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Old 03-30-2015, 06:28 PM   #81
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Finding The Right Boat | Boating Articles | Articles
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:35 PM   #82
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Great Ideas!

Just a quick "thank you" to everyone who posted here. I'm starting what will likely be a couple of years search for the right boat to do the Great Loop in, and am very grateful for everyone's thoughts on what factors to consider.

I will be doing portions of the Loop solo, so finding the right boat which has the mix of good living space and the ability to be handled by one person is a good challenge. Any ideas or thoughts are most welcome!
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:36 PM   #83
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Depending on your physical condition and boat handling skills, any boat from 0 to around 50' could be single handed. Look for one with a lower helm with side doors on both sides. And perhaps a bow thruster.

Once you learn how to use spring lines and properly place a fender or two you'd be surprised at how large a boat you can safely single hand.

I should add when it's your own. I always err on the side of caution when Im paid to run someone else's boat. And try to run with more than enough crew if I can.
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Old 04-05-2015, 09:22 PM   #84
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This link may be of interest to you: Choosing your Great Loop boat.
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Old 04-05-2015, 10:37 PM   #85
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Good points... Doors on both sides would be helpful!
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Old 04-28-2015, 02:45 PM   #86
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We are smack dab in the middle of looking for "THE boat". The boat that will be our home for (hopefuly) 2 - 3 years, maybe more. (How long does it take to do "the Great Southern Loop", anyway?) In addition to our spreadsheet of the "facts and figures" (number of this, size of that), we've also come up with a list of scenarios, and we're giving each boat a score of 1 - 5 on each. For example:

Long distance in nice weather - just us two.
Long distance in bad weather - with another couple.
Meal prep - just us two.
A week on the hook - with another couple.

Each scenario has a "weight", based on how important it is (which is mostly based on how often it will happen). We take the score of each scenario and multiply it times its weight, then add up all the results, to get an overall score for the boat.

So far, this has helped us realize that some boats that we THOUGHT we loved aren't really going to be in the running. (For example, we want to swim, snorkel and scuba dive a LOT - so anything without a low aft deck, or a real cockpit, is pretty much out of the running.)

BTW, we did what someone suggested - being brand new to big boats, we went in w/ another couple and bought a "practice boat" for well under $50K. We're learning so much by having it, working on it, paying for its maintenance, taking it on short and not-so-short trips. And when we're ready, we'll sell our half to the other couple (who is still a few years away from their "THE boat"). I can't imagine trying to buy "THE boat" without having done this first.
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Old 04-29-2015, 04:36 PM   #87
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I have been getting back into boating over the past three years as I approach retirement and plan to boat near full time. I decided I wanted to get kind of a "starter boat" to learn more about what is involved in ownership. I checked into slip fees, insurance, estimated maintenance costs, hauling, bottom cleaning and painting, etc. Looked at some boats, talked with brokers, went to boat shows and thought I was ready. Based on walking through boats we really liked the room a tri-level aft-cabin provided with a down kitchen. I think it was a 37 Tollycraft aft-cabin in immaculate condition that I had to have. The only concern was gas engines. I went on a boating forum, not sure if it was TF, and was asking about gas engines and that I was new to boating and was not certain about my choices. It was there that I was provided with the best advice ever and am so thankful to this day for it. The person responding said, "do not buy! Find a charter company that provides training, take their courses and then charter. Charter different types and styles of boats to verify what you like and then buy what you know works for you based on real life experience." OMG, what I almost bought was exactly the wrong boat for my wife and me. We went from wanting an aft-cabin to knowing we want a pilothouse with an up kitchen and nice size cockpit. Over the past couple of years I have chartered seven different boats and will continue to do so for a while to further confirm our exact fit. In addition to experiencing the type of boat, chartering has also exposed me to different boat systems; nav, electrical setups, water/waste, cabin set-ups, etc. I would highly recommend anyone new to boating to do what I did. I am also so thankful for the training I received. I ended up taking several classes and it taught me that I really did not know as much as I thought I did about boat handling, navigation, rules and regs, radio communication, etc. Charter first, then buy!
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:22 AM   #88
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The person responding said, "do not buy!

If he said "do not buy!" because of the mfg , the build quality or the layout he might have been correct.

But the Gas Vs Diesel is far more complex than a knee jerk reaction that a diesel is somehow "better".

