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Boat Review: Krogen 38 and Morgan 382

Posted on Jul 31, 2013 | 0 comments

After visiting the Cape Dory and Morgan Out Island in the marina at the broker’s office (check them out here: Boat Review: Morgan Out Island and Cape Dory 33), we followed our broker about half an hour away to a small boat yard that housed the next boat of the day, the Krogen 38. We hadn’t ever heard of a Krogen before looking at the broker’s website but were pleasantly surprised to find an extremely nice boat for the listing price of only $53,000. (Someone else must have thought the same due to the fact that the boat is now sold.)

According to the Kadey-Krogen Yachts page on the boat, the Krogen 38 is one of the only sailboats designed by the architect James Krogen. Krogen usually designed luxury trawlers but he designed this boat for himself as an ideal sailing cruiser for shallow areas like Florida and the Caribbean. It certainly seemed pretty ideal to us. There was tons of storage space everywhere, had very large bedrooms (or berths to sea people), and overall had the most “home-y” feel to us. As an extra bonus, it is cutter rigged which would be nice to have the extra flexibility of more sail options at sea. If we come across another one of these this time next year, there is a good chance we would buy one though with only 85 ever produced the chances are fairly low that we’ll find one. Good luck to whoever bought this boat, she was a beauty!

Being in a working boat yard was a new experience for us and the one that we were in had a huge assortment of boats in every stage of life. There were trawlers and sailboats, a 50′ wooden boat styled like a pirate ship, boats that were beautiful and well-cared for, and a couple that looked like they had been abandoned some time ago. We even saw a 30′ sailboat (with no mast in sight) hailing from Alaska! It looked like it had sailed the whole way, though I’m not sure from which direction. I would love to hear the stories that those boats have to tell.

The final boat of the day was the Morgan 382. This boat was clearly in the best shape of the four that we had toured and certainly made a good impression. A couple of the features that we liked were the settee design, large quarter berth area for Carter, U-shaped galley, and the general feel of the boat. The only thing that concerned us was the size of the V-berth, which would serve as our master bedroom. It seemed quite small compared to the other boats we had visited, but we would need to do additional tests to see if we could sleep in it comfortably. I might love the boat but if I can’t get a good night’s rest I would not be a happy sailor! Overall though, we really liked the boat and are much more likely to find one of these in our real search due to the wider production range of Morgans.

Do you have any boat model suggestions for us? Questions or comments? Leave a comment and let us know!

A New Car with a Side of Friendship

Posted on Jul 22, 2013 | 0 comments

Small but mighty!

Small but mighty!

Over the last few months, several times Dan and I have brought up selling our GMC Jimmy and buying a vehicle with better gas mileage. Though we had only owned the Jimmy for a little over a year, we’ve had multiple repairs that we’ve had to make in addition to only getting around 15 mpg on average. We figured out that even though we only are planning to own our cars for one more year or so, there was still significant savings to be made so we starting searching for a reliable car with good gas mileage. We got a little help from the financial blogger Mr. Money Mustache who has a list that we used of the top rated small cars for reliability.

We quickly found that we really liked the look, efficiency, and pricing of the Scion xD and xA hatchbacks. These cars are stylish and fun while getting great gas mileage and having plenty of interior room for the three of us. (Note: they are still pretty small cars so anything more than 2 adults and 2 small kids is going to feel cramped.) We found an xD on craigslist only about 45 minutes from us and decided to check it out.

As Dan went on the test drive (we had Carter with us so I stayed behind) I started talking to the couple that currently owned the car, Kyle and Becky. The conversation sounded something like this:

“So, why are you selling your car?”

“Well, we’re pretty much selling all of our stuff because we are moving to Belize.”

“Really? Are you going there to do anything specific?”

(apprehensive pause) “We’re planning to be self-sustaining farmers and work at an orphanage there.”

How cool is that! Just in the course of a few minutes I got to hear about how this couple about our age are getting ready to head out on their own epic journey and follow their hearts off of the well worn path. Even though I could tell Becky was obviously nervous about telling us their plan (as I understand completely) I’m so glad she broke the ice. We were able to share some of our experiences in trying to plan for the unknown and made new friends. Most of all it was so encouraging to meet other people who share in common with us their belief that we are not prepared for our current life to continue on without change. Their journey will be very different from ours, but it comes from the same desire to live more extraordinary lives while we have the opportunity.

We were happy to be able to help fund their goal in some small way by buying their car (which we love by the way) and if you would be interested in buying their house in Lincoln, Illinois here is the listing. We wish the best of luck to Kyle and Becky and hope that they see their dreams come to fruition very soon. Maybe if we make our way over to Belize in the next few years we will meet up with them again.

Boat Review: Morgan Out Island and Cape Dory 33

Posted on Jun 27, 2013 | 0 comments

While we were in Panama City we decided we should take a look at a few boats that were potential candidates for us in the future. Most likely none of these exact boats will still be on the market in a year from now but it was important for us to get an idea of what condition boats were actually in that would be in our price range. It’s one thing to tour beautiful, brand-new boats at a yacht show and something else entirely to get a look at what we could realistically expect for $50,000 or less. We were a little apprehensive before going in though cautiously optimistic due to the amount of research we’ve already put in.

First up was the Morgan 41 Out Island. We have seen a lot of these on the cruiser’s forums as recommended family liveaboards (though it didn’t make the Mahina list). It has two good-sized staterooms and a nice big settee as well, so I can certainly understand why families with kids would like it so much. The center cockpit was also large and spacious and would certainly make a great space for entertaining. There was a lot of storage space throughout the cabins and the extra living space in the aft master stateroom would make for a relaxing retreat.

There were only a few negatives (in our opinion, they might not be for others) that we noticed about the boat. First, we aren’t very big fans of having 2 heads aka bathrooms on a boat. That might not seem like a problem, but we figure it’s wasted storage space and more hassle to deal with. Also, the walk-through hallway is pretty darn tight, as in Dan and I could not pass each other at all and we aren’t very big people. There is plenty of cabinet storage but I have a feeling that it would be somewhat cumbersome to use with how narrow the hallway is and it would be especially tight trying to work on the engine which is also accessed there. Overall, the Out Island was a very nice boat and one we wouldn’t be disappointed with, but we just weren’t really feeling it. (This particular one at least. The Out Island can be found in many different layouts and every boat is different.)

The next boat that we saw was a Cape Dory 33. To be honest, we really should have looked at this one before the Out Island instead of after. We came away feeling like it was just too small for us which was compounded by the fact that this specimen wasn’t very well cared for and had a lot of junk piled inside of it. I think even a nice one would probably be too tight of a squeeze for 3 people, but it could make a good cozy boat for a couple. The galley area was actually more spacious on the Cape Dory than the Out Island with more working counter space, but that’s about the only thing that was bigger. One of the most pressing issues that I would have living in this boat is not just the living space but the non-existent storage space. I don’t think that our SCUBA equipment would be able to find a home on this little boat and therefore neither would we!

Luckily, the next two boats we toured were ones that we would be thrilled to pick up when the time comes but we will save those for next time!