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Old 06-09-2011, 12:27 AM   #1
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Trawler School Charters in Dania Beach Review

First time posting on this forum. We have dreamed of taking to the trawler life and began preparation for the change: house for sale, shopping for a boat. We found a hands on trawler school in Florida where we could have several days of actual training while living aboard. The experience was not good. We are not turned off of the live aboard dream - far from it. But, we would like to warn other dreamers about the perils of Capt. Bob Hamilton's Trawler School Charters in Dania Beach, Florida.*<br style="padding:0px;margin:0px;" />We have started a blog about the experience. Follow the link below for details before spending the money.<br style="padding:0px;margin:0px;" /><br style="padding:0px;margin:0px;" />http://trawlerschoolchartersdaniabeach.blogspot.com/<br style="padding:0px;margin:0px;" /><br style="padding:0px;margin:0px;" /><br style="padding:0px;margin:0px;" />On a more cheerful note, we are still wanting to learn. Are there any suggestions about how to gain experience and training before actual purchase?<br style="padding:0px;margin:0px;" />Thanks and looking forward to answers.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:09 AM   #2
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RE: Trawler School Charters in Dania Beach Review

Holy Cow!!* I am so sorry you had that awful experience.* Maybe try attending a trawler fest / trawler university? http://www.passagemaker.com/events-s...FagZQgodKSyYLQ

As long as you have some basics, you can learn as you go.***
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:56 AM   #3
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RE: Trawler School Charters in Dania Beach Review

What a wonderful tip! We have subscribed to Passage Makers, but had not made the connection to the school(s). Thanks so much!
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:49 AM   #4
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RE: Trawler School Charters in Dania Beach Review

Also, you might talk to manufacturer's representatives, even if you're not in the market for a new boat. I know at least the Kadey Krogen website has training/charter companies in Annapolis that look like they are worth a look.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:21 PM   #5
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RE: Trawler School Charters in Dania Beach Review

Dreamers, as a trawler school owner, I'm quite dismayed with your story.* I would like to assure you that not all trawler schools are alike, and indeed most of them are reputable businesses that attempt to give students as much knowledge as possible in a limited time frame.* Our school focuses on the critical skills needed to safely and comfortably operate a trawler style boat.* The fact that you had a bad experience with one should not stop you from continuing to get quality instruction and additional knowledge while you determine if this lifestyle is for you.* Knowledge of the buying process can be gained for free from any reputable broker who desires to forge a long term relationship with a client.* Doing your own research, and participating in forums such as the Trawler Forum will also help you narrow down the type of boat most suited to your needs, and costs nothing.* Getting hands on experience and quality instruction should be another goal, and it's clear that's what you were attempting.* I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but as in life, boating has it's up and downs.* You shouldn't let* one bad experience color you impression overall.* One of the best ways I know of to test out the trawler lifestyle is to actually live aboard for a week or more while getting hands on experience with running the boat.* In our school, our students drive the boat the first day, and every day there after should they desire. Our course syllabus is comprehensive, and we normally cover a chapter or two over morning coffee, and spend the day practicing the skills we just reviewed, all while you drive the boat.** (A Defever 49 RPH)We have never had a mechanical failure that prevented our completing a trip, but failures do happen.* It's all about how you prepare for and respond to those failures that matters.*

As for being aboard with a drunken captain, hindsight is always 20 /20, but I would have not hesitated to turn him in.* As a licensed Mariner with paying passengers aboard, passenger safety should be the highest concern.* The use of alcohol while underway is irresponsible and dangerous, and should not be tolerated.* If it were me, I would have turned him in immediately.* Hopefully, the Coast Guard would have pulled his license. Unfortunately, disreputable business people are everywhere, and you may have run into one, but don't give up on the dream of owning a trawler and exploring this great wet world we live in.

Hopefully, your next training experience will be far better, and you will come away with a love for this lifestyle that so many of us enjoy...........Arctic Traveller

www.arctictraveller.com
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:53 PM   #6
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RE: Trawler School Charters in Dania Beach Review

Arctic Traveller

Thank you for the great reply. My wife has not read it yet. I am sure she will respond.
I am glad to know there are school options in the world, and I do not assume they would be like the one we had.
The responses to our post have already shown what a wonderful community the water holds. And no, we are by no means disenchanted with our dream. We have talked to a few brokers and each has been helpful and added to our store of knowledge. We have been on a few boats and learned something each time we walked through a trawler. We have read a lot and find the wealth of knowledge needed (engineer, meteorologist) to be both challenging and exciting.

