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Old 09-17-2018, 04:22 PM   #1
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Becoming Worthy

My wife and I are evaluating our retirement alternatives and spending a good deal of time on a trawler is one of our options. I spent a lot of time boating when young and we worked our way up to a 28 ft Chris Craft "Cabin Cruiser" out of Jacksonville. I also spent some time sailing as crew on a 38 ft Hughs sail boat in lake Erie. There is of course a lot to learn before taking on the responsibility of captaining a 32 to 42 ft. My question is, what are the best methods to learn without having access to a boat? What courses, certifications are worth pursuing? Navigation, Maintenance, Docking, etc? Appreciate any recommendations you might have.
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:37 PM   #2
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You can charter a trawler with or without a captain. Call Chitwood or Southwest Charters and discuss.
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:05 PM   #3
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stadams08.

The fundamentals of boating at the same.

law
seamanship
basic engineering
basic electrical
navigation
weather
safety at sea

These are all things that are the same REGARDLESS of vessel size.

When you get a larger boat, it handles differently, docks differently, has different windage, has less clearance where you previously had clearance, has different more unique "stuff" on board.

Nothing you learn outside of actually being on a larger boat is going to prepare you for being on a larger boat.

As above, I'd get yourself onto a large boat; at the helm. I promise that after just a couple of hours, you'll have the confidence to put your doubt about "size" to rest.

Good luck, keep us updated.

If you want to have a full on crash course, come on down to New Zealand and I'll let you take me out on the big boat.

If your boating experience is minimal, just ensure you have thrusters at both end with enough grunt - and you'll find yourself comfortable in any situation. ;P
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:20 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. PB. Get in touch with the local US Power Squadron folks. Find out when they offer their various boating courses. Well worth the time and effort. Perhaps join a local yacht club. CPR courses?



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Old 09-17-2018, 05:37 PM   #5
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That's not much of a change "upgrading" to a medium-sized motor boat. A refresher course from Power Squadron could be helpful. Otherwise, it is just about getting used to the boat's handling and becoming acquainted with its various systems, learned from operating the boat.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:18 PM   #6
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It's a big leap from a 28 to a 42, but it's mostly a matter of size. When I supersized, the insurance company required that I complete an in-water 10-20 hr training program with a licensed training Capt.

Since I flew airplanes for a living, many of the skills came naturally. Aviation rules and charting are basically a variation from marine rules and charts. Talking on the radio wasn't a big deal either but it is for some folks.

It's the close quarters handling that I needed help with. I was in a slip with restricted access and a bit of side current. Once I learned how to best use the twins, it was a piece of cake.

I was a lake and river boater and moving into tidal waters was a learning curve for me. It took me a while to be comfortable with the tidal changes vs windage in anchoring. I also learned a whole lot more about reading the water.

Most of our 10 hrs were spent cruising the CA Delta and learning local knowledge. They were a lot of fun and I learned tons. Also made a new friend.

To learn the rules and navigation stuff, I'd recommend an online course from Power Squadron or USCG Aux. Lots of good books out there, too. Search for book references on the link at the bottom of this post. No doubt you'll find lots of good info on the bibles and textbooks of the trade.

Cheers!
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:26 PM   #7
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A bigger boat is like having more effects from wind and current. I was a river guy and used to both. When we moved to a larger boat on the Gulf it was just a matter of scale. Twins make life easy.
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
It's a big leap from a 28 to a 42, but it's mostly a matter of size. When I supersized, the insurance company required that I complete an in-water 10-20 hr training program with a licensed training Capt.

Since I flew airplanes for a living, many of the skills came naturally. Aviation rules and charting are basically a variation from marine rules and charts. Talking on the radio wasn't a big deal either but it is for some folks.
Having no previous insurance claims, my insurance company imposed no requirements when transiting from a 1-ton (17-foot) sailboat to a 14-ton (35-foot) motorboat.

When on an introductory glider course, the instructor was surprised I'd never flown before. Appears sailing a boat with a tiller is similar to flying a plane with a stick.
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:41 PM   #9
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I was upgrading from a 17' 3" SeaRay runabout.
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Old 09-18-2018, 05:37 AM   #10
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We transitioned from a 28' cabin cruiser to a 36'. - bigger and more expensive but really no major issues - you just need a little practice. pick a calm day the first few times out!
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:57 AM   #11
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The best way to learn the elements of safe boating is to go down to the docks and find a sailboat club that has weekend racing. Then volunteer as a crew member. Even not knowing anything they will find a place for you. Just remember two things:
Be there on time, every time.
Bring a cold 12 pack.
You will learn so much all the while having a great time. Whether your a sailboater or a power-boater. Itís all good.
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