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Old 04-12-2014, 01:58 PM   #1
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Getting out of the rat race!

Okay guys & gals, I'm a newbie on the forum officially as of today.

I have a few questions to ask so I hope you guys will bare with me.

My plans are to sell my house within a year or so and buy a trawler and make it my new home. I will be paying cash so there won't be a loan. As of now, my intention is to live on the Gulf of Mexico with home base somewhere in Florida. Moms lives in Naples so it will probably be close to that area. I don't have children so that isn't a factor.
  1. Are there property taxes on yachts in Florida?
  2. What is the cost of registering your yacht in Florida, say something around the 50' range.
  3. What's the estimated cost of insuring a yacht? Obviously I understand it depends of the vessel, year, # of engines, style of yacht. Let's say for argument sake, a 50' single screw trawler with the purchase price of 250K.
  4. Dock fee's. Just a ball park figure for a 50', let's say Ft. Myer's. I'm sure Naples would be high end of this category.
  5. How often would you need to dry dock your yacht for maintenance such as bottom painting & prop maintenance? Every 3 to 5 years? Sooner?
  6. How often would you want to wash & wax your yacht being in a salt water climate?
  7. What other fee's am I looking at besides the typical maintenance and fuel cost?
Okay, now the fun part. I'm wanting a raised pilot house with possibly 3 state rooms. I looked at a 46' GB Europa while in Florida last week...beautiful boat. But, not a raised pilot house trawler and kitchen seemed a bit small for a boat you'd make your home. To me it seemed more of a trawler you'd spend a couple of weeks on, not a permanent home. I understand there are people out there who do make these yacht's their homes so please don't take that the wrong way.

I'm leaning more towards a single screw trawler with a get home back up engine. Being a single screw trawler, bow & stern thrusters would be a must. FB is a must as well.

So, what do you guys recommend for a quality trawler that I can make my new home?

Thanks so much for your input, I look forward to reading reply's.
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Old 04-12-2014, 03:08 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Keep the # of persons in the galley to one and you'll be fine. Just measured our galley. 6'X6' to the outside of the counter top. Within that space are fridge, stove/oven, double sink and dish storage and a place to eat. I've heard people comment on the size of sleeping cabins. Yes, some are small but how much time do you spend in bed? Everything on a boat is a compromise.
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:43 PM   #3
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Trawler - Selecting the Right One

JD

I am sure that many of the blog community will provide you with their opinions and information you are requesting. However, reading your post, I was wondering the extent of your boating experience. If you have lots, feel free to ignore the following comments. If you are new to managing an ocean going trawler, you might want to consider spending a couple of vacations renting one. Especially in the area of Florida that you are planning to relocate. It will help you get some of the answers you seek. It would also give you a chance to try out a couple of different designs. There are a lot of very fine trawlers (fast trawlers and displacement) that might address your needs very well. I was also wondering if you plan to use the boat to do the "Great Loop" of go back a forth to the Carribean or alternatively, just do short coastal trips. All of these decisions may be very influential in selecting the best compromise. Owning a boat is always a compromise. Also, have a look through the blog. There are a number of threads that have some very good discussion.

Here are a couple of answers to your questions:

1. Expect to haul your boat for zincs, bottom paint and cleaning at least annually.

2. Assume you will need to wax your boat at least twice per year. We wash our boat every time we take it out for a trip. When we aren't using the boat much, it gets washed at least 1 per month.

3. Insurance costs are all over the map, but our 50 footer costs us approximately $2,500 to $3,000 per year. However, we have a much large price tag and a lot of experience (we have been boating inshore and off shore for 25 years). The amount of experience and training will have a pretty big impact on cost. Your age and credit score (yes, your credit score) can also influence the cost.

4. We assume that our general maintenance cost for the boat will range around 5 to 10% of the price of the boat. In general, the more we are using the boat the less our overall costs have been. Our experience is that using the boat tends to keep everything working. You are looking at an older boat. Therefore, you should also budget for some surprises! Despite having a very well done survey, there will be costs that you won't expect. So, if I was spending $250,000 on a used boat, I would assume that it will cost me another $25,000 in the first year.

Others will be able to answer your other questions on direct costs in Florida.

Have fun shopping for your boat. Ask lots of questions. You will get lots of conflicting information. Sorting it out is part of the fun/challenge of the live aboard lifestyle.

