From RV to Sailboat – Moving Day and our Last Road Trip

From RV to Sailboat – Moving Day and our Last Road Trip

Moving is fun, exciting, stressful and exhausting all at the same time.  We’ve moved homes five times in the past six years.  Now, I realize that isn’t a staggering number but it sure feels like a lot…and we’re perpetual travelers. As full-time travelers most people would think moving would kinda be our M.O.

Each move has its own set of challenges and in turn instilled new pearls of transitional wisdom.  I wish I could say we have it all down to a science but that would be a downright lie.  Each time I feel unprepared, unorganized and completely blown away at how much junk I have.

I call it junk because in all honesty, unless it’s something I regularly use, what’s the point in having it.  I know this and yet it never fails that I have at least one pair of shoes that never get worn, a dusty cooking gadget shamefully hiding in the back of a cabinet, an article of clothing with the tag still on…and I could go on, but I digress.

The point is, moving is always a lot of work no matter how small our house is.  This move is a new chapter in our lives and a completely different lifestyle that presents its own set of challenges.  We’re going from RV to sailboat and this time we’re taking a slow and steady approach.

So, while its all fresh on my brain I wanted to share some of my thoughts about big moves.

Taking on Big Moves, Challenges and Adjustments

Moving from RV to RV was a pain in the arse but that was it.  No big adjustment period, no major changes, not better, not worse…just a different motorhome.  Moving from RV to sailboat requires a lot more assessment of what possessions stay and which ones go.  What is sea friendly and what is not.

However, this move is nothing compared to when we sold everything and hit the road back in 2010.  We had all the emotions of leaving the comfort zone of our home, friends and family, businesses we had built, and a new mobile lifestyle we knew very little about.

Top that off with 4,000 sq feet of home furnishings, photography gear, studio props and my ridiculous collection of personal belongings to sell or squeeze into a 200sq ft RV and we were maxed out.  It felt massive and at times impossible.   We made it through one day at a time and one item at a time.  Every move since that first big one has felt leaps and bounds easier.

This feels like another really big move but in a completely different way.  This one doesn’t seem massive and impossible despite the overwhelming amount we have to learn.  The emotions are all very different from that first big leap.  We may not know much about sailing but the challenges of life on the move, living small and constant change are all part of our “normal”.

The change is much bigger this time and we know we have an adjustment period ahead, but our emotions about it are charged with excitement and curiosity.  We’re constantly grinning ear to ear as we’re experiencing our new world from afloat.

traveling cats
Singa taking in the new salty sights and sounds.

Purging and Attachments to Material Possessions

I used to be such a sentimental person and I kept all kinds of trinkets from little moments in my life.  Movie ticket stubs, old letters, 1st grade report cards, gag gifts, kitsch from travels, my grandmothers favorite pillow…

The only times I ever touched any of these things was when we moved or decided to do some spring cleaning.  But I just couldn’t bring myself to let them go.  As if the memories attached to them would somehow disappear if I did.

It was so hard to let go of all those things that I had put such a high emotional price tag on and now that they are all mostly gone…and have been gone for years.  It’s hard to believe I ever “needed” to hold onto them.

I have learned to keep the high value on the memory and detach it from the physical object. Today, I am almost the opposite and don’t keep any mementos or keepsakes.  I don’t feel the need for or want anything extra cluttering my life that doesn’t serve a purpose in it.  Now, if I could only learn to apply this logic to shoes…I would be doing really well.

The possessions we have and keep now always get a good assessment.  What purpose does it serve, how often is it used, is it efficient, do we enjoy the experience of using it?  As we transition things from the RV to the boat, we’re asking these questions before we bother finding a home for each thing.  There will no doubt be things that once served a purpose in the RV and the RV lifestyle that won’t make it on our sailboat.  For example, I’m going to be sad to see my solar oven go but my new home aligns with the wind, not the sun.

first coffee on a boat.
Our first morning coffee on our boat. There are going to be a lot of new firsts in our future.
saying goodbye at the docks
Saying goodbye to our new friend and previous boat owner John.

What about the RV?

We will keep the RV for a few more weeks as we have a couple of videos we plan to shoot and will migrate our technology (solar, composting toilet, wifi boosters…) onto the boat.  Then, the RV will go back to the Fleetwood factory in Indiana.  We’re assuming they will let the engineers give it a good assessment to see how everything held up under our strenuous testing and then they’ll sell it at auction or a local dealership.  I know many of you are interested so once we know the scoop; we will let you know.

We’ll be selling some of the technology like our Lithium Batteries (because our new home already has them) and camp specific stuff like chairs and other gadgets that won’t make sense on the boat.  Sadly, we’ll be listing the little Smart car as well.  It’s been a good companion over the years but life goes on and we’ll have plenty of memories, photos and videos to remember it by.  If you’re interested in our RV Fire Sale stay tuned, once we get the last of the goods out we’ll create a list and share it here and on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

What’s Next

Kent (our broker) is going to come down and help us sail the boat from Vero to Ft. Lauderdale.  Kent has been sailing and working on boats most of his life.  So, it should be fun experience and an opportunity to learn a lot about our boat.  We’ll anchor (like wild camping for boats) near Ft. Lauderdale, get adjusted to life on the water and wait on a slip to open up for service at Just Catamarans.

We are hoping to take care of most of the recommended service items from our survey and sea trial.  Some Kent will help us do ourselves and some we’ll have to hire the pros to fix.  Then, it’ll be time for our ASA sailing classes at Bluewater Sailing School!  After that we should be armed with the knowledge to hire a captain to come on board and sign off on our know how for insurance purposes so we can begin coastal cruising on our own.

I know the next few weeks are going to wiz by like someone is holding down the fast forward button.  So, if anyone out there has a time machine or magical pause button…we can’t pay you to use it, but I can whip up a mean brunch complete with cinnamon roll pancakes and fresh squeezed mimosa’s. 😉

moving on a catamaran
Enjoying our first sunset at the docks.

Anyone else out there about to make a big move?  Do you have questions or tips you want to share?  Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.  We all learn from each other and boy do we have a lot to learn!

Things You May Have Noticed In The Video: Pour over coffee maker with coffee pot, collapsible storage bins used for moving.

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