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Old 09-30-2015, 03:15 PM   #1
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Retirement in t-minus 12

HI all,

Largely I have been an avid freshwater boater most of my life.

The wife an I are planning our retirement coming up in the next 10 - 12 years. We originally considered buying a place in Mexico, but the more we thought about it, the more we didn't want to be tied to one place.

Never one afraid to take some USCG classes, our plan has worked out a bit like this:

1 - Take classes, work towards a Captain's License.
2 - Buy a trawler, acquire a slip locally, spend a few years (3 - 5) gaining experience, likely hire someone a few time to increase the learning curve.
3 - Retire and head south.

I hope to be able to gain insight from skilled folks, and I hope I can find them here. I'm not up to speed on all the lingo and proper terms yet, and may actually sound a lot less intelligent that I actually am from time to time. I will say, I do not underestimate the undertaking this will be, in either education, exertion or expense.

That said, I'll post my first set of questions soon. Thanks in advance, for your help and camaraderie.
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Old 09-30-2015, 03:33 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. "...proper terms..."? Saloon NOT salon.
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Old 09-30-2015, 03:37 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard. I figured 12 days when I first saw the thread. But nope, talking a timeline of 12 years or so. Well, you have your plans well laid. Best advice that I can give you (and worth every cent that it costs, too), in addition to what you have already outlined, is to look at the Forum pretty often. Look back at some of the older threads, since lots and lots of good info on them.
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Old 09-30-2015, 04:20 PM   #4
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Unless you plan to work on the water there is really no reason to get a captains license. Yes the course will teach you a lot about the colregs, etc., but since there is no on the water training requirement, you don't actually learn much about operating a boat. I would suggest that a better option would be to take a bare boat charter course. Those courses are taught on the water and give you hands on experience. Also take the boating safety and navigation courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary or the Power Squadron. After that do a couple of bare boat charters to gain more experience and try out a few boats to see what you like/don't like. If you do that, I think you will be ahead of the game compared to getting a captains license.
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Old 09-30-2015, 04:35 PM   #5
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^^^^^
What TDunn said....

You need to meet minimum of 365 days on the water...documented...in order to obtain the basic Captain's license. Once you have your boat and some water under your keel then take the courses and get the license for fun and personal satisfaction.
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Old 09-30-2015, 04:38 PM   #6
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HI all,

Largely I have been an avid freshwater boater most of my life.

The wife an I are planning our retirement coming up in the next 10 - 12 years. We originally considered buying a place in Mexico, but the more we thought about it, the more we didn't want to be tied to one place.

Never one afraid to take some USCG classes, our plan has worked out a bit like this:

1 - Take classes, work towards a Captain's License.
2 - Buy a trawler, acquire a slip locally, spend a few years (3 - 5) gaining experience, likely hire someone a few time to increase the learning curve.
3 - Retire and head south.

I hope to be able to gain insight from skilled folks, and I hope I can find them here. I'm not up to speed on all the lingo and proper terms yet, and may actually sound a lot less intelligent that I actually am from time to time. I will say, I do not underestimate the undertaking this will be, in either education, exertion or expense.

That said, I'll post my first set of questions soon. Thanks in advance, for your help and camaraderie.
I think it sounds like you have a great, well thought out plan. Although I know many here disagree, I definitely feel getting a Captain's license can be very beneficial regardless of your plans. Combine that with a training captain as you indicated and you have the combination of both worlds.

We recommend going on and getting a Master (whatever tonnage you qualify for) vs a six pack. You can decide whether the license itself is worth it, but the training will cover a lot of things that many who consider themselves very experienced aren't really proficient in. Others are highly knowledgeable.

Courses are like those in any area of knowledge. They don't teach you to be a captain, but they do provide a good base on which to learn. They'll make the job of the training captain much easier because you know the language.

I will admit readily that opinions on the value of the license will break down straight party lines. Those with, in favor. Those without, against. So most will advise you that it's a waste of time.

I would perhaps insert one step ahead of buying a trawler and that would be some chartering to help you in your choice and perhaps to also train under a captain.

10 years is better than 12. 8 is better than 10.

You mentioned Mexico. A long way from New Hampshire. Many start out on their trawler with early destinations known but eventual ones not defined. They cruise years and then they may or may not run across that place that they want to settle down in. But the mention of Mexico tells me you might consider cruising a greater distance and further from shore, outside the ICW, so that will impact selection of boat, training, and everything else.

