Boat Safety & Comfort

cruising boat pnw

Boat Show Takeaways including Safety & Comfort

At this year’s Seattle Boat Show, Scott and I found ourselves talking to different vendors about safety and comfort.  If we are going to keep Kokomo for another year, I want to make some changes to help improve these items.

boating safety


I had read about the SmartPlug product and we were thrilled that we got the chance to talk with them since boat safety is so important to us. Basically, this shore power kit, replaces not only your power cord, but also the plug in on your boat. The primary purpose of this is to prevent fires (which is one of my biggest fears). Did you know that shore power delivery systems have remained virtually unchanged since they first came out in 1938?!

boat safety


boat safety

boat safety

boat safety


After talking to the rep, the installation is very easy. Simply remove the four screws on the old plate, cut the wires and insert them into the corresponding slots for each wire. The key here is to make sure the new plate is sealed tightly!

boat safety

You can buy the entire kit or the parts separately. If we buy the entire kit with the adapter plate, the cost is about $400 for everything, but Fisheries Supply is offering a great sale right now, for about $275. To me, this is worth the cost and we will be swapping out our cord this year.

Side Note on Safety

A few weeks ago, Scott and I went down to check on the boat and run the engines as we have been doing all winter long. I was down in the cabin cleaning and Scott was up in the cockpit. The engines had been running for about fifteen minutes, as we wanted to get them up to temperature.  I decided to plug in the vacuum to charge it and laid it on the counter.

All of a sudden, a very loud alarm went off in the cabin! Scott and I couldn’t tell where it was coming from, so I shouted at him to turn off the engines and I unplugged the vacuum (LOL). We kept looking up on the ceiling and finally we found the culprit.  Our carbon monoxide detector was up on the shelf in the galley and had been set off due to the engines running.  Turns out the curtains were hiding the detector, which you can now see out in the open.

boating safety

Moral of the story, is make sure you not only ventilate your cabin well while running your engines BUT also make sure you have a First Alert Carbon Monoxide Detector. It works! Boat safety is your number one priority when boating.

boat safety


Boat Comfort

Okay, back to the boat show! One of our other goals (if we can afford it) is to upgrade our mattress on the bed. Right now, we have a somewhat thin pad. Here’s a photo I took after “prepping the boat for winter“.

winterizing boat bedding

Currently, we use two foam pads on top of the bed to help cushion ourselves.

marine bedding

Even these two pads, don’t make much of a difference.  So we talked to two companies at the show.

Friendly Foam

These guys have three locations in Seattle, Bellevue and Everett. You can visit their showrooms and try out different pads. They said I could even email them our dimensions and they would give me an estimate. We plan on visiting their showroom, as I wasn’t comfortable laying on their beds at the show!

boat safety


King Marine Canvas – Handcraft Mattress Company

The other company, King Marine Canvas is located right near the marina on Commodore Way. Again, you can go into their showroom and check out all of their products. They make both mattresses with regular bedding covers or you can do a custom fabric like the one we have on the boat. Josh, the sales rep was super helpful and friendly!

boat safety

So hopefully, one of these will fit into our budget so we can finally sleep comfortably on the boat.

Needless to say, since it’s February 2, 2018, we are ready for Spring & Summer to arrive. We are anxious to get the boat ready and spend some time on the water.  Stay tuned for our next update!


Scott & Ally


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Seattle Boat Show 2018 Tour

boat show pnw

Seattle Boat Show 2018

boat show pnw

Last Saturday, Scott and I attended the Seattle Boat Show for the tenth year in a row. This is the largest boat show on the west coast. If you recall from my last blog, we planned on staying the night on the boat Friday and Saturday, to have a “staycation” in Seattle. Well, after the weather forecast came out on Thursday, change of plans!

boat show pnw

Wait until you see the video footage I took! We are so glad we did not stay on the boat! We heard from marina neighbors that the waves were crashing over the breakwater wall. High tide was at noon and was 11.6′! With gusts of 40mph, this was a very unpleasant day on the water.

