Sunshine, sea breezes, and the ability to drop everything and sail off into the distance - it sounds romantic and adventurous.
There's a lot to love about living on a boat, but it comes with costs and sacrifices.
As people trying to avoid high rent or monster house prices turn their attention to living aboard, others who have lived on boats are warning it's not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced.
Primary school teacher Jan Braddock and her family decided more than 20 years ago to make the move from a 140m2 home in Levin to a 32 foot yacht at Mana Marina, near Porirua.
It was a "learning curve" for the family of four, who had to figure out quickly how to drastically downsize all their possessions.
"We had to really think about what we were going to bring aboard and the old adage 'if it's not useful for two things, don't bring it'.
"You can't take your house attitude to a boat. It's not a house, it's a boat, and you're living on it because you love being on a boat.
I firmly believe that you need to be moving aboard because you love boating and you love your boat.
"You've got to pare your life right down to what you think is so important you can't live without it."
Braddock warned that living on a boat was not a cheap alternative to escape rising rental and house prices, and only people who were passionate about boats should do it.
"It's not actually the buying of the boat that's expensive. It's the marine berth, the insurance, and the maintenance."
They haul out their boat once a year for maintenance, and that costs about $1500-$2000.
"I think [boats] are perceived as to be a cheap sort of place to live, but ultimately they're not a house. I firmly believe that you need to be moving aboard because you love boating and you love your boat. They're a lot of work, there's always something to maintain, and you have to really love your boat to be doing that."
But for those who knew what they were doing, living aboard was a great option.
Braddock said the marina was "a real community".
She remembered one blustery day while the adults were cooped up in the clubhouse together.
"It was blowing a gale outside . . . [the kids] were out on a dinghy with bits of four by two and sails they made out of rubbish bags."
Living aboard was "just so multi-faceted".
"You can go racing, you can go cruising, there's so much to learn.
"You're immediately immersed in a group of people that have similar interests."
They were able to take the boat to Fiji and sail around the islands for five months, exploring in a way they never could have afforded to do if they had been staying on land.
For Braddock, the boat is her happy place.
"It's the place I need to be when I need to chill out and refresh," she said.
One of the biggest appeals is the freedom to sail and stay anywhere in New Zealand on a whim - depending on work, of course.
Travelling to another country is a bit more work. The boat must be brought up to certain standards before it can be taken to foreign waters, a process which can take time and money.
Another side to living aboard is having to make snap decisions in the face of natural disasters.
Braddock normally doesn't feel earthquakes while on the boat, but the 7.8 shake in 2016 was a different story.
With uncertainty about whether a tsunami was coming, she and her husband had to decide whether to try get the boat out into deep water to protect it, or simply to tie it up and head for the hills.
With a bad storm warning out, Braddock knew taking the boat out was too much risk, so instead abandoned her home, hoping it would be intact when she came back.
Sometimes she wonders why she does it, on days where it's hard work to leave the boat and head all the way up to the marina office for a shower, rushing between boats as wind gusts threaten to blow her off the pier.
But Braddock knows if a dangerously severe storm was threatening the marina, she could take the boat out into the harbour and drop anchor.
"There is still a chance that it could go wrong. You still need to have that mindset, I guess, that you are making this choice, you are putting yourself in this situation, therefore it's up to you to get yourself out of this situation."
She recommended anyone thinking about living on a boat go boating with friends first or charter a boat for as long as they could afford so they could experience living on it.
Braddock also wanted to dispute the idea that living on a boat was unsafe for children.
"Often people will say 'oh, it's such a dangerous environment'. Sailing kids or boating kids we've found grow up to be really responsible, really mature, independent kids with a great perspective on what is safe and what is not.
"They all tend to be pretty adventurous but they have absolute respect for their limits."
Former mayor of the Mackenzie District Claire Barlow said she and her partner decided they wanted something other than the rural lifestyle, "as you do in the middle ages of your life".
"We made a very conscious decision when we moved to Wellington that we wanted to live right in the heart of the city," she said.
The pair didn't want a car - they wanted to be able to walk or use public transport to get to most places.
We had to condense our life down to a few plastic boxes of stuff.
They were already spending weekends on their yacht and decided to make the shift to living aboard at Chaffers Marina, which is just minutes from the central city.
"I have always sort of appreciated being close to nature," Barlow said.
Listening to the water lapping against the boat, the gulls shrieking, and "even the wind howling through the masts" was an enticing environment.
But the confined space in the yacht forced them to become "very minimalist".
"We had to condense our life down to a few plastic boxes of stuff . . . it was really hard for me getting rid of all my clothes or shoes, but there was a part of that I found very rewarding."
The couple moved on to the yacht in March 2017 but moved back to terra firma after about eight months aboard.
They had been staying at a friend's flat while their yacht was being hauled out, and the "luxury of space" and quietness of their surroundings reminded Barlow "there were some key things that were missing" from the boat.
"I missed having native birds. You get to hear some gulls but that's it. I missed being able to host and entertain people."
Despite these things, living on a boat was "a great opportunity".
"It's an unusual life . . . I felt very resilient. When you have to get up and walk up a pier like that in the howling rain and wind and all that sort of weather just to have a shower in the morning? There was a part of me that felt quite adventurous."
Mark Waters looks like he was made to live on a boat, right down to the big, gold hoop earring he wears.
He's only been a liveaboard for a few months though - before that he was living in a four-bedroom house, but now rents the house out. The profits from that effectively pay for his life on the boat.
Waters has gotten used to the rocking of the boat, and now struggles to sleep if he spends a night or two on land.
He loves his surroundings at Chaffers Marina.
You've got to live in an environment whereby you're practically falling over each other at times.
"The mornings and evenings in here can be absolutely, just incredibly beautiful. You get to hear all the sounds of the city but you're actually not in the city."
It was surprisingly easy for Waters to cut down on material things for his move to the yacht.
"Years ago I had some stuff in storage and it got burnt down. I decided after that that if you have to store it you never needed it . . . we decided that everything's replaceable."
He and his partner have a clear plan: stay in the marina for five years and then go cruising around New Zealand and possibly visit the islands.
"This boat is very capable of it, it's a substantial vessel . . . there's a lot of space in this boat, it's a little bit like a tardis."
The 16m yacht is a good size, but every inch of space is still carefully utilised.
"In a lot of ways yachting is all about tiny houses. You've got to live in an environment whereby you're practically falling over each other at times."
He cautioned others against the lifestyle if they knew nothing about boats.
"I know of people who just want to live on boats because it feels like a good idea, but you really have to be a boat person to live on a boat.
"If your boat sinks at its berth you're still liable. If you're proven to be negligent in the way you looked after the vessel you're still liable. There are lots and lots of things - it's just not like a cool thing just to go and live on . . . for us it's a way of life.
"Some people just shouldn't go to sea."