But, since I studied the Obsessive-Compulsive Handbook, I would just follow rule #1 - "Anything worth doing, is worth OVER doing". So I got it in my mind that the cheapest way to meet my goal of living in Key West was of course, living on a Houseboat.
By the way, the proper term is "Live Aboard". (Now you know...)
This beauty was listed for sale in the newspaper for $12,000 and so I since I was already in Key West, I would take a look at it. Very cute, compact and well taken care of (from the outside). Now, remember, I don't know anything about boats. I know how to sail, but that's about it. I don't know anything about tidal tables, GPS, engine repair, pump out, blah, blah, blah. I just got this idea, that sounds reasonable, in my head, so I'm going for it.
Consider this. At the time I was looking to move to Key West the little two bedroom/two bath town homes, built in the 1980's were selling for $450.000.
So it turns out that the couple who are currently living on the boat had the EXACT same idea that I did. They were going to give up their lives, move to Key West and live the dream. They sold their house and bought this boat and now after 3 years they were sick and tired of living, sleeping and cooking in one room. I think they were really sick of spending so much time together in such close quarters, but they were way to polite to say that to me, (and they didn't want to sour a possible sale.)
In the mean time, they both had found good jobs on the Rock and were ready to buy a house and settle down.
The boat was in excellent condition. However, finding a place to put the boat is another story all together. They had it moored off Stock Island and it smelled to high heaven of diesel fuel and dead fish. However, the slip fees were super cheap, (like $500 a month or some such). But the boat was nice and the people were nice so I stayed and visited.
Look how beautiful the water is!
Here is the cute little kitchen, with everything you need to heat up McDonald's burgers in the microwave.
Here is the adorable little dinette to eat said fast food on.
Here is the lovely love seat, that pulls out into a bed, for overnight guests.
WooHoo! Living in the lap of luxury.
I just figured that I would move it to a better location. (Yeah, Right!) So, I come to find out, that most of the time, you have to BUY a slip. Which is as expensive as buying a nice house in the Keys. Slips can cost as much as $100,000 - $200,000, depending on the location and the size of the boat. Now there are some public marinas such as Key West Bight that you can rent a slip from, IF THEY HAVE ONE AVAILABLE. Some of those people have been there for years and they aren't letting go.
And at the time, they were planning on rebuilding the Bight one dock at at a time, so you would have to move your house, and then move your house again, and then maybe again. AAACCCCKKKKKK! And, your houseboat has to be an actual boat! It has to have an engine.
And the engine has to work! You have to be able to evacuate the whole house if necessary. Then you have to know about the console (who mee?)
So all the important stuff is conveniently hidden out of site right behind this. I thought it was the cutest little bar I had ever seen, with that wheel land ever-thang!
I figured, I can learn all this stuff, I'm pretty smart and I'm enthusiastic. So I continue on my tour. Here is the lovely and roomy basement bedroom.
It even has two closets! WooHoo! (I came to find out that you really can't store anything in the closets because everything molds down there because there is no air circulation. B-bye, designer dresses.)
It did come with very attractive built in dressers.
Which would hold my undies and swimsuits (maybe). And then last, but not least, the big, beautiful master bathroom...otherwise heretobeknownas...the "head".
As horrified as I am, I keep smiling...and we end up out on the dock. The owners show me a picture of this:
I'm mystified...why is this boat hanging in the air. And then they explain to me this is called "Dry Dock". Every year you have to take the boat out of the water and inspect the damage below the water line. The are these annoying little things that suck on the boat called "barnacles" and they are hard as rocks. They build up and you have to sand the off (or some such silliness) and you have to scrape and paint and patch and inspect and yada, yada, yada. Really, I think they just wanted to show me how pretty the bottom of their boat was. Whatever!
So, needless to say my brain hurt when I left there.
I immediately went online and ordered "The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat", by Mark Nicholas.
I paid $17.99 + $3.99 shipping to find out everything I needed to know about why
I WOULD NEVER LIVE ON A BOAT!!!!!!!!
You can own this book yourself for only $9.99 & $4.00 shipping. I take Paypal!