Just a few things for today.
- Josh and I were talking last night about his brilliant idea to start a website in order to document our journey. Maybe as a way to make a couple bucks somehow in the future, but, more importantly, maybe as a way to give someone the courage to take a risk. (In order for this all to pan out, we’re relying on the fact that we’re going to be successful in the execution of our plan, of course.) So, I couldn’t very well continue to keep him in the dark about this page existing. Or withhold my extensive rambling from him any longer. So, now he knows! He seemed to genuinely enjoy pouring over what I had written, which is pretty cool. He also mentioned about being interested in writing, too, from his perspective, which would be fantastic. How cool will it be to be able to go back in a few years and reflect on how much has changed? And, with any luck, how successful we’ve been in our transition?
- The boat search continues. We made a list of needs, wants and absolutely do not wants the other evening, which was actually really eye-opening. Our list of needs is pretty minimal, our wants even less and the only thing on our absolutely do not want is ladders. (I’m not a very nimble person. And our 60+ pound dog is less than graceful.) With the list in mind, I remembered seeing a Silverton when we stopped at the Indian River Marina in September that I took a picture of because I loved the “back porch.” There was ample area at the back of the boat for a pair of patio chairs, a hanging fern or two (when docked, of course) and a modest sized dog bed. But, I also remembered that Josh had mentioned Silverton’s may not be a contender because of the excessive horsepower for our needs and anticipated resulting fuel consumption. I had kind of written them off, not interested in spending a small fortune on fuel, despite the awesome back porch. I had never looked at the living space on them, though, so it wasn’t really fair to completely rule them out without even looking. YachtWorld.com was ready and willing to satisfy my search for Silverton’s with diesel engines that didn’t produce 1600 horsepower. Technical details don’t really interest me, but the existence of such a thing seemed to appease Josh, so, onward, research! The pictures of the interior absolutely won me over. Separate areas for separate activities, though all the areas are open and connected. PERFECT! I began to reevaluate my galley-up insistence, in favor of a more contained galley, with more cabinets, while remaining open to be able to see throughout the boat. Comparing the Silverton to the Nordic and American Tugs we’ve been looking at, it’s easy for me to choose the Silverton, simply based on the interior living space layout. In the Nordics or Americans, I tried to picture me sitting on the floor wrapping Christmas presents while Josh cooked dinner. (Not an uncommon occurrence). And I struggled to envision how we would make it work comfortably, for a long time. With the galley and the salon essentially being the same space on the Nordics and Americans, it made it hard to envision two people doing two different things in those spaces at the same time. Let’s not even discuss my heartburn about where the dog would lay and be out of the way enough for us to be able to do anything other than trip over his big head! I really like the Silverton’s galley being “down”ish, and kind of contained, with cabinets on three of the four sides. The amount of counter space, plenty of storage, and a nice sized refrigerator are all just icing on the cake. The idea that the salon is a separate space from the galley is also a welcomed difference from what we’ve been looking at. With that layout, it’s absolutely possible for Josh to be cooking, me to be wrapping presents and the dog to be sleeping, without anyone getting tripped over, tramped on or shoved out of the way. The layout also seems to lend itself nicely to being able to have a few people onboard with us without feeling suffocated. (I must do some more research on the ability to have an oven, though. Many of the Silverton’s I looked at did not appear to have an oven onboard and I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m not seeing something or maybe the oven’s really just not there, but, I’d really like the ability to bake cookies. And cakes. And maybe even cook a small turkey. The idea of living aboard full-time with no oven isn’t really doing it for me, so, I need to see what’s going on there.) The main stateroom appears to be generously sized, with ample storage. The head also seems to be nicely arranged, with the toilet and sink in one “room” and the shower, across the “hall,” in another, separate room. (Lots of bonus points for not having the entire head be the shower!) The second stateroom is also something we have determined to be pretty important to us, living aboard full-time. The ability to use the second stateroom for storage the majority of the time, but also to be able to sleep visitors (if we have any) without having to rely on a pull-out couch is a big plus. The Nordics and Americans would make having visitors stay over a bit challenging, I think, as they would be sleeping on a pull-out couch essentially in the middle of the galley. The fully-molded steps up to the flybridge was another big plus for me (and the dog). No ladders, no rickety kind-of-ladder-kind-of-steps contraption. The ability to safely carry things up to the flybridge for a picnic when the weather’s nice is pretty important, as well as the dog’s ability to navigate himself up and down, at will, without needing assistance. (Note to self: try to find a boat that comes with isinglass. That stuff seems expensive! But, it appears to be a necessity for comfortable navigation and use of the flybridge during inclement weather.) Josh seems quite pleased with the amount of room for fishing. He also seems pretty open to having a boat that has a little more get-up-and-go potential than a straight trawler. He has mentioned a number of times that he’d like to take up fishing in tournaments as a hobby and, with a Silverton, we’d be able to do that if we chose to. He also seems pretty impressed by the living space layout and how the space inside was utilized. All good things! He’s done some reading about Silverton’s history and “issues,” and seems to think that a Silverton may be worth checking out. Awesomely enough, there appear to be quite a few Silverton’s on the market that are newer and well within our budget! In fact, currently there is a 2003 38’ Silverton Convertible at Mears Point Yacht Sales in Kent Narrows for $149,000. Horsepower on this particular boat is a bit excessive at 880, but, it’s an idea of what’s available and what the price is, anyway. I reached out to Mears Point, explaining that we’ve begun our 5 year plan and although we’re not quite ready to buy just yet, I’d really like the opportunity to board the 38’ Silverton to see if it lives up to all the hype. A really nice guy from Mears Point named Mike e-mailed me back within the hour and the good news continues – Mears Point is having their Open House this Saturday and Sunday. All of the boats will be open for viewing and boarding, including the 38’ Silverton! Mike recommends that we visit between 1100 and 1400. Mike also indicated that Mears Point would be at the US PowerBoat Show in Booth H7, just in case we’d like to stop by. Mike offered to answer any questions we have, via e-mail, or his cell phone, anytime, 24/7. Do these boat people get any nicer? Since we’ll most likely be needing a broker when we are ready to purchase, I’m going to try to remember that Mears Point was really responsive, pleasant and provided more information than I asked for right off the bat. [Revised list of options now includes a Mainship 34, Silverton 38 and an American Tug 34.]
- This weekend is the US Power Boat Show in Annapolis, MD. And we, of course, will be in attendance. Josh decided that he would rather go to the boat show than go to camp for his birthday this year and I’m absolutely okay with that. Though, selfishly, I’m hoping for more pleasant weather than we had for TrawlerFest. I purchased our two-day tickets online over this past weekend and we booked a room at the Best Western on Kent Island a few months ago, knowing that rooms would become scarce the closer to the Boat Show it got. The Open House at Mears Point will provide us with additional opportunities to research and explore, which I’m thankful for. Timing couldn’t have been more perfect. (I’m sure they’re hosting the Open House because of the Boat Show traffic, but, honestly, it didn’t even occur to me that a broker would do an open house. These boat people really know what they’re doing! And, I’m pretty glad I reached out to them or we might have never known about the open house.)
Some photos of the 38′ Silverton.