chapter  15
10 Pages

All at sea: When the commercial home is a sailing boat

ByGAYLE JENNINGS

Commercial home discourses tend to be hegemonically contextualised within fixed land-based settings. This chapter serves to extend the commercial home context to include ‘mobile homes’ in water-based settings. Such homes are more generally called vessels and are classified as sailing boats/yachts or motorised boats. As vessels, these ‘mobile homes’ have a variety of domains of use not directly related to the concept of a ‘home’, for example recreational sailing and other water-based tourism experiences as well as lifestyle pursuits. For some vessels, however, the concept of home ‘style of life’ (Adler 1935) and/or a ‘home’ concept are evident. In particular, some vessels exhibit elements of primary ‘homes’, secondary ‘homes’, and/or commercial homes. Additionally, individually and collectively boats as well as harbours may

be vicariously and explicitly utilised as home settings and to provide waterbased home-scapes. Such commercially oriented and water-based home styles of life have complementarity with dominant domains of usage identified for land-based commercial homes (Lynch and MacWhannell 2000). They also have synergy with some elements of mobile land-based home accommodation albeit that the literature related to the latter is primarily considered from a selfcatering perspective (Johns and Lynch 2007). Similarly, owners and/or managers’ use of vessels for commercial purposes may be brokered across informal, intermediate and/or formal sectors (Lynch 1998; Lynch et al. 2003; Lynch and Tucker 2003). That being said, the focus of this chapter is sailing boats/yachts and in particular those yachts that are used for long-term ocean cruising. Long-term ocean cruising is a sub-cultural lifestyle (Jennings 1999, 2005;

Macbeth 1985) in which owners of boats sail and live aboard their vessels for extended periods of time crossing oceans of the world. Participants in the subculture are called cruisers and may be further distinguished as captain and crew. The words captain and crew distinguish positionality aboard vessels. Captains assume nautical leadership, management, as well as administrative and sailing roles, responsibilities and duties and delegate the same to crew. Cruising crew, generally, have some familial/relationship-based connection with the captain of a vessel and/or stake in the private ownership of the boat.