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Old 08-16-2019, 01:21 PM   #1
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On your boat...

Not sure if this is the place to ask, but is there anybody in or near Texas that would take me out on your trawler for a day or two and let me see if the reality is anywhere near as cool as the "dream"? I'd be happy share expenses or to pay a reasonable price to find out. A day or two would help me decide if I really want to do this before I actually BOUGHT a 36-44 foot boat!
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:42 PM   #2
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An hour or so aboard someone else's boat won't begin to tell you if the reality is as cool as the dream (it is for some, not for others). First read Boat Search 101 on this forum.


Then charter a couple of times. Yes it will cost some bucks but a bad boat purchase decision will cost much, much more. Southwest Florida Yacht Charters in the Ft Myers area is one. Anacortes Yacht Charters in the PNW is another. If you don't have experience running a decent size boat you may have to use a captain for a day or two but that is part of learning.


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Old 08-16-2019, 03:56 PM   #3
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I'm not talking about an hour. But I am talking about a trip. I have had 11 boats and NONE of them were ever the one to end all. I know if I had a good sized boat (36 foot "ish") and somebody wanted to go out and share fuel costs and work I'd be interested in arranging something. But I am not interested in, or can I afford a charter for 7 days and $5000! I did have a "pocket" trawler though.
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:36 PM   #4
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...But I am not interested in, or can I afford a charter for 7 days and $5000! I did have a "pocket" trawler though.
Uh oh. If you can't afford a charter, not sure you can afford a big(ish) boat. Seriously though, I think David is right. We charter with another couple most years, San Juan Charters and Nanaimo in the past. Yes, the price tag is pretty expensive but if you split it with another couple it's not too much more expensive than your average cruise or vacation. Planning trips, planning fuel and food and marina stops, following buoys and nav aids and reconciling paper charts and electronic displays with what you actually see ahead, anchoring, jockeying into new marinas, dancing around the weather, living in tight quarters (they say a boat shrinks two feet per day on a longer trip), being stuck below in a long rain -- all that will tell you if it's really your thing. And of course we all joke about the cost of boating, but it really is a badly expensive activity so you do have to be prepared and able to eat the bills. Not for the faint of heart, or those with skinny wallets. (Yes, I know, some people are able to do it on a shoestring but I think that's rare, and to me there's nothing like a nice marina with a good restaurant and nice showers after a long nasty day. We all have our own tolerances though.)
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:50 PM   #5
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$5000 is a big chunk toward a $50,000 boat! And for just 5-7 days? No, I'll pass. One of my problems is my family has no interest in living or extended stays on a boat so most of the time I will be alone. I would welcome a person or two that just wanted to crew and share expenses. As long as they are clean, sober (relatively) and polite!
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:57 PM   #6
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Hard to make that commitment without meeting someone first.
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:08 PM   #7
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Sort of. I would take just about anybody out with $100 for fuel for an afternoon on the ICW. But I would like to get to know them pretty well prior to even a single overnight.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:44 PM   #8
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$5000 is a big chunk toward a $50,000 boat! And for just 5-7 days? No, I'll pass. One of my problems is my family has no interest in living or extended stays on a boat so most of the time I will be alone. I would welcome a person or two that just wanted to crew and share expenses. As long as they are clean, sober (relatively) and polite!
We don't know you're clean, sober or polite. However, I do understand what you're looking for. One issue people face in accepting money from you is they could be operating an illegal charter, so they must be careful in that regard.

I'm more worried about what you way about family. I don't know your age or your family, but how much time do you currently spend away from them? We have people here who cruise without spouses and without adult children, but I'd think if your kids are not adults, it would be very hard to be away.

You say you've owned many boats. Which have you enjoyed most. Is a long range cruising boat really right for you and your family or might a day boat locally be better? How much boating do you anticipate in a year?
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:26 PM   #9
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After 20 years in the military it doesn't take me long to figure out of one is "clean, sober and polite". We're pulling up to the fuel dock. Time to pitch in. As far as I know pooling money for groceries and fuel is still legal. Well, at least for now. Taking somebody out on the boat has never been much different than going anywhere else. Guests are guests and crew is crew.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:04 PM   #10
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Owning a “big” boat is a commitment. The maintenance hours alone can consume you. For me, it’s my greatest passion and I love working on her not to mention taking her out for long hauls.

It’s expensive even doing 99% of the work myself including engine work.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything!!

An hour or so is not going to prepare you for monthly, weekly or daily upkeep. Rent a trawler if that is available in your area or go to a marina and talk to some owners. Most owners including myself love to talk about their “big” boats!

Wishing you well on your hunt!
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:15 PM   #11
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Sort of. I would take just about anybody out with $100 for fuel for an afternoon on the ICW. But I would like to get to know them pretty well prior to even a single overnight.

These people are trying to tell you something important. Pay attention. If you are considering a major investment in an activity you or your family are not committed to, a week-long recreational charter is chump change.

Prorate it: A novel vacation for the whole family = $3k or so. Educational experience to avoid colossal mistake =$2k. A bargain!