Show #1 – Century Link Field

boat show pnw

This year, there were three locations for the boat show. The big show is at Century Link and the other two locations were at Bell Harbor Marina and Lake Union. At Century Link, they have two levels with boats on the lower level and vendors on the top.




While we did enjoy looking at newer boats, we actually had a mission for this show:

  • Look at Toilets – we need to get one with a macerator
  • Talk to Sea View Marine about hauling out & working on the boat
  • Find an Isinglass installer and get pricing (we talked to Sea Marine in Port Townsend)
  • Look for a propeller company to replace our current ones  (there were no suppliers at the show!)


That’s a fun topic. Not surprising, this booth was packed! Probably because anyone who has a manual flush toilet has toilet envy to the electronic macerating ones.  The sales rep was very helpful and said it is somewhat easy to swap out. The only catch is it needs a power supply.  Chances are, we won’t be replacing our current one. Back to “no toilet paper” rules.

I know you are asking the question “So are you keeping this boat?”. The answer is, we don’t know yet.  We will either keep Kokomo and invest in it. The boat needs to be hauled out, under painted and have the props replaced. If Scott and I find a different boat that is bigger, more seaworthy and within our budget, we will consider upgrading. Right now, we are researching all of our options.

Fun Surprises at the Show

Meeting Wendy Hinman

If you follow our blog & our Twitter account, you know that one of my favorite authors is Wendy Hinman. Wendy’s first book,Tightwads on the Loose: A Seven Year Pacific Odyssey” fascinated me! She and her husband are from Seattle and they traveled across the globe on a 31′ sailboat! You have to read it!

I met Wendy years ago at the Seattle Boat Show and last year when I ran into her, she had just released her second book “Sea Trials: Around the World with Duct Tape and Bailing Wire“. The title of the book is not exaggerating! This is another must read. Over the past year, we have tweeted and re-shared Wendy’s posts and when we ran into her on Saturday, she was so grateful! Be sure to pick up her books.

Elliott Bay Marina

Scott and I went on a hunt to find Elliott Bay Marina, as they had some kind of activity.  Turns out, you had to make ten basket ball goals in 20 seconds and Scott did it! He won a $10 gift card at the Fuel Dock!

Sea View Boat Yard

Most of our boating friends referred us to Sea View Boat Yard to haul out Kokomo. They have two locations, one at Shilshole in Seattle and one in Bellingham.  Scott and I talked at length with the sales rep and got pricing for everything we need to do. Then they had a “spin the wheel” contest and we won 10% off Labor”Woot Woot! At $105/hour, that saves us quite a bit of money!

Show #2 – Bell Harbor Marina

boat show pnw

The boat show offers complimentary shuttle service between all three locations. Our next stop was at Bell Harbor Marina in downtown Seattle. The winds were crazy when we arrived! Again, be sure to watch our video for the full footage. It was so windy, that we were getting a bit sea sick looking at a 39′ Carver that we actually loved.

boat show pnw

boat show pnw

boat show pnw

Touring the brand new $11 million Ocean Alexander 100′ MY

I was surprised that we were able to tour this Ocean Alexander yacht without all of the red tape. It truly was a gorgeous boat and bigger than my house! We included a lot of footage in the video, so be sure to watch it towards the end.

Show #3 – Lake Union

Scott and I attend two boat shows a year at Lake Union, including the Boats Afloat Show. We knew that this location would be mostly either larger boats over 50′ or Trawlers. By the time we got to Lake Union, we were starting to get cold and tired.  While we didn’t see any boats that would work for our budget, we did look at two really amazing ocean worthy Trawlers!

Sea Lion – Fraser Yacht

boat show pnw

Surprising, this yacht only had one engine, but a great engine at that!

Rock A Bye – Precision Trawler

boat show pnw


This trawler was heavy duty! Each of the staterooms had locking air tight doors and this vessel is meant to travel a long ways.

