Long time lurker here and very infrequent poster. Most of the questions I've had have already been answered through search. However, I have a larger question now....
I'm 63 and a lifelong water
rat. Sailing, racing
, you name it. My wife and I are both 63 and had the good fortune to retire at 55. We bought a small cruising cat, a Tomcat 9.7 upon retirement
. For those of you unfamiliar, it's a 32 x 16 cat that is simple, light and fast. Very shallow draft
. Decent bridge deck
clearance so it's pretty comfortable even in snotty conditions. We've set it up as a couples' boat
with simple systems, a little more water
tankage and lots of solar
– 700 watts – so we can spend time away from marinas
wandering around and exploring.
We live on the Chesapeake and have explored lots of it. Boat
has been great for our intended purpose. However, we're realized we don't make the most of it. For most of the sailing and fishing
seasons, we split our time between sailing, fishing (on our power boats), road trips (a favorite pastime), grown children
and young grandchildren. As the grandchildren came – along with soccer, basketball and baseball games, we spend less and less time on the cat.
At the same time, the pandemic has driven home how much we don't like cold winters and find ourselves “stuck in the house.” I've used the past 8 winters to finish up all my outstanding projects, restored a couple of cars, a couple more boats and build a hot rod. For the ,most part, the projects are now done.
This prompted a thought. Would it make sense to move the cat to Florida
and use it as a winter home? My thinking would be to sail it down this or next spring and leave it there. Have it hauled, give it a good clean and wax and have it shrink wrapped. Go back north and have our usual summer on the Chesapeake. In November, drive our big diesel
pickup filled with clothes, supplies and totes with my tools. Prep and splash the boat and live on it until the following April. Spend our time wandering around and exploring like we do on the Chesapeake.
For fishing opportunities, I would trailer
a center console down and leave it on its trailer
to use as and where needed. Might even leave a boat there on a trailer over the summer with the cat.
The thinking is that living on the cat down South would:
- avoid having to buy another house
- give us 5 full time months on the boat (versus a sporadic 8 months use now)
- move if we don't like the neighbors
- maybe change marinas every year or so to experience new areas
- get us out of the cold
- offer a different experience
- should be a net neutral (give or take) cost wise since we already own the boat and and have marina costs already.
So, what do you all think? Is anyone already doing something like this? Potential problems I can see are:
- finding a marina that allows liveaboards
- security of a boat that is unattended and un-visited for 7 months of the year
- local, county or state ordinances prohibiting what we'd like to do.
Would really appreciate any experiences, wisdom or advice
you all can offer.