Good luck

Shawn
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:11 PM   #4
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JD,
We are looking to do the same. We have been toying with the idea since 2006. We too originaly wanted a pilothouse but have since moved toward an aft cabin for the "screened in porch" with a cockpit.

Jung Charters and Chitwood Charters out of Sarasota and Southwest Florida Yachts out of Ft Myers would be great places to take one for a test drive. We did a 42' Jefferson at SWF Yachts and the 53' Selene from Chitwood and meet some folks on a GB 49 from Jung. All were good experiencies.

Good luck! Keep us posted on how things go.
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:19 PM   #5
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I do share the question a bit of your experience and approach to this. Perhaps some training necessary? What is your mechanical skill? You might well want to charter a bit in the area you're talking about to help you decide what size and type trawler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDBlack7 View Post
Okay guys & gals, I'm a newbie on the forum officially as of today.

I have a few questions to ask so I hope you guys will bare with me.

My plans are to sell my house within a year or so and buy a trawler and make it my new home. I will be paying cash so there won't be a loan. As of now, my intention is to live on the Gulf of Mexico with home base somewhere in Florida. Moms lives in Naples so it will probably be close to that area. I don't have children so that isn't a factor.
  1. Are there property taxes on yachts in Florida?

    NO
  2. What is the cost of registering your yacht in Florida, say something around the 50' range.

    $134.50 state plus some counties have additional small fees
  3. What's the estimated cost of insuring a yacht? Obviously I understand it depends of the vessel, year, # of engines, style of yacht. Let's say for argument sake, a 50' single screw trawler with the purchase price of 250K.

    Huge range depending on where kept, your experience, age of boat, coverage. I'd say given your example the range is from a low of $3000 to a high of $12000
  4. Dock fee's. Just a ball park figure for a 50', let's say Ft. Myer's. I'm sure Naples would be high end of this category.
    Ft Myers Yacht Basin is $9/foot per month on an annual basis plus $70 liveaboard plus electric plus parking if you have a car. Other rates will be higher or lower but I'd put a range of $400-800. Liveaboard is the bigger problem as there's a general shortage. But many options. You also have to figure out how much there and how much cruising which changes things a lot in terms of annual dockage
  5. How often would you need to dry dock your yacht for maintenance such as bottom painting & prop maintenance? Every 3 to 5 years? Sooner?
    We haul out annually. However inspections can be done in water and we do that regularly as well. As to painting it varies so widely based on age of boat and type of paint. It can range from 3 to 10 years.
  6. How often would you want to wash & wax your yacht being in a salt water climate?
    Wash every time you use it plus weekly if not used. Bottom cleaning is a big item. It's not quite as bad there as our area. We get our bottoms (excuse me, boat bottoms...wife wanted me to clear that up) cleaned every three to four weeks when home.
  7. What other fee's am I looking at besides the typical maintenance and fuel cost?Maintenance depends on age and condition. 5-10% of price of boat is general number used. But also depends on how much you do yourself and how much it's used. As to fuel, depends on boat, usage, and speed. Some average more than a mile per gallon, some up to three. We go in the other direction averaging 2 to 3 gallons per mile. We've even averaged far more than that on a couple of our charter trips. Fuel is a big factor in your selection of boats. The information is readily available on most boats and engine combinations.
Okay, now the fun part. I'm wanting a raised pilot house with possibly 3 state rooms. I looked at a 46' GB Europa while in Florida last week...beautiful boat. But, not a raised pilot house trawler and kitchen seemed a bit small for a boat you'd make your home. To me it seemed more of a trawler you'd spend a couple of weeks on, not a permanent home. I understand there are people out there who do make these yacht's their homes so please don't take that the wrong way.

I'm leaning more towards a single screw trawler with a get home back up engine. Being a single screw trawler, bow & stern thrusters would be a must. FB is a must as well.

So, what do you guys recommend for a quality trawler that I can make my new home? How fast do you want to go? Where do you want to go? Will your travel be mostly alone? So many factors. Why do you care about the galley? Do you cook a lot? Will you cook fancy meals inside or grill on deck? How many staterooms? How many and how frequent guests? Where you're going leads to draft questions. If you decide to loop then air draft. Galley up or down? Size of engine room a big issue. Do you want a watermaker? Single or spare gen too? What kind of fuel range do you need in your area you intend to cover? I do understand the desire for a flybridge although some don't agree but why raised Pilothouse? Vision driving? I've seen many not raised that are equal and steps always a potential hazard and nuisance. (I say that as a question because I like raised pilothouse but just wondering your reason). Why 3 staterooms? Gets tight on a boat that size and if I was cruising mostly alone I might choose fewer. Nothing wrong with someone occasionally sleeping in salon. Yes your single vs. twin question is a good one. We prefer twin but most trawler users prefer single. Some depends on where and how you'll use it but single certainly saves money.

