It was about a year ago that I got the bright idea to live on a boat. At the time, Will and I were discussing whether we should rent another year or look to purchase a home here in Southwest Florida. “Purchase A Home?!” – The thought scared me and it took a month or two before I could even talk to him about it without having a minor panic attack.
“What if we rented a boat for a year – that would be cool!” I pitched the idea as a means of persuading him to continue renting and not buy anything yet. My idea was met with a blank stare and finally, the “no” word that sealed the deal.
Fast forward a good six months… We’re sitting in our second rental place, more seriously considering our options for purchasing a home when this lease ends. Since moving to SWFL Will and I have fully embraced the boating lifestyle, and so we decided that our house must be on the canal where we can have a boat docked. The problem, of course, is that any home with Gulf Access here is at least $300,000 – not your average first-time home buyer price point.
“Well there’s always the option of living on a boat,” I resurfaced the idea, half-jokingly. But this time, Will’s blank stare ended with a “yeah, maybe.”
Crap. Was he serious, or joking? It’s sometimes hard to tell with him.
Over the next few months, it was evident that he was seriously considering buying a boat. He started researching more about live aboard options and saw that it can be an affordable option of living on the water.
I, on the other hand, I wasn’t quite sold on my own idea. I remember having bad “sea-legs” after one of our recent boating excursions and thought that maybe we weren’t cut out for this. So, for Will’s 27th Birthday in March, I rented a big 51’ Sundancer on Airbnb for us to “live aboard” for the night. The boat wouldn’t leave the dock, but it would be a cool opportunity for us to see what it’s like to live on the water.
It’s actually a good story… The whole ordeal was a surprise, which if you know Will, that’s no small feat. I told him we were going to dinner, but since we were early, we casually walked the docks to look at boats – a usual occurrence for us.
As we walked down Dock D, we stopped at the long, sleek Sundancer, which had a Birthday sign that read “Big 27” on it. Will’s first reaction was, “That thing isn’t 27 feet!” Then when I exclaimed “Happy Birthday!,” I rented this boat, he said, “I’m not driving that big thing!” Haha. **FacePalm
After explaining it was our Live Aboard Try Outs, to see how we like it – he was excited or maybe a better word is relieved. We cooked dinner on board, and chatted with the other boaters who lived at the marina. One of the guys had a cat and a dog that lived on his sailboat with him. Us being cat people, we immediately took to Isabella, the precious tuxedo cat who wasn’t afraid to jump on board and show you some attention. We enjoyed Isabella’s company all evening, until about 5:30am when she was at our door crying for attention. **Sigh…
Overall, our live aboard try outs were a success. We enjoyed our time aboard and believe it or not, had no sea legs the next day!
Leaving the marina, I said to Will, “I think I could handle this,” and he agreed… and I immediately thought to myself, “Great, what did we get ourselves into!”