them

Ethan Waldman 17:51

okay. Okay. Um, I'm curious like theI'll preface this question with like, tiny house living in the way that many of my listeners are thinking about it, which is on a small house built on a trailer. It's it's like gaining acceptance. It's and it's gaining different places have legalized it in one form or another. But its origins are really kind of almost like, Pirate pirate living or like, you know, it's like in a true, yeah, sure. I'm curious. Like is is living is being a liveaboard full time. This is like an accepted and legal form of existing in the United States, right?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 18:40

Yes, it completely is. Now, there are some communities that have a lot of Liveaboards. Okay, I live in a very, very large Marina. We have 1400 boats. Here. We have, we have a limit of 10% of that 10% of those boats can be liveaboard. So like 140 boats. Yeah, exactly. So that's why the liveaboard community here is so large. And that's also because it's Port of Seattle, it is actually publicly owned. Okay, where's the private room is not going to be like that. But there's also a lot of people that live out on the hook. And that means that they're out in a bay, they throw down an anchor, they row in, okay. We lived in one of those places while looking for more. It's because that's the toughest thing when you're about 65 feet long is finding port. Yeah, we were in one my favorite Marina that we were in it was a little privately owned Marina. But then somebody came in and bought the marina and threw out all the boats. So we had to find a place to stay. Went to Lake Union, which is a freshwater lake here in the middle of Seattle. Okay, and then they did a huge renovation. Threw out all of their boats, we had to find another place to say we ended up being about 45-50 minutes south of Seattle. And there we were out on a breakwater. And so every morning to get the girls to school, we would get into our dinghy. And we would row in past the log booms that were covered with harbor seals and sea lions. Row in, and then we get on I5 and battled with the traffic for 45 minutes. Well, thankfully, after that we found place in Seattle, but that's not easy to do.

Ethan Waldman 20:39

Yeah, it sounds like it's probably a fairly coveted spot.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 20:44

Absolutely. Well, and it's the same thing like with tiny houses. Where do you park them?

It's a tricky thing. You know, where? Where does your water come from? Are you hooked up? Water? What about the garbage? What about? What about the? The Internet? What about you? You know, now phone these days? Because now? Yeah, cellular phone was easy. Wasn't when we first started, the telephone company would run a line from the street, all the way out to wherever our boat was? Yeah. Oh, my wires. And internet is not so easy.

Ethan Waldman 21:26

So you, you know, I'm guessing that all those things that you just mentioned, the water, the electricity, the garbage? That's all more or less provided to you by the Marina that you're staying in?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 21:39

Yes, pretty much, you have to set up a lot of that, for example, all of our toilets go into what's called a it's a black water tank. And there is a small boat that comes around every other week, and pumps out our black water tank. That's a service that that is not part of the marina. And we have to find it and make sure that that setup happens. Yeah. Yeah, internet, same thing. Yeah. And then as far as electrical, we have two systems, we have both AC and DC system that we have on board. The AC is fed by a really huge, like an extension cord. That's the cable is very, very thick. That is provided by the marina, the DC system, we have to set it up ourselves.

Ethan Waldman 22:39

So there's there's the people who I know who who either owned boats or or spent a lot of time working on boats are like the handiest people that I know if you ever need to help fixing something or carpentry, electrical anything, those are the people the boat people are the people to ask.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 22:56

Absolutely. Mostly because try and get an electrician or a technician of any sort to come out and work on stuff in the boat. And believe me, that was one of the reasons why I had a small dishwasher on board because it used less water and water tanks and we don't want to use a lot of water. But then it was not working. And I couldn't get anybody to come out here. And not only that, they'll say, Oh, well, that warranty doesn't cover it being on our own about Yes, exactly. The other thing is, is that you can't just go to IKEA and buy things or anything like that everything has to be fit into the boat. It has to be attached to the boat. You don't have a couch, you're going to have a settee and a said t is like a bench, mostly because once you're underway, and the boat is moving back and forth, forward and aft whatever. You can't have been sliding around. Everything has got to be firmly attached to the side. So yeah, absolutely. I look around at where I'm sitting right now. And absolutely everything has been put together other than the refrigerator and the stove. Other than that it's been built by our own two hands. Mostly my husband. I grunt labor I make sure he's got tools and material. He's the one who does well.

