Exploring the Freedom of Maritime Living

By Katharina Charpian

Published by gestalten
256 pages hardcover $75


Boatlife, written by travel journalist Katharina Charpian and beautifully produced by the international publishing house gestalten, is possibly the most visually stunning book we’ve ever reviewed on these pages.

The burgeoning “boat life” movement, described by the author as “just like van life but at sea,” is finding new adherents thanks to the growing popularity of alternative living and flexible work schedules. Not unlike those who buy recreational or “overland” vehicles, more and more people are choosing to escape their stressful shore-bound lives to seek a simpler, more mindful world on the water.

From the Americas to Europe, Scandinavia, the Pacific, the Arctic and beyond, each of this book’s many chapters – all with amazing photographs including several full-page images – introduces a different boat and its remarkable crew, from solo sailors to couples and families, as they explore new landscapes and cultural experiences.

With such chapters as “Taking the Slow Route to Hawaii by Catamaran,” “Sailing Among Coral Reefs and Crocodiles,” and “Crossing the Arctic Circle in a Converted Lifeboat,” Boatlife would make a wonderful gift for your favorite sailor…and perhaps inspire you to cast off the dock lines for adventures of your own. ■


A freelance journalist and author whose work has appeared in several well-known outdoor, travel, interior and lifestyle magazines, Katharina Charpian is a native of Hamburg, Germany. She lives aboard a Beneteau First 345 with her boyfriend Alex and terrier Helle. Their sailing adventure to the Arctic (“Midwinter to Midsummer to the North Cape”) is documented on page 180 of Boatlife. Katharina’s affinity for nomadic life began before she discovered sailing. The proud owner of a 1982 VW T3 Westfalia Joker, she recently returned from a two-week road trip in Norway.