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Old 03-23-2013, 11:13 PM   #1
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Newbie Questions ??

I am totally ignorant to the ways of the trawler, but am totally convinced this is what We are getting. I see a lot of listings in the 25-45K area that look pretty good for a starter boat, but I am not really mechanically inclined, and want to avoid getting into something that I am constantly working on, or worse, paying to have it worked on. I can do a nice interior rework, but have no experience with diesel engines. Not to mention, my Wife would not be into getting an old fixer upper. So where does this leave us?

A lot of the boats in the 70-80K range look really nice. Can I find a good boat for that price? If I could spend 100K, would this be a huge step up from an 80K boat?

Basically, I need my hand held as We take baby steps into this arena. We will end up being docked in the Port Clinton (Ohio) area of Lake Erie. We have one small child, but could end up hosting friends now and then, so something that sleeps 4-6 would be good.

Give me some advice. I have 100's of questions.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:45 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard, trekker. Best advice we were ever given was don't buy the biggest boat you can afford, buy the smallest that will fit your needs. Both of you should make a list of your wants. Keep reading and asking questions of other boaters. Then re-evaluate your list from time to time. Things that at first seem to be a must will turn out to be unnecessary or impractical. Total honesty in this area can help prevent expensive mistakes. Our budget dictated a fixer-upper, but we have the time and ability to do the work ourselves. We're hoping to launch this summer in Sandusky. Most claims of number of berths on a boat are ridiculous. Our feeling is that the perfect boat (for us) should drink six, dine four, sleep two. Best of luck on your journey!
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:47 PM   #3
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First of all, welcome aboard

Our story may interest you...

My wife and I have quite a bit of experience sea kayaking, so aren't new to reading charts or the water, but are new to boating.

We found a great boat with owners motivated to sell, because they had been unable to sell it for three years. We ended up in a partnership where the previous owners son would teach us everything we need to know about the boat and its systems, and how to operate it.

He had never used the boat since his dad died, but feels really good showing us how well his dad took care of it, as it's important to him and his mom that the boat continues receiving the same level of care. We never would have bought a boat this big without it being this sort of partnership.

Another option I've heard people recommend is to hire a qualified Captain to instruct you on all the basics you need to know to start taking those baby steps.

As you may have noticed, it's a buyers market out there, and there are many boats that have been for sale for a long time...keep your radar up for creative solutions.

Good luck on your quest!
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:16 AM   #4
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Best advice we were ever given was don't buy the biggest boat you can afford, buy the smallest that will fit your needs.
Great advice. Goes hand in hand with don't borrow as much as the bank is willing to lend to buy a house (or boat) so that you don't end up being 'mortgage poor'.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:48 AM   #5
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Trekker--- Something you might want to consider before getting all wrapped around the axle on trying to decide what kind of boat, how big of a boat, blah, blah, blah ad infinitum, is charter one somewhere for a week or two. Particularly if you are unfamiliar with this kind of boating but have a good friend who is and who will split the charter with you.

While chartering isn't cheap, it's damn near free compared to the purchase price of even an older used cruiser and worse, the annual ownership costs of these kinds of boats that never stop as long as you own the boat.

Chartering gives you the opportunity to see if you like this kind of boating and this kind of boat with no risk to you and no obligation other than paying the charter fee.

On the advice of a good friend and long-time boater that's what we did when, inspired by countless trips flying a floatplane up and down the Inside Passage, my wife and I began thinking it might be fun and a whole new kind of adventure to explore the same area by boat.

Chartering convinced us that we liked being out on the water in this way and that a cruising boat was what we wanted. So we bought one and 14 years later here we are sitting on it in a beautiful tiny bay all by ourselves this weekend out in the San Juan Islands; we still enjoy the hell out of using it year round just as much today as we did the first year we had it.

Chartering in my opinion is the best way for a "newbie" to discover for him/her self if this kind of boating and boat is right for them.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:30 AM   #6
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Good stuff guys, I appreciate it. We will definitely look into chartering one for a little taste. Funny You are in the San Juans. Our goal is to end up retired on Vancouver Island as far from Victoria as possible. of course the Wife made Me accept the morbid deal that our parents had to be gone before We move.

I appreciate the advice !
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:20 AM   #7
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trekker..you don't say what size boat you are looking at/for.

My cut on 36-40+ Taiwan Trawlers from the 70s and 80s is there are generally 2 price ranges for them (I know it is a gross generalizaion but if you think about it, it's been true 2x when I was boat shopping).

For example when I was looking...the 36 size range fell into 2 brackets the $30K range and the 60K range. The 40 foot range fell into the $50K range and the$100K range.

The truth is the lower range were project boats and the upper range were just about turn key.

So it boils down to one thing...what will you live with or without right away and how much money can you sink right away (ultimately the 2 numbers will come closer) for purchase/immediate expenses.

