The Beginning of Our New Big Adventure

Stephanie came home one day after work last spring and said to me, “It’s time for an adventure.” I smiled and asked her what she had in mind and she said she didn’t know the “what” but felt that we’ve lived most of our lives safely and ‘by the book’ and now it was time to do something different for an adventure.

Together, we’ve raised our four kids, we greatly enjoy time with our 3 beautiful grandchildren and now as empty-nesters we should do something fun and adventurous. We are blessed with good health and are still young (that’s relative). Sign me up!

Stephanie was about to retire from her long and successful career in child care to work for my coaching business. And since I can do my work, coaching entrepreneurs and small business owners, as long as I have internet and a phone line, we were no longer geographically tied to any one place.  We binge watched HGTV and their many shows about beach living and Island hopping and we began to research living in the Caribbean for a year until then one day Stephanie said, “What about living on a boat?” Again, sign me up!sea-ray

Three years ago we bought a 30’ Sea Ray Sundancer and absolutely fell in love with boating and the incredible stress relieving aspects of being on the water. Our current boat, Perfect Timing, is too small to live aboard so we began the journey of looking for our next perfect boat … what would become our floating home!

Long story short we found the most perfect boat that would feel like ‘a home on the water’ at the Annapolis Power Boat Show in October. Only problem was that it was out of our price range, but we sure loved that boat!!

Stephanie snapped this picture of me in the boat with ‘my wheels tuning’ … desperately trying to figure out a way to make this happen, withdream-boatout taking on another big mortgage!

Driving home from Annapolis we came back to reality and our agreed upon budget so I hit the internet in search of this same model boat, only a couple years older. And thank the Lord I found one, and it was only 2.5 hours away! Our soon to be new floating home is a 2006 Carver Motor Yacht. It’s 50′ of pure ‘amazing’ and we wanted it bad! But there was one small detail to be taken care of – we needed to sell our house!

Our beautiful family home for the past 28.5 years was now going on the market. So many wonderful memories, but the time is right. To maximize our return we agreed to try and sell it ourselves for 60 days. If we were not successful we then agreed to hire a realtor.

We hired a professional home stager and house photographer (both truly amazing investments) and after about a month’s worth of packing and putting some of our furniture and personal possessions in storage we were ready to list the house.

I figured out how to get our house on MLS and all of the popular ‘home for sale’ web sites and within 12 hours of our house listing going live our phone started to ring! We showed the house 10 times in the first 3 days and received an offer that same weekend! Given the heavy traffic we decided to turn down the offer and keep going! In the end we sold the house ourselves in 5 weeks for a price we are very happy with.

House Sold – Now Make Offer on Our Dream Boat.

The owner of the boat accepted our offer and we set the wheels in motion to beat the fast approaching cold winter season, when most boats are pulled from the water and stored on land. Our goal was to settle on the house and buy the new boat in time to drive it 3.5 hours north to Chesapeake City, Maryland (our hailing port) and winterize it there. This would make it closer to home so we can visit it often and prepare it more easily for our spring departure.

House Sold, Boat Purchased, Now We Need a Place to Live for Five Months!boat-blue2

We need a month to month rental that would let us bring our 75 lb. rescue dog, Blue with us – no small task! Yes, Blue will be joining us on the boat and our cat, Serendipity, will be going to live with our son Steve. Stephanie took care of that task of finding us a place to live and she found us a great little ‘hideaway’ – a one bedroom apartment on a local farm. And bonus, it’s 20 minutes closer to the marina.

So What’s Our Plan?

So far, Stephanie and I have agreed to an 18 month plan. Starting in the spring, on or about May 1, we’ll leave land and together with Blue we’ll cruise to Providence Rhode Island. We’ll choose a marina close to one of our daughters and two grand kids. This will be a fun summer!

In October we’ll begin cruising south on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to Florida for the winter. That’s right, no more snow! 🙂 In spring of 2018 we’ll cruise back north to our hailing port in Chesapeake City, Maryland and spend the summer there on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay.

What happens after that has not been agreed to, but we’re both reading lots of books about people who live aboard boats and cruise the Great Loop. The Great Loop is the continuous waterway that encompasses the eastern portion of North America including the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, the Canadian Heritage Canals, and the inland rivers of America’s heartland.

That might be our next big adventure, but as I say, we have no firm plans yet!

One thing Stephanie and I have learned in this process so far, even before we leave the dock, is that life is truly an adventure and sometimes you don’t know what the next day will bring in terms of both opportunity, and challenge. But you wake up every day and figure it out!

This new adventure is a little outside our comfort zone, but we are both so excited and happy that we both said “yes” to doing something other than what is most described as normal and safe!

One last thing, naming the new boat – no easy task! After much thought and debate with family over Thanksgiving dinner we’ve named our dream boat, Floating Home!

Many of our family and friends are curious about the how, what, where and why we’re doing this. That’s a big reason that Stephanie and I decided to start this blog. We’ve loved sharing the Perfect Timing with friends and family for the last three years, and now this blog will let us share some of our Floating Home adventures.

We have a lot more learning to do and many more things to figure out as life is about to get very different. But we are super excited about figuring it out and doing this big crazy adventure together.