"$100 for fuel" marks you as someone to be avoided.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:34 PM   #12
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Cool

"$100 for fuel" marks you as someone to be avoided. " How so? When I pulled up to the fuel docks $100 was about a quarter of the bill for a Saturday. If I had three other guys and their girlfriends $100 each was just what it worked out to as an example.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:45 PM   #13
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$5000 is a big chunk toward a $50,000 boat! And for just 5-7 days? No, I'll pass. One of my problems is my family has no interest in living or extended stays on a boat so most of the time I will be alone. I would welcome a person or two that just wanted to crew and share expenses. As long as they are clean, sober (relatively) and polite!
If you're willing to spend $50K on a boat, you better have $8-15K per year to support it. If you can't do that, or close to it, you'd do yourself a favor by not getting a big boat.

It ain't for the faint of heart....but there's nothing better!

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Old 08-16-2019, 09:49 PM   #14
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You are inexperienced in trawlers so you came here for advice....

You got very consistent advice from people who are experienced.....

I hope you use it well and find a boat that will make you and your family happy.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:05 PM   #15
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You all kind of seem to be missing my point of what I am really saying. I just still think there must be a retired person like me out there, somewhere, between 50 and 70 years old saying "I'd take the boat out tomorrow, but don't have anybody to go with" that I could get in contact with, go out with them, share some expenses with and learn a little from. When I had my Mast and Mallet there were times I said it, and if I do get another boat in the future I'm betting I'll say it again.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:24 PM   #16
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Currently there are four guys on earth whose skills I trust enough to run my boat, either with me or by themselves. My friend Mike in Alaska who was in the mechanical engineering program with me at UAF; my dock neighbor Dave who is the best boat mechanic and power driver I've ever known; my chartering friend Peter in Scottsdale; and probably AlaskaProf on this forum. Maybe it's just me but
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:36 PM   #17
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(Fat fingers, sorry, to finish ...[but] I think casual boat-ride drop-ins don't happen very much because a lot of boaters are far more cautious than that with our big investments, closely surrounded by other boaters' big investments.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:52 PM   #18
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There are some sailboat forums out there where people look for crew, I guess. And, I've seen people post their availability as "able body" crew on the bulletin board at my marina looking for free weekend rides, but I can't say I know anyone who has grabbed their cards.

But, I guess what it comes down to for me is this, out on the water I'm surrounded on in all directions by a substance incompatible with human life, in a situation with many variables, and with no way to escape those aboard -- and a lot of responsibility for them, as it turns out.

Most friends, family, and neighbors can come with me any time I go out -- no charge, no splitting gas, no nothing. I value good company. Even friends of friends are often welcome. And, for me, I'm burning the diesel whether I have company or not -- I am fortunate in that sense -- so I don't want money.

I'll invite strangers ogling my boat from the dock (my boat is in a tourist area) up and in to take a look. Chat with them for a few minutes about boating. Maybe even offer them a beer.

But taking people I totally don't know and have no connection to out on the water? Not for me. It isn't that I don't like meeting new people. And, it isn't that I don't enjoy good company while underway. Boating is a social sport. But, there are plenty of ways I meet new people that don't involve that stuck together on a 150 sq-ft isolated island thing. And, I suspect most feel the same way.

I spent last Saturday helping an old dock neighbor who just bought a boat get some basic electrical systems and bilge pumps working. I spent a good chunk of Sunday crawling around my old boat, now in the care of some really nice folks, take care of some maintenance that was inaccessible to them after a leg injury. I spent the evening enjoying drinks and dinner with them. A few weeks before that I spent until 3AM helping a dock neighbor get an older autopilot working before he did a 3 day trip after the contractors he hired basically weren't interested in something from that era. A couple days before that I was on a neighbor's inflatable hopping sand bars in the gulf of mexico. (Can you tell I have a transmission out for rebuild?) When I had a boat berthed in LA I'd round up anyone on the dock and their friends for a trip to Catalina once a month or so.

Why not buy a really small, inexpensive boat that you can single hand. Think about a small sailboat, maybe. Keep it at a marina. Take it out and enjoy it. Invite your neighbors. Go out, drop anchor and grill. Do some light fishing. Go to the local boat-up restaurant. Or, depending upon where you are in the country take it up onto the sandbars their bigger boats can't reach and have some drinks. Help them with their boat projects on weekends.

You'll make some new friends. Learn a ton. And, I bet you'll get invited onto a lot of boats for a beer or whatever. Eventually, you might get invited on some trips. As long as you are there to have a good time, make friends, enjoy the company, and be a neighbor to your neighbors, it'll be worth it to you if boating is. (Of course, if you show up, troll the docks, and look for a ride -- not sure you'll have as much fun).

Boating is a welcoming, neighborly community. At least in my experience. It is just boats can also be small places, especially with personalities.
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:07 PM   #19
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"$100 for fuel" marks you as someone to be avoided. " How so? When I pulled up to the fuel docks $100 was about a quarter of the bill for a Saturday. If I had three other guys and their girlfriends $100 each was just what it worked out to as an example.
Obviously, you don't have a trawler traveling at six or seven knots. A hundred dollars buys me more than 16 hours with $4-per-gallon diesel.
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:14 PM   #20
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No I don't. But with any boat that burns gas or diesel it's nice to have somebody share expenses.
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