Ethan Waldman 24:20

So when you're moving, you describe moving around to these different different anchorages.

How much time and

work does it take before you can just leave because I'm guessing you do have to kind of go around and like secure things or are you pretty much ready to just drive away motor away? You know?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 24:43

Okay, we're Liveaboards and Liveaboards notorious for just sitting at the doc now I'm sure there's a bunch of Liveaboards out there going. Wait a minute, no, I sail all the time. Well, then those are the ones that have much less than we do for example. about the last time we came out of call out, we ended up staying a month later than we thought. And so we didn't come down from Port Townsend into Seattle until the middle of November. And the storms were already starting to come in. And so we knew it was going to be a rocky crossing. And so I did what's calling securing the vessel. Okay. And look at the boat, and I kind of visualize it lying on its side. And what is going to move? Yeah. So for example, we have a way that we can affix a refrigerator door. So no matter what, it doesn't come flying open, we lay down everything. And if anything is going to slide around, we make sure that it is either on the floor, it's surrounded by pillows, or whatever. And that was a crazy crossing. That was a crossing that involve big seas, big winds. And it was the most that we have ever put our boats through. And we came through Well, the boat came through with flying colors. I think our knuckles were a little bit white.

Ethan Waldman 26:09

Yeah, I bet. When you're when you're on your boat, it's your entire home and all your possessions and everything.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 26:15

Yep. It was pretty exciting. So but yeah, we we don't leave the dock very often. Because we're 65 foot not only that, we weigh 60 tons. And that's Wow, that's because we're a tugboart we got a pretty heavy. So the rule of thumb is if you're pointed at something, you better be able to pay for it if you're underway. Don't want any of it. They'll tell first out but they may not be.

Ethan Waldman 26:46

Right. Right. Your vote would basically tear right through anything that you run into.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 26:50

Oh, yeah, we're pretty sturdy. And yeah, we also have a lot of metal towards our bow. And yeah, yeah, we would make a mess of them.

Ethan Waldman 27:02

I know it's hard to compare, because you've you've you've been aboard since 1985. But it would you say that this is like a money saving lifestyle compared to you know, buying a house and having a mortgage and that whole thing? Or would you would you imagine that it's like fairly equivalent, but it's just different.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 27:23

Um, there's a couple of things by about your you are investing in a lifestyle, you are not investing, you will never get out of a boat. The money that you put in, like a car was? Yeah, exactly. So the other thing is, is that moorage or about our size is pretty extensive. We pay close to $1,800 a month for utilities and the moorage. And plus, we have other things. But so that makes it well, the way that rents are doing effectively, these days is getting together. But no, I would say by and large. It's a lifestyle that they choose because you want the lifestyle you bring to it because you're trying to get away on the cheap unless you want to live in a 30 foot sailboat. A 30 foot sailboat. Yeah. Which would be fun, but not for bringing up two kids. And and I mean, I run our business out of the boat. And we love having big parties. Yeah.

Ethan Waldman 28:41

Tell me about the parties. How many how many people have you had on this boat at once?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 28:45

Well, when we went back in the water when we had the big ceremony to change your name from the Crusader to the Zenia Sophia, which by the way involves a toast to Neptune, an impromptu poem, and everyone with a glass of wine in their hands throwing the wine onto the hull. As well as of course, you know that the classic champagne bottle against the bow. So then after that, once we got to our slip we had, we had a big party and I stopped counting. I stopped counting at around 65 or 70 people not at the same time. Okay, but this was through the evening. And you can you can we could fit at one time we can probably fit a good, good 40 people on board. Nice, but that's pretty crowded. And that's also as people on the top deck too, which quite frankly is the best view that's my favorite place. Yeah, yeah. So and then when one year we decided that we had to have a pirate party because being on a boat that was that was a fabulous I didn't expect most people to come in costume and they all did it was okay. One. Yes, we had parrot Sun shoulders and we had eye patches and somebody managed to come up with an actual sword that was scattered. And we had lots of grog.