Wrapping up the Show

After six hours, Scott and I were ready to call it a day! The Seattle Boat Show offers multi day passes and honestly, that is probably the best way to view the show. That’s how we attend the Annapolis and Miami shows. There are great seminars during the show, along with festivities for families. The show goes until February 3, 2018, so you still have time to go visit – and hopefully during better weather! Check out our next post, as we cover more on the show.

Boating Journey has a new channel on YouTube! Be sure to subscribe for upcoming episodes. Below is the video for the tour of this year’s Seattle Boat Show 2018.

Thank you for following us and sharing! Until next time! Scott and Ally

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Boating Must Haves

boat must haves

It’s been six months – what are our boating must haves now?

When Scott and I started shopping for our boat, we were still trying to figure out what type of boat to buy. At that time, we didn’t really think too much about what we “had to have” on the boat, other than a few basics (head, bed, etc). Since we took possession of our Bayliner Ciera 3055, Kokomo in May 2017 we have slept on the boat 27 nights or almost a full month. This has certainly given us some perspective on life living aboard a boat.

custom boat pillows

Currently our plan is to sell this boat next Spring and upgrade to a larger boat. What size you ask? We haven’t decided that yet.  Scott and I have talked about finally selling our home and moving onto a live aboard, but that’s a big jump. That boat would have to be at least 48′ for us to live on it.

Boat Must Haves

What we do know now that we have spent time on our current boat, are the things we wish we had. When you are home, you take for granted simple things such as using the toilet, washing dishes, getting a glass of water, etc. Think about the things you do the most at home and see if those are also important to you if you spent any time on a boat.

This Bayliner Ciera 3055 is perfect for a long weekend or short vacations, but it’s not designed to be lived on. I consider it an upgraded camping experience.


First off, let’s address the topic of the toilet.  Our boat has a brand new Thetford toilet, but it’s a manual hand pump and the first weekend we were on it, someone clogged it. After that,  a rule was created, which was that no toilet paper can go in the toilet. This obviously is not a rule we like. Scott and I want the comforts of home, so a dependable toilet will be on the list.

At each boat show, we have talked to numerous sanitation suppliers. For toilets, your choices are a manual, electric or vacuum flush.  Right now we are leaning towards an efficient vacuum flush toilet (one that doesn’t use too much water). Top brands on our list right now are VacuFlush and Lavac.  Our toilet is a salt water toilet. This means that the water comes in from outside when you flush, so you don’t have to worry about using up your fresh water. However, a salt water toilet has more maintenance issues as salt water can calcify inside the plumbing and holding tank. Below is a head on a boat we saw at the boat show – comforts of home.

yacht bathroom toilet


The fresh water tank on Kokomo holds 30 gallons and the hot water heater holds 6 gallons.  This is potable water, but ideally I would like a filter for the water too. Remember, our toilet is using seawater, so that is not a factor in our water usage. But you would be amazed as to how much water you go through when washing hands (often), doing dishes and filling up dog bowls.  Kokomo has three fresh water faucets and we use them frequently. If we spend three days on the boat, we need to fill up our tank by the third day.

outdoor sink boat

What’s the solution to this? Install a water maker. These systems use reverse osmosis to convert seawater to fresh water. They are a bit expensive, but definitely worth the price.  When we fill up our fresh water tanks with water, we use a special anti-bacterial ZERO-G Hose. The fresh water input in located on the starboard side. Our boat is docked on the port side, so to do this, we have to hang over the edge with the hose to fill it. It’s a pain in the butt.

seattle cruising boat

Having a water maker on board, gives us a number of benefits that also make life easier.


