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Posted on Mar 24, 2014 | 0 comments

Wanted: Sailboat in South Florida

Cabot 36 from mast top

So long Cabot 36! Maybe we will find one of your sisters to be ours!

I should stay away from gambling. In our last post on Thursday, I ended by stating that we thought 2 weeks (between then and visiting the boat we intended to buy) should be a pretty safe bet. Not 6 hours later, Dan received a phone call from the broker. A buyer walked in and bought that baby right out from underneath of us, as is/where is. Needless to say, that seriously took some wind out of our sails.

So here we are, heading to Southwest Florida in a week and a half and we’d really like to find a boat while we’re there. I’ve been scouring the internet for the last 4 days trying to find anything and everything that might be worth looking at. Call me optimistic, but I figure we might as well try since we’ll already be in the right place.

While I’m trying to find every possible listing online, I’d like to ask that if you or anyone who know might have a decent lead for us (in South Florida or otherwise) in the less than $50,000 range, please send it along! We would be eternally grateful!

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Posted on Jul 31, 2013 | 0 comments

Boat Review: Krogen 38 and Morgan 382

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!

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Posted on Jun 12, 2013 | 0 comments

The Most Beautiful Beaches

Tom and Laura were the best hosts ever!

Tom and Laura were the best hosts ever!

For the week before Memorial Day this year, Dan, Carter and I went on a family vacation to Panama City Beach (“Home of the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches”) with Dan’s whole immediate family. Starting out at a bleary 2:00AM we had a 14 hour drive with a 2 year old ahead and wanted to maximize our “sleeping baby time”. Luckily, we made the drive with no problems, baby or car related, but we did eat dinner at an interesting little BBQ place in Montgomery, Alabama. Considering the looks we got when we pulled in and the handwritten sign on the door reading “No Masks, No Hoods, No Weapons”, we may have been the first white customers to come in quite some time. That was okay with us though because man they had some good barbecue.

Our evil plan seemed to work

Our evil plan seemed to work on the ride down to PCB

Don't judge a book by its cover...or a restaurant by the sign out front!

Don’t judge a book by its cover…or a restaurant by the sign out front!

When we got to PCB, we were immediately amazed at how beautiful the house and community was that our hosts, Dan’s second cousin Tom (or is it first cousin once removed?) and his wife Laura, lived in. They had renovated a burned out shell of a house that they nursed back to health in spectacular fashion and lovingly renamed “Creme Brule”. It was definitely nicer than any hotel we’ve ever stayed at, with much better company! Tom and Laura wasted no time in getting us down to the beautiful beach only a few blocks from the house and taking us on a tour of some of the famous 30A beach communities nearby. The most famous of which, Seaside, is where the Jim Carey movie The Truman Show was filmed.

Our introduction that first night was a preview of what most of our vacation would be, time on the beach followed by some fun sight seeing. In addition, we were able to do diving twice while we were there and had a great time! Dan and Kyle brought along their new pole-spears for the trip as spear fishing is fairly popular in the PCB community and we were not disappointed with their great catch that we brought home. (Anyone have a good recipe for grouper?)

It’s amazing what one week on the beach has done to our perspective. Thanks to our gracious hosts we had an amazing time in (and on!) Panama City Beach. We got a serious taste of what early retirement could look like outside of and in conjunction with our cruising plans and let me tell you, it tasted pretty darn delicious. We certainly were sad to leave and had some major cognitive dissonance going on as we drove north away from the warm weather and beautiful ocean.

On the Beach Black silhouettes

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Posted on May 30, 2013 | 2 comments

Catching Up

Where we wish we were now

Where we wish we were now

I have been told that there are people in the world that enjoy getting home after a vacation. I am not one of them. Nothing says “Welcome Home” like rainy weather, heaps of laundry, and a busy week at work. We’ve got some great stories and plans from vacation to share in the next few weeks, but those will have to wait until I can shake the drowsiness caused by no sunlight. For today we have a little business to catch up on.

First of all, congratulations again to our book winner Dyce! Dyce is currently from Wisconsin and sails a Pearson Ensign on Lake Michigan at home. He is planning to go cruising in the future, but is still in the early stages of the preparation. Best of luck to you Dyce and we hope to meet you someday on the open ocean.

Secondly, you may have noticed that the site has undergone a fairly major transformation. We recently decided to upgrade our WordPress theme with a product called Elegant Themes, which we think looks a little cleaner and works better on tablets and cell phones. Dan also brushed off his graphic design hat and designed a new logo for us which I absolutely love, but I may be a little biased. We hope you like it too.

Here is a sampling of our lengthy design process.

Here is a sampling of our lengthy design process.

Finally on a more personal note, today is our 5th wedding anniversary. Some days those 5 years feel like they’ve flown by and other days I can’t believe it’s only been 5 (though to be fair we have been inseparable for more like 9), but everyday I feel truly blessed to be part of the beautiful relationship that we have worked so hard to foster and grow. I look forward to many more years of this amazing adventure with the one who holds my heart. Happy Anniversary, Honey!

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Posted on Sep 26, 2012 | 0 comments

House for Sale!

What does this have to do with putting our house up for sale? He is standing on the counter… in the house, obviously.

After weeks of preparation, repairs, upgrades, and cleaning our house is officially on the market today. Honestly it is a surreal moment for us. We’ve been working towards our dream for over a year and our progress so far has been almost completely intangible. Until now. When we said things were starting to get real, we weren’t kidding.

Our plan is to sell our house and find a job in (preferably) Florida. We would like to be able to take an entire season preparing both ourselves and our future boat. There are going to be adjustments that need to be made both to our future boat and to its occupants. We will be downsizing from a 2400 ft² house to around approximately 400 ft². It sounds rough, but that is actually the size of Michele and my first house. I hadn’t thought about that until we were looking at deck plans of a potential boat and I mentioned something about the size (or lack thereof). She said, “Dan, that is around the same size as our Gift house… it won’t be a problem.” (side note: Michele and I had a house on Gift Avenue and always refer to it as our Gift house.) And shes right… when we lived in the Gift house we both knew it was smaller than pretty much any other house in existence, but it worked for us. We didn’t feel cramped. We just used our space wisely.

It is very easy, for me especially, to get caught up in the details… the day to day lists of stuff we need to get done to make our dream a reality. It helps to take a step back every once in a while and take stock of the situation. We just listed our house for sale so we can go live on a boat, that’s pretty amazing.

Follow your dreams. Follow the Horizon.

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