I have started reading Chapman's (this may take a while) and we are looking at USCG and Power Squadron courses available in our area. Oklahoma City courses do seem to be geared to the weekend and bass fishing size boats, but at our level, even the most basic courses are helpful. We will look at your web site and keep it bookmarked.

Based upon the pic of your boat and the large white thing nearby, I would hazard a guess you are not located on the Mississippi river. Our first year or two will be on the eastern rivers and ICW as we learn. But I will not give up on taking our boat through the canal and up the west coast to see the beauty of your area. Alas, one dream at a time.
Thanks again and feel free to offer any unsolicited advise you think helpful. Every conversation or exchange shows us something else we need to think about.
Al
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:45 PM   #7
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RE: Trawler School Charters in Dania Beach Review

Your response is so thorough. Thanks for taking time to encourage us. We have not given up on the dream; this one experience has not deterred us. We also discovered that brokers are wonderful resources; one in particular made it clear that he could and would help us maneuver the trawler, especially docking--our biggest concern. Your photo makes me want to travel to Alaska.
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:29 AM   #8
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RE: Trawler School Charters in Dania Beach Review

Quote:
Trawler Dreamers wrote:
Arctic Traveller

Thank you for the great reply. My wife has not read it yet.
I have started reading Chapman's (this may take a while) and we are looking at USCG and Power Squadron courses available in our area. Oklahoma City courses do seem to be geared to the weekend and bass fishing size boats, but at our level, even the most basic courses are helpful. We will look at your web site and keep it bookmarked.

Based upon the pic of your boat and the large white thing nearby, I would hazard a guess you are not located on the Mississippi river. Our first year or two will be on the eastern rivers and ICW as we learn.*
*Your most welcome. I would highly encourage you to take all the classes you can. The Power Squadron and USCG courses are great for beginners as they cover a lot of the basics that you need where ever you plan to boat.* In these classes, you'll meet other boaters and may be able to find folks willing to take you out so you can gain additional experience.* The goal should be to get out on the water as much as possible, and you certainly don't need to own a boat to do it. Many folks are looking for crew to help move boats from one cruising ground to another, and a lack of experience is no problem with many of them.* Search around on the net for crew wanted sites,* such as* http://www.latitude38.com/crewlist/Crew.html

Your correct, the big blue thing in our photo is a large ice cube calved from a glacier about a week prior to the photo. Were located in Juneau Alaska, a cruising destination many people dream about.* Despite our location, our instruction is geared to give you the skills to boat anywhere.* Best of luck, and don't forget to simply get out on the water however you can, you will learn something every time.........Arctic Traveller
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:37 PM   #9
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Trawler School Charters in Dania Beach Review

How we did it - fifteen years in 500 words.

1996 - chartered a boat on the Thames River for a week.* This required no experience and a minimum amount of prep.* Most useful book was the Pub Guide.* Lessons learned...how to live on a boat, keep groceries on hand, fill water, empty waste, cook and live in a small space, etc.* Fell in love with all of it.

1997 - took USCG Intro to Boating and also Coastal Navigation.

1998 - chartered in Anacortes for ten days with Captain on board for three days.* Did not break anyhthing and decided to buy boat while at anchor in Montegue Harbour.

1999 - found a very good broker and bought boat #1, a 22 year old Grand Banks 36. Took a four hour lesson from broker.

2000 - hired a captain for one day to train on new boat and unlearn bad habits.

2000 to 2008 - joined a local yacht club and went on every cruise out we could fit in our schedule.* Asked many questions.* Took solo cruises to paractice what we were learning.* Fell deeper in love with the boat and the life.

2005 - Sold big house gave away everything and moved to small condo.

2008 - sold condo and put the rest of stuff in a 10x10 storage unit.

2008 - quit job, sold boat #1 and bought boat #2 and moved aboard.

If you put safety first, you do not need to learn it all at once.* Get some basic skills and start boating.* Stretch a little at each opportunity and check in with a pro every now and then to re-work your swing. Learn to live together on your boat.* Pay close attention to your partner's interests.* Find a mechanic who will let you sit/stand/crouch by his side and take notes while you are getting your first oil change, toilet repair, etc.*

In no time at all, your significant other will whisper in your ear, "Honey, we're going to need a bigger boat."



