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Old 12-01-2015, 03:52 PM   #1
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Anyone in Florida/Keys/ Caribbean/Bahamas in January?

Hi, Bit of introduction first, my wife and I are early 50's and have the opportunity to start two centre living, summers in good old Blighty and winters in a more preferential climate, we looked, for ages, to find a suitable country to live in during the winter but they all seem to have some drawback and we never really found the ideal place, then a few years ago whilst spending a lazy week in Grenada we met a couple who had been winter living on their yacht for the last 18 years and another idea started to unfold...

We both feel that pottering from island to island for six months of the year sounds idyllic, mind you, having read, then read some more, and then that little bit more I don't think idyllic and boats necessarily go together!!!!!

The other issue is that I was injured some years ago which resulted in my back being screwed and wired back together along with two new hips in the last year and a patched up knee, so my mobility, although not too bad, will never be excellent, I don't need sticks or walking aids it's more about flexibility, I'm 6"5' as well so that doesn't help.....!!

My knee, the last bit to need sorting at the moment, has just been done so I am abusing it as much as I can to get some bend back into it and hope to be something like "normal" soon...

We rather like the idea of a catamaran, I particularly like the look of the Fountaine Pajot Bahia a 46footer, it seems to have decent head room as well...

Never one to put lots of eggs in any particular basket we decided to have a "plan B" or "C" or "D" depending on the day of the week....

Looking at boats in the UK is useless, there just isn't that many for sale, walk around the marinas here and they just think your a nutter or are going to steal something so we have booked some flights and will land in Miami on 12th January for three weeks to look, then look some more and hopefully by the end of it have some idea whether we should get a cat or a (ooops nearly said trawler, don't want to take another thread down that old chestnut) "boat that travels at a more sedate manor," after all, life is the journey so why rush....

Quite like the idea of a motor boat and it seems you get more for your $ than you do with sails... I like the look of the more traditional boats like the Chris Craft, GB, Marine trader and Bertram, my favourite on paper is the Gulfstar 53' but apparently they only made 10.... It's also difficult to find info on head room in these older craft and that's important being my height...

So what we would really like to do, is buy everyone a drink and pick your brains, we have decided this is what we want to do, just not too sure what we want to sit on!!!! and we want to do it now before more bits of me start falling off...

We are planning on getting a boat, then spending the winters in the Bahamas, Caribbean etc and it would be great to talk face to face with others who have/are doing something similar, heck even if your great Aunt's friend once knew a chap who saw a boat it will do.... You'll know more than me...

Always found there is no substitute for experience, I've read everything I can find on the subject and all that does is create more questions... My Kindle, she does overflow....

So if anyone is around and free and could put up with some bloke and his wife, with the funny accents from our side of the pond, asking some stupid questions for several hours, getting bored to tears but drinking free booze then please get in touch...

Worst ways you will have a good laugh and be able to tell your friends about the mad couple you met who have never actually set foot on a boat and now want to spend half their lives on one because they think it's going to be relaxing, and how you put them right about the best two days of boat ownership, "the day you buy it and the day you sell it" that a boats never finished, and you wish you could have a day off sometimes....

I've rented the biggest pickup I could find as it will be the most comfy so don't mind driving anywhere in Southern Florida, or flying down to the islands. I have posted a similar thread on the Cruisers forum and have several offers from there, just want as much info as we can get in the three weeks...

Thanks for getting this far
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:03 PM   #2
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Pete, welcome to the Trawler Forum. We are currently in Destin Florida, enroute to SW Florida and the keys. At our current speed I doubt we will be get much further than Crystal River or perhaps Clearwater before you leave. If however, I surprise myself with a burst of speed, you would be welcome to do a leg or two with us as we meander down the coast.
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PS Mom's from Wakefield so probably won't notice the accent lol
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:11 PM   #3
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dimer2 you are a gentleman sir, as soon as I can PM you, I will, and we shall see if we get that far north...
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:12 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Tall and flexibly compromised? Think engine maintenance/repair: sometimes means...

