It was almost a year ago that we bought Barefoot Gal and four months ago that we began our winter cruising aboard her.
And as the Keys cruising season is winding down, several people have asked how we like the new-to-us boat, how we like part-year cruising and what we’re going to do next year.
In a nutshell, we love the boat. It’s great for what we want to do with it. We’ve discovered some problems that weren’t evident pre-sale or in the survey, but are dealing with them. We expected this winter to be a shakedown where we figured out what we needed to do to make her the boat we wanted.
We’ve found that we have a love/hate relationship with part-year cruising. We simply enjoy being on the boat. It’s a great lifestyle for us. The hate part? We hate the thought of leaving her. We do like our house on a small lake in Illinois, but we’re going to hate putting the boat on the hard and heading north.
So we’ve revised our plan. We’re still going to put the boat in storage for the summer, but we’re going to put our house up for sale. Assuming it sells, we’re going to live aboard full time.
Selling the house, selling most of our “stuff” and packing everything up will keep us pretty busy this summer.
We don’t know exactly when we’ll get back to the boat. If the house sells, we’ll probably take a little time this summer to do some land travel — working on the boat in a storage yard in the middle of summer in southern Florida just isn’t too appealing. And we do have a couple of projects that we want to do before she goes back in the water after hurricane season. So we’re thinking we’ll get there in mid-October (after the Annapolis Sailboat Show) but maybe sooner, depending on the house.
We hope to have the boat back in the water in early November and work our way back down to the Keys then. There’s a lot of the Keys we haven’t explored and the Bahamas are calling, too.
Right now, the conundrum is this: we’re loving being aboard the boat in the Keys and want to stay another month or two. But spring and summer are the best times to sell our house (it’s on a small lake in Illinois) and we need to get up there to get it on the market.
Looks like we’ll be heading north to Fort Myers and then Glades Boat Yard sometime next week . . .