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Old 03-10-2013, 10:19 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=Wadosan;140671
Looking at your past boats, you've gone down in size and bounced back to a 32'. I guess I'm wondering in what order you've owned them? Smaller to longer? Or did you go up to the larger and then back down? Would be interested to know the path that led you to your current boat.
[/QUOTE]

1) 48'
2) 42'
3) 38'
4) 54' Sport Fisher for Marlin Tournaments
5) 35'
6) 30'
7) 29' Too small
8) 32' has many big boat amenities.

As the boat's mission became crystal clear, the size came down and ended with the smallest boat we could find that had the most amenities.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:17 PM   #22
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Saw this something-like-a-sixty-footer today on San Pablo Bay. Lots of room there.

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Old 03-10-2013, 11:30 PM   #23
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The 35-foot (1.5 gallon per hour) Coot is perfectly sized for us, but then we don't live aboard. Sleep two; entertain six. (Forward cabin with large bathroom and separate shower, raised pilothouse, generous saloon for the boat's size.)

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Old 03-11-2013, 12:05 AM   #24
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Here's a photo of the boat 60 footer was my speculation.

Could have been larger for all I know.

Sent from my iPhone using Trawler
That's Lady O at Willow Berm. She's more than 60'. 82' per the Willow Berm website profile.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:42 AM   #25
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Walt, on your plan to purchase in 5-7 years; you may want to take advantage of the down market, and begin your search earlier. You'll get more boat for your money, and (more importantly) have the time to really equip your boat for your long distance cruising plans.

When you have plans to come to Seattle, get ahold of me- be more than happy to give you the nickel tour of our boat.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:40 AM   #26
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Chartering to learn how to handle the boat will be difficult as most charterers wont let the boat out to be used as a crash buggy .

Getting a boat TO charter , so someone else pays for it usually is a failure as the charters are very hard on the boat , so maint can triple.

Size counts as marinas usually charge by the foot. At say $3.00 to $5.00 for overnight size will matter.

A good cruising boat has ZERO need for a dock , just a quick stop for fuel water food and a waste & garbage dump.

For a couple 40- 50 ft is a great size , the boat can be single handed as needed , and operated slow will not have a huge fuel bill.

The only hassle with a BIG boat is you will need a tutor for a few days to learn to handle the boat and its equipment.

The other hassle is draft , much over 6 ft will be a PIA in many locations FL and the Bahamas for sure.

KISS is best , hard to go cruising if you need to review a 40 page manual to start the engine , turn on the AP , and fill the fresh water tanks.

Be sure the boat has a great system for dink launch and recovery. Stern davits are the easiest to lift it every night .
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:40 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wadosan View Post
......We are not currently boat owners and have never owned a boat larger than 20ft. We intend to charter the larger boats to get a feel for what we like/dislike. Our current plan is to purchase in about 5 to 7 years to have our boat to use when we retire in about 11yrs......
Thanks.
Wade
I always get concerned when I read the above concept of placing all your boating eggs in the basket of retirement. Surely I can't be the only one on here realistic enough to admit I doubt I will be able to afford to keep my boat far into retirement. Why...?

1. They are expensive suckers to maintain, fuel, berth, insure ete, etc...

2. Retirement income tends not to grow as fast as the CPI does

3. By definition, when one retires, one is usually a bit past ones 'best by' date. Sorry, maybe that's the quack in me coming out, but it's the truth. Ones gudgeon pins get a bit sloppy, joints creak, backs ache, lungs seem to get smaller, and hearts get...well...let's just say, a little less hearty...

So what am I getting at. Well, to paraphrase that great character of literature from the top of his kennel, none other than Snoopy himself...."learn from yesterday...live for today...rest this afternoon...look to tomorrow...but not too far ahead...
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:56 AM   #28
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I always get concerned when I read the above concept of placing all your boating eggs in the basket of retirement. Surely I can't be the only one on here realistic enough to admit I doubt I will be able to afford to keep my boat far into retirement. Why...?
........................
So what am I getting at. Well, to paraphrase that great character of literature from the top of his kennel, none other than Snoopy himself...."learn from yesterday...live for today...rest this afternoon...look to tomorrow...but not too far ahead...
What Peter said - start NOW. People tend to continue the patterns of their life into retirement. Sure there's the occasional few who make drastic lifestyle changes but most people do the same things they did while they were working, they just stop going to work regularly. So if they did a lot of volunteer work, they keep on doing a lot of volunteer work. If they exercised regularly, they keep on exercising regularly. If they sat on the couch and watched TV, they sit on the couch and watch TV.

