sailboat shopping

Motorboatin Mania – Palm Beach International Boat Show

Show me the money!!! That’s all I could think as we walked the docks at the Palm Beach Boat Show. Oh the opulence! Two, Three or four million bucks is just a starting point around here. Unless you are looking for a dinghy, then 15k might get you into the entry level.

Ok, I may be exaggerating a little…but not by much.

boat shopping florida

In all honesty, we didn’t come here to look at boats.  We can’t afford a new boat and that’s exactly what you’ll find at a boat show.  Even if we could afford a new sailboat, one glance at the vendor list online and we knew this show wasn’t geared towards sailing…this show was all about the mega yachts and fishing boats.  But, that didn’t mean it wasn’t worth investigating.

We’ve been to a couple of boat shows now and plenty of RV shows over the years.  There is a lot more to explore at a show than just the vessels.  If you want to learn more about the industry and especially about tech and toys, a show is an excellent place to do just that!

Overall we found some cool marine gadgets we didn’t know about, learned a lot more about some of the systems we might need in the future and had fun wondering around the mega yachts…although we were smart enough not to step foot into any of them as it would just sour our used sailboat shopping experience.

toy hauler of the sea

Look honey, it’s the toy hauler of the sea!


The latest and greatest from Raymarine…I want one, don’t you?

The practical side of our day was spent looking at Sunbrella fabric swatches for bimini tops, cushions and covers, which we’re sure we’ll have to replace on a used boat.  We found the fanciest high speed ice makers and water makers of all sizes, types and prices.  We realized a “center console” dinghy is way out of our budget and probably too fancy for leaving at the dinghy dock.  We had the chance to drool over some fancy SCUBA gear which will no doubt be a future upgrade once we get the budget for it.  Oh yea, and the underwater LED lights…maybe we can get them in our Gone With The Wynns blue! 🙂

There were also lots of options for safety gear and emergency equipment. Which provided us a nice insight to the uncertainties of the sea during long crossings (let’s hope we never need to use any of it). I found some cool polarized glasses which should be a major help for spotting the dolphins as they swim around our cat, and help protect our eyes from all the sun exposure.  In all seriousness, we know the sea is unforgiving, as is Mother Nature, and we’re not making any of our sailing decisions without careful considerations.

We stumbled upon a few RV friendly items that we hadn’t seen before like the nesting, stacking and induction approved Nautical Scout cookware.  I think our favorite random find was the floating, waterproof wallet thingy called the Ugo.  And the upcycled sea bags were pretty awesome too!

What about you?  Have you been to any industry shows and if so, did you find it helpful?  Are you one of the people with a mega yacht that we need to be friends with?  Chat us up in the comments below, we always love hearing from you.

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (28)

  • Hey Jason,

    Returned your call and left message. Yatchs and boats are very expensive. Maybe you could go to govenment sale or police sale very they auction off boats etc when they confiscate because of illegal activity. Can get good buy if you can beat locals to bid. Roy H

  • Our takeaway: no motorboating while wearing polarized sunglasses. 😛 Getting excited for you two. Hope you find a boat soon! PS: If you run short of crew on that 110-footer, we’re available.

  • Angela Gill

    I have a question. Have you checked into possibly satilite internet? Like Dish or Hughes net? I know it might be pricey in campared to land Internet.

  • David E

    Hey guys. Sent a large message to you a while back about your sail boat questions but for some reason it is not showing up? Sorry about that. We are 2 yrs into the RV life style but we had left the Sailing live-a-board life style a few years ago. We cruised full time for 5 years up and down the East Coast in a 46 Hunter Sailboat with two girls and 2 dogs. I learned a lot about connectivity since I was working through the internet while travelling. I was giving a lot of useless information from sales people also. If you have any questions in regards to sailing, communications, working while sailing, East Coast of US issues you might run into, Bahamas issues, Central American issues with Mexico, Belize, Honduras or Guatemala please feel free to ask. You helped me with my RV issues when I was in need of research so I would like to help you out also.

