It wasn’t an idyllic notion of living on the water. It wasn’t any romantic lure of cruising the world. The Taisey family’s nautical adventure began with a rent increase.
Meet them now: Ryan and Jacy Taisey live with their four children — Joy, 11, Arianna, 10, Felicity, 7, and Caleb, who’ll turn 5 Monday — aboard a 40-foot 1976 Cruise-A-Home on the Everett waterfront.
“Plenty and Grace Be to This Place,” says a plaque hanging in the boat’s tiny galley.
This place is an Everett-built boat they bought in Seattle early last year for $500. They spent a month revamping it. For the family of six who previously lived in a 2,200-square-foot home in Woodinville, the craft means cozy quarters and close relationships. Along with four energetic kids, there’s Trusty, a Shih Tzu.
“This is my schoolroom,” said Jacy Taisey, 36, pulling books from shelves in the cabin’s bow. She has been a homeschool teacher since their kids began formal education.
Just down the pier from their moorage, near the Everett Yacht Club, is one of 36-year-old Ryan Taisey’s workplaces, the “Hat Express.” He is first mate on the Hat Island ferry. The couple also run Ryan & Jacy Photography, a wedding photo business.
Jacy Taisey’s blog, “Little House on the Water,” tells in words and pictures how they ended up on the boat they named “Royal Way.”
“My blog is my journal. It’s how I can communicate my heart,” she said.
Her first chapter, dated Jan. 28, 2017, is titled, “Our Rent Would Increase $1,100 a Month Beginning in March.”
The Taiseys had hoped to one day live on the water. They considered renting a houseboat on Seattle’s Lake Union, but none fit their budget. Finding the Cruise-A-Home solved the problem of a 50 percent rent hike on the Woodinville home they’d lived in and loved for seven years.
Their boat had an initial asking price of $5,000. With no takers, the owner planned to destroy it, Ryan Taisey said. With high recycling costs, their $500 offer was accepted.
The Taiseys showed last week how they gutted the boat’s interior. They updated electrical, plumbing and heating systems; installed kitchen cabinetry and a new fridge; created a closet, with a shelf for each family member; and installed new bunks. The parents have no bedroom. By day, their sleeping area is the kitchen table, which drops down to make a bed.
Up top, a deck offers outdoor space. A bin — they call it their “garage” — holds scooters and inline skates the kids use in the Port of Everett’s Boxcar Park, which the Taiseys dub “our back yard.” There are strict rules. On the pier and outside on the boat, the children wear life jackets.
What they lack in space, they make up for in family time. This summer, they traveled 400 nautical miles on a two-week voyage to the Gulf Islands and Princess Louisa Inlet in British Columbia. “It was our first real-world cruise,” Ryan Taisey said.
The Cruise-A-Home has twin 350 V8 gas engines. Top speed is 16 knots, but they cruise at a fuel-saving 8 knots.
In her blog’s Chapter 34: “Cruising the Salish Sea,” Jacy Taisey wrote of relishing every minute of the trip. “I still think it’s the coolest thing ever to continue functioning as we normally do while cruising to far away places,” she wrote.
The Taiseys joined the Everett Yacht Club, and several other members went with them to Canada on their boats. With yacht club friends, they also make the short trip to Jetty Island for “jetty spaghetti” potluck dinners. They liken the Everett Marina community to an old-fashioned neighborhood.
Devout Christians, the Taiseys attended Cedar Park Christian Schools. Ryan was raised in Bothell, while Jacy grew up on the Sammamish Plateau. Engaged by 18 and 19, they wed a year later and have been married 15 years. They belong to Northview Community Church in Mill Creek.
If plans work out, their little home on the water isn’t a final destination.
They hope to buy a ketch and sail the world. To do it, they’ll need to sell the Royal Way. They’re learning to sail aboard a 1967 27-foot Santana sailboat they acquired from someone Jacy Taisey met in the marina’s laundry room.
Another family’s blog, “Sailing Totem,” has inspired the Taiseys with accounts of a couple cruising the world with their three children for a decade.
Ryan Taisey, who for 13 years had a corporate job with Costco, estimates it will take about $25,000 a year to stay at sea. Photographing a wedding next March is their last scheduled work. With a partner, they plan to maintain their photo booth business.
Photo jobs may come up on voyages. They’re also interested in earning by vlogging, or video blogging.
With sun on their faces one afternoon last week, when most kids would be in class, Joy, Arianna and Felicity sat in a circle on the boat’s top deck playing the Uno card game with their parents. Caleb was on his mom’s lap.
There’s no TV. They’ll sometimes cuddle up and watch a movie on an iPad.
“I like how it moves,” Arianna said of the boat’s gentle rocking. In her bunk, she was reading her fourth Nancy Drew book. “We’ve always been really close,” said big sister Joy.
“We’re hoping to sail as soon as next year,” their dad said. “I’m excited for the whole thing.”
His wife added, “If this is God’s adventure, he’s going to have to provide.”
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Little House on the Water’
In words and pictures, Jacy Taisey tells the story of her family’s life in their 40-foot Cruise-A-Home in her blog “Little House on the Water.” Find it at: https://littlehouseonthewater.com/