I had also bought a rental property a few blocks from my last house 5 years ago because it had a large level yard (a rarity in my steep hilly town) and I spent $30K putting in a driveway, concrete foundation and steel 2 1/2 car garage so I could store my fleet and camper nearby while the income from renters in the house was supposed to pay the mortgage for me. But covid struck the month after the garage was completed and the tenants ceased paying rent (though they had money) since they knew that government mandates prevented me from evicting them. Was quite a struggle for over 2 years to remove the tenants which cost me $15,000 in legal fees, $8000 in lost rent (I did recover about $20,000 in rent from the county covid allocations eventually but had to tap my retirement savings to keep the bills paid while I awaited compensation) and was left with over $5000 in damages it cost me to clean up and repair the mess the tenants left.
I decided I did not want to be a landlord any more after that fiasco and just sold that property. Buyer is a young guy who is obviously thrilled with the garage, which has a vapor barrier in the structural concrete floor and to which I just added a 240 volt 40 amp electrical service so he can add a welding outlet or quick charge station for an electric vehicle. The proceeds from that sale and from the sale of the house I had been living in will pay for this “new” one.
Every day I am happier with this great garage space and the big walk out basement where I am now able to better store and access all my paddling gear. There is a 10’ long solid cedar closet with sliding doors in the basement where I can hang all my dry wear and PFD’s and stand up my paddles.
This place is a boat owners paradise! Looking forward to being able to more readily hit the water without having to exhaust myself getting boats and kit sorted, prepped and loaded, which sometimes left me so tired and frustrated that I didn’t even want to go out.
Those are only the hardshell boats… There are 6 folding kayaks as well, currently packed in their travel bags in the basement. I do have plans to sell off several this year, though.
A lot of the fleet are “rescues” that I came by very cheaply, even free, and that I have restored or am in the process of fixing up. Both of the composite sea kayaks (the teal and white and the royal blue and gold over white) were barn finds from Craigslist ads that I only paid $300 each for.
I’ve passed along more than a dozen boats over the past 20 years either by reselling or as gifts to friend and family. I never intended to accumulate such a hoard but the problem now is narrowing the collection down to just the favorites — problem with that is each has unique characteristics that I like!
I do apologize for clogging up this “pretty pictures only” thread with my geeking out over the new garage. I expect to be able to get out on the water more easily and frequently this year and promise to atone by sharing some fresh paddling images as the seasons progress.
Fun paddle around Shell Key on Saturday. We had 21 paddlers and brought cake and ice cream to celebrate a few birthdays (not mine). It was a nice relaxing way to ease back into paddling after the EC. And so nice to paddle an unloaded kayak!!
Helped out with water quality sampling and fish counts on the Weeki Wachee river yesterday. This is done through SpringsWatch, a volunteer program run through the Florida Springs Institute. I was in charge of the light meter as I have done before. Really fun day on the river except for the hordes of kayaks and drunk powerboaters on bottom half of the river - top half was pretty quiet and the water clarity was great.
Especially with liberal application of alcohol. One boat was weaving all over the river and the occupants were very obviously wasted. That was a scary moment until they got past us - we had three kids on paddleboards in our group.