    David E. and Crew
    s/v Second Wind
    Atlanta, GA

  • Brian

    What do you do at night if you’re underway? Do you sleep in shifts, so there is always a person at the helm? I was just looking at the Leopard website. I’m sure new boats are very pricey, and probably out of your price range, but a couple of items that I noticed were, the difference between the 40 and their largest Cat, (I believe it’s a 58) was, the larger seemed to be much nicer, had a homey feel to them, appeared to me more along the lines of a motor home, fixture wise. Had lots more storage/cabinets, then the smaller boats. It also had walk around beds. How do you make the beds in most of these Cats? you can’t get around them at all. Thne small units appear to be fiberglass boats with cushions to sit on, small appliances etc, they don’t appear intended for full time living. Jump up to the bigger unit, and it’s has larger appliances, nice fixtures, etc etc. More along the line of full time living. I’m sure the price goes WAY UP $$$ too. I know very little about sailboats, perhaps an older, larger boat would be better for the budget and living full time in, or are you just asking for trouble if you go to old? It’s interesting following you along, I’m learning a ton myself. Maybe a barge you could park your RV on LOL, just kidding. I did watch the video on you tube someone suggested where a couple of fellows are interviewing a husband wife that currently own a Cat, but have also owned mono hulls, very interesting video, if you haven’t watched it, I recommend it. Best of luck.

  • Len Wood

    How about wood?

  • Richard MacLennan

    Hi Again Nikki & Jason,

    Someone here mentioned watermakers. They are very expensive and use finicky reverse osmosis filters that need constant replacing. A manual watermaker made for emergencies still costs about $1000.

    I thought a simpler and cheaper system would be to get a water distiller.

    There are water distillers that can work over any source of heat, such as a stovetop. (One bonus is that they can also distill alcohol).

    I even saw that you used a plug-in water distiller on one of your videos.

    Large ships use water distillers to turn sea water into fresh water from their waste engine heat.

    I have also seen an inflatable solar distiller made for the marine environment. It is slow to work and requires the sun, but would be better than nothing in an emergency.

    I hope that this info helps.


  • Richard MacLennan

    Hi Nikki and Jason,

    I see that you are getting into sailing. The Island Packet SP Cruiser (41′) and the Nordhavn 56 are my dream boats (both motorsailers).

    In terms of communications, I have two suggestions. I have used the Inreach satellite communicator from the middle of the ocean on a transatlantic cruise. It allows you to use your cellphone to send and receive text messages from anywhere in the world via satellite. Costs about $200-300 initially, with a $17-50 monthly subscription.

    A similar device is the Iridium GO! but this is even more sophisticated. It let’s you use a cell/computer to make calls over VOIP and even surf the Web over satellites, but I suspect that this is a tad more pricier.

    I still have my Inreach, and I keep it my car with the inexpensive emergency subscription (it has a dedicated SOS button if I ever need help).

    I hope that you find this info useful.


  • Brandon

    Nikki (and Jason):

    You guys are just awesome. I’m usually one of those types that stays silent on the web, but I stumbled across one of your videos while researching solar panels, and I got totally hooked. You all seem to have a similar attitude as my wife and I, though much more successful at “getting out there and doing it”! (Good for you! You’re an inspiration!) Because of this, I can’t help but reach out and try to help you, if I can.
    My wife and I went through the “cruising catamaran shopping” experience at the end of 2015, and we just had our 1 year boat anniversary! I know the long hours of internet shopping on, and the likes – how exciting! … and frustrating. I know you’re trying to balance size and cost, and just like RVs, the choice ultimately ends up as a personal one. For us, we ended up choosing a Lagoon 380 (owner’s version), due in part, to Seth and Elizabeth Hynes’ review here: And also because there aren’t that many catamarans here in the Seattle area. (We looked, but opted to not buy from the Caribbean and then pay delivery to Seattle.) Our near term goal is to go to Alaska with our two young daughters in a couple of years, and then maybe in 10 years, we’ll “stretch our legs” and go for a longer trip – the Lagoon 380 fit the bill for us for size, cost, comfort, safety, and seaworthiness (these things cross oceans as a matter of routine). To help offset the costs, we put her into a charter program, which can help reduce the “sting”. After watching your sailboat shopping videos, I think the 380 might be worth a look (surely you’ve seen them listed?). I also know of a nice Lagoon 400 for sale in the area. Lastly, I’ll put the offer out there to buy you a beer if you’re ever in the Seattle area again, (seems you must have driven through on your own Alaskan adventure), I’d be happy to help in anyway that I can. And no, I am NOT a boat broker! 😉

  • John S.

    I suppose that your list of ‘must have’ accessories include a water maker. Since you’ll want to power it from solar does that limit your options? Can they even run on wind/solar/batteries? Do they take more energy than a fridge?

    The thought of having your own air compressor sounds fantastic! And it would pay for itself the first time you want to dive on a beautiful reef and your tanks are empty.

