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Old 12-31-2017, 09:22 PM   #21
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Most all of us have come up through the size ranks in boats A couple of platitudes.....Slow is good, especially around docks and hard objects. Anticipate what the wind and current will do to you, especially in close quarters. Pay less attention to whether you have the right of way and more on avoiding collisions, discretion being the better part of valor. But most of all, get out there in as big of a boat as you dare, and have some fun. The best learning experience is on-the-job training running boats. Some advise from big-boat friends or paid coaches might also be helpful and confidence-building.
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Old 12-31-2017, 09:25 PM   #22
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In my case I jumped from 0 to 30 feet in 4h, it was quite a leap. But I am glad I did it, no better way to learn how to swim than jumping into water

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Old 01-01-2018, 12:29 AM   #23
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I find my self in the same boat (so to speak) as Craig.

I currently live on a large lake and currently have a small sailboat, although I have sailed much larger sailboats in the past.

My next boat was going to be a trailerable powerboat. I was looking at a Cutwater 26 or a Ranger Tug 25 (or 27). Boat alone would have been about 100K, plus the cost of a new truck to pull it. I then had an epiphany that for the same money I could get a really nice (although a little bit older) 34 -36 foot convertible with a 13'+ beam. For me, this would be a lot more boat for the same money and would open up a lot of different cruising opportunities.

I'm still about 18 months out from purchasing my next boat. Still not sure what I'm buying as I still haven't decided how I will use the boat, especially post-retirement (turn 62 in 48 months). If I can get my wife on board for some long distance cruising (3 months or so) my boat purchase will be different than a boat for a weekend or a week's voyage. Part of the decision I think will hinge on my wife and I taking a twin engine powerboat course.

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Old 01-01-2018, 07:42 AM   #24
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I was a delivery and instruction Captain for a Marine Max (mostly Sea Ray) for 3 years and opened my own company for another several years after that. I also got instructional jobs for over a decade through the assistance towing business i worked for. Many of those jobs involved boaters "moving up" ..... but werent comfortable or already had incident number 1.

I would say..... jumping from no boat to something over 30 feet, especially if they are straight inboards is the biggest leap of all.

Jumping from a 15 to 20 footer up to a 40 something is still big, especially with little or no practice with some drive system change....say outboards or I/Os to a single inboard. Jumping from trwins to twins isnt as bad much of the time as you can pull from similar experiences.

Some can transition up and down with little problem, but that isntt usually the case.

The worst is someone with just small boat experience that doesnt get their new 40 something is a totally different animal. They dock it at the same marina they always have that gas adverse currents and/or winds. They think in the beginning having an inexperience crew on board is OK. They think they are going to zip around the same water neighborhoods without realizing they not need to stop for bridges or commercial traffic in high current areas where they never had to hefore.....etc...etc... Thigs go very gadly on one or two trips and now the big boat becomes a dock condo and they go out and buy another small boat to zip around in.

Like Ted I found graduating from 40 somethings to 80 somethings or more the easiest as long as you dont have to play hero everytime to get into your home dock.
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Old 01-01-2018, 07:53 AM   #25
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I went from a 25' Pursuit single engine outboard to a Grand Banks 42' w/ twin diesels. Intimidating at first. Paid a Captain to help me on deliver which took a day. Training along the way. Then I paid him to come back and spend 1/2 day with me out and about. Total of about $750 for the two days. After that I was ok with taking it in and out, bow first, of my easy access slip so I spent a day out on the water just practicing in the open. Found a 3' stick floating so I used it as my practice target. Circled forward and reverse using gear shifting only, backed to it, etc. I think I did that twice. Didn't take very long to get used to the twins and to understand why everyone loves them for maneuvering. When I came back in that day I put it in stern first, how it should be done in my slip. Have gotten progressively better and more comfortable since then. Maybe..10-15 outings. The most difficult part for me was backing and not getting confused on what does what. Controlling my direction with shifting while looking backwards. That was a little confusing at first. Forward is your friend in those situations. The other thing that has made it easy peezy is my bow thruster. Sweet!