Don't wait, do it now.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:05 AM   #29
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FF; What on earth are you talking about??? Getting boats to charter, bareboat or crewed, is VERY easy, in a LARGE number of places with most charter companies offering the services of training captains to teach whatever skill sets are needed to qualify you for bare boating, may take a week, may take several weeks depending on one's abilities. Or there are a number of schools such as Sea Sense and Chapmans that offer various multi day courses that teach all aspects of cruising and running a boat. We loved chartering when we lived in Dallas, no hassles of boat ownership, and we could go cruising in a much wider range of locations than owning a boat and using it part time affords.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:15 AM   #30
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I think that apart from all other considerations mentioned previously, you really need to consider what size is manageable for 2 persons. I know that other may jump in here and brag how they single-hand a 65ft yacht, but that is not usually the reality!! We find that a 50ft single screw presents enough of a challenge for 2 agile persons. Get much bigger and you start to need a third crew member. Another consideration is deck access. We have side decks that enable us to work the boat from any position. Many boats are stacked up in such a way that you have very limited flexibility when docking. We apprceiate having dock hands (usually dock mates) but this is seldom the case, and you need to be able to do it all from inboard of your vessel. Lastly depending on where you boat, you may have difficulty finding a slip. At our marina and most of those around where we live in New England, there are very few slips that can accommodate vessels much larger than 50ft. So finding one to rent annually or on an itinerant basis can be tough. While 50ft is small in Florida it is quite large in New England!!
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:26 AM   #31
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Walt, on your plan to purchase in 5-7 years;
Wasn't me!
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:54 AM   #32
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Chrisjs wrote;

"you really need to consider what size is manageable for 2 persons."

One can't just "think up" the answer to that. But the experiences of others should be a fair guide but we are all very different. Wife's especially. Some wife's can hardly do anything and some practically take over the boat. My wife is eager to take the helm and run all the other stuff and many don't want any part of it. I remember a flying couple that fought so much over who was going to fly the airplane they had to get another plane. They rarely went separate ways but flew together constantly talking on the radio.

And for the skipper that has a woman that hasn't the desire to do much of anything (crew wise) they usually still do most or all of the cooking and most of the cleaning and many do more than their fair share of painting.

So the lady on the boat has a lot (perhaps more) to do with how big a boat a couple can handle than the man. Many yachtsmen yell at their wife's but/and I think they should be grateful that they come along at all. All the wife's aboard are "going where thou goest" and are on the boat because the man wants to be there. I don't know any couples where "she" is the one that wants to go boating and he goes along to be with her.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:35 PM   #33
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I don't know any couples where "she" is the one that wants to go boating and he goes along to be with her.
Actually, Dan and I are one of those couples.

He is an aeronautical engineer and used to do a lot of flying (towing gliders for the most part) in his spare time. I eventually convinced him that boating would be fun and something we could do together. In 2000 we purchased an Alberg 37, a lovely classic sailboat, and then in 2008 we moved over to the trawler world with our Sea Ranger 47.

I know he still misses flying though!
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:44 PM   #34
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My wife generally "runs" the boat while I pay attention to nav. planning and mechanicals. She does make me dock the thing though, and usually I am the one who stays up all night on those long runs!! On a 50ft boat it really needs to be a team effort for comfort and safety. As for the cooking and cleaning, we generally share the latter. I guess if you stay at the dock none of this matters!!
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:08 PM   #35
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Actually, Dan and I are one of those couples.
We are one of those couples for sure, though equal in our enthusiasm; Ann was every bit as much a driving force in going cruising or any other "let's go boating" adventure. When we lived in Boca Raton for a short while, she'd rent a small walk-around outboard boat and take her visiting friends and family on boat rides while I was at work.

Operating and maintenace-repair Ergonomics, as mentioned are very important, we are not the most adept, so need all the help we can get from the boat. But just the two of us have cruised many many thousands of miles quite happily, bumbling our way through paradise.

