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Old 09-20-2019, 01:23 PM   #1
City: Southern Illinois
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 17
Question About Starting Out

Greetings all,

My wife and I are very interested in doing the Great Loop. We're still several years away but found ourselves talking about how to get started. The obvious question for us was, "Can we try it out first?"

We're boaters, but only to the extent of bowriders and pontoons on a lake. We're reasonable and intelligent people with the ability to learn but realized that the Loop is a much different animal than what we're use to, so we should probably get some more info.

With that in mind, we would like to have someone take us out on the ICW (or other river system) for a few days so we can actually get a feel for whether this is something that we would actually enjoy..... or not. The issue is, I'm not sure where to start looking. Are there reputable charter services that would take us out for a weekend on a trawler that would be compatible with a boat that we may eventually use? Are there options other than a charter?

We're in Southern Illinois about two hours East of the Mississippi and about two hours North of the Ohio river. We're willing to travel pretty much anywhere for an experience that would give us insight into what it would take for us to eventually strike out on our own.

Can someone point me in the right direction?

Thanks for any info you can muster.


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Old 09-20-2019, 01:58 PM   #2
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City: Hughesville, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Branwen
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 404
Try searching charters for the area you're interested in. For example, I tried "chesapeake trawler charter" and got several results. I didn't research them and don't recommend any of them, but it's a start in A direction. You may also change up and search similarly for training.

Good luck with your search and eventual adventure. I can't imagine how you won't take to it.

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Old 09-20-2019, 02:17 PM   #3
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City: Au Gres, MI
Country: US
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 5,540
There is a trawler charter company in southwest Florida. Donít know much about it but have heard good things from members here. Try google, donít remember the name.
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Old 09-20-2019, 02:36 PM   #4
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City: Litchfield, Ct/Punta Gorda, Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Atlas Pompano 23
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,784
There are two big charter outfits that have trawler fleets: SW Florida Yacht Charters in Ft Myers, Fl and Anacortes Yacht Charters in Anacortes, Wa. Neither are near you but both are in very nice cruising areas.

Charter one for a week with a captain for at least two days. After that you will be on your own. After a week you should have some idea of what it is all about. Nice vacation in any case.

You may be able to charter for 2-3 days, but you will enjoy a week much more and will experience the on-your-own feeling.

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Old 09-20-2019, 03:02 PM   #5
City: Southern Illinois
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 17
Thanks all for the comments, I'll start looking for those charters now. We're not opposed to traveling so SW Florida would be nice.

I should have mentioned before that I already did some searches with very mixed results. Some of them seemed ok while others have reviews with some sketchy issues.

Thanks again.
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Old 09-20-2019, 03:28 PM   #6
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City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 17,288


Both have good reputations.

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