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Old 04-02-2010, 10:06 PM   #1
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Trawler or Condo for my ex?

First of all hello from the FNG.

I'm 47 and an Ex Intel USAF Officer 85-91 Desert Storm I, and now a corporate medical sales guy and a scuba diver. Dad of two teen girls. I'm looking for a boat vs a condo at mid life crisis and possible divorce looming. Enough background I think.*

Looking to park her in Panama City Beach area or West Bay? East Bay ? Lynn Haven to get a better rate on annual slips or a slip purchase. I can live anywhere with my job, just need a good airport. Will have a car, prefer Panama City to be close to home.

I have done some research and see that buying a boat/black hole is not the problem, but finding a place to park her is, and the accommodations at the marina, covered slip or not, "rice boats" vs nice boats etc...I have owned boats all my life, grew up in FL.

I want a trawler 36-45. The GB is the queen I see, but you pay the price. I like Marine Trader & Golden Star for two that I've found. Price range is now $95-140K for the boat. I'm not new to forums so I did try to do the obligatory searches before posting this so, I hope to be welcomed and get help with my decisions. I've tried the "it's cheaper to keep her" but it's just not working.

On Yacht World I found the "Hattie B" and then this one, to give you an idea of what I'm looking for, would live on I think. I'm asking the "veterans" here....just buy a condo or a boat?

38 Trawler

42 Trawler

-- Edited by Abaco24 on Friday 2nd of April 2010 10:24:43 PM
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:58 AM   #2
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RE: Trawler or Condo for my ex?

The "right" boat will be a delight , and as a veteran of 22+ years as live aboard , in NYC and holding down a real job , I say do it.

However a "trawler" may or may not be the deck style that does the best job.

You will need months of getting up to speed on the variables , Dave Pascoe is a good start , (website and books to buy) .

The other contemplation is construction ,

If you will be holding down a job other than Boat Slave ,

I would suggest an ALL FIBERGLASS style of hull and deck.

Then you can contemplate adding electrical toys , rather than ripping up composite soup decks , pilot houses and window frames.


Make a list of what you think you want "Desirements" , and read Pascoe with your list in hand.
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Old 04-03-2010, 06:42 AM   #3
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RE: Trawler or Condo for my ex?

I did watch Pascoe for the web videos which was great info and I do understand this takes some time to get set up and find the right marina, boat condition, equipment etc.

What are some of the "lessons learned" when you first started out? Getting used to the space difference, things you wish you had done differently, advantages, disadvantages?
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:04 AM   #4
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RE: Trawler or Condo for my ex?

I am somewhat going thru the same mental gyrations as you although not not the marital strife part. FF makes some points there and I agree with them. Teak decks on a 20 year boat are potential trouble...even big trouble. There are so many boats out there that there is no real reason to go down that road. I would consider a boat that has a teak sundeck area that has been covered by the sundeck all of it's life....that is the only teak deck I would do. Another thing you need to consider is insurance....especially since you will be living in hurricane alley. Your choices narrow significantly when you get over a certain length(approx 38ft) and a certain value(approx 125k). When your choices narrow, common sense will tell you price goes up...and your common sense will be correct. The Gulf Coast area has been hammered since the 2004 season and many companies have pulled out and the ones that stayed have really tightened things up. So shop insurance and that might help your decision.

Another thing that is so simple but very important to me(and I have said it on here many times) is drawers!!! My GF(who is my wife now) and I lived aboard a Prairie 29 and what made it work was 5 big deep drawers (and one big hanging locker). Not many manufacturers put any thought into providing decent storage space, They concentrate on living space and then make your storage space the afterthought and put it into every nook and cranny. There may be tons of storage "everywhere" but I don't want to look "everywhere" for my underwear....I want to look "right here". The manufacturers that give you a "chest-of-drawers" is Hatteras, CHB/Present(could include other models like Nova, Heritage East) and Prairie. Those are the only ones that I have consistently found nice drawers on. The rest give you tons of "compartments" and they are usually small and all over the place. I guess you could get used to this and I am sure I would. But it is just a little irritating. Alright, my drawer rant is over. I guess all I am saying is that drawers make the liveaboard experience more similar to the way you have been living your entire life...and that is, out of a drawer.

The you gotta figure what style you want.....Sundeck???....Sedan???....Classic/truncabin. Different strokes for different strokes and we could all go on and on but the sundeck(aft cabin motoryacht) has the most space. I'll leave it at that.
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:37 AM   #5
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Trawler or Condo for my ex?