If cruising as a couple, both partners must have equal voice in choice of boat, and choice of days to go boating. Both must know at least the basics of running the boat.
Gosh, so many times in our cruising, we'd meet these unhappy women who were left out of the decision making process, or had never had the opportunity to go cruising before the boat-buying decision was made.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:16 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wadosan View Post
My root question is how big of a boat?
Lots of good responses by people with much more experience than I. Just adding my $.02:

Our boats in order of ownership:

28' Catalina Sailboat. Our first "real" boat, my wife and I picked the boat together - she wanted a "real head" and "warmth"; I wanted a sailboat. Nothing wrong with the boat, but we felt it was too small for ourselves plus another couple of friends for any length of time. We only owned it for just over a year

30' Catalina Sailboat. We purchased this boat because we wanted more room. Best decision we made -- we used the boat much more often, and even had guests stay aboard on some overnights.

28' Bayliner Flybridge. I wanted to get a fishing boat, and my wife didn't want to spend $20k on a boat that she didn't want to go out on (remember the "real head"?). Also I broke my elbow, and we had a baby.. so it made sense to sell the sailboat and downsize to a day-tripper. My wife hated this boat. But we used it for daytrips and fishing and to see if we liked powerboating.

34' CHB. We did like powerboating, but neither of us liked going fast -- we had twin 280HP engines, and "cruised" at 6kts (a waste). And our daughter grew up a bit and loves spending the night aboard - so having a longer-range cruiser made sense. Our current boat kinda fell into our laps (friend of a friend was selling for a steal). We have only had it for about a year, but it is MUCH more comfortable than the Bayliner.

So... what did all of this teach us?

First, 28' is too small for how we use our boat. A 28' sailboat, and a 28' flybridge both were too small. And secondly, 30-35' is substantially bigger than a 28, but isn't intimidating.

I sat at the helm of some 40s and 45's at the boat show, and thought about docking with a cross wind or current and almost cried. But for a live-aboard (not in our near-term plans) it would be just about perfect IMO.

36-38 seems like just about the perfect size to me -- The one thing we don't like about the current boat is that it only has one stateroom, and to get it in the configuration we like we need to move up to that size range.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:45 PM   #37
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The creature comforts and the size should be left more to the female, and also the final final say on the boat. If the female does not have the majority and last say on the boat its doubtful that she will enjoy the boat much less come a long. When looking at boats best to follow her lead, and take note of her likes and dislikes. Female are more interested in creature comforts, and safety of the boat. Make sure you understand, her idea future plan of boating as compared to yours.

The only reason we been a live aboad for 15+ years is because my wife had the final say, its her fault we are a live aboard, so she can not cmplain.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:46 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
The 35-foot (1.5 gallon per hour) Coot is perfectly sized for us, but then we don't live aboard. Sleep two; entertain six. (Forward cabin with large bathroom and separate shower, raised pilothouse, generous saloon for the boat's size.)
Markpierce - Love your boat. Looked at the Seahorse Marine Diesel Ducks and saw they made the Coot also. Not sure why they call it a Coot though. Appreciate your input!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pau Hana View Post
Walt, on your plan to purchase in 5-7 years; you may want to take advantage of the down market, and begin your search earlier. You'll get more boat for your money, and (more importantly) have the time to really equip your boat for your long distance cruising plans.

When you have plans to come to Seattle, get ahold of me- be more than happy to give you the nickel tour of our boat.
I think you meant Wade. Thank you Pau Hana for the offer. Where do you moor your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter B View Post
I always get concerned when I read the above concept of placing all your boating eggs in the basket of retirement. Surely I can't be the only one on here realistic enough to admit I doubt I will be able to afford to keep my boat far into retirement. Why...?

1. They are expensive suckers to maintain, fuel, berth, insure ete, etc...

2. Retirement income tends not to grow as fast as the CPI does

3. By definition, when one retires, one is usually a bit past ones 'best by' date. Sorry, maybe that's the quack in me coming out, but it's the truth. Ones gudgeon pins get a bit sloppy, joints creak, backs ache, lungs seem to get smaller, and hearts get...well...let's just say, a little less hearty...

