Would you be willing to relocate 1,200-plus miles to what is—for all intents and purposes—another world to extend your go-fast boating season? For Erik and Julie Breckenfelder, who own a 1999 model-year 28-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran they purchased in 2015, the answer was a definitive yes.
For 28-foot Skater catamaran owners Erik and Julie Breckenfelder, relocating from Chicago to Southwest Florida three years ago was the right move. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
The Breckenfelders departed Chicago in December 2019, landed in Fort Myers, Fla., and never looked back. Granted, they had portable careers— he is a software business development leader and she is a development coach. Still, geographically and culturally it was a big move for the couple, who met at Michigan’s Northwood University in 2001 and married eight years later.
WHAT WERE YOUR BOATING LIVES LIKE BEFORE YOU MOVED TO SOUTHWEST FLORIDA?
Erik: I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago so boating in New Buffalo (Mich.) on Lake Michigan was all I knew. Julie and I boated out of downtown Chicago and we enjoyed the hell out of it. But the three-month, more like two-month sometimes, season was extremely limited. We fell in love with going fast on the water and wanted to do it all year, so we moved to Florida at the end of 2019.
Erik and Julie Breckenfelder entered the performance-boating world as a couple .
DO YOU MISS ANYTHING ABOUT CHICAGO BOATING?
Julie: Oh my gosh, yes, we talk all the time about how much we miss our “dock life” in Chicago. Once the weekends came in the summer, we were on the dock and nothing else mattered. We loved that—living the weekend boating life in this beautiful city with amazing people all around us. You develop such close relationships with dock life. Those limited weekends gave us a taste of what it was like to be on the water and we knew we wanted to be somewhere we could do more of it.