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Old 10-16-2014, 01:28 PM   #1
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How do you use your large "Trawler"???

How do you use your large motor yacht or trawler?

Is this changing as you get older?

Because of its size and comfort a large boat is much more than a boat. It really is a second home.

Right now we use our 4788 Bayliner as a "get out of town" platform during our relativly short Alaskan boating season . We typically take off for 3-5 days at a time, go anchor off in some wel known and some new anchorages and go fishing. This get out of town or get away thought is tempered by the fact that we live right on a lake where people get out of town to. I have a dock in my front yard and all that goes along with that. We cruise the lake every single day we're home. If we lived in town, in a subdivision, things would be much different.

We didn't buy the boat to do that though. We bought the boat as a mobile condo to use as a base camp to go exploring. It was kinda a fuzzy dream when we bought the boat, this idea of cruising. I think we'll like it, but honestly I cant be sure until we give it a try. The wife is not as sure as I am. She predicts we'lll try it, and end up bringing the boat back to Alaska, and spending winters in Hawaii, or the gulf Coast. Possibly buying a second home somewhere affordable.

In December we are taking off for a couple of weeks and exploring the California coast by car. An old fashioned road trip. No real schedule, just go where it sounds interesting. The goal of this trip, (besides getting away from the snow and ice), is to see if our idea of extended cruising along that coast is viable to us. We're going to look ant the towns, and the harbors, and try to picture ourselves spending the winters harbor hopping from say Santa Cruz to San Diego. We might go through the Delta area as well.

This trip is a big deal regarding our future plans. If we look things over and think, nice but I don't feel the need to come back, then our plans will shift. If we are driven to return and explore then we'll get serious about making this happen.

So what do you do with your large boat? Is what you are doing now the end game for your boating, or is there more on the horizon?
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:40 PM   #2
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Extened stays

We are planning on taking ours south come this summer. After moving aboard two years ago we have been working on systems and getting ready. Last weekend we poked our nose out the Golden Gate for the second time, going to Half Moon Bay for a long weekend after Fleet Week. A one way trip south, living aboard full time, slowing enjoying the California Coastline and timing our trip to join the 2015 FURBAR.

But I guess the short answer to your question of what do we do with out boat, it to live aboard full time. We are looking forward to traveling slowly and bringing our house with us. I continue to tell our friends and kids, " Don't think of us moving away, think that where ever we are, you have a destination vacation spot."

We are starting to work on installing solar panels to help keep the batteries topped off and the sun off the flybridge, with the last few steps of getting a new lift raft and ebirps, till right before we go.

But we just it every day and wake up each morning still wondering when we'll wake up from the dream.
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:31 PM   #3
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I think those still working vs. those like my wife and me who are mostly retired are going to have very different answers. We're also younger than many here. Since April, we have explored all the Washington waters we could, from sound to lake to islands, British Columbia, and made a trip through Alaska. You live in Seward so you've seen from there south I would assume. But most don't go beyond the southern area.

Next on our exploration in the area we went to the Columbia River and to Portland. We explored a hundred miles or so east of Portland but didn't go further than that on the Columbia.

The trip from Astoria to San Francisco is challenging. But there are enough marinas. The inlets vary and can be difficult but normally good knowledge is available, especially from the Coast Guard and commercial fishermen. We only made 6 intermediate stops. However, the possible stops are Garibaldi, Newport, Suislaw, Winchester, Coos Bay/Charleston, Gold Beach, Brookings, Crescent City, Eureka, Fort Bragg/Noyo, and Bodega Bay.

Then it's San Francisco and after that on down the coast. And yes we'll work the Delta in before going further. The bay area has so much to see and enjoy.

Our pattern has evolved and is rather simple now. We typically spend 6 weeks cruising and then fly home for 3 weeks, repeat often until satisfied.

In the seas and sounds of Washington and British Columbia, we could have spent 5 times as much time and still longed for more. We found every city and every town had so much to offer. There was so much to cover. And each island has some uniqueness. We found every destination in Alaska was worthy of a few days at least and there were many places we didn't get to.

Going south we enjoyed Gray's Harbor and Westport. The Columbia river to Portland was nice. We did love Portland. As to going further east there might have been some jewels, but it all looked like it was going to be the same for a long way and many locks.

Between Astoria and San Francisco, we found most of the stops could be fairly thoroughly enjoyed in a single day and some in less. There are very limited things to see. Had we spent more time it probably would have been more exploring in our tender.

