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madaquarist 07-26-2019 03:02 PM

Another Newbie
Hello All
It's about time to bring myself, and the admiral, out in the open. I've been lurking in the dark as a guest on this site for the past 8-9 years, rest assured I'm not a creeper. :D It has been very informative reading posts pertaining to others experiences, questions, troubles, and ideas. Although we are not current owners, original time table would have been another 5 years but for various reasons the time table for ownership has been moved up to the next 12-18 months. Yeah for us but now we have to take all our ideas and thoughts and put them into action, a daunting task for sure. Over the next 6 months we need to create our must haves, wishlist, where we would like have our home port, and find a buyers broker. Then we can officially start the joyful and agonizing search for the beginning of the next chapter of our lives. Once we find it, our cruising plans start with the first year cruising locally and discovering how we would want to cruise, what we need or want on the boat, and most importantly, building our boat handling skills. Once we accomplish that we want to do the great loop.
With that being said, please be gentle on us newbies! :)

Comodave 07-26-2019 03:04 PM

Welcome aboard. Looking for a new boat can be great fun, enjoy.

madaquarist 07-27-2019 07:15 PM

Thanks Comodave, the admiral is blaming me for giving her a "bug" and yet she is busy looking at all the different manufacturers and layouts trying to create the must haves list. And I thought I was "obsessed". She found a Delta Trawler, loads of room onboard but not convenient for visitors and the draft is to deep for the loop.

rsn48 08-06-2019 01:18 PM

Hmmm...debated whether to reply. The loop is popular and it seems many are doing it, and they are. But its also a function of population, far more population on the east coast than the west coast, especially from Seattle to northern destinations. So more seem to be doing the loop than "North to Alaska."

Why not purchase your boat in the Pacific Northwest or in British Columbia (remember due to currency difference of the Canadian dollar, you net about a 30 % discount on the purchase price with a boat bought in BC). And there are a number of great places for your "home base."

Alaska is much more interesting and more of a challenge. Within one or two seasons, you can be experienced enough to go north, there are challenges but not great challenges as the video below will illustrate.

After you have done the Pacific Northwest, coastal BC and Alaska, you can then set your sights on taking your boat down to the Panama Canal (roughly $1500 to transit) and then do the loop when you are older. You will find the loop to be a more benign challenge after coastal BC and Alaska, and taking your boat down to the canal. Taking your boat down the West coast isn't one journey but many, so see it as a series of "jumps" that are weather dependent.

Getting moorage might be a challenge, I know Bellingham Washington has openings. The "perfect" place would be Anacortes but unfortunately others agree with this assessment and getting in is very difficult. But from Bellingham you can go down into Puget Sound, over to the San Juan's and the Gulph Islands, then up to Desolation sound, Jarvis Inlet, the Broughton's and further into Alaska.

So to wet your appetite, and introduction to the "Inside Passage."

madaquarist 08-06-2019 03:22 PM

Interesting using video, thanks for posting it. The PNW looks to be a gorgeous area to cruise, we have talked about buying a boat there and cruise the San Juans and north but 2 major items stop us. Weather, my personal goal is to spend a year without wearing socks, sandals only. My best so far is 3 weeks. We have spent over 55 years in the midwest and want to experience a warm winter, >55. Second is budget. If we could find the all elusive perfect boat that never breaks down, it could be possible. Damn reality!
We feel extremely lucky that we can push up our purchase time frame as much as we did.

BandB 08-06-2019 04:20 PM

Wifey B: Welcome. Wish your wife was here too. :D

So many great places to cruise and much depends on where you are now and what you like. All the coasts and a lot of great inland rivers too. :)

LaBomba 08-06-2019 10:20 PM

Welcome even though you are not new. We love looking at boats so when searching for a new one, it is never agonizing, a little stressful perhaps when putting a deal together. Good luck, enjoy, send pictures :)

Mark P 08-07-2019 04:51 PM

How much boating experience do you have? We are kinda newbies too but we have a 28 ft boat that we are practicing driving on wrong side of bouys, hitting docks, running aground etc. If u don't have experience with a loop size boat you might consider getting a practice boat. It will be cheaper.

madaquarist 08-07-2019 07:32 PM

The majority of my experience has been on tugs up and down the ICW in the early 80's, Norfolk to Fort Lauderdale or points in between. And then in the past 8 years I've been doing occasional work on Lake Michigan with a few marine contractors. Don't get me wrong, I am not nor have I been a licensed captain. All my hours have been overseen by a licensed captain on every vessel. My best guess is that I have around 400 hrs at the helm. Last year we chartered a houseboat on Rainy Lake in upper Minnesota, it was like trying to navigate a piece of plywood with an outboard, really had to stay on your toes. My other pleasure craft experience ranges form 14-28' runabouts or day cruisers.
We have talked about doing a charter, I've been trying to find the charter that was on the Trent Severn but can't seem to locate their website anymore. Maybe they went out of business.

BandB 08-07-2019 10:39 PM


Originally Posted by madaquarist (Post 789548)
Last year we chartered a houseboat on Rainy Lake in upper Minnesota, it was like trying to navigate a piece of plywood with an outboard, really had to stay on your toes.

No boat more difficult that pontoon type outboard driven houseboats. Large pontoon boats come in a close second if they have an upper deck and it's windy.

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