  • John Cross

    Good luck to both of you and your feline friends. Life’s about the journey in whatever conveyance that suits you at the time. The best part is having the right partner to share the journey.

    My bride and I retired a couple years ago. We all know the runway of life doesn’t get longer and we’d rather wear out than rot out.

    Our first post retirement outing was Route 66 – 6 weeks and 7000 miles in a red Corvette Z06. What a trip!!!

    My magnificent wife and I worked hard at great careers, raised a family of terrific kids – now terrific grand kids – and keep on going.

    My wonderful wife celebrates her 11 year anniversary today of beating ovarian Cancer and soon her 6 year anniversary of beating breast Cancer as well. I’m bringing up the rear celebrating beating prostate Cancer 13 years ago. But none of that defines us. We’re fighters.

    We sold our Holiday Rambler, Arty, motorhome in Florida this month and our home and furniture in Michigan this month, too. We’re in the process of selling our little car fleet including my beloved red John Cooper Works Mini. Currently, we have no forwarding address and are staying with wonderful friends as we get ready to head to Florida to look to buy a place in the Villages Florida.

    We look a little pretty crazy to most of our friends. But, it’s an adventure to us. Remember when you graduated from college and took a job in a strange place? You got there and wondered ‘now where do I live?’ That’s us kinda – but we’ve got money in the bank to buy what we want and are comfortable (not rich by any stretch).

    Life is a gift to be shared and savored. And that’s exactly what you both have done for so many of your devoted fans. Even us lurkers…

    Good luck friends!

  • You might consider getting an amateur radio license. No code required and test is relatively easy. Then you can get a Pactor modem and at least use email from wherever you might be. I drove my RV to Alaska and could connect to a server in San Diego via ham radio and get my email no matter where I was. Added benefit: Your friends can track your progress. See: Click on one of the blue dots out in the middle of the ocean and you can track their progress. Good luck with your boat hunting. Something will turn up when you lease expect it.


  • illya

    Love the videos, you guys definitely could get sponsored i bet also. Just make sure you don’t undersell yourselves. Your talents are far beyond the value of a used boat. I like the new lagoon 42 :). Love the videos, your positive outlooks make my day much brighter and that to me is priceless.

    • illya

      Also wanted to add on your own insights, near the end of your video you say say those products were gonna have to add to the boat. I think at that moment it defines exactly a picture of your boat in your own thoughts of what you see as your boat. That in itself is a very clear marker to help you find it. It really does sound like the perfect one for you guys. I am going to contact a friend of mine in Grosse Pointe MI who is in the sailing community and has friends who have more money than what they know what to do with, I used to work for many of them building custom furniture and woodworking. I’l have them check out your site and know they will help if only financially. They would love to have you guys sailing up there.

  • André

    Just stay in the RV, on land with the rest of us! 🙂

  • I’m more on the design bent. I think you could get more euro design with boats and a catamaran then american made RV’s. Less squeaky but more waves. Which could be fun. Thanks for all of the cool updates. I look forward to everyone. Suggestion…. You have to listen to Cool Change while on your boat. Okay please! So great!

  • Larry Odom

    Jason and Nikki,
    You two are uniquely charismatic and like nobody else. I strongly suggest that you make a plea to numerous manufacturers to sponsor your venture. You risk absolutely nothing in doing so (save a little temporary disappointment by turndowns). But by steadily going after them, week after week, month after month, you’re bound to get some sort of deal put together eventually. Your video diary of your other adventures, as well as the one that explains who you are would certainly catch the attention of an enterprising boat builder who would love to take a flyer with you and gamble on the one-of-a-kind worldwide publicity you can offer them. I believe in y’all!

  • Mike and Kathy Greene

    Jason and Nikki: My wife and I love to read about your adventures. We have taken the same path that you have regarding boats. We had a number of them and decided that when we left the military, we would buy a serious boat to do lots of traveling. For years, we went to boat shows and spoke to numerous owners. First we wanted a sailboat, then a catamaran, then a trimaran, and back to a catamaran. After much thought, we realized that a catamaran is ALOT of work to maintain and big bucks. Finally we decided on a Ranger Tug R29. This was a perfect cruising boat – big enough for the Keys and the Bahamas and it is trailerable. Many owners pull into campgrounds when going to their next destination. The company has been around since 1958 and are great to work with.

    Do a search for the company and the owners website The Tugnuts. Cats are great but you just might find this another option to consider.


  • Sheila Hagadone

    Palm Beach = $$$$

  • Constant

    Found this while searching. Hopefully you find what you need to keep us in the loop.

