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Old 11-27-2012, 10:58 PM   #41
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Enough with the autopilot hijack!! This discussion is about me and my boat quandary dammit!!

:-)

Ok. New question. Let's say I get the nice shiny Mainship. My next problem is how to get it down from New Jersey to Texas. I'm figuring about 30 days or so running 8 hours a day, but I have no clue what I'm talking about. Anyone here actually done this trip? When do I try this trip? Kind of cold now IMO.

Drive the boat home

I've driven two boats over 1500 NM home through the inside passage and accross the Gulf Of Alaska.

Your trip should be a piece of cake. Just take your time and enjoy the journey.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:02 PM   #42
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Marin and Eric, it is the new century plus 13 years. For those who are into serious and safe cruising in fog, rain, night time etc an AP is pretty nice while you're working the radar and chart plotters. .
The GB36 we chartered had an autopilot. We used it a few times but found it boring motoring so we gradually forgot about it. We've boated in the fog a fair amount over the years and have never found ourselves wishing we had an autopilot. Things don't happen fast at 8 knots and we've never gotten into any sort of frantic struggle with the electronics while steering. None of the people we boat with have autopilots and we've never heard any of them wishing they did.

So we're pretty ambivalent about it. If we had one we'd probably use it on occasion but it's not a feature we're interested in spending any money to get.

Also, we have a cable-chain steering system. One reason we removed the Benmar autopilot that came with the boat was the drive unit hung down in the engine room below the lower helm and made getting around the engines very difficult and time-consuming. There are autopilot drives that go in the lazarette and connect to a rudder bar but in talking to a few autopilot installers and GB experts we learned that back-driving a cable-chain steering system in this way puts a lot of strain on the system and increases the risk of a failure--- pulley shattering, etc.

We don't run overnight and the longest daytime run we would probably ever make is eight to twelve hours. We've done this a few times already and between the two of us hand-steering the boat is not at all tiring or boring. So an autopilot at this point is not even on the wish list.

If we did open ocean cruising or ran 24 hours a day I can certainly see the value in having an autopilot. But we will never run our boat this way so the other than the occasional convenience the value of an autopilot is pretty much nil as far as we're concerned. In the 14 years since we removed the autopilot I cannot recall a single instance of either of us expressing a wish that we had it back.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:16 PM   #43
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How do you get the boat home? And past Marins posts?

1.Simple. Remove flybridge, have flybridge secured in cockpit, or over aft cabin depending on what Mainship you are buying,

2.Write check.

3.Reverse item 1, above. Write another check.

4.Buy ear protectors because whether you’re at the dock or anchored Mainship chine slap is going to keep you awake.

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Old 11-28-2012, 06:44 AM   #44
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Depends if you want to and can afford the time of the cruise. 30 days sounds about right except this time of year when there is so little daylight and such strong, variable weather till south of Hatteras. It took me 20 days running from Lauderdale to New Jersey, with only a loss of 1/2 day to weather in a 7-8 knot boat. That was Lauderdale to Charleston in late January (10 days) and Charleston to NJ in early April (10 days).

As far as time of year...I leave Dec 15th for points south from South Jersey. I know I have to watch weather windows carefully till I hit the ICW in Norfolk....but without a schedule...I'm under no pressure...other than trying to get out of the cold!)
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:37 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
Enough with the autopilot hijack!! This discussion is about me and my boat quandary dammit!!

:-)

Ok. New question. Let's say I get the nice shiny Mainship. My next problem is how to get it down from New Jersey to Texas. I'm figuring about 30 days or so running 8 hours a day, but I have no clue what I'm talking about. Anyone here actually done this trip? When do I try this trip? Kind of cold now IMO.
Well if you insist we'll get back to the subject at hand. Have I made the whole trip at once? No. I have made most of the trip. Why bust your chops doing it? It will be a great trip if savored. Several days should be allowed for just the Chesapeake Bay.

Running day in and day out on a boat for long periods may be more tiring than you realize. You may be OK with it, but crew is a consideration. It will take a great amount of preparation and concentration. Cruising every day in unfamiliar places is interesting, but with narrow channels and much shallow water around it is very tiring.

My advice would be to at least take about every third or fourth day off to plan the next leg and rest up. Mistakes happen when fatigue sets in. If you can't do it that way, why not leave the boat for a while. You can rent a car or fly home. When you get back to the boat it is a new adventure all over.

