A couple from Victoria, BC, are causing a stir by documenting their adventures aboard Luja, a former BC Ferries lifeboat that has been given a new life as a small home.
Over the past year, Dani Tate-Stratton and Toryn Sundstrom have converted the 28-foot semi-enclosed lifeboat into a “completely customized” living space, according to their website.
The pair keep fans posted every step of the way on YouTube and Instagram.
“A record for us, for our friends and family, and we have been fortunate to find an online community that is interested in it and what we are doing with it,” said Tate-Stratton, sitting on Luja’s helmet at Sidney. BC
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Tate-Stratton and Sundstrom met in 2010 while performing show jumping: acrobatic tricks on horseback. As a couple, they have questioned the need to live what many people would consider a conventional lifestyle.
“I feel like people tend to get stuck in the habitual, ‘I need to buy a house and I need to do this and this is how my life should be,’ and I feel like you really don’t need to be that kind of person,” Sundstrom said.
“We have many friends who live aboard their ships and live incredible lives … You can travel any day and your house is with you.”
Luja is not yet seaworthy, but the couple’s goal is to complete the renovations by 2022 and start ticking boxes on their travel list. Right now, that includes Southeast Alaska, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the canals of Europe, according to its website.
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Meanwhile, his fan base is growing at home and abroad.
“We have a lot of friends with sailboats and they want to know about this fun boat that’s electric and all the different things about it,” said Tate-Stratton.
“We also wanted to show people that having an electric boat is possible. Now there are quite a few electric sailboats and there are hardly any electric boats. “
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Luja offers 200 square feet of living space, the size of some modern micro-condos, he added.
Faced with the prospect of buying a condo or paying dizzying fees to rent one, the lifeboat offered a creative alternative.
“We thought that if we were going to have a micro condo we would make it ours,” he explained. “We love Victoria, but we didn’t want to be tied down here, and this was also a much more reasonable way to make those 200 square feet ours.”
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