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Nautical Nomadia?

While we love our land-based nomadic lifestyle, Cherie and I have both long fantasized about taking to the high seas for some extended aquatic adventuring.

We’ve imagined someday running across a cruising couple who might want to “swap houses” for a few monhs – trading a chance to explore the open road in our land yacht while we spend some time getting our feet wet in theirs. Or we could dock our Oliver for a while, and maybe buy a boat of our own to begin exploring seasonally.

Cherie sailing the 'Wilde Ride' in 2004

We’ve had cruising on our “hypothetical future adventures” list for as long as we’ve known each other, and individually the idea of a liveaboard sailboat has haunted us even longer.

It really isn’t so much a question of if, but when.

Thanks to the down economy, the used boat market is ripe with amazing deals right now. In some cases (as seen this week on Craigslist) people are literally giving old boats away – “haul it off our lot and you can have it”. And our dear friend and fellow technomad Steve Roberts and his partner Sky just scored an amazing deal on a liveaboard-worthy boat for well under $10k, adding a second boat to their technomadic flotilla and inspiring us with what is possible on even the tightest budget.

We dream of eventually joining Sky and Steve in a floating community, but first we need to figure out what sort of boat we want, and what we can afford. We aren’t anywhere close to being actively boat hunting, but if the perfect boat comes along in the next year or so we want to be ready to jump.

And until then, we can start learning, gaining some experience, and fantasizing about future adventures.

To gather up some fuel for the fires of imagination – we are heading down this weekend to visit the Miami International Boat Show and in particular, the sailing focused Strictly Sail Miami.

We are hoping to check out the latest and greatest in new boats (like the sweet looking Gemini 105Mc Catamaran) so that we can have a better sense for what we want in a used boat. Catamaran or monohull? How big? What things are must haves? What things could we do without?

You can only learn so much on the internet. But nothing can actually compare to actually standing onboard to get a sense for what feels right.

There are also a lot of interesting sounding seminars that we plan to check out.

We will report back next week on what we thought of the show. I am really interested in contrasting this giant boat show with the RV Show that we went to last month in St. Louis.

In the meantime, advice on all things nautical, and in particular things to see and check out at the boat show are appreciated. Are any of our readers out there past, present, or future cruisers?

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  1. Dan is so right about the huge learning curves while cruising. This is another reason why a flotilla is such a great idea. You have support while learning the ropes.
    .-= Sky´s last blog ..Trial by Fire =-.

  2. I have been an avid sailing for much longer than I have been RVing. If my wife was more into sailing and the kids were older, I would sell the Airstream and full time in a sea-worthing cruising sailboat in a heartbeat! Even though boats are cheaper to buy right now than RVs. Maintenance is what will kill you in the long term. Much worst than RVs. Expect to put a lot of sweat equity (and $$$) into a fixer.

    There are a lot more to living aboard a sailboat than there is an RV. Unless you have extensive coastal cruising experience under your belt, safe passage making skills can really only be learned by doing. expect to make lots of mistakes in th meantime and hopefully nothing too discouraging. Pay close attention to signs of weather and always be ready to scrap your plans if you have any uncertainties. Of course I am saying these not yet knowing the level of your sailing experience. I am excited for you on this next phase of your travels and I look forward to seeing your progress.

    • True about maintenance, though I find the finite scale of a boat less daunting than the sprawling mess of a land-based home. It’s also satisfying to understand and maintain your floating escape and survival pod.

      Dan, the weather advice is spot-on… sailors who get in trouble are almost always ignoring their gut for some reason involving schedules, racing, or inflexibility. A sailor with no schedule always has fair winds.

      S/V Nomadness
      .-= Steven Roberts´s last blog ..BEHEMOTH Memories =-.

  3. Hi Cherie & Chris:
    Cherie, I love seeing that pic of you at the helm of the Wilde Ride; brought back good memories. I think it’s lovely that you two got the sailing bug. I did the Miami Boat show for many a year, from about 1989 to 20-something. Always lots of fancy boats to check out with the latest & greatest technology, and lots of eye candy on Miami Beach! Have fun and let me know what you discover.

  4. Awesome! We have definitely contemplated the floating life. Whether our future has that in store for us, I don’t know. But it’s fun to dream! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    It’s very exciting to hear that you are planning on traveling the waters! Looking forward to hearing more about your plans. Best wishes.
    .-= Freely Living Life´s last blog ..Letting go =-.

  5. That’s wild! What’s great about having flexibility in your locations and schedules is that you can switch to a boat at a moment’s notice if the opportunity arises. All the power to you! I almost wish we had already finished our year of RVing so we could take advantage of the glut of boats on the market.
    .-= Jay´s last blog ..My Resignation: Employee vs. Executive Reactions =-.

  6. I am excited for you. If you come to the PNW you can join Steve and I for some time on water. With the two boats we effectively have a floating B&B. You can crew on either. Take your pick, the ubergeeky and oh so stately mothership, or the nimble and cozy lil sister! Hope to see you soon.

  7. I researched powerboats for a long time and almost bought a 45′ Californian. But then, I decided to live on a bus instead. I still love the idea of a living on a yacht and often stay on boat & breakfasts whenever I can find them. My current fantasy is to live on a Nordhavn and cruise around the world like this guy did for a while: http://www.theglobaladventure.com/

  8. I’m very much looking forward to your report. I also follow Commodore Roberts’ activities and several other people who either do or have been full-time sailors. I have 2 friends from high school who live aboard in CA, and it seems to be an even nicer place to do it out here.

    Not much chance of getting her to full-time liveaboard, but it would still be nice to have something to tinker with/try to talk her into it.

    (Guess what my last name means in Dutch?)
    .-= James Schipper´s last blog ..Career Outsourcing: Replaced by the Lowest Bidder =-.

  9. Delighted to hear this, and wish we could be at the boat show with you! At this point, just absorb like crazy, browse the aisles of goodies, sleuth around the boats, and inhale wisdom from the presenters. For a learning-curve junkie like you, that should make for a very fun week.


    Cheers from Nomadness and Dervish,
    Steve & Sky
    .-= Steven Roberts´s last blog ..BEHEMOTH Memories =-.

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