Thanks so much for your input, I look forward to reading reply's.
I think first you need to experience some boats to find out in actual usage some of the things you like and don't like. Then look at many boats. Don't rush into the purchase. Do get a good survey when buying, hull and engines. I am a GB fan but many excellent boats to choose from. Are you happy with 8 knots or maximum of 10? Or do you want to be able to cruise at 10-15 or even 18-20? Don't underestimate the cost of getting the boat to the condition you want either.

I know I've asked mostly questions with few answers. However, the answers will only come to you after you've answered many of these questions for yourself. My ideal boat will not be yours. People here can tell you their ideal boat but not yours. They can only give more recommendations when you figure some things out.

Why 50'? Smaller is less expensive in all ways. Or with large groups and crew 50' might be small. There are many very happy with 35' and yet others who won't go under 60'.

What I would suggest you start is a list of your requirements. Start with things like where cruising, how much, how many people, how much cooking. Then things that fit what you come up with there. For instance, if mostly by yourself and occasionally another couple but rarely more then third stateroom drops off but if you, wife, two kids, mom, another couple are norm, it goes in the other direction.
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Old 04-12-2014, 06:19 PM   #6
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JD, if it helps, we approach boat shopping by first drawing up a list of features we prefer. In our case, and in no particular order, that would be stuff like:

- an easy-to-make master berth (i.e., mostly walk-around, centerline, etc.)
- a good head
- being able for one of us to shower while the other person uses the head
- swim platform with transom door (First Mutt, don't ya know)
- flying bridge
- stairs -- not a ladder-- to the flying bridge
And so forth. Your own criteria will likely vary.

And then we go find a boat attached to all that.

Sounds like you're on the same track with your idea about a raised pilothouse and 3 staterooms, but maybe if you flesh that out a bit it might become eaier to shop on Yachtworld (for example).

-Chris
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Old 04-12-2014, 06:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
JD, if it helps, we approach boat shopping by first drawing up a list of features we prefer. In our case, and in no particular order, that would be stuff like:

- an easy-to-make master berth (i.e., mostly walk-around, centerline, etc.)
- a good head
- being able for one of us to shower while the other person uses the head
- swim platform with transom door (First Mutt, don't ya know)
- flying bridge
- stairs -- not a ladder-- to the flying bridge
And so forth. Your own criteria will likely vary.

And then we go find a boat attached to all that.

Sounds like you're on the same track with your idea about a raised pilothouse and 3 staterooms, but maybe if you flesh that out a bit it might become eaier to shop on Yachtworld (for example).

-Chris
Also find that just exploring Yachtworld without shopping can be beneficial. See lots of different things and mentally note the likes and dislikes as you do.
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:01 PM   #8
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My family of five lives on our DeFever 48 for about six months a year full time. That's with three teenagers! We are never cramped for space accept the kids could always use more locker space but hey that's because they're slobs when it comes to putting anything away.
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:28 PM   #9
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Talk to lots of boaters and ask them what they love and don't like about their boats. We love the galley up. We entertain and enjoy a large open salon with a table we can move around. Our old boat had a fixed dinette and was not as good for entertaining.

Make your own list then find the boat that works for you.

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Old 04-12-2014, 11:28 PM   #10
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We don't like Galley Down.

Also, remember everything is by the foot. If you need a diver to scrub the bottom he charges by the foot. Haul out, by the foot. Dockage, by the foot. 50 foot vessel gonna cost some money. Instead of 2.5 gallons of bottom paint it may be much more. Just be prepared to take care of a big boat.
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:56 AM   #11
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I'm leaning more towards a single screw trawler with a get home back up engine.

A get home is useful (perhaps) on a vessel that transits Blue water ,
the boat you have selected is far from blue water capable , so why a get home engine? Sea Tow is cheap compared to engine maint.

