28 December 2015

The Year In Review (Pt 2) | In Search Of Tickety Boo

It's that time of year. A time to reflect on the year past and a time to look forward to what surprises the Universe has in store for us in the coming year

During the beginning of the year, we traveled from Texas to the Gulf Coast of Florida in our tiny Scamp travel trailer in search of a new sailboat (check out Part 1 of our Year in Review here.) After months of constant checking of sailboat listings and not finding the right one for us, we got a lead on a Moody 346 for sale. At last - things were looking up!

Only one problem - the boat was in the Bahamas.

Scamper is a great little travel trailer and she can go most places, but she still hasn't mastered the art of crossing large bodies of water without sinking. We emailed the owners, told them we were interested, asked some questions about the boat and the specs and made arrangements to see the boat once they got back to Florida.

While we were waiting, we managed to score a last minute cancellation at the Jolly Rodgr RV Travel Park in Marathon and we headed on down to the Florida Keys. Scott had been to the Keys in his younger days and had some great stories to tell, so I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. We did the usual tourist things, like head out to Key West, walk the Seven Mile Bridge, enjoy the peace and quiet at the Key West Garden Club and go for strolls on the beach.

We headed up north towards Stuart to view the sailboat. 

The owners were planning on crossing from the Bahamas to Stuart in the middle of February and we made arrangements to camp at the nearby Jonathan Dickinson State Park while we waited for them. We waited and waited and waited. Unfortunately, they had a problem with bad fuel which caused them to cancel their crossing and then they waited for the next weather window.

The snowbirds are in full force in Florida during the winter and it was pretty much impossible to find a place to stay near Stuart on the coast while we waited for them to try cross again. So, we headed inland towards Lake Okeechobee - the land of sugar cane fields and cowboys. We managed to score a place at the South Bay RV Campground in Belle Glade, where we waited and waited and waited. Then, we found free camping at a place nearby. Where we waited, looked at some other boats, and waited some more.

Finally, they were able to cross and we got our first look at what would become Tickety Boo.

She looked promising, but there were a few things we wanted to check out and think through, so the owners suggested we come out for another visit the following week. We emailed to make arrangements, but didn't hear anything for a few days. Then we got an email saying they had an issue they had to resolve. We didn't know what the issue was or what the timeframes were to resolve it, but as we were interested in the boat, we hung around the area waiting to hear back from them. After a while, not hearing anything back, we gave up waiting and headed back down to the Florida Keys and Everglades National Park.

This time, we managed to score a last minute cancellation at one of the State Parks in the Keys - Curry Hammock. After a few days there, we went and camped at the infamous Flamingo Campground in the Everglades. We quickly found out why it was so infamous - the amount of mosquitoes and noseeums was beyond anything we had ever experienced before. But, it was worth it and we saw some amazing wildlife, the historic Nike missile site and went on some great ranger-led programs.

Turns out they had engine problems.

After a while, the owners emailed us to let us know that the issue they had was with their rebuilt injector pump, which needed to be addressed and meant that the boat couldn't be moved. They had had the work done by Indiantown Marina the previous fall and were waiting for them to organize to send someone out to fix the problem. So we waited and they waited and towards the end of March we were able to go out and see the boat again and check out the engine repairs.

Eventually, after some to-ing and fro-ing, trying to find a surveyor and a place to haul-out the boat for inspection, working through all of the paperwork and taking care of all the other bits and bobs involved in buying a boat, everything came together and Tickety Boo became ours in the middle of April. (You can find more info about our Moody 346 and specs here).

We got Tickety Boo ship-shape and ready to go cruising at Indiantown Marina.

We spent eleven days on the hard and ten days in a slip at Indiantown Marina addressing the issues identified in the survey which needed to be sorted for insurance purposes, as well as a host of other things, including changing her name to Tickety Boo. (You can see details of our boat projects here.)

We headed to the Bahamas to shake Tickety Boo down.

Three weeks after buying Tickety Boo, we headed across the Gulf Stream to the Abacos for a month on a shakedown cruise to get to know our new boat. After being without a sailboat for almost a year (we had sold our previous boat in New Zealand), it was so much fun to be out there on the water again. And even more fun to be in the Bahamas.

We had an easy crossing, we had decent weather, we hooked up with an awesome buddy boat, we ate lots of coconut bread, we saw gorgeous sunsets, we snorkeled, we swam and we enjoyed meeting the super friendly Bahamian people. We couldn't have asked for a better shakedown cruise. If you want to read more about what we got up to in the Bahamas, you can find links to all of our posts here and you can find out how much our shakedown cruise cost here.

But, then, like all good things must, it came to an end. In mid-June, we made our way back to Indiantown Marina in southern Florida to lay the boat up in the water during hurricane season. Next up on the Year in Review, we'll tell you how the rest of the year went.

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  1. What a great read. I'm enjoying reading about your year. We love boats as you do. Ours is a power boat, but we love her bunches. Can't wait to get her back from her face lift.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    1. I can't wait to see the pictures of your boat after her face lift :-)


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