A side note, I purchased a large (to me at least) pickup to tow my Pursuit to the ramps near me, about 5 miles away. GMC Sierra Denali, 6.2L engine, bells and whistles. It is my daily driver to work which is about 70 miles. When I sold the Pursuit I had 130,000 miles on the truck with about 450 of them towing the boat. Not the cheapest way to commute to work! I paid a lot in gas for the privilege of towing the boat. Nice truck though.
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:13 PM   #26
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As I get my affairs in order to make the jump (probably a series of hops) to being able to take more than a couple of weeks at a time to cruise around, I've been looking into the vessel that will best allow me to enjoy the transition. The smaller C Dory or similar seemed to fit the bill (and maybe it does). Trailerable, efficient and simple. The problem is that by the time I buy a heavy duty truck to pull it and pay for the boat I could buy a much nicer full size trawler.

So my question is how did you guys make the transition from a trailer size boat to the big, beautiful and very intimidating boats that are featured in this forum. I can only do so much damage in my little center console, but when you displace 12 tons or more.....that's a whole different world.


Had a c-Dory 22 before buying my Mainship 390. Had a lot of fun with that boat, but the wife got tired of “camping out”. We still can’t believe the luxury of a hot shower at anchor.
But I do miss the range of new ports a trailerable boat offers. You got to have a lot of time to get anywhere in a trawler.
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:07 AM   #27
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For me it was a series of steps. My interest in boats has always been based on fishing, so a succession of larger / nicer trailer boats served me well for a long time, but it got to the point that to take it to the next level, I needed the range and stability that trailer boats were not able to handle. From there, it was a succession of slipped boats. At that stage of my life, the needs of my family needed to be taken into consideration, to the upgrades were primarily motivated by my desire to have a boat that was as inviting to them as possible, while also equipped to give me full long range fishing capabilities. Every step of the way, I have expected that each boat was the last I would ever need. The others I grew out of quickly, but this one may be it as the only thing that bigger would get me is more staterooms (not necessarily a good thing).
Hi MyTravler,

I've been admiring your boat for a long time and your story of your boating background (fishing) and the progression of boats to your current one is much like my own. Basically this is a long winded way of saying that I really like your boat and would like to know what it is?

I hope to see you on the water.

Cheers!
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:46 AM   #28
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Hi MyTravler,

I've been admiring your boat for a long time and your story of your boating background (fishing) and the progression of boats to your current one is much like my own. Basically this is a long winded way of saying that I really like your boat and would like to know what it is?

I hope to see you on the water.

Cheers!
Hi Doc,
Thanks for the compliment. She is a Mikelson Nomad, which are semi-custom with about 20 having been built. Mine was #15. Compared to my last boat, it isn't very fast, and the lines are not very elegant, but it does serve my intended purpose well. If the opportunity arises, I will happily give you a tour.
Regards,
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:13 PM   #29
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An argument in a bit of a different direction, especially if one has time before retiring and full time living aboard.....

Get a waterfront home to keep the boat at. CraigJ, looks like you have a lot of options. It's often a bit more expensive than the dirt surrounded home, but it's significantly more user friendly for boating. HUGE benefits.

And you'll use the boat 3 or 4 times as much. Even taking it out for a 30 minute sunset.

Easy to come and go
Easy to work on
No big truck needed
No marina expenses

While I don't have an elegant waterfront home, and I do have some tide issue, it's infinitely better than anything else. Starting living on the water in 1985 and never looked back and have had several since. It makes boating a whole bunch better experience.

-------

And second,
Size the boat for the mission. There might be an argument to get a boat suited to day trips and short overnights prior to trips that take months, weeks and years.

CraigJ, you might find a bit small than a 40 being a better fit, if you patronize a lot of restaurants, sandbars, and places where size makes a difference. And you can still have overnight capability and speed if you do a lot of day boating or need to get back for work days.

In my situation, I've got the 40 ft for longer hauls, overnights, and the loop trip. I've also got a 280 Sundancer for day trips, restaurants, sand bars, etc, where the trawler just doesn't fit. I have also spend nites on it as it has the genny and air. There's a ton of boats in the 28 to 35 ft range that give you a bit more flexibility than a 40 ft trawler. Even a smaller trawler might fit the bill, or a swift trawler. Just thinking of what your mission would be before retirement.