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Old 12-01-2015, 04:19 PM   #5
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Oh yes, it won't be easy but I've never been a quitter.... always done all my own mechanical/electrical/plumbing work and even built a couple of houses so I can do it if I fit.....!!!!!
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Old 12-01-2015, 05:08 PM   #6
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Good evening sir, I'm on my way to Key West with the (owners on board) delivery of an old but refit Alden motor sailing sport fish with similar plans, (now waiting on weather in NY) owned oddly enough by a British couple of mixed boating background. anticipate KW by Christmas. If you PM me I will put you in touch. My limited experience with cats is that EVERY step seems to be up or down! I have not ridden the newer ones.
Best of luck and regards Capt. Bill Madison
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Old 12-01-2015, 05:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
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...Tall and flexibly compromised? Think engine maintenance/repair: sometimes means...
Last year I had a knee replaced and this year a new hip. Flexibility definitely has been compromised. Crawling around the engine room or rebuilding the head is more of a challenge but at the same time it keeps me limber or as someone recently posted, it's my boat yoga. My Dr discharged me directly to Hobo. He says go for it but be careful. Maybe while you're looking at boats get down and see if you can reach hoses, filters, through hulls, etc. It is a boat but if you find the right one and you can handle the projects, it can ruin you in a great way.
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Old 12-01-2015, 05:38 PM   #8
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Good evening sir, I'm on my way to Key West with the (owners on board) delivery of an old but refit Alden motor sailing sport fish with similar plans, (now waiting on weather in NY) owned oddly enough by a British couple of mixed boating background. anticipate KW by Christmas. If you PM me I will put you in touch. My limited experience with cats is that EVERY step seems to be up or down! I have not ridden the newer ones.
Best of luck and regards Capt. Bill Madison
Thanks I will PM you, steps I don't mind as long as I'm not bent double at the same time....
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Old 12-01-2015, 05:41 PM   #9
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Last year I had a knee replaced and this year a new hip. Flexibility definitely has been compromised. Crawling around the engine room or rebuilding the head is more of a challenge but at the same time it keeps me limber or as someone recently posted, it's my boat yoga. My Dr discharged me directly to Hobo. He says go for it but be careful. Maybe while you're looking at boats get down and see if you can reach hoses, filters, through hulls, etc. It is a boat but if you find the right one and you can handle the projects, it can ruin you in a great way.
That's the reason to con my way onto as many boats as possible, I bring the booze and you let me service your engines.....

The two hips are great but the back and the knee groan a bit.....
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:06 PM   #10
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Hi Pete,

I know whereof you speak. I am 6' 5" and 270 lbs. Will be 65 next month. I do karate 2 or 3 times a week and it keeps the joints working, but I am headroom challenged on a lot of boats. If you want see the roomiest engine room there is on a trawler under 40' check out a Great Harbour N-37. Roomy for guys our size. Good luck.


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Old 12-01-2015, 06:42 PM   #11
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We're in Fort Lauderdale and would be happy show you our boat, also my uncle has his 50 Chris Craft commander docked right next to us. So just gimme a shout.
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:46 PM   #12
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If you're still in the area, you might want to attend Trawlerfest:

TrawlerFest is PassageMaker’s stand-alone series of boat shows, specifically designed for cruising under power enthusiasts. Strategically located in key cruising regions nationwide, TrawlerFests showcase the nation’s best in-water display of cruising powerboats, first class boating courses and demonstrations, all the latest in marine products & services, and rendezvous-style evening events and activities!

TrawlerFest is more than a boat show; it’s where industry, education, and community come together in a relaxed, rendezvous-type atmosphere. TrawlerFest is an experience you simply won’t want to miss!

TrawlerFest Dates: January 26 – 31, 2016

In-Water Show Dates: January 28 – 31, 2016

Marina:
Riviera Beach Marina
200 East 13th Street
Riviera Beach, Florida, 33404

TrawlerFest-Riviera Beach 2016 | | PassageMaker
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:02 PM   #13
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Hi Pete,

I know whereof you speak. I am 6' 5" and 270 lbs. Will be 65 next month. I do karate 2 or 3 times a week and it keeps the joints working, but I am headroom challenged on a lot of boats. If you want see the roomiest engine room there is on a trawler under 40' check out a Great Harbour N-37. Roomy for guys our size. Good luck.

David
Karate is out for the moment, I think my legs might fall off...!!! Thanks for the heads up (pun) I'll have a look....

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We're in Fort Lauderdale and would be happy show you our boat, also my uncle has his 50 Chris Craft commander docked right next to us. So just gimme a shout.
I will send you a PM tomorrow, thanks a lot...

