Our New Ride!

AKA Lori’s long-desired bungalow!  A Manta 2006 44′ powercat

Wow – what a journey the last month or so has been!  It’s been truly the best of times and the most challenging of times.  The story of our transformation has been brewing for some time, but finding this boat, zooming back early from the Bahamas, driving back & forth between the Florida east coast & west coast several times for viewings, inspections, survey & pickup, logistics, finances, legalities, prep & all for selling our PDQ has been beyond stressful!  Oh, and our PDQ might still be for sale – interested?  Let us know!

Beginning to empty out & off
Lots of room left
Loading back aboard

Closing on & picking up our new ride in St. Pete was a challenge in itself, attempting to unload our U-Haul street-side in a busy city.  While we had planned on departing in 2 – 3 days, it was an entire week before we could even “clear the decks” in order to head out Tampa Bay.

One of our first stops was anchoring off Cabbage Key near Fort Myers. It’s a funky restaurant/bar only accessible by boat, famous as the place where Jimmy Buffett was inspired to write “Cheeseburger in Paradise” (o.k. – one of a dozen places who claim the same). We last stopped here in our sailing cat in 2011!
While anchored at Cayo Costa State Park, this manatee attempted to steal away our new dinghy! Hey – we’ve only used it once!
One of our 50+ projects was to re-program our chartplotter to display our “new’ name of TWIN SISTERS when broadcasting an AIS signal to other vessels.  Somehow I made it work!

Another project was to register our new boat & dinghy at a Florida “tag office” (DMV) & (gulp) pay the sales tax due.  After living in Connecticut so many years, this would usually take longer & be worse than an all-day dentist appointment!  It began a little awkward as after we entered, we were chased down by an employee – no problem – we had looked lost so he rushed out to lead us to the front desk.  “Do you have an appointment?” Oh – sh*t – Oh, well, we got a number to sit down & wait – for 5 seconds – “window #14”.  A short while later, we were out-the-door with our registrations, decals & paperwork.  Paying sales tax on a boat is painful, but Florida has a smart idea – the sales tax is capped at a (somewhat) reasonable amount.  In states such as Connecticut, there is no cap, so many people with expensive boats register them in other states to avoid tax, so the state gets nothing.  This is why many expensive & very expensive boats in and/or owned by Connecticut & Massachusetts residents are registered in Rhode Island to avoid their sales tax (John Kerry got caught a few years ago, but most people don’t).

Our new TWIN SISTERS (the 2nd) is proving to be a huge learning curve having twice as many systems, twice the square feet of living space, well, twice as difficult (until we learn the ropes)!  On our first anchoring attempt, the anchor chain jammed in the windlass & took us 1/2 hour to get anchored.  Our first docking … well at least I didn’t hit anything!  Our lists are long, but we are excited to begin a new chapter, being a little more comfy!

More photos to follow!


12 thoughts on “Our New Ride!

  1. Wow! What a good beautiful news! I recently looked into 40 feet pawer cats. But not sure yet if we would live aboard in saltwater at this time. 44 feet what a threat!

    We returned 1 week ago from living 3 months in an apartment on the pacific cost in Panama. Amazing country and so inexpensive. We are returning next winter for 2 months after considering being 4 months in Portugal for winter 2024.

    We have a lot of stuff to discard here in Quebec Canada: our next project. And then off for 6 months during winter. Where? Possibly 3 months in Panama and 3 months in Portugal …
    Hasta la vista …


    • Your winter must have been so wonderful! And to think maybe Portugal four months?! We are envious.
      The floating bungalow is very comfy and spacious…lots to keep clean! 😆
      Maybe you will consider a side trip to Connecticut this summer or to Bahamas next winter so we can see you both again. 🤗


      • Would be great yo see you 2. We don’t know Connecticut. We will be a bit busy this summer trying to sell a lot of stuff. You can know we miss the Bahamas and boats of course. Maybe next winter: we reserved January 12 to March12. Possibly during that time coming from Panama or later coming from Montreal! Who knows? But we know a boat must not have a tight schedule rendez-vous…🌴🛥️


      • Shedding stuff takes time doesn’t it? Would be so good to see you both again. You know where we usually are from November to April: Florida or Bahamas. 🤗


  2. Congratulations on the new boat. You know I loved Twin Sisters, lol. I like the new one also. I feel like I’ve seen it in BFT before. Good luck with her and maybe I’ll see you guys someday at the docks. Finishing a windless project and a few others myself. Hoping to splash maybe Friday’ and then back to BFT docks. Safe Travels


    • Hi there! Yes you might have seen her. Prior owners 3-4 years did take her north up to Maine once and back to FL.
      We aren’t making too many stops but Beaufort is on our list this trip.
      Hope we see you! Good luck with the endless boat projects 😁


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