1.You've heard the ole saying Don't do anything in the first year after a major life change.
2.My cousin who knows me very well is a counselor. He advised me years ago: Do not ever dispense advice about anything.So read on at your own peril.
Well well well, youve found yourself in the same predicament I did 15 years ago at 45. First let me say my divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me and happened at the best time in my life. I remarried 10 years later and couldn't be happier. I divorced at a time in my life that allowed me time to recoup financially. The only assets we had were a 34 sailboat paid for, and cash. We were upside down slightly on the house. My ex wanted the sailboat because we belonged to a social boat club and she wanted to continue with that. Thank God. So we split everything, I was ahead a little in cash because of the boat. I divorced at a time when the stock market was cooking, invested what little I had, and after 5 years had enough to renovate a little lake house I bought for next to nothing after we divorced. Got out of the market just before the crash (very lucky). Now my little lake house is paid for, put in a pool last year and am looking to retire within 3 years.
The point Im trying to make is the financial decisions you make now will have a very profound effect on the quality of the rest of your life.
A couple of facts:
Very few folks can make a boat a wise investment.
In FL there are some exceptional deals on homes that just cant be ignored. My daughter just bought a home for $70k less than the owner bought it for 5 years ago.
Boats are a luxury not a necessity. I developed a spreadsheet that figures the actual costs of boat ownership over 6 years. These costs include the purchase price, sales price, depreciation 6%/yr, maintenance, bottom cleaning, bottom painting 3 times over 6 yrs, slip fees, but no fuel costs. These costs reflect costs in the SW FL area. Plugging in a 40 single engine, $100k boat reveals a cost of about $20.5k per year. Certainly doing your own bottom cleaning/paint will save you some and may bring the cost down to 18k or so a year, but you get the idea. 6 years ago I bought a 29 sailboat and sold it in December. The spread sheet costs on this boat were very accurate.
We currently have under contract a 35 Carver. This boat will cost us plenty to buy and maintain, but I can afford it-all in cash. We plan on a 5 year ownership plan, do the loop and then sell her. Don't think I can afford her after retirement.
If you do choose to buy a boat remember the KISS principal keep it simple stupid. A single engine, regular aspirated diesel will save you bundles, as long as you are fine going sailboat speeds. Stay away from teak decks, especially in FL and do an engine survey in addition to the regular survey.
So my advice is to reread statement 1 but adhere to statement 2.


-- Edited by timjet on Saturday 3rd of April 2010 08:39:33 AM

-- Edited by timjet on Saturday 3rd of April 2010 09:45:21 AM
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:28 AM   #6
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Trawler or Condo for my ex?

47 seems to be the average age for getting a divorce, mid live crises/change.* Many of us been though it, not fun but not surprising?** I agree do not make any major decision/change for a period of time, and certainly not a boat if you plan on finding a new SO as not many females will live on a boat.* There is another site, *http://www.livingaboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi*which is about living on a boat.* Not many females unless they are already committed to the relationship, and then she gets to pick and have the final say on the boat.* Just face if the wife/SO rules.******

Now as for a condo or boat.* Neither until you are ready, you have gone though the big D and time.* Then buy a condo as you do not need the additional burden/complications of buying a depreciating assets.* If you want to buy a boat buy a go fast play toy that can get you on the water.*Take your time look at boats and marinas as many marinas have a wait list of years.* If you want to talk boats, we can talk boats, but get your live in order first.* Bet you where not expecting to get that advise on a boat site.* ******


-- Edited by Phil Fill on Saturday 3rd of April 2010 10:30:35 AM

-- Edited by Phil Fill on Saturday 3rd of April 2010 10:33:42 AM

-- Edited by Phil Fill on Saturday 3rd of April 2010 10:36:03 AM

-- Edited by Phil Fill on Saturday 3rd of April 2010 10:53:25 AM
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Old 04-03-2010, 04:13 PM   #7
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RE: Trawler or Condo for my ex?

While I can not speak to the divorce and emotional ride you may be on I can talk speak a*little to the*live aboard question.* I was 45 when my wife and I decided to buy our first trawler and use it more as a liveaboard*in San Diego.* My job transfer allowed us to average about 3 nights a week on aboard and we loved every minute of.* Five years later,*we just sold our second boat and find ourselves debating if we jump back into the real estate market to make some money until I retire in ten years or live life for today and buy our third trawler.* While I agree with others that a boat is not a good investment, some will hold thier value better than others.* We sold our first Nordhavn for what we paid new 18 months earlier and just completed the sale of second Nordhavn this week with only*8% depreciation*over three years.* Not bad for a boat.**Of course there is monthly cost of ownership that is a complete loss.* Looking back all I can say is if the man upstairs took me tomorrow I could at least say that I lived out my retirement dream (in part) and for that I'm gratefull.* Life is just to short and full of unknowns not do something that you have a passion for.* I think it was Mark Twain that said "20 years from now you will be more disapointed for things you didn't do then for the things*you did".* It makes a lot of sense.* Good Luck.*

John
Former owner of Nordhavn 4050 and 4061.*
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Old 04-03-2010, 05:56 PM   #8
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Trawler or Condo for my ex?

