Think you have to have the house sold before you move aboard full-time? Think again. Vicki McGahee explains the path that led her and her husband Mack to their Krogen 39’…and the importance of throwing all the compelling reasons that tell you to stay put, overboard.
In the summer of 2014, my husband Mack came down with a very severe case of two-foot-itis. Our 25-foot trawler could not cure this debilitating disease. No, it was my understanding the only cure would be something at least 36-feet or longer! We looked at trawlers and catamarans from Maine to Florida. Our second home became our Honda CRV (we put more than 10,000 miles on her searching for a remedy for this disease!). Finally, we realized that we were comparing everything to Kadey-Krogens, and decided that a Kadey-Krogen was the boat for us!
We made a plan to go to Stuart, Florida to look at Krogens for sale and to attend the Stuart Boat Show. We thought, “How hard can it be to find one we like?” But we quickly found out that, “When you see one Kadey-Krogen, you have seen one Kadey-Krogen.” We walked the docks at a marina in Stuart and everywhere we saw Krogens of every size. We stopped and met one couple who invited us on their Krogen 42′. They showed us every aspect of their home and told us about the live-aboard lifestyle. They also invited us to join other Kadey-Krogen owners at Mulligan’s Beach House for breakfast.
Tuesday morning we arrived at breakfast and met more than 40 people from all over. Now, we were sold…not only on the boat, but the Kadey-Krogen community! For the next year, we looked at Kadey-Krogens whenever one came on the market. Finally, we found her in Annapolis – a KK39 – she had just come on the market and it was meant to be. She was beautiful and her previous owners had taken wonderful care of her. We decided to call her Confetti after the Robert Earl Keen song “Ready for Confetti”.
After having some work done and making a few changes to make her our own, we set off on a one month cruise. On that cruise we decided we didn’t want to simply dock her at a marina on the coast and use her every once in awhile. No, we wanted the cruising lifestyle we heard so much about.
We announced our plans to family and friends, and we received comments from, “Can we go with you?” to “Are you crazy?” One of our “children” exclaimed that we were selling his childhood home and questioned where everyone would go for the holidays. Mack’s parents also questioned where the “children” would go for the holidays. We both chuckled at some of the comments, especially about our “children” as they are between 24 – 31 years of age, and have been out of the house for years!
Next, we prepared our home house for sale. Unfortunately, HGTV has greatly impacted the process of selling a house! We were told our wall colors were too bright and that today’s “color” was “Kilim Beige”. We stained our deck and we spruced up the outside for added curb appeal. We cringed at the thought of buyers walking through our home saying, “This is a total re-do.”
Next came the dreaded task of going through closet after closet, cupboard after cupboard. We were not ready to get rid of everything, so what worked for us was to rent a 10 x 25 climate-controlled storage unit. Surprisingly, some storage facilities asked if we wanted to be their waiting list. We wondered, could there be many live-aboards doing the same thing?
The storage process was fun, challenging, frustrating, and emotional. But most important, it was liberating. We sold a few items, donated a ton of things, threw away some, and packed what was left. We inventoried each box and took photos of everything stored. At the same time we were also taking things to Confetti.
Over time, we found that we felt we were at “home” when we were on Confetti, and when we were at our house, it felt like a poorly equipped vacation rental.
There are many compelling reasons to hold off and wait before taking the leap to become a live-aboard, but the adventures awaiting us on Confetti won-out over the caution of sitting on the sidelines. We are excited about the next chapter of our lives as liveaboards, and to continue to learn from our new community of fellow cruisers.