Monday, October 21, 2013

The Adventures of Sailing Vessel Luck of a Fool

Welcome to the adventures of the sailing vessel Luck of a Fool.  With this blog site, we would like to share our experiences with our family and friends.  And if someone else is considering cruising on a sailboat, maybe our site will help them, too. 
      We will also share how we started sailing and how we selected our Beneteau 423.  We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures.
        After talking about starting a blog for a few months, I decided to start with an article I wrote for the Black Hills Sailing Association newsletter.  Over time, I will add more information about ourselves and our boat.

The Roths are on the adventure of a lifetime.  It started in September 2012 when Mary sold her dental practice and accepted a position in Fairhope, Alabama as an associate dentist.  We sold our home and the majority of our possessions.  We even sold our Catalina 25 to Brian and Jackie Killion.  In Alabama,  we rented a condo for a year to make decisions on where to live and what boat to purchase.  In January 2013 we started looking at boats.  Discussing all our options, we decided on a boat that we would be able to live aboard in shoal waters after Mary retired.  The plan was to work about 5 years, then move aboard the boat.  Living in Alabama made it much easier to find a boat.  We took weekend trips to Pensacola, Biloxi, St Petersburg, New Orleans, and Memphis.  The 2007 Beneteau 423 Oceanis in Memphis was it!  It had been on a lake in Arkansas (so in fresh water).  The owner had a cabin on the lake, so it was very lightly used and in beautiful condition.  A few of the features on our wish list were a walk through transom, a Yanmar diesel engine, a generator, heater/AC and a bed that could be entered from each side to avoid crawling over each other.

Working with Murray Yacht Sales, an offer was made and accepted in June 2013.  The boat was brought to Mobile Bay from Memphis by truck/trailer, and the sale was finalized June 26, 2013.  About the same time, we made the decision for Mary to retire so we could begin our sailing adventure while we are both able to move about the boat.  We set the goal of October 1, 2013 to be living aboard the boat.  That was when the lease on our condo would be up. 

Dave went to work deciding what needed to be added to the boat to be able to live aboard and began the installations.  Mary started working on what possessions would go with us on the boat, what heirlooms needed to be brought back to family members, what could be sold at consignment, what sold at auction, what to give away or throw away, and what would go into storage.

Boxes began to arrive daily from UPS, FedEx, and USPS.  The list included Single Side Band Radio, radar, solar panels, a dinghy and outboard motor, and new batteries.  Dave started installing equipment around all the rain showers that were a daily occurrence.    

For Dave's birthday in July, he was given a hernia.  So surgery was scheduled for September 3.  We finalized several of the projects so we could enjoy Labor Day weekend with the Killions, who drove to Alabama from their new home in Cape Coral, Florida.

During Dave's recovery in September, we had the boat pulled out of the water for more boat projects  
We made a road trip back to SD and MN to bring back the family items and see family before setting sail.  After returning  to AL, we will finalize projects and settle into the boat.  Sometime in November, we will start our journey.   We will explore the Gulf of Mexico, the Killion's swimming pool, the Florida Keys and the Bahamas this winter.  The tentative plan is to then explore the East Coast and the Caribbean over the next few years avoiding hurricanes in the process.  A major goal would be to sail to Europe, but we don't foresee sailing around the world at this time (at least Mary doesn't).

To quote Jimmy Buffett: there isn't any doubt, if it doesn't work out, the pleasure was worth all the pain.

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