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Old 05-07-2013, 08:32 PM   #41
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I vote for the Pine Island Sound area over the Keys. They are both nice, but the more relaxing cruising puts it over. The Keys have prettier water though, so have to get down there now and then also.
Don, that's an interesting comparison. We were planning a Keys cruise this month but boat issues and money got in the way. We will instead head down to Pelican Bay and maybe Tween Waters

Anguss99; glad you had a great time. From your pictures looks like the weather wasn't too bad. You're comments on sharks was interesting. I was going to go down to my boat and take a good look at my props tomorrow, hmmmmm ............
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:57 PM   #42
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Agree with Don. The Keys have their own magic and Key West is a unique spot. I would opt for Pine Island, very peaceful, unique and very enjoyable spot.

Come to think of can't go wrong with either. For the record I enjoyed Marathon far more than Key West.

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Old 05-07-2013, 09:03 PM   #43
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For the record I enjoyed Marathon far more than Key West.
John
John, what did you like about Marathon? I didn't find anything interesting there and planned to skip it next Keys cruise.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:43 PM   #44
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angus99 wrote: Day-dreaming about cruising is different from the realities of cruising. I actually enjoy boat maintenance, but somehow I didn't factor enough maintenance and logistics into my day-dreams. Lots more time spent here than watching sunsets, but it's all still good.

I have been wondering about the comment you made above. It sounds like you did maintenance during your 4 day charter. What did you really mean by this comment?
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:33 PM   #45
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You're right, I could have been clearer on that.

On the maintenance part, it was mostly the realiziation that a 25-year-old boat with many more pumps and mechanical systems than I'm used to can require a lot of attention. I don't mean to trash the charter we had, but maintenance in some areas was lacking. The shower sump and salt water washdown pump both were inoperabe, as was the autopilot (not that we'd have used it anyway down there). The windlass needed a lot if coaxing, the starter solenoid on the generator needed to be manually engaged half the time (which meant a trip below) and the horn didn't work. The brand new heavy duty hoist (which is responsible for the slight list to port you might notice in the bow-on photo) leaks hydraulic fluid. Plus a couple of serious cabin leaks when it rained and one of the heads didn't dry-bowl. I spent more time than I should have trying to find the causes of problems and doing work-arounds where possible. I could probably repair or replace any of that with my own tools, but I didn't want to root through the owner's tools and spares and take on that liability. As I mentioned, I like working on boats and it's always bothersome to see one even slightly neglected. I saw a ton of other things I would fix or replace and it just became dialed-in for me how much maintenance is involved with bigger, more complex boats.

On the logistics piece, I was mainly referring to knowing all of the things that go into planning a route, knowing where you want to anchor that night, verifying bridge clearances (we had to drop the radio antenna going under "C" span heading north out of Sanibel) finding a good spot in a crowded anchorage, waiting for the wind to die before you attempt a complicated docking. Looking for reasonably priced diesel fuel (I used 20 gallons a year in my sailboat) and fitting the max amount of boating into 4 days on the water. Stuff like that. All things that most of you do reflexively . . . and that I look forward to learning.

Thd key takeaway here is that none of this discouraged us. We had a blast. Hope that answers your question.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:42 PM   #46
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You're right, I could have been clearer on that.

On the maintenance part, it was mostly the realiziation that a 25-year-old boat with many more pumps and mechanical systems than I'm used to can require a lot of attention. I don't mean to trash the charter we had, but maintenance in some areas was lacking. The shower sump and salt water washdown pump both were inoperabe, as was the autopilot (not that we'd have used it anyway down there). The windlass needed a lot if coaxing, the starter solenoid on the generator needed to be manually engaged half the time (which meant a trip below) and the horn didn't work. The brand new heavy duty hoist (which is responsible for the slight list to port you might notice in the bow-on photo) leaks hydraulic fluid. Plus a couple of serious cabin leaks when it rained and one of the heads didn't dry-bowl. I spent more time than I should have trying to find the causes of problems and doing work-arounds where possible. I could probably repair or replace any of that with my own tools, but I didn't want to root through the owner's tools and spares and take on that liability. As I mentioned, I like working on boats and it's always bothersome to see one even slightly neglected. I saw a ton of other things I would fix or replace and it just became dialed-in for me how much maintenance is involved.