Bow thrusters and stern thrusters are fine , but Learning how to handle the boat will do 95% of the docking tasks .
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:01 PM   #12
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Getting out of the rat race!

Thanks to everyone who replied to my thread, all of your reply's were very helpful and insightful.

First question I noticed was if I every owned or operated a yacht of this size and the answer is no. I have owned a 24' inboard ski boat, but obviously that's a different world, besides the basic understanding how a inboard boats maneuver, especially backing up...not very well. I will be taking a course on general yachtsmanship operation and so forth, any recommendations on a specific course would be great.

As far as maintenance and up keep goes, I'm a very mechanically inclined person so I'd probably be doing a majority of maintenance myself. I had my LS2 engine torn down to the short block so I doubt I'd be too intimidated by a diesel engine. If there's a manual for it then no problem. Taking a class probably wouldn't hurt, but if it's over my head I know when to call in the professionals. Changing out filters and fluids isn't rocket science, but if there's a trick to it then I'll learn how. I'm sure the fuel systems are pressurized since diesels operate off combustion pressure versus a electrical spark. There will be a learn curve for sure.

In regards to cleaning, it looks like I'll need to become certified on scuba diving so I can clean the bottom of my boat. Actually I had planned on getting certified regardless because if I'm living on a yacht and exploring the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and other destinations I'll definitely be doing some diving.

I'm blown away that a 50' yacht cost so much more to insure than my house does. I understand that it's a boat on the water and has engines and so forth but that seems high. I guess it all depends on the value of the vessel and replacement cost. I guess the insurance company's view boat/yacht ownership for people with deep pockets. I wonder, is it the liability aspect that drives the price up or some other factors...probably all above.

Now the dreaded single versus twin engines comparison. Double the engines double the maintenance cost? I always assumed that trawlers were relatively slow to start with? The 46' GB Europa I looked at in Punta Gorda stated that it had a maximum speed of 19 kn with a cruising speed of 9 kn with twin Cats. I would assume anything above cruising speed is going to burn a lot of diesel. I understand the maneuverability of twins when it comes to docking and overall speed, but doesn't that second engine up the operating and maintenance cost? I've only been on this forum for two days and seems like this is a really big debated topic.

Would someone please explain to me the difference between a fast trawler versus a displacement trawler. I think I may already know answer but then again I'm probably wrong. Which is capable of crossing a ocean versus hugging the costal shore line? Can single screw yacht not cross the Atlantic, or any other large body of water with a back up get home safe engine, generally speaking? What would be a max cruising speed be on a single screw engine, of course I understand that there's many variables, but would it be in the range of maximum 12 to 15 kn with a cruising speed of 8 to 9?

In regards to the style of trawler I'm interested in, that obviously boils down to personal preference. I think I'm realizing that something under 50' will be less costly to own and operate, so with that being the case, my search will probably be for something in the mid forties more than likely. RT Firefly above mentioned "that everything on a boat is a compromise". Probably isn't a truer statement when it comes to a boating lifestyle, but if I'm going to sell my house and commit to living a boat I'm surely going to shop around and hopefully get what I want. I guess it all comes down to dollars and what's available. I still have to sell my home and I just came up with this lifestyle change idea so I'm just starting this quest...dream.

Finally, a couple of people above recommended that I should rent a couple of trawlers and take a week out in the Gulf and judge for myself. That is a excellent idea!
The main reason I joined this forum was to educate myself and learn everything I could possibly learn before making that jump from a home/land owner to a yacht owner.

Thanks again for all of your responses, they were all very helpful and actually opened my eyes more to what is reality when it comes to living on a yacht. I look forward to reading and learning from your experiences.
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:01 PM   #13
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Some additional thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDBlack7 View Post
Thanks to everyone who replied to my thread, all of your reply's were very helpful and insightful.

First question I noticed was if I every owned or operated a yacht of this size and the answer is no. I have owned a 24' inboard ski boat, but obviously that's a different world, besides the basic understanding how a inboard boats maneuver, especially backing up...not very well. I will be taking a course on general yachtsmanship operation and so forth, any recommendations on a specific course would be great.

"It sounds like you are well on your way getting the training you will need. Now it is a matter of getting some actual experience. The good news that many of the modern design trawler are pretty easy to operate with a little practice."

