Building a home on the waves in Cape Cod

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Ian McColgin, 66, is a longtime sailor used to living on a low budget during a career made out at low-paying jobs, working on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised as a community activist in Oregon, New Hampshire, Boston and on Cape Cod.

Buying boats was not just the product of his lifelong love of sailing, but an economic necessity of sorts in areas where apartments and homes were unbearably high-priced. He’s been living onboard one vessel or another since he moved the Cape in 1981.

“I discovered the freedom of not needing things by being low paid for a long time,” he recently told The Cape Cod Times. “Once I started living on board a boat, it became easier to keep it simple.”

The choice of what to do with the money he recently inherited from his parents was obvious.

“My brother and sister paid off their mortgages. I went the irrational way of building a boat,” McColgin said.

Read the Cape Cod Times’ enjoyable profile of McClogin’s restoration of a 55-foot Herreshoff schooner.