Despite her husband’s enthusiasm, Lavinia Maggs had doubts about spending her retirement cruising the Caribbean. But as she researched the lifestyle, destinations, and how to make friends living aboard, she couldn’t wait to get started! Read Lavinia’s honest revelation and how she enjoys her Krogen 42′, her home on any sea.

When my husband, Richard, first suggested we spend our retirement aboard a boat cruising the Caribbean, I wasn’t as sure as he was. What would happen to our home, family, and friends? How safe would we be? What type of boat would we get? What about rough seas, squalls, and hurricanes? Would I get seasick? I had a lot of questions.

But all my fears dissipated when we started looking at Kadey-Krogens. Instead, I started to get excited at the thought of owning and living aboard a trawler. I couldn’t wait to own one and begin cruising!

It’s now been four years since that happy day when we purchased our 1985 Kadey-Krogen 42′ Partners. Three of those years have been spent cruising the Caribbean and I love it! I have found that I don’t get seasick, partly because she has Naiad hydraulic stabilizers, making her very seaworthy in rough conditions. I trust that our boat can handle any sea, and with boating safety courses through our local Coast Guard Auxiliary under my belt, I can too!

Squalls and hurricanes are safely avoided with the excellent weather forecasting that is available, as well as help from our Furuno radar and Automatic Identification System (AIS). Understanding weather forecasting and never having a strict cruising schedule is, for us, paramount. Being cautious by spending hurricane season in the lower latitudes has become our mantra.

For our first year of ownership, we lived aboard in Longboat Key, Florida, while we divested ourselves of our home and cars, and most of our worldly possessions. Less is more! I got to know the boat and her systems and came to appreciate her spaciousness, her awesome galley, and her extensive storage capabilities. I learned that entertaining friends aboard was easy and more fun than a home, because we were on the water with beautiful vistas and gentle cool breezes—but with all the comforts of home. Our saloon is roomy and bright with large opening windows, port and starboard. I love that our second stateroom also doubles as an office. I use the large bookshelf down there as a pantry, a clever idea passed on by the previous owners.

Early on, I was worried living closely together 24/7 would be difficult at times, but on our Krogen there are myriad places to have some alone time. There’s a comfortable pilothouse bench seat I go to read or do small projects. We have a bow seat where I catch the tropical tradewind breeze or lay out my yoga mat for stretching. The flying bridge offers a great view of the anchorage as well sun protection under the Bimini top—and at night the stars are, well, amazing! And, of course, there’s the famous Kadey-Krogen “back porch”, also known as the aft deck, where I can serve up cocktail “sundowners” or have an intimate candlelit dinner. And the swim platform and swim ladder make it easy to take a cool dip or snorkel around the anchorage.

When invited aboard Partners, sailboat friends are amazed with the space and design. Most are a bit jealous of the enclosed pilothouse that their boats lack, as well as our wonderful washer and dryer and, oh yes, our ice maker!

In preparation for cruising, I read blog after blog, and many boating websites from more seasoned cruisers, to understand what to expect, and to learn how to provision and know what to wear for cruising offshore. Plus, I read about cruiser get-togethers, having sundowners on each other’s boats and planning potlucks in the anchorage or marinas. I was ready for it all. I read the way to meet people and remember them was to swap “boat cards”. Like a business card, but with all your boat info and how to get in touch with you. We printed dozens. I was excited to start this new cruising lifestyle and make new friends who all shared a similar interest!

And it didn’t take long. We have been fortunate to have met and made lasting friendships with people from all over the world—some of whom are still working, as well as those, like us, who have retired. We’ve also met some notably “famous” people—writers of boating magazines, cruising guides, cruising books and cookbooks, as well as producers and stars of cruising television shows! In actuality, the cruising community is relatively small, but the camaraderie is very strong. That’s what makes it so good. We all have a common bond—a love of the sea and the lifestyle.

So, if you’re standing on the sidelines, hemming and hawing, ladies, do not fear! You too can have this rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle! A Kadey- Krogen is such an easy boat to live on. You don’t have to give anything up—you just add more! More friends, more fun, and more adventure! It’s a wonderful time and these days one can still remain connected with family and friends long distance through cellphones, Skype, email, Facebook, and regular visitors to your new home! You will find you will have lots of opportunities to share your cruising with family and friends.

I love this lifestyle and am so glad my husband had cruising in mind for our retirement. I can absolutely recommend it to you all. It’s so true that with a Kadey-Krogen, you’ll be “At Home on any Sea!”

–Lavinia Maggs