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Old 08-26-2021, 03:34 PM   #1
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Great loop boat

Hello all,

My name is Tim and my wife (Stacy) have just joined this site.We are on the hunt for a great loop boat that is located in Florida. We have been looking for sometime and have narrowed it down to what we feel will best fit our needs for the loop. I know there are many boats that can do the loop but we are looking for a powerboat vs. a sailboat. No more than 36 foot in length with a diesel engine or engines. To give some types we are looing for is possibly a morgan pilothouse with mast removed or other pilothouse models. Trawler style, tug style or other vessels that are on the same line. Not sure if the person that had the 1973 Fales caribe boat (boomerang)that was on here in 2015 is still on this board but if you are i would love to chat with you. So anyone having a good loop boat around $ 35'000 or less i would love to hear from you. This is the first forum i have ever been on so i hope i did ok in my explanation. Thank you all
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Old 08-26-2021, 03:56 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by samtam7477 View Post
Hello all,

My name is Tim and my wife (Stacy) have just joined this site.We are on the hunt for a great loop boat that is located in Florida. We have been looking for sometime and have narrowed it down to what we feel will best fit our needs for the loop. I know there are many boats that can do the loop but we are looking for a powerboat vs. a sailboat. No more than 36 foot in length with a diesel engine or engines. To give some types we are looing for is possibly a morgan pilothouse with mast removed or other pilothouse models. Trawler style, tug style or other vessels that are on the same line. Not sure if the person that had the 1973 Fales caribe boat (boomerang)that was on here in 2015 is still on this board but if you are i would love to chat with you. So anyone having a good loop boat around $ 35'000 or less i would love to hear from you. This is the first forum i have ever been on so i hope i did ok in my explanation. Thank you all
welcome! There was a 37 Pacific trawler advertised on FB a few days ago. It may have been in the Trawlers for sale group, can't remember. It is in Florida and looks like a perfect looper. I have no Idea of the condition but looked clean in the pics. It was an older hull, but they were well built boats and scarce on the east coast
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Old 08-26-2021, 04:09 PM   #3
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Thank you I will see if I can find it.
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Old 08-26-2021, 04:49 PM   #4
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Old 08-26-2021, 05:18 PM   #5
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Old 08-26-2021, 06:02 PM   #6
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Welcome to the 'funny farm.'
Yes, it is possible to do the loop in a row boat but, you want to loop in comfort, not camping style.

I am not an authority on boating/navigation and a bunch of other things. Anything I say is just my opinion. I am still permitted to have an opinion, correct?

You may find a boat for $50-60K but will and your boss be happy?
There are sections that are long and boring.... nothing to see so, you will find more comfort inside the boat.
You want it small enough to be operated single-handed yet large enough so you can escape from each other. IMO, dont consider a fly bridge as and escape pod. The food, head and AC are inside the boat. The skeeters, gnats, no-see-ums, heat and humidity are all on the outside. Flybridges have advantages but, I like the inside. Get a flybridge and first thing you do it put a canvas over it.

I would suggest a mid 30ft to mid 40ft boat.
1 or 2 engines?..... big debate. If you go with a single engine, until you learn "how to use the dock lines" and prop walk, get a boat with at least a bow thruster and ideally a stern thruster too. Anchoring, get someone to show you how to properly deploy and retrieve the anchor.
In the AICW the speed is restricted so why have the ability to travel at a high rate of speed. Two engine are generally more hungry for fuel than a single engine. (no comment on maintenance costs or reliability)
So my recommendation: Find a boat with more inside space than you think you can possibly use or need. Clothes, tools, pots and pans, dishes, spare parts etc will all take up lots of space. When you get it all loaded up with stuff, you will wonder where all the space went.
I have a washer/dryer on board that is good enough for 'desperation wash'. Learn to wear wrinkled clothes.
A generator to support the ACs. If you have an electric galley, that too takes generator power.
Next, 'nice to have', water maker.
Prior to starting the loop, healthy batteries. I recommend a 'house bank' and a separate engine start battery with a method of paralleling the house and start battery. Naturally, a separate start battery for the generator.
Space, space, space.... you will always want, need and wish for more space.

Engine room accessibility .... need to get around a hot engine without frying yourself on the hot parts.

