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Old 03-31-2013, 04:35 AM   #1
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You have to start somewhere

After reading some of the comments on GG/meatsea threads… it got me thinking…
I have been lurking/sucking up information on this forum for years… It’s time I toss out my first opinion.
It’s okay to jump in to boating feet first as long as you know your limitations and have a healthy respect for Mother Nature and the Sea. You have to start somewhere. It may not be practical for everyone to start with a 20’ then move to a 30 something foot then after awhile get a 40 something foot then on up from there.
I have had ski and fishing boats for years, nothing over 22 feet, last October I bought a late 1970s 55 foot steel trawler, most defiantly in the fixer-upper category. The boat has been on the hard getting much needed repairs since, in July or August I will make the 500+ mile trip from New Orleans to her new home port of Corpus Christi TX. I will hire a captain for the first day or two to get me safely through the locks and busy marine industrial area where the boat is currently. IF all goes well and I’m feeling comfortable my crew and I will take it on our own the rest of the way. At this point I have to say part of that crew will be my brother who has much more experience than I, albeit sailing experience, delivering boats up and down the west coast.
What is my plan for the boat… I don’t know, sure I have the same dream as most of us, distant shores… that cruise through the south pacific, Norwegian fjord, the med… my boat is capable, am I?? Not today but you have to start somewhere. For all I know it may become a dock queen, but as long as the wife and I are around water we are happy.
I’m comfortable with the decisions I have made and look forward to the experience. I will be honest, I’m nervous about the trip, but I see that as a good thing, after flying in the Air Force for 20+ years and having lost friends to complacency and over-confidence… I know a little fear is good.
Heck, if Bumfuzzle can do what they did I can safely get to Corus Christi and beyond. If you have not heard the Bumfuzzle story go to Bumfuzzle go to the bottom left and to archives and select September 2003…. Wild story, myself and most on this forum would say they were insane. But I have to give it to them… most of us sit on the dock and talk about the adventure… they are living it.
Galaxygirl and meatsea…. Go for it…. when we meet up in some distant port the first cold one is on me.

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Old 03-31-2013, 05:39 AM   #2
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Go for it.
if you have been a flyer and you Bro has done deliveries I wouldn't even be bothered in hiring a skipper.
You never know what sort of penis cranium you end up with.
With the required amount of caution and fear get out and get it done.
If you have had the boat on the hard for a long time doing refurbs you probably know more about your vessel than any blow in would.
Like you say a little fear is good and it adds to the excitement.
All the best

"When I die I hope my wife doesn't sell my toys for what I told her I paid for them"
Money: It's made round to go round , not flat to stack.
"Get out and do it"
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:07 AM   #3
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Great post Joel. I feel the same way and I don't have the experience you or your brother do. I'm learning as I go along probably spending too much money but as the say, you can't take it with you.
Some thinker said:
Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.

Dave & Suzie - Roughwater 35
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:15 AM   #4
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I know a little fear is good.

That is why some folks use anchors 3x the size of other folks.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:25 AM   #5
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As we emailed about, Joel, you've got your head in the right space. You have valid concerns, to be sure, but I've found that that nervousness/concern makes for a more prudent operator. The day you become overly arrogant/confident about your abilities is the day to hang it up...

You have some hoops to jump thru, but nothing major.

Congrats on the new boat!
Peter- Marine Insurance Guru & tuna fishing addict!

1989 52' PT Overseas yachtfisher
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:18 AM   #6
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There are a lot of ways to learn.
For me, the best way is by doing it...on the job experience is pretty much appreciated these days.

Besides that, you don’t waste time!

Go for it!

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Now retired and cruising in calm waters
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:10 AM   #7
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Great post.
There is a huge difference in your experience, attitude, expectations and where you wish to go to start than the GG/MS bunch. You have an experienced crew that will teach you much more than most hired delivery captains ever will as he has a close interest. Just spend a little time after you launch the boat figuring out how she handles, rides, reacts then head for home.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:25 PM   #8
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There will be a time when the sounds, vibrations and wallows of your boat become familiar. I takes a good dose of humility to be on the super-highway to learning these things. It's kind of a deal cut between man and machine. Eventually, you will like cooperating with one another, but in the meantime do yourself a favor........Never forget or let go of the humility. The sea has no regard for pride and ego.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:25 AM   #9
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If you jump significantly in size its almost like starting the learning and experience over again. Since you are going though some locks make sure you have a crew of two to handle the lines and make sure you have at least two lines the length required for the locks and extra bumpers. Usually the larger heavier boats fo first in the lock and up again the wall, so the main job of handling the lines is yours, and since you are up against the wall you might have smaller boat moored/tied to you, so also have enough bumper for both sides and extra line. We have had 3 to 4 deep of boats hanging off the Eagle.

Each person handling the lines should have a sharp knife to cut the lines if they get hung up. Make sure the crew know how to handle the lines as there is usually a current in then locks as the water goes up and down and when the doors open, so they have to be ready and they how to let out/in the lines.

Jumping from a 20 ft boat to a 50 ft steel boat can be daunting. Moat larger steel trawler are single engine so make sure the hired captain explains and shows you prop walk in reverse and thrusting in forward, so you can use it to your advantage. Nobody explained it to me so it was trial and error, mostly error but the Eagle has a hydraulic bow thruster, so I usually ended up maneuvering with the bow thruster. Waiting for the locks can be several hours, which is a real pucker factor having to sit/maneuver with other boats around. I am very thankful the Eagle bow thruster is hydraulic so we can run it for hours, where as most electric are dead.

The other thing to get use to is it takes time for the boat to start and stop so take it slow. Usually there is enough time to try this and see what that does. So make sure you check and make sure every things is in good working order as once they get moving it takes a long time before they stop. If you are use to a small boat reaction time, multiple that 3 to 5 times.

Ask for docking assistance as most marinas do offer if you ask. I always call ahead and ask for docking assistance even if we do not need. Also be sure to learn how to line in and maneuver on the lines. We have long poles that have come in handy to push off and grab onto with as many time we can not get a line to the dock so the poles come in handy. They are our back up bow thruster.

Lastly I do not have a concern of GG/MS as they seem to understand/know their limitations and are willing to ask and/or get help. Its when a person does not ask and is beyond their limitations the things can go wrong. Better to be on the cautious/humble side!


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