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Old 06-16-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
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Delta to the Great Loop to Alaska

Hey everyone, I was so thankfull to come across this website. I have so many Q's so for now I will put everything in a nutshell.
We are in our early 40's, and hope to retire in about 10yrs. We have a 60' Houseboat in a lake that we spend the weekends on. We have had the usual pontoon party boa, ski boat, and jet skis. ( all at lakes ) we are bored with the lake thing.
Because we have no experience in real boating ie; currents,weather,draft,shoaling,markers,anchoring, tides etc. ( I've been reading alot and have learned new terms) lol. We thought we could practice in the Delta ( only a few hours from us) while we are not retired. Then Retire and travel the Great Loop, then to Alaska and who knows. We have never been in a trawler or ocean going anything. So with all that said, where in the heck do we start?
We are in Central CA
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:50 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you need a Swiss army knife

I was in your position a couple of years ago and we wound up in the Delta. Visalia is 3 hours from the California Delta and Santa Barbara. Gives you plenty of options.

I would suggest renting something similar to what you want before jumping in head first. Owning a 60 foot houseboat on a lake has prepared you for the big bills that come due owning larger boats so no real surprises there. Keep in mind that those bills are typically larger on similar sized cruising boats. Currents, tides, waves/swells and navigation will be the bigger adjustments for you. Also keep in mind that a similar sized cruising boat is going to have far less square footage and be vastly more complicated in operation and maintenance.

Define the mission the boat is to fulfill and the budget keeping in mind that both will likely change. As your personal mission comes into sharper focus it will dictate the style of boat that you should be looking for. Too many folks come at this backwards by falling in love with a particular boat and trying to make the mission fit it.

Try to buy the smallest boat that will fulfill your mission and budget. Quality over quantity pays big dividends down the road. Good luck and enjoy the hunt.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:48 AM   #3
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Cpseudonym, have you been to the San Diego boat show? I think there is one this coming up weekend. Wonder if there would be enough trawler like boats to look at to make a trip. We have no intentions of buying for several years, but would like to start learning about cruising, talking to people that do it and start to get an idea of what we like and don't like. We don't want to bother a broker as we won't buy yet, but really how else do you get to get into these boats ( for sale or not ), to look inside etc.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:14 AM   #4
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Boat shows are great places to board a large variety of boats rather quickly. Trawlerfest in Washington is a good one but any boat show would not be a waste of time in my opinion. Bottom line, these are heavy cabin cruisers, trawler is a marketing term used to conjure images of heavy fishing boats.

Regardless of verbiage, spend the next couple years attending any show you can. Get aboard any boat you can(sailboats too)and make notes of what you like and dislike. Include make and model in your notes as it will help later.

Yachtworld is a good place to kill time looking, just don't fall in love because pictures lie and transporting these boats long distances ain't cheap. If the price is too good to be true, there's typically a good reason for it.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:48 PM   #5
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Anyplace near the Delta to try out boats for a weekend? Get an idea of " moving water" lol
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:21 PM   #6
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Welcome! You know the Great Loop will require you to truck to the midwest or to travel the Panama Canal right?
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:41 PM   #7
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Welcome!

I second the Trawlerfest suggestion, although the one in Anacortes WA is usually in late May, so you'll have to wait almost a year.

I also think chartering a boat that you think might be close to what you want would pay huge dividends in helping you determine what you like and don't like. I don't know about charter options in the delta but there is a good charter company in Anacortes WA (Google Anacortes Yacht Charter). I've chartered with them in the past and plan to again in the future. They have a good selection of boats and they are good to deal with. It is hard to beat the WA & BC area for chartering adventure. I recommend a cruise and learn charter. The instructor goes on the cruise with you until you're ready to solo and then you drop him at a ferry station. It is a good way to learn about navigating the local waters, dealing with tides, currents, wind, ...

Good luck.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:01 PM   #8
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I agree that Washington and British Columbia are hard to beat. Here is a good place in the Bay to try.

http://www.clubnautique.net/
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:15 PM   #9
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Welcome. You can start here by following these guys..

