Wednesday, September 28, 2011

But what about cars?

I'll be honest. We are puzzled by this one. One of the questions we are most frequently asked is whether we have cars. And we are asked this by people smarter than we are who know that I work downtown every day. The cause, we reckon, is that when people hear that we are living on a boat, they immediately think of retirees out sailing the oceans of the world, not young professionals dressing for work each morning, and they can't shake that initial image. Sometimes, the question comes after a long pause and is posed with hesitation as our situation comes into focus. "So, you guys still have cars, right?" It seems clear that living on a boat is not easily associated with car ownership.

Although we understand the question, it sure seemed silly to us at first. Of course we have cars. We have normal, city-based lives, and in Miami, that means we drive. I drive to work each morning. We drive to Costco and load up on groceries. We drive across the state to visit my parents. We definitely don't drive as many miles as we did in Kentucky, which is great, but we still fire up at least one of our cars (we have two) almost every day.

And possessing and using our cars is no more difficult than for any condo owner. We have two spaces in a covered parking garage located right next to the entrance to our pier. From car to boat, we walk no further than 100 yards:

Distance from our parked cars to garage exit/entrance

Distance from our pier's gate to Sea Gem

It is as convenient as it gets without moving to the suburbs. Really, in terms of car ownership and day-to-day living, our housing situation in general is nearly indistinguishable from condo life. We have a parking garage and a mailbox. There is someone at a front desk who signs for our packages. There is a swimming pool. The primary difference between living at a marina and living in a condo is that, instead of walking down a hallway to your unit, you walk down a pier to your boat. And, in the end, our boat is more or less a condo that moves when we want it to.


  1. Do a butwhatabout your neighbors. I'm interested about whether you're in a slip next to people who live on their boat full time, whether they're transient (i.e. people jump marinas or slips every year), etc.

  2. Great idea, John! We'll do a post about this in the coming months...we are waiting to see how our neighbor situation changes with the season, since lots of retirees head down here in the winter. We are expecting new neighbors soon. We'll keep you posted.