-- Edited by Penny Lane on Wednesday 15th of June 2011 06:37:51 PM


-- Edited by Penny Lane on Wednesday 15th of June 2011 06:39:25 PM
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:58 PM   #10
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RE: Trawler School Charters in Dania Beach Review

Dear Penny Lane, thank you for the delightful chronicle. We thought we were "smart" to join a formal charter school and filed in the backs of our minds the notion of hiring a captain for a day's experience and instruction. Now, of course, we wish we had made different choices. Above all, we wish we had let the forums help us much, much earlier. Again, thanks for your insights.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:42 AM   #11
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RE: Trawler School Charters in Dania Beach Review

We offer a Trawler School that you may wish to look into.
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:09 AM   #12
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RE: Trawler School Charters in Dania Beach Review

Great advice here for certain. When we started boating, we bought an 18' Grady White bowrider on a trailer at a yard sale for $600. The outboard was in a pile on the ground behind the boat. The entire "interior" was balled up in a huge pile inside the old indoor/outdoor carpet and sat in the middle of the boat.
Brought it home and gradually put it back together. My DW announced one day that the next boat we owned would have a place for her to pee on board
Next boat was a 34' Marine Trader Aft Cabin trawler, single screw. Quite a leap...but we fell in love with the boat. As others have said...go slow, take baby steps, but keep taking them Take a few courses, but mostly listen to others that share the same interests, and figure out who you can listen to and who you can't

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Old 07-10-2011, 08:13 AM   #13
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RE: Trawler School Charters in Dania Beach Review

Thanks for the comments.

"Listen to others with similar interest" is a common thread in the messages we receive. At this point, everything we know we have learned listening to others. We learn something new from everyone we encounter. Boaters on this and other forums, brokers when we look at boats, articles in magazines like Passage Maker and others all have added to our store of knowledge. We have had a couple of people offer other training schools through this forum, and some have just offered to let us on their boat for a ride to learn. Also, we found that brokers will spend time introducing us to our boat when we buy.

Bottom line is that this community is very friendly and helpful and we appreciate all advice and benefit from others' experiences.* We just want to get started and the process moves slowly: house and stuff to sell, boat to find and buy, moveable mail and med scripts to arrange, critters to manage (2 cats / 2 dogs). What we have learned is that no problem is new. Someone on these forums has faced and managed each of these and will offer a solution.

We truly enjoy and appreciate all responces.

Trawler Dreamers
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:02 PM   #14
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Thanks...... Trawler School Review

Thanks for posting your comprehensive review. I see that Trawler School Charters is still advertising in Passage Maker magazine.

What worries me is the dismissive way in which the owner of this company handles your review/concerns on his website with basically a "you can't please them all" response.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:11 PM   #15
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Smokey,

You're replying to a post that is 6 years old. Much clould have changed since this thread was started. Do your due diligence but it would be smart to take a 6-year-old post with a grain of salt.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:40 PM   #16
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I took the charter school from Captain Bob and was totally satisfied and learn many things. Including how to handle a single-engine boat, how to maintain a diesel engine. And which boat I needed to buy of course this was 2016 so perhaps things have improved since you were on the Miami mermaid
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Old 10-14-2017, 01:48 PM   #17
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Call Chapman School in Stuart, FL. Discuss your needs with them. I suspect they can recommend someone plus they do have a boat handling school too.
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Old 10-15-2017, 06:01 PM   #18
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Smokey,

You're replying to a post that is 6 years old. Much clould have changed since this thread was started. Do your due diligence but it would be smart to take a 6-year-old post with a grain of salt.
Thanks,

I will be looking for training in a couple of years so will do additional research at that time on what courses are available. I also appreciate the history which was presented here since the company appears to still be in business.
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:13 PM   #19
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I would recommend a couple of options. One is to find a captain you really trust and learn from him. The other is to use either of the charter services on the west coast of FL with a captain they provide.
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:27 PM   #20
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Harsh opinion coming.

Everything after 9:00 PM Monday night is a mistake on your part. A captain has been drinking and is about to take you out at night and you still go? You let him jeopardize your health, your lives? Then you continued on Tuesday and Wednesday with him still drinking? So, are you willing to ride in a car with a drunk driver? Willing to jump on a boat with a friend driving who is drunk?

See, for everything you say about Captain Bob and his school, your judgement throughout was poor.

Now, from a legal standpoint, you'd lose too as you can't continue with a drinking teacher through all but one day of the program and then ask for the money back. As an ex police officer i surely would have thought you would have stopped and reported him.

I'm sorry you had such an awful experience and I'm appalled at the service provided you, but also very disturbed by you getting on the boat with a captain you knew was impaired and very surprised you didn't report it.
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