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Floating on a Boat in Florida
Old 03-03-2009, 03:38 AM   #1
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Floating on a Boat in Florida

Hey all!!

Just signed up and wanted to say "Hi". I retired about ten years ago, got my Captain's License, and am now currently living in the lower lattitudes for the winter aboard our little sailboat, "Native Dancer". We'll be heading north to Chippewa Falls, WI to plant our "victory garden" and take care of parents.

Wanted to meet up with some like minded people who can provide a little support during our own "Great Depression". I've got a few ideas and I'll share as appropriate.

Cheers...
Steve
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:55 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard! Several folks here spend a lot of time on the water in big craft and small, there's plenty of room for nautical talk. And, as you can see, there's lots of jabber about the current slump in the economy. There's even discussion about government economic policy as it relates to retirees. Come on in, the water's shark infested fine!
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:29 AM   #3
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Hi Steve, so, tell us about your boat! You are a snowbird, right?
That seems like the best of both worlds, getting to stay where it is comparatively warm in the winter and then moving up north in the summer.
Do you use your 6-pack license for charter? My DH wants to get his at some point before or at retirement. Do you cruise much or stay in one location?

We sold our sailboat a few years ago and still miss it! Welcome to the forum!
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:55 AM   #4
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Thanks for the comments...

We have a 28-foot cutter that we bought last year in Wisconsin and moved to Punta Gorda, FL. I have a USCG Master Level "Captains" license which I've held for 10-years. We lived for five years in Key largo, FL and then sold our home near the top of the housing boom to move back to Wisconsin to take care of parents. We're "snow-birds" now, but will probably stay home the next couple of years to work until the economy recovers. I've been retired for ten years but it might be fun to earn some money for a change. Fortunately, we have no debt and can live on almost nothing. Our home in Chippewa Falls, WI is wonderful and the town is like living in America during the 50's. Mail is still delivered on foot door-to-door and kids still sell lemonade on the sidewalks. I reckon we'll be just fine...

Cheers,
Steve
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:29 AM   #5
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Welcome, Steve. I'm an old Wisconsinite (Madison, Whitefish Bay before that), and now call Tampa home. Been through Chippewa Falls/Eau Claire a number of times.

Plan to keep the boat or sell it for your 2-year back-to-work plan?
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:03 AM   #6
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Welcome. I've never lived aboard, but have spent considerable time on sailboats, mine and others, both cruising and in regattas. I used to keep a Watkins 27 in Puerto Rico, where DW and I spend several months a year, but sold it because of the hassle of worrying about it when we were gone. We keep a Capri 25 in Virginia that we use for day sailing and regattas, though the regattas are getting fewer as we get older. We've also enjoyed bareboat chartering in the Caribbean, have had several week-long trips in the BVIs, the SVIs, St Barts, and other places. But, it gets pretty expensive after a while, so it's not a great retirement hobby.

If I had a power boat I'd choose a cutter, but not sure I could afford the fuel.
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:38 PM   #7
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Welcome Steve, I too joined this blog recently as I retire one month ago and enjoying it totally. I have a Beneteau 310 I sail on a Corps lake here in Illinois.
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I used to own several boats ...
Old 03-04-2009, 06:27 PM   #8
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I used to own several boats ...

A boat being defined as a hole in the water, surrounded by fiberglass, into which you endlessly shovel money. Every now and then, I get out a $20 bill and burn it in front of a picture of my last '$floating money pit$.' If that doesn't work, I stand in a cold shower, fully dressed, and rip $50 bills into little bits and watch them swirl down the drain, until the fit passes.

Given that I'm a tall guy, I still shudder at living aboard a floating torture chamber, with masts and sails, where I couldn't stand upright, and living in less than 20 sq. ft. of floor space. Plus having to have the head (toilet) pumped every week or so and drinking fiberglass-tasting stagnant water from the on-board tank, also having to re-fill it every week. Oh, yes, and no shower (bathing from a bucket and sponge gets old real fast).

Keeping in mind that I've built several boats, including Bolger, Rabl and Chapelle sharpie designs, I now do my cruising aboard a Suzuki Burgman AN650 motorbike. I dock at Comfort Inns and similar places, where the availability of heat/AC, clean sheets, hot water, privacy, clean sheets and a locking door are one of the highlights of Western Civilization.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:15 PM   #9
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[quote=sander06;791255]Thanks for the comments...

We have a 28-foot cutter that we bought last year in Wisconsin and moved to Punta Gorda, FL. I have a USCG Master Level "Captains" license which I've held for 10-years. We lived for five years in Key largo, FL and then sold our home near the top of the housing boom to move back to Wisconsin to take care of parents. We're "snow-birds" now, but will probably stay home the next couple of years to work until the economy recovers. I've been retired for ten years but it might be fun to earn some money for a change. Fortunately, we have no debt and can live on almost nothing. Our home in Chippewa Falls, WI is wonderful and the town is like living in America during the 50's. Mail is still delivered on foot door-to-door and kids still sell lemonade on the sidewalks. I reckon we'll be just fine...

Cheers,

Welcome Steve: Hope your plan works out for the best. We' ve got friends in Punta Gords, on a deep water canal with access to the Gulf. Actually it empties into Charlott Harbour but you could get to the big water. Our friends got hit pretty bad by huricane Charlie. Took them about three years to get everything fixed and settled. My son, a firefighter, lives in Naples and has a Captains license. He works boats on his off days and plans to do more with the Captains license when he hangs it up, about 10 more years.
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:04 AM   #10
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Great comments!

A boat can be expensive and uncomfortable at times for sure. I have a doctrate in Marine Biology and a love of the sea. I guess I was born at the wrong time since I missed meeting Darwin and the great exploring sailors of the past. My wife and I look upon our little boat as a time capsule and an escape pod for living in these troubled times. Push comes to shove, we have the ability to sail to almost any place on earth. However, our desire is to stay put and enjoy the ups and downs (the tides?) of daily life onboard. You can see us at...

Picasa Web Albums - Voyager - Sunny and Mil...#

Cheers
Steve
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Old 03-06-2009, 02:12 AM   #11
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One of the things which attracted me to this forum was Dory36's posts (years back) about life aboard his boat. It just seemed so adventurous and idilic.

Living in Hawaii, I'm surrounded by boats of every description, though I've only been on "commercial" cruises (whale watches, Waikiki or North Shore catamaran cruises, "booze" cruises, dinner sails, etc.) I've wandered around a couple of the yacht harbors (especially the Ala Wai). I love to look at the boats and, again, the live-aboard life style seems appealing.

Would love to hear more live-aboard stories from those who've been-there-done-that. Sander06, great pics. Love your cat!
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:41 AM   #12
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Great pictures, and a very pretty boat! I don't think I could liveaboard full time, but I am still frisky enough to survive those discomforts for at least a month at a stretch. We'll get to find out when DH retires in a few years.
Cats and boats sure do go together! Thanks for sharing the photos.
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