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Old 09-10-2013, 05:00 PM   #1
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Florida Bay Coasters....any owners onboard

I'm just now reviewing a book by Jay Benford titled "Small Ships"
....a book of study plans of Tugs, Freighters, Ferries, Excursion Boats, Trawler Yachts, Houseboats, & Fishing Vessels.

There is quite a variety of vessel designs presented in the book, with lots of plan dwgs, etc. One type of vessel design that is prominently associated with Jay is 'Florida Bay Coaster' designs. Here is that portion of his website that deals with these particular vessels:
Benford Design Group

So my question is are there some owners of these vessels on this forum?
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:36 PM   #2
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Reuben Trane, the Florida Bay Coaster builder does post here occasionally.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:45 PM   #3
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There's a Coaster that shows up every year at the MTOA Rendezvous. Never been on one but I think they are really meant for Bay Cruising, very tall and probably subject to windage.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:02 PM   #4
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I am a big fan of the Fl bay coaster and have been on one in Key West and even with 20 people on board moving around the boat never moved just rock solid.

I almost bought one in CA that I was going to use as a business for taking couples cruising and the boat was under a distressed sale but in the end went with my Defever 49 RPH.

I spoke with the designer and builder of the Coaster and if you are really interested you would need to make sure you were able to stabilize it as they are known for rolling pretty good.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:00 PM   #5
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Maybe this would work for Galaxy girl?
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatsflyer View Post
There's a Coaster that shows up every year at the MTOA Rendezvous. Never been on one but I think they are really meant for Bay Cruising, very tall and probably subject to windage.

Probably MV Sails, it is beautiful boat and very roomy I was on it for a tour at one of the MTOA meetings. If I am not mistaken they do, coastal, cruise extensively. I believe they have a blog
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:58 AM   #7
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People's Choice Adward, Water Lily

I'm getting ready to attend my first 'trawler boat show' "TrawlerFest" in Baltimore this week. While looking on the web, I noticed this 'press release that mentions the popularity of this style vessel at the previous 2012 TrawlerFest.

Quote:
Congratulations to Florida Bay Coasters and the owner of the Water Lily for winning the sought-after PassageMaker People’s Choice Award by a land slide!
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian eiland View Post
I'm getting ready to attend my first 'trawler boat show' "TrawlerFest" in Baltimore this week. While looking on the web, I noticed this 'press release that mentions the popularity of this style vessel at the previous 2012 TrawlerFest.
Brian: If my memory serves me, last time I spoke to Jay Benford, he recommended that I contact the owners of Water Lilly for a viewing. Nice people, and they are living down there on the Eastern Shore, MD, a nice side trip from Baltimore. I planned to be there as well, but am swamped with post-retirement crap for the foreseeable future....maybe forever.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tad Roberts View Post
Reuben Trane, the Florida Bay Coaster builder does post here occasionally.
From what I understand he is no longer involved with them, and supposedly left that project a long time ago....back during big tax increase on luxury items

Since then several new participants....hope to meet the latest folks soon.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:16 AM   #10
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....from another forum



Anyone Familiar with Great Harbor Trawlers ?
The boat above is named East Passage and has made many trips from Maine to the Bahamas. My boat has been to the Bahamas six times and from Savannah to Punta Gorda.

Yea, if you won't to cross oceans, even I would get a different boat with more draft. Where do you want to cruise?

Rolls a lot less than any round bilge Chinese Grand Banks knock off, and less than the 36 GB I had before.

Every boat is a compromise, just be aware of blowhard armchair naval architects.

p.s. I also own a Florida Bay Coaster and keep it in Northern Lake Huron.
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:00 PM   #11
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Coaster Performance in Waves

As I've mentioned before I have been reading Jay Benford's very interesting book “Small Ships”, Working Vessels & Workboat Heritage Yacht Designs. On page 280, he is discussing the original development of the Florida Bay Coaster Design, a 50 footer. I excerpted the following passage from that discussion:


Quote:
I still continue to get questions about her stability, even with the photos of loading the car aboard testifying she has a lot of stability. Right after the first boatshow in which she was exhibited, Reuben and I took the Florida Bay out the inlet at Ft Lauderdale and headed into the eight (8) foot seas that were coming in from the east. The winds had dropped to about 20 mph, after several days of gale force winds.

We poked into them, throwing spray, until we got into the Gulf Stream then turned south and took them on the beam for the next two hours. It was proof to use of how stiff she was in action. This bore out all of our calculations and the inclining test we'd done while still at the shipyard. After watching the Jeep vehicle rocking on its suspension, but never sliding on deck, I turned to watching her action as the waves heeled her. As the eight foot seas would approach, she would heel with the approach of each wave, but immediately start to right herself, heeling into the wave. She was effectively splitting the difference following the wave surface and trying to stay upright.

A photo I took on this outing let me measure the angle of the horizon agains a know level of the railings. This indicated that she was heeling a maximum of ten degrees in these eight foot seas.

