Marina at sunset

Boat office: Our experience of working on board - Advantages & Disadvantages

February 9, 2024

This article is part of a 3-part series in which we write about our experiences of working on board and covers the advantages and disadvantages.

  1. Part I: Workplaces
  2. Part II: Technology & Devices
  3. Part III: Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages & Disadvantages

With a Friday in the boat office, you can start the weekend right away. Since we both work part-time, we can also start the weekend a day earlier. Last year we even sailed up and down the west coast of Sweden on half-day trips. It takes us less than an hour to switch the boat from office and living mode to sailing mode. You are a bit more independent of the weather and not forced to use the weekend to go sailing. If the weather is bad, you can just wait a few days and go on a trip during the week.

Sailing in light winds
The after-work sail in light sailing weather.

From an ergonomic point of view, the workplaces presented are all equally unsuitable. However, this is generally true of all workstations that are used for mobile work, such as on a train or in a hotel room. We try to compensate by exercising during breaks or at the end of the day. This works quite well.

Lunch in the cockpit
Lunch moved from the desk to the sunny cockpit.

For some relationships, the first lockdown at home was a test. Even more than on a comfortable 80 square meters, it is difficult not to get on each other’s nerves on a small boat. For those of us who worked together on our study projects in a small apartment during college, this is nothing new. Even after a week we didn’t think about separating. We enjoyed running on the beach in the evening or going sailing at the end of the day.

Of course, the boat office can also be uncomfortable. Especially when there’s a storm outside. And if you haven’t found a harbor or anchorage sheltered from the wind and waves, it can be uncomfortable to work. Since you will be working in the boat most of the time, you may get seasick even in the harbor or at anchor.
On the other hand, if the weather is nice and the sun is shining, you can switch into after-work mode at lunchtime and go for a swim or a dinghy ride to shore.

Sailing in light winds
Take a quick sail after work and enjoy the peace and quiet.

If you like to spend not only the nice days but also the rough days on your boat and have the possibility to work from home, we can strongly recommend you to plan a few days or weeks in the boat office. Possible problems can usually be solved by coordination, changes in the layout of the room or a little technology. This means you can work comfortably with two people, even on a small boat.