Ethan Waldman 30:13

Nice, nice. Yeah. And also, you've got that beautiful fireplace in the back. Oh, yeah. Is it called a fireplace, what do you call it?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 30:25

We call the fire pit more than anything else because it's on a really sturdy table. And it's a metal pit that is down into the table. And then we have a couple of different layers of metal there to make sure that everything is really safe. We have a huge herd above it. And that is that is when we have 10 people or less than that's where we hang out as we hang out around the firepit we cook over that we just picked over we cooked some pecanya and poco to, pecanya is a kind of a steak and poco is octopus and we just did them the other night. My husband was quite adventurous and cook as well as the public art artists. Wow.

Ethan Waldman 31:11

An artist in many regards. Culinary. Culinary and and, and sculpture. And and, and clearly woodwork and metalwork and boat boat work.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 31:21

Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. Thank goodness, because I certainly do that. Myself. But well, finding a good team. Yeah, yep. Yep. Yeah.

Ethan Waldman 31:36

I don't know if he could do it without you. I mean, I don't know him. But

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 31:40

well, it's always a toss up, you know? Like, could he do it without me? Oh, probably not. I certainly couldn't do it without him. But he couldn't have babies without believe it. There you go.

Ethan Waldman 31:54

You have you are greater than the sum?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 31:57

Absolutely. Absolutely. Now we we keep talking about selling? Yeah. Because we're getting well, you know, we're getting older. It's like every every couple that we've ever known that slipped the board eventually has. So yeah. We don't want to do another haulout. Yeah. But boy, then we go and sit up on the top deck. And we watch the sun going down on the other side of the Olympics, and we have a cocktail. And we think, Oh, we can do another call out. We don't want to do. When is your next haul out? Well, we just had one in 21. And so we'll probably have another one and 24, 25. Definitely 26. Absolutely. 26. We have to have one. So probably 25. Yeah. And now that she's eight years old. Wow. Yeah.

Ethan Waldman 32:56

Now that now that you've like done the whole rebuilding of the bow and replacing all the rotten stuff, how long does a haul out? Like? How long does your last haul out? Take?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 33:06

Well, our last one because we redid the bow. That was we hauled out at the end of September, and we didn't go back in until the end of November. So that's for two months. That's that's fairly short. We'll probably try and keep this next call out shorter yet, but it kind of depends on what we have to do.

Ethan Waldman 33:32

Yeah. And you kind of you kind of won't know until you see it. Right?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 33:35

Exactly. We pull it out and then we go through and plus also we'll have a survey, you have to have a survey done. And out of the water survey done by a marine surveyor every five years. That's to make sure that you can get your marine insurance.

Ethan Waldman 33:53

yeah, and that that marine insurance that's like your homeowners insurance.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 33:58

Exactly, but it's a little more complicated than that because you need to have absolute marine insurance. If for example, your boat goes down, not only do you have the replacement value, well, however that comes up as a part of your insurance, but it also takes care of marine salvage and any environmental damage damage as in oil spills, or you know this kind of thing. Yeah, we ran into this because our last boat actually ended up getting burnt in a marina fire. Like you were trying to Yeah, we own that boat and the Zenia Sofia at the same time, and we were selling the older, smaller boats, but to get caught up in a marina fire. We had marine insurance, and it covered absolutely everything, including the marine salvage and the environmental cleanup. Didn't have if you just added it on to your Allstate car insurance, for example, then you are on the hook for $35,000. Yikes. Yeah. So yeah. Word to the wise

