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Living the Dream: Sailing the World on a Sailboat

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Imagine a life of absolute freedom, where you are not bound by the constraints of a traditional 9-to-5 job or tied down to a mortgage. Instead, picture yourself sailing the open seas, exploring exotic destinations, and living on a sailboat with breathtaking views of the ocean. For Brian Trautman and his family, this dream has become a reality. In this article, we will delve into their extraordinary journey of selling their possessions, purchasing a sailboat, and embarking on a two-year sabbatical that turned into a lifelong adventure.

A Leap of Faith

Brian Trautman, a former software engineer at prominent companies like Microsoft, realized that the best part of his day was the bus ride to and from work. This revelation sparked a desire for change, leading him to make a radical decision. After years of saving, Trautman sold all his possessions, including a three-bedroom townhouse, and set off on a two-year sabbatical to travel the world. Little did he know that this would be the start of an incredible journey that would change his life forever.

Setting Sail

In the summer of 2008, Trautman purchased a 53-foot sailboat named SV Delos for $398,000, with a down payment of $81,000. This magnificent vessel boasts three cabins, two bathrooms, and all the modern amenities one would expect in a home, albeit on a smaller scale. The boat became their floating sanctuary, providing them with the means to explore the world at their own pace.

Embracing Challenges

Life on a sailboat is not without its challenges. When Trautman first set sail, he had two years’ worth of savings, which amounted to approximately $48,000. However, unforeseen circumstances led to financial strain, forcing him to max out his credit cards, cash out his 401K, and take odd jobs to make ends meet. Despite the hardships, Trautman and his wife, Karin, persevered, finding ways to sustain their lifestyle and finance their travels.

Documenting the Journey

During their travels, Trautman and Karin discovered a passion for documenting their adventures. They began filming their experiences on the boat and launched their YouTube channel, Sailing SV Delos. Initially, the channel was intended to provide supplemental income, but it quickly evolved into a full-time job. The couple now relies on the revenue generated from their YouTube channel and crowdfunding to support their nomadic lifestyle.

The Joys of Sailboat Living

Living on a sailboat offers a unique perspective on life. Trautman and his family have adapted to the challenges and embraced the rewards that come with their chosen lifestyle. The sailboat has three cabins, with one serving as Trautman and Karin’s bedroom, another for their daughter, and a third for guests. The boat is equipped with modern facilities, including a convection oven, dishwasher, and toaster, providing a comfortable living space despite its compact size.

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The Trials of Provisioning

One of the challenges they face is provisioning for their journey. While they have three refrigerators to store meat or fish, sourcing fresh fruits and vegetables is more complicated. Typically, they can only stock up on perishable items for a few weeks before needing to return to land. Their lives are dictated by the weather, and every decision they make revolves around it. Despite the inconveniences, Trautman and his family have learned to adapt and make the most of their unique circumstances.

The Cost of Freedom

Living on a sailboat may seem idyllic, but it comes with its own set of expenses. On average, Trautman and his family spend around $1,900 per month on boat insurance, maintenance, fuel, utilities, and satellite Wi-Fi. They carefully budget their expenses, ensuring they have enough to sustain their lifestyle while also setting aside funds for unforeseen circumstances. It’s a delicate balance that requires constant monitoring and adjustment.

A Journey of Discovery

Since Trautman set sail, he has visited over 45 countries and covered an impressive 70,000 nautical miles. The experiences they’ve had and the people they’ve met along the way have enriched their lives beyond measure. They’ve encountered breathtaking marine life, witnessed awe-inspiring natural wonders, and immersed themselves in different cultures. This journey has fundamentally changed Trautman’s perspective on life, priorities, and what truly matters.

Cherishing Family Connections

Although Trautman and his family live a nomadic lifestyle, they have found ways to stay connected with their loved ones. Family members often visit them when they are docked in different locations, allowing them to spend quality time together. The couple also stays connected with family online and plans trips to visit their loved ones when they are in a particular country or region. Despite the physical distance, their bond remains strong.

Future Plans

As Trautman’s daughter, Sierra, grows older, the family is considering their next steps. They plan to spend the next year in French Polynesia, immersing themselves in its beauty and culture. However, they are also contemplating a move back to Sweden, where Karin’s family resides, to provide their daughter with a sense of stability and the opportunity to grow up surrounded by family and her cultural heritage.


Brian Trautman’s decision to embrace a life of sailing the world on a sailboat has been nothing short of transformative. From selling all his possessions to embarking on a two-year sabbatical that turned into a lifelong adventure, Trautman has discovered the true meaning of freedom. Through the challenges, triumphs, and the connections they’ve made along the way, Trautman and his family have crafted a life that many can only dream of. Their story serves as an inspiration for those who dare to break free from societal norms and create their own extraordinary journey.


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