As far as maintenance and up keep goes, I'm a very mechanically inclined person so I'd probably be doing a majority of maintenance myself. I had my LS2 engine torn down to the short block so I doubt I'd be too intimidated by a diesel engine. If there's a manual for it then no problem. Taking a class probably wouldn't hurt, but if it's over my head I know when to call in the professionals. Changing out filters and fluids isn't rocket science, but if there's a trick to it then I'll learn how. I'm sure the fuel systems are pressurized since diesels operate off combustion pressure versus a electrical spark. There will be a learn curve for sure.

"Having mechanical skills and a willingness to do the work will really help in managing your costs. I didn't know which end of a hammer to use when we purchased our first large boat. To learn, I would hire marine professionals to do work on the boat and pay a little extra to explain what they were doing. I ran into a mechanic that would come to do routine maintenance and then watch me as I did the work. Best money I ever spent, followed by getting the list of tools he recommended. All that said, I still find that the cost of ownership is more than expected and I have been a this for a while."

In regards to cleaning, it looks like I'll need to become certified on scuba diving so I can clean the bottom of my boat. Actually I had planned on getting certified regardless because if I'm living on a yacht and exploring the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and other destinations I'll definitely be doing some diving.

"I don't know about the marinas in Florida but many marinas in the PNW no longer allow divers cleaning the bottom of the boat. I am a certified diver and have cleaned th bottom our boat. It is a lot of work. I prefer to have it done by a diving service. Even with a diver, I still haul the boat once per year to do zincs and check the bottom."

I'm blown away that a 50' yacht cost so much more to insure than my house does. I understand that it's a boat on the water and has engines and so forth but that seems high. I guess it all depends on the value of the vessel and replacement cost. I guess the insurance company's view boat/yacht ownership for people with deep pockets. I wonder, is it the liability aspect that drives the price up or some other factors...probably all above.

"Yep, one of many little surprises you will get!"

Now the dreaded single versus twin engines comparison. Double the engines double the maintenance cost? I always assumed that trawlers were relatively slow to start with? The 46' GB Europa I looked at in Punta Gorda stated that it had a maximum speed of 19 kn with a cruising speed of 9 kn with twin Cats. I would assume anything above cruising speed is going to burn a lot of diesel. I understand the maneuverability of twins when it comes to docking and overall speed, but doesn't that second engine up the operating and maintenance cost? I've only been on this forum for two days and seems like this is a really big debated topic.

"This is a huge debate. We have a single engine trawler. I have crossed oceans in a single engine trawler. However, you will hear from others that feel very differently."

Would someone please explain to me the difference between a fast trawler versus a displacement trawler. I think I may already know answer but then again I'm probably wrong. Which is capable of crossing a ocean versus hugging the costal shore line? Can single screw yacht not cross the Atlantic, or any other large body of water with a back up get home safe engine, generally speaking? What would be a max cruising speed be on a single screw engine, of course I understand that there's many variables, but would it be in the range of maximum 12 to 15 kn with a cruising speed of 8 to 9?

"Trawlers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They break out generally into two groups. One group favor the full keel, heavy displacement approach, e.g. Nordhavn and Krogen. More recently a new design that combines a full keel that tapers to a flatter aft have become popular. These boats often have larger engines and are generally focused at folks that want to do extended cruising, eg., American Tugs, Nordic Tugs. We are currently waiting the delivery of our second American Tug. Our new boat will have the fast trawler but will have a continuous duty engine that is a little lower horse power than would be normal. It will have a top speed of 12 knots and have a cruising speed of around 9 to 10 knots. Salish Lady is meant to do extended coastal cruising but we do not expect to cross oceans."

In regards to the style of trawler I'm interested in, that obviously boils down to personal preference. I think I'm realizing that something under 50' will be less costly to own and operate, so with that being the case, my search will probably be for something in the mid forties more than likely. RT Firefly above mentioned "that everything on a boat is a compromise". Probably isn't a truer statement when it comes to a boating lifestyle, but if I'm going to sell my house and commit to living a boat I'm surely going to shop around and hopefully get what I want. I guess it all comes down to dollars and what's available. I still have to sell my home and I just came up with this lifestyle change idea so I'm just starting this quest...dream.

"RT Firefly is absolutely right every boat is a comprise. The trick is to really spend some time understanding what you want to accomplish with the boat. Any boat that fulfills most of those needs is the right boat."

Finally, a couple of people above recommended that I should rent a couple of trawlers and take a week out in the Gulf and judge for myself. That is a excellent idea!

