A Realization . . .

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 . . .

I'd like to know about...

Explore more

Want weekly tidbits of cruising information? Sign up for The Boat Galley's free weekly newsletter. You'll get the newest articles and podcasts as well as a few relevant older articles that you may have missed.

Do you find The Boat Galley useful? You can support the site when you buy from Amazon by using the links on this site or clicking below. No extra cost for you!

47 Comments
  • Karen Belinda
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Exciting to make a plan and move forward. Best of luck!

  • Gloria Dawn Turek
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Your doing the right thing. Been at this cross road before c

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

      We’ve done it once before . . . then medical probs made us move ashore. Those cleared up, we thought we’d try this half-year thing. Nah.

  • Mindee McGeary Cobb
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    As you know, life in a south Florida yard is hard enough in the winter. Brutal in summer. Best of luck selling the house. It looks super cute!

  • Nicola
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Congratulations! I wish you all the best and happiness!!! Another couple gives up the dirt life!

  • Barbara Garter
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Congratulations! and hope the house sale proceeds well. My husband and I Have the same discussions about part-time vs full time cruising. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and decision.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

      As I said to someone else, it’s a tough decision. Just because it’s right for Dave and I doesn’t make it right for everyone else. We’re the types that get bored being in one place!

  • Pat and Barney
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Good on ya, mates. If you stop by the Ft Myers Yacht Basin look us up. Love the newsletter…love to meet ya.

  • Julie Anderson
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Best of wishes Carolyn & Dave. I think you will enjoy your choice to be full time liveaboards. November will be 5 years for us and it’s the best choice we ever made.

  • Kristi Black
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Best of luck selling the house! We sold ours 2 years ago and got rid of most of our possessions for the sole purpose that we plan to buy a liveaboard boat. We still have some “land” things we need to accomplish, but plan to relocate to Florida in the next year to year and a half to find our new “home.” Getting rid of most of our possessions and living a somewhat minimalist lifestyle has been very liberating! I hope it goes well for you too!

  • Lisa Parker
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    How exciting!

  • Jeri Berge
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    You’ll have to keep us posted on how it goes. We’re doing the same but not in one summer! Our home in Florida is for sale now!

  • Mimi Laser
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Enjoy the journey, we moved aboard last thanksgiving and couldn’t be happier.Very cathartic to get rid of stuff. There is a young couple in my marina living aboard the same kind of boat as yours. If you’re ever on the east side of Florida, come on in!

  • Peter Robertson
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Best of luck on both endeavors…..!

  • Deb
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    We moved aboard almost 3 years and have been cruising for 1 full time. We love this lifestyle and imagine all the new things you could write about? When we first moved aboard I couldn’t wait for your news letters because it’s alway filled with great ideas and useful information. Hope to meet you both out here somewhere and trade ideas with you. Good luck.

  • Thomas Keenan
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    What made you choose Glades??

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

      Stayed there last summer after we bought the boat. It’s priced well and way inland (with locks so no surge) in case of a hurricane. And it’s a DIY yard which we like. Downside is that no stores are close, you have to have a car.

    • Thomas Keenan
      Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

      I did notice how far inland it was — so I just HAD to ask… What is their pricing per month?

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

      $3.60 per foot in the storage area. Flat rate of $17 per day in the work area.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

      Controlling bridge height coming from Ft. Myers is 55′ I believe and 47 coming from the Atlantic (we’re 45, so I may be off — double check if you’re thinking of using it)

  • Michelle Rene
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Always a new and better plan to make, love that you want to liveaboard again, how exciting, your good with details and it will all come together

  • Cheryl Geeting
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Best wishes for a quick sale!

  • Mike
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    We did the same thing and have been living aboard for almost a year now. Leaving San Francisco in a couple of months to head south. It took a couple of years to get rid of everything that we had collected but it feels great now. Health has improved and have been able to drop medications :-). No bills anymore :-). You will love it.

  • Danielle Moreau
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    How exciting Carolyn! I am at that same juncture….I own a house full of stuff but the boat life is calling….So room by room, I have rented out my house to college students…three so far…with one as a caretaker and manager for reduced rent….It is making it easier to make this decision! Best wishes to you…for following your heart 🙂

  • Chuck Burns
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Sounds like a good plan…living aboard. Enjoy and good luck selling.