Seeing new places or old places in a new light is an experience we very much enjoy. People think you're crazy when you live in Fort Lauderdale but take delivery of a boat in Washington. Oh, how little they know. Will take a long time to get home by boat but what pleasure along the way.

Now a boat to us is a second home. But we are not at a point or place in life it could become our only home. We experimented with length of time away from home. We did stretch it to two months for Alaska. We've done some one month stretches. For us six weeks just became right. It's at that point the desire to get home and see family and friends is strong and we don't think we'd enjoy another two weeks as much as we enjoy it when we go back. In learning, the time we tried to stretch we were in Annapolis and our last part of our trip was to be Baltimore. We'd been out six weeks and were thinking of home. We went to Baltimore and returned the next day. Not the fault of the city, but nothing appealed to us that day. Back to Annapolis, another couple of days there and a trip home. Now when we flew back and then went to Baltimore we had a great time there. Our point is to never press it to the point it's any less enjoyable.

We're also never alone on these long trips so can't really comment on how it is with just husband and wife for extended times. We've made a few shorter trips alone and had a great time. But for us, others do enhance the experience. A simple example was glaciers. We never thought that much about visiting Alaska but as we did think of it we got more and more excited. Seeing the first glaciers of our lives was incredible. Now, someone commented to us that they all start to look the same. Not when you have different people joining us. We saw them through our eyes and then enjoyed seeing them the first time through the eyes of others.

We love the water. Before moving to FL, we lived on a lake in NC. We could never get enough of it. But had we been retired we would have longed to explore new waters such as the TN river. But our weekends, our vacations, and many afternoons were on the water, year round. The funny thing is we were never as attached to our friends in NC as we are in FL. We might have been able to have become full time liveaboards. But now there are people in our lives that we just love coming home to.

Well, that's the view of just two of us. So far the east coast, the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, and the west coast only down to San Francisco. A world of adventures ahead.
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:54 PM   #4
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We don't have a trawler but the plan is in 9 years to pick up the boat in Hong Kong and make our way to the PI. Explore the PI, the Marianas, Palau/Pelieu, and make our way to Fiji via the Solomons. I would like to spend some time in parts of Indonesia but the security in those areas is iffy at this point as it is in places in the Solomons and New Guinea. Those areas might get a quick cruise through see specific areas due to security issues.

Once down to Espiritu Santo and New Caledonia possibilities really open up depending on the season. We want to see Aussie Land, New Zealand and then the Pacific islands. We figure it will take 3-5 years to visit places on our list before heading back to the US. I THINK we would head back via Hawaii and then the PNW but Japan does call. Might be better to just fly to Japan.

From the PNW it is off to visit Alaska and eventually head back south to Panama and the Galapagos. After getting through the canal we would head to the US east coast to visit places I used to live and boat in FLA, stay in the Bahamas and up the east coast. Eventually head to Ireland and the UK. We would love to see Norway and other Nordic countries but that will be dependent on EU rules.

Eventually health issues will force us to sell the boat to return to land to die.

As our oldest says, YOLO! You Only Live Once!

We are off very soon to visit the boat yard, though it is a bit early plan wise, but an opportunity popped up that was too good to turn down.

Later,
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:45 PM   #5
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On stands in the boatyard!!!
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:55 PM   #6
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The boat is Portland. We've not seen her since last Dec. I was hurt last Oct & my next Dr. appt is the end of next week. We'll be on her for the winter doing the things we to do for her & then out of Portland & either going north for a short bit our not, and then work our way to San Carlos, Mexico. Taking our time. We told all the kids & friends - if you want to see us - find us on the boat!!
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:01 PM   #7
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Sometimes I drink champagne on the fly bridge and snicker at all the little people.
Sometimes I dump buckets of cash on the master state room bunk and roll around in it.
Other times I cruise around the harbor with it and ask other boaters if they have any Grey Poupon.
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:46 PM   #8
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A one way trip south, living aboard full time, slowing enjoying the California Coastline and timing our trip to join the 2015 FURBAR.

We are looking forward to traveling slowly and bringing our house with us.

That is our plan as well. One harbor at a time. Get tired of that place and when the weather is nice, move on.
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:48 PM   #9
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Some have heard this explanation before, if so disregard. Moonstruck is used for why it was bought. Because of obligations at home, she was chosen because she is fast and comfortable. Dreams of reaching distant shores have been abandoned, but all is not lost.

