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Old 01-08-2016, 08:24 PM   #1
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Boat Hunting Tuesday... Florida

Step 1 of our master plan goes into operation on Tuesday when we fly into Miami for 3 weeks to look at some boats and chat to some good people from this and the Cruisers Forum.

I have lined up around 30 boats to have a look at, as varied a cross section as I can find from a 40ft Catamaran to a 62ft Trawler, some power, some sails, some old and some not so old...

Hopefully we will get some idea of what we want and what will fit us....

Anyone got any tips for looking at the boats, we are not going to buy one this trip, it's just a look see, I'm after the more generic suggestions rather than the condition side.

Just trying to learn from others experience, is there anything you wish you had looked at / asked / checked when deciding if a boat is suitable?

There is some history of us, and a request if you are about for a chat, on this thread...

Anyone in Florida/Keys/ Caribbean/Bahamas in January?

Thanks for reading, we are really looking forward to this next adventure..
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:29 PM   #2
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Sit in every seat.
Lay down on every bed.
Crawl around where you will be crawling.
Don't just "look" at the boats, Visualize yourself being there, on the boat, cruising, at anchor, relaxing, troubleshooting, fixing, boarding, moving around.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:12 PM   #3
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Make a list of what you have to have in the boat, ie. flybridge, transom door, a/c-heat, propane or electric stove, generator, single or dual engines, lrg refrig/freezer, full instrumentation at both helms, etc., etc., etc.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:52 PM   #4
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30 boats is one huge list to run through - without some sort of criteria - must have, good to have, don`t care if it does, and a check sheet to take notes then at the end of your search, when you have lost track of the first boat you looked at, how will you make a judgement?

You might have an epiphany when you step on a particular boat and that will be the one - but most likely it will be choosing the one with the least number of compromises.

Without an organised approach you are daydreaming
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:42 PM   #5
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Close the door to the head and sit on the toilet. A friend of mine bought a boat and then discovered he didn't fit in the head.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:54 PM   #6
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Close the door to the head and sit on the toilet. A friend of mine bought a boat and then discovered he didn't fit in the head.
That has got to be the best boat buying advise I've ever heard.
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Old 01-09-2016, 01:21 AM   #7
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Take copious notes, photographs of everything and most important of all: IMMEDIATELY upon departure turn on a recorder and talk about the boat. Some things will strike you right away.

Two necessities:

#1) The engine room. If you cannot easily get to all parts of that engine, you're not going to maintain her properly. And guaranteed (almost) that the current and previous owners won't have done the difficult to get at stuff either.

#2) The galley. Whoever cooks has 100% say in this important area.

I'm a Galley Up gal. My neighbor up the canal swears that Galley Down is the only way to go.

Also verify there is storage space in the galley for the items you want. Galleys really cannot be economically changed so make sure you're going to be happy with whatever is there.

#3) Storage. You're going to need more than spare parts and tools. Life aboard includes hobbies and having a place to stow the gear required is essential for long-term happiness.

#4) The head and shower. I know of no woman who tolerates well a head that gets wet with every shower. A separate shower is essential. Or, like Seaweed, a shower curtain that keeps the head and sink dry during showers.

#5) From the helm can you see all points on the boat? Cameras can abate that however being able to see is enormously helpful when maneuvering in tight spots.

#6) Separate areas of the boat where you can go to plot murder of the other person. Everyone loves each other but there are times you will breathe wrong. Having an area out of sight of the other helps maintain calm. And remember Happy Wife, Happy Life.

#7) Have fun. The idea to take time to explore a variety of boats is a good thing. Just remember MOST of your time will be spent at anchor or at a marina. The "ride" is important however life at zero knots must be comfortable.

Roughing it is for kids. Women like myself have done that. We're now into a more decadent lifestyle and expect amenities.

The most major piece of advice I can offer is this: If either partner hates the boat, no epiphany will come after purchase. Don't buy anything unless both love the boat.

Anyway, a while back I wrote a series on finding your boat. If you wish, start here:
Janice142 article Finding Your Boat (part 1)

Good luck and have fun.
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Old 01-09-2016, 02:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Haylands View Post
Anyone got any tips for looking at the boats, we are not going to buy one this trip, it's just a look see, I'm after the more generic suggestions rather than the condition side.
No tips for looking at boats but my suggestion is you try to make it to Trawlerfest at Riviera Beach on 28-31 Jan since you will be in South Florida for 3 weeks. There should be a good selection of good boats at one location.

TrawlerFest-Riviera Beach 2016 | | PassageMaker
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:44 AM   #9
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Look in Florida Mariner for boats NOT listed by brokers.

