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Old 06-24-2016, 11:59 PM   #1
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We are experienced freshwater cruisers with considerable on the lake experience with Gibson Houseboats. We even went out for a week in sub zero temps. I am very mechanically capable at least with gas engines. And I took apart my head in 100 degree temps on my honeymoon. Dont ever want to do that again. At my age I want to buy a reliable boat I can pay someone else to work on. Anyway we are looking at finding a used 35-42 foot boat for Loop, Keys, USVI, etc. We want something reliable that will be comfortable for 2 couples for 2-3 weeks on board 80K is about our budget but it could be a little higher for something special. I have been looking at Mainship but I thing a single screw diesel may be best. Ideas please?
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:36 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum! Went down that same road looking for 5 years, kept changing my mind. One of the better sources is yachtworld.com. under advanced search put in length range, price range, engine preference, select trawler and hit enter. While many boats will be out of your area, it will give you an idea of different makes and models.

When you find some you're interested in, try searching the archives here for threads containing that make of boat. There are so many different types of boat configurations within your general parameters that you really need to refine the style you're interested in first.

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Old 06-25-2016, 08:41 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:13 AM   #4
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I would add 2+feet to your upper limit and $50K then look for something with loving care. They exist but are hard to find. As for the USVI it can be done but not by many or often, trade winds on the beam.
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TNEVol View Post
At my age I want to buy a reliable boat I can pay someone else to work on. Anyway we are looking at finding a used 35-42 foot boat for Loop, Keys, USVI, etc. We want something reliable that will be comfortable for 2 couples for 2-3 weeks on board 80K is about our budget but it could be a little higher for something special. I have been looking at Mainship but I thing a single screw diesel may be best. Ideas please?
At the start of a search we all want everything and our desires are in conflict with themselves.

You say Loop, Keys, USVI. One of those doesn't fit with the other two. Most boats that would be good loop boats would not be the boat of choice to try to go to the USVI. They wouldn't have the range or the seaworthiness. They would be good still for coastal cruising including the keys. Many boats that could cruise to the USVI would work for coastal but then not for the loop. Most of the time you need to decide what your need 95% of the time is and go with a boat for that. For instance it might be loop and coastal. Then you charter if you want to boat in the USVI.

The other part that is in a bit of conflict is this. $80k is about our budget...a reliable boat I can pay someone else to work on. Most who have a purchase budget of $80k have a maintenance budget that requires them to do much of their own work. So, it does bring the question of what size annual budget you see yourself having for boating.

Now, as you work through this, you will be able to focus better on your requirements and narrow things.

Where are you located? How many months a year would you devote to cruising? What will be your home cruising ground?
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:54 AM   #6
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Perhaps I have been influenced too much by Captain John's frugal voyager but I dont see why a boat like a Nantuckett Mainship with reconditioning of hull, engines and electronics would not be capable of both Loop and some passageway. But you guys are the experts. Please help me understand because I thought a displacement hull and a single screw diesel Trawler efficiently going at about 8K would be best. With regard to the 80K, it was my thought that this would be a late 1980 to early 1990s boat and
I would have to pay for reconditioning.

We are located in Middle Tennessee and currently drive to FL OH NC on a frequent basis simply for road trips. We are thinking about basing the boat around Port Charlotte and taking 2-3 weeks trips from there. Perhaps docking somewhere else for a couple of weeks and returning and moving on. We are retired and can schedule freely. I do not want more boat than my wife and I can safely handle but it would at least like to do some island cruising. Thanks for your feedback and ideas.
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Old 06-26-2016, 01:18 AM   #7
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Perhaps I have been influenced too much by Captain John's frugal voyager but I dont see why a boat like a Nantuckett Mainship with reconditioning of hull, engines and electronics would not be capable of both Loop and some passageway. But you guys are the experts. Please help me understand because I thought a displacement hull and a single screw diesel Trawler efficiently going at about 8K would be best. With regard to the 80K, it was my thought that this would be a late 1980 to early 1990s boat and
I would have to pay for reconditioning.

