Natalie and Wade are a full-time live aboard couple from Saratoga Springs, Utah. Together, they own a Leopard 48 that they closed in August of 2020 from Leopard Brokerage. They finished their last few years of college in Hawaii and after, stayed and worked for a couple years. While still in Hawaii, they met a family who sailed around the world with their teenagers. “We’ve had the dream ever since” says Natalie. “When our kids were old enough, we set sail around the world with them. It’s been an 18-year dream!” Their yacht is called, “Sunday Waffles.” The name comes from their family tradition of having waffles on Sundays, usually inviting family, friends & neighbors over to join them. A couple years ago, they started watching sailing YouTube channels to their Sunday tradition: to learn, get ideas, and keep excited about their dream. Natalie and Wade are on IG and FB: “Sailing Sunday Waffles.”
First Time Sailors
Natalie and Wade have lived on their Leopard 48 since November of 2020. With no previous sailing experience and growing up on only motorboats and houseboats, they decided to participate in ASA sailing school in St. Vincent and The Grenadines prior to purchasing their Leopard 48. "There’s so much to love! We really love the actual sailing part! We’ve loved being together as a family, learning new things: about sailing, ourselves, each other, and we’ve loved meeting other people." The family has been to many countries worldwide and enjoys meeting new people, learning about different cultures and seeing their countries. Natalie says that their favorite place to travel is Costa Rica and their old home of Hawaii.
Choosing A Yacht
When it came to deciding on a Leopard, they first became familiarized with the brand from their son who watched Youtube videos about Leopard Catamarans. "He LOVED the Leopards and was always telling us about their features," states Natalie. "We attended the Miami boat show in Feb 2018 and looked at many different makes and models. We narrowed it down to the Leopard 46 & 48 and the Lagoon 450. They fit our price range, size family, and needs. We were fortunate to find our 48, our first choice." The couple loves the space that Sunday Waffles has to offer and says that the saloon and back cockpit are very spacious. There is also a forward cockpit, tramp area and roof to move about if they desire.
Currently, living aboard their Leopard 48 is Natalie, Wade and their 4 kids. "We are still in the adjustment phase. So, there are some ups and downs. But not due to living on a catamaran. It’s more because of the lifestyle change, missing family and friends, and other conveniences of living on land. I’ve really liked living on our catamaran with our family of six - we have not felt cramped ever or like we are living on top of each other." The family currently stocks up on food and stores it on their yacht. They also have a Dometic cooler that they stocked up with meats. Natalie says that, "We were hoping to catch more fish, but hopefully we’ll get the hang of it soon." Maintenance wise, the family did a lot of work on their Leopard 48 before they left and have strived to upkeep little things. Luckily, they have had no major problems arise. "We understand things happen and boats are a lot of work. We’re always busy doing something: cleaning, projects, fixing, and maintenance."
Sailing During A Pandemic
"It was a coincidence for the timing of moving aboard and the pandemic. But living aboard on a catamaran, away from the craziness has been a relief. Our kids are not missing as much as they would have in prior years because so much is canceled. We are isolated and in the most incredible places enjoying the beauty of the earth and building our family relationships. Pretty good place to be during a pandemic!"
"The only affect so far is the extra hoops we must jump through to enter countries. Eventually, we may even have to skip countries we’ve really wanted to go to because they may not be open. We are keeping our fingers crossed and praying that things will slow down so we can continue to move forward in our dream!"
The Future To Come
Natalie, Wade and the rest of the family plan to sail for two years. After that, their kids will be graduating and starting new journeys in their lives. "Who knows where the future will lead?" says Natalie. "We’re so new to this that we’re super excited about what we have right now! We’re still in love with the Leopard 50! Maybe one day we can afford one of those yachts.