  • Since you’ve made your decision and have begun the hunt for the new home, it seems despite what at times must be a stressful and frustrating experience, the both of you are so much more relaxed. It shines through in your videos with the fun you seem to have and the joking interplay. While this could all be attributed to where you are, I tend to believe its your mindset.

    Keep ’em coming, the videos are informative and fun to watch.

    • I agree, They are so fun to watch and learn

  • Adam

    Hey Guys. If you are still looking for a connection at sea(talk/text/data), check these guys out:

    A friend of ours uses this down in the Caribbean and on Atlantic crossings. Hope this helps!

  • LoudMusic


    I actually work on superyachts doing primarily computer network related things, but the company I work for handles all IT, A/V, and comms needs for about 80 ships. For internet the yachts always have a VSAT connection, but that’s insanely expensive for unimpressive speeds so they like to have alternative options. For the past couple years we’ve been using Peplink hardware to provide them with cellular and wifi options. The model we’ve been selling them lately is the MAX Multi-Cellular HD2.

    It has wired, wifi, and dual cellular WAN, which it can prioritize or load balance between. It can also associate to international cellular systems, assuming you have an international or regionally appropriate SIM card installed.

    It has external antenna jacks so you can attach an appropriate whip antenna up on the mast for best range and reliability.

    And it acts as a wifi access point and has four LAN ports. It *could* be an all inclusive network device, though for my clients’ purposes it’s just one tiny component in a much larger network.

    We’ve provided a variety of other options over the years and the crew on the ships all seem to really like Peplink’s hardware.

    I don’t know what your budget is for something like this, and this one isn’t cheap, but I’m sure they have offerings that are more reasonable.

    — Paul

  • Jim

    You guys are truly amazing and Thank You for allowing us to “accompany” you virtually on your adventures!

    With the exception of small speedboat inland lake boating and my family developing an admiration of Mississippi River barges and Great Lakes tankers – our interest in anything more sea adventuresome hasn’t hit our family – and with monetary limitations in mind I pretty much hope it never does. 😉 But just like being “weekend warriors” for the most part works best for our family – your adventures allow us to safely envision (or fantasize about) the “more extreme”! Of course that’s one reason it might be a bit bitter-sweet during the times you are no longer RVing – but I have no doubt that you’re new adventures will still be just – if not more – entertaining, informative, and engrossing!! (and I secretly assume (and hope) that someday you’ll come back to RVing again too (if it’s best for you guys of course))

    Anyway, the boat show reminded me of how so many times the boating and RV worlds cross – many times without a lot of people realizing it depending on what their interests are and/or they’ve been exposed to. One semi-humorous example comes to mind. We have owned both the classic trailer and motorhome versions of the Airstream “Land Yacht” models. Of course the similarity between boat and RV pretty much ends with the name outside of minor abstract comparisons between sea and land life…but years ago I had obtained a small “Intellian” brand of automatic satellite dome that I mounted on top – which has worked out really well for us.

    Up until about two years ago when domes finally became similar size and technology, with the exception of when we’d be in places near larger shipping ports near the Great Lakes, I can’t tell you how many times I was questioned about what that “dinosaur egg” was on top of our motorhome (keep in mind these camping locations were always far inland). I remember one time in particular when I explained that it was an automatic satellite dish common on boats that the questioner emphatically told me I was lying because he KNEW about sat-dishes and that there was no way what we have was one of those! LOL

    Of course now two years later, with the exception of the name, it looks like most of the new models now and the “unique” questions have stopped. Now I can finally stop feeling a bit “silly” the way some of those comments made us feel, to instead being secretly proud to have been ahead of the curve at the time! 😉

    I think there’s a lot more boating technology that is slowly making it’s way towards RVing too, but many won’t see it because of less exposure to boating life (but your adventures might assist that now). For example, I’ve always noticed that 12 volt refrigeration compressors are quite common on boats, but because of practicality or affordability, really hasn’t been adapted to RV use yet – or if there’s a reason to it ever to be. But technology (like solar and wind generators which have been common on boats for a long time now) crosses over all the time and the future will continue to be interesting!

    Anyway, best of luck on your continuing adventures! 🙂

    • Jim

      Never fails that no matter how much I proofread, I almost always invariably leave something important out that has the potential of changing what I was intending to say! That one line SHOULD have been: “but I have no doubt that you’re new adventures will still be just AS – if not EVEN MORE – entertaining, informative, and engrossing!!”

      In other words, you guys are already the best, and even with that, your blog/videos just keep getting even better!



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