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A Floating Trailer Park...kinda.

There are many aspects of living on a boat that people are curious about.  We've tried to write about many of them here but in all the time we've lived aboard we have never gotten one question that we think is actually an important one.  "What is it like to live at a marina?"

Maybe there is a reason nobody asks, they just don't really care, or maybe they don't know that they should be asking that question.  You don't know what you don't know.  So in this post we want to give you an idea of what it's like to live at a marina.
River City Let's face it, a marina is a floating trailer park.  Some folks may argue with this since you have the freedom to take your boat anywhere, boats are more of a recreational object than a trailer, some boats cost more than the collection of trailers in most parks, and boats are just cooler than a single-wide mobile home.  Maybe the analogy would be better to compare a marina to a campground, however campgrounds a…
Recent posts

The Night was Moist...

The couple looked at each other with the same thing in mind, it was an unspoken bond they'd had for nearly nineteen years that had never faded.  It was something they each knew the other wanted, something palpable and real, that drove them to a higher level of ecstasy.  They were staring at each other, him walking slowly down the dock running his veined hands along the chrome strip that divided the yacht top and bottom, her above, a wry smile slowly produced by her pink lips.  In a moment the idea came, like a swallow chasing a dragonfly through the summer sunset, sudden and with vigorously excited movement.  It wasn't the inside of the big yacht they retreated to, with its soft Queen bed waiting like a smoke alarm to sense the heat.  It was the little one, the new one, the fresh meat they were after.

The pair readied the needed supplies; some alcohol, music, a protective sheath to hold the most valuable of the tools for the endeavor.  They laughed and talked of what was comi…

I've got 99 problems and my dingy is all of them.

Recently you may have heard about the theft of Chicago RIBber and how we miraculously got it back.  Well, I guess it wasn't an actual miracle, more of a casual sighting and phone call, but whatever!  Shortly after that and not too long into our ownership of this little bundle of fun we started having issues with our 1960 Johnson outboard.  We'd only paid $250 for the motor so we weren't too upset, but it meant we couldn't use the boat other than for rowing across the marina or for a bit of exercise on the river nearby.  After consulting the guy we purchased it from and another mechanic we decided it made more sense to replace than repair.  For people like us who own a computer repair shop we make the repair versus replace recommendations often to customers but not often to ourselves.  We knew we wanted more power to get the little dinghy up on plane easier with two of us and maybe even with three or four people aboard.  We also knew the old Johnson was probably going t…

Stolen! How Chicago Ribber was taken for a ride.

If you missed the last post you might not know that we purchased a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) to use as a runabout on the river.  Since Cygnet is such a big yacht we find that there are times we'd like to go out on the water but just don't want to deal with the hassle of taking our home away from its home.  So we found a BRIS brand RIB on ebay and purchased a few add-ons and an outboard motor to putt around the river whenever we want.  We love it and it has been a great addition to the fleet (now up to 2)!

Shortly after we had Chicago Ribber we started exploring a bit.  We took a trip to Whole Foods and REI for some shopping, we've gone for Saturday brunch and fireworks, and down to Chinatown to watch movies in the park.  One night we invited a couple friends to ride along with us to Island Party Hut.  It's a fun place along the Chicago Riverwalk that has drinks, food, picnic tables, lounge chairs, live music, bags, jenga, great people watching, and many ways to ente…
We've passed the four year anniversary of living on Cygnet and one thing we've realized in that time is that she's is too big.  We don't mean she's too big for living aboard, she's just about perfect for that, but for taking her out for a casual cruise.  We've done trips with just the two of us before, like our trip to St Joseph, Michigan, but those cruises are generally because we are doing something special and we don't have a crew available.  Having a third person aboard makes a huge difference in what we can handle.  If you are thinking about living aboard as a single or couple you need to be aware of this.

Docking is a challenge.  Our home slip is a pain to get in and out of since it is a very small marina. We have a boat about 40 feet in front of us and about three feet next to us.  The way the marina is designed we actually have to back out of it, something we don't recommend but there isn't enough room to turn around.  The river can be q…

Dreaming is good, we shall keep dreaming of a different life.

Recently we've been dreaming again.  When we first started thinking about living on a boat it was an amazing thought and seemed like such an adventure and we were excited by the prospect of a different lifestyle.  Lately we've had a similar thought about traveling in a van conversion.  We've looked at videos on YouTube of Sprinter conversions and seen the blogs of these (mostly) young people in gorgeous locations with their bicycles, surfboards, climbing gear, etc. and that sounds like fun.  But when we turn off the TV or put away the phone or computer and sit in our floating home we realize we have all that already.  Sure we don't have many rock climbing opportunities in Chicago but if you see Kevin on the sheer face of El Capitan please call for help, he shouldn't be there.  We have careers we need to be in Chicago for, so wandering North America isn't an option for us right now.  Plus we love this city and want it to be our home base anyway.

Kristin Bor give…

The frustrations of Jack Klompus. Plus, another winter is headed for Chicago.

Remember the character Jack Klompus from Seinfeld?  He was the guy that Jerry's dad Morty was always having problems with in the Del Boca Vista retirement community.  No matter what Morty said, Jack always said the opposite.  He was the type of guy that nobody could get along with, someone who thought that -no matter what- he was right, and even if he had an inkling that he was wrong would never admit to it.

We have a Jack Klompus at River City Marina and it makes life shitty.  Many of you reading this probably have a Jack Klompus near you, whether you have a guy or girl as part of your condo association that's always mucking up the works, or a neighbor who likes to cut his tree branches down and leave the mess in your yard.  Maybe there is that guy at work that you just can't stand dealing with because he's such a pompous ass.  Our Jack is a guy who thinks he's the king of the marina, someone who is involved in every aspect of the place and is such a pain to deal w…