For most rec boats , 200 hours a year with a 1000 hour loop tossed in the gas will be cheaper to maintain and operate , and far quieter to live with.

After the boat gets BIG , requiring over 200 hp at Long range cruise , diesel will be easier to live with , unless you want the speed from two engines.


Of course Gas Vs Diesel is a religion . single vs twin , multi hull vs monohull , big anchor vs watch fob 24/7 noisemaker vs Quiet boat , all are open to much irrational opinions , and are great fun for mental masturbation.

To select a boat YOU need to first visit enough boats so you can make a list of what you like. Not what is rational , what you LIKE!

Then it becomes easier to view boats that might fit your Desirements.

Read Dave Pascoe first.

The hardest to achieve in boating is a Zero round trip.

Sure fuel ,dockage PM and maint will always be the cost of boating

BUT with good selection , some sweat equity (paint sells the boat) and rational toy purchases , the boat can be sold for its basic cost , even years later.

Good hunting ,

But remember a 30ft Bayliner for $10K with $15,000 worth of electric toys is STILL a $10K Bayliner.
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:00 AM   #89
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Once you clearly define 95 + % of your needs, wants, desires (accompanying life-partner's too if that is the case) for "your" boat, then the search will get much easier.


It has often been said that the "correct" boat choses you once you have met. There is some truth and much wisdom to that saying. However, caveat emptor... as with mates... check out the boat's credentials via thorough survey before purchase. Cause - ya just don't want to spend years of life owning/being-with a bummer, money and time sucking craft!

Happy Boating-Finding Daze! - Art
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:53 AM   #90
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I believe most boats will need to be modified to Loop with ease.

In the huge commercial locks nothing more than a hefty cleat , midships that is easy to pop outside and work will be required . 15 inch would be a reasonable size.

Ride the pipe float , easy with one line.

The hassle would be the small locks in the Hudson and the Erie barge canal or in Canada..

Nothing but ropes hang from the top of the lock, no sliding Pig to tie up to.

Usually 2 folks (one fore and one aft) will pull or release lines to keep the boat on the lock wall.

I would contemplate a powered windlass , or powered old sail boat winch , so with good fendering a single line could be held taught enough to keep the hull on the wall.

The windlass would be on the "natural" docking side as required by the boats prop direction.

Might be useful after the loop in docking
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:07 AM   #91
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I believe most boats will need to be modified to Loop with ease.

In the huge commercial locks nothing more than a hefty cleat , midships that is easy to pop outside and work will be required . 15 inch would be a reasonable size.

Ride the pipe float , easy with one line.

The hassle would be the small locks in the Hudson and the Erie barge canal or in Canada..

Nothing but ropes hang from the top of the lock, no sliding Pig to tie up to.

Usually 2 folks (one fore and one aft) will pull or release lines to keep the boat on the lock wall.

I would contemplate a powered windlass , or powered old sail boat winch , so with good fendering a single line could be held taught enough to keep the hull on the wall.

The windlass would be on the "natural" docking side as required by the boats prop direction.

Might be useful after the loop in docking
.
A couple of comments. First, many people make locking out to be far more difficult than it is. Now, if that moves them to be better prepared then great.

As to preparing fenders and lines, you must do so on both sides of your boat. You'll often be directed to a position and occasionally even if you've chosen a side, during the process you'll be asked to move. So be prepared on both sides of your boat. The other reason to do so is that sometimes you will raft to another boat or one will raft to you.

The majority of locks have pipes or cables or floating mooring posts. In these cases the easiest way for most boats is to have a line affixed to a forward cleat, loop it over or around the post, pipe or cable, pull tight from the rear and just loop it around a cleat. Do not knot it. You must always be in a position that if there is a malfunction you can quickly release. For that reason a windlass would probably not be usable or allowed as it could malfunction when you needed to release. I've never seen one used for that purpose.

In the small locks where lines are dropped down to you, then you just hold them. As said you do generally want two people, although not impossible for one to do it.