Quote:
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If you're still in the area, you might want to attend Trawlerfest:

TrawlerFest is PassageMaker’s stand-alone series of boat shows, specifically designed for cruising under power enthusiasts. Strategically located in key cruising regions nationwide, TrawlerFests showcase the nation’s best in-water display of cruising powerboats, first class boating courses and demonstrations, all the latest in marine products & services, and rendezvous-style evening events and activities!

TrawlerFest is more than a boat show; it’s where industry, education, and community come together in a relaxed, rendezvous-type atmosphere. TrawlerFest is an experience you simply won’t want to miss!

TrawlerFest Dates: January 26 – 31, 2016

In-Water Show Dates: January 28 – 31, 2016

Marina:
Riviera Beach Marina
200 East 13th Street
Riviera Beach, Florida, 33404

TrawlerFest-Riviera Beach 2016 | | PassageMaker
Superb news, we are there until 2nd Feb so will be there, I saw Trawlerfest advertised somewhere but that was for May 2016, I didn't appreciate they toured, thanks for the info, looking forward to it already....
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:29 PM   #14
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Anyone in Florida/Keys/Caribbean/Bahamas in January?

Engine access can be pretty bad on some cats so I would be careful there. You are so tall you might need an engine room with some real room. Maybe a Defever, Great Harbour, etc.

There have been some threads here about boats with large engine rooms.

Stand up engine room
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:03 PM   #15
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cardude01, yeah, thanks for that, it's very difficult to find accurate info on head heights throughout a lot of the older boats I've looked at, decent access to the ER is high on the list, decent headroom elsewhere is imperative....

The cats I have looked at just tend to have an engine in the ER that involves lying on the deck above and reaching in to service, all the other bits you find in motor boat ER's seem to be spread about the boat in various cupboards... looking forward to getting over there and having a good nose around....
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:50 AM   #16
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I am 6'-3" so headroom is really important to me. This is particularly true around the engines. I do better work, and am more observant, when I am comfortable.

I have a DeDever 41 and have standing headroom throughout. Engine access is via three large hinged hatches in the saloon floor. Headroom between the engines, and facing the genset, is great and its air-conditioned too!
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:35 AM   #17
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Oh yes, it won't be easy but I've never been a quitter.... always done all my own mechanical/electrical/plumbing work and even built a couple of houses so I can do it if I fit.....!!!!!
Pete: I have to be discouraging here. If it weren't for your skills I would say you were nuts to begin boating in that manner at your stage. Boats are self contained living spaces that also move and are subject to the sea. Think of a house where you had to provide and maintain all utilities that come to your land house.


Before doing any shopping I strongly suggest trying a captained charter in the islands for a few weeks. It will give you a real taste of what cruising is about even though you will have assistance you can do as much work as the captain thinks you can handle with supervision.

Buying and owning a boat is an expensive and involved process. Try it first before spending a lot of money on a mistake.
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:55 AM   #18
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Mike,

Just had a look and the DeDever 41 looks lovely, great interior, not many on the market though...

bayview,

Thanks for the thoughts, I totally agree we don't even know if we will like it or not... we did originally plan to do one of those week long catamaran training courses to get a bare boat charter licence, sort of two birds with one stone as it would tell us if we fancied it or not.... then got to thinking that it would be a waste of money if we (me) didn't fit in one!!! then got looking at power boats that seem to have better access than the cats so thought we would come and try both out... I've been looking at boats from 40-60 foot, we fancy three cabins and plenty of space but until you actually get to look at some and chat to people we are just guessing what we want....

We won't be buying anything in January, it will be towards the middle of 2016 at the earliest, this is just an exploratory trip to hopefully narrow down the choices and get an idea of what's what, ir will also get us out of a bit of the UK winter... If we don't like it we will have to revert to Plan "C" but as yet we don't have one......
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:21 AM   #19
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Greetings,
Mr. H. Chartering is not a waste of money IMO. It will give you some sense of the boating environment AND, the big plus...You'll be on the water. Multiple charters could quite easily refine your likes/dislikes to the point where, when you're ready to purchase, you've narrowed down your choices to a select few models as opposed to making a decision based on a short inspection of a brokered vessel that you think may be suitable. Knowledge is power.
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:49 PM   #20
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Sorry, I meant it would be a waste of money to do it before we find out if I fit in one or not, hence the January visit, then we would move forward with trying out different boats and getting some training in how to handle the type of boat we decide
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