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Old 06-19-2013, 06:50 PM   #10
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Here's a great book by a friend of mine who made a run from Glacier Bay to Maine:

Book

Their idea was simple-that cruising the Americas can be just as exciting as heading offshore, and that there are more people with coastal cruisers than bluewater cruisers. To add the Great Loop onto a cruise from Alaska to Maine would be simple.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:21 PM   #11
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Thank for all the great advice. I will check in to all the info. We were planning on going to the San Diego boat show this weekend but I just spoke with one of the shows organizers and there will only be 5-7 trawler there. So we wont be making the 5 1/2 hour drive to get there.

I see there is a Trawler Fest in Florida in the Winter, and this is our slower time at work. Has anyone been to this one? Is it worth getting on a plane etc. Or should we just wait till next May for WA. We can only make one of them. Time and Money is all relevant.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktenhet View Post
Thank for all the great advice. I will check in to all the info. We were planning on going to the San Diego boat show this weekend but I just spoke with one of the shows organizers and there will only be 5-7 trawler there. So we wont be making the 5 1/2 hour drive to get there.

I see there is a Trawler Fest in Florida in the Winter, and this is our slower time at work. Has anyone been to this one? Is it worth getting on a plane etc. Or should we just wait till next May for WA. We can only make one of them. Time and Money is all relevant.
I'd be taking a drive to the Stockton area to check out what's available. Next, I recommend a flight to Seattle- there are plenty of brokers and dealers that handle trawlers here. Take a few days, go thru different boats, and get your knowledge. This is also the time when dealers/brokers start slowing down, as a majority of the boat sales from the January show have already closed.

Boats Afloat in Seattle is Wednesday, September 11 and continues through Sunday, September 15. Lots of trawlers there, too.

LAKE UNION BOATS AFLOAT SHOW | SEATTLE WASHINGTON
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktenhet View Post
Thank for all the great advice. I will check in to all the info. We were planning on going to the San Diego boat show this weekend but I just spoke with one of the shows organizers and there will only be 5-7 trawler there. So we wont be making the 5 1/2 hour drive to get there.

I see there is a Trawler Fest in Florida in the Winter, and this is our slower time at work. Has anyone been to this one? Is it worth getting on a plane etc. Or should we just wait till next May for WA. We can only make one of them. Time and Money is all relevant.
If you are willing to fly, probably the best Trawlerfest on the east coast will be in Baltimore in September.

Why not the 5 1/2 hour drive to se 5 to 7 trawlers? To be able to go aboard and take in the ambience of the boats seams worth it to me. Besides, there are many boats not classified as trawlers that possibly could fulfill your requirements. Take a look at some of those.

When and if you fly to Florida, why limit yourself to just the Show. Rent a car, and drive up to Stuart. Check out listings and contact brokers ahead of time. There should be plenty to see around Fort Lauderdale and Stuart.
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:13 PM   #14
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Welcome! You know the Great Loop will require you to truck to the midwest or to travel the Panama Canal right?
Lots of boats doing the NW Passage these days.
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:35 PM   #15
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Hi,
If a boat looks interesting I will, and have, driven 4 to 5 hours for one boat.
NW Passage, all info is interesting.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktenhet View Post
Thank for all the great advice. I will check in to all the info. We were planning on going to the San Diego boat show this weekend but I just spoke with one of the shows organizers and there will only be 5-7 trawler there. So we wont be making the 5 1/2 hour drive to get there.

I see there is a Trawler Fest in Florida in the Winter, and this is our slower time at work. Has anyone been to this one? Is it worth getting on a plane etc. Or should we just wait till next May for WA. We can only make one of them. Time and Money is all relevant.
I've been to Trawler Fests in Florida, San Diego and Anacortes and they are all different. The boats at each show vary quite a bit and are more suited to the local cruising area. Just like the ideal boat for Alaska is different than the best boat for the delta and the optimum boat for the great loop. You can get a boat that is a good compromise for all three, but that is a much more complex set of variables to consider.

Getting from the Delta to Alaska and from Alaska to the great loop requires some special capabilities and/or a great deal of patients. You might be better off purchasing a boat from the delta and Alaska portion and then selling it and buying a boat for the great loop on the East coast.
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