Ethan Waldman 35:13

get the marine insurance? Yep. Well, you mentioned in the video tour, that moisture can be a problem on boats. And I kind of smiled because moisture is also a problem in tiny houses. But what? What is the cause? Like? Can you say more about like, why there's a moisture issue on boats and what you do to mitigate it?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 35:34

Well, one of the things is that you need to be watertight. Sure. Yeah. So the combination of your water tight at the same time, you're living on water, and so you have a lot of moisture in the air. And so what happens is, is that it's not that it's the moist air instead, it's the moist air that doesn't move. And so one of the ways that we can get around the moisture problem is making sure that there is ventilation absolutely everywhere. So we have small fans that we use just to keep the air moving. It's not that, well, in the summertime, it's too hot, like most of the time, it's just to keep the air moving. And so when you if you don't do that, you'll go in and pull out that pair of leather boots that you had sitting in the back of your closet, and you'll pull it out in November, and there'll be covered with mold because of the moisture. So the other thing is, is that our boat has a build. And that these filters are always they always have some water that's underneath the floorboards down below. So that also the water. Yeah.

Ethan Waldman 36:50

Do you run a dehumidifier? Or is that not? It's just too much power?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 36:56

Oh, we could, we would rather make sure that we have good ventilation, that we don't have any pockets that that we can't get into we also rather than a dehumidifier which yes, that's the power that that takes is going to take away from something else, especially in the winter months. But with there's all sorts of other ways to dehumidify there's various little mineral bags that she put the renew, okay. Okay, they turn color from gold to blue. And then when they get all blue, you put him in the oven to warm them up a little bit, dry off the water and then use them again. There's any number of things, my preferred method is just to make sure what for example, we don't have any doors, we all only have curtains. Okay. And that makes a huge difference. Again, we don't want to have any stagnant air. And we anytime that we have all of the weather is at all decent, all of the windows and doors are open. Make sure that we always have that. Ventilation. Absolutely. Awesome. I didn't realize the tiny houses.

Ethan Waldman 38:15

Yeah, it's I mean, it's a little different in tiny houses. It's more just, it's such a small space and you've got your, your living there, you're creating this warm moist air from breathing and from cooking. And it can become an issue if the if it's not properly vapor sealed. And so you can get moisture buildup on the walls on the Windows or even worse inside of the walls. And then you can end up with mold problems. Right, exactly. And one of the the other things that we did was that when we rebuilt this boat from the deck on up, we have a lot of insulation. Right? Yeah. absolutely everywhere. And at least two and a half inches thick.

Oh, yeah, I wanted to ask about heat because I know that you know, it doesn't ever get super cold in Seattle, but it's also like, the winters are long and gray and like chilly. Oh, yeah. And the water, as you already mentioned, the water is cold. So you're basically like, your whole house is kind of sitting in this cool, damp bath. So how do you keep it how do you keep the boat?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 39:27

Well, one thing is, is that down below, Puget Sound never gets colder than 48 degrees, that's pretty much about as cold as it's gonna get. So that means it's never going to be 35 degrees or three degrees. And that provides a certain amount of insulation, so to know that you're never going to get colder than 48 degrees down in the lower parts of the boat and of course heat rises. So what we have is we finally after going through all sorts of different things we've gone through several different kinds of woodstoves. And so now we have a small pellet stove down below. And that is wonderful. It can warm up the entire boat and but that's where really cold days, that's for days that are down in the 40s or is 30. And when it is in the upper 40s, then it's kind of a tricky spot. And then we have the there they look like radiators but to plug them in their oil fields. And they have to because those are the safest and they also draw the least amount of electricity. Okay, and so we have a couple of those that we'll use to just kind of keep you comfortable. And then you were fixed back from left to sweater.