Since that time she has made a number of crossing to the Bahamas and numerous coastwise trips. My own further experiences on her and several other Coasters has given me great confidence in their ability to take rough weather.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:24 AM   #12
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Design Evolution

Here's an interesting article by Passagemaker magazine on the birth of the Great Harbor trawlers,....the design and building of the first N37

http://www.passagemaker.com/articles/cruiser-reviews/full-displacement/the-great-harbour/

...seems there is some evolution involved here from the Fla Bay Coaster design
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Old 10-11-2013, 01:48 AM   #13
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FROM THE OWNER OF STEEL MAGNOLIA:

All these supposed "experts" on the stability of a Florida Bay Coaster and I do not see any discussion in any of the threads where any of you have spent any time on board a Coaster or had an extended discussion with anybody who owns one (except for maybe Jay Benford who designed the boat). I guess you could consider him biased, but I happen to know he is a very smart individual and it's marketing fallacy to believe he would design a boat that was inherently unstable (initial, ultimate or otherwise).

I'm not an expert on Coasters like others in this forum. I'm just an owner of one. I am not a marine architect or designer, but I am a licensed tonnage Captain for both power and sail and an instrument rated multi-engine pilot. I have a pretty good understanding about stability and center of gravity issues. In an airplane essentially your life depends on positive stability (but hey, other than my life I don't give it much thought). So I guess I just don't understand what all this flap is about. You can say what you want, but here it comes from the horses mouth.... I have owned lots and lots of boats in my life and without question Steel Magnolia (my 50 foot Coaster) is the MOST stable boat I have ever owned. I consistently hang thousands of pounds waaaaay over the side in the form of a13 foot Boston Whaler, with a 40HP motor, gas and accessories, and the boat lists less than three degrees. I have not been hit by a gust of 75 miles per hour, but I clocked one right on my beam at 65 miles per hour (close enough) and the boat heeled over, but only a mere 5 degrees. I have been in every kind of sea and again the boat is more stable than most boats. As I read through these threads I see a lot of "I feel this, or I think that". Stability is a math problem. It's either stable or it AIN'T. It may be hard for you to believe but if you do the math this boat has positive stability almost through being completely upside down. How many boats can say that? The fact that it appears to be high and have a large sail area makes no difference. If it did every cruise ship in the world would fall over because they sure do look tall for how wide they are, don't they? When was the last cruise ship you saw tip over? This boat has been to the Bahamas to St. Thomas etc. So to call it a houseboat (wow) or a dock sitter is not accurate.

As for considering the boat ugly, you know what's funny...? 10% of the people come up to me on the dock and say wow, that's an ugly boat. I just laugh because I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You guys being wood boat owners should get that. However the majority of the people (including myself) really like that tramp freighter look. And as for steel vs. wood, I think we're both out of our minds!!!! But hey, I got ya beat when we’re stuck on a reef or something equally as hard.

Blogs are about opinions, and I'm all about that. I just get a little tweaked when somebody starts stating something as fact when it's not fact.

CURT
Owner, 50' Florida Bay Coaster Steel Magnolia
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:33 PM   #14
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Coaster Stability

http://www.benford.us/pdf/WhatAboutStability.pdf
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian eiland View Post
FROM THE OWNER OF STEEL MAGNOLIA:

All these supposed "experts" on the stability of a Florida Bay Coaster
CURT
Owner, 50' Florida Bay Coaster Steel Magnolia

Brian:

What did I miss, I have seen no meaningful dissing on this thread towards the Steel Magnolia and its cousins, just the normal they are too tall stuff. . It seems to me that Reuben and Jay have a well respected and good professional reputation as viewed by (most anyway) the TF folks.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:09 AM   #16
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Cruise aboard the Bonny Blue on the Dismal Swamp Canal.

I was a partner in the financing and construction of this boat , that might be big enough for some.

Failed at being a cruise boat as the USCG decided on crew manning levels (+200%) that could not be met .

Perhaps she is for sale for someone that wants a great Roomeran.
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:52 PM   #17
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Brian:

What did I miss, I have seen no meaningful dissing on this thread towards the Steel Magnolia and its cousins, just the normal they are too tall stuff. . It seems to me that Reuben and Jay have a well respected and good professional reputation as viewed by (most anyway) the TF folks.
I was not suggesting there was any dissing here on this subject thread. Rather I was sort of making a record of various 'positive views' on the capabilities of these vessels as I ran across them in my various searches on the internet.

There have been a significant number of 'naysayers' as to the capabilities of these tall Fla Bay Coasters, and the Great Harbor Trawlers on a number of forums, but most of them seem to come from those that have not actually spent any time on one.

Just recently one broker expressed concerns over their capability to travel to the Bahamas, but they had never been aboard one of the vessels underway, nor done due diligence research.

I've never been aboard one of these vessels underway, and when I first viewed them I was sceptically as to their handling rougher waters.

One of the reasons I started this subject thread was to see if any other owners stepped forward with a reply, positive or negative. Seems we don't have many (or any) who frequent the forum?
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:17 PM   #18
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Now I'm not sayin anything....,DID I SAY ANYTHING? I like Jay Benford and I love to have a FL Bay Coaster. All I'm thinkin is that this custom Music Box COULD have been Benford inspired, and if I could afford a Coaster, I'd have one of these sitting on the mantle of my stateroom fireplace. NO PHOTOSHOP!

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Old 10-16-2013, 06:11 PM   #19
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You don't have to! That's a FBC alright!
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:39 PM   #20
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Now I'm not sayin anything....,DID I SAY ANYTHING? I like Jay Benford and I love to have a FL Bay Coaster. All I'm thinkin is that this custom Music Box COULD have been Benford inspired, and if I could afford a Coaster, I'd have one of these sitting on the mantle of my stateroom fireplace. NO PHOTOSHOP!

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Are you sure that is not one of your infamous photoshops
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