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Old 09-12-2016, 12:37 PM   #1
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Looking to make the jump to an aft cabin...

Hello all! I'll try to keep this short. I'm 35, with a wife and a 2 1/2 yr old little girl. We currently boat on Lake Norman in Charlotte NC with our 20' open bow. We absolutely love the idea of moving up to something that'll allow us to enjoy the lake even more. Our group of friends all have the same type boat, and we usually will meet at a cove, tie up and float and hang out. We all have little kids and they all love it. Our friends love the idea of us getting a large boat (of course they do). We could all still tie up do what we normall do, but the kids would be able to take naps in the AC.

That being said, it would be awesome to be able to have something that we can spend the weekend on. We have been doing a ton of research and understand the costs and headaches that come with owning a large boat. One thing we also would love to be able to do would be able to ship the boat to Charleston, SC and leave it there for a season. We'd be able to drive 3 hrs to our boat and plan small 3 day weekend trips all over the place. We also fly for free, so we could park the boat at any large city on the east coast and fly home. We would love to eventually get the boat to the Bahamas and leave it there for a while. Of course the majority of its use will be on our lake.

Our biggest problem we are running into is shipping. I got in touch with a reputable boat mover and he explained that he has permits for beams up to 14'. The height is the problem. He said that we can go higher than 13' 6" tall loaded on the trailer, it it'll require a pole car and a special route.

We love the Mainship 36' aft cabin. The specs I've found look like its about 13' 5" tall. Then add a couple of feet for the trailer. I know taking the flybridge off regularly is out of the question. Is there anything else, like taking props off, that'll allow us to get it a little lower?

Express cruisers would be easier to ship, but it's just not what we are looking for.

And Carver 32 aft cabin is also a contender; but I think it's even higher than the Mainship. Our budget is mid 20's.

Anyway, I'd love to hear some opinions. A lot of people say that shipping is such a pain that it would be easier to just charger a boat and leave ours on the lake. To me that sounds like a waste. Shipping will cost probably about 2k each way. So for the cost of a 1 week charter, we could have a season long vacation.

Thanks guys! Looking forward to hearing your opinions, good or bad.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:48 PM   #2
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Steve, my first impression is that your solution is probably two boats. Shipping back and forth would be expensive. Maybe better to buy the boat that would best suit for each use then sell it when done?
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:56 PM   #3
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Steve, my first impression is that your solution is probably two boats. Shipping back and forth would be expensive. Maybe better to buy the boat that would best suit for each use then sell it when done?
It would be expensive. But we would probably only have it shipped once every other year. Two boats is not an option unfortunately. Thanks for the suggestion though.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:47 PM   #4
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You just have to find a boat you like that fits beam and height wise. Shipping isn't too difficult if you don't have to remove a flybridge. It's done all the time.

With shipping it every other year, it sounds like this means that for two years you won't have a boat on Lake Norman, which is convenient to where you live. No you intend also to sleep on the boat on Lake Norman? Or just on the coast?

It's just hard for us to imagine boats that we'd like on both bodies of water. Are you thinking gas or diesel.

Let's talk Charleston a moment. On Lake Norman you'd use the boat some number of weekends in a year. Let's say it's 20. The question is with the drive to Charleston, how many weekends would you use it? Would you do the drive down on Friday night, return on Sunday night routine or would that get tiring and soon you'd find yourself only boating when you had several days.

Before we had a home on Lake Norman, we kept our boat on the water at a marina, then at our dock. We used it every possible chance, but had it been 3 1/2 hours away plus required some packing we would have had substantially less use in a year.

I don't know your boating pattern but this would sure change it. My prediction would be that you'll find you prefer having it at one location rather than the other and the shipping will stop.
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:42 PM   #5
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Steve
A good shipping trailer should add inches not feet.
My experience is they want prop (s) removed and the shaft/rudder sit down between the rails.
Removing rudder and or sand shoe may also decrease loaded ht.
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Old 09-12-2016, 05:34 PM   #6
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You just have to find a boat you like that fits beam and height wise. Shipping isn't too difficult if you don't have to remove a flybridge. It's done all the time.

With shipping it every other year, it sounds like this means that for two years you won't have a boat on Lake Norman, which is convenient to where you live. No you intend also to sleep on the boat on Lake Norman? Or just on the coast?

It's just hard for us to imagine boats that we'd like on both bodies of water. Are you thinking gas or diesel.

Let's talk Charleston a moment. On Lake Norman you'd use the boat some number of weekends in a year. Let's say it's 20. The question is with the drive to Charleston, how many weekends would you use it? Would you do the drive down on Friday night, return on Sunday night routine or would that get tiring and soon you'd find yourself only boating when you had several days.

