Date: 24 May 2017. On Island Time
(Schucker 440 Motorsailor)
years back I met via email a wonderful gal named Cheryl. She and her
husband Fred cruise aboard a Schucker 440 motorsailer. Their vessel
is named Island Time. She is a comfortable home. There are a lot of
personal touches and gear additions that I am considering for
Seaweed as a direct result of viewing their boat. It's little things
that create a unique live-aboard.
Making a boat
your own is one of the joys of boating. Aboard Seaweed I drill holes
in bulkheads, attach doodads, hang lights, and more. I'm at an age
where "saving things" because they are valuable makes no sense at
all. I'm using stuff up because if I don't my heirs will!
is a gem, and boy oh boy, there's a lot to like about this boat for
Island Time is anchored on the left. The catamaran
Soggy Paws is to the right.
Cheryl and I are both members
of a Schucker yahoo list. We became friends via email first.
Later we met in person. She's fun, funny, talented and best of all,
she likes thrift shops. It is such a pleasure to have someone who
likes to shop discount stores with me, when she's not sailing that
Island Time is a 440 Schucker motorsailer. This
vessel is one anyone could be happy to call home.
a brand of boats built here in Florida. Primarily sailboats, the
builder Jim Schucker also made motorsailers and a few trawlers
including my Seaweed. I love my miniature Schucker.
On a tight budget a Thrift
Store can be a real benefit. I can find things I could not afford a
full retail prices. Plus there is the thrill of the hunt too. Not a
lot of folks understand the joy that can be found in discovering a
jar to put soup crackers in, or a new nightie for these warm summer
evenings at anchor. Cheryl "gets" that.
shop at about the same speed. It's great to find a friend too.
says "We have owned our Schucker for 10+ years and lived aboard full
time for last 4...our Island Time is just as you described, a good
strong boat, comfortable, economical and protects us from the
elements! We have looked at many sailboats and trawlers and for the
money the Schucker wins every time for us!"
Riding in their go-fast dinghy is a blast for
Cheryl and Fred.
Having an outboard that gets up and goes means far
off diving spots are a short dinghy ride away.
Enjoying the adventure with someone
you love doubles the pleasure.
Of course you may just have an escort as you cruise along.
Arriving in Marathon, dolphin came out to play in the bow wave of
Being on the water is fabulous. Of course coastal cruising means
that there will be bridges. Living on a sailboat means that those
bridges will have to open. Still, it's mighty pretty out here. I
When underway it is a good idea to check for bridge openings.
Sometimes the bridge will only open on the hour and half hour. You
will find that in larger metropolises quite often, especially during
commuter rush hours.
Sailing is one
of the true pleasures in life. A boat such as Island Time is a safe,
secure platform to cruise aboard. She won't go fast but then again,
boaters are already where we want to be!
At the end of the day anchoring offers a time to
relax and enjoy life. Stepping ashore in far off places offers the
opportunity to meet locals. Learning about a new culture is a gift
most folks do not have the opportunity to enjoy. As a cruiser we are
uniquely able to spend time in places others only read about.
Here's Fred in Jamaica:
CAYMAN ISLANDS are just south of
Cuba and northwest of JAMAICA. The
Caymans are a British Overseas
Territory. There are three islands, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac
and Little Cayman.
Grand Cayman has more
tourists, while Cayman Brac is popular with fishermen. Little
Cayman is known for prolific wildlife.
Fred on the beach in Cayman earlier this year.
Having a boat capable of taking you anywhere is the
dream of many. There is an appeal to island hop down through the
Caribbean islands. Crystal clear waters, plentiful fish, beautiful
sunsets and more can be yours too.
As for comfort, Island Time has
that in spades. She's beautiful inside and out. The personal touches
make this boat a gem. What cruiser wouldn't like seeing dolphins
greeting them when they arrive?!?
Cheryl and Fred were escorted into Boot Key Harbor,
Marathon by a friendly pod of dolphin.
MARATHON is in the FL Keys.
Coming ashore, Fred surveys
Marathon from the landside. →
It's always fun to re-visit familiar places. You might see a
boat that you knew way back up the coast. Then it's time to
socialize, catch up on old friends, share the newest cruise
details, and reminisce.
