The Plan actually started about 4 years before we retired. We had owned some smaller boats, but definitely not anything that we could live on 24 x 7. Steve got proficient at boat handling and expanded his captain’s license to 100 Ton vessels, but mostly it was the experience he gained from captaining that gave us the confidence that this could be a lifestyle that would work for us.
Like most people we went to the boat shows and talked to a lot of people. We made our list of boats that we liked, but would not be ready to buy until we retired. During this period we dreamed a lot and talked about places that we would like to visit at our leisure.
What was instrumental about our Plan was selling our house on the water in Boca Raton that we had lived in 22 years. Additionally, we put more money into savings in the HSA account for future healthcare expenses, including payment of premiums for COBRA since Deb retired 11 months early.
The feat of downsizing from a 3/3 house of 2,600 sq. ft. into a storage unit and boat was monumental. At first, we had to occupy 2 units and then forced ourselves to “get it down to one”. It wasn’t easy, but you do realize how many things have been kept in boxes that haven’t been opened in years. Also, Steve is a “tool guy” and tends to pride himself on having a tool for everything……although with the number of trips to Home Depot you would have never known it!
We got Gypsies Palace in October 2017 shortly after closing on the house. We spent the next 4 – 5 months customizing it for our cruising lifestyle. It was good to spend that amount of time at a dock because it did take a big adjustment to get used to living in smaller quarters. And, everything was a “process” when cooking or living aboard as very little is not stowed away somewhere. The first 2 months were the hardest and there will be a few articles on this subject.
We remained committed to the dream of being a Water Gypsy and because of that focus the dream happened.