The Voyage of Krogen 48 North Sea Tusen Takk II: Becoming Cruisers, Step By Step — By Chuck & Barb Shipley
Out here, in the southern Bahamas, where almost all of our anchorage-mates have done roughly the same thing, it is hard to remember the degree of amazement our friends and family registered when they learned of our plans to sell all and move aboard our 48' North Sea. Even most of our boating friends, after expressing various blends of envy, admiration, or disbelief, admitted to not having the “courage.”
So, how did a couple of farm kids find their way to this lifestyle, and how is it working out? The short answers are, respectively, “One step at a time,” and, after eight months and over 4100 nautical miles, “Just great, thank you.”
We had been to the Abacos several times, first as guests of friends, and then on our own Krogen 42' in the summer of 2002, so we kinda knew what we were leaving our home for. As retirement loomed closer, we came to realize that we really wanted to cruise extensively. So we began looking for the right vessel, and were absolutely bowled over by the 48' North Sea. We like the way she handles the seas; we appreciate the extra safety gained by cruising a vessel that is designed to take more punishment than we ourselves want to endure. We love the layout, the quality of the workmanship both inside and out, and the enormous amount of storage space on board. And more subjectively, we just love the way she looks.
Were we apprehensive about our new venture? Not really. Prudence (and our insurance company) dictated that we head north along the Intracoastal Waterway, rather than setting out directly to the Caribbean, since hurricane season was upon us. The ICW above Charleston, SC, was all new territory to us, and we chose to traverse to the Chesapeake exclusively on the inside, so our transition was gradual. Of course, Murphy’s Law saw that we gained some valuable experience. We learned the exhilaration of waking to a violent thunderstorm and realizing that our vessel was dragging toward that of our companions; we learned that we could handle the crisis without permanent damage to our relationship; we learned that we could indeed reset the anchor in the wind and rain. (And we learned that we should install a larger anchor.) I had early opportunities to refresh my skills at changing the impellors on the propulsion engine and the genset. I learned that simultaneous “crazy” readings of oil pressure and temperature and voltage do not signal Armageddon, but rather the need to tighten a grounding bolt on an engine block.
Our transition to living aboard had been hectic, given we seriously downsized from our house to the boat. We were glad for the stateside chance to learn which clothes, galley utensils, supplies and tools we really needed.