Pearson 36, 1972

They say a journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step. For us, rather than a step, our journey began with a leap. We sold everything we didn’t need, cars, computers, motorcycles, furniture — everything. What we couldn’t sell, we donated and we used the money to buy a sailboat.

“But, why a sailboat”? We get asked this often, the simple answer is, we wanted to live minimally and travel indefinitely—a sailboat was the ideal solution. Our boat “Uma” is a 1972 Pearson 36. She is neither fancy and expensive, nor cheap and flimsy—to us, she is perfect. We wanted a name that carried with it the motivation and rationale that led us to buy her in the first place. Her name was inspired by the Portuguese number 1 (uma), meaning first or primary. She is our first step

To us, “UMA” is much more than just a number. In life, there are many paths to choose. All requiring a first step, a first idea, a first choice to stand on. We hope that our story will stand as an inspiration to those wanting to pursue their dreams, to take their first step, and discover their own, Uma.

Over the years living and traveling onboard our little home, we’ve also learned that UMA has many different meanings in several cultures, each translation unique in it’s own way: Uma means Hope in inuit language, Nation in Hebrew, Tranquility in Sanskrit, she’s another name for Pavarti, the Indu Goddess of fertility, love, beauty, but also strenght. Uma also means horse in Japanese, (but let’s not focus too much on the horse. )


why choose a boat headed for the junkyard


There seems to be plenty of books, video and websites devoted to guiding you to the boat that is best for you. If you’re still looking and are unsure, many are worth a read. But like many topics related to sailing, there are as many opinions as there are sailors.

First and foremost, we needed to love our boat. It is often the case that many people return to buy the first boat that caught their eye after a long and fruitless search. This was definitely the case for us. We spent months looking over every kind of boat we could find on YachtWorld, Craigslist, eBay and other such sites, searching and learning about what was out there. Being new to the idea of living on a sailboat, we had no idea what to look for, how to look for it, or even what to put in the search bar.

Price of course is a major determining factor. It has been said before that the best boat, is the one you already own. The problem was, we didn’t own a boat yet. Our post grad pocket books would definitely not allow us to afford a new boat and we certainly weren’t about to go into debt for one. So when the idea of getting a sailboat came to mind, we started to browse through a great website: The bigger the boat, the more expensive, but not just in initial price, but also the maintenance and the marinas as well. So we started small and worked our way up. For us, we knew we wanted a boat small enough so that we are able to handle it by ourselves (Uma being our first boat) but large enough for us to live in comfortably (Uma being our only home). With that said, we put our range for the overall length to between a 32-40 feet. We started researching for a good blue water capable boat within our range. We read some books, blogs and forums online. In the meantime, we contacted a couple of people and went to visit their boats in the 36-40’ range.

Each and every boat is different. We wanted a boat that meets our personal needs structurally but also aesthetically, and in terms of the functionality of the space. Basically, we were looking for a boat that had the potential of being a comfortable, sturdy blue water sailboat, but easy to work on and repair—little brightwork, few complex mechanical systems, simple rigging etc. So for us finding a sailboat that we can fix ourselves and give it the features we want her to have was something to consider. It would also allow us to know our boat inside and out.

But after months of looking, we ended up buying one of the first boats we saw—certainly the first one that really caught our eye.