"Getting actual hands on experience is very valuable, not to mention fun!"

The main reason I joined this forum was to educate myself and learn everything I could possibly learn before making that jump from a home/land owner to a yacht owner.

"The only caution I would offer is that we tend to be an opinioned lot. It get get a little difficult distinguishing opinion from fact and which opinion is more important to you. When we were starting out, it took us a while to figure how to filter all the good information and opinions. We found that we had to keep going back to our list of important needs."

Thanks again for all of your responses, they were all very helpful and actually opened my eyes more to what is reality when it comes to living on a yacht. I look forward to reading and learning from your experiences.
"Don't forget to have fun!"


Comments are imbedded above.

Shawn
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDBlack7 View Post
Thanks to everyone who replied to my thread, all of your reply's were very helpful and insightful.

First question I noticed was if I every owned or operated a yacht of this size and the answer is no. I have owned a 24' inboard ski boat, but obviously that's a different world, besides the basic understanding how a inboard boats maneuver, especially backing up...not very well. I will be taking a course on general yachtsmanship operation and so forth, any recommendations on a specific course would be great.

As far as maintenance and up keep goes, I'm a very mechanically inclined person so I'd probably be doing a majority of maintenance myself. I had my LS2 engine torn down to the short block so I doubt I'd be too intimidated by a diesel engine. If there's a manual for it then no problem. Taking a class probably wouldn't hurt, but if it's over my head I know when to call in the professionals. Changing out filters and fluids isn't rocket science, but if there's a trick to it then I'll learn how. I'm sure the fuel systems are pressurized since diesels operate off combustion pressure versus a electrical spark. There will be a learn curve for sure.

In regards to cleaning, it looks like I'll need to become certified on scuba diving so I can clean the bottom of my boat. Actually I had planned on getting certified regardless because if I'm living on a yacht and exploring the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and other destinations I'll definitely be doing some diving.

I'm blown away that a 50' yacht cost so much more to insure than my house does. I understand that it's a boat on the water and has engines and so forth but that seems high. I guess it all depends on the value of the vessel and replacement cost. I guess the insurance company's view boat/yacht ownership for people with deep pockets. I wonder, is it the liability aspect that drives the price up or some other factors...probably all above.

You haven't insured a home in a flood zone on the coast of Florida. Many factors influence boat insurance but the most significant is the occasional extreme loss of many boats during a storm or hurricane. Right now rates have risen due to Sandy. Years ago Andrew did it. And it doesn't just impact those in the area. The insurance companies have big losses to recover.

Now the dreaded single versus twin engines comparison. Double the engines double the maintenance cost? I always assumed that trawlers were relatively slow to start with? The 46' GB Europa I looked at in Punta Gorda stated that it had a maximum speed of 19 kn with a cruising speed of 9 kn with twin Cats. I would assume anything above cruising speed is going to burn a lot of diesel. I understand the maneuverability of twins when it comes to docking and overall speed, but doesn't that second engine up the operating and maintenance cost? I've only been on this forum for two days and seems like this is a really big debated topic. Like many things it is a matter of personal preference. Second engine definitely ups cost and we say that as owners only of twins.

Would someone please explain to me the difference between a fast trawler versus a displacement trawler. I think I may already know answer but then again I'm probably wrong. Which is capable of crossing a ocean versus hugging the costal shore line? Can single screw yacht not cross the Atlantic, or any other large body of water with a back up get home safe engine, generally speaking? What? Crossing an ocean hugging the shore line? In crossing oceans you are a long long way from shore lines. Cross the Atlantic in an 8 knot boat and from Bermuda to the Azores you'll be at sea nearly two weeks between the islands. No shore. What would be a max cruising speed be on a single screw engine, of course I understand that there's many variables, but would it be in the range of maximum 12 to 15 kn with a cruising speed of 8 to 9? Please don't let the group go wild debating the labels. Let's simplify it without labels. Some boats are designed to only go at displacement speeds, that is speeds not much more than the hull speed. The hull speed, depending on the boat, is something like 1.3 times the square root of the waterline length. So take a 46 foot boat that is 40' at the waterline and the hull speed is about 8 knots. A true displacement vessel in this range will go about 8-10 knots, perhaps up to 12. The boat is designed to be efficient especially at hull speed. But adding power doesn't add much to it as it takes a lot of additional horsepower to get any additional speed. At the other end of the spectrum you have planing hulls like your inboard was. They are designed to rise up on the water under power and obtain speed as they travel mostly along the top of the water. Very little of the hull remains in the water for the most efficient of them, such as racing boats. Everything else is in between. Boats are called semi-displacement, fast trawler, semi-planing, fast displacement and many other things. But what they all have in common is that while they're often used at displacement speeds they are also designed to achieve higher speeds with a hull design that has some planing features and can lift it up a bit in the water. These boats can generally go faster than a full displacement (typically have a fast cruise at 15-20 knots). However, they can also be used at displacement speeds. However, because they often have larger engines, they are not as cheap to operate at displacement speeds as a true displacement boat with a small single engine. Still for many a great compromise. Many manufacturers like Grand Banks that were once builders of single engine displacement boats migrated into the twin engine semi displacement arena. Others such as Nordhavn never have strayed, well until Nordhavn's latest introduction.

