Monthly Archives: March 2008

Boat Maintenence

One thing you should know before buying a boat and going cruising is that is going to be a lot of work.  But it is kind of cool work, even though it is often difficult and you invent new curse words as you go.  Since we have owned a sailboat I have acquired many new skills such as:  sewing, sail repair, fiberglass repair, applying nonskid to decks, rigging tuning, stainless care, applying epoxy and epoxy paints, varnishing wood, plumbing, electrical and engine repair.  I must say I feel much more capable and independent than before being a cruiser, however necessity being the mother of invention, if I did not have a cruising sailboat, I don’t think I would have just gone out and perfected these skills.  Now, if you have enough money, you might say, why not just pay someone else to do it all for me?  Right.  That might work if you are in civilization at a dock or marina.  But the point of cruising is exploring remote places on your own.  Sometime, somewhere you are bound to have to take care of something or things on that boat simply because there will be no one around to do it for you.  And I think that is one of the best parts about cruising.  Although it is a lot of work, it can be very satisfying when you complete a project and you know you’ve done well.  If you are actively cruising, the boat will get a lot of wear and tear, so be prepared to work on something, almost daily, definitely weekly if you want to beproud of your vessel and the shape that it is in.  Too many people let their boats fall into disrepair and that gives sailors a bad name.  Harbors worldwide have too many fine boats in them that have become derelict messes.  Be proud of your boat, it is your home, and your magic carpet, too!

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Living in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida

bkhaer1.jpgWe have been living in Boot Key Harbor in Marathon, FL for about a month now.  It’s pretty nice.  We pay under $300 per month for a mooring ball, bicycle storage, showers, mail drop, and close proximity to West Marine, grocery stores, library, bank, cafes, movie theater, home depot, drugstore, K-Mart, everywhere…  We work at a restaurant and ride our bike there every day.  You can get anywhere on your bike and there is a bus you can take down to Key West for just $2.  There are hundreds of cruisers here, which is good and bad.  The wildlife is prolific, birds, turtles, fish, manatees, dolphin…  We hear there is fabulous fishing and diving, we’ve  just been working too much to check the fun stuff out so far, but we will!  It is very peaceful on the mooring ball, no loud partying keeping you up at night, nice respectful neighbors.  It’d a neat place to drop the hook, or grab a mooring for awhile, especially if you have to be in the States to work, which is our case.