The small locks are simple as the turbulence is generally mild. Only difficult in high wind and that's simply then a matter of getting and staying in position. As to locks such as those on the Mississippi and Tennessee and Tenn Tom, the turbulence can be greater and require some effort. The biggest thing there is not to untie until the signal is given. Then on those locks there is one more potential factor and that's the turbulence from tows in front of you. Let them clear, don't try to rush and be too close to them. Now, often you'll be allowed to lock through rafted to one of them. That is absolutely the easiest locking. They'll then have you go out first. Tows are generally very cooperative and helpful if you're polite. The two captain always has the right to say yes or no to you locking through with them. The exception of course is a red flag tow (flammables or dangerous chemicals) and you can never lock through with them.

For the most part lockmasters are extremely helpful as well.

Now the only other type lock one might face doing the loop is if one chooses to take the Welland Canal. It's very unique and largely commercial and a pilot to take you through is strongly encouraged. Plus right now they're redoing the mechanisms and there are delays for pleasure vessels as they work on the locks between commercial boats.

Then there is the Panama Canal where you use line handlers and if you're large enough they even use mules. Not the animal kind. Equipment along tracks they have set up designed to move you at the right pace.

We don't ever mind the locking itself. We do mind the delays waiting sometimes.
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:48 PM   #92
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First post. Brand spankin new to boating just bought a home in the thousand islands with private slip looking to fill it, approaching retirement. Have been doing a lot of things that have been suggested here and am thinking 32 to 36 is my starting sweet spot. Expected to be a summer only mainly weekend user. Thinking diesel, have found an older boat, long term owner, twin cats. I think I'm ready too buy, survey caveat of course, and agree at some point you just have to jump in and get your feet wet pardon the pun.

Fantastic thread glad I found you guys. My basic question is: does it make any sense to buy now end of season, knowing full well I can't start using until next spring? The boat has been fall discounted significantly and even with the storage still seems to makes great sense. But ... Seems counterintuitive somehow? Thoughts? Thanks in advance
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Old 10-16-2015, 11:33 PM   #93
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The boat has been fall discounted significantly and even with the storage still seems to makes great sense.
What is fall discounted? Tell us about the boat, that should generate more meaningful feedback.
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Old 10-17-2015, 12:02 AM   #94
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What is fall discounted? .
Sounds like sales gibberish to me. Making you think you're getting something special when you've really got no basis to know. Oh, I have no doubt someone may drop the price by what it's going to cost to winterize, haul, store, dewinterize, insure all winter, finance for the winter. The same costs you will be incurring. Plus a lot less likely you discover problems before months have passed. And by spring the boat will be older so worth less, even if only marginally.

To buy a boat you can't use for six months it needs to be one great deal and you need to know it is, not have someone telling you it is. The later it gets in the season the more risks too. Risk you can't get a good sea trial, risk of not getting a complete survey. I've seen boats sold that were already in winter storage with "take my word, it's perfect." Also as time in the fall runs short, I've seen people act hastily to buy before the boat is hauled.

Just cautioning regarding the use of the term "fall discounted."
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Old 10-17-2015, 07:35 AM   #95
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Sounds like sales gibberish to me. Making you think you're getting something special when you've really got no basis to know. Oh, I have no doubt someone may drop the price by what it's going to cost to winterize, haul, store, dewinterize, insure all winter, finance for the winter. The same costs you will be incurring. Plus a lot less likely you discover problems before months have passed. And by spring the boat will be older so worth less, even if only marginally.
"
B&B covered the basics well but I have a slightly different take on the + & - of fall purchases. I've bought 3 boats over the last 25+ yrs... All 3 in the fall. Sellers are more likely to be open to negotiate given the downside of owning another 6+ mos.
Here in the NE there are a lot of used boat sales late season...new boat sales in the spring. It may be different in other areas.
I do agree w all of B&B caveats... I wouldn't buy w\o a sea trial & survey...and figure in you storage costs etc and decreased value by next season.
If you can complete all the due diligence and it still looks like a good fit for your use...why not?
My bottom line recommendation to used boat buyers is to spend time thinking about how you will use the boat and what your musts & wants list includes...spend enough time to look at several boats and evaluate them via your list...be patient there are a LOT of good used boats out there...but be ready to jump on it if everything lines up and you find a "keeper"
Good luck
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:27 AM   #96
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What is fall discounted? Tell us about the boat, that should generate more meaningful feedback.
Thanks for the comments, would be more than happy to share the details but didn't want to get this thread off topic.

