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Literally living on the water sometimes isn't as easy as it may appear to the offshore onlooker. But this is a way of life for a good amount of people who are confident and thoroughly enjoy working their boats, navigating the seas through all types of weather conditions.

Over the past three years, I've spent a good amount of time trying to absorb the variables of cruising the open waters. Recently though, I spent two weeks of basic training in the water-living lifestyle, from the coast of New Hampshire to the shores of Casco Bay, Maine.

Learning the tides and wind direction, how to navigate a dinghy, how to tie nautical knots and how to tie up to a mooring ball are all very important.

However, and of course, my mind goes to the interior of the vessel and the décor.

If done right, there is nothing one should miss in comparing life from ship to shore. I saw time after time how good the boater's lifestyle can be while docking in a marina at Booth Bay Harbor, Maine.

Here are a few decorative items that would make your boat life a bit more enjoyable.

Custom upholstery in the dining area with colorful decorative pillows would make you feel right at home, and that feeling of comfort in upholstery can extend to the deck. After all, there's nothing better than breakfast on the bow.

Plastic stemless wine glasses prevent the headache of picking up shattered glass when someone invariably drops one.


Acrylic plates that resemble stoneware are also easily transportable and won't shatter.

I know what you're thinking: "Why not paper plates, cups and throwaway utensils?" Well, trash accumulates quickly and has to be stored somewhere on the boat until the next marina stop. Plastic dishware is the way to go for the long vacation haul.

And when it comes to cooking, let's not forget the stainless steel grill that attaches to the side of the boat for the outdoor grilling experience on the water.

If you're going to be on a boat for any amount of time, you better know your knots. Knowing what knot to tie and when to use it can be crucial. If you need a cheat sheet, I found a tea towel tutorial that can be pinned on the galley wall, which also serves as wall art.

Because the salty air corrodes metal easily, drawer pull handles can be wrapped in twine or rope to create a nautical look in a bathroom or kitchen. Boat cleat hooks can also be mounted to a painted or fabric-covered board for hanging towels or bathing suits.

A summer vacation on the New England seas is priceless. Whale sightings and seals swimming next to your boat is an experience that makes the long winters worth it.

Debbe Daley, owner of Debbe Daley Designs and RAW Furnishings, is an interior designer with more than 25 years of experience as a professional interior redesigner, stylist, stager, trainer and project manager. Follow her blog at She also blogs at debbedaleydesigns