We are located in Middle Tennessee and currently drive to FL OH NC on a frequent basis simply for road trips. We are thinking about basing the boat around Port Charlotte and taking 2-3 weeks trips from there. Perhaps docking somewhere else for a couple of weeks and returning and moving on. We are retired and can schedule freely. I do not want more boat than my wife and I can safely handle but it would at least like to do some island cruising. Thanks for your feedback and ideas.
Keep in mind that Captain John never ventures outside the ICW's and the loop.

The Mainship Nantucket's I'm aware of are twin gas, although there may be single diesels as I know there are Mainship Diesels in that range. Mainship can be an excellent boat for your purposes, if you remove the USVI from the equation. That's the one that doesn't fit. Do have to watch air draft as some have masts as high as 20' and would require de-masting or hinging the mast for the Loop.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:00 AM   #8
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Please do not get this wrong but I interpreted this from Captain John as applying to smaller trawlers of 35-45 ft. Here is his quote:

First off, you need a very frugal and fuel efficient boat. If you are
cruising America's Great Loop, a full displacement hull, single engine
Trawler will be your very most fuel efficient "Powerboat".
Such a Trawler will also get you to the near islands in the Bahamas
& Caribbean, but it won't get you far past the Virgin Islands for lack of
avaliable fuel stops.

Why cant such a trawler go to the Virgin Islands? If you are able to pick your time and can stay in port for weather why can't a trawler make this trip? And what should I consider instead?
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Old 06-28-2016, 02:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNEVol View Post
Please do not get this wrong but I interpreted this from Captain John as applying to smaller trawlers of 35-45 ft. Here is his quote:

First off, you need a very frugal and fuel efficient boat. If you are
cruising America's Great Loop, a full displacement hull, single engine
Trawler will be your very most fuel efficient "Powerboat".
Such a Trawler will also get you to the near islands in the Bahamas
& Caribbean, but it won't get you far past the Virgin Islands for lack of
avaliable fuel stops.


Why cant such a trawler go to the Virgin Islands? If you are able to pick your time and can stay in port for weather why can't a trawler make this trip? And what should I consider instead?
From what you quoted, and the context, I believe it is because it won't have adequate fuel to make the trip. (not that fuel can't be carried).
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNEVol View Post
Please do not get this wrong but I interpreted this from Captain John as applying to smaller trawlers of 35-45 ft. Here is his quote:

First off, you need a very frugal and fuel efficient boat. If you are
cruising America's Great Loop, a full displacement hull, single engine
Trawler will be your very most fuel efficient "Powerboat".
Such a Trawler will also get you to the near islands in the Bahamas
& Caribbean, but it won't get you far past the Virgin Islands for lack of
avaliable fuel stops.

Why cant such a trawler go to the Virgin Islands? If you are able to pick your time and can stay in port for weather why can't a trawler make this trip? And what should I consider instead?
Certainly fuel will be one consideration. While you can slow down and burn less fuel, the second part is how much does the boat hold and can you realistically add more without overloading the boat or effecting stability. Basically, you're looking at boats with significantly longer cruising ranges.

Also it's likely you will need to have a water maker based on the ability /cost of fresh water in the islands. Depending on where you go, bring and storing more food may require additional freezer space. Both the freezer and water maker require energy to work. Solar and or wind with an appropriate battery bank will require a significant investment. Alternatively, you could run the generator more hours per day which requires more fuel.

What people are telling you is that cruising the Loop and the keys doesn't require the fuel capacity, fresh water is usually free and readily available, and fully stock grocery stores are available almost every day of cruising. In the islands, you will pay significantly more for fuel, fresh water, and food. Are those expenses part of your operating budget, or is your $80K boat able to cruise with relatively cheap USA fuel, carry enough groceries, and make it's own fresh water? Nobody is telling you no; this is about opening your eyes to things you may not have considered.