As to expenses, that's the hardest area to pinpoint. Do you intend to keep your land home or live full time on the boat? Much of the expenses will be determined by how much work you can do yourself. What are your skills in that regard? Talking about courses to take in these years, a diesel one might be of benefit.
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Old 09-30-2015, 04:45 PM   #7
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^^^^^
What TDunn said....

You need to meet minimum of 365 days on the water...documented...in order to obtain the basic Captain's license. Once you have your boat and some water under your keel then take the courses and get the license for fun and personal satisfaction.
One question is how many days does he already have. Has he owned fresh water boats? All your boating of your adult life (and almost adult. 14 and older) can go toward the 360. The 90 days in the past three years is often the more difficult part. If your boating is all inland then your initial license will be inland. You'll move to near coastal and to larger tonnage. You'll looking for the training more than the license.
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Old 09-30-2015, 05:02 PM   #8
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I hope to be able to gain insight from skilled folks, and I hope I can find them here. I'm not up to speed on all the lingo and proper terms yet, and may actually sound a lot less intelligent that I actually am from time to time.
Go back and look at some of my posts. You will see that sounding intelligent is definitely not a requirement around here. Fortunately, the TF folks have been very forgiving of my ignorance.

What are you going to be retiring from?
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Old 09-30-2015, 05:35 PM   #9
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... Also take the boating safety and navigation courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary or the Power Squadron. After that do a couple of bare boat charters to gain more experience and try out a few boats to see what you like/don't like. If you do that, I think you will be ahead of the game compared to getting a captains license.
I second TDunns comments
USSail & Power Sqaudrons now offer several on the water courses...and some very worthwhile class rm training plus a great opportunity to network w other boaters.
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Old 10-01-2015, 12:53 PM   #10
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. "...proper terms..."? Saloon NOT salon.
Boating Encyclopedia has this to say about the two words:

"Many boaters seem to find the word cabin rather lacking the elegance and significance they associate with their boats. Therefore, they refer to their cabin as a salon, a fancy French term for reception hall or a room filled with perfumed finery.Hairdressers, beauticians, and couturiers have salons; sailors have a saloon. The Encyclopedia of Nautical Knowledge defines a saloon this way: “In a cargo and smaller passenger vessels, the main cabin, or that serving as a dining-room, assembly room, etc.” The Oxford Concise Dictionary describes a saloon as a “public room for first-class or for all passengers on ship.”The only dissonant note is sounded by Webster’s New World Dictionary, which allows the use of both salon and saloon but then confesses that saloon is “specifically, the main social cabin of a passenger ship.” Nevertheless, whereas most sailors use the word saloon, most powerboaters seem to prefer salon.It’s possible that some boaters use the word salon because they don’t want their boats to be associated with saloons where strong alcoholic drinks are served and rough men indulge in fisticuffs. But a better choice than either salon or saloon would be cabin. What could be simpler or more correct?"