Use your NOSE as the stench of rotten wood is easy to remember .Even in GRP boats.

Carry a list of your Desirements in order of importance , as you see which boats fit best.

Never plan on a change on basic outfitting as it is too expensive.

A Dock Queen takes big bucks to make an efficient independant cruiser.
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:56 AM   #10
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Congratulations in advance on your purchase! Out of 30 boats, one of them will have both of you with ear-to-ear grins.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:24 AM   #11
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Pete, PM on its way.

[Pssssst missus is from Sheffield, I'm a Derryman meself]
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:29 AM   #12
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You are looking at such a wide variety of boats. Maybe a little advance research (like this) will help narrow the field and make your time in Miami more productive.
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:46 AM   #13
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The rest of this post was based on an assumption.If you are fairly experienced then fno need to read further...it is based on the first post info...if you have more...I would answer differently....

Sounds like the OP is thinking about getting into big boating with little experience.

Sounds like not a boat search trip...Sounds like a research trip.

For every boat type you look at and think a lot about...plan on spending an hour or two at some random marina where you see a boat similar to one you liked. Find the owner if you can and offer to buy them a beer or just maybe chat for awhile about their boat and how they use it.

The exact same style boat can often be used in a variety of ways...some that the boats was made for and some not...doesn't mean the current own is "off"....but you can often get the better of the boat's "good and bads" from someone who isn't totally satisfied with their boat or cruising style. They are still in the hunt for the perfect boat or boating lifestyle to a degree.

Details aren't even on the horizon yet if still looking at sail or power, big or small, fast or slow....

Just immerse yourself into the "community" and be a sponge.

Do take lots of pictures that you find interesting or curious....showing them to people you are asking questions of might be able to explain better with a picture in front of you.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haylands View Post
Just trying to learn from others experience, is there anything you wish you had looked at / asked / checked when deciding if a boat is suitable?
Sounds to me like you are already miles ahead of the rest of us. So, be careful taking advice from strangers. That said, build a spread sheet for tracking the various vessels.
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:01 AM   #15
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I suggest that you follow the advice above to act as if you are living on the boats, Then make up a list of the features you like then whittle that down to the must have features. At that point you can start searching for the boat that fits your must have list. take lots of pictures of important features.
remember that all boats shrink after several months of ownership.
Accessories are nice but can be changed so concentrate on the boat not the TV.
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:10 AM   #16
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#6) Separate areas of the boat where you can go to plot murder of the other person. Everyone loves each other but there are times you will breathe wrong.
THIS may be the best boat buying advise I've ever heard. hahaha Oh, and the head advice. :-)
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:39 PM   #17
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E M O T I O N is your biggest enemy!!! It is kinda like choosing a mate. You have all of your items that you want in a mate....and then in walks the blond with with big boobies!!! And off you go on a disastrous relationship. That is how boats work too!!!!! A very plain looking boat can be the prettiest boat in the harbor.....to you!!! Because you chose wisely and not on emotion!!!!
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:58 PM   #18
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Wow, thanks chaps and chapesses, yes this is just a look see to identify which type of boat we fancy, we have a few things we have decided, we would rather have one that floats, is considered too big for two people (we both like our own space to plot murder several times a day, and have done for the last 30 years so that's not going to change!!!) I will add the "large head" to the list... As for evey thing else, we want every labour saving device they do, I hate "roughing" it and can't see the point of sitting on deck sipping cocktails (this is what it's all about isn't it??) and then having to wash up the glass.....

This trip is to find out what we like but probably more importantly, I'm 6'5" not of slim build, a repaired broken back from years ago, two new hips and a patched up knee... not quite able to do most yoga positions these days....!!!! So we have to find the "right" boat that fit's me.... hopefully we will have a short list but it's impossible to tell just by looking at photos. The type of boats available out there aren't really available over here.... some in the med but it's as expensive getting down there as it is to pop over the pond.....

I know we should probably take a few years and charter some boats we fancy and try them out etc etc but I live for the moment these days and just want to get on with it... Before I had the new hips the thought of buying a boat was a total no go, now I'm mobile (ish) I'm not waiting....

Impatience costs you money, but heck, you can't take it with you....
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:42 PM   #19
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It has been mentioned that emotion is an enemy. When either of you get the feeling that you like or don't like 'it,' try to figure out what that 'it' is. Knowing what are emotional triggers in one boat will help in evaluating others.
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:34 PM   #20
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If you get the chance, stop into my store and say hello before you leave Miami.
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