my wife Suzy and I became fascinated with Sea Campers, an interesting concept – 24’ trailerable houseboat. We went so far as to put Want Ads in several Florida newspapers, following up with 4 or 5 trips from our home in SC to FL to look at prospects. None of the boats we looked at spoke to us. Somewhere along the way I got sidetracked and ended up buying the family a 35’ trawler.
The trawler earned her keep by being in charter service, but she was too much responsibility. My next boat was a selfish 15’11” cuddy as the family had seemingly lost interest in the trawler.
The three of us did occasionally go out on the 1511, often for several nights at a time, but when it became necessary to bring Suzy’s wheelchair along too because of her MS, we upgraded to an 18.5’ cuddy.
Between the two cuddies, we logged over 50,000 trailer miles, splashing at well over 100 different ramps from New England to the Keys, to San Diego, and Alaska. But as we aged, the need to spend time under a real shower every few days made itself prominent and this was complicated by Suzy needing assistance to not only get ashore, but also in the facilities. If we were to continue boating, the facilities had to come with us.
Sea Campers again came into the picture and with the Internet we were able to scour the US for prospects – which we did. To be sure, there were many project Sea Campers to chose from, but nothing turned up that tickled my fancy.
While poking around on Classic Trailerable Houseboats I learned about Land N Sea boats, which were the big brother to Sea Camper, but they are 28’ and I didn’t want something that big, I’d hold out for a Sea Camper, but it had to have a flybridge.
A post on Classic Trailerable Houseboats curiously steered me to a ’72 Land N Sea on eBay. It was in the water and it did have a flybridge, and a new motor and a decent interior and the original trailer was ‘certified’ as road ready (although the trailer hadn’t been actually used in years). All things that encouraged me to bid, sight unseen.
The night the auction was to be over, I submitted my bid and went to bed. You can imagine my anxiety as I logged on the next morning to see who won the boat. Holy Ship! I had the winning bid! I Paypaled the deposit but had no idea how I was going to get the 2,100 miles to Lake Mead from my home in SC within 10 days to pick her up.
Rumors of my foolish bidding spread quickly and a couple days later a friend from where I had retired called to wish me luck. During the conversation he asked me when/how I was going to get her home. I told him I had no idea. He said, “Well Hey! I’m ready for a road trip.”
Two days out and three days back and Big Duck was in my back yard. It was a miracle of a trip considering the weather checked tires and untested trailer, but somehow everything went perfectly. Our boating adventures could now continue; we would have all the comforts of home with us. I would rename her One More Time Around!
This Blog will be about the care and feeding of Big Duck.