Getting Real…with OnFireFamily

I’ve been mulling this post over in my head for a couple months now. In a previous post, I talked about how our buyer’s broker gave us some of the realities of the current boat buying market. I promised a separate post on that. Here it is.

A bonus with this post is a fun, useful, and on-point YouTube video by OnFireFamily a little further down the page.

There seem to be three industries that march hand-in-hand in the boat buying/selling world: boat insurance, boat financing and boat brokers. I think of them as a kind of triumvirate…or is it trinity?

Lake Superior on a boat shopping trip
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Introduction to Boat Systems – Captains Chris and Alyse Caldwell

Part two of our Florida trip contained our primary destination, the Introduction to Boat Systems class by Captains Chris and Alyse Caldwell in Vero Beach.

Knowledgable and hospitable Alyse and Chris Caldwell

For those that are not familiar with their classes, Chris and Alyse have a two-day Cruising 101 FUNdamentals seminar, generally followed the next week by the Introduction to Boat Systems. The idea is that you can take one class, enjoy Florida for a few days, and then take the next.

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Trying on boats for size – Fort Myers

Our looper planning trip to Florida exceeded our expectations. Highly exceeded our expectations.

As you may remember from an earlier post, our Florida road trip was to be focused on visiting Great Loop locations and attending the Boat Systems class by Chris and Alyse Caldwell.  We planned to spend a couple days in Fort Myers, cross the state driving along the Okeechobee waterway, and end up in Vero Beach for the class. We hoped to maybe, hopefully walk a dock and catch a glimpse of a looper flag or two. 

Well, that didn’t happen as planned!  

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The Imperfect Boat – Bradley

You know how frustrating it is to read something that really resonates and then not be able to find it again? That happened to me recently.

I read a very inspiring blog post about the reduction of stress when the author lowered her expectations about finding the perfect Loop boat. At least, that is how I remembered it. But I COULD NOT find it to verify. I literally spent four hours of my Christmas vacation going through Facebook and various Looper blogs looking for it.

It was a timely article. We are just about at the point where if a perfect boat came along, we would consider pursuing it. They say it takes up to two years to find THE boat, so we are almost at the beginning of the serious search. I knew I needed to find that article!

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Planning is fun, right?

Trivia leaderboard

Planning is half the fun, they say. Based on how fun the planning half has been, the actual Loop itself should be a blast!

Photo courtesy of tripadvisor.com. Fort Myers sunset.

I’ve run across a couple great Great Loop planning blog posts lately that have really inspired me. These are people on the loop already, but who have taken the time to describe some of their planning.  I need to reach out and see if the bloggers would like to add to my collection of planning stories here at greatloopfi.

Speaking of planning, we have been going a bit deeper in our planning lately.

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Headroom Project…Your input wanted

Lance has developed pretty good radar over the past 50 years that he has been 6’4”+. He usually does not get caught unawares with an unexpected head bash.

Of course, most of the places we hang out have 8’ ceilings and the doorways are plenty tall.

It wasn’t always that way. Our first apartment was in a basement. The bathroom was a little closet in the kitchen/living room/bedroom. You had to step into the kitchen area to wash your hands. There was a cast iron sewer line hanging from the ceiling right outside the bathroom door with a connection fitting that was in just the right (wrong?) place for a painful, middle-of-the-night wake-up.

Fortunately, that only lasted for a few months before we moved on, and we haven’t had to deal with the headroom situation. Until now.

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Adventures on Stinkpot – One couple’s story

What do the Great Loop, a professional folk musician and America’s Funniest Home Videos have in common? Dave Rowe and Stacey Guth, that’s what!

Stacey and Dave have created time lapse videos of the Great Loop accompanied by soundtracks of Dave’s folk music, which you can find on their Folk on the Water YouTube channel.

I’ve been following Our Adventures on Stinkpot on Facebook for a while. They’ve occasionally posted little snippets of their financial back story. I asked if they would be interested in adding to our collection of stories here…and they made a video! How fun is that! “How poor people can finance a long boat adventure!” I love it!

In fact, they’ve made a whole new YouTube channel about “How to Live on a Boat”.

Watch their video to hear how they were able to make their dream come to life from a financial perspective. It is pretty inspiring!

Oh, and what about the America’s Funniest Home Videos? Check out this video that landed them a spot in the finalists of the March 29, 2020 episode. Then check out their after-party live video.

Looping in Segments – Williamson

Overhead view of Albin 43 trawler

I’ve seen a lot of interest lately in the concept of looping in segments. That is, taking more than one year to do the loop. Why would someone decide to do it that way?  What are the benefits?

Lance and I have discussed an itinerary which would include storing the boat for a winter somewhere in northern New York after exploring Lake Champlain, the Rideau Canal, and the Thousand Islands. This would give us time to enjoy the area while putting us in a good position to enter the Trent Severn as soon as it opens the next year and then take our time in North Channel and Georgian Bay.

Naturally, I keep an eye out for mention of Loopers who winter their boats in New York.

AGLCA member Charles Williamson’s forum comments about where he stored his trawler for the winter(s) caught my attention: New York and Ontario over two consecutive winters.

Two winters in the north? That is intriguing!

I reached out to see what the story is and why.

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