Nav electronic and auto pilot?..... Learn to use what comes with the boat. It may be old but if it works, use it. Any nav electronics you buy today will be 'old' tomorrow.
Fuel capacity? Well that depends on the engine(s). You want enough diesel fuel that you can pass up a fuel stop or two if necessary. Go slow and you can extend your fuel and travel distance. At least 200 gallons of fuel. I like 400 gallons.
Water capacity? That depends on length of showers and if you have a washing machine. At least 100 gallons. Oh, I recommend a "dry" head. In other words, a shower separate from the rest of the head. I would totally hate to clean/wipe down the combined head/shower area every day.

Food quantity? Thank God for the magic of canned food, pasta, rice and potatoes. Fresh meat? On a boat length I have discussed, you may need to or want to supplement the freezer with with a stand alone portable 12vt freezer. Put it outside, strap it down and protect it from the direct sun.
Per 1 or 2 staterooms, another major discussion. You buy a boat, you will discover you have more friends. Everyone wants to go out for a ride provided the are back at the dock before dark. If you have more than you 'mate' onboard, the boat gets even smaller. Dont make the guests too comfortable or they will never leave. Guest get bored very easily if they dont have something to do. You, as the captain, will always have something to do. Your spouse will 'spell' you at the wheel as you cook, clean or nap.
Plan your stops carefully. Traveling the AICW at night can be done but I dont recommend it. IF you find a real need to travel at night and weather permits, do it on the 'outside' a mile or 2 off shore.
Learn to navigate..... bring a paper chart book incase the nav electronics goes down. Yes, you can also bring a stand alone GPS but personally, I feel more comfortable with a reasonably up to date paper chart book and an accurate magnetic compass and maybe additional paper charts for specific areas.

Study, study, study. Take courses and learn the basics of your engine(s) Learning how to rebuild your diesel engine is unnecessary. Learn to trouble shoot and hopefully, you will have the spare parts onboard to fix it.

Boating meant to be fun and safe and comfortable so enjoy, enjoy.
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Old 08-27-2021, 12:32 AM   #7
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Welcome to the 'funny farm.'
Yes, it is possible to do the loop in a row boat but, you want to loop in comfort, not camping style.
Or at least you, OldDan, would want to loop in your specific way. And that's great. Also, I don't mean that anyone wants to be horribly uncomfortable; but just that different strokes for different folks. Some like a smaller/nimbler boat, some have a budget, and some people enjoy camping, believe it or not. The Loop can be a season, not a lifetime (or it could be a lifetime of course)

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Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
You may find a boat for $50-60K but will and your boss be happy?
OP posted a budget of $35k or less, so they might not be happy with a boat that is twice what they can afford.

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Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
Next, 'nice to have', water maker.
That would be nice in The Bahamas, but I don't see it as all that useful for the rest of the loop (freshwater, dirty harbors, etc.) and on their budget it seems like an unnecessary drain on resources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
Nav electronic and auto pilot?..... Learn to use what comes with the boat. It may be old but if it works, use it. Any nav electronics you buy today will be 'old' tomorrow.
If on a tight budget and boat comes with old electronics, I'd consider something like an iPad, Aquamaps, Navionics, etc. Maybe not as good as a "real" charplotter in some ways, but huge bang for the buck. If the old electronics work, you may still want to use them for depth, radar, etc.


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Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
At least 200 gallons of fuel. I like 400 gallons.
I would love that much too. But I've noticed a number of Camanos complete the loop (older ones have 95 gallons of fuel) and quite a few C-Dorys (46 or 100 gallons 22'/25').

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
Water capacity? That depends on length of showers and if you have a washing machine. At least 100 gallons.
I just have a hard time imagining all that on a $35,000 boat. A washing machine?

I'll stop going point by point now, but given what the OP posted as their desires/limitations, I would take the exact opposite tack.

That is, if you (OP) are going to stick to a "smaller" budget, go for a simple boat. Fewer things to go wrong. Fewer spares to buy. Fewer pros to potentially need to pay. So no watermaker, single engine, etc. Buying the biggest, most complicated $35k boat you can find is bound to be a nightmare.

If it's a tiny bit less comfortable than home, well, it's a one-time trip. The Loop! I almost think you would have to have that type of attitude to make it work in a "less cushy/fancy" boat. Or at least that is how I would approach it if those were my parameters.

