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Boat owner tells of living as floating squatter

Paul Buschauer has been an on-and-off floating squatter for 15 years — docking illegally and unapologetically on the Chicago River alongside land he doesn’t own until he and his 74-foot boat got the boot.

“It’s like going out on your own and living in a log cabin, but then you walk up the embankment and there you are, smack dab in the city,” Buschauer, 58, told the Chicago Sun Times. “The sun bounces off the water and spreads across the boat like a million shimmering diamonds.”

But squatting isn’t all storybook stuff. The self-described “river rat” has butted heads with property owners and police over his unique lifestyle. And Buschauer would advise going on at least five dates to blunt the shock of bringing a woman back to the boat.

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