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Old 01-15-2019, 08:14 AM   #1
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New Hello-making a plan

Hello new friends. New Member here to the forum and really enjoying all the information.

We (the admiral and I) are in our late '40s and actually starting those long term plans to make the dream happen. On track to have the time to own and cruise in the 5-10 year time frame. Our experience thus far is on small boats so we are trying to educate ourselves and get some experience before taking the plunge.

We did a canal cruise in France last year with a rented "bumper boat" and loved the experience. Would love advise about gaining practical experience prior to a first purchase. We live in North Carolina, but not on the coast.

How did you get started? Your hindsight being 20/20 can you give us suggestions? Did you jump into ownership and just brace yourself for the learning curve? Coursework available and recommended or not? Rental options to judge what we might really want/need in an eventual purchase?

Thanks in advance for any help and we look forward to growing in the community.
-Jim and Sarah
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:24 AM   #2
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Buy a boat as large as you can afford and start using it now. Don't wait to live the dream. Start using it on weekends and vacations. WE drive 2.5 hrs each way to the boat. We live on it from Friday until Sunday and a few weeks every year.

A 28 - 32 foot express is a great boat to start out on. Move up in boats as time progresses. When you move up, make the move worthwhile. Avoid 2 foot jumps. Shoot for pushing your comfort zone
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:48 AM   #3
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:09 PM   #4
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Buy a boat as large as you can afford and start using it now. Don't wait to live the dream. Start using it on weekends and vacations. WE drive 2.5 hrs each way to the boat. We live on it from Friday until Sunday and a few weeks every year.

A 28 - 32 foot express is a great boat to start out on. Move up in boats as time progresses. When you move up, make the move worthwhile. Avoid 2 foot jumps. Shoot for pushing your comfort zone
Thank you for the suggestion. We are now considering a "cruising school" from Southwest Florida Charters for our next vacation which was recommended by a friend as a good way to move in the direction we want to go. Looks like they have classes on several sizes and we will try to discuss with them our plans and take a course that would compliment them.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:18 PM   #5
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Welcome. I'm doing what you are doing. Last May I took a course from Anacortes Yachts in WA... highly recommend them. Trained on a 36 Grand Banks. This year I have a 4 night charter scheduled on a Selene trawler. It's at the top of my wish list. I'm also taking US Power Squadron courses. Good luck.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:21 PM   #6
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Welcome. I'm doing what you are doing. Last May I took a course from Anacortes Yachts in WA... highly recommend them. Trained on a 36 Grand Banks. This year I have a 4 night charter scheduled on a Selene trawler. It's at the top of my wish list. I'm also taking US Power Squadron courses. Good luck.
Thanks Dale. Can I ask what courses you completed with them? Will you bareboat the the Selene?
-Jim
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:36 PM   #7
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Hi Jim. I'm currently in a Seamanship class. I will take America's Boating course Feb 2. After Seamanship there is an engine class and then an electronics class. There is a Navigation and Advanced Navigation class I will eventually take also. Yes I will bare boat this summer. The first day I will have an instructor for a few hours to renew my skills and get comfortable with the boat systems.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:49 AM   #8
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All good suggestions here. We are doing similar - trial boat until retirement. If you can keep at Marina, you can learn a lot by talking to others with the big boats there. We’ve got a 28 footer that we are using to learn - run into docks, drive on wrong side of bouy, tie up improperly during slack tide - all cheaper on our practice boat than learning on our future trawler. Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:59 AM   #9
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All good suggestions here. We are doing similar - trial boat until retirement. If you can keep at Marina, you can learn a lot by talking to others with the big boats there. We’ve got a 28 footer that we are using to learn - run into docks, drive on wrong side of bouy, tie up improperly during slack tide - all cheaper on our practice boat than learning on our future trawler. Good luck!
Thanks Mark. Good to hear I'm not the only one.
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