Many people have done similar and said it was the time of their lives. (Links at bottom of post)

Have a look at the blog called Halcyon Days (blog of retired couple who lived on a C-Dory 22 and previously did the loop on a Flicka 20). Or for a more recent blog, a retired couple who looped on a C-Dory 25 (that's not a $35k boat but it's a small/simple concept that could transfer to a different boat).

M/V Serenity (Albin 27) has a blog and is finishing loop right now. "Gammel Dansk" is a Nordic Tugs 26 that just finished the Loop with two people and a guide dog. Our own Jeff F did the Loop in a Mainship 34 (often sell for mid $30's) (of course more gets spent later, but not as much "more" as on a much larger, more complicated boat)..

These people all looked to have a good time and none of them were teenagers (most are retired couples).

Oh, one last note is that any boat with a flybridge will then have two of many things. (Electronics, steering, etc.) and also possibly canvas ($ wear item). Not that you shouldn't have one if you love that, but just something to consider.

Here are some links if you want to see if any of these scenarios appeal to you (OP).

(Old Dan I get that you would not enjoy it. And you don't need to as your budget is much larger, so why not be more comfortable! I probably would too )

Some of these boats cost more than $35k, but you can at least read about simpler boats and smaller boats and see how people do it and if it sounds fun.

Albin 27 (probably the least expensive boat of the group, just finishing their Great Loop):
https://aroundtheloopwego.blogspot.c...d-2142019.html

Mainship 34 (Jeff F of TF) (this link starts around Chicago then goes on around The Loop via the full Mississippi which is pretty cool):
https://boatingadventures.ca/2018/10/

C-Dory 22 (Retired couple, did loop previously in 20' sailboat, this covers many trips all over the US and Canadian waterways):
Cruising America-Halcyon Days

C-Dory 25: (Retired couple from PNW head east and do The Great Loop):
https://daydreamsloop.blogspot.com/2...loop-blog.html

Nordic Tugs 26 (Retired couple does Great Loop -- link goes to end of blog but has overview; you can of course go back to beginning) (this one is mostly photos):
Gammel Dansk Blog: 08/20/21

Camano Troll (28-footer, later called 31' but same boat)(not looping but going CT to Bahamas annually):
The Saga of Sesame: 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
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Old 08-27-2021, 08:58 AM   #8
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Frosty, SMILE
As I said, the loop can be done in a row boat but, I dont of anyone alive who would be comfortable doing the loop in a row boat.
Some folks are comfortable living in a one room apartment and a fold out couch.
I have lived in a pup-tent for months. Personally, I do not want to experience that again.
One has to determine their own minimal comfort-level. That is why there are many brands and lengths of boats. SMILE
My boat is a 34/36 AT, WWL 32. It is more than comfortable for me and one additional person but, I have had 4 onboard for more than a month.

Soooo, in conclusion, one has a budget and a comfort level. Finding a boat to fulfill both can be difficult..... but it can be done.
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Old 08-27-2021, 09:07 AM   #9
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Welcome to Trawler Forum. I agree,Boomerang is a sweet ride. Have fun shopping.
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Old 08-27-2021, 10:14 AM   #10
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For that budget I would be looking for a used express cruiser around 26-32 feet with solid mechanicals and a minimum of soft spots on the deck, single I/O, spend a few thousand having a boat mechanic go over her very closely, replace the inevitable alcohol stove with an electric hot plate, get a Honda generator to bungee somewhere to run it with an extension cord, buy a decent anchor and rode set for hand deployments, and go. If I could find one with a “wet bath” shower set up instead of just a simple head and sink, or an installed air conditioner for the cabin, even better. I’d run her at one of the most efficient spots on the curve which for my former ones was powering back just enough to keep her comfortably on plane. Most of this size have two double bunks, the second one makes for a lot of storage.

But that’s me. The C-Dory’s are great boats too, though I would try to find the largest one in your budget.

There are a lot of 32-38 foot trawler style yachts or motor cruisers - older Albins like the Albin 36 comes to mind - at the very top end of your budget but they will need work.
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Old 08-27-2021, 11:44 AM   #11
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For that budget I would be looking for a used express cruiser around 26-32 feet with solid mechanicals and a minimum of soft spots on the deck, single I/O, spend a few thousand having a boat mechanic go over her very closely...
Good suggestion. I think of the ones I linked to their blogs, probably only the C-Dory 22', Albin 27' and Mainship 34 (the Mark I-II-III series) would come in under budget. The others were just to show going in a smaller boat but would be too popular/expensive.

