Inside Angle: Couch Cruisers

Inside Angle: Couch Cruisers

YouTube Yacht People serve as a fine substitute for entertainment when the boat is put away.

My wife and I are couch cruisers in the winter months along the coast of Lake Michigan. I call us “couch cruisers” because once the boat goes indoors in November, we satiate our thirst for being on the water by binging on YouTube series produced by boat people of all stripes who document their adventures and misadventures for time and eternity on the Internet. They are the YouTube Yacht People and we cruise with them from the couch.

The type and variety of YouTube Yacht People is nearly endless. A quick smart-TV search returns almost every combination of childless couples, families with flailing toddlers and cat ladies. There’s a guy and a dog cruising the Pacific Northwest and a one-eyed, peg legged old pirate with a penguin on board. Canadians, even. Pick your flavor, settle back with the popcorn and binge away, playfully picking apart our peers’ missteps from the tame safety of the living room sofa.

If you are a regular reader of this fine publication, you probably know about Mermaid Monster, one of the more popular and well-produced series in the couch cruising genre. Mermaid Monster’s precocious blonde surfer kid Penn appeared on the cover of the March 2020 issue of Power & Motoryacht perched atop the rudder skeg of mom and dad’s 55-foot Nordhavn, standing in one red and one green sneaker beneath the hull, a hand resting on the port prop. Penn appears to have a pretty good life cruising the world. He surfs the waves while we surf the ‘net by a winter’s firelight.

A number of the YouTube Yacht People are doing the Great Loop. The first Loop series ever produced was a low-budget PBS documentary about a family cruising aboard a 48-foot DeFever. The wife did 100-percent of the voiceover for the hours-long series broadcast in the 1990s. I’m sure she’s a barrel of fun in real life but her droll recitation was a drug-free solution to insomnia.

Fast forward to the 2020s. Mark and Cinda Boomershine are far pluckier and produced an entire YouTube series called Virtual Boat Shopping before buying their loop boat, a handsome 56-foot Ocean Alexander. As newbies, the Boomershine’s early boat reviews were sometimes cringeworthy but couch cruisers like us quickly learned to make a drinking game out of Mrs. Boomershine’s innuendo-infused signature line, “I like a beamy boat!” After a couple of sips, we decided eventually they will leverage their last name to brand a synthetic polymer boat wax or maybe a marital aid. But for now they’re now six thousand miles into their full-time cruising, their series having evolved into a useful reference for would be live-aboard cruising families.

There’s no point in touching on all the YouTube Yacht People on the Internet but between Mermaid Monster, The Boomershines, Adventures Of A Lifetime, Seattle Boat Guy, Trying Not To Sink (you don’t say?), even something called Boating With Boogaboo—one of the aforementioned Canadians—there’s something for everyone who can’t be on the big blue themselves every day.

None of these YouTube Yacht People should compel you to drop this magazine and pick up your remote, but many offer B-roll content for those down times when couch cruising is your only option. And they do get me thinking: who would I cast in my YouTube Yacht People dream team? Famous yacht-owning athletes like Tom Brady, David Beckham and Michael Jordan? Maybe name that series Cruising is a Ball. Pop-culture celebrity yacht owners like Kenny Chesney, Emeril Lagasse and Billy Joel? Jam, Bam & Piano Man. Legendary actresses like Nicole Kidman, Michelle Pfeiffer and Charlize Theron? Dream up your own name for that one.

Our real cruising season is in full swing now and I’ve thus far avoided the temptation to record our own YouTube series. But when the skies of November turn gloomy we’ll light a fire, pour a glass of the good stuff and catch up with the YouTube Yacht People.

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This article originally appeared in the August 2023 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.


Boat Lyfe