Our boat has a shower and the curtain does separate it from the toilet area, but honestly everything still  would get wet. In addition, with only a 6 gallon hot water tank and a 30 gallon fresh water tank, we would run out of water pretty fast.  Having a water maker on board with a larger hot water tank, would alleviate that issue. Looking at larger boats at shows, we also want a separate shower stall.

boat must haves


Ice Maker

At Elliott Bay Marina, we have a fully stocked store at the fuel dock. In fact, they have a great selection of wine and beer. However, the store is six docks away and it’s a long walk. Every time we stay on boat, we have to go get ice as our freezer is very small.  Friends of ours converted their outdoor faucet in the cockpit to an  ice maker. Who needs three sinks anyways. Great idea!

Comfortable Bed

Like I said earlier, our boat is perfect for a long weekend as it’s an upgraded camping trip. But it’s not meant to be lived on. At home we have an expensive mattress which is very comfortable.  Moving on board we would definitely invest in a high quality comfortable mattress.  There are many custom mattress companies out there. Then there is also a company called Froli Sleep Systems. They make a unique spring type of foundation that goes under your mattress for support and circulation. You would use this system in addition to a high quality mattress.

spring marine bed support


Lastly, we would have to have some type of oven on board. Many boats come with a microwave / convection oven combo. Ideally, since I love to cook, I would love to have a stand alone oven. Here are some dream ovens we have seen on boats.

boat must haves

boat must haves

I could live on this boat! This is bigger than my kitchen at home!

boat must haves

Of course, we will not be able to have any of these galleys or ovens in our price range, but a girl can dream! What will the galley most likely look like?  Probably like these below.

spacious liveaboard kitchen

boat must haves

boat kitchen cooking

If you have any “must haves” not on this list, please share with us. Just like a home, we can always add items, but it would be great to find one with everything we want.  Stay tuned! Scott and Ally #BoatingJourney

Boats Afloat Show 2017

boat show pnw lake union

Boats Afloat Show 2017 on Lake Union

Scott and I attend the Boats Afloat Show each year. Seattle has two main boat shows, one in January and the other in September. The January show is held at the convention with a floating show on Lake Union.  Then in September, they do just the floating show. This is a great show, because the weather is normally nice and you get to tour some larger vessels, typically 45′ and up.

Now that we have owned our Bayliner Ciera 3055, Kokomo for five months, we feel comfortable making the next step. Remember, the main reason we bought THIS boat was to make sure we liked boating and sleeping on it.  We are hoping to find a larger boat that we might be able to live on, come spring time. While at the Boats Afloat Show, we looked for boats and features that would work for us.

Check out the SeaRay 48′ Sundancer

The Sea Ray Sundancer is not set up for a liveaboard.  However, we were curious to see how this “weekender” was set up in comparison to our Bayliner 3055.

The cockpit and deck is very roomy. What was really cool about this model, is the captain’s seat swivels towards the other seats on deck, so everyone can mingle.

The beam (the width of the boat) is just under 15′. To compare, our boat is about 11′.

With the extra 4′, it is much roomier inside the cabin, than on our boat (of course, this boat is also 48′ long).

Our boat for comparison:

galley salon forward berth

I did love the size of the galley and all of its’ counter space. I mean, I guess you really could live on this if you wanted to. In addition, it had a two burner stove tope with a microwave / oven combo.

The main stateroom was in the V-Berth and very roomy for two people.

The main head had a separate shower stall which is nice.  Having a separate shower stall keeps the rest of the head dry.

In the aft berth, the Sea Ray Sundancer has two full size beds.

Overall, this was a very nice “weekender” as we call it. It would certainly be much more comfortable than our current boat, but we didn’t pay $515,000 for our boat!

Scott and I walked the entire show. We ran into our broker, Eddie from NW Yachts and he had some recommendations for us too look at. Of course, this will have to wait until next spring! Did I mention that my job was eliminated in August and now I’m job hunting? Oh yeah, that too.

Dream Yachts

Not really seeing anything that we liked, Scott and I were about to head home when we stumbled upon M/Y Gal Sal, a 1998 NorthCoast Custom Yacht for $939k. This yacht is moored at our marina, Elliott Bay Marina on G Dock. We walk by it every time we go to the fuel dock. Now we have our chance to take a peek at what she looks like on the inside! Trust me, she did not disappoint us!