It's a great trip that anyone is privlleged to make. Enjoy!
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:42 AM   #46
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I have to concur with Moonstruck on this one. If you do the Mainship, don't make your first experience on the boat a laborious, daylight to dusk commitment with no enjoyment. Plan the trip and make "the trip", rather than the hurried destination, the goal. There will be enough challenges along the way with a new boat. Arriving home with an attitude like "I managed it" is far from arriving with an attitude of "we lived it", if you know what I mean. It's a great opportunity to begin a relationship with the new boat.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:51 AM   #47
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Glad you agree, Larry. I think my tag line under the signature says it all. If you can turn a delivery trip into a cruise, it will be unforgettable.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:39 PM   #48
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Steel and aluminum boats are awesome but the market for buyers is limited, selling an older steel boat may be hard when the time comes. The Mainship on the other hand is well known and there is always a market for these boats. FF often mentions the cost of getting in and the cost of getting out, the steel boat may be more expensive to get out.
If you wait a bit there might be a Mainship closer to you then New York. Consider the cost of going to NY for inspections and survey and the cost of shipping by land or water. Then add that to the price of the boat compared to a similar boat closer to you.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:11 PM   #49
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If you wait a bit there might be a Mainship closer to you then New York. Consider the cost of going to NY for inspections and survey and the cost of shipping by land or water. Then add that to the price of the boat compared to a similar boat closer to you.
I'm not a Mainship fan so it's not a boat I would have any buy-don't buy advice about. But that's a totally subjective call. I didn't like the Beatles' music, either. But the above advice from YBG is good, I think, regardless of what kind of boat you're interested in. Particularly his comments on metal vs fiberglass.

Regarding the location of the boat you eventually buy and getting it to where you want it to be, something to consider is your experience level. I have no idea if the voyage around Florida is easy, average, or hard. Obviously there are a million variables that will determine how the trip goes and how long it takes. For someone like Don or Healhustler or psneeld to make that kind of a trip, it's probably somewhat routine in terms of knowing what a lot of the variables are and how to create Plans B, C, and D should the need arise.

But if one is far less experienced the smarter solution might be to truck the boat. We did that with the GB36 we bought in Alameda, CA and then needed to get to Bellingham, WA. While both of us had significant boating experience in terms of being in boats on the water, in my case both here and in Hawaii, neither of us was very familiar with GBs, particularly older ones, or running a boat like this in the open ocean up the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.

So as much of an "adventure" bringing the boat up the coast might have been in some people's eyes (assuming we'd even had the time to do it) we elected to bring the boat north on the back of a truck. If nothing else our insurance company was a LOT happier with the boat on I-5 for two days instead of slogging up the coast out on the ocean with a couple of newbies at the helm. And our entry into cruising boat ownership was not accompanied by the stress of thinking about all the potential things that could go wrong on a northwest coast trip, from the weather to boat problems to the lack of safe havens to duck in to.

We briefly considered hiring a delivery skipper but at the time the cost of doing that was actually higher than the cost of trucking.

We did have a delivery voyage of sorts, taking the boat from the yard it was trucked to in Tacoma to our marina in Bellingham, an almost-two-day trip. And on the second day of that trip the coolant pump on the port engine began to leak and the engine gradually began to run hotter. We shut it down long before it actually overheated and had a short run across Bellingham Bay to our destination on one engine. But had this occurred during the run up the coast, it would have been a much more stressful situation, particularly to new boaters like us.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:11 PM   #50
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Steel and aluminum boats are awesome but the market for buyers is limited, selling an older steel boat may be hard when the time comes. The Mainship on the other hand is well known and there is always a market for these boats. FF often mentions the cost of getting in and the cost of getting out, the steel boat may be more expensive to get out.
If you wait a bit there might be a Mainship closer to you then New York. Consider the cost of going to NY for inspections and survey and the cost of shipping by land or water. Then add that to the price of the boat compared to a similar boat closer to you.
I think YBG has given you some of the best advice here (ranks right up there with keeping the Admiral happy). Having just completed a purchase on a boat that was 1000 miles away, he is right that the extra travel costs for inspection and survey, along with shipping can easily make the boat more expensive than something local. In our case, the deal was good enough to absorb the extra costs and still come out ahead. We could have brought the boat back ourselves up the ICW, but ultimately decided to put it on a truck. One reason was the cost of the truck worked out to less than the cost of fuel and dockage to bring it ourselves. Another factor was the amount of time it would take, particularly with short winter days and weather - worst case would have been if we had to leave the boat somewhere due to weather and the need to get back to work. Finally, it allowed us to save our vacation for fun trips, as opposed to a long haul without time to see the sights. Of course, if we were retired and had the time, then we would have taken it on the water without question. Everyone's situation is different, but you are doing the right thing asking for other people's experiences before making a choice.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:13 PM   #51
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People ask me how many can sleep aboard the Coot. I'm happy to say "two" in the forward stateroom. I'm reluctant to add the saloon can accommodate three more.
The perfect size boat will
Dine 4
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Sleep 2.

