The Great Search

Searching for our floating home

“The heat is on!”
-Glenn Frey


Not that we are in a BIG hurry to find a sailboat, as we want it to be the right vessel for us, but we are starting to feel the time crunch.  Our house will be listed on the market in just SEVEN weeks (ack!) so we have started boxing things up and moving them out.  Well, we will be moving them out after we get the storage unit in the next week or so.  It feels as if Christmas popped up on us and now that the holidays are over it is time to really get serious about getting our house in order.  Not only that, but it is time to start SERIOUSLY looking at sailboats and visiting them.  The whole thing is exciting, as it marks the start of a new family adventure and this time TJ and Lane are actually “house” hunting together.  When we purchased our current home we bought it sight unseen (except for Lane’s mom and step-dad seeing it and taking videos) until the day before closing and we never looked at any houses together.  This time we get to go floating home hunting together and we love it!

We went to see our first sailboat last Monday!  In a semi-spontaneous decision we decided to drive 6.5 hours to Rochester, New York to look at a 50ft Beneteau Oceanis 500 in storage up there.  I say semi-spontaneous because on the Eve of Christmas Eve we saw her on Yacht World and it wasn’t the first time we noticed her.   So, as we were sitting on the couch watching Captain Ron and perusing sailboats, Lane looked at TJ and said, “Rochester is only 6.5 hours away.  Let’s go Sunday and look at it Monday.”  TJ didn’t need any coaxing because the same thought had crossed his mind earlier that day.    Within ten minutes TJ was on the phone to the yacht broker and the e-mail of the boat survey came through.

Now, let me tell you the back story on this vessel before I move forward into our thoughts…

We first saw this particular vessel in June when we first began to look at sailboats.  She is a monohull so initially Lane was VERY turned off to even thinking about her except the price was right and she seemed very spacious in photos.  However, at that time we were not “seriously” looking so we didn’t even entertain the idea of driving to New York to check her out.  Within a few weeks she disappeared from the Yacht World website and we assumed someone had purchased her…until December 23rd when we noticed her again on Yacht World.  Sure enough, after talking to the broker, a man from Costa Rica had been interested in her and even put down a deposit and had a survey completed in August saying he would return in six weeks to get her.  He never showed back up.  After months of trying to contact the man the broker again listed her on Yacht World.  This time Lane was giving more thought to monohulls in order to keep our options open and she was lured in by the beauty of the sailboat.  So she decided we should go see her because you never know; surely there was a reason God brought her back into our view…

And there was!  We drove in rain up to New York and when we awoke Monday to go look at the sailboat it was snowing…hard.  It looked like a winter wonderland and we were going to look at a sailboat.  When we arrived at the marina it was cold, windy, and still snowing.  The broker was running a little behind but told us to go ahead and check her out, telling us she was behind his office.  Lane looked at this little sailboat and said, “Is that it?” in an almost disgusted tone.  TJ looked at her like she had two heads and said, “No way!  It is that BIG boat behind that!”  The little boat Lane thought was the boat they were supposed to see was a J-22…a little 22ft sailboat.  Okay, she admits she has never been good at math, science, or guessing the size of objects.  Only slightly embarrassing.

The boat was wrapped up like a Christmas gift and was MUCH larger than Lane could have imagined (clearly).  Vivienne was in her carseat excitedly exclaiming, “Sailboat! Sailboat!”  It seemed as if everyone was ready to look at this vessel.  As we ducked into the gift-wrapped boat the wind howled outside, snow fell on the deck, and white caps churned on Lake Ontario nearby.  It. Was. COLD.   However, fearless Vivienne, didn’t care at all as she tried to climb the ladder by herself and excitedly ran around the deck before heading below with TJ to check out the interior.


Lane was stunned by the size both inside and out.  The four cabins (bedrooms) were spacious and the sailboat offered four heads (bathrooms).  The galley was large, as was the salon, and the wooden interior shined.  Vivienne walked through the salon and ran into a forward cabin yelling, “My room! My room!” before climbing on the bed.  For a few minutes Lane just sat there taking in the size of the interior before she joined TJ and Vivienne inside.  While the wood was a little more worn than photos could show it wasn’t in bad shape at all.  As with many boats, she needs some TLC but nothing too major.  Before climbing back down Vivienne said, “I LOVE sailboat!” and kissed the deck not once but three times before leaving.  Too bad we didn’t get THAT on video!

While we aren’t sure whether or not this could end up being our floating home what we do know is a 50ft sailboat is a lot of boat.  A lot of space.  The downfall to this particular vessel being in New York is that it is not the time to do a float test and take her out in the water.  That would have to wait until spring.  We don’t know what God has planned for us so maybe we will get that chance but in the event we don’t, visiting this vessel put larger monohulls on the map for Lane.


So, as we prayerfully consider other sailboats to see next month we learned that monohulls aren’t completely out of the question anymore.  Please keep praying for us and the start of this journey as we find our floating home! 

Par la Foi,
The McKelveys

~~All things are possible for those who believe. -Mark 9:23~~

One thought on “The Great Search

  1. Thanks for sharing the exciting story. Vivienne looks so happy and cute as a button. Amazing how pretty this boat is. I am so anxious for you to start your journey. Save a bunk for me 🙂 Hope you’ll find your “just right” floating home. xoxo, Angela


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