He’s a engineer/IT/developer who works at a family owned business, Engineered Metal Products. She is a Graphic/Web designer & developer who owns her own business with 2 other fabulous ladies. How did this crazy idea begin you may ask? Together we have been adventurers through and through. We love exploring new places and experiencing new things. Seven years ago we both decided to get scuba diving certified and that is where our love for the water began. Since then we have pushed our diving skills in Lake Michigan and have traveled almost ever year to a new place for diving. In a new way to see more and do more, we ask ourselves “What’s next?”
We really don’t remember how we initially landed on sailing. Maybe it was something that looked like fun that we haven’t done before or maybe we heard about sailing on one of the many podcasts we listen to. Whatever may have intrigued us, we didn’t begin to see this as a possibility until after months of listening to various sailing podcasts (Family Adventure Podcast being one of them) and watching videos from a variety of young people sailing around the world. Once the seed was planted, it was now time to take sailing lessons and see if this is actually realistic for us.
Dang it, sailing lessons turned out to be a ton of fun and now let’s make this dream a reality!
August 1st, 2015
We bought our boat
We did it! Shit, what did we do?
Once we decided, yes let’s do this, it did not take very long until we found a deal that at that time we thought we could not pass up. We were initially looking in the price range around $20,000-$15,000. Thought that was a good price range where we could get a sailboat that might need some work but was mainly complete and ready to go. Then, Mike came across a sailboat located in Illinois priced at $5,000 on Craigslist. At first thought, there must be something majorly wrong with this boat, but since we were headed south anyway to visit friends in the Chicago area it didn’t hurt to stop over and check it out. With $5,000 tucked away under our car seat, we headed south.
Keep in mind, we have only looked at one other sailboat for sale and have only been on a handful of sailboats in our lifetime. We arrived in Waukegan, IL to meet a nice gentlemen who was sad to sell his fixer-upper but was very informative about what he has done to the boat and what still needs to be done. After a couple of walk arounds the boat and a small amount of time to discuss what we should do, we handed over the cash and received a small piece of paper that stated that we now owned a Catalina 30. Now what?
August 10th, 2015
Shipped our boat to our house
Papers were signed, boat was loaded up with various parts the previous owner had for it, and now we need to somehow get it back to Wisconsin. There were two ways we could go about this. One, we could get it shipped to the destination of our choice, now this is the easy option. Two, we could get the motor running and motor it up to the marina.
Mike wanted to go for option two but I was rooting for option one. After a weekend of Mike tinkering around with the motor and figuring out if it is possible to get running, it was time to just get it home, shipping it is. The boat being 200 miles away was not convenient when so much needed to be done to it.
Mike called up Great Lakes Boat Transport to get pricing costs. When asked, “Where would you like it shipped to?” we were both thinking a marina in Milwaukee would be best, but the nice man on the other line suggested how he could even ship it to our house. “Now wait, a 30ft boat, in our driveway? I don’t know about that, let me ask my soon-to-be-wife.”
Now we have a 30ft boat, that is as tall as our house, taking up our entire driveway. We were definitely the talk on the street, but in the end, it was the best choice. We were able to do more renovation to the boat than what we would have been able to do if it was 30 miles away in Milwaukee.
September 19, 2015
We got hitched
Perfect day, perfect location, the best friends, and the greatest family. We really could not have asked for anything more, yeah I know that is what everyone says, but really, we really could not have asked for anything more. We had the best time ever and we wish we could throw a party like this every year!
September 20th, 2015
After the purchase of the boat, we were both antsy to begin (maybe one more than the other), but we made a deal that boat renovation would begin the day after the wedding. So now it has begun.
We completely tore out as much of the interior as possible. there were so many places that need scrubbing and other places that need to be inspected/replaced. Some of the things that we did not want to fix, needed fixing. The bilge had rotted wood, the compression block was rotting, the engine was filthy and needed to be clean, painted, and some parts replaced. All of the teak was refinished and some of it was painted to brighten up the space. The anchor locker needed to be torn apart and fiberglassed. The bottom needed to be sanded and painted. The drive wheel needed to be replaced. All of the chainplates were replaced. There was no electrical or plumbing, so we needed to run all of that across the boat.
The list goes on and on. We hope to someday soon put together a blog with all of our projects so that if anyone like us is out there, they can reference what we did and learn from what we learned.
In the end, we know our boat now like the back of our hand. We know where everything is at. We know that if there is a leak, where to look. We know what color wire goes to what portion of the boat. And when we sell our boat, we will have a nice detailed manual to go along with it.
September 30th, 2016
We launch our boat
Nerve racking, definitely.
After over a year of slaving away and fixing up the boat, it’s time to get it in the water, it is now or never. We decided to launch it in Port Washington due to the location. It was exactly 30min from home and we really liked the marina. The guys at Great Lakes Boat Transportation were great! They were extremely helpful and everything went very smoothly. They loaded her up on their trailer, brought her to the marina, stepped the mast up, and launched her in Lake Michigan. The first time we are ever seeing her in the water. She floats! It was hard to leave her, but we were not prepared to sleep there. That first night at home was a bit restless. Thinking about how we hope she is still floating, but when we came back she was just as we left her.
Now for the next month, we will be constantly running back and forth between home and the boat, living on the boat as much as possible, and getting it ready for our final farewell day.
October 29th, 2016
Still a bit surreal, but the day has finally come, it was time to leave. We were bumping up next to the day the marina’s close for the season and the time of year when Lake Michigan’s weather becomes a bit rough.
Only the second time driving her (the first being taking her from the launch dock to the slip), we drove her to the fuel dock and then waved friends and family goodbye as we left on our very first trip with her. The first day we traveled all the way down to Milwaukee, which if you are not from the area this is only 30 miles away!