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Quick, Easy, and Dry Boating Fashion

Ahoy there!


I am frequently asked how I can live for months on a boat the size of a New York-style studio apartment.

Well, Phil and I have had prior on-land experience. We moved into our 400 square foot studio apartment, two floors down from our current unit, 20 years ago. After having lived in it for two years, we became space conservation specialists.

The biggest problem when living in small spaces is clothing storage. If you have too many items, and they are hung closely together, they pick up odors, which are even worse in high humidity and moisture-laden air.

Tshirts hanging in a closet

On a boat, close storage, humidity, and moisture is all high, so if you are going to keep a wardrobe of any type, it needs to be:

  • Light weight

  • Easy to wash

  • Fast drying

  • Foldable and non-bulky

Unless you love the smell of damp woolen sweaters, they are to be avoided, substituted by acrylic yarns. And while 100% cotton jersey is nice, it also holds moisture, and, unfortunately, dries slowly.


Clothing made of part-cotton and modal is ideal!


Modal and viscose are similar as both are plant-based fibers, however, modal is lighter, more breathable, and wrinkle resistant. Any time I find clothing made out of this type of material, I strongly consider it for boat-wear.


This year, my entire live aboard attire (at least my tops) consists of standard Tshirts and tank tops sold by Amazon Essentials at (get this), 2-for-$11.60. 

In addition to style and price, all tops can be folded flat and easily slipped into
2-gallon plastic bags. The bags stack, block moisture and keep tops from sliding all over. They are also good for shoes, towels, pants, and storing any paper products (like maps and guide books) you want to keep dry.

May the tides be with you, 1st Mate, Karen Little

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