I think we could live on this boat, what do you think? It’s hard to see in the photo below, but right next to Scott is the dining room with six chairs. The opening on the left is the pass through to the galley.


The oven on this yacht is bigger than mine at home!

I got so caught up in the beauty of this yacht, that I failed to take a lot of photos. But I did manage to get one of the main head with his and hers sinks!

If you needed to do engine work, there’s plenty of room!

From the helm, there was lots of visibility for the captain.

Modern Day Yachts

For kicks and giggles, we decided to tour the 2017 Presitige 750 which was about $3 million. The decor was modern and very sleek.

Here’s a funny story about our tour of this yacht – not really! I get that there are hundreds of people looking at boats and most of them are “looky loos”. However, the broker doesn’t know who is actually in the market to buy a yacht. After I took the photo below, Scott went into the galley and opened the fridge to look in.  Within seconds the broker, who was standing where I took this photo, shouts “It’s a Fridge!!”

I looked at him and said, “why are you shouting that at him?” and his reply was that they didn’t want hundreds of people opening the fridge. Are you thinking what I am at this point? If that’s the case, why don’t you put a note on the fridge that says “Please don’t open”?! He was so rude, that if we were in the market, we certainly would not buy from this guy!

Yes, this foot belongs to the rude yacht broker

The yacht was very modern and sleek.  We toured this yacht with our marina neighbors, who own a 75′ yacht. In their opinion, this modern look will be outdated in a few years.  (Remember the yachts of the 1980’s and the disco lighting?). 

Overall, it was interesting to visit a boat show as boat owners (finally!). The big Seattle Boat Show is this January and they will have two satellite shows, one on Lake Union and the other at Bell Harbor.  At that show, they will have supply vendors showcasing their products, which will be a great resource for us. Stay tuned! Scott & Ally on Kokomo


It’s a New Year with a Plan…..Finally!

lake union yachts sales

Boat Buying Plan!

We finally have a boat buying plan! As we mentioned in our last blog after our trip to Annapolis in October, our boat plans changed slightly.  We basically have always had two plans that we put together years ago:

  • Live on a catamaran and sail the Caribbean and Pacific when we retire. That plan is still on!
  • In order to save money, sell our home, our belongings and live on a boat in the PNW – that is now on hold.

We put the liveaboard idea on hold and have decided to make sure that both of us are comfortable spending lots of time on the water together. I have boating experience, but Scott does not. So we have decided to buy a weekend cabin cruiser this spring.

power boat show pnw

Okay, so now we have somewhat of a plan and off to the Seattle Boat Show we went this weekend.  Buying a boat, is very much (in a weird way) like having kids and planning for it.  For example, you need to have a spot to moor the boat, even before you buy one. It’s not like buying a house. There are certain steps you have to take, but we are still not sure of the order.


Boat Buying Process

  • Budget / Loan- well, we have a budget in mind, but if we decide to finance part of the boat, then it’s the bank that will determine what they will lend based on the age and make of the boat. Typically, lenders don’t “pre-approve” you, but instead, you find a boat and then go get the loan. (Odd.)
  • Moorage – you have to find a marina to store your boat once you buy it. We checked with 5 different marinas at the show and all but 2 of them had a wait list. Luckily, one marina said they would take care of us with no issues and to concentrate on finding the boat, rather the marina. That’s a nice option. Ideally, we want to be in Everett as it is closer to our family’s place on Camano Island. But they have an 8 month wait.
  • Boat – basically we are looking at two different styles, depending on what we think we will enjoy the most.  We’ll look at the two styles later in this blog.
  • Training. It’s been over 17 years since I owned a boat and Scott has no experience. With that said, we can’t just go buy a boat and start driving it! We met with both the US Coast Guard and the US Power Squadrons yesterday.  The USCG will do a training safety seminar in one day, for about $30/pp.  But that doesn’t show  you how to maneuver your boat, dock it, learn currents/wind, etc.  USPS will do a very detailed training, along with a hands on training prior to buying your boat. This will be the route we take.
  • Timing – of course we want to be on the water come June 1st… boating season. This means there will be no deals on boats and mooring will be at a premium. We’d like to do it sooner, but it won’t make sense based on our upcoming schedule.

