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Old 01-29-2017, 10:57 AM   #1
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Greeting from Virginia

Hello all,

As retirement approaches, I am exploring the purchase or building of a trawler yacht to travel the Caribbean and the Med/European waters. I'm new to boating, having only lake time in a ski boat, not counting a few cruises on Norwegian Cruise Lines.

When I say "building", I mean me building, in either steel or wood. I like George Buehler's designs, and will probably choose one of his in the 50' range. I love the feel/smell/working with wood but am concerned about resale value when I go to sell. That leads me to lean towards building in steel which, while I've seen beautiful metal artisans on YouTube and such, doesn't evoke the same eviseral feeling in me that a wooden boat does.

So, onward and upward, as they say. In the meantime, I'll be scouring the pages of this forum to glean the experiences that have gone ahead.
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Old 01-29-2017, 11:44 AM   #2
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Building a boat is a significant undertaking. To build from