Couple Lives and Sails on 53-Foot, Self Sufficient Sailboat for Over a Decade Now

sailing off grid

Could you ever see yourself living at sea for a week or two on a cruise ship, let alone living out an entire chapter of your life on one?

For Brian and Karin Trautman, this has been the reality of their life for over a decade.

Their boat is set up so that they can live off the grid in remote places for months at a time with solar and wind power providing electricity, allowing them to travel everywhere from the Tropics to their latest adventure in the Arctic.

Making things even more idyllic and magical is the fact that the Trautmans have made sailing a family affair, taking their one-year-old baby girl Sierra on the adventure of a lifetime.

“She is a little sea baby,” said Brian in a recent video interview.

“She lives the ocean and she loves sailboats.”

Brian hails from Flagstaff, Arizona while Karin used to live in Sweden.

While planning a trip one day, Brian was oblivious to the fact that this upcoming “adventure of a lifetime” would lead him to the love of his life, and an even bigger adventure.

Brian planned an 18-month trip to New Zealand, where he would end up meeting Karin.

The two found a shared love of sailing, and it was then that they fell in love with each other, and the hobby.

From there, Brian made a four-year plan, and their vision of living the good life on the high seas began to take shape!

Nowadays, the family sails on an SV Delos, a 53′ sloop rig ketch (specific type of sailing rig), and has been chronicling their adventures on YouTube since the beginning.

Altogether they have traveled over 83,000 nautical miles, the equivalent of circling the Earth at the equator more than three times!

Included in the setup are solar and wind power on the boat, multiple freezers and loads of storage space for food, along with a small washing machine.

Their boat even includes (and I hope you’re sitting down for this one) a water maker that turns salt water into fresh water!

These desalination machines are available to purchase online, believe it or not.

desalination machine for sailors and sailboats

This particular model produces a whopping 1.5 gallons of fresh water per hour — enough to provide for two to three crew members, and perfect for a family the size of the Trautmans.

Learn more or purchase one of these devices by clicking here.

Despite Challenges, Brian and Karin Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way

While their lifestyle may seem perfect and so simple considering the gear they have outfitted their boat with, the Trautmans caution that living this way is far from easy.

Friends from around the world help them out in various ways, repairing their ship when the time comes and helping them get back out on the ocean.

Trautmans fishing boat

The couple has plenty of food stored up, but sometimes goes months without fresh fruits or vegetables in their diet.

The constant changing of the winds and the tides means that even the simplest and most important daily use objects are hard to keep in place, including cooking equipment, glasses and more.

“Cooking is an extreme challenge,” Karin said to, adding that her stove is on a gimbal that allows it to move with the water.

Teaching their baby Sierra to walk has also been difficult.

“The most challenging thing has been the movement of the boat and the movement of the baby together,” Karin said.

But she’s growing and learning every day, and provides hours of entertainment and joy to her proud parents.

Despite these challenges, the Trautmans wouldn’t have it any other way.

They try to avoid living on land whenever possible, especially because of the huge adjustment that takes place.

The goal is always to get back to the open seas as soon as humanly possible.

“The land scares me a little bit,” Karin laughed.

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