What kind of boat?

So back to the boat. For the past six years we have traveled to boat shows all over including Miami and Annapolis. We have been set on a path looking for a liveaboard, which is not a weekend cabin cruiser. Talk about changing things up!  The two styles we are looking at are:

Older Motoryacht 32′-38′ (1990-1999).  Here we have a few options to consider. There are plenty of Bayliner MY out there (and yes, the Bayliner haters are going to make comments) and the fact remains that we won’t be crossing any oceans in this vessel and for the money you get a lot of boat that’s comfortable. Carver is another boat we are considering.  The nice thing about the motoryacht style, is the salon is cozy and perfect for our dreary weather. It is also upstairs, so you can enjoy the view versus being down below at the water level. We plan on boating even when it’s not nice out. Our plan is to spend as many weekends we can on the boat, even if it’s in the marina, to get a feel for liveaboard life. The boat below is a 1997 Carver 320 Voyager.

The one thing to consider with a boat like this, is there is not a lot of space to sit on the stern for entertainment. There is up on the fly bridge….but you have to haul your “stuff” up there, like your glass of wine, cheese and crackers. 😉




“Weekenders” – these boats are great for enjoying with groups of people and spending most of your time outdoors. The downstairs cabin is simply for sleeping and cooking.  These are not necessarily less expensive than a motoryacht. We looked at a 38′ SeaRay and it was over $100k! Below is a 1997 Sea Ray 330 Sundancer.



Lots of outdoor seating for everyone!


As you can see, we have to make a decision as to what type of boat will work best for us. Then go out and find it over the next four months! In the meantime, we’ll get our training done so we are ready!

I will be sure to share with you our step by step process in making this all work, so that other new boaters have a good resource.

Stay tuned……as the next blog, we could be new boat owners! Cheers, Scott & Ally

Annapolis Boat Show & What’s Next?

power boat show

Annapolis Power Boat Show 2016

Scott and I spent most of the summer looking at different marinas looking for those that take liveaboards. Just about all of them had 1-2 year waiting lists, with the exception of a couple. But that can change at any moment.
All of our friends and family keep asking us if we really want to live on a boat? Well, let’s go back to where this all started.  It was about six years ago when we were at the Seattle Boat Show and we fell in love with the Lagoon Catamaran (since then, we have found others we love more). But we came up with the grand idea, of retiring on a catamaran in the Caribbean and sailing around the world. Why not? We don’t have kids, we don’t want a big mortgage and what a better way to retire?
Then came the next two questions. How can we afford a catamaran and what if we don’t like it?  I grew up on boats and in my 30’s had a nice cruiser. However, Scott has not spent any long term time on a vessel.  I then started reading lots of sailing books, including my first book A Sail of Two Idiots: 100+ Lessons and Laughs from a Non-Sailor Who Quit the Rat Race, Took the Helm, and Sailed to a New Life in the Caribbean , a story about a couple in Arizona that sell their home and buy a catamaran in Florida (sight unseen) with NO SAILING experience at all. If you like to read, this is a must read for sure!


