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Partial Great Loop on a Live-in boat

by Rick

We're retired and thinking of selling our 4000s.f. house and living on a boat fulltime. We're also thinking of doing the snowbird thing but in our live-in boat. i.e. 2 or maybe 3 living locations - one-north for the summer, 1 south for the winter, and perhaps one in the middle. The idea is to look in MN and around Mobile. Maybe Kentucky for the 3rd. Several questions.

I've seen much advice against larger boats for the entire loop but wonder if that would still be the advice for the paths we would be travelling. I just can't imagine living full-time - even with my wife of 50 years - on a 30' or 40' boat. Yes, I know the larger boats will cost more to purchase and operate as well as mooring.

It seems most houseboats have inferior instrumentation than a similar-sized/priced non-houseboat. I wonder which instruments are crucial for the paths we would take, which are "wow, I wish I'd had that", and which are strictly optional.

Here's the most important part. We'll probably spend 2 months per year boating from one location to another. That means 10 months spread over our 2-3 home locations. I'd like to find a community for each of our homes - not just a marina. Are there liveaboard communities that have a social culture (especially older folk), that can accommodate a larger boat 50-80'? Would I need to rent the space year-round at all 2 or 3 to be assured of having a place to park when I need it?

And finally, tossing around the idea of getting a boat that would accommodate a motorcycle for shopping and other trips at each of the locations. The alternatives would be 1) a lot of taxi rides or 2) once arriving at a new location, flying to the previous location to get the car and then drive down to the new location.

Very anxious to hear your thoughts.

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