Fun Fact: When Stephanie first proposed doing some big adventure, we of course were thinking or the many reasons doing something like this might not be the safe or prudent thing to do. And the very next morning she got one of those inspirational emails and it contained this quote from Hunter S. Thompson: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” 

We both knew that was God’s way of saying, “Yes, do this!”

Stop back to this blog often as we’ll be sharing stories, pictures and some videos along the way!

We hope you enjoy Our Floating Home!

12 thoughts on “The Beginning of Our New Big Adventure”

  1. Hi Jim and Stephanie,

    We enjoyed your article. That is one beautiful boat. Over the summer we began looking around to move up to a nice size boat to spend a lot more time in, and the Carvers have caught our eye also. You both are certainly blessed. :0)

    My wife Kathie and I have enjoyed many nights, and weekends over the last three years on our boat here on a large lake in update NY; that connects to the Erie Canal. We too dream (Lord willing) of what you all have done, and are now In the process of doing. The winters are much tooooo long up here and I find myself often thinking “there are much more warmer places to be out on the water 24/7, and we need to hurry up and find them” ;0)

    Funny, Kathie and I both have been watching HGTV for quite sometime, and love the tropical and Caribbean “move to” shows. Though Maui spoiled us a few years ago; we have wondered why some couples do not buy a nice live aboard boat instead of settling for just a small portion of their dream. You my friends are on your way.

    How about some photos of the various areas of your boat when you get the time? We look forward to keeping up with your great adventure, keep us posted. Our prayers are with you both :0)

    Kathie & John

    1. Thank you for your wonderful note John! Yes, we will be posting pictures of the interior next! And thank you for your prayers, greatly appreciated.

  2. Hey Jim, I loved reading the details of ur story! I was BORN in the Chicago area, but when I was 21(LEGAL) I got TIRED of the cold weather and moved to Georgia. Been here ever since-40 years! I can’t imagine living on a boat, but if U and Stephanie LOVE IT, that is awesome!

    I think your boat now gives us the FREEDOM to live almost ANYWHERoE there is water. I’m excited for the new adventure for both of you. God bless in all u do and THANKS for being REAL with us, your many readers!

  3. Jim and Stephanie,

    This is wonderful and I am so thrilled and excited for you. Dennis is retiring in March. I’m still too “young” to retire but I’m excited that Dennis is going to retire. We are buying a wonderful van that we fell in love with and will travel with our dog Checkers. So, it’s similar but we’ll still keep our home and return in between our land adventures. I am going to continue working for my favorite clients in my small business, but will cut back so we can travel when the time comes.

    God bless and thank you for sharing your adventure. Will enjoy reading about every day of your adventure along the way.


    1. Hey Patti, that is so exciting about Dennis retiring! Don’t worry, your time is coming too! We’ll stay connected one way or another, I’m not retiring, just not going to have a permanent address!

  4. Hi Jim and Stephanie,
    Your Blog popped up on living aboard page in Facebook. I just finished your first entry and am excited to read the rest. God Bless!
    Fair winds and following seas!
    Melissa and Marty

  5. I caught one of your videos and left a comment and you responded and here I am. I just wasn’t sure with all the questions I have that asking all this stuff was to right place on a YouTube video.
    First I am 65 semi-retired living in Albuquerque NM my old hometown, but headed back to ND to work full time for a trucking company I use to pull for but In a much different position that would allow me to work for many more years and from any where as long as I have internet.

    And that got me thinking, I can work from any where, I don’t have to be in an office, I could be in an RV or , or, OR a boat! And so the search to find out as much as I could about living at anchor. I will be honest sailboat really appealed to me more. But I also have a budget and you know all things you have to weigh. On top of that I have a disease (not curable called Meniere’s disease. It’s an inner ear disease first hit 1998. It was terrible, you are walking and then it hits and you are on the ground and your mind has no idea where it is at. Well not true my mind knows where I fell, what it does not know is which way is up, what is left or right and when it first started these attacks lasted up to 1 hr until you through up. It was sort of like as a kid and you drank to much and you got the bed spins but even then you knew which way was up. When it started my mind did not know where it was in space.

    Over the years it quit, I went back to work as a truck driver, eventually went to Iraq to support our troops 2004-2012. Got hit again there with this disease, medical protected me kept it a secret and found things for me to do, but I recovered in a month, but they would not put me back to work driving outside the wire (that was a good decision), instead I worked for IT.

    Came home in 2012 went back to truck driving, 2016 it hit again but not near as bad, several attacks but they only lasted a few seconds not 45 min, but still you can’t drive if this happens. It has now been over 3 years the longest I have ever gone without an attack and my Doc says there is a very good possibility it will just get less and less even if you have another attack he suspects it won’t be much more just like getting dizzy for a few seconds. It has been 20 years since I had an attack where I did not know up from down.

    My old trucking company is hiring me to come back to ND and learn a new part of truck driving, the guy that finds the loads for everyone else, called Load broker, it’s kind of like playing the stock market. I buy a load and then move that load to a trucker and I take a percentage. I have dealt with load broker guys, everyone is greedy. I have a new idea what if I build a clientele of independent drivers who know they can call me day or night 24/7 not only get a fair deal they get a better deal because I have my retirement I can undercut everyone in the business and just a small percentage say maybe 2% of what the load pays.

