Since June of 2011, one of our San Francisco based architects, Paul Martin has lived full-time on his boat The Paula Marie in Emery Cove. He is currently one of 42 registered “live aboard” residents in a community of 420 which also has an astonishing 4 year waiting list!

Paul has been with Lionakis since 1997 and he let us know that his floating space is very comfortable, with a 6”4 height ceiling below deck and 11.5 feet at the beam’s widest part. At 37 feet long on deck, the Paula Marie was built in 1984 and is equipped with a galley kitchen, sink, kerosene stove, grill and a hot plate – he’s got everything he needs to cook for himself and entertains often with friends and colleagues.

Offshore facilities provide shower and laundry facilities and a v-shaped berth provides a large queen size sleeping area – that’s also v-shaped! Amazingly, the modern conveniences of digital technology are available too, there is internet connectivity and most boats in the cove have televisions and computers just like land homes. The community itself is gated and has a board and monthly newsletter but Paul explained that there are families and pets and an unofficial association as well. Residents often socialize, dine and sail together.


Paul had a pretty big scare a few years ago one night after work, in July. He returned home and decided to do a trip out in his kayak to watch the sunset. Unfortunately, he flipped over in his kayak and was unable to right it.

Water temperatures in the Bay in July are not very warm and Paul found himself in chilly, wavy and choppy water that was in the low 50 degree temperature range.

Unable to hold on to his kayak from the cold and with the sun sinking below the horizon, Paul drifted in the dark water in his lifejacket, wanting to fall asleep. He was in the water from about 8:45 p.m. and washed up on shore just after 1:00 a.m. and initially couldn’t stand. But, somehow, he made it back to his boat, turned on his space heater and let the office know he probably wouldn’t be in the next day! Luckily, Paul was ok after a full day of rest and a hot shower.

Lastly, when I asked Paul what some of the interesting things to happen while living on a boat, he let me know about the amazing wild life all around.

“Sea gulls like to pluck oysters out of the water and then drop them on the deck of the boat or the dock to crack them open and get the fish inside – this dropping and diving wakes me up all the time!”

Paul also mentioned that there are two Marina seals that come to visit everyone, they’ve even named them: Oscar and Ellie. And finally, while out on his numerous adventures sailing (the best month is October) he’s seen a whale and had Dolphins swim up and right alongside the Paula Marie and even jump up out of the water.

Thanks Paul for letting us have a peek into your home and unique lifestyle – ahoy!