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Old 05-02-2019, 11:29 AM   #1
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Newbie with questions....

Hi All -

First - the important part. My wife shocked me yesterday by saying "you know.... I think maybe we should get one of those boats you were showing me...."

I knew there was a reason I married her!

Its long been a dream of mine to spend time cruising around on a sailboat. Early in our marriage she was hesitantly supportive of the notion. As we've gotten older, more accustomed to creature comforts and had kids her interest in life aboard a sailboat has evaporated. I figured it would die as a unfulfilled daydream.

We recently ran into a family that was cruising around the Caribbean on a Krogen. I only spoke with the husband briefly but it got me researching trawlers. I loved the aesthetics of trawlers and more importantly the philosophy of life at 8kph.

I cautiously approached my wife with some strategically chosen pictures of boats for sale and was ecstatic when she said it was much more appealing than a sailboat. She loved the space and light inside a trawler and as the daughter of a lobsterman I think she really appreciated the design DNA.

The more she considered it the more supportive she became.

A little background - we have young kids (6 & 8) who we travel with a lot. We've got a lakehouse in New Hampshire and we aren't ready to give up our summers on the lake. We have decades of experience on boats but its largely limited to freshwater and boats under 30 ft. Not really applicable to ocean going vessels.

So what do we do next? In a perfect world we'd love to charter captain'd trawlers for a couple of weeks at a time. It would allow us all to learn, experience and decide if its really the right decision.

The issue is that outside of Moorings sort of operations I'm not finding many powerboats and even fewer trawlers.

Which brings me to - how hard is it to sell a boat like this? Does it make sense to buy a smaller boat somewhere in Florida and use it during our 4 to 6 weeks of vacation a year? I'm not thrilled about vacationing only in Florida for the next few years (we really like to travel) and it seems dumb to have a boat that unused 48 weeks a year.

Also, and this is just curiosity, do boat owners ever trade boats for a month at a time? It would be great to explore the San Juan islands or Europe but I can't imagine it would make sense to to bring a boat out there. It would be great to swap with someone who wanted to check out the Caribbean or east coast.

Thanks!!
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:39 AM   #2
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Get the experience you need to operate a larger boat, perhaps charter a boat with a captain for the first couple of trips, take lessons. After you feel confident, bare boat charter. That way you can have a variety places to go. You said you like to travel, bare boat chartering is pretty much anywhere there is boating. I would not by a boat to use only 4 to 6 weeks out of the year. It's cheaper to charter and much less expensive if you find you don't like the life style. good luck
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:53 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. What Mr. K said...


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Old 05-02-2019, 11:58 AM   #4
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There is a charter company in SW Florida that charters trawlers. Not sure of the name but google is your friend...
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:23 PM   #5
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Get trained and charter at the same time. I did it was a very good experience.

https://www.swfyachts.com/
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:25 PM   #6
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Thanks all. I spent a few hours last night googling versions of "trawler charter" with little to no luck. Sitting in the office today I tried googling "sw florida trawler charters" and "puget sound charters" and came up with all kinds of great places. I guess its all about putting in the right search terms.

Anyway, now that I've found great boats in great places I wholeheartedly agree that chartering is absolutely the way to go.

Much obliged
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:33 PM   #7
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Greetings,
Mr. GS. Don't be a stranger now...
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:30 PM   #8
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Chartering makes a lot of sense in your situation. Anacortes Yacht Charters and SW Florida Yacht Charters both are good outfits with a wide selection of trawlers and compliment each other season wise.


With decent fresh water boating experience you could become reasonably competent in a mid size trawler with only 2-3 days of captain instruction. Either company can arrange that. I suspect you will focus on docking, anchoring and getting to know the more complex systems of a cruising trawler.


It will take a decent size boat to accommodate you, your wife, two kids and the captain, a Mainship 400 at minimum. SW Florida in November-March would be a good first try. That area has lots of nice cruising destinations and you can't get into too much trouble- the bottom is mostly sand.


Yes you can trade boats, but it takes some thought. I did it once with a sailboat (mine) and a small trawler (the other guy's). I posted on Cruisingforum and found nice couple in the PNW, we talked it through and it worked.


The main concern is insurance- make sure that the deal is no cash since recreational insurance doesn't cover commercial use and if cash changes hands, it will probably be considered commercial. Agree on who pays for damage not covered by insurance and deductibles for what is.


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Old 05-02-2019, 01:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Thanks all. I spent a few hours last night googling versions of "trawler charter" with little to no luck. Sitting in the office today I tried googling "sw florida trawler charters" and "puget sound charters" and came up with all kinds of great places. I guess its all about putting in the right search terms.

Anyway, now that I've found great boats in great places I wholeheartedly agree that chartering is absolutely the way to go.

