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Old 02-04-2019, 10:21 AM   #1
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Hello All,

My wife and I are looking at trawlers to use primarily for weekends on west coast of Florida. I am doing due diligence research on crafts under 70k. I am sure that if we take the plunge, I will be better company to you all. Advice is welcome and I take criticism well (still married!). Thanks for the invite and acceptance.

Jay
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:27 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard! As a fellow newbie, I recommend you spend tons of time going through the various threads and try to absorb the collective wisdom. There are a bunch here that have been doing this for a long time and they freely share the hard lessons of the past.
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Old 02-04-2019, 11:34 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard. Lots of great info here.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jaybonner View Post
Hello All,

My wife and I are looking at trawlers to use primarily for weekends on west coast of Florida. I am doing due diligence research on crafts under 70k. I am sure that if we take the plunge, I will be better company to you all. Advice is welcome and I take criticism well (still married!). Thanks for the invite and acceptance.

Jay
Jay,

Lots of choices.... maybe.
Being in Maitland, you've got at least a 2 hour hike just to get to the west coast of FL before you start your boat, as well as a 2 hour return.

In a trawler, going at trawler speeds, you may not be able to cover a lot of distance over a weekend. At 7 knots a 4 hour run will only give you 25 miles or so, maybe less with all the no wake zone here.

If you base here in St. Pete, you'll barely get as far as the north part of Sarasota or up to Dunedin. Granted, there's lots of nooks and crannies to anchor out in that area, but you might want a boat with a tad more speed to cover a greater area (of course at a greater cost for fuel). One that would cruise at 25 knots would probably a bit more than double your range. (you still have a lot of no wake zones). Sounds like you're still working and time is a premium. If you can live with the slow speeds, which most of us do, no issue.

Also, weekend traffic on the water can be a hassle, so if you could slide out early and include a Monday, that day is usually dead on the water. And going out tonight and bet I see less that two boats the whole time, vs. 20 or 30 on the weekends. Also, staying over Sunday night in places, after the crowd is gone is great.

As for a boat.... trawler with speed, there are very limited choices. The Beneteau is the only seriously fast one but triple your budget. There's lots of earlier trawlers that would do you well, but not fast. I've seen a few MYs in the $70 range that were pretty nice, but very few had both upper and lower helms, making docking much more of a challenge. And a fly bridge is really nice, especially enjoying a sunset and with better views. I did see a 1999 35ft Carver for $70, twin diesels (yes, you want diesel) that was an excellent buy with a lot of comfort (but no lower helm).

Search thru the forum for boat reviews, etc. Get some idea of your "must haves", "nice to have", and "don't want". And then start looking. If you can attend any trawlerfests or get togethers, you'll learn a TON. If you have the great loop in mind, attend one of their rendezvous, Norfolk in the spring, and Russellville, AL in the fall.

Keep asking questions and we'll spend your money.

Now, a few questions:
What are your goals? Spend a lot of time just at a marina, cover a lot of ground? Anchor out?
Have you picked a place to keep the boat?
What do you perceive you doing with the boat 5 or 10 years from now. (If it's a short term thing, consider a popular boat that will sell well.)
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:33 PM   #5
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Jay,

Lots of choices.... maybe.
Being in Maitland, you've got at least a 2 hour hike just to get to the west coast of FL before you start your boat, as well as a 2 hour return.

In a trawler, going at trawler speeds, you may not be able to cover a lot of distance over a weekend. At 7 knots a 4 hour run will only give you 25 miles or so, maybe less with all the no wake zone here.

If you base here in St. Pete, you'll barely get as far as the north part of Sarasota or up to Dunedin. Granted, there's lots of nooks and crannies to anchor out in that area, but you might want a boat with a tad more speed to cover a greater area (of course at a greater cost for fuel). One that would cruise at 25 knots would probably a bit more than double your range. (you still have a lot of no wake zones). Sounds like you're still working and time is a premium. If you can live with the slow speeds, which most of us do, no issue.

Also, weekend traffic on the water can be a hassle, so if you could slide out early and include a Monday, that day is usually dead on the water. And going out tonight and bet I see less that two boats the whole time, vs. 20 or 30 on the weekends. Also, staying over Sunday night in places, after the crowd is gone is great.

As for a boat.... trawler with speed, there are very limited choices. The Beneteau is the only seriously fast one but triple your budget. There's lots of earlier trawlers that would do you well, but not fast. I've seen a few MYs in the $70 range that were pretty nice, but very few had both upper and lower helms, making docking much more of a challenge. And a fly bridge is really nice, especially enjoying a sunset and with better views. I did see a 1999 35ft Carver for $70, twin diesels (yes, you want diesel) that was an excellent buy with a lot of comfort (but no lower helm).

Search thru the forum for boat reviews, etc. Get some idea of your "must haves", "nice to have", and "don't want". And then start looking. If you can attend any trawlerfests or get togethers, you'll learn a TON. If you have the great loop in mind, attend one of their rendezvous, Norfolk in the spring, and Russellville, AL in the fall.

Keep asking questions and we'll spend your money.

