The Decision to Move: Feeling Adrift

OUR HOME 2015 

So, Matt and I decided that we would find renters and when we did we would move to my parents house. We found renters. Moving sucks. The home we made for ourselves, that I worked hard to make a home after our marriage in 2015, now had to be disassembled and put in boxes.

Packing is not fun, finding a place for all of your possessions is less fun and the fact that your world is now reduced to boxes is an emotional experience. I am not going to lie, I was not easy to deal with during this process. I tried hard, but to see our home disassembled was harder than I thought it would be. Then when I tried to find a silver lining like we don’t have as many possessions as I thought, and we live one of those minimal-ish type lifestyles we would run out of storage space or someone would mention another box and shatter my positive thinking.


What happens when you decide to buy a fixer upper?

Matt has been updating you on the nitty-gritty of boat reconstruction. Now, I would like to take the opportunity to update you on the lifestyle choices that are made when you decide to renovate a boat. We made a joint decision after many Saturday visits for us and many late nights for Matt, that we would rent out our house and move to my parents. My parents have the room and love the company. In addition, we just have to walk outside and there is the boat. The rent from our house will be enough to cover the mortgage and to make a little income to put toward the renovations or maybe even tuck away into savings. I plan to fill you in on this process and give MY account of the real life fun AND stress that resulted directly and sometimes indirectly from buying the Errant.

Demo Day

Our boat was finally at its temporary home in Pleasant Valley, MD. What now?

That’s where it got real.

Matt and I jumped on to the boat and started with the first thing we could think of and that was cleaning the 20 years of grime off of the boat. We started to see the white underneath. The cleaning was so satisfactory to me for my first mission on the boat.  One, I know how to clean and, two, I can measure progress when cleaning. I really feel as my loving husband gifted me that task to calm some of the “My Goodness  We Have A 40 Foot Boat” anxiety I was experiencing.

Cleaning the grime
Years of dirt and grime ready to be scrubbed


Next up, was HGTV’s Chip Wade’s favorite day,  “Demo Day!”. It was time to start gutting the interior of the boat. More and more started to pile up on the ground outside. It was unbelievable. Each day I stopped by Matt had pulled more out of that boat.

Here are pictures of us loading it up for the dump. Thanks to our friend, Kyle, for the trailer loan. We got it loaded in one trip thank goodness. (At the present time the pile of trash has grown back.)

Trash for the trailer
Trash for the trailer
Ready for the dump

Again, I could see the progress. It was exciting to see Matt going into this project with so much gusto and seeing that it was moving forward.

Next thing we tackled was to take every last fitting off the deck.  This is a two person job because someone has to hold the wrench above deck while someone uses another wrench below deck to unscrew it (otherwise it would just spin in place.) This included a 200lb crane the previous owner had installed on the foredeck. (He said it was to be used for hauling treasures he found off the seabed.) This required a lot of cutting with the grinder.

Any fitting that was rusted or we couldn’t unbolt was cut with a grinder. I think Matt enjoyed using that.

Then we took off the toe rails by undoing the bolts below deck, and the ones that were stuck…cut off with a grinder. Again, Matt got to use the grinder.

Removing the fittings
Removing the fittings

The deck was then full of holes, so,  we erected tarps to cover the whole boat. (And I still fight these infernal tarps every month as they break off or rub holes in themselves. Every time I have to fix a tarp I dream of having a storage shed *barn* that would hold the boat.)

Getting the boat..part 2

We didn’t have long to panic. Matt gets a call within a week. The tree situation was taken care of in NJ and now, the movers are getting the boat. I’m at work fretting. Staring at my phone waiting for the news.  I leave straight away and head to my parents. Every time I see a truck or tractor trailer or wide load sign I hold my breath and look to see if it is “the boat”. It isn’t , and trust me, I was  holding my breath a lot on my 270 commute.

I get there and the boat is still about an hour away. Finally, Matt gets a call and goes out to meet the truck at the town of Brownsville about 2 miles away (I drive a couple hundred yards down the road so the driver can park and look at driveway before pulling in). He leads the way. I see Matt pull in the drive and no truck. He has the driver, who wanted to scope it out. Fully confident in a very reassuring way, the driver is ready to go back and get the truck. I anxiously await. Finally, it turns in!20160926_151551

Truck backing the boat into place.
Truck backing the boat into place.

It is a regular pickup with a fancy trailer. (It’s a super duty pickup with dual rear wheels and a hydraulic trailer which allows us to unload the boat without a crane. When using a service like this make sure they have insurance). The driver coasts in, breezes up the driveway and expertly backs the boat into place. (The top of the boat does hit branches the whole way in but I tell Cleason that it’s not hurting it any since it will have to be sanded and painted anyway). He works the hydraulics and lowers the boat. It was beautiful watching him and Matt set up the stands for the boat.

Setting up the stands
Setting up the stands

This man knew what he was doing.  Thank you, Cleason. I got to talk to him as he worked. Apparently, people get boats and put them in the middle of farms more often than I thought. He has been shipping ships for quite a while and gave me some advice and tips on what to look for as we rehab our boat. He was also thoroughly impressed at Matt’s (and my) undertaking this project. Cleason also admitted he had not been sailing, however, it will be my goal to get him on this boat once it is restored. I think the total makeover, will have him curious enough to join us.

Cleason's Information
Cleason’s Information



Getting the boat… part one.

The excitement and nerves began to build as we got closer to a moving date. Matt drove up to NJ with promises that he would send me messages to keep me updated on our boats progress to its new temporary home at my parents house.

Matt: “I’m waiting on the movers”

Me: “update?”

Matt: “There is a really big tree in the way. Can’t move boat out of the development. They will call someone to remove the tree.”

Me: A tree? …. “how big is this boat”

Me: “?!”

Matt: “They can’t move the boat today. We are rescheduling for after they take care of the tree.”

Boat and the tree
Boat and the tree

(I spent hours that morning trying to work out a way to get the boat out with the crew moving it. They figured that it must have been a smaller trailer that got the boat in there originally. The tree in question would have to be removed. I waited there for a few more hours until a cherry picker came to remove it. By this time it is too late to load up the boat, the crew left. Assured that there would be no more issues, I paid for the boat and headed home.)

truck and trees
truck and trees

Disappointment and fear began to set in. After the seeing that a tree had to be removed in NJ, back at my parents house, Matt continually looked at the driveway. He would go back out with my Dad and check where the septic lines are, he made calls and looked at my favorite pine trees that line the lane (and have done so for my entire life). He said to me, do you think we can trim them?  Horrified, I started looking up videos of boats being moved.

It can’t be that big..  can it?


Step One

Look at the boat in person.

I got a text from Matt.


Apparently, after asking his wife, he drove to NJ and looked at the boat in person.

Step Two

Check the motor.

He put down a deposit so a mechanic could clean up the engine before it was started. (We needed to see  it running since  it had sat for a while. The engine had been sitting for more than a decade.) A week later and Matt showed me video of the engine running.

He asks, “are we ready to commit?”. YES.

Step Three

We then needed to find a trucker to ship the boat. 40 foot boats just can’t be trailered with the Xterra.  We posted the plan on a couple websites where truckers give us a price and we can pick.  I had no idea there were websites that did this.

We accepted an offer at 2k.

Step four.

Find time to oversee the moving of our boat!

**The red markings in the above post are the Matt’s “corrections”  and additions.