  • Sarah Howerton Hanson
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Good luck!

  • Evelyn
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Such a crossroad decision! We’re still doing the commuter cruiser lifestyle because it still best fits with our decision to be close to family and our next generation. To give up that real estate (interpret: stuff) and go mobile sounds so refreshing. See you in the harbor and at the Glades, too!

  • Claire Ford
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Glad to hear the decision has been made! Now for the important question–will The Boat Galley continue while y’all are on the hard? I can understand if not, and it will give me a chance to catch up on all the past articles. Love the site, and will continue to be a fan while your big life changes take place.

  • Donna
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    We can relate. We are working at divesting ourselves, and getting back to the boat full-time. Good luck to you!

  • Connie Watkins Weaver
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    Thank you for the post. It helps me with our conundrum… Sell our house, downsize to a much smaller house on a sailboat canal in southern Florida and buy a boat that we can afford with the $$ we have left; or sell the house, sell our stuff, buy a Gemini and go!

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

      It’s tough. I’m not going to say that full-time is for everyone. A lot depends on what’s tying you to life ashore.

    • Its all about boats
      Posted at 16 April 2015 Reply

      thanks for sharing

  • Jody Fortuna
    Posted at 11 April 2015 Reply

    So glad your new experience with the boat is tiring out good.

  • Gimme Shelter
    Posted at 12 April 2015 Reply

    What will you do during future hurricane seasons when you’re on the boat full time?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 16 April 2015 Reply

      Lots of options:

      We could put it on the hard during the real “heart” of hurricane season while we do some other travel.

      We could live aboard in Florida and have a hurricane haul-out contract in place.

      We could go up to the Chesapeake . . . or somewhere else.

      Or we could come up with some other plan completely!

      Knowing us, each year will be different. As for next year, so much depends on if/when the house sells that it’s hard to make plans now.

  • Christopher Wick
    Posted at 12 April 2015 Reply

    Have been reading your posts for quite some time now, great info great insights. good luck on your move from land of water. can’t wait to hear about it whenever you get the time to tell us.

  • Sheryl Shard
    Posted at 16 April 2015 Reply

    All the best with your new plans, Carolyn and Dave! I’m sure a lot of thought went into this big decision and that everything will work out great! Paul and I are looking forward to meeting up on the water someday and to seeing you at the Annapolis show in October.

  • Ruth Webster
    Posted at 17 April 2015 Reply

    Carolyn, I’ve been reading The Boat Galley for about a year and have discovered many good ideas/tips for making the “ADL’s” of life aboard more enjoyable (Activities of Daily Living). We’ve sailed for years, including spending months aboard during vacation trips, but this year we’re putting the house up for sale and finally going to move aboard full-time and visit some new destinations we’ve always wanted to see. I will confess that I’ve been experiencing mixed feelings during this process of moving my life from house to boat – happiness at finally doing something we’ve talked about and planned for years, and sadness at leaving the house we raised our son in, and the city we’ve lived in and loved for years. The boat has always been a happy place for me, and all my life I’ve loved traveling and seeing new places. But sometimes I ask myself if I’m really doing the right thing in selling the house and moving away from all of my neighbors and friends. Your posting about the realization and the conundrum you are facing has helped to reassure me that the decision I’ve made is the right one. Thanks, Carolyn!

  • Carleen
    Posted at 18 April 2015 Reply

    Hey Carolyn and Dave…..can’t remember, do you still have a Y? I want to try to come to Annapolis this October. If Jim and I do, we’d love to say Hi and chat about life on a cat. Best of luck with the sale.

  • Nanci
    Posted at 29 May 2016 Reply

    It must be close to a year that you made your decision to sell your home and live on the boat full-time. Has it been a good year? Any regrets? We are now facing this crossroads and think we will do as you have done, cruise for a while, keep the house and then make the decision. We recently moved in to a 55+ neighborhood and this is just not our thing. We will retire in a few months and want ADVENTURE! We have had many corporate moves over our careers and now finally have the freedom to choose. Any insight would help.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 30 May 2016 Reply

      We had done it once before, so we had a pretty good idea of what to expect. No regret whatsoever, but I do encourage people to keep their land base for a while until certain that the boat really is it. And it’s a great way to “stay young” with younger friends, physical demands on your body, agility and balance and so on. And we keep on learning new things . . .

Post A Comment