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Old 02-02-2018, 12:06 PM   #1
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Thinking of the Great Loop

Finally registered after a couple years reading these forums periodically. I'm lucky enough to be semi-retired at 55 and want to enjoy my life and have a few adventures. Thinking of doing the Great Loop in perhaps a year. I am a lifelong sailor but am looking at trawlers now to keep things simple. Currently considering a few Willard 30s that are on the market.
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:41 PM   #2
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Welcome

Welcome, one Newbie to another. We're thinking the same. Great Loop, but in 5 years when I fully retire, if I make it that long...Good luck with your boat hunting, I have lurked here for years, and have developed a list of "must haves", and "would likes", for our Looper. We plan on starting our buying adventure in 1-2 years with purchase in 3-4 to allow 1-2 years for upgrades and repairs...That seems the timeline from my reading on the forum...Best of luck, keep posting your progress and I'll follow with interest
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:47 PM   #3
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Thanks Wildbill. Step 1 for me is to get a trawler and make sure my wife likes it. It will be a very lonely trip around the loop for me if she decides not to go <grin>. I am close to Lake Erie so I plan for us to begin getting our sea legs this summer. We will take a season or two to figure out how to refit the boat.
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:57 PM   #4
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Can always rent a trawler in Florida for a week or so and kick the tires if you will.

All the best!
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Old 02-02-2018, 02:29 PM   #5
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Welcome aboard and good luck in your boat search.

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Old 02-02-2018, 02:37 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard. Have fun searching.
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:03 PM   #7
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:42 PM   #8
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The "must haves" are on my wifes list to keep her happy....The "would likes" are on both lists....I try and be as practical as possible, she tells me what she'll tolerate. It's all give and take...
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:09 AM   #9
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Welcome aboard guys.

Planning to start the Great Loop this spring. Still making some improvements on the trawler we bought.

Good luck on your searches.
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Old 02-03-2018, 08:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andBeyond View Post
Finally registered after a couple years reading these forums periodically. I'm lucky enough to be semi-retired at 55 and want to enjoy my life and have a few adventures. Thinking of doing the Great Loop in perhaps a year. I am a lifelong sailor but am looking at trawlers now to keep things simple. Currently considering a few Willard 30s that are on the market.

If you're intending a continuous trip, that's a long time to be on a 30' boat. We're just "camping out" -- albeit relatively nicely -- on our 42.

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Old 02-03-2018, 08:25 AM   #11
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I'm also a lurker with dreams of the Loop, although the timeline is a little longer. I should work about 15 more years, then I'll be 52.

Until then, we enjoy our Manitou tritoon on the lake for skiing and tubing.
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:12 AM   #12
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To get the bride enthused why not rent a steel long boat from one of the folks in Waterford NY?

These are easy to handle , weather and navigation are non issues .

A free tie up each day for both lunch and dinner should delight the bride.

No effort , no fear , no hassles , a good way to start.

Here is one, there are many more.

http://www.canalcruises.com/pages/aboutourboats.html
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:53 AM   #13
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To get the bride enthused why not rent a steel long boat from one of the folks in Waterford NY?

These are easy to handle , weather and navigation are non issues .

A free tie up each day for both lunch and dinner should delight the bride.

No effort , no fear , no hassles , a good way to start.

Here is one, there are many more.

http://www.canalcruises.com/pages/aboutourboats.html
Mid lakes navigation rents canal boats on the western end of the Erie and lots of nice towns / stops to try the cruising life style.
I'd also suggest some shorter "local" cruises to "test the waters". The loop is a great goal but it would be nice to make sure it is enjoyable and a mutual goal.
Great Lakes... Trent Severn...Rideau in Canada... St Lawrence 1000 Is are wonderful cruising grounds that many loopers rush through to stay on schedule.
JMHO
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Old 02-08-2018, 10:23 AM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr. aB. Mr. B's advice is excellent. While "the loop" may be a goal for some (personally I would never consider it) all too many bypass what I consider the best cruising grounds around (Trent/Severn, Rideau, 1000 Islands).
Very protected waters, for the most part. LOTS of facilities (dockage, fuel, supplies etc.) and sights, usually well within walking distances. Great fishing as well. Weather related delays are almost non-existent.
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Old 02-08-2018, 12:38 PM   #15
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We bought our 41' President in Michigan after a 5 yr loop cruise by the previous owner. There is a big difference in piloting the canals where you are very protected vs an open ocean transit as you may encounter depending on your route. 30' is a small vessel for months run together on a transit. Keep searching - googling, there are lots of trawler gatherings with training sessions, boats to walk on and owners to talk to.
The smarter you both get the more fun it is and remember EVERYBODY has an opinion, you need to develop your own needs and wants list.
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Old 02-08-2018, 01:20 PM   #16
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I would not set out on "the loop" as a first cruise or in a new to me boat. I would recommend a few shorter cruises, perhaps a week or two to make sure the boat is trouble free and to make sure you have what you need on board.

