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Old 07-13-2016, 07:36 AM   #1
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New Member - Marco Island, FL

Hello Trawler Forum,

Ive never owned a boat; however, I am a new homeowner in Marco Island, Fl with direct access to the Gulf. Our boat dock has an 18,000 lb lift with a clear opening of 13 4. Weve decided not to go the sailboat route, and instead we are looking for a powerboat. Our intended use would be mostly daily boating exploring the surrounding coastal areas and occasionally, a few days/nights away going south to the Keys or north toward Port Charlotte. Most of the time wed have 4-6 people aboard and infrequently 10 people. Overnight would likely be limited to 2 (maybe 4) people. We are not interested in deep sea fishing.

Our search has just begun, so any directions youd like to steer us would be welcome.
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:20 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum! An 18,000 lb. boat with 10 people will be crowded or very cozy depending on your point of view. A wise man once said, "Drinks for 6; Dinner for 4; Sleeps 2".

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Old 07-13-2016, 10:27 AM   #3
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Hello Trawler Forum,

Ive never owned a boat; however, I am a new homeowner in Marco Island, Fl with direct access to the Gulf. Our boat dock has an 18,000 lb lift with a clear opening of 13 4. Weve decided not to go the sailboat route, and instead we are looking for a powerboat. Our intended use would be mostly daily boating exploring the surrounding coastal areas and occasionally, a few days/nights away going south to the Keys or north toward Port Charlotte. Most of the time wed have 4-6 people aboard and infrequently 10 people. Overnight would likely be limited to 2 (maybe 4) people. We are not interested in deep sea fishing.

Our search has just begun, so any directions youd like to steer us would be welcome.
A few questions.

Why did you choose Trawler Forum? Are you thinking trawler and, if so, why?

What kind of boats do your neighbors have and how does your intended use differ from theirs?

Of the boats you've looked at what features have you found yourself liking and disliking?

What kind of speed are you thinking?

What depth do you have at your dock and getting to it?

Any bridges that would impact you?

Are you looking new or used? How old, if used? Budget?

What is your experience and what size and type boat do you feel you can handle?

What length can your lift handle? An 18,000 pound lift is quite substantial compared to many homeowners in your area have. It will handle a good sized Sea Ray, up to 35' or so, but no trawler in that size range. Won't handle even a Beneteau Swift Trawler in that size range although would barely handle their 30'.

Are you thinking gas or diesel? Diesel will narrow your list further.

Ultimately your task will be to identify your requirements in some level of detail.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:31 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum! An 18,000 lb. boat with 10 people will be crowded or very cozy depending on your point of view. A wise man once said, "Drinks for 6; Dinner for 4; Sleeps 2".

Ted
Perhaps for a 5 knot cruise to CJ's for dinner but definitely not out on the more open water. Perhaps for an hour or two but not for a day.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:41 AM   #5
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Hello Trawler Forum,

Ive never owned a boat; however, I am a new homeowner in Marco Island, Fl with direct access to the Gulf. Our boat dock has an 18,000 lb lift with a clear opening of 13 4. Weve decided not to go the sailboat route, and instead we are looking for a powerboat. Our intended use would be mostly daily boating exploring the surrounding coastal areas and occasionally, a few days/nights away going south to the Keys or north toward Port Charlotte. Most of the time wed have 4-6 people aboard and infrequently 10 people. Overnight would likely be limited to 2 (maybe 4) people. We are not interested in deep sea fishing.

Our search has just begun, so any directions youd like to steer us would be welcome.

Sounds like a Searay is in your future.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:52 AM   #6
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Sounds like a Searay is in your future.
LOL. Bill, you could be right-on with that assessment.

Regardless, welcome aboard TF! We're getting quite a group of members here on the Gulf side of FL.
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:20 AM   #7
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Sounds like a Searay is in your future.
That would be the most popular brand in his neighborhood.
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:51 PM   #8
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What do you mean by "clear opening"? I assume you mean what is called "air draft" or "bridge clearance". Is it a fixed bridge that doesn't open?

There are a few trawlers like a Nordic Tug and have a 12' or so air draft but when you add the running lights and radar, they exceed 13'4". A folding mast might help.

A 18,000 lift will probably not handle most boats over 32'. Boat weights quoted are dry weights. When you add your stuff, fuel and water, boat weights go up 20% or more.

You might want to look into the new Great Harbour TT35 which will be a lightweight trailerable trawler or a Ranger Tug 31.
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Old 07-13-2016, 02:48 PM   #9
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Mainship 34 Pilothouse, for the win.... 14,000 pounds, and low air draft. : )
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Old 07-13-2016, 02:50 PM   #10
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What do you mean by "clear opening"? I assume you mean what is called "air draft" or "bridge clearance". Is it a fixed bridge that doesn't open?