Before we had a home on Lake Norman, we kept our boat on the water at a marina, then at our dock. We used it every possible chance, but had it been 3 1/2 hours away plus required some packing we would have had substantially less use in a year.

I don't know your boating pattern but this would sure change it. My prediction would be that you'll find you prefer having it at one location rather than the other and the shipping will stop.
Good questions, I'm sorry I wasn't more clear.

Here is what our plan is. Take our time finding a boat that we really like over the winter and purchase one in the spring. We want to shop around, walk onto as many boats as we can, find out what people like and what they don't like. Hopefully we'll find "the one" and purchase in the spring. We would spend at the very least, one whole year on the lake with it. We boat mostly on the weekdays and usually we are meeting up with someone.

During that year, I want to make it ours. Fix what needs it, upgrade what me need to, and mostly, get a feel for the boat. The next year I'd like to plan our first trip. We'd have it shipped to Charleston probably early spring. It would be like a season long vacation, one week at a time. We could easily drive down Friday night, boat Saturday and Sunday, and drive home Sunday night. Every once in a while, we will have more days off. I'd love to use transient slips and make our way up and down the east coast. Maybe eventually getting to the Bahamas.


Our friends are always going out on the lake. So we'll always have someone to take is out. After our trip is over, months later, we'd have it shipped back to lake Norman. It will be expensive, so we'd probably only do this every other year. Maybe the next trip will be down the Mississippi.

Thats our dream anyway. My wife, by the way, is even more excited about this than I am if you can believe it.
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Old 09-12-2016, 05:34 PM   #7
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Steve
A good shipping trailer should add inches not feet.
My experience is they want prop (s) removed and the shaft/rudder sit down between the rails.
Removing rudder and or sand shoe may also decrease loaded ht.
That's good to know, thank you.
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Old 09-12-2016, 05:39 PM   #8
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Thats our dream anyway. My wife, by the way, is even more excited about this than I am if you can believe it.
Wifey B: I can believe it.
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Old 09-12-2016, 05:56 PM   #9
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Some boats can remove the fly bridge. Albin 36, but it not something to do every few years as it is glassed in place.


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Old 09-12-2016, 06:27 PM   #10
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Keep working the options - that's how realization of the dream happens.


I have had an express cruiser hauled over land - but not sure I would ever do that with a bridge boat. If I did, I would have the crew that was going to put it back together do the disassembly.


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Old 09-12-2016, 06:35 PM   #11
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I think you meant mid 200's on price and not mid 20's. That said, you might look for a boat in the 30 foot range that you can trailer yourself with a 1 ton truck. For example, the Ranger Tug series up to 31 feet can be trailered and used ones fall into that price range. Here is one for sale in Florida, 2014 Ranger Tug 31 CB Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com.


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Old 09-12-2016, 07:59 PM   #12
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Keep working the options - that's how realization of the dream happens.


I have had an express cruiser hauled over land - but not sure I would ever do that with a bridge boat. If I did, I would have the crew that was going to put it back together do the disassembly.


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Well that crew would be me. That way if something went wrong I'd have only me to blame.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:31 PM   #13
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I think you meant mid 200's on price and not mid 20's. That said, you might look for a boat in the 30 foot range that you can trailer yourself with a 1 ton truck. For example, the Ranger Tug series up to 31 feet can be trailered and used ones fall into that price range. Here is one for sale in Florida, 2014 Ranger Tug 31 CB Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com.


Tom
Man I wish! That reminds me, gotta go pick up a another lotto ticket. Until I win and you guys see me all over the news, I'm talking about mostly mid 80' aft cabins. They go anywhere from mid teens and up. I've seen a lot of mid 20's that look really nice. Of course a survey will tell me the truith. My wife and I enjoy updating houses. We don't do it to make money, we tend to buy houses that are ugly and stuck in the 80's. We update them and make them our own. We think it'd be fun to do with a boat also.

We have pretty much exhausted the thought of being able to tow the boat ourselves. Everything in our price range that will fit down a highway just isn't what want. The way I am trying to see it is most people spend our shipping cost on airfare alone just to spend another several thousand at Mickey land. That's how I'm thing to justify it anyway.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:46 PM   #14
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How about a trailerable house boat? Just some quick examples below. For lake cruising I'd rock a house boat

1995 Catamaran Cruisers Inc. Lil Hobo Houseboat 26ft long, 2008 trailer, buy it now $13.5k

1978 Steury T 523 HB 23ft long, $15k

trailerable 32 ft houseboat 1992 custom - $14995
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Old 09-14-2016, 12:44 PM   #15
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My wife and I are in a similar situation, we're even the same age. We have 2 dogs instead of kids, though.