So what am I getting at. Well, to paraphrase that great character of literature from the top of his kennel, none other than Snoopy himself...."learn from yesterday...live for today...rest this afternoon...look to tomorrow...but not too far ahead...
Peter B - I definitely don't disagree with you but if we bought our boat now, I don't think we would use it enough with working full time AND using our RV. I started retirement planning pretty early and put a good chunk of our income into it. According to our retirement planner, we should actually have a better income at retirement than now. Will that be enough? I dunno but am planning on about $2K per month in maintenance and fuel plus a lump-sum reserve set aside for the unexpected. The world could blow up tomorrow but we still gotta plan and keep ourselves healthy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobofthenorth View Post
What Peter said - start NOW. People tend to continue the patterns of their life into retirement. Sure there's the occasional few who make drastic lifestyle changes but most people do the same things they did while they were working, they just stop going to work regularly. So if they did a lot of volunteer work, they keep on doing a lot of volunteer work. If they exercised regularly, they keep on exercising regularly. If they sat on the couch and watched TV, they sit on the couch and watch TV.

Don't wait, do it now.
Yes I have seen that trend as well. What we have found is that we both absolutely LOVE being on the water. But I guess if this boating thing doesn't work out, we'll find out soon enough (through chartering) and have the income to be able to do something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
FF; What on earth are you talking about??? Getting boats to charter, bareboat or crewed, is VERY easy, in a LARGE number of places with most charter companies offering the services of training captains to teach whatever skill sets are needed to qualify you for bare boating, may take a week, may take several weeks depending on one's abilities. Or there are a number of schools such as Sea Sense and Chapmans that offer various multi day courses that teach all aspects of cruising and running a boat. We loved chartering when we lived in Dallas, no hassles of boat ownership, and we could go cruising in a much wider range of locations than owning a boat and using it part time affords.
Thank you Caltexflanc. What you say is absolutely correct. I have spoken to charter companies and they tell me if we don't have the experience, we can take along a captain. When that captain decides we can handle the boat, we can drop him/her off and continue on our charter. I'm leaning more toward an actual multi-day training session however where we stay on the boat and each day, the captain trains us in all the aspects of operating that boat. I believe once we have the training in the similar size boat we'd be chartering, they would allow us to charter other boats that were similar. Realize we may need to do this on a single and a twin but that's ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisjs View Post
I think that apart from all other considerations mentioned previously, you really need to consider what size is manageable for 2 persons. I know that other may jump in here and brag how they single-hand a 65ft yacht, but that is not usually the reality!! We find that a 50ft single screw presents enough of a challenge for 2 agile persons. Get much bigger and you start to need a third crew member. Another consideration is deck access. We have side decks that enable us to work the boat from any position. Many boats are stacked up in such a way that you have very limited flexibility when docking. We apprceiate having dock hands (usually dock mates) but this is seldom the case, and you need to be able to do it all from inboard of your vessel. Lastly depending on where you boat, you may have difficulty finding a slip. At our marina and most of those around where we live in New England, there are very few slips that can accommodate vessels much larger than 50ft. So finding one to rent annually or on an itinerant basis can be tough. While 50ft is small in Florida it is quite large in New England!!
Chrisjs - yes I have been concerned with boat handling with just the two of us. Some boats have the full-width salon's so no side decks. I often wonder if that is an issue to line handling. One owner on this forum has a Helmsman 38 PH (beautiful boat, BTW) so maybe they can shed some light on this subject.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manyboats View Post
Chrisjs wrote;

"you really need to consider what size is manageable for 2 persons."

One can't just "think up" the answer to that. But the experiences of others should be a fair guide but we are all very different. Wife's especially. Some wife's can hardly do anything and some practically take over the boat. My wife is eager to take the helm and run all the other stuff and many don't want any part of it. I remember a flying couple that fought so much over who was going to fly the airplane they had to get another plane. They rarely went separate ways but flew together constantly talking on the radio.

And for the skipper that has a woman that hasn't the desire to do much of anything (crew wise) they usually still do most or all of the cooking and most of the cleaning and many do more than their fair share of painting.

So the lady on the boat has a lot (perhaps more) to do with how big a boat a couple can handle than the man. Many yachtsmen yell at their wife's but/and I think they should be grateful that they come along at all. All the wife's aboard are "going where thou goest" and are on the boat because the man wants to be there. I don't know any couples where "she" is the one that wants to go boating and he goes along to be with her.
Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
We are one of those couples for sure, though equal in our enthusiasm; Ann was every bit as much a driving force in going cruising or any other "let's go boating" adventure. When we lived in Boca Raton for a short while, she'd rent a small walk-around outboard boat and take her visiting friends and family on boat rides while I was at work.