Just sayin
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Old 10-01-2015, 01:50 PM   #11
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Its good to start planning early. Time seems to go faster as you get older. Plenty of guys that I worked with went back to work within 6 months of retirement because they had no plan at all when the time came.
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:12 PM   #12
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Greetings H. I'm fairly new to this forum and couldn't agree more with what the guys are saying. My wife and I have been looking at trawlers for about three years and finally found Mollie this past summer. We are T-3y3m11d to retirement ( and yes, we are counting!) Time does seem to speed up as your goal approaches. Prior to our purchase, we chartered with Anacortes Yacht Charters and are sooo glad we did. We chartered what we thought would be a perfect full time liveaboard and as soon as we stepped on the boat, we new it wasn't for us. It was a great boat for a week in the islands but we both knew it was not the type of boat we wanted. They have a very large fleet of all types of boats and will let you look at as many as you like....With this knowledge, we refined and continued to search. We now have the perfect boat for us. I check this forum daily and have learned so much from it. The folks here are always quick with answers to my questions and very supportive for the newbies. Once you get the right boat, crawl all over her and learn every thing you can about her care and feeding. I've lived on Mollie for three months now and am still finding things that I didn't know or that the surveyor didn't catch. It is a great feeling of satisfaction to know that you are a captain of a beautiful vessel and know her intimately. As for the license, maybe someday......
Enjoy the search
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:53 PM   #13
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Greetings H. I'm fairly new to this forum and couldn't agree more with what the guys are saying. My wife and I have been looking at trawlers for about three years and finally found Mollie this past summer. We are T-3y3m11d to retirement ( and yes, we are counting!) Time does seem to speed up as your goal approaches. Prior to our purchase, we chartered with Anacortes Yacht Charters and are sooo glad we did. We chartered what we thought would be a perfect full time liveaboard and as soon as we stepped on the boat, we new it wasn't for us. It was a great boat for a week in the islands but we both knew it was not the type of boat we wanted. They have a very large fleet of all types of boats and will let you look at as many as you like....With this knowledge, we refined and continued to search. We now have the perfect boat for us. I check this forum daily and have learned so much from it. The folks here are always quick with answers to my questions and very supportive for the newbies. Once you get the right boat, crawl all over her and learn every thing you can about her care and feeding. I've lived on Mollie for three months now and am still finding things that I didn't know or that the surveyor didn't catch. It is a great feeling of satisfaction to know that you are a captain of a beautiful vessel and know her intimately. As for the license, maybe someday......
Enjoy the search
Great insight into the value of chartering. It might not tell you which specific boat but sure helps in type and size. What was it about that perfect liveaboard you first chartered than you immediately knew wasn't for you? Just curious.
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Old 10-01-2015, 04:27 PM   #14
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It is a great feeling of satisfaction to know that you are a captain of a beautiful vessel and know her intimately.
Careful, now. You definitely do not want your wife to see Mollie as a rival!
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Old 10-01-2015, 04:28 PM   #15
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Our searching at that time had been mainly online only as we live near Boise, ID. I looked at tons of boats and this boat seemed to have most of our "must haves" It was a 40' Carver that had twin engines, twin queens, fiberglass decks etc... (recommendations from friends) For me, as soon as I stepped below, I just didn't "feel" like I had found my boat. It's hard to put your finger on and may sound funny, but she didn't "smell" right. She didn't have the wood that Mollie has. She felt like a plastic boat to me. Nothing against boats like that but I'm kinda old school. I hunt with a longbow and a muzzleloader and like more simple, traditional things. As soon as I stepped onto Mollie, my senses all told me that she was my boat. The textures, the smells of wood and years under her keel.
The Carver has a lot of windage and bounces around like a leaf on the water. Mollie draws 5' and is rock solid. Our must haves totally changed as we really started getting onto boats and talking with full time liveaboards (can't stress that enough!) Mollie is a single screw FL120 that is super easy to take care of and bulletproof. Tons of room in the ER for my 6'03 body. Lot's of interior wood that gives her a very homey feel and lots of warmth. The Carver has a nice interior but we both knew right away that she could never be our home.
I guess in a nutshell, the internet is a great resource, especially for those of us who live inland. But, it absolutely can't replace the information you gain by walking docks, talking to liveaboards and getting onto boats to see how they feel and smell. (we get invited to board all the time) The folks at AYC were great and let us get onto several other boats (trawlers this time) when we got back. Being able to do that, really started our new must have list in the right direction.
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Old 10-01-2015, 04:38 PM   #16
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Careful, now. You definitely do not want your wife to see Mollie as a rival!

HAHA. Not to worry. The wife absolutely loves Mollie and doesn't feel threatened. Mollie is actually the only boat the Trish has ever been on that doesn't make her sea sick. I can't explain that but not complaining!!
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Old 10-01-2015, 04:48 PM   #17
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If a boat doesn't feel right to you, it isn't right and it's not generally just one thing. I'm sure there are those who would say all the fine finish on Mollie is too much maintenance. We did a good bit of chartering. We then made decisions we were very comfortable with.
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Old 10-01-2015, 04:52 PM   #18
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And, I forgot to mention that my boys (2 German Wirehaired Pointers) love Mollie. They also played a big part in our search as the boat had to be dog friendly.
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Old 10-01-2015, 04:57 PM   #19
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If a boat doesn't feel right to you, it isn't right and it's not generally just one thing. I'm sure there are those who would say all the fine finish on Mollie is too much maintenance. We did a good bit of chartering. We then made decisions we were very comfortable with.
Absolutely. It's hard to explain but you know it when you feel it. I just talked with the wife and she said the same thing.
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Old 10-01-2015, 05:15 PM   #20
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I've always maintained that a person who is new to boating should buy his second boat first. Let me explain. Many people fall in love with a boat that they think is right for them, similar to what Soulshine did with his first charter. They buy that boat then, after a couple of years, realize it just isn't the "right boat" for their needs/wants.


So then they start looking again and end up buying their second boat, which if they'd done their due diligence in the beginning they would have bought first. That can be very expensive.


The right boat will blow your hair back. When you approach her as you walk down the dock she'll make both your and your wife's hearts beat faster. You can't wait to be on her and at the end of a journey on board, as you walk away from her, you can't help but look back over your shoulder and smile.


THAT is the second boat that you should buy first.
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