Life is truly wonderful
Cheryl and Fred have a very nice Schucker 440. What makes her so
special though is the personal touches that have made the boat
even better. A boat is a boat is a boat. It is how we outfit and
decorate that differentiates between two identical vessels.
Fred installed temperature gauges for both the
refrigerator and freezer boxes.
Being able to monitor the coolness in the
refrigerator and freezer without opening the lids is helpful. If there were a problem, Fred
or Cheryl would be able to recognize it because the temperatures
would be going up. I have a similar system on my boat too. This one
with the large easy-to-read gauges is mighty spiffy.
Cheryl has an expanse of
counter space that I wish was possible aboard Seaweed. Covered in
Formica, it is easy to clean and super for fixing those yummy treats
from the galley. Having a decent workspace when preparing food is
important especially when the gang's coming over for dinner!
The steps into the galley have one
addition that I found comfy.
Tucked away and only brought out for visitors, Cheryl
has a cushion
that snuggly fits onto the galley step.
Having a place to sit
comfortably while chatting was very nice. I've perched on steps
before. Trust me when I say Cheryl's solution is the one I wish
was aboard all boats! She's a smart lady.
The former crew quarters/second stateroom is now a cabin for
stowing gear, parts and more.
When you're off for months at a time, having a place
to tuck aside supplies is critical.
A friend of mine is shopping for his Last Boat.
Having adequate space to store gear is very important. That is one
of the advantages of a larger boat. Longer, beamy (wide) boats
have more room to stow safety equipment and spare parts. Those
storage areas also can hold important things like chocolate, DVDs
and ginger snap cookies by Nabisco.
The head aboard Island Time has a cool nautical
motif that I liked a lot.
Dolphin stickers add a touch of whimsy to the
head compartment. The decorative porthole with a mirror insert
is nifty too. It reflects light well.
A scarf with palm trees becomes a nifty cover for the windows. Light
comes in while privacy is ensured.
Cheryl is growing aloe too, all thanks to my friend Kim
Cheryl and Fred have a big bed. Their
cabin is on the starboard side just forward of the galley.
Cheryl's monkey has been many places over the decades.
It's a treasured reminder from her childhood.
Photo repeated so you don't have to scroll.
Some things you may have noticed:
There are a lot of books
and they are easy to access.
Mementos including family
pictures are on display.
One special picture of
the grandchildren is in a seashell frame.
Lights are conveniently
placed for reading in bed.
The VHF radio is on the
bulkhead, sitting in a powered recharging station.
A portable fan is tucked
into the corner.
Lots of pillows including
Shamu from SeaWorld make getting comfortable easy.
The windows are large and
let in a lot of light.
A window shade system is
in place for when privacy or darkness is desired.
Cheryl has a Spirit
Shower above her bunk too. She made one for me described in
Personalizing Your Home
Cruising means visiting new ports and remote spots too.
Island Time is anchored just behind Jessie's ketch
Gypsy. Getting together with friends is always a pleasure.
Visiting is just a dinghy ride away!
Securing a dinghy with a bicycle cable and lock is a
good idea in many areas.
CABBAGE KEY is on the west coast
Visiting Cabbage Key requires a boat. There is
no land access. I enjoy it because this is the Florida I knew as
a child. It's informal and friendly. Cabbage Key is like
stepping back in time fifty years. I treasure that sort of
Island Time went to Cabbage
Key last year.
Of course life afloat is not all cruising. Sometimes
there is fishing too.
Guess what's for dinner tonight?!?
Visiting aboard Island Time is always a treat.
Fred is on hand to take a line when I arrived via
A large fully covered cockpit serves as an additional
seating area. Fishing poles are stored above.
On misty rainy days you could sit out back enjoying the
view of the anchorage.
The best place to be is inside on the comfortable
Thanks for the visit Fred and Cheryl. Island Time is a
wonderful and so too are you both.
For those undecided about life afloat I would encourage you to
consider all boats. There are a ton of used and new vessels for sale
right now. One is perfect for you. Of course it may require some
imagination. Cheryl and Fred have spent years making
their boat into a true gem.
the here-and-now is not always easy. Give it a try though. The
almost perfect boat could be close by. I just needs your tweaks.
Happy cruising. And thanks again
for the visit on Island Time.
I'd love to hear what your dream live-aboard boat is.
Size, brand, model, etc.
Are you able to envision what the end result will be after your
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