We primarily cruise the Chesapeake, ICW, Florida, Keys, and Bahamas. Notice they are all places easily accessible. The kicker is that Moonstruck never comes home with us. Our use is different from most in that we take her to an area to leave her for a period of time while cruising the area. We usually leave her in an area for a few months, but she has been in the present location for almost 2 years. Doing this over the years has caused us to feel at home in many places. Some we go back to.

The reason so long in the present location is the area has great facilities for servicing the boats. You can get everything from custom mattresses to skilled tradesmen that can do most anything. I decided while there to get a lot of work done that has taken several months.

After a few winter cruises in South Florida this winter, we will start working our way North. This time probably short stays in St. Augustine and Jacksonville. We would like to do the St. Johns. Then working our way back to SC, and then the Chesapeake. So, we are looking at a year or two there. Then we will decide whether to winter over in the Chesapeake, and go up to Maine. However, we could decide to head back to SW Florida as we like that.

I don't know if you would call us semi-permanent residents or itinerants. Whatever, we are boat people doing what works for us.
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:58 PM   #10
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We bought our old diesel cruiser with four objectives in mind:

1. Explore the coastal waters between the San Juan Islands and Prince Rupert in BC. We've been flying this area for nearly three decades (plus SE Alaska)and we wanted to add the experience and adventure of exploring the region by boat.

2. Obtain a "getaway" cabin on the water away from the Puget Sound area that we can use year-round regardless of the weather. This is why we keep the boat up near the BC border about 100 miles from our home. We can drive there in less than 2 hours.

3. Have a place where we can get away from having to deal with people. I deal with all kinds of people from all over the planet every day at work, whether I'm home or, as I am right now, in places like Malaysia and the UAE. It's a great job and I and my crew are given opportunities to see and do things all over the world. But on my own time, we don't want to deal with anyone (with regards to boating) other than a very small handful of friends from here and Europe.

(Helpful hint: if one visits the marina where we moor our boat, and happens to see our boat, please do not come over and say hi. My wife is far more polite than I am, but I will have no problem conveying that a dockside chat is not something we want to have. Thank you. The Management)

4. Have something besides a house and yard that my wife and I can use as a hobby of sorts, learning how to do various things together like painting, wood finishing, etc. with no real value penalties incurred as we move up the learning curve.

So far, the boat has met all four objectives perfectly and we see no changes to how we use our boat in the foreseeable future.
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Old 10-16-2014, 11:37 PM   #11
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:20 AM   #12
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My boat has become a weekend home

Unfortunately my cruising plans were put on hold right after we bought this boat. So it sits in probably the best destination in the Delta, with no reason to leave the dock. Most of the summer weekends are spent towing skiers or just chilling in perhaps the most scenic town on the river. This spring will be different, north to Alaska unless plans change. My boat is my home, so between working on boats for hire and living the dream, I get a lot of time around boats. So not being far from the mountains I get up there as often as I can. The Hatteras being a slow boat really limits cruising to distant destinations on weekends. A trip to Monterrey is a 4 day round trip, San Francisco needs three days. My girl friend just had hip surgery so we have four months to cruise and discover whether she likes the life style. So it looks like I will cruise down to the Channel Islands this winter and maybe even San Diego. That should give us some warm weather cruising followed up with a careful bash back up to the Bay Area. That should give her some confidence in me and the boat. If that doesn't work out, perhaps back to dirt with a large trailerable.
Kevin if you come down and I'm still in California I'll be disappointed if we can't get together. I'd love to show you around the delta.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:39 AM   #13
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Unfortunately my cruising plans were put on hold right after we bought this boat. So it sits in probably the best destination in the Delta, with no reason to leave the dock. Most of the summer weekends are spent towing skiers or just chilling in perhaps the most scenic town on the river. This spring will be different, north to Alaska unless plans change. My boat is my home, so between working on boats for hire and living the dream, I get a lot of time around boats. So not being far from the mountains I get up there as often as I can. The Hatteras being a slow boat really limits cruising to distant destinations on weekends. A trip to Monterrey is a 4 day round trip, San Francisco needs three days. My girl friend just had hip surgery so we have four months to cruise and discover whether she likes the life style. So it looks like I will cruise down to the Channel Islands this winter and maybe even San Diego. That should give us some warm weather cruising followed up with a careful bash back up to the Bay Area. That should give her some confidence in me and the boat. If that doesn't work out, perhaps back to dirt with a large trailerable.
Kevin if you come down and I'm still in California I'll be disappointed if we can't get together. I'd love to show you around the delta.
Thanks Steve, The same goes for your trip to Alaska next summer.

Did your girlfriend get a new hip???