There are a few trawlers like a Nordic Tug and have a 12' or so air draft but when you add the running lights and radar, they exceed 13'4". A folding mast might help.

A 18,000 lift will probably not handle most boats over 32'. Boat weights quoted are dry weights. When you add your stuff, fuel and water, boat weights go up 20% or more.

You might want to look into the new Great Harbour TT35 which will be a lightweight trailerable trawler or a Ranger Tug 31.
I guessed he meant beam. Now I guess maybe he'll tell us and we'll know who guessed right.
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Old 07-13-2016, 02:51 PM   #11
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We have a Mainship 34 and it would be ideal for most of what OP wants, except for the 10 people!
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Old 07-13-2016, 04:21 PM   #12
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A few questions.
Excellent questions!

Answer those chappcc and you will have a really good idea of a direction to take.
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:55 PM   #13
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A few questions.

1. Why did you choose Trawler Forum? Are you thinking trawler and, if so, why?

2. What kind of boats do your neighbors have and how does your intended use differ from theirs?

3. Of the boats you've looked at what features have you found yourself liking and disliking?

4. What kind of speed are you thinking?

5. What depth do you have at your dock and getting to it?

6. Any bridges that would impact you?

7. Are you looking new or used? How old, if used? Budget?

8. What is your experience and what size and type boat do you feel you can handle?

9. What length can your lift handle? An 18,000 pound lift is quite substantial compared to many homeowners in your area have. It will handle a good sized Sea Ray, up to 35' or so, but no trawler in that size range. Won't handle even a Beneteau Swift Trawler in that size range although would barely handle their 30'.

10. Are you thinking gas or diesel? Diesel will narrow your list further.

Ultimately your task will be to identify your requirements in some level of detail.
BandB,

Thanks for your detailed reply - here are is response to your questions:

1. I am thinking about a trawler because my priorities in a boat are safety/sea worthiness, reliability, comfort and reasonable operating costs. We like the idea of cruising - not speeding - to our destination. A trawler seems a good fit.

2. I'm not sure what my neighbors have or how they use their boat or why that is relevant to my situation.

3. Boats which offer an enclosed area to get away from the elements (rain and heat), have a head and some place to rest get my attention. Fishing or sports boats are not high on my list of wants in a boat.

4. 10 - 20 kts/hr would be fine. I am not thinking about going into the deep sea so a retreat from weather might allow for a slower boat.

5. Depth at the dock is ~10 ft; however we are on Smokehouse Bay and I believe it has some areas around 4 - 5 ft at low tide.

6. We have direct access to the Gulf - no bridges.

7. I am definitely looking at used and would like to come in under $100K.

8. Our experience with boats is limited, so ~30 ft would be what we are targeting.

9. Length of the dock from the front end of boat to first lift pylon is 18' 8". The lift pylons are 11' 8" apart. Its width is 13' 4".

10. I am leaning toward diesel due to safety, robustness of the engine and economy. I have some familiarity with diesel engines since we have a 4 cylinder turbo diesel running a backup generator for my house which I maintain.

I appreciate your comments - this has already help me with my thinking.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:01 PM   #14
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What do you mean by "clear opening"? I assume you mean what is called "air draft" or "bridge clearance". Is it a fixed bridge that doesn't open?

Sorry I was unclear. I was referring to the my dock's opening or the beam of the boat that could fit.

I will take a closer look at the boats your reference. The Ranger Tug is very interesting.

Thanks-
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:12 PM   #15
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Beam it is
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:16 PM   #16
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[QUOTE= "Drinks for 6; Dinner for 4; Sleeps 2".

Ted[/QUOTE]

Nice advice.
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:19 PM   #17
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BandB,

Thanks for your detailed reply - here are is response to your questions:

1. I am thinking about a trawler because my priorities in a boat are safety/sea worthiness, reliability, comfort and reasonable operating costs. We like the idea of cruising - not speeding - to our destination. A trawler seems a good fit.

Some consider 12 knots speeding and others consider 60 knots.

2. I'm not sure what my neighbors have or how they use their boat or why that is relevant to my situation.

It's relevant because they may well have very similar needs to you. They cruise the same waters. For instance, there is a distinctive difference in the PNW which reflects conditions. What others in the area have chosen also gives you ideas. It's not that you must be like them, just understand what others have chosen in the same area. We're doing the loop right now in a boat that I'm unaware of anyone doing it in previously. However, we are well aware of what others have used and the recommendations of many.