In regards to the style of trawler I'm interested in, that obviously boils down to personal preference. I think I'm realizing that something under 50' will be less costly to own and operate, so with that being the case, my search will probably be for something in the mid forties more than likely. RT Firefly above mentioned "that everything on a boat is a compromise". Probably isn't a truer statement when it comes to a boating lifestyle, but if I'm going to sell my house and commit to living a boat I'm surely going to shop around and hopefully get what I want. I guess it all comes down to dollars and what's available. I still have to sell my home and I just came up with this lifestyle change idea so I'm just starting this quest...dream.

Finally, a couple of people above recommended that I should rent a couple of trawlers and take a week out in the Gulf and judge for myself. That is a excellent idea!
The main reason I joined this forum was to educate myself and learn everything I could possibly learn before making that jump from a home/land owner to a yacht owner.

Thanks again for all of your responses, they were all very helpful and actually opened my eyes more to what is reality when it comes to living on a yacht. I look forward to reading and learning from your experiences.
There are very few boats in the range you're talking about that are capable of crossing oceans. They are neither constructed and designed to do so nor do they have the fuel range, not to mention the food and water ranges. A Nordhavn 47 may be the exception but thats an entirely different breed of boat weighing exponentially more than other boats in that size range. For you it becomes more a matter of hugging the shores of the Gulf and then perhaps the East Coast and possibly picking windows to cross the Gulf to perhaps Pensacola and possibly picking windows to cross to the Bahamas. It will be important to think of all the cruising you want to do. First, think of where the vast majority will be. Then think of where you might want to go just on rare occasions. After that then figure out whether to select a boat just for the majority or one to also handle those other occasions. Coastal cruisers versus ocean crossing vessels are two very different requirements.
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:53 PM   #15
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And FWIW, there's "crossing oceans" (e.g., transatlantic) and there's "coastal cruising"... but many "coastal" boats are quite suitable for puttering around the Caribbean or crossing (or maybe more like circumnavigating) the Gulf. Yes, weather windows and hopping distances can be important, more so for some boats than for others... but often, people comfort is more limiting than the boat's capabilities.

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Old 04-13-2014, 01:55 PM   #16
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Actually as forums go the opinions here are well articulated as opinion versus fact. You'll be able to discern. If someone says two engines are more expensive than one, that's obviously fact. If they say, I'd never want twin engines, then that's opinion.

Where this forum is slanted is toward Trawler type cruising. Note many here don't have a boat others would label a Trawler (actually I don't know if anyone here owns a true Trawler by definition). But almost everyone here Trawls or at least Cruises with extended trips spending their time on their boat.

We all have our specific prejudices but hopefully we recognize them as our own idiosyncrasies. For instance, my wife and I do like more speed. We don't want a boat that won't go at least 20 knots but we come from a lake background going over 50 knots. Still, we fully recognize that most people here are more than happy with 8-12 knots and that is for many the most sensible way to get into boating and cruising. So in this regard it's more listen to us that do as we do.

There are also sport cruisers than only occasionally get discussed here, but that is boats like Sea Ray, Marquis, Carver, and Cruisers. They aren't trawlers but they're very popular boats and many of their owners use them just like they would a trawler. They will use more fuel but they are another choice. There are other boats that you'd never classify as Trawlers such as Hatteras and other boats from sportsfishing builders. But Hatteras built some great boats in your size range including some designed for Long Range Cruising. We're probably going to get a Hatteras 60' to do the loop. Very non traditional loop boat, but still a good one, even though with larger engines and twins more expensive to operate.