Ted
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Old 06-28-2016, 10:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNEVol View Post
Please do not get this wrong but I interpreted this from Captain John as applying to smaller trawlers of 35-45 ft. Here is his quote:

First off, you need a very frugal and fuel efficient boat. If you are
cruising America's Great Loop, a full displacement hull, single engine
Trawler will be your very most fuel efficient "Powerboat".
Such a Trawler will also get you to the near islands in the Bahamas
& Caribbean, but it won't get you far past the Virgin Islands for lack of
avaliable fuel stops.

Why cant such a trawler go to the Virgin Islands? If you are able to pick your time and can stay in port for weather why can't a trawler make this trip? And what should I consider instead?

I don't think anyone is saying a small "trawler" (generic marketing term) can't get to the USVI, but I also think Captain John was focusing on the "near islands" -- the Bahamas are very close, in the grand scheme of things Caribbean, and then once there they lend themselves to short hops -- while positing USVI as a likely outer limit.

Check the charts for the nearest distance for a hop to USVI... and you'll see it's more like a long-jump... and sometimes short weather windows don't cooperate.

Still, there can be some potential candidates. Just shop for Loop-sized air draft and long-jump type fuel/water capacity... in a boat you'd be OK to bounce around in for a while.

FWIW, you might also do some searches here to learn about fuel consumption comparisons between singles and twins.

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Old 06-28-2016, 01:22 PM   #12
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I'm retired from the FAA and the University of Alaska, currently living in Ashland, Oregon, with a recently acquired 41' trawler in Tacoma.

While I have extensive experience in sailing vessels from 8' to 110', this is my first experience in owning a large powerboat. I'm looking forward to benefiting from the experience, especially the negative experience of others on this forum.

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Old 06-28-2016, 03:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Welcome to the forum! Went down that same road looking for 5 years, kept changing my mind. One of the better sources is yachtworld.com. under advanced search put in length range, price range, engine preference, select trawler and hit enter. While many boats will be out of your area, it will give you an idea of different makes and models.

When you find some you're interested in, try searching the archives here for threads containing that make of boat. There are so many different types of boat configurations within your general parameters that you really need to refine the style you're interested in first.

Ted
I concur......exactly how I did it.
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:39 PM   #14
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I'm retired from the FAA and the University of Alaska, currently living in Ashland, Oregon, with a recently acquired 41' trawler in Tacoma.

While I have extensive experience in sailing vessels from 8' to 110', this is my first experience in owning a large powerboat. I'm looking forward to benefiting from the experience, especially the negative experience of others on this forum.

Bill Butler
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Welcome Bill! You deserve your very own thread.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:27 PM   #15
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I have made a few trips across the Gulf of Mexico mostly in sailboats. The one trip I made in a power boat was very uncomfortable. Powerboats have a different motion from sailboats, more of a rocking motion rather than a pitching motion. This motion is exaggerated in the open gulf. It is not for the faint hearted, I can tell you that for sure. Choose your weather carefully. Pay particular attention to the offshore weather stations. I think most trawlers can handle it but the ride might not be a pleasant as in the brochure.
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:45 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone. I'm going to have to spend a year or so lurking on here and searching old posts because it seem so different from my experience.
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Old 07-02-2016, 10:07 PM   #17
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I don't think anyone is saying a small "trawler" (generic marketing term) can't get to the USVI, but I also think Captain John was focusing on the "near islands" -- the Bahamas are very close, in the grand scheme of things Caribbean,
Not to meantion that the Bahamas aren't even in the Caribbean. They are in the Atlantic Ocean.
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:30 AM   #18
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Weather windows just getting to the Bahamas and back can be a big issue. Last year our friends waited 7 weeks at anchor for a Miami to Bimini window and that's less than 50 miles.


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Old 07-03-2016, 01:18 PM   #19
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Weather windows just getting to the Bahamas and back can be a big issue. Last year our friends waited 7 weeks at anchor for a Miami to Bimini window and that's less than 50 miles.


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7 weeks? Ok, they must be very slow and very cautious. What kind of sea conditions were they waiting for?
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Old 07-04-2016, 02:20 PM   #20
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Not to meantion that the Bahamas aren't even in the Caribbean. They are in the Atlantic Ocean.

Yet another minor detail.



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