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Old 11-28-2012, 03:58 PM   #52
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A Moving Experience

I helped bring my 39-foot wooden fishing trawler up the West Coast from San Diego to Bainbridge Island, Washington, in September 2001. I had relatively little experience with large boats at the time although, as a private pilot, I understood many of the important concepts about navigation, weather, etc. And I had 'boned up' in advance.

In hindsight, the trip could be viewed as a foolhardy adventure, given my level of experience -- but it was also very educational.

The destruction of the World Trade Center took place during the trip, while we were tied up in Santa Cruz harbor. There was talk the government would close all harbors for an unknown period and we'd be stuck. My only crewman, called home by his terrified wife, abandoned me to fend for myself. I had to locate and hire an experienced captain to assist, who didn't show up for another week and a half.

Once we were north of San Francisco, where safe harbors are few, fog was almost a constant, so watching the radar carefully was essential. I learned not to set the range too high because penetration in dense fog can be poor. While at the helm one night, I encountered a cable-laying ship that appeared out of nowhere -- dead ahead! The giant ship never showed up on our radar, though I suspected it was out there because of radio traffic. The lesson: pay constant attention! This isn't always easy after being underway for mind-numbing hours in zero visibility.

We learned about the perils of anchoring in heavy kelp and many other important details about negotiating the rugged Pacific Coast. Approaching an unfamiliar harbor in dense fog with the roaring sound of invisible breakers crashing on either side was an unforgettable experience. ("Is our GPS system really working?")

The only genuinely life-threatening phase was rounding California's notoriously windy Cape Mendocino, which even local fishermen fear, with good reason. We were in towering seas for hours. Each approaching wave had to be carefully negotiated, lest our little boat go tumbling down into the trough on the other side. There is no experience quite like standing in the wheelhouse watching a wave approaching that fills your entire window. Needless to say, we were in regular contact with the Coast Guard! (I also had my dry suit on, ready to swim for it, if necessary.)

Would I do it again? Absolutely, because this is really the only way to learn about boating. Reading books is just not enough.

(I don't think I would have attempted it without an autopilot, however.)

My advice for anyone thinking about moving their own boat is: go for it! But do your homework, make the boat ready, get some experienced help if needed, and be mentally prepared for things to go wrong -- which they very likely will.

As actor Mel Gibson said in one of his movies, "All men die. How many men really live!"
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:37 PM   #53
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As actor Mel Gibson said in one of his movies, "All men die. How many men really live!"
And with regards to people taking on things that exceed their limitations just to prove a point--- something that as a Commercial, Instrument, and Flight Instructor-rated pilot I have seen far too many times--- as Paul Newman said in the wonderful movie Hombre, "We all die. It's just a matter of when."
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:10 PM   #54
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No way was I tempted to make a transpacific voyage to bring my Coot from China to California.

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Old 11-28-2012, 05:37 PM   #55
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And with regards to people taking on things that exceed their limitations just to prove a point--- something that as a Commercial, Instrument, and Flight Instructor-rated pilot I have seen far too many times--- as Paul Newman said in the wonderful movie Hombre, "We all die. It's just a matter of when."
Let us not forget Capt Ron "if it's going to happen it's going to happen out there"

Also let's remember they were all actors and none of them believe that BS.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:09 PM   #56
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Let us not forget Capt Ron "if it's going to happen it's going to happen out there"

Also let's remember they were all actors and none of them believe that BS.
True, but the scriptwriter made a very good point with Newman''s line.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:29 PM   #57
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The fact is, though, people routinely die in boating and aviation. I've seen it happen before my own eyes, and if you think it can't happen to you, just because you're careful and follow all the rules, you're fooling yourself.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:07 PM   #58
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The fact is, though, people routinely die in boating and aviation. I've seen it happen before my own eyes, and if you think it can't happen to you, just because you're careful and follow all the rules, you're fooling yourself.
True...but you can knock down the averages pretty well if you know what you are doing and can go/no go at your leisure.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:31 PM   #59
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What is is we're supposed to be discussing again?
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:37 PM   #60
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Thread title "Which boat to buy?"

Not too hard to follow....
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