Great advice and yes that's what I was looking for....love the Mark Twain comment which I'm going to pirate. While I wouldn't do anything rash like storm out and buy a trawler next week, I do plan to take my time in the decision. I do love the idea of living aboard, but would need the next 10 years to get my investments back up.

I actually bought a 44 acre farm before the crash, but it needs to come back up. I use it just for deer hunting. I plan on selling that next year an put into my Vanguard MM for my two girls college, they both have 4.0+ averages, great girls. I just hate seeing the family split up, that's the hardest for me, and the fact I've just turned into a glorified paycheck with no love, compassion or relationship?

I downloaded a spreadsheet from some site a few weeks ago, maybe it was yours TJ. I really haven't sat down and compared what it takes to "run my house" vs a boat. The slip is like an extra payment or a bit higher mortgage. Utilities are normal, maintenance would be similar to a yard, but a bit higher. So just how different is it vs owning a house with similar upkeep? Now you're just on the water in a marina..........that's what I need help in deciding.

Great point about insurance in FL - on average what does USAA get or others to cover a 36-39 ft? I like those lengths. I plan on looking at one this week to get a feel for them overall in Panama City.

On a first boat purchase I would maybe make a 3-5 year plan to try it out, still work my job, then sell as you have mentioned.

A future SO picking my first trawler.......not a chance........I'm old enough to just tell her to piss off , deal with it or find another!

PS - Why do I all of a sudden feel old at 47? I guess the boat seems like a great escape.





-- Edited by Abaco24 on Saturday 3rd of April 2010 06:05:53 PM
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:33 PM   #9
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RE: Trawler or Condo for my ex?

Man, I don't even know where to start. Figure 5 years to get over being pissed off, broke, split up family, shared Christmas, new Daddy sticking his snoot into your girls life, ex leaning on you for money or when her life gets ****ty, etc. ad nauseum. Been there, it sucks, but the light at the end of the tunnel ain't a Greyhound bus heading your way. Its happiness my friend. Suck it up, one foot in front of the other, every day, your girls need a stand up daddy who does not, absolutely not, rag out their Mom. You will figure out exactly who you are when this all shakes out.
Now, as to buying a boat. Don't. I was lucky enough to be broke on my ass when I got divorced or I might have done what you are thinking; buy a boat, live on it, palm trees, pina colatas, bikinis, the life. News Flash: Does Not Fit Into Raising Teenagers, Pre Teens, or 4 year olds. When I finally started getting my life back I built a swimming pool in the backyard, thinking I'd have the kids and their friends over all the time, basically my thumb on top of their lives and desirable/undesirable friends. Not. They loved the pool for about 2 weeks, then off to other things. Totally predictable now, looking back.
So, fast forward on your life 12 years or so, and back to buying a boat. Do it, absolutely. But, just like the above mentioned pool, don't expect your girls to be totally enamored with it all the time. Amazing how they have their own lives, just like you raised them.
One of the odd things I found out about buying a trawler, other than how slow it goes, is how difficult it is to find a crew to go out every weekend. I figured they'd be standing in line to go on the boat, not so. Its like playing golf, an all day thing. Funny, the kids leave home for college (same with your friends), and everybody has something to do, like play golf or whatever.
But, life is good my friend. Single handing your trawler when you can't get a crew is most excellent. When you've done it, and back at the slip tied up with bourbon and water in hand, you have climbed a mountain and it feels great.
Take your time. My 2 cents worth.
Mike
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M/V Old School
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:51 PM   #10
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Trawler or Condo for my ex?

Thanks Mike,
I lived in Picayune for 7 years, left after Katrina, so I have some "Who Dat" in me.

Great advice and I knew I could get some great advice from other men who own boats!! We are simple beasts afterall, if women could only understand that and punch our cards on a regular basis.

I haven't given up entirely. We are all going on Spring Break this week, we'll see how it goes. We are not separated yet. One child will graduate next year, the other in two years. I do hope to go look at a few boats.

I did just find out I have a family friend that may own or operate a marina in FL and he's a bit of an eccentric, so now I'm on a quest to see where he is and get some more research / facts in the books for a slip or storage.

Why IMHO of looking at boats do Mainships seem to be a less costly brand?

