Back in Deep River, CT for the Summer

As the old saying goes, the two happiest days of a boater’s life are the day they buy a boat & the day they sell it!  We were very happy they both occurred within only 1 1/2 months – buying our new Manta powercat & selling our PDQ.  Owning 2 boats is definitely something no one wants to do & something we couldn’t afford. An added complication was that our PDQ was still in Florida – which our insurance company will not insure with hurricane season approaching…


Here are a few photos to give you an idea of our new space
A tiny galley for a house, but a HUGE improvement for Lori
One of the nicer features of our new ride is this semi-enclosed cockpit with lots of air & light
Good friends pick you up for dinner – GREAT friends wait around for FedEx to deliver our new Ultra anchor to their house, bring it to us with champagne, toast our new boat AND take us out to dinner!
With a “quick” (6 week) 1,800 mile trip from St. Pete, FL to Deep River, CT we still sneaked in a stop at Carolina Beach, NC for Britt’s Donuts – priorities!
BUSTED! In 13 years of cruising, our first U.S. Coast Guard boarding. They were pretty chill & we (wisely) didn’t let them know they were impeding our Happy Hour after a long 90-mile day of cruising in the Chesapeake.

So far, we love our new boat with all our additional space, comfort & features. She’s much more stable both underway & at anchor. While I’ll miss not having a flybridge, the enclosed helm/cockpit is great underway, especially on cool mornings & on rainy days. Filling up our 500 gallon fuel tank is … painful, but surprisingly, we burn (only) 2 1/2 gallons of diesel per hour at 8 knots – the same as our old PDQ. However, we won’t speak of when we go 14 or 18 knots … yikes!

This summer will be extremely busy, with upgrades we wish to accomplish, along with upgrades being required by our insurance company. We hope to get-in some local cruising … after all of our chores are done!

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!