I do think this forum will lead you well as you fit into the mainstream of users here. If you were a go-fast boat aficionado looking at Fountains or Hustlers then their opinions wouldn't assist you much.

The biggest thing I'd say now is don't rush. I wouldn't plan on having a boat before I moved, but relocate and search and learn there. Talk to the others in the area. You might decide you want to live on Lake Okeechobee. Or in the Keys. Maybe have no "home" but just a favorite local port as you travel from place to place. Year one is probably learning and selecting a boat. Year two is likely getting your boat in the condition you want and learning it as well as learning to operate and maintain it. Most likely not straying too far from home and not far from shore. Then each year thereafter you'll get a little more adventurous as you find out what you really enjoy. We can't tell you today what that will be nor can you possibly know. I know some cruisers who want to constantly be on the move. I know others who find going 20 miles from their home marina and anchoring in a favorite spot for two weeks to be paradise. They feel no need to venture far. Some of us, my wife and I especially, are totally insane in our quest to see every part of the hemisphere that has water perhaps followed by the world. Right now we haven't been on the water for a week, are in NC having withdrawal, so going to rent a boat tomorrow to get out on the lake we lived on before moving to FL.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
And FWIW, there's "crossing oceans" (e.g., transatlantic) and there's "coastal cruising"... but many "coastal" boats are quite suitable for puttering around the Caribbean or crossing (or maybe more like circumnavigating) the Gulf. Yes, weather windows and hopping distances can be important, more so for some boats than for others... but often, people comfort is more limiting than the boat's capabilities.

Within reason.

-Chris
So true. Often the Captain is far more important than the boat. When we first moved to Florida we wouldn't have thought of crossing to the Bahamas without a professional captain at the helm, or even going from Fort Lauderdale to the Keys or to Daytona. Now, two years and 25,000 nautical miles later, going to the Bahamas or Key West or Daytona is like crossing the lake in NC use to be. They're all part of our backyard. Now the cruise we're soon going to undertake in the PNW and Alaska is a totally different issue and we will have someone for the Alaska part with tons of local knowledge and experience.

One thing you might also find is that there are a lot of experienced boaters in Florida without boats, mostly older. You have to be very selective but some of them might love to accompany you on some of your trips and teach you some of the ropes. I'd even recommend hiring a professional captain at first who specializes in teaching and letting him teach you on your boat how to operate it. Could even be a captain you meet while chartering.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:19 AM   #18
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>I think I'm realizing that something under 50' will be less costly to own and operate, so with that being the case, my search will probably be for something in the mid forties more than likely.<

Mostly in slip costs. And in haul outs . Both can be avoided.

A larger boat sadly is frequently more complex as more stuff can be crammed aboard.

A big simple boat is very little more expensive than a smaller simple boat.

Add bow thrusters , stern thrusters , water makers , scuba compressor multiple noisemakers and all the electronics to know the stern bearing temp while you are in the head , and it gets expensive.

Chart plotter $2k , hand held marine GPS , under $200.

Your choice weather you want to pay to purchase , install, maintain , repair and replace all the stuff some folks seem to require.

A great windlass is certainly a cruising requirement , FLIR? maybe not.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:41 AM   #19
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I think the biggest, simplest principle for somebody new to bigger boating has been mentioned once before: don't underestimate the cost of maintenance and operation. That previous annual figure of 10% of the value of the boat might be a little low. It depends on the boat you choose of course, the condition, your location (salt water, fresh, San Diego, South Dakota), but that 10% figure is just about right for us too. Might sound way too high, and I'm very handy too and very well equipped with tools and a shop - but boating is not cheap.
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:46 AM   #20
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Mr JDBlack7
You have asked a number of questions about the physical, design and financial issues surrounding ownership and you have had a number of responses. I would suggest to also consider the social issues.

I did not notice any mention of a traveling companion. A fifty foot boat is very tough but not impossible to dock single handed. As well with the exception of a very few personality types, it is also not much fun to operate alone.

On the other hand if you do have a companion it would be very wise to strongly engage this person in the selection and the acclimatization of that vessel. As much as boating can be about driving and going somewhere more often it is about living aboard and enjoying your friends, family and fellow boaters.
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