    AND THAT BRINGS ME to why I am writing you and why I did not want to write all this on a YouTube video. I am 65 and 50lbs over weight but despite that docs are amazed at what kind of health I am in. While yes I have a disease I walk everyday, I live at 5000 feet and walk to the mountain foothills I have no problem putting 40 lbs on my back and walking for 10 hours at high altitude, so I am in good health.

    I am looking at buying a boat and living at anchor in the NW. I have reasons for that 1) I have friend in Duncan BC that I am close to and I have a granddaughter in Tacoma who I never get to see. I am think about living at anchor in Reid Harbor WA, it’s well protected. Roche Harbor (San Juan Island WA) is just 5 miles away and that is where I would resupply, get boat stuff, and empty my sewage and refuel. Duncan BC marina is 27 miles away, Tacoma is 60 miles away.

    I guess I could have asked this question way upfront but I thought you might like to know what it was I was thinking about. Currently I am weighing sailboat against powered boat. I have been sailing many times down in Mexico on a 36 foot sailboat. I see what it takes, personally I am quite capable of doing everything needed on a sailboat, I like sailboats. On the other hand there is practicality. The wind is free but I expect that 4-5 knots is average where I am thinking about, so 6 hour trip to BC, 15 hours to Tacoma, sometimes it might be a bit better or worse.

    Powered boat medium cruiser offers something different, I didn’t think that motor yacht would offer me much but then I saw your boat. It’s a home small home but much bigger than what I am use to living in on the road. It has a nice size fridge, that’s important. Plenty of room for 1 guy … here are the questions::

    1) Do you think you could dock the boat by yourself, your boat, do you think you could dock that boat without help, pull it to the gas pump by yourself? I am think about a boat 40-50 feet that is huge, I believe with training someone working with me, I could learn to do it in the wind by myself.

    2) The wind is free but it doesn’t always blow the way you want it to. I only have so much time to get where I want to be, the more hours it takes to get there the less hours I have to spend with those I love. I was thinking that when fuel is 4 bucks a gallon and I might burn 11 gallons an hour, I don’t really understand how fast you are moving at 11 gallons an hour 7nm – 10nm an hour. We are talking coastal cruising not lake cruising. The Puget Sound can be rough but not usually but it is way different than a lake. So tell me what your boat does, what is the best RPM for you, how many knots and how much fuel are you burning?

    3) All boats have a lot of upkeep, every boat you have to take care of the deck and the hull so that is even Steven. But sailboats there is the rigging and the sails, you mostly have to care for your engines (no engine no move). So here is what I was looking at sailboat 100k-130k, but if you bought a power Cruiser at 80k that is well, way older but the difference in price buys a lot of fuel. Lets say I finance 130k for sailboat and that cost me 1000 a month, but if I finance 80k for a power Cruiser, I can get that at 700 a month, that is 300 dollars difference every month. That is about 75 dollars in in fuel.

    4) How do you think your boat would respond on the open sea. I understand it does well on coastal waterways. What if you wanted to take it from FL to the Caribbean? This is where owning the sailboat just plainly exceeds. If I wanted to go down the coast from WA to San Diego that is a lot of fuel in a power boat. On the other hand I watch videos all the time of sail boaters who while under sail also are running their engine?

    5) You have a boat that looks very comfortable especially if it was only one person. This boat that I choose is a base of operations lol (it will be way more than me, I want to show you can live on a boat or live in an RV and you can make money). I have plans to expand but first I must have a boat that is easy to keep (power cruiser seems easier to keep than a sailboat)..

    6) I keep thinking this is going to be your only boat so choose wisely. I think that because I see all the boats for sale which means people sold boats to brokers for pennies in order to get into another boat, which means they lost money, probably a lot of money. Still I think this will not be the only boat I own but it needs to be the most practical boat. That means the only thing I need is to be able to go to Duncan BC 25 miles and Tacoma 60 miles from Reid harbor and in a boat that does well in intercostal waters and is easy to live on. The NW west gets cold, most of the time the boat will only go from Reid Harbor to Roche harbor for supplies that is only 5 miles.

    Enough questions, I just wrote all that so that you could understand who I am, kind of what my plans are, and are those plans workable from a boat like you have and that goes back to the first question … could you dock your boat by yourself, because I am going to be alone.

    Thank you so much and I am going to look up all your vids, thank you God Bless, Ken Logan

  6. My husband & I have been looking at Carver Yachts & also CLASS A RV’s.
    We are so torn. We do know that we want to do something.
    We are not retired but will be able to take short term trips for the time being.
    I keep praying for some direction on which way to go.

    1. We love our Carver! And while we love living on a boat, traveling in an RV has also been on our minds! I do think that living in an RV would be harder, I don’t see as much ‘get away from each other space’ as there is on a boat. We think boating is more adventurous than RVing, where you’re sitting in traffic jams, etc. But this is one vast and beautiful country that we want to explore! Now I want to figure out how to do both!

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