But your suggestion opens up a good number of lesser-known boats just waiting to be taken around the loop. These won't have the higher price point of the "hot" brands and models.
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Old 08-27-2021, 11:48 AM   #12
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LOL, I guess no one likes my suggestions.
I am not offended.
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Old 08-27-2021, 12:27 PM   #13
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Boomerang the Fales Caribe 30 appears to still be for sale in Florida right now for $35k - I just saw it on Facebook. Here’s a link to the post directly, unsure if you need to be part of the group to view it: https://www.facebook.com/groups/7107...51785878295154

It say April 5 but it was just reposted a week or two ago. Not knowing anything about Fales, it looks to me to be a pretty neat little vessel for two on extended trips, or a family for short ones.
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Old 08-27-2021, 02:03 PM   #14
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I saw that ad for Boomerang as well. Pretty sure there are old threads here involving that boat.

The Fales/Willard boats were my first choice when I was looking for an inexpensive loop boat. Everything else I considered was sort of benchmarked against that boat. They're scarce though, and some are pretty tired.

As Frosty mentioned, I did the loop in an old Mainship 34. It had more comforts than I had set out to find, and served me well. But I was largely solo and have pretty low needs. I really liked the boat. Good choice.

Any boat in that price range is going to be a compromise. I'd argue for small. The older European boats like the Albin 27 could do the trip quite handily and economically, and are comfortably in your price range.
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Old 08-27-2021, 03:59 PM   #15
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For your info, Boomerang is back on the market. Here's the link
https://www.boattrader.com/boat/1973...carib-7981718/
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Old 08-27-2021, 04:19 PM   #16
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Great Loop Boat

Welcome to the Forum. Lots of wonderful information here.
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Old 08-27-2021, 05:02 PM   #17
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It would be pretty hard to find a more suitable boat in your price range than Boomerang...
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Old 08-27-2021, 05:37 PM   #18
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Or at least you, OldDan, would want to loop in your specific way. And that's great. Also, I don't mean that anyone wants to be horribly uncomfortable; but just that different strokes for different folks. Some like a smaller/nimbler boat, some have a budget, and some people enjoy camping, believe it or not. The Loop can be a season, not a lifetime (or it could be a lifetime of course)



OP posted a budget of $35k or less, so they might not be happy with a boat that is twice what they can afford.



That would be nice in The Bahamas, but I don't see it as all that useful for the rest of the loop (freshwater, dirty harbors, etc.) and on their budget it seems like an unnecessary drain on resources.



If on a tight budget and boat comes with old electronics, I'd consider something like an iPad, Aquamaps, Navionics, etc. Maybe not as good as a "real" charplotter in some ways, but huge bang for the buck. If the old electronics work, you may still want to use them for depth, radar, etc.




I would love that much too. But I've noticed a number of Camanos complete the loop (older ones have 95 gallons of fuel) and quite a few C-Dorys (46 or 100 gallons 22'/25').



I just have a hard time imagining all that on a $35,000 boat. A washing machine?

I'll stop going point by point now, but given what the OP posted as their desires/limitations, I would take the exact opposite tack.

That is, if you (OP) are going to stick to a "smaller" budget, go for a simple boat. Fewer things to go wrong. Fewer spares to buy. Fewer pros to potentially need to pay. So no watermaker, single engine, etc. Buying the biggest, most complicated $35k boat you can find is bound to be a nightmare.

If it's a tiny bit less comfortable than home, well, it's a one-time trip. The Loop! I almost think you would have to have that type of attitude to make it work in a "less cushy/fancy" boat. Or at least that is how I would approach it if those were my parameters.

Many people have done similar and said it was the time of their lives. (Links at bottom of post)

Have a look at the blog called Halcyon Days (blog of retired couple who lived on a C-Dory 22 and previously did the loop on a Flicka 20). Or for a more recent blog, a retired couple who looped on a C-Dory 25 (that's not a $35k boat but it's a small/simple concept that could transfer to a different boat).