On the logistics piece, I was mainly referring to knowing all of the things that go into planning a route, knowing where you want to anchor that night, verifying bridge clearances (we had to drop the radio antenna going under "C" span heading north out of Sanibel) finding a good spot in a crowded anchorage, waiting for the wind to die before you attempt a complicated docking. Looking for reasonably priced diesel fuel (I used 20 gallons a year in my sailboat) and fitting the max amount of boating into 4 days on the water. Stuff like that. All things that most of you do reflexibly . . . and that I look forward to learning.

Thd key takeaway here is that none of this discouraged us. We had a blast. Hope that answers your question.
Thanks for clarifying. We we've looked at a few boats and really like the KK 42. We hope to charter one in the not too distant future. It's kind of disappointing to hear that it wasn't in the greatest of shape. I suppose a charter is pretty hit and miss.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:55 PM   #47
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We enjoyed the laid back style, the sunsets and the waterfront eateries. Had a nice relaxing stay, not for everyone, but after the bustle of key West it was the perfect time.

John
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:45 AM   #48
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Angus: I've been watching the thread from afar and having read several other blogs about Charters on the very same boat, it was interesting to hear your perspectives. We're retiring in July, and Longboat Key will be our new home and base of operations for our cruising. This will include the SW Florida area and Keys for the rest of 2013, and then hopping on the loop (at least that's the plan) in the spring 2014. The comments in the thread have given us much more insight to cruising our new home grounds. Thanks
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:44 AM   #49
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Congrats on getting to the finish line, healhustler--we're one or two years behind you, but it's starting to look real. Hope you enjoy the area as much as we did. As for the boat problems, I think it must have been an anomaly. The charter company seems to have a very solid reputation and they could not have been more helpful and pleasant to work with. The boat joined the fleet a year and a half ago and, while the new owner (who is several hundred miles away) has obviously spent time and money on her, there's still more to be done. It's a boat, right?
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:54 AM   #50
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We're retiring in July, and Longboat Key will be our new home and base of operations for our cruising. This will include the SW Florida area and Keys for the rest of 2013, and then hopping on the loop (at least that's the plan) in the spring 2014.
I will be about 2 years behind you, you can be the pathfinder

Where will you be on Longboat? One of our favorite local anchorages is locally called Moores, located on the north end of Longboat Key, just before the bridge in front of the Moores and Mar Vista restaurant. An hour and a half from our slip in south St. Pete.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:13 AM   #51
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angus99,
Thank you. Finally some pics. Thank you.

I really like the first one and that cute girl has a cute fish too.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:22 AM   #52
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I will be about 2 years behind you, you can be the pathfinder

Where will you be on Longboat? One of our favorite local anchorages is locally called Moores, located on the north end of Longboat Key, just before the bridge in front of the Moores and Mar Vista restaurant. An hour and a half from our slip in south St. Pete.

Our home is just south of Longboat Key Club Moorings & Marina, with a deep canal back into the center of the island. Probably the most protected slip on the island.

We might spend the first month or so living aboard our boat in the Marina, while we do some upgrades to the house. At least initially, it won't feel like retirement.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:27 AM   #53
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Our home is just south of Longboat Key Club Moorings & Marina, with a deep canal back into the center of the island. Probably the most protected slip on the island.

We might spend the first month or so living aboard our boat in the Marina, while we do some upgrades to the house. At least initially, it won't feel like retirement.
Larry, you picked a superb location. Do you mind telling why you preferred that to Key Biscayne? Just curious.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:47 PM   #54
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Larry, you picked a superb location. Do you mind telling why you preferred that to Key Biscayne? Just curious.
Two reasons, primarily. One, taxes and two, they speak English on Longboat Key. Secondary reasons are the low level of expectations, and therefore the quality of work.
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