Basics are it's a 33' 73 Viking (is it too old?), twin Cummins 5.9's with 300 hrs, current long term owner since 1999, my sense is strong mechanicals but lacks the more modern creature comforts inside. My logic is it may be a good starter for someone with zero experience and who doesn't plan at this point to venture too far from home base at least to start. It was priced at $30k when I first saw it late August, then reduced to $25 mid September. It is in the Northeast, so I am guessing (as a new guy) the economics in the fall are different in new England than say Florida, hence my storage and fall purchase related question. I am also getting emails from "Pop yachts" (a broker?) with lots of similar significant fall price reductions.

Is it poor form to make a lowball offer? Does a boat come with a "title" that needs transfering like a car? Is it "registered"? Do you have to pay your local sales tax upon purchase? Is a "vintage" boat like vintage cars - a well maintained version appreciated for its age, or are they just one step closer to the graveyard? Dumb questions, I know, tia.
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:33 AM   #97
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.....I have no doubt someone may drop the price by what it's going to cost to winterize, haul, store, dewinterize, insure all winter, finance for the winter. The same costs you will be incurring. Plus a lot less likely you discover problems before months have passed. And by spring the boat will be older so worth less, even if only marginally.

To buy a boat you can't use for six months it needs to be one great deal and you need to know it is, not have someone telling you it is. The later it gets in the season the more risks too. Risk you can't get a good sea trial, risk of not getting a complete survey. I've seen boats sold that were already in winter storage with "take my word, it's perfect." Also as time in the fall runs short, I've seen people act hastily to buy before the boat is hauled.

Just cautioning regarding the use of the term "fall discounted."
I deleted a part of your first line (because I may have misrepresented the "fall discount" aspect which was my wording, not sellers), but otherwise you have summed up my concerns perfectly!!

On the other hand, what is if it is the one, and I wait and it's gone?
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Old 10-17-2015, 11:13 AM   #98
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I have a slip neighbor that wants to move up from his 34 to a 40 - 42" boat. He has been looking for at least 18 months and always finds "the boat" then he sits and fidgets over minor things that are certainly not deal killers. Then the boat is sold to someone else and that starts over and over.

The grass is always greener... If you like that boat and you can live with the price plus weatherization and storage, I say go for it. I am assuming this isn't the first boat you looked at, right? If you have selected this one and like the layout, go for the sea trial and then an out of the water survey by a surveyor you choose. After the survey your choice will become clear to either buy or pass.

Good luck!
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Old 10-17-2015, 11:15 AM   #99
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On the other hand, what is if it is the one, and I wait and it's gone?
There is always another one.
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Old 10-17-2015, 11:32 AM   #100
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Thanks for the comments, would be more than happy to share the details but didn't want to get this thread off topic.

Basics are it's a 33' 73 Viking (is it too old?), twin Cummins 5.9's with 300 hrs, current long term owner since 1999, my sense is strong mechanicals but lacks the more modern creature comforts inside. My logic is it may be a good starter for someone with zero experience and who doesn't plan at this point to venture too far from home base at least to start. It was priced at $30k when I first saw it late August, then reduced to $25 mid September. It is in the Northeast, so I am guessing (as a new guy) the economics in the fall are different in new England than say Florida, hence my storage and fall purchase related question. I am also getting emails from "Pop yachts" (a broker?) with lots of similar significant fall price reductions.

Is it poor form to make a lowball offer? Does a boat come with a "title" that needs transfering like a car? Is it "registered"? Do you have to pay your local sales tax upon purchase? Is a "vintage" boat like vintage cars - a well maintained version appreciated for its age, or are they just one step closer to the graveyard? Dumb questions, I know, tia.
It was reduced because it didn't sell. Didn't sell during prime selling season which for the NE actually ends around the end of June. Most boats are sold in the spring in cooler climates.

Pop yachts....don't fall victim to a mass mailing campaign. Many of the boats they're mailing you about are boats they've found on Craigslist ads.

Nothing wrong with a lowball offer.

300 hours? what is the age of the engines?

Whether the '73 Viking is good is all a matter of condition. I see 33 ft Vikings in that date range for $36, $14.9, $24.9, and $22. So if anything even the $25k is toward the high side of the market.

However, if you can get a boat that runs decently, doesn't have hull issues, for under $25k then it could be a great purchase.
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