Much obliged
C&C Charters in the Chesapeake Bay have mostly powerboats in the fleet, some trawlers, last I looked.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:04 PM   #10
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Plenty of places to charter in Florida and the PNW. Now, to one aspect of your post and that is 8 knots on a trawler combined with your children. Do you intend to keep a boat on the lake as well? Before you know it, they will be teenagers and 8 knots is not likely to be their thing. Just keep in mind their future boating likes and dislikes.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:05 PM   #11
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Granite,
I'm in a similar status as you - years of small boat experience, but no experience with large powerboats and wanting to transition that direction. I live on the south end of the Chesapeake Bay. I have a trawler charter set up for mid-June on a 43' motoryacht, with a training captain to teach my wife and I how to operate the thing. I chartered through C&C Charters (CCCharters.com) which is in Grasonville, MD, not too far from Annapolis. They've got at least a couple of trawler/motoryachts for charter. The training captain was arranged through US Delivery Captain, Inc. Can't give a review of either outfit yet except to say they've both been accommodating and pleasant in making the arrangements.
Hope this helps,
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:17 PM   #12
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The first boat I ever handled that wasn't a little outboard was a 90 foot fishing trawler forty two years ago. No one tutored me or stood by, I just took my time, relaxed and paid attention. Some folks are good boat handlers in a short time and some may never really get it. A little study to get the basics of the configuration you intend to operate then go aboard and give her a try. I'm in Maine if you want someone to help a bit.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:30 PM   #13
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Welcome. My wife and I are also in NH and we are presently transitioning from a 25 foot trailer-kept cuddy used mostly in fresh water, to a 44 foot Tollycraft that we will be cruising from Lake Erie to Hampton Beach later this month. The boat will be kept in Hampton River Marina this year. Next year, we'll be cruising full time. Feel free to reach out and learn from our experiences, we'd be happy to have you aboard once the boat is home.
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:55 AM   #14
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To learn skills chartering a boat with out an instructor will be skool of Hard Knocks.

A day of instruction on a larger boat will teach you the basics of larger boat handling.

A few books from sail or power cruisers will teach the hassles of customs , visitor flags etc. Basic provision requirements.

A pair of hand held GPS will take care of navigation , no need for celestial nav , tho paper charts are still the safest.

Then just go on a smaller trip, a week or so, to find out what else you need to study.

Enjoy ,offshore is far, far easier than some will claim.
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:00 AM   #15
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Granite: Welcome aboard. My boat is in Boston and you're more than welcome to check it out anytime. Not a trawler though....Lol.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:39 PM   #16
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Keep the kids involved as you plan the charter
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:08 PM   #17
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Thank-you all so much for the very helpful and supportive advice. It speaks volumes about the kind of people who cruise on trawlers.

After extensive consultation with the boss I think the plan is to take a couple of 3 day course packages at swfyachts and then try chartering 2 to 3 weeks a year. We still have young enough kids that we can't make much bigger of a time commitment.

I figure we will probably try chartering for 3 to 5 years in all the different locations we want to travel to with the kiddos anyway. That will give us the experience to know what we like, dislike, want, need etc in a boat before we buy one.

My next question to ponder is how much I will enjoy and more worryingly be capable of handling maintenance myself. I'm a workaholic right now and have been since I was a teenager. It been much more cost effective to pay someone else to do the work at our house. I have very limited experience being a handyman.

Chartering won't really let me know if I'm capable of doing maintenance myself and if I am not then I'm not sure I can afford the cost of having someone else do it.

The important part is that my wife thinks its an ever better idea than she did couple of days ago!

Rebuilding a diesel engine is probably much easier than dealing with an unhappy wife.

Thanks again for all the great input.
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Thank-you all so much for the very helpful and supportive advice. It speaks volumes about the kind of people who cruise on trawlers.

After extensive consultation with the boss I think the plan is to take a couple of 3 day course packages at swfyachts and then try chartering 2 to 3 weeks a year. We still have young enough kids that we can't make much bigger of a time commitment.

I figure we will probably try chartering for 3 to 5 years in all the different locations we want to travel to with the kiddos anyway. That will give us the experience to know what we like, dislike, want, need etc in a boat before we buy one.

My next question to ponder is how much I will enjoy and more worryingly be capable of handling maintenance myself. I'm a workaholic right now and have been since I was a teenager. It been much more cost effective to pay someone else to do the work at our house. I have very limited experience being a handyman.

Chartering won't really let me know if I'm capable of doing maintenance myself and if I am not then I'm not sure I can afford the cost of having someone else do it.

The important part is that my wife thinks its an ever better idea than she did couple of days ago!

Rebuilding a diesel engine is probably much easier than dealing with an unhappy wife.

Thanks again for all the great input.
There are diesel engine classes you could take along the way. Also, there are levels between 100% DIY and 0% DIY. Also, you can consider in your initial purchase what level of reserve to keep for maintenance. You can save considerable by doing the routine maintenance yourself and letting someone else handle the problems.

With this approach, at the very least you and your family will have some nice vacations together, regardless of your ultimate boating decision.
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:22 PM   #19
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Greetings,
Mr. GS. Excellent plan! If I can give you a bit of advice...Don't worry. What's the worst that can happen?


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Old 05-03-2019, 08:55 PM   #20
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Granite.....
I think your plan to charter makes a boat load of sense in your situation.
You might look at LeBoat... they do charters in Canada and Europe. Both lovely places to do a boating vacation. I would say don't limit yourself to trawler charters only. Cruising on any style boat will give you a sense for and enjoyment from the boating lifestyle. Even a house boat rental can be fun in the right location. I remember well a family vacation aboard a house boat on the St Lawrence River - 1,000 Is area.
Best of luck with your family adventures... as someone said what's the worst that can happen?
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