10 Years Building a Wooden Sailboat for Life on the Water – Retired Couple Shares Experience + Tour

Sombrio is a 33′ wooden sailboat that was lovingly built by Ian (a.k.a. KIM) over the course of 10 years with mostly reclaimed lumber that he collected and milled himself, including Douglas fir, red cedar, and yew wood. The boat has been a huge part of Ian and Sandi’s lives: the now-retired couple lived aboard the boat for 7 years, they summer cruised the Gulf Islands for several decades (and still do!), and they also did a massive 2-year trip to the South Pacific from August 2017- August 2019.

The boat has a galley kitchen with a gimbal and methyl hydrate stove, a 12-volt fridge, plenty of counter space, and a safety belt to make cooking safer when the boat is underway. The saloon has a sofa with a table for lounging and dining and lots of storage for books and non-perishable food. Moving forward, there’s a head, storage locker, and a cozy v-berth with porthole windows and a hatch for ventilation.

Sombrio is an Oceania model, designed by Al Mason and built with the carvel planking method. The boat has a 26 hp, 3 cylinder Isuzu diesel engine with 50 gallons of fuel, for electricity it can use shore power as well as 2 x 100 Watt solar panels, for water there is 50 gallons of freshwater storage below deck, extra jerry cans on deck, and a saltwater pump for non-potable purposes, and for heat, there’s a big wood stove in the galley.

This is a beautiful boat, built and used by lovely people and we’re so happy to be sharing their boat life experience with you.

Special thank you to Simon from Finding Simon for filming the interview, tour, and some of the b-roll! You can follow his sailboat-building adventure on YouTube here:

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle


Website: www.exploringalternatives.ca


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Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat of Exploring Alternatives.

Editing Credits:
Mat and Danielle from Exploring Alternatives

Filming Credits:
Simon Stiles from Finding Simon

Mat and Danielle from Exploring Alternatives

Photo Credits:
Additional photos and videos provided by Sandi and Ian

#boatlife #livingonasailboat #sailboattour

31 Replies to “10 Years Building a Wooden Sailboat for Life on the Water – Retired Couple Shares Experience + Tour”

  1. jpmesa

    Do you remember where you got the 5 gallon water jug with two handles built into them. Great for locking down on deck. Wonderful boat well though out.

  2. Maryanne M

    I recognise the marina and I'm pretty sure I've seen the boat around before too! What a beautiful vessel with so much hard work put into her. A work of art!! We were always the same with our little sailboat – often the smallest one around without power anything haha.

  3. john lowe

    A very inspiring story, seeing folks of a similar age getting out and just 'doing it' gives the confidence to realise my plans to sail into retirement.

  4. Christopher Meisner

    Wow! I love hearing and finding these stories. Floating upon the Ocean timeless. 😉 Cheers from Vancouver!

  5. Rob M.

    Beautiful boat, inspiring couple. Your unintrusive interview and video technique does the subjects proud.
    They have warmed my heart and reminded me that dreams do not have to remain unfulfilled, with perseverance and love everything is possible.
    Fair winds and safe harbours.

  6. 53goforit

    What a story!, what a couple !, what a boat !, probably the best boat of Love I’ve yet to see on you tube ! Thanks Alternatives

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