When we bought the boat a year ago, it was in Ft. Lauderdale. We had no desire to leave it there, so we looked into going to St. Petersburg at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort Marina, which is really nice. Too nice for us. Ed Massey, our yacht broker, was based out of Regatta Pointe Marina in Palmetto and encouraged us to look into that marina as well. We did, we liked it, it fit our lifestyle better, and it cost less. Sold! We booked a slip and moved the boat from the east coast of Florida to the west coast and here the boat has been ever since. This location has not been directly hit by a hurricane in more than 50 years, so we felt the odds were good that we would be adequately protected. As with any marina (I think), we have water and power available. This means we run a cable from the boat to shore and run off shore power while docked and use a hose to fill the water tanks as needed, since there is no way to connect to the water. It is nice having unlimited water for now, since we do not want to make water using the marina water – See the blog on Starting the Watermaker. One of the main reasons for choosing Regatta Pointe Marina is that it allows contractors to work on boats. Many marinas do not. With all the work we have had done on the boat, Livin’ Life would have spent more time on the hard (dry docked in a boat yard) than in her slip!
So what is marina life like? Frankly, I’m surprised it hasn’t occurred to more people to live on a boat in a marina than in an apartment or condo. Our neighbor commutes to work 5 days a week, like most people, but he comes back to his boat and enjoys the beautiful sunsets over the water. Of course, its not all sunny days and gorgeous sunsets and much depends on where in the world you are. Aside from enjoying the great outdoors and having the freedom to move your home wherever you want whenever you want, there is the day to day living to consider. We have showers and heads (toilets) on the boat, but we have to run our engines to create hot water. Therefore, we take advantage of the shower/restroom facilities in the marina. They are clean, private, and we are not limited on the amount of hot water we use; way better than the two minute cold shower aboard!
We opted for a large deep freeze to be installed on the boat rather than a washing machine, so normally I will be washing our clothes in a bucket and hanging them to dry. I know this sounds awful to most people, but remember that this is my life now; I do not have to take kids to school or go to work. However, while we are at the marina, they have a great laundry facility that I readily take advantage of for now. At $2.00 per washload and $1.50 per dryer load, its not a bad deal and all our laundry is finished in a couple hours instead of drying all day hung out for all the marina to see.
The marina also has a gym with a treadmill, elliptical glider, stationary bicycle, a weight machine, and free weights. Dave uses the gym regularly and I use it two or three times a week — when I am not completely exhausted from working on the boat. Since there is no extra fee, it’s a nice convenient option. But wait, there’s more. To be continued…