Every once in awahile you may find a "tweener" meaning a boat between the ranges and you may find a good deal (I did). While my boat was in bad shape...she had a new rebuilt engine in her and 400 gallons of fresh fuel and could be driven immediately the 1000 mles to get her to her new home. She was a lot closer to the project boat cost and even though I'll spend 30 grand over the purchase price (all labor done by me though) in the next few years she'll still be cheaper than the "turn key" crowd that I couldn't have bought at the time anyway. If you had to pay for labor...generally the "project boats will cost you more in the long run".

Looking, asking and learning is a good start and make sure you get an earful of every opinion from buy that ne immediately to owning a boat is about as stupid as oyu can be....somewhere in the middle lies books worth of truths.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:10 AM   #8
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Chartering in my opinion is the best way for a "newbie" to discover for him/her self if this kind of boating and boat is right for them.
Although I have never chartered a boat, had I gone that route first, I could have cut down the number of boats I bought (looking for the right fit) to abut two. (I've bought 8 since m1995)

Chartering is an excellent way to answer a multitude of questions about: What size do I buy? Is trawlering something I really want to do? Will my wife enjoy it? Will it hurt my pocket book too much? Do I want to maintain the boat myself? Will the property taxes (Yes, property taxes.) be a drag every year? etc, etc, etc.

As far as your boating "best bang for the buck" is concerned, chartering is the way to go. Remember the old adage: "If it floats or flys...rent it!" (I know guys, I left one out.)
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:20 PM   #9
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I am totally ignorant to the ways of the trawler, but am totally convinced this is what We are getting.

A lot of the boats in the 70-80K range look really nice. Can I find a good boat for that price? If I could spend 100K, would this be a huge step up from an 80K?

Give me some advice. I have 100's of questions.
I don't know what your day to day circumstances are or if you have time but don't be in a hurry, maybe sign up for a diesel night class at your local college or hang out or volunteer at the marina as a helper in the maintenance shop if there is one, just to get familiar with things. The more you know, the more defined you will be and it will make your new venture that much more enjoyable.

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Old 03-24-2013, 02:07 PM   #10
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Trekker

Even though Erie will be much more shallow this year, you will love it especially with a larger, slower boat and a little time. You really want to join one of the reciprocal clubs and there are several near you. Not only will you get a huge amount of free help but also you will probably save big dollars on a slip. Join before you get the boat as a social member and you will have dozens of extra eyes watching for a boat that suits you.

On the issue of pristine versus project, let me offer one thought.

I dock right beside a guy who paid three times as much as I did for a fancy boat quite a bit smaller and faster than mine. He is fastidious about upkeep and spends way more than I do every year. Both boats work well. I spend twice or more as much running time on mine as he does on his and compared to him don't lose half as much sleep when I need to fix something.

Although every prospective boat owner has to grapple with this question, for me, after a number of different craft, I found the boat I have today is offers me a cost per enjoyable hour, on a much more comfortable vessel which is dramatically lower than my friends. Do I use it more because of this? Sure I do.

Frankly I do not care if I have a few dings on my rub rail. I also enjoy doing my own work. Maybe I should have bought a new OEM replacement $300.00 circulating pump for my A/C but my $39.00 Harbour Freight one works just fine. My point is that the determination of your own boat choice means looking in the mirror and determining your own attitude. No one with the possible exception of your own wife can really help you on that.

BTW many, if you feel a little cheap, you could be in good company. I have a semi displacement which I run at trawler speeds because I am cheap and I enjoy it. Many trawler owners (but far from all) are very good stewarts of money and will offer you great advice on how to save.

Some are just one chromosome away from the ultimate tightwads, the pure sail fanatics who go out on the weekend with a clean T shirt and a clean $5 bill and come back with a dirty T shirt and the same $5 bill. They will agonize for a year over the purchase of a fancy $300.00 winch but they will buy it. On the other hand, wasting $3.00 on fuel? - Oh well that would be a sin!

Most trawler owners are not prepared to go that far. The money you save should be properly reinvested in good steaks and cold beer.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:58 PM   #11
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Trekker

Even though Erie will be much more shallow this year, you will love it especially with a larger, slower boat and a little time. You really want to join one of the reciprocal clubs and there are several near you. Not only will you get a huge amount of free help but also you will probably save big dollars on a slip. Join before you get the boat as a social member and you will have dozens of extra eyes watching for a boat that suits you.

On the issue of pristine versus project, let me offer one thought.

I dock right beside a guy who paid three times as much as I did for a fancy boat quite a bit smaller and faster than mine. He is fastidious about upkeep and spends way more than I do every year. Both boats work well. I spend twice or more as much running time on mine as he does on his and compared to him don't lose half as much sleep when I need to fix something.

Although every prospective boat owner has to grapple with this question, for me, after a number of different craft, I found the boat I have today is offers me a cost per enjoyable hour, on a much more comfortable vessel which is dramatically lower than my friends. Do I use it more because of this? Sure I do.

Frankly I do not care if I have a few dings on my rub rail. I also enjoy doing my own work. Maybe I should have bought a new OEM replacement $300.00 circulating pump for my A/C but my $39.00 Harbour Freight one works just fine. My point is that the determination of your own boat choice means looking in the mirror and determining your own attitude. No one with the possible exception of your own wife can really help you on that.

