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Old 12-09-2016, 05:22 PM   #1
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Newbies, wantabies and lurkers you can do this!!

After six years of studying Yacht world I bought a 55 foot late 70s steel trawler, after four plus year refit costing double what I budgeted(and almost causing a divorce, seriously) I just completed an 10 day 1100 mile passage from Corpus Christi TX to just north of Fort Lauderdale, the first six days open ocean. Not tooting my horn just saying if I can do it you can too. You don't have to pay a million dollars for a serious passage maker, I paid less for my boat than I did for my wife's Acura. Before this boat I had a 20' cudy cabin and a 22' ski boat. I will say I'm handy with a wrench and did the bulk of the work myself, if you are not handy with a wrench or willing to be don't even consider an older boat. Here is the link to my trip;


https://share.garmin.com/JoelWilson

Do it!!!!
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Old 12-09-2016, 06:38 PM   #2
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Living your dream? That's awesome!
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What kind of boat is that?
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Old 12-09-2016, 06:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing that. For someone who is handy with a wrench (and with lots of other tools, also), an older boat can be a great deal. And they are out there. Those old 1970's fiberglass hulls were built like a brick outhouse, because they didn't really know how to do it back then. And so they went the extra mile. Those old Perkins engines with a few thousand hours on them are barely broken in. And electronics? Forget that. Upgrade.

But anyone who thinks that cruising with a trawler is strictly a rich man's sport is wrong.
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talonewo View Post
After six years of studying Yacht world I bought a 55 foot late 70s steel trawler, after four plus year refit costing double what I budgeted(and almost causing a divorce, seriously) I just completed an 10 day 1100 mile passage from Corpus Christi TX to just north of Fort Lauderdale, the first six days open ocean. Not tooting my horn just saying if I can do it you can too. You don't have to pay a million dollars for a serious passage maker, I paid less for my boat than I did for my wife's Acura. Before this boat I had a 20' cudy cabin and a 22' ski boat. I will say I'm handy with a wrench and did the bulk of the work myself, if you are not handy with a wrench or willing to be don't even consider an older boat. Here is the link to my trip;


https://share.garmin.com/JoelWilson

Do it!!!!
I'm amazed when i read about things like this because it's so very far from any skills I have. I do have one question and one comment.

First, the question. Have you any idea what your total cost has been and how many hours spent or are you terrified to know?

Second, as to the six days of open ocean. Technically you weren't in an ocean, you were in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, that's not to diminish what you accomplished at all. Now, what is the range of your boat now and where do you see going comfortably and safely in it? It would seem if you were comfortable crossing the gulf, then definitely the Caribbean is in your reaches. What was the roughest seas you faced and how did it do in those?

Again I'm just amazed at what you have done.

Oh, and feel free to toot your horn. Your statement that "if I can do it you can too" is so false when it comes to me. No, I can't. And even if I had the skills, I would have become so impatient and frustrated in the first six months, I would have tossed it all out. Here's your advice to those like me, "if you are not handy with a wrench or willing to be don't even consider an older boat." You've accomplished something amazing and it's fine to take pride in it and toot your own horn. How does your wife feel about it now?
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:44 AM   #5
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Nice "First Trip" !!!!
Now that your tied back up, put a blog together. With lots of pictures!

Cheers
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Old 12-10-2016, 01:51 AM   #6
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Welcome! Post some pics here.
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:07 AM   #7
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BandB, I paid a bit less than $50K for the boat and have put roughly another $150K into the project. I had a yard paint the exterior, install a bow thruster, repair the damaged mast and install new cutlass bearings, I did everything else. (Search YouTube for "Hank the boat")

As for the boats capabilities, it was designed and built by Arthur DeFever for a couple to cruise around the world writing for Yachting magazine, I only use four of the five fuel tanks and used less than 600 gallons from Corpus to where it is now, (it holds 2700 gal), but I could have used less, from Marathon to Miami I had to push up the speed (burning triple the fuel) trying to make a daylight entry to Miami. It has a single CAT D343AT and a twin disc 5111 3:1 trans, at 1000 RPM I get 6.9 knots burning 3.5 gal/hr. That burn rate is no wind calm seas, with three foot head seas at 1100 RPM I was averaging 7.2 knots at 4.5 gal/hr. From Marathon north I was at 1400 RPM burning 12 gal/hr.

For me the crew is the limiting factor for rough seas, the boat will take far more than I'm will to go into. For a short bit from Marathon north we had six and seven foot seas the boat and I were fine, my wife not so much. The boat is not stabilize head and following seas are no problem but ANY beam seas are very uncomfortable.
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:21 AM   #8
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BandB, sorry I did not address your time question, basically every waking moment for the past four years. If I was not actually working on the boat I was thinking, studying, reading, searching the net or other wise focused on the boat, thus the almost divorce comment. Right after I bought it I went to Afghanistan for a year. I bought the boat in New Orleans and lived in San Antonio, once back from AFG I would drive the 8 hours one way to work on it for four or five days a month, after a year and half of that I was able to cruise it to Corpus where it was only two hours away.

As for the fast trip comment by crusty, work moved me from San Antonio to the DC area so I need to get the boat to the Chesapeake. I'm back at work now earning more vacation time for the next move North, probably in March.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:04 AM   #9
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Newbies, wantabies and lurkers you can do this!!

Talonewo, whenever I start doubting if I want start another project I will look to you as inspiration.

You damn sure ain't scared to tackle a big project! Great job, and awesome first cruise!!
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:56 AM   #10
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You ended up with a great boat and invested a tremendous amount of effort into it, and sacrificed a lot to get there. I'd say just valuing your time at $25-50 an hour, 300-400 days of work (counting the driving but not counting the thinking), you have $75k to $200k time investment plus $200k of money for a total of around $300-400k, but you have an incredible boat and you have one that you created, with your hands, your sweat. You made a tremendous sacrifice, as did your wife, but it's all worth it now to you. Hopefully to her as well. Now, I would have had to pay for the work so I'd probably have close to $600k in it by now and none of the sense of accomplishment you have. I'm amazed at what you've done and know you'll get many years of pleasure from it now.
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:16 PM   #11
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Newbies, wantabies and lurkers you can do this!!

https://youtu.be/_aI8cvJTPgw

I regret not making time in my schedule to meet up with you last time we where at Lackland. Dayumm is all I have to say with the transformation though.
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