And I don't think 30' is necessarily too small for a couple. Unless you're just doing the loop to be able to say you've done it, you will be spending a lot of time off the boat in interesting towns and cities along the way. Remember, a smaller boat is easier to handle and less expensive to operate and dock. You can also go under many bridges while larger boats are waiting for the hourly opening.
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Old 02-08-2018, 08:05 PM   #17
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I would not set out on "the loop" as a first cruise or in a new to me boat. I would recommend a few shorter cruises, perhaps a week or two to make sure the boat is trouble free and to make sure you have what you need on board.

And I don't think 30' is necessarily too small for a couple. Unless you're just doing the loop to be able to say you've done it, you will be spending a lot of time off the boat in interesting towns and cities along the way. Remember, a smaller boat is easier to handle and less expensive to operate and dock. You can also go under many bridges while larger boats are waiting for the hourly opening.
Welcome AB, from yet another newbie . I agree with aboatman. We are also looking at the great loop as an adventure we would like to complete. And we are also looking at a boat with the max of 32 feet. We were on a 5 year count down, but I was given an offer at work that I may not be able to say no to, and may work pass that time period. The reason for the 32' max for us is based on the after the loop storage, we would like to keep the boat behind the house on a lift. And at the same time keep the 20' WAC we have now on its lift. After the loop we would most likely want to do trips to the Keys and dry Tortugas, I think a 32 is fine for that. I understand why people would think 32' is cramped for a year or more living aboard, but the wife and I feel it is more then adequate for us and are looking forward to it. The only thing my wife has on her list of needs is a separate shower stall from the bathroom. That should be no problem.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:10 AM   #18
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If you stay in marinas, you will probably use the marina showers as they are larger, have unlimited hot water and someone else cleans them. We have a "wet head" (shower in the head) but we also have a transom shower with hot and cold water. When anchored, we shower in the cockpit, not the head. Plenty of room and the water just runs out the drain. No cleanup needed.

As for boat size, some boats just seem bigger than others for the same size. It's all in the design. The "wet head" design leaves a lot of room for other things.
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Old 02-11-2018, 07:13 AM   #19
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Boat size is a worry for house dwellers , and folks that expect endless guests.

A couple can be very comfortable in a modest boat , because you can ONLY be in one place at a time!

Inside, a real honest comfortable chair or couch (not padding on a slab of plywood) is required as sometimes it will rain for a couple of days and you will stay put.

The galley needs to be comfortable to work in and really east to clean , as a mess makes the boat feel and live smaller.

The galley should have its storage so, like a sailboat ,so a 50 deg rapid roll disturbs nothing, and a handy grab bar keeps the cook upright and undamaged.

Outside a very comfortable set of chairs or sitting area is required, with a sun shade that sets or can be struck in seconds also required.

Bunk areas need to be ventilated the most when its hot and raining, a set of oversized Dorade vents , perhaps with a computer fan, can do the job.

The dink will need a setup that does not have to be tended when anchored or in transit .

30-35 ft can l suit many couples for a summer on the water.

Children , (few adults) will love the adventure of visiting, so an air mattress on the cabin sole or cockpit floor will work fine.
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:10 AM   #20
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Excess comfort VS ease of handling.

Quote:
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Boat size is a worry for house dwellers , and folks that expect endless guests.

A couple can be very comfortable in a modest boat , because you can ONLY be in one place at a time!
I agree, and it is more important for some captains and mates to have a boat that is easy to handle with just two.

Of course our boat will send most of its time in South West Florida, so an A/C system and a generator will be on the list of needs because in the summer air vents won't help, they will just funnel in the no see-ums.
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