As for "stepping up", you already have a boat so you're mostly there. You could step to any boat, with training, of course.
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:17 PM   #30
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".....The lines are not very elegant...."

I would differ with you on that point. Your boat has a very purposeful look to it, and it's line really meets my eye. The boat strikes me as an excellent long range fishing platform.
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Old 01-02-2018, 02:36 PM   #31
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You got to have a lot of time to get anywhere in a trawler.

I think that said it better than I could. Until I actually retire, I don't think that I'll have enough time off to really use a trawler. I can have a week at a time many times during a year off, or I could get a couple of weeks at a time only twice, with the way my schedule/vacation works. It kills me to think that I could buy the trawler, and it would mostly sit in a slip for the next few years waiting on me to get the time that I need (wasted opportunity), or I can invest in a trailerable boat and a bigger truck to pull it, only to turn around in 5-7 years and sell it to make room for the trawler (wasted money).
I guess the problem is that I want my cake and I want to eat it too, lol. Terrible problems to have.
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:27 PM   #32
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Get a waterfront home to keep the boat at. CraigJ, looks like you have a lot of options. It's often a bit more expensive than the dirt surrounded home, but it's significantly more user friendly for boating. HUGE benefits.

And you'll use the boat 3 or 4 times as much. Even taking it out for a 30 minute sunset.

Easy to come and go
Easy to work on
No big truck needed
No marina expenses
This had occurred to me too, Seevee. While there are certainly an abundance of really nice and expensive properties on the water, the navigable waters of these united states create a real diversity of options include those that most folks would call affordable.

The problem isn't hatching the idea or recognizing its potential, it's finding those affordable properties without working through a thousand different realtors. How did you go about it?
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:35 PM   #33
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Unless you are buying a new boat it will take several (3 to 4) years to get the boat ready and up to your specs. So I would be thinking long term and buy the boat you want to end up with and get it ready to retire with. If you buy a small boat and a large truck to tow it, what financial hit will you take when you sell it to get the boat you really want?
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:00 PM   #34
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I went from a 25' to 35' to 45'. I should have gone straight to 45' from 25'. The 35' boat was a twin screw Carver C34. It was a big sale in the wind and got pushed around big time in the harbor. Trying to dock it even with thrusters was always white knuckle. My marina was always windy in the afternoon just when I was coming back in. The 45' is a single screw but it's heavy, has a keel and very easy to dock. 33k lb vs. 18k lb. The bigger the boat the easier it is to dock, up to a point, of course. Take wind out of the equation and twin screws should be easier to dock but there is always some wind and personally I have always liked a single screw boat.

Learning to operate the 35' twin screw boat was a shock to me. I had no idea how to operate it. I had a captain work with me just docking it all day long. It was such a big jump from my 25' that it wouldn't have mattered whether it was a 40' or 50'. Get the biggest boat that you can afford and you won't regret it.
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:40 PM   #35
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This had occurred to me too, Seevee. While there are certainly an abundance of really nice and expensive properties on the water, the navigable waters of these united states create a real diversity of options include those that most folks would call affordable.

The problem isn't hatching the idea or recognizing its potential, it's finding those affordable properties without working through a thousand different realtors. How did you go about it?
Headed,

It's only a matter of finding someone that is really motivated to get out of their property. And they are out there, from the cheap dirt bag houses to the MM dollar houses.

The last three waterfront houses I bought: (no banks involved)

One was owned by a wheeler-dealer that owed a lot of money around town and really needed to get out of town. After dickering a bit, I gave him a personal check for a notarized deed and took title subject to two lousy mortgages and paid off is delinquent debts.

Another was a rich doctor that was just done with the house. He gave me an interest free loan for two years. I eventually sold it for 5 times what I paid for it.

Another was an investor that was 2000 miles away that couldn't manage his property.

All good deals.

The absolute KEY is finding someone that NEEDS to sell, and they are out there in any market.

Now all these houses need a bit of fix up, some a lot and some very little. They all were not properly marketed and all had sellers that wanted out NOW.

Once you get one, you can leverage up to the next and the next, etc. The only thing that can kill you is taxes with the higher end houses.

I'd be on the water with a tent before a mansion off the water.
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:06 PM   #36
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Great story Seevee. I've got a mission!
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