3. Boats which offer an enclosed area to get away from the elements (rain and heat), have a head and some place to rest get my attention. Fishing or sports boats are not high on my list of wants in a boat.

So that seems a bit contrary to your initial post. I think now you're thinking more of a boat that would not be decent for 10 and would be less than ideal for 4 overnight, unsatisfactory for 6. Nothing wrong with that. One should choose a boat based on their 95% usage, not the other 5%. Take six along and someone sleeps in motel or you just throw air mattresses on the floor and act like kids. You might still look for salon furniture that one could sleep on if needed.

4. 10 - 20 kts/hr would be fine. I am not thinking about going into the deep sea so a retreat from weather might allow for a slower boat.

A lot of difference between 10 and 20 knots. It's much like the difference between Sea Ray and Kadey Krogen. I'd suggest at some point chartering. There are good charters near you of trawler type boats. Lots of Grand Banks but some other. You need to figure out if you can be happy with a boat that cannot go beyond 10 knots. Or do you need to have one that can cruise 15-18 knots. We have people on the forum who are very happy with 6 knots, many with 8 to 10 but then we have many who want the ability to go faster. If you're using it when time is limited, I'd strongly suggest you may want a little faster. Slow is for people in no hurry. Retirees are a perfect match. Well not my wife and me, but otherwise. However, when you have limited time on a Saturday or a weekend, getting somewhere quicker might be important to you.

5. Depth at the dock is ~10 ft; however we are on Smokehouse Bay and I believe it has some areas around 4 - 5 ft at low tide.

That will be a factor then. Now 4 to 5' is where a lot of boats hit in draft. If you need to be less than 4 you may be limited. If 5' is ok, then most boats you'd be thinking of are fine, although certain true passagemakers wouldn't be. You might ask your neighbors their draft and if they've had any problems.

6. We have direct access to the Gulf - no bridges.

I see that now on your initial post. I just missed it.

7. I am definitely looking at used and would like to come in under $100K.

You'll have no problem finding something that fits that range. Make sure you do have a good understanding of what annual maintenance might cost you.

8. Our experience with boats is limited, so ~30 ft would be what we are targeting.

That's probably a good idea. You will need to think about thrusters and if they're important as where as stabilizers. Most 30' boats don't have either. As you ease larger more do. At some point you might take some basic classes and then perhaps when you buy get a training captain to help. If you chartered with a captain and made it clear you were wanting to learn and make sure he's good for that, then even a pre-purchase charter will help you and give you an idea of what you know and what you don't.

9. Length of the dock from the front end of boat to first lift pylon is 18' 8". The lift pylons are 11' 8" apart. Its width is 13' 4".

Your lift dealer has specs that would indicate preferred sizes of boats and also could tell you how much the pylons can be adjusted and what they'll charge to adjust to your boat. It would seem to me 30' is probably a decent size with 9' overhang on each end and 12' between pylons.

10. I am leaning toward diesel due to safety, robustness of the engine and economy. I have some familiarity with diesel engines since we have a 4 cylinder turbo diesel running a backup generator for my house which I maintain.

Diesel has some significant advantages. However, there are many very good gas powered boats in the size you're looking. Some of those might fit your needs better. I just wouldn't dismiss it. As to safety you can search and see our arguments. As far as durability, with a late model boat and normal usage you won't be the one wearing a gas or diesel out.

I appreciate your comments - this has already help me with my thinking.
Thanks for your responses. I ask questions because I don't want to give canned responses. There is no universally right boat. You have to find the right one for your family. The more you think and look and talk, the more it will come into focus. Don't rush it. It will happen at the right time.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:04 PM   #18
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BandB,
Thanks for all your inputs and recommendations. I really appreciate the time you have taken on your questions and responses. I have a lot to consider and you have helped me in my journey!
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:51 PM   #19
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What a great cruising area! Everglades National Park and the Keys to the South. Charlotte Harbor to the North, and lots of beautiful spots to just anchor and relax a few minutes from your dock.

Lots of shallow water to explore so shallow draft, say 3 to 4 feet, will expand what you can do. In addition to your bigger boat, you'll want a smaller boat to really explore the back country. A dinghy on the big boat or a larger Flats Boat will serve that purpose.

You'll also need an air conditioner and a generator.

I love the Marco area!

Oh yeah, Welcome Aboard!
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Old 07-14-2016, 02:25 PM   #20
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Our boat carries two kayaks, which we have found are ideal for exploring and fishing the skinny water. We ride to the fishing grounds in air conditioned comfort, anchor, and sneak up on the snook in the Kayaks.
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