Hello all. I really enjoy the diversity of this forum. It has been my life long dream to cruise
and live on an island. I have married the woman of my dreams a little later in life and we are about to embark on our journey. I guess I am asking for some advice and tips from people who have done the same. I love hearing about people's experiences.
I am 40 and retired military. I have saved and have a good salary that will continue. We have a nice nest egg and will save a bunch monthly by living aboard
. I own a nice boat that I have had for over one year. It is in good repair and I have spent and will spend time continuing to make improvements and upgrades until we leave. It is a 37' twin engine
with a lot of great features. I have been a boat owner for 15 years. I am a pilot and I have mood navigation
experience. We live in Austin, Texas
. We have 2 younger kids
who will be 3 and 6 when we leave. I went back to school
and I will have a teaching degree. My wife is doing the same. The plan is to have the boat moved to Florida ICW
in July of this year.
We want to spend time cursing and hanging out in Florida
until November and then plan to take 6-8 months to get to the USVI where we will settle. We have started minimizing our stuff and selling vehicles. We will store what we want to ship in a container until we arrive. We aren't taking much. We plan to rent a place for awhile before we buy after arriving then buy a home. We will both be elementary teachers on STX.
We both think that this will be an amazing experience for ourselves and the kids
. We like living with less and we are resourceful. Between us, we can catch, fix and figure out a lot of what we need to know. We are in the process of taking some classes
on various skills to help us along the way. I realize that I don't know a lot of things and don't have the experience of many of the people on this forum. These are some of the things that I am thinking about now:
purification systems. These seem nice but costly and I don't see them on many boats of comparable size. My wife is campaigning for this feature. Does anyone have experience with buying
2. We plan to make the passage
. Has anyone taken a 6 month route
through the Bahamas
, Turks, DR, PR that took this long? Any suggestions? We aren't much for Nassau
or over populated areas. I am installing solar
on the boat.
3. We are buying
a nice mattress. I am changing the microwave to a convection oven
. I am having a new canvass installed. I am buying a 11' rigid dinghy
and 15hp motor
. I have 3 anchors. I have good GPS
. Does anyone have suggestions for items of comfort or convenience that they wished they had or installed before a long trip?
4. We have a large german shepherd police dog that is really well trained. We can teach her how to do almost anything. I like the security
of having this animal, who is also a service
animal. Does anyone have experience with different considerations with large dogs
on a boat? She loves the water
, unlike many shepherds. I've never had a dog in the Bahamas
. I understand the ?
5. We are thinking that the ICW
and Florida will be OK and fun. We might be planning to stay for too long. Any thoughts?
6. Is satellite broadband
a bad idea when we are anchored? I see portable systems for $2k but they have mixed reviews
. We have Att and plan to be in marinas
a couple days out of the week as we cruise
, get off the boat a couple of times per month for a night or two.