Sailboat Shopping Stinks, Let’s Go To The Keys

Sailboat Shopping Stinks, Let’s Go To The Keys

The Florida Keys are the ultimate winter blues buster.  It’s a tropical island getaway that you can easily drive too…so it’s a huge hit with us RV’ers!

As it turns out, sailboat shopping is a frustratingly slow and tedious process that is simultaneously over and underwhelming.  Unlike RV’s there are not thousands to choose from.  Most manufactures only build a small number of boats each year and only in certain sizes.

Our options for a 40ish foot used catamaran, fit for full time cruising and within our budget, are way more limited than we expected. We’ve scoured the internet and the docks around Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach, yet we’ve only found a small handful of cats to look at.  The craziest part is we’re not even being that picky!

We did however find a couple of boats sitting in the Keys that looked worthy of scoping out.  Plus, we have friends in the Keys that we really wanted to see again. Our friends also happen to have an RV friendly driveway.  So, there really were no excuses not to pack it up and head down.

As you can see, the drive doesn’t really get exciting until after you pass Key Largo.  Then it’s one bridge after another with beautiful turquoise waters calling your name.

This is as close to a tropical paradise as you can get without hopping on a plane or a boat!  The locals have a joke down here “we’re closer to Cuba than Wal-Mart!”  Cuba is only 90 miles away…too bad we don’t already have a sailboat ‘cause it’s only a hop, skip and a jump away (FYI – the nearest Wal-Mart is over 120 miles away).

from the keys to cuba

Sadly, we didn’t get to check out the two boats we were hoping to see, but I am sure we’ll still manage to enjoy the sunsets, good company and catch a small case of the Keys disease.

Kent, our boat broker, has been on the case sending us updates and potential new boats to look at when we return from hanging in the keys.  With Kent’s advice, and a crapload of online research, we feel like we’ve narrowed it down to a few possible brands of cruising catamarans…so now we have to play the waiting game.

Before you even ask, we tried talking our friends Todd and Maggie (also RV’ers) into letting us post their address as the perfect Florida Keys boondocking location.  They weren’t on board with that idea.  So, my suggestion is this…if you happen to meet a Todd and Maggie while out camping, invite them over and bust out the good wine, you never know where a bit of quality socializing will lead!

Stay tuned because next we plan on taking you around Key West and sharing some of the local’s favorite spots.  We’ll also give you our top camping recommendations and show off a few awesome spots to anchor a boat.  And I’ll convince Jason to buy a fishing & shellfish license so he can hop in the frigid water to grab a few lobsters for us.  See ya next week!

Extras you may have noticed:

Equipment used to film this video:

Road Report

Where We Parked It – While in Ft. Lauderdale are we stayed at the Davie KOA and of course parked it in our friends driveway once in The Keys. Stay tuned for our Key West video where we’ll discuss Keys campground options.
Gear Suggestions – You will want bug spray! Florida is notorious for mosquitoes and no-seeums. We have found that the natural lemongrass bug sprays work best and the thermacell:
Road Conditions – Roads are all in good condition but be mindful of the time of day as traffic can get crazy around here.  Try to avoid the 6pm rush.
Best Time To Visit – Winter or Summer.  Winter brings perfect 70-80 degree weather but also lots of wind.  The summer is hot but the fishing, snorkeling and diving are prime.
Date of Road Trip – March 7th