Now, a few questions:
What are your goals? Spend a lot of time just at a marina, cover a lot of ground? Anchor out?
Have you picked a place to keep the boat?
What do you perceive you doing with the boat 5 or 10 years from now. (If it's a short term thing, consider a popular boat that will sell well.)

A lot of great questions. For the next few years, we anticipate spending most of our time at a marina. Ultimately, I will be retiring within the next five years and I would like to be able to travel. I saw post about the "great loop?" Which seem to go up the Mississippi and down the East Coast. That would be rather aggressive for me but the idea of traveling along the Gulf Coast and possibly to the keys would be a nice option.

I would anticipate keeping the boat for many years. I saw some trawlers built in the 70s for around $50,000. Our first goal is comfort for our weekends, followed by reliability and cost. I really do not want to buy something that will depreciate a lot and I figure if it already is 30 years old and solid, I will not lose a whole lot of money over the next 20 years.

I appreciate your comments about diesel engines and I had decided that this was the direction we wanted to go. I would assume that anything under 42 foot might be a bit small for my wife and I. We want two heads although one shower would work. Ideally, two sleeping spaces in case we have a guest. Other than that, a little room to sleep, a little room to cook and a nice Dock with a view and some nice neighbors.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:38 PM   #6
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:47 PM   #7
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Hi Jay,
Welcome aboard the forum. It is not my intent to be negative in any way. Your dream is very possible.

However, if you are in the market for an "older" boat, maintenance (or lack thereof) by previous owners becomes critical. Look for a well kept boat with good maintenance records, so you (and/or your mechanic) will know what has been done and when it was done.
Also be aware, that even with a good, well maintained boat, there will be some fairly large expenses with regular maintenance and repairs (when things 'break" and older things do).
You can reduce these expenses by doing the work yourself (learning how to if you don't now have the knowledge). Plan for this (financial expenses) when making your purchase, don't be surprised when it happens!
Other advice for a "newby" would be to carefully consider what you want and expect the boat to do for you (in other words - how are you going to use it). Then make lists of items or features that are "must have", nice to have, and absolutely don't want. Walk the docks, go to boat shows, trawler fests, check out forums, ask questions, etc. and then start to narrow down your choices. Failure to "take your time" and find the right boat for you (features, condition, regular maintenance, etc.) could lead to a costly mistake. If you do it right, you will vastly increase your chances of being very happy with your choice.
I don't want to "scare you off", just try to help you have your "eyes wide open".

Best,
Tom
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:57 PM   #8
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Welcome aboard, Jay. Since you have a few years to find a boat try attending a few "Trawlerfests". They are like a boat show but only with trawlers. (a slow boat show) I think there is one in Stewart, Fla each year. They are around the country (Chesapeake, Seattle, ect) You'll see trawlers and stuff but best of all get to meet the owners as well as take some classes (diesel mechanics, safety, radar, the "loop"s, cooking, electronics, design). Plan on staying a few days. Leave the checkbook at home.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:15 PM   #9
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Lots of 36-42' boats available for that $70k, but above posts point out that most will need some work and updating. We recently purchased a 1988 42' CHB Sundeck for considerably less, but are now close to that number with new generator, updated wiring, updated electronics ....Helps a lot if you are handy and can do some/most of the work yourself. Personally I love the work, and heaven help me, I love varnishing teak
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:23 PM   #10
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Welcome to TF Jay
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:51 PM   #11
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Lots of 36-42' boats available for that $70k, but above posts point out that most will need some work and updating. We recently purchased a 1988 42' CHB Sundeck for considerably less, but are now close to that number with new generator, updated wiring, updated electronics ....Helps a lot if you are handy and can do some/most of the work yourself. Personally I love the work, and heaven help me, I love varnishing teak
Thanks for the encouragement Wife and I are attending Trawlerfest in Stuart this March. I'm sure we'll get a lot of help!
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:56 PM   #12
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Just bought tickets for Th-Sa... Thank you
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:57 PM   #13
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Thanks! Got tickets for wife and me...
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:47 PM   #14
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Jay, far be it from me to give Trawler advice, but we are situated similar to you - waiting to retire, and still wanting to do some boating while we investigate our trawler purchase. We live about 4 hours from our marina where boat sits in water. We can only use it on long weekends, so Seevee's post above is right, a planing boat may serve you better. We have a Sea Ray 280 slx that we call "our practice boat" where we can get around fairly quickly to explore the area, and get back to the slip. She's big enough to handle small seas (accidentally got caught in 4 to 6 footers - yeah, I am still learning how to listen to weather reports), yet small enough to explore those coves along the west coast of Florida.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:46 PM   #15
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Thanks for the advice. We’re attendingnour first trawlerfest next month so our journey begins.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:29 PM   #16
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Thanks for the advice. Weíre attendingnour first trawlerfest next month so our journey begins.
Welcome to TF, and have fun at Trawlerfest, a great place to learn but don't expect a whole lot of boats. Get there early as parking is at a premium.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:54 PM   #17
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Thanks. We were looking at staying at the Marriott. Is that a good idea for the festival?
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