BTW many, if you feel a little cheap, you could be in good company. I have a semi displacement which I run at trawler speeds because I am cheap and I enjoy it. Many trawler owners (but far from all) are very good stewarts of money and will offer you great advice on how to save.

Some are just one chromosome away from the ultimate tightwads, the pure sail fanatics who go out on the weekend with a clean T shirt and a clean $5 bill and come back with a dirty T shirt and the same $5 bill. They will agonize for a year over the purchase of a fancy $300.00 winch but they will buy it. On the other hand, wasting $3.00 on fuel? - Oh well that would be a sin!

Most trawler owners are not prepared to go that far. The money you save should be properly reinvested in good steaks and cold beer.

Agreed Sir.

thanks for all the insight. I am gonna try to make an appt. to go and check this one out as my first "action". Excited just to step foot on one to check it out.

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Old 03-25-2013, 11:47 AM   #12
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alternatives

Here are three non woodies. The 32 can be moved on land easier than some bigger boats. I did not see anything right now that I really liked close to you. The Mainliners do have some merit but for various reasons on each I passed. You are close to a lot of brokers and yards that may not list on yacht world. A little walking is in order. Timing is good right now as operators will know winter stored boats that is unlikely to come out of storage.

If either of the 32 s below were decent and you could get them under the 20 mark, I would say go. Diesel 32 's are a bit hard to find in the Great Lakes. The 38 at around $28,000 - maybe - but what the heck - I am a little biased.

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...url=&imc=pg-fs

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Old 03-25-2013, 12:44 PM   #13
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I am not really mechanically inclined, and want to avoid getting into something that I am constantly working on
Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. Any boat, new or used requires a LOT of maintenance. If you get into boating be prepared to be constantly working on something.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:02 PM   #14
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Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. Any boat, new or used requires a LOT of maintenance. If you get into boating be prepared to be constantly working on something.
Or have a lot of money to pay others to do it! And I would add looking at woodie`s is even more work. I agree with bobsyiruncle, there are a lot of good plastic boats around for a reasonable price. Do your homework!
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:00 PM   #15
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Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. Any boat, new or used requires a LOT of maintenance. If you get into boating be prepared to be constantly working on something.
I couldn't agree more. You need either mechanical skills or lots of money to pay others to do the needed work. Without it, you end up with a rotting dock queen .
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:33 PM   #16
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If you are a bit of a gambler this one will probably go for 25 to 30 . It needs someone local to look at it for basics but if you have a flunkie to redo the teak and can put up with a single engine this is a huge amount of boat for the dollar. Shop around you will start to see more than I do - real buyers are a scarce and valuable commodity

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Old 03-25-2013, 10:13 PM   #17
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Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. Any boat, new or used requires a LOT of maintenance. If you get into boating be prepared to be constantly working on something.


I worded that wrong. I have the ability to work/fix things. Just no experience with a diesel engine.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:14 PM   #18
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Here are three non woodies. The 32 can be moved on land easier than some bigger boats. I did not see anything right now that I really liked close to you. The Mainliners do have some merit but for various reasons on each I passed. You are close to a lot of brokers and yards that may not list on yacht world. A little walking is in order. Timing is good right now as operators will know winter stored boats that is unlikely to come out of storage.

If either of the 32 s below were decent and you could get them under the 20 mark, I would say go. Diesel 32 's are a bit hard to find in the Great Lakes. The 38 at around $28,000 - maybe - but what the heck - I am a little biased.

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...url=&imc=pg-fs

View Boat Photos - YachtWorld.com

View Boat Photos - YachtWorld.com

Thanks for taking the time. I like the VA boat a bunch.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:38 PM   #19
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I worded that wrong. I have the ability to work/fix things. Just no experience with a diesel engine.
You don't need any experience with a diesel engine in order to cruise in boats like most of us have. Other than knowing the basic principle of a diesel, I have zero-zip-nada interest in learning anything more about them other than what I know now--- how to feed them, how to service them, how to run the ones we have in our boat properly, and how to do basic no-brainer stuff like change impellers, belts and hoses, things our dog knows how to do, too. For anything else we have the number of our diesel shop on speed dial.

So far, we've only had to use that number twice and that was right when we got the boat 14 years ago.

If you're genuinely interested in learning all about diesels and how to tear them down and build them back up and overhaul and adjust their injection pumps and all that by all means, learn how to do it. Just don't fall into the trap of thinking that in order to "qualify" to run a diesel boat you have to learn how to work on a diesel engine. You don't.

In fact I would say that of the people we know personally who have boats with diesel engines in them (power and sail) perhaps 90 percent or more have the same interest level in them that I do. Which is to say none, other than to do the things I mentioned.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:53 PM   #20
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Woof woof !
I bought my first diesels and knew nothing. I still know almost nothing. I do know that I have to keep the fuel clean and no water. I know that if the buzzer goes you better find out why and my marina owner says I should change oil and fuel filters before they call their lawyer. One of my clients says I should worry about the fuel and starting them if I am running at 40 below. So much for that!
When I started I was concerned but today I love them. Cheap, reliable, economical (have not had to fix them yet) - starts easier than gas and much safer.
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