Operating and maintenace-repair Ergonomics, as mentioned are very important, we are not the most adept, so need all the help we can get from the boat. But just the two of us have cruised many many thousands of miles quite happily, bumbling our way through paradise.

If cruising as a couple, both partners must have equal voice in choice of boat, and choice of days to go boating. Both must know at least the basics of running the boat.
Gosh, so many times in our cruising, we'd meet these unhappy women who were left out of the decision making process, or had never had the opportunity to go cruising before the boat-buying decision was made.
On this note, we are building a list of what is important to each of us separately. We'll then go over and see what matches and what doesn't. For what doesn't match, she'll probably get her way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattkab View Post
Lots of good responses by people with much more experience than I. Just adding my $.02:

Our boats in order of ownership:

28' Catalina Sailboat. Our first "real" boat, my wife and I picked the boat together - she wanted a "real head" and "warmth"; I wanted a sailboat. Nothing wrong with the boat, but we felt it was too small for ourselves plus another couple of friends for any length of time. We only owned it for just over a year

30' Catalina Sailboat. We purchased this boat because we wanted more room. Best decision we made -- we used the boat much more often, and even had guests stay aboard on some overnights.

28' Bayliner Flybridge. I wanted to get a fishing boat, and my wife didn't want to spend $20k on a boat that she didn't want to go out on (remember the "real head"?). Also I broke my elbow, and we had a baby.. so it made sense to sell the sailboat and downsize to a day-tripper. My wife hated this boat. But we used it for daytrips and fishing and to see if we liked powerboating.

34' CHB. We did like powerboating, but neither of us liked going fast -- we had twin 280HP engines, and "cruised" at 6kts (a waste). And our daughter grew up a bit and loves spending the night aboard - so having a longer-range cruiser made sense. Our current boat kinda fell into our laps (friend of a friend was selling for a steal). We have only had it for about a year, but it is MUCH more comfortable than the Bayliner.

So... what did all of this teach us?

First, 28' is too small for how we use our boat. A 28' sailboat, and a 28' flybridge both were too small. And secondly, 30-35' is substantially bigger than a 28, but isn't intimidating.

I sat at the helm of some 40s and 45's at the boat show, and thought about docking with a cross wind or current and almost cried. But for a live-aboard (not in our near-term plans) it would be just about perfect IMO.

36-38 seems like just about the perfect size to me -- The one thing we don't like about the current boat is that it only has one stateroom, and to get it in the configuration we like we need to move up to that size range.
Thank you, Mattkab. Appreciate you sharing your journey. These real life experiences are valuable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Fill View Post
The creature comforts and the size should be left more to the female, and also the final final say on the boat. If the female does not have the majority and last say on the boat its doubtful that she will enjoy the boat much less come a long. When looking at boats best to follow her lead, and take note of her likes and dislikes. Female are more interested in creature comforts, and safety of the boat. Make sure you understand, her idea future plan of boating as compared to yours.

The only reason we been a live aboad for 15+ years is because my wife had the final say, its her fault we are a live aboard, so she can not cmplain.
Phil Fill - I agree. When the wife and I talk about boats, she's always looking at it from the comfort, homey-ness of the boat while I'm looking at the mechanical/design perspective. I think though we balance each other out.

Really appreciate everyone's input.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:00 PM   #39
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Wade and Maureen, you certainly sound like you have your heads on straight about this. Best of good fortune as you move forward.

She will become more focused on operational ergonomics as you do more boating. In our case, one example for instance is that drove the desire for walk around decks on both our parts. I was determined to have walk in engine rooms because I am big and clumsy, but a side benefit is that they became more welcoming to her.. she can happily do the pre-departure check list, check the batteries etc whereas there was no way she was crawling into the Er of other boats we saw. Other wives are more adventurous on that front.

Anyway, have fun on the journey!
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:04 PM   #40
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City: Vallejo CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: 2011 Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 10,262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wadosan View Post
Markpierce - Love your boat. Looked at the Seahorse Marine Diesel Ducks and saw they made the Coot also. Not sure why they call it a Coot though. Appreciate your input!
It looks ungainly as a Coot.

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