I like the lay out of a queen/king stateroom with a nice guest stateroom, like the Marine Trader (Luhrs division). Which ships are next to GB in the top 5, decending prices? (assuming all conditions are the same)

Thanks guys and gals, (don't wanna be a misogynistic sexist) I'm enjoying the input ...AB

-- Edited by Abaco24 on Saturday 3rd of April 2010 08:55:06 PM
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Old 04-04-2010, 04:45 PM   #11
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Trawler or Condo for my ex?

Mainships are kinda the Chevy or Ford of the bunch whereas a GB might be the Caddy or Mercedes. And just a little FYI, I don't know if it was a typo but Marine Traders have nothing to do with Luhrs....but Mainships ARE a division of the Luhrs group.

There are so many boat builders that it is pretty hard to nail it down to a top 5 like you would cars. I think the only thing you can really do is brainstorm the higher end ones.....like maybe Nordic Tugs. You cannot forget the more passagemaking boats like Nordhavn and maybe Kadey Krogen. Those two could be potentially higher end than GB. And there are many more in that genre. *I do believe DeFever is the value leader in the bigger more expensive Trawlers. *I don't think you could call them a passagemaker but they do usually possess a range of over 1000 miles and are well engineered and well built. *If I was in that market, I would have a hard time passing up a DeFever. *They give you a ton of boat for the money.

With that said, there is nothing wrong with Mainships and you get a lot for your money. I am sure each model has their own little issues. One thing nice about a builder like Mainship is that they are mass produced....which means there is a lot of factory support. My boat is a Mainship and it is quite nice to be able to call the parts people and order a part. Good luck doing that with a Marine Trader(I have nothing against MT). If they don't have it, they have never failed in getting me in touch with the contractor that produced it. Anyway, it is quite a luxury to have parts and service just a phone call away. They built approx 1200 older 34footers and they still support those as well.

-- Edited by Baker on Sunday 4th of April 2010 04:48:32 PM
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:21 PM   #12
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RE: Trawler or Condo for my ex?

Speaking for myself I regard a boat as a toy, not as a necessity and certainly not as an investment. I regard a house/condo/property as an investment, not a toy. I would never buy a boat (I'm talking a signficant boat like a trawler, not a little trailer fishing boat or runabout) unless every other aspect of my life was stabilized.

Boats have a nasty way of suddenly catching you with a need for big bucks to fix or replace something. A house can, too, but in a normal real estate market that money you put into a house for a new roof or new appliances or whatever adds to the value and ultimately the resale price. The money you put into a boat doesn't because whatever kind of boat you have it will never sell for more than the other boats of the same make, model, and general condition. Even if we gold-plated our GB36, the price we could get for it would still be within the envelope of GB36 prices.

Decades ago when I was just starting to work after getting out of college a very successful businessman who has a friend of our family gave me a piece of advice I have lived by ever since---- know the difference between necessities and toys and never finance the toys.

Of course what works for one person may not work for another.
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:11 AM   #13
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RE: Trawler or Condo for my ex?

Insurance,

In FL insurance is a hassle, so the simplest choice is to purchase Liability , and a cheaper boat.

Its called self insurance.

It is a hit (I guess) to lose a $25.000 to $40K boat the first year or two, but with insurance rates as high as they are , it seems foolish to me to pay the rate year after year.

There are tons of $25K boats that would be great liveaboards.

We simply built a "proper" hurricane dock in a KNOWN HURRICANE HOLE AREA.

These can be rented , for a season , to use as needed , if required.

$1K a season is loads cheaper than moving to hell&back on behalf of your insurer

Where ever you are its easy enough to work out an advanced plan and the worse is that you run the drill a few times and nothing happens.

No problem,your techniques and gear will be improved .

Live aboard dock space is pretty easy to find.

As a bachelor your choice would be a lively marina with a good body exchange with in walking distance or behind a private home of snowbirds for 6 months of total privacy.

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Old 04-05-2010, 09:25 AM   #14
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RE: Trawler or Condo for my ex?

If I was in your situation, (which I may be not far off...) I would be hunting for the best deal on a 53 Hatteras, 3 stateroom model, with the fishing cockpit. With two kids, they will want their own space. These seem to be a dime a dozen in the Florida market. Or, search the Great Lakes region and run it on down. If you are like me and always wanted to experience the live aboard life, I don't thnk it gets much easier as you get older. And being newly sinlge, what could be better than taking off for the weekend with a new "friend" to explore new anchorages, tropical drink recipes, skinny dipping off the swim platform???
Anyway, it's nice to think about while sitting here in the cold drizzly PNW.
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:23 AM   #15
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RE: Trawler or Condo for my ex?

AS an example of a fairly cheap boat , down the canal is a Hat 40 , twin DD 6v53 all GRP, no house plywood , runs fine and the asking is under $30K.

The condition is old but fine .
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