I have a 27' sailboat we race pretty seriously with friends, but it is too much of a pain to cruise. We did buy a 25' travel trailer to try and vacation with the dogs, but we miss the water when traveling.

Our solution has been to look for a trawler, as well, and we have similar aspirations for East Coast cruising. But we cannot give up the race boat for now. I am going to look at a candidate tomorrow, and I appreciate your information on towing.

What lead us on the 2 boat approach was a friend with a Nordic Tug and a sailboat. That way you are not compromising either. He doesn't race much anymore, but his boat is waiting to race when he comes back from his second Loop. We never liked motor boats until we spent 8 days in the Bahamas on his boat, and never once felt cramped with 2 couples. Our sailboat gets cramped with the two of us in one weekend, much worse with dogs.

I plot costs in 3 day weekends of petsitters. You can buy a lot of vacation toys to bring the dogs at $180 per weekend.
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Old 09-16-2016, 10:43 AM   #16
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My wife and I are in a similar situation, we're even the same age. We have 2 dogs instead of kids, though.

I have a 27' sailboat we race pretty seriously with friends, but it is too much of a pain to cruise. We did buy a 25' travel trailer to try and vacation with the dogs, but we miss the water when traveling.

Our solution has been to look for a trawler, as well, and we have similar aspirations for East Coast cruising. But we cannot give up the race boat for now. I am going to look at a candidate tomorrow, and I appreciate your information on towing.

What lead us on the 2 boat approach was a friend with a Nordic Tug and a sailboat. That way you are not compromising either. He doesn't race much anymore, but his boat is waiting to race when he comes back from his second Loop. We never liked motor boats until we spent 8 days in the Bahamas on his boat, and never once felt cramped with 2 couples. Our sailboat gets cramped with the two of us in one weekend, much worse with dogs.

I plot costs in 3 day weekends of petsitters. You can buy a lot of vacation toys to bring the dogs at $180 per weekend.
So what kinda of trawler are you guys looking at and where would you keep it?

The cool thing is we have 4 boats in our group, one who lives on the water. So someone is always on the water. So if we wanted to spend the day on the lake whole our big boat is elsewhere, someone will let us join.

I think the plan is honestly to just wing it. Next year we'll buy a boat and get it on our lake. We will spend at the very least one year boating on the lake. If we're ready to start traveling after that year, then we'll have it shipped to Charleston. And then we'll see how we like that lifestyle. I think we could end up loving it so much that we never have it shipped back to the lake. Or maybe we will miss having out boat here and have it shipped back. Who knows.

What I do know is we want to go bigger rather than smaller. I just wish shipping wasn't so expensive.
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Old 09-16-2016, 11:47 AM   #17
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As an alternative to the Ranger Tug, Great Harbour is coming out with their Trailerable Trawler 35 (TT35) late this fall. You would need to buy a new boat and pricing starts at $238K per their web site. The TT35 has some interesting features like twin 60HP Suzuki gas engines and a composting toilet.
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Old 09-16-2016, 11:55 AM   #18
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So what kinda of trawler are you guys looking at and where would you keep it?

The cool thing is we have 4 boats in our group, one who lives on the water. So someone is always on the water. So if we wanted to spend the day on the lake whole our big boat is elsewhere, someone will let us join.

I think the plan is honestly to just wing it. Next year we'll buy a boat and get it on our lake. We will spend at the very least one year boating on the lake. If we're ready to start traveling after that year, then we'll have it shipped to Charleston. And then we'll see how we like that lifestyle. I think we could end up loving it so much that we never have it shipped back to the lake. Or maybe we will miss having out boat here and have it shipped back. Who knows.

What I do know is we want to go bigger rather than smaller. I just wish shipping wasn't so expensive.
I think you'll only ship it once. The coast is where you need it as you have plenty of boats around you at home.
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Old 09-16-2016, 02:35 PM   #19
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Are there any boats for charter in Charlston?

That might be the most cost/time efficient way to go.
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Old 09-16-2016, 03:14 PM   #20
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Are there any boats for charter in Charlston?

That might be the most cost/time efficient way to go.
As someone who has chartered quite a bit over the years, my observation is that there are not that many options for charters on the East coast. Not nearly as many as 5 years ago.

Have heard several different factors have driven this. Plenty of small run abouts, under 25'. Not that many that you would charter and spend a few days on.

Just my experience.

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