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Old 07-03-2013, 11:18 AM   #1
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City: Coffman Cove, Alaska and Nevada
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Gaining practical experience - A how to question

As I posted previously, my wife and I are looking at a 10 year or less plan to get a trawler. I am retired and my wife wants to work until our last child is in college. That said, I lack to experience to even know what we want yet. While I have lots of boating experience in Alaska that hardly qualifies me to choose, operate, and maintain a larger vessel.


Where can I find quality instruction?
What is the first book you should read?

I have searched a few different ways for crew needed? Is there such a thing? I am not looking for work but rather a way to gain real world experience while helping out.

Great forum and thanks for any suggestions.

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Old 07-03-2013, 11:45 AM   #2
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We stepped up from a 22ft cuddy trailer boat to a 50ft trawler. It was daunting but manageable. First we chartered a 36ft trawler for week, then did LOTS of reading (magazines like Passagemaker; forums like this one; even books!!). That gave us a good idea of what criteria were important to us in boat selection, and what to look for. Next we looked at some local boats for sale and went to some boat shows and Trawlerfests. Then we set off to Florida to look at about 30 boats identified on Yachtworld. Ended up buying one of those. Then we hired a captain to help bring the boat back to the Northeast, about 1200 miler offshore, non-stop. We learned a tremendous amount that week. Once back we had to face up to handling the boat ourselves and could have probably done with a bit more hands on instruction (we had had a couple days instruction in Florida before leaving). Nevertheless we manged to learn how to handle the boat without too many mishaps. My recommendation is to not wait until you want to set off on your cruising life, but rather purchase the vessel you want earlier. It took about 2 years or so to get comfortable with the boat and be able to deal with a myriad of complex mechanical and electrical systems.

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Old 07-03-2013, 12:51 PM   #3
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City: Olympia, WA
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Hi Mike,

I have to agree with Chris that chartering is one of the best ways to gain experience with lots of different boats. We started bareboating 40' Navigators & Carvers, then discovered we rarely went faster than 8 knots. When we started looking at trawlers, we chartered a 38' Selene, then a 46' DeFever Trawler and became hooked. Every time we were out on the water, we looked at Kadey-Krogens, DeFevers, Selenes, Northwest Trawlers, etc., etc.

Have fun and try as many boats as you have time for!
Scott (Boydski) Boyd
Yes Please, Grand Banks Eastbay
Sea Eagle, Nordhavn 47 (sold)
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:36 PM   #4
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Plus 1 on the charter plan, the captains are more than happy to teach and let you do the navvy work. Plus it makes for an awesome vacation!
1976 Albin 25 DeLuxe; 1990 Thundercraft 1750
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