M/V Serenity (Albin 27) has a blog and is finishing loop right now. "Gammel Dansk" is a Nordic Tugs 26 that just finished the Loop with two people and a guide dog. Our own Jeff F did the Loop in a Mainship 34 (often sell for mid $30's) (of course more gets spent later, but not as much "more" as on a much larger, more complicated boat)..

These people all looked to have a good time and none of them were teenagers (most are retired couples).

Oh, one last note is that any boat with a flybridge will then have two of many things. (Electronics, steering, etc.) and also possibly canvas ($ wear item). Not that you shouldn't have one if you love that, but just something to consider.

Here are some links if you want to see if any of these scenarios appeal to you (OP).

(Old Dan I get that you would not enjoy it. And you don't need to as your budget is much larger, so why not be more comfortable! I probably would too )

Some of these boats cost more than $35k, but you can at least read about simpler boats and smaller boats and see how people do it and if it sounds fun.

Albin 27 (probably the least expensive boat of the group, just finishing their Great Loop):
https://aroundtheloopwego.blogspot.c...d-2142019.html

Mainship 34 (Jeff F of TF) (this link starts around Chicago then goes on around The Loop via the full Mississippi which is pretty cool):
https://boatingadventures.ca/2018/10/

C-Dory 22 (Retired couple, did loop previously in 20' sailboat, this covers many trips all over the US and Canadian waterways):
Cruising America-Halcyon Days

C-Dory 25: (Retired couple from PNW head east and do The Great Loop):
https://daydreamsloop.blogspot.com/2...loop-blog.html

Nordic Tugs 26 (Retired couple does Great Loop -- link goes to end of blog but has overview; you can of course go back to beginning) (this one is mostly photos):
Gammel Dansk Blog: 08/20/21

Camano Troll (28-footer, later called 31' but same boat)(not looping but going CT to Bahamas annually):
The Saga of Sesame: 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
Thanks for the links that you shared! I have a 32' 1983 Bayliner 3270 MY. It is a trawler type boat especially with the 6 cylinder engines that it has. I was wondering if it could be a loop boat or not. After seeing your links above, I have no doubt that it could. Thanks!
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Old 09-03-2021, 02:38 PM   #19
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Need to rethink your plan

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Originally Posted by samtam7477 View Post
Hello all,

My name is Tim and my wife (Stacy) have just joined this site.We are on the hunt for a great loop boat that is located in Florida. We have been looking for sometime and have narrowed it down to what we feel will best fit our needs for the loop. I know there are many boats that can do the loop but we are looking for a powerboat vs. a sailboat. No more than 36 foot in length with a diesel engine or engines. To give some types we are looing for is possibly a morgan pilothouse with mast removed or other pilothouse models. Trawler style, tug style or other vessels that are on the same line. Not sure if the person that had the 1973 Fales caribe boat (boomerang)that was on here in 2015 is still on this board but if you are i would love to chat with you. So anyone having a good loop boat around $ 35'000 or less i would love to hear from you. This is the first forum i have ever been on so i hope i did ok in my explanation. Thank you all



Tim and Stacy, go on YouTube and subscribe to zoffinger and michael steen. These 2 gentlemen started off on the Great Loop last January on a couple of "budget" powerboats--31 to 33 footers in the 1980s vintage.


They started in Tampa and got as far as North Carolina and Virginia before giving up (they say for the season?). Bottom line is breakdowns and repairs emptied their pocketbooks and caused months of delays.


Good news is they documented everything on video, so its easy to see for yourself!


My 2 cents is, don't try the Great Loop in an older boat unless you can do repairs yourself and dont mind long delays.
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Old 09-03-2021, 02:50 PM   #20
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My 2 cents is, don't try the Great Loop in an older boat unless you can do repairs yourself and dont mind long delays.
I hear you (and have watched a few zoffinger vids). But, I would add an exception of sorts: Don't buy a BIG/COMPLICATED cheap boat (unless you want to work on the boat vs. heading out).

Instead can you enjoy yourselves on something like Serenity? That's the Albin 27 that JUST completed the loop (and did not have savings sucking breakdowns) AND is for sale right now for a reasonable price.

It's older, and not huge, but it does have an aft cabin for some separation for a couple (and no need to convert the bed every day).

If I were on a budget and wanted to go now, I'd be all over a boat like that. I would not buy something like a 38' Taiwan Trawler (not saying they are bad, but on the OP-stated $35k budget plus the desire to do the loop, not re-work a boat).
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