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Old 07-03-2013, 11:45 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 895
We stepped up from a 22ft cuddy trailer boat to a 50ft trawler. It was daunting but manageable. First we chartered a 36ft trawler for week, then did LOTS of reading (magazines like Passagemaker; forums like this one; even books!!). That gave us a good idea of what criteria were important to us in boat selection, and what to look for. Next we looked at some local boats for sale and went to some boat shows and Trawlerfests. Then we set off to Florida to look at about 30 boats identified on Yachtworld. Ended up buying one of those. Then we hired a captain to help bring the boat back to the Northeast, about 1200 miler offshore, non-stop. We learned a tremendous amount that week. Once back we had to face up to handling the boat ourselves and could have probably done with a bit more hands on instruction (we had had a couple days instruction in Florida before leaving). Nevertheless we manged to learn how to handle the boat without too many mishaps. My recommendation is to not wait until you want to set off on your cruising life, but rather purchase the vessel you want earlier. It took about 2 years or so to get comfortable with the boat and be able to deal with a myriad of complex mechanical and electrical systems.
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