A family in Northern California has found a way to beat the high price of rent and live a life of freedom on a 65-foot decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard tugboat. According to a recent story by South West News Service, Jason Loger, 37, and his wife, Taryn Collins, 36, bought the boat for $35,000 at an auction in 2019. Since moving to the boat, they’ve had a son Russell who’s two years old.
They purchased the vessel on their second date.
“When I first saw the boat in pictures I thought it was a floating tetanus shot,” Taryn said according to Metro. “But once I got in there and saw Jason’s love and his passion for it and saw the ability to move on water, I fell in love with the whole idea of it.”
Jason is a railroad engineer obsessed with maritime history, and Taryn is a stay-at-home mother. Taryn estimates that living on the boat costs the family about $1,300 a month, including the slip fee, liveaboard fee, and electricity. That saves them about $1,000 over the cost of renting the average two-bedroom home in California ($2,405), and $2,700 over the same house in the San Francisco Bay Area is over $4,000.
The engine room gets it’s own video. #livingaboard #tuglife #raisingababy #momtok #momsoftiktok #babylove #babyboy #boatbaby #MaiselChallenge
The monthly cost for the boat is a steal, especially in the area where they dock, but there were some initial costs in making it a comfortable place for the family. The ship was commissioned in 1962 and decommissioned in 1982. From 1982 to 2019, it was an oceanographic research vessel.
“The haul-out, dry docking and launch, inspection, sanding and painting of the underwater portion of the boat for routine maintenance was about $20K,’ Taryn said, according to Metro. “Another $30,000 was spent on materials and equipment for things like shore power transformers to be able to plug into a regular marina, paint, steelwork, a full-sized washer and dryer, flooring, HVAC repairs and equipment.”
Living on the boat allows the family to pick up and go wherever and whenever they like.
In between all that we decided to also add *a kid* into the mix. Cant wait for good weather and more hands *even tiny ones* for upgrade projects. #liveaboard #tugboat #fyp
“We have easy access to quick mobility. We can throw off our lines and go watch the sunset without so much as packing or finishing dinner,” Taryn told South West News Service. They also enjoy hanging out with their new friends living on the water. “We also have an incredible live-aboard neighborhood filled with drinks on the back deck and a ton of camaraderie.”
Some think living on a boat with such a young child is downright dangerous. But Taryn and Jason have no time for their critics.
“After posting to TikTok, I’m hearing comments saying that it’s delusional and not safe,” Tarn told The New York Post. “[But] what part of it isn’t safe? Everything I’m doing is safe and it’s just as safe as what you would be in a house.”
“No matter if you live in a boat or a house, you need to supervise your children. We have doors and we have brains,” she continued. “I would say about 95% of the people would say that they wish they could do this, and that I’m a good mum to give my son this awesome adventure.”
The couple hopes that living the “tug life,” as they call it, inspires others to live out their dreams as well. They document their unique living situation on Taryn’s TikTok channel, which has over 70,000 subscribers.
“I wanted to show people that they can do this,” Taryn said, according to Metro. “It’s not super expensive if you’re not afraid of water.”