As you probably know, we sold our sticks and bricks, all our furnishings, Dave's cabinet making/home improvement equipment and my car to purchase our set up for full-time living. One thing we did not sell was our 1990 65 foot Somerset Houseboat which we bought in 2007 and our 2005 24 foot pontoon that are on Lake Lanier in Flowery Branch, GA. We hung on to those for a home base in which to come back.
It provides a home port so we can get personal things done like going to the doctors, maintenance on our houseboat and RV and some downtime from constant travel. It also gives us a chance to visit with our "dock" family and enjoy the lake and the many islands to houseboat "camp" on.
Since our houseboat is over 30 years old, you can imagine the maintenance that is needed. Much like a house. Dave has been working on the houseboat all along for general maintenance for the past 13 years plus some renovations. He moved a wall to enlarge our bedroom and totally remolded the bathroom. He repainted the kitchen cabinets and replaced appliances as needed. During the summer of 2019, Dave painted the exterior which was a huge task.
Being back at a home base also provides us with the means to store our truck and RV at the marina to perform maintenance on both of them.
Of course there is a lot of work on the RV and Truck too. This could be anything from rust, tires, shocks, brakes, etc. Therefore full time riving is NOT all fun & games.
We are usually home for a couple of months, then we take off for another 10 months to travel the United States and hit our bucket list items. In the past, we have done things that were needed so the boat would operate properly and we had all the creature comforts we wanted. Dave usually tackled all those tasks. As time has gone by, much of the boat interior is outdated and/or worn out.
HOWEVER...this time, we have some major things that need to be done so Dave will have to hire some professionals to do some of the work.
We had major damage to one outdrive last year and we need work conducted on both outdrives so the boat will need to be pulled out of the water. Fortunately, our RV will be right next to the boat so we can boondock in our RV during the repairs. Keep your fingers crossed that our engine doesn't need work too.
The entire houseboat roof needs to be recoated and sealed as there are some cracks and some of the fiberglass is starting to show through. Dave repaired some soft areas 2 years ago, so we are hoping no other ones are found.
The front canvas enclosure was severely damaged in the storm from last summer, so it needs to be replaced. Click Here for Hour of Terror Video.
😲SELL THE HOUSEBOAT?
Having a houseboat is not cheap. Slip fees are expensive! We need to justify having the boat for only 2 months out of the year, and cost-wise it just doesn't add up. We keep pondering what our "Exit Plan" (video coming out soon) will be. We love the houseboat, but storms are unpredictable and can make it scary and dangerous. But that is true in an RV or home. We don't know when we will stop RVing...hopefully never, but figure we will stop full-timing it eventually. We like the idea of having a home base and maybe one that is on solid ground. We have thought about buying a lot in Florida and building a FHU pad and have room for a house to be built some day in the future. Maybe on a canal to the river and gulf of Mexico. We have thought about just going back to the houseboat. We have thought about Port Home subdivisions. We just don't know yet. So in the meantime we want to spruce up the boat in case we stumble across something, somewhere that seems perfect for us; we want to be able to sell the boat. So while we are home, we want to repair and redecorate the houseboat.
New flooring. The carpet is missing in the bedroom since it was remodeled and the rest is peeling up or worn out. Probably put in vinyl flooring that looks like wood. Dave can tackle that.
Paint the cabinets and possibly get new doors. This is in Dave's wheelhouse, so he can do this too.
Paint the interior walls. Very tedious as wall space is small and has valances, windows, mechanicals and other things to paint around.
Possibly change out soft material valances to wood.
Remove clutter and deep clean.
We aren't getting any younger and we will have to figure out what we are going to do some day. In the meantime, we will still hang on to the houseboat and get it in tip top shape. Maybe after that, we will not have it in our heart to sell it.