Sailing the Farm

Kenneth "Ken" NeumeyerKen Neumeyer (30 July 1953 – 3 July 2013) wrote a classic book in 1981 called Sailing the Farm. It’s about living on board a sailboat, growing your own food while under way and living sustainably. It has inspired a lot of people to cast off their ties to a land based living. A lot of books have been written about seasteading, but this is surely one of the first and most important works.

If there are two things that the sea has provided man throughout history, they are the abundance of of wealth to be found within its waters and the ability to travel long distances. With the proper tools and skills man has lived from the sea since time began and will continue to do so as long as he survives on this watery planet.

You can download the full book in PDF format here (~10 MB)

He touches upon a lot of subject pertaining to a more natural way of living. This book has definitely inspired me in my journey.

I’d rather have a well stocked sailboat and the ability to sail it anywhere in the world than money in a bank that might fail, a job from which I might be laid off, a government pension that might dry up, insurance policies, etc.. The ability to carve your living out of the raw earth is the best security you could have anywhere at any time.

Independence on 30 feet. That’s what it’s about basically. The first part of this book is his story, an autobiography, while the rest of the book is more of a manual. Among other things it includes detailed plans on how to build a solar still, that turns seawater into fresh water, using only basic raw materials. It also has a lengthy chapter on seaweeds, of which a lot are edible, tasty and very rich in nutrients. It goes by without mentioning that seaweed doesn’t need fresh water to grow. Fresh water a lot more scarce now than it was 35 years ago when the book was written so the book holds up very well in that regard.

Ken also talks about choosing a boat, security systems, farming at sea, preserving food and a lot of small handy tips about this and that and everything else. I urge you to read the book.

Tragically, two months after publishing the book in 1981, Ken crashed into a cradle which brought a 30′ sail boat down upon the roof of his small car, leaving him head injured and handicapped. He spent the rest of his life among family and friends who loved him dearly.

3 comments on “Sailing the Farm
    • Thanks a lot Lin! I’m a member of your Facebook group as well and have been following it with keen interest. I joined a bit late though, otherwise I would’ve tried to convince you to go with a junk rig instead of gaff. 🙂

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