OUR LIVEABOARD JOURNEY
It all began in 2011 when my wife Kathleen and I shifted our focus from ocean-front property to liveaboard Yacht. Through our due diligence in researching older “boats,” we decided along with advice from our marine group that Hatteras was one of the best vessels to purchase. In our opinion, a lot of newer boats look like spaceships, and as older boats go, Hatteras is one of the finest ever built.
Through our many months of searching, we found Xanadu, a 1981 56MY Hatteras in Boston, Massachusetts. Xanadu had very good bones, recently rebuilt engines (Detroit 8/92 Twin Turbo Diesels), and the layout was perfect for us. We brought Xanadu from Boston to Savannah in June of 2012. For our eight-day journey, the boat was mechanically flawless, and not to mention exciting, for a boat that hadn’t taken a trip for three years.
When we arrived in Savannah, our plan was to upgrade and refit where necessary. Along with our upgrade, we found the name Dinner Out to be more suitable for who we are. Our initial intentions turned into a nearly total refit. We intended to spend approximately $300,000 in repairing and replacing what was necessary. So much for our intentions. (A package that includes detailed work orders for everything that was repaired or replaced along the way is available for you. We also included recent post-2018 maintenance and repairs including some major upgrades like bow thrusters, etc.) What we found at that time was a 31-year-old vessel that needed a lot of TLC. We wanted to bring this very special Hatteras into the 21st century.
One crisp November morning, we exited Savannah on the first leg of our journey to Longboat Key, Florida. By far, this was the most exciting adventure for my wife Kathleen and I. Following the ICW, over the next 21 days, we made 14 stops, all along the intercoastal through Lake Okeechobee to the west coast of Florida. Needless to say, what we experienced would take volumes to fill. We arrived at Long Boat Key Club at dusk in a severe storm with 40mph plus winds. Huge exhale when we tied up to the dock. Our stay at Longboat Key Club has been nothing but excellent. Now that we were living aboard, we had the advantage of tweaking every system on the boat.
Today what you will find on Dinner Out is a very comfortable, dependable experience for liveaboard or travel. With the help of Snead Island Boat Works and with Garrett Matlock with Finish Line Customs, we have been able to enjoy every trip and stay on Dinner Out.
A large part of our journey has always been to climb aboard Dinner Out and say to ourselves, “How can we make this better today?” We hope that if you make the choice to make Dinner Out yours, that you will be part of the continuing saga of our 1981 Hatteras 56 ft MY.
Steven and Helena, "Dinner Out"