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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…
Recent posts

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…

You Live On a Boat? You Must Be RICH! Nope. Here is how to live aboard for cheap.

We've written before about how many people ask us private things just because we live on a boat. Since our lifestyle is a bit different than most people there seems to be an idea that we want everyone knowing about our financial lives and personal habits.  Here are some questions we get:

How much does it cost?What do you do in the winter?How do you heat/cool the boat?Do you ever leave the marina?Why are you doing this?Do you miss your house?How do you shower?How do you poop?
Those last two come up a lot more often than you'd think.  Let's face it, most of us are a bit crude. Kevin has spent a lot of time with "proper" people, businesspersons, met many CEOs of large global companies or other folks you might think are high class.  Most of them turn into 14 year olds after a few cocktails.  That's when the real questions come out.  A lot of people are just curious, and their curiosity can overwhelm their sense of society, privacy, and politeness.  So we often hav…

The Trouble With Boating.

We might be tempting fate here, but Cygnet has been pretty reliable lately.  We took our first cruise of 2017 on a beautiful but cool evening and found the river and lake to be nearly glass conditions.  With a small group of friends we took Cygnet up river (down actually) and through the lock onto what might be the smoothest Lake Michigan we've encountered.  We took a ride north as far as Montrose harbor and back again.  At Cygnet's cruising speed it takes a good 45 minutes to get from the lock to Montrose Harbor and we enjoyed the short cruise up and back.


Other friends have not been as fortunate this year.  Our liveaboard houseboat friends are still stuck on the Chicago River, waiting for a calm day when they are available to take their boat out to 31st Street Harbor for the summer.  They aren't in a hurry, but they are docked on the outside wall of the marina on the river side.  The amateur and immature boaters we get on the river make large wakes and their boat has got…