A sail of two idiots book

What a great idea! We could sell our house now (instead of 10 years from now), use the money to buy an old power boat in Seattle to live on and cut our living expenses by two thirds. So began the journey of selling our business, selling our extra stuff and planning on the sale of our home. That was until this year, 2016 when we found out marinas are hard to find. Then we wondered……Do you sell your dream home for a boat and marina you don’t have yet? The other issue is we don’t want to give up any of our proceeds for a real estate agent, as we want to use as much of the house equity to buy a boat.

weather horizon sunrise

As we sat on our deck this summer enjoying the sunset and cocktails, we came up with another (crazy) idea. We knew our next door neighbor would soon be putting their house on the market, so what if we put a sign out next to it that said “For Sale By Owner”? Well, that day came and sure enough, Scott put the sign out (just two weeks ago). Now what? Sure enough, realtors started calling us every hour and we told them, bring us a buyer and we’ll talk.

Just as all of this happened, we headed out the door to the US Power Boat Show in Annapolis. We had been to the US Sailing Show there three years ago, so we were looking forward to another fun visit. Our purpose was twofold.  Look for types of boats we could live on and also tour the history of Annapolis.  We lucked out with beautiful weather! This show is different than others. They have live music, bars on every corner, many floating docks and seminars.

power boat show

us power boat show attendee

Pusser's famous drinks


caribbean party annapolis


This show ended up being a bit different than we had hoped for. It has lots of runabouts and weekenders. Then it had lots of mega yachts…..not much in between. With that said, we did fall in love with three boats (if we won the lottery!).

A Trawler?

First up was a 49′ trawler from North Pacific Yachts. Here’s the funny thing…..we don’t like trawlers, but we liked this one!!!

Nice large galley
Tons of storage in the master stateroom
The spare stateroom could be an office
Large vanity in the head
Great visibility from the bridge
Another great office space option
Backup camera on the flybridge

How about a Yacht now?

So onto the next yacht, this one was the 58′ Prestige 550 Flybridge….Gorgeous!!
Sleek and modern galley

Great counter space in the head

Workspace in the master stateroom
Lots of closet space too!
Spacious head in the master

A Power Cat!

Lastly, we fell in love with a power catamaran! The 44′ Aquila (say Tequila….with an “A”). While it was only 44′ it felt larger and roomier than the 60′ power cat we went on from Horizon.


The inside galley, opens up to the outside with this awesome bar.


Lots of storage space in the guest stateroom

Owner’s stateroom is nice and roomy
Workspace in the owner’s stateroom

Great visibility from the bridge


Great outdoor entertaining equipment

Realistically, these boats are just a lottery dream purchase!  We did take a water taxi to some used boats that might fit our goals.  The journey was fun too!


A salesman had recommended we look at Vikings (not convertibles) for a liveaboard. We haven’t seen many of them in the Seattle area, but luckily there was one at the used dock we could preview. This was was a Viking 44′ 1988 for $130,000. Honestly, this is a great liveaboard – too bad it’s in MD, not Seattle.

Large enclosed sundeck


This  boat was very roomy and updated for a 1988!

The galley was surprisingly big! Even the sink is regular size!

The master stateroom had plenty of storage and features of a standard bedroom. The closet was big enough to hang a ball gown!


The master head had tons of counter space! And more storage space in the spare stateroom.

We did look at a Carver, but we didn’t like the smell of it. LOL.  We were in Annapolis for four full days and only did the show for two. They had great booths and vendor tents, including wine/beer tastings.

A tour of Annapolis History

Then we spent the other two days, exploring this very old city. Most of the founders arrived in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s. Main street and the side streets still have the same cobblestone roads and homes. We toured William Paca’s house, who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. We also toured the Naval Academy and the Maryland State House. If you haven’t toured Annapolis, I highly recommend it for the history lesson.



What’s next for Scott & Ally?

During our trip, we talked at length about where our plan is going. Are we comfortable giving up all of our belongings, our home and the comforts of a home simply to see if we like living on a boat and saving money?  What if our home appreciates more and more over the next ten years….would we be better off in the long term keeping it?  Then came another idea! What if we buy a used “weekender” boat that we can enjoy with our golden retriever Mac in the Puget Sound and see how Scott enjoys spending the weekends on it?  While it may not save us money on a monthly basis short term, it could save us a lot long term. So now begins the hunt for a smaller, used “weekender”. Funny how we got here. 😉

Stay tuned for the January boat show……I’m sure there will be lots to look at then! Cheers,

Scott and Ally



Can you look at boats for sale just as you do cars?