Ethan Waldman 40:52

Yeah, nice. All right.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 40:56

The other thing is, is that we also have a woodstove in the galley. And so when we get up first thing in the morning and we're sitting around having our coffee if it's too cold, then we crank up the woodstove and that would he gets us really toasty warm in a short amount of time, and then we'll just let that for now. That sounds great. Do you

Ethan Waldman 41:20

do you have or have you ever had any pets on board? Is this something that do people have dogs and cats? Absolutely. I've got my I've got my liveaboard basset hound right here.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 41:30

There you go. Yeah, we had, we had three cats, one after another. But we had a hard time because there are kids, we're always letting them out until they'd wander around the marina. And sometimes they'd end up in somebody else's boat. So then we finally decided, okay, so the last one we gave away to this wonderful family that was on the other side of the mountains. And then we got our first dog and dogs stick close to home. Yeah, never any problem with that. So and our first dog Romeo, he had long hair, he was such a sweetheart. He was probably about 50 pounds. And then the last dog that we had this past we. She's 25. He passed away about almost two years ago. And we want to get another dog because it's so wonderful to have on board. Yeah. You know, anybody who's a dog lover knows what I'm talking about?

Ethan Waldman 42:34

Well I don't want I don't mean to get to like graphic for people. But where does the dog go to the bathroom? I'm

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 42:40

not on board. Yeah, well, yeah, take them off. You got that that's gonna be almost a demand is that

Ethan Waldman 42:49

they have to learn to walk all the way to shore?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 42:54

Oh, no. You pick up their poop on the dock. And?

Ethan Waldman 43:00

I mean, okay. Fair. Fair. Is that all?

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 43:08

That always guarantees that the dog gets a good walk? Yes, there. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Nice. Nice.

Ethan Waldman 43:17

Well, I'm curious. You know, I hope that somebody listens to this or more than one somebody listen to this and says, you know, I, I'm interested in doing the liveaboard thing. Do you have any, any recommended resources books, YouTube channels, just, you know, what do you recommend to people, when they say, Hello, I want to I want to do this, I want to get into this.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 43:37

Okay, if you want to live on board, this is the first thing that I would tell you to do. Go to a boatyard. watch somebody go through a haulout. And that's going to be part of what you're going to do as a homeowner. The other thing is, is say, oh, yeah, 30 foot sailboat, that's enough room, well look around at your belongings and decide how much of that you want to get rid of or pay for storage endlessly. Now, that's the other thing. I mean, a lot of people, they don't want to move on board because they realize that they're going to have to cut down on the layout. Same thing with tiny houses, they live in a tiny house, you have to say, I'm only going to keep the things that are important to me. Yeah. So that's one of the other things. The third thing that I would say would be if you're with a partner, make sure that your partner is as enthusiastic as you are about living on board. Not Yeah. Oh, yeah. That That kind of sounds like an enthusiasm, because I have seen many couples break up because one of them either the woman or the man, different in different cases, is so enthralled with living on board, but the other one just got and it gets dragged into it. And like I said earlier on, you're choosing a lifestyle is not an investment. You're choosing a lifestyle.

Ethan Waldman 43:54

If it's not something to be taken on lightly,

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 45:12

no, not by any means. And the other thing is, go to go. There there liveaboard associations, all of these, okay, and go and sit in on their meetings. Get a hold of me. I love talking to people about living onboard.

Ethan Waldman 45:28

All right. Well, Pamela, thank you so much for being a guest on the show today. It was it was so fun to meet you and learn about your your lifestyle.

Pamela Pakker-Kozicki 45:36

Yeah, this was really fun.

Ethan Waldman 45:39

Thank you so much to Pamela for being a guest on the show. Today, you can find the show notes, including a complete transcript and some great photos through the years that Pamela shared with me over at Also, don't forget to check out, to learn more about my awesome online community and get on the waitlist to join so you can find your tiny house family on the web. Alright, that's all for this week. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman. And I'll be back next week with another episode of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast.

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