Why do you want to live on a boat?

An old friend used to talk about growing up on a sail boat.  The idea seemed so far from the norm it couldn’t have been more impossible.

However, our whole family loves the ocean, the kids spent a very significant portion of their impressionable childhood living in the Florida Keys.  It’s also where Ethan was born (Lower Keys Medical Center), which makes him a “Salt Water Conch.”  Sandy lived in Puerto Rico and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from about ages 6-12.  Aric is 22 year veteran of the Navy and spent a lot of time on the Texas Gulf Coast as kid, visiting with family in the summer time.

We’ve moved 14 times in 22 years, it’s so bad the kids ask at least once a year when we’re going to move again.  We’ve lived in cold places, and know that’s NOT an option for us, so we figured we would have to retire and live somewhere warm and tropical.   So many things pointed to living on a sailboat.  One day Aric just told Sandy “We’re going to live on a boat!”

Were there any protests? Friends or Family?

Actually, Sandy protested.  She said she didn’t want to go live on the ocean for months at a time and never see land.  After figuring out it’s nothing like that, and exploring home school options, she slowly warmed up to the idea.  After visiting a boat show in Anapollis, Maryland late 2016, she was sold on giving it a go!  Walking through about a dozen different catamarans, we got a pretty good idea of what we were in for.

Family didn’t really believe it at first.  Aric has mentioned he wanted to do the woodsman thing in Alaska… chop down trees, hunt off the land, the whole bit.  But those were fleeting.  After repeatedly telling family the boat thing was going to happen in 2019, they started believing.  Then the questions about school, and hurricanes, and all the other perils of living on a boat ensued.  They’re all pretty on board now and okay with it.

What are you doing to prepare?

Well, we started home schooling the kids this year.  We’re starting with a state run program that works through K-12 and it’s been a good transition for the most part.  Next year, we will have to shift to a provided curriculum and try that.

We also bought a travel trailer and have been really stretching our legs in that.  It’s been a lot of fun, the kids (and us) haven’t minded the tight living at all.  A catamaran will be a palace compared to the travel trailer.  🙂

We will all take boating courses together, learn what we need to about pharmacology, and lots more!  We’ll try to be as prepared as possible before leaving.

When you retire from the military, are you going straight to the boat?

NO.  We plan to head West to California, and the clockwise around the country (up to Seattle, over to Maine, and down to Florida), zigzagging along the way to see all the key landmarks.  We’ll end up in Florida, at the tail end of Hurricane season 2018, and buy a boat there or somewhere in the Caribbean and fly to it.  That’s the plan, and like Aric always says, “a plan is just something to deviate from”.

Do you have any idea what this is going to cost?

YES!  Very much so… a lot.  We have excel sheets breaking down costs for a boat mortgage, plus insurance, plus annual maintenance, and all the other little things most people probably wouldn’t think of.  We have owned boats before (never a sailboat) and understand a good deal of the nuances involved with boating.

We’ll be posting videos along the way, breaking down costs and expenses of boat life.

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