I'm going in for that in January myself.
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:28 AM   #14
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However, the possible stops are Garibaldi, Newport, Suislaw, Winchester, Coos Bay/Charleston, Gold Beach, Brookings, Crescent City, Eureka, Fort Bragg/Noyo, and Bodega Bay.
What sort of experience have others had when stopping off in Bodega Bay?

I cruised in for a rest with some buddies after having spent days in 20ft seas cruising down from Seattle. The locals seemed sorta distant but civilized. The local commercial fisherman however (whom are the bulk of the population) were real A-holes. Playing chicken with my boat (pretending to ram it). Bragging about shooting sea lions all the time. I didn't pull in there with a gold-plated yacht or an attitude either.

Was a shame for a city with an interesting history and a huge pod of elephant seals guarding the entry channel.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:25 AM   #15
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Sometimes I drink champagne on the fly bridge and snicker at all the little people.
Sometimes I dump buckets of cash on the master state room bunk and roll around in it.
Other times I cruise around the harbor with it and ask other boaters if they have any Grey Poupon.
To funny, I was the engineer on "Just Enought" when that video was shot. We were anchored in Biscayne Bay for a couple of days to shoot it for/with the company that makes those inflatable toys.

I can attest to the fact that while the slide is a blast to go down, it's a PITA to set up and take down.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:47 AM   #16
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I've not had any bad experiences in Bodega Bay with people.

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What sort of experience have others had when stopping off in Bodega Bay?

I cruised in for a rest with some buddies after having spent days in 20ft seas cruising down from Seattle. The locals seemed sorta distant but civilized. The local commercial fisherman however (whom are the bulk of the population) were real A-holes. Playing chicken with my boat (pretending to ram it). Bragging about shooting sea lions all the time. I didn't pull in there with a gold-plated yacht or an attitude either.

Was a shame for a city with an interesting history and a huge pod of elephant seals guarding the entry channel.
Not much commercial fishing in Bodega Bay nowadays. Mostly tourists and sport fisherman. The channel is very narrow and the bay very shallow. Do you think that may have played into the near ramming. In fact most of the bay dries at low tide. That is a rough bit of coastline, Tomales Bay on the south end of Bodega bay has the most dangerous bar on the California coast. When were you there.
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Old 10-17-2014, 11:16 AM   #17
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What sort of experience have others had when stopping off in Bodega Bay?

I cruised in for a rest with some buddies after having spent days in 20ft seas cruising down from Seattle. The locals seemed sorta distant but civilized. The local commercial fisherman however (whom are the bulk of the population) were real A-holes. Playing chicken with my boat (pretending to ram it). Bragging about shooting sea lions all the time. I didn't pull in there with a gold-plated yacht or an attitude either.

Was a shame for a city with an interesting history and a huge pod of elephant seals guarding the entry channel.
We were only there overnight but our experience was fine. As to fishermen, well we had one on board who always makes friends with the fishermen anywhere we go. They talk the same language. We had no crazy experiences like someone pretending to ram. Maybe the fact it was warm and several aboard had on bikinis helped. We've really not encountered problems on our travels.
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:44 PM   #18
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She is the hospital right now

Kevin, this will be her second hip. Two to three days in the hospitals recuperating. Last time she was up and around In a couple of weeks. Full recovery four months. When we met one of the first questions I asked her when we met was can you walk. After a lifetime of jazzersize she was seriously put off by the question. Two hips later and I hope she can.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:23 PM   #19
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Kevin, this will be her second hip. Two to three days in the hospitals recuperating. Last time she was up and around In a couple of weeks. Full recovery four months. When we met one of the first questions I asked her when we met was can you walk. After a lifetime of jazzersize she was seriously put off by the question. Two hips later and I hope she can.
Thanks Steve!

They're telling this will go well, and I should be back to pretty much normal life at 6 weeks post op. I'm hoping, but I'm prepared to be out as long as it takes (thanks AFLAC ).

I have to be able to pass a "fit for duty" physical test to come back to work. Even though I dont do it any more my job description says I have to be able to climb towers to 200', so they are pretty serious here in the oil patch.
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:40 PM   #20
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Not much commercial fishing in Bodega Bay nowadays. Mostly tourists and sport fisherman. The channel is very narrow and the bay very shallow. Do you think that may have played into the near ramming. In fact most of the bay dries at low tide. That is a rough bit of coastline, Tomales Bay on the south end of Bodega bay has the most dangerous bar on the California coast. When were you there.
Granted I was there a bit over 10 years ago, so hopefully things are more civilized these days.
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