Boat Shopping

Is boat shopping the same as car shopping? When we need a new car, we typically go to the dealer and check out cars that are on their lots. Often, we will test drive a few to get a feel for the car. Most people are just “window shopping” when looking at cars, to figure out what they want to buy.  But can you do that with a boat?  We wondered the same thing.  While most boat brokers don’t have lots, they do have listings of boats. However, those boats can be located anywhere, including other states.
We figured, why not contact a few brokers about boats we would like to see and find out, if they would show it to us.  The first one we checked out was a very old boat located at Fisherman’s Terminal in Ballard. It was huge, about 68 feet and while it had some new renovations, it also needed some major TLC. That broker was happy to meet us and show us around.
boat shopping liveaboard
boat shopping for a liveaboard
It was listed for $99,000 and it had a huge laundry room, big salon, decent galley and lots of storage. Unfortunately, they had ripped out the ceiling in the master stateroom looking for a leak (did they find it?) and had let the front state rooms and head go….literally. It was a major fixer upper. But anyone that wanted to give it some time and money, would end up with a gorgeous vessel. I wish I would have taken photos of the inside, to show you what it was like.

Boat shopping a few weeks later…..

A few weeks later, we decided to hang out down at Lake Union and there were a few boats that were listed with local brokers there.  It was a Saturday, so “hey, maybe they will give us a tour?”. The first guy, wasn’t too interested and neither was the second one.  One broker, said “hey, the boat is open, help yourself”. So we checked out another fairly old boat.
This one was a 1981 Defever 49 foot for $165,000.  Still over our price range, but it gave us a good idea of what an older boat would look like.  Remember, we would be living on this boat, so we need  a boat that will allow both of us to work from home, so we need “office space”.  This one seemed perfect at first glance.


It had great seating on the back end that was either covered or uncovered.  Enough to sit back and enjoy the view.

liveaboard boat seattle

boat shopping older style liveaboard

We like that this salon had a very “homey” feel to it. And the galley was good size too.

spacious liveaboard kitchen

Up on the bridge it had another table area, that could definitely be used for an office and the view isn’t too bad either!!

liveaboard office bridge

captains cockpit

Even the heads were good size. The master had a half tub in it (but who would take a bath on a boat?).

liveaboard bathroom

So did we fall in love with it? Not at all! Why?  Well, the stairs (which I should have taken a photo of), were literally only 5″ wide and were spiral. Can you imagine going down the stairs at sea or after a few drinks? It was a death trap for sure.  But gorgeous vessel for it’s age.

Okay, that boat is out, what next?

We eventually wandered back towards the parking lot and I mentioned that there was one more I’d like to see. The broker, Mike Manning from Crows Nest just happened to be there and he was so nice! We asked if we could see a boat that was definitely not in our price range for kicks and giggles and he was happy to show us around.  This was a 2007 58′ Navigator Pilothouse for just a mere $575,000.

crows nest yachts for sale

But compared to the older boats, the interior is very modern and updated. It too, had a seating area up on the bridge that could be used as an office.

boat shopping liveaboard luxury

liveaboard living room boats

liveaboard new boats

boat shopping big kitchen

What we learned from our field trip down to lake union, is there are brokers that are happy to show you boats if they are available.  Mike from Crow’s Nest Yachts was so incredibly helpful, that when the time comes, we’ll be sure to reach out to him for assistance.
This weekend, we are going to the Lake Union Boats Alfloat show and I’m sure we’ll see a few more (out of our price range!). But it helps us to figure out features we are looking for (storage, etc).  Then next month we are heading back to Annapolis, MD and this time we are going to the US Power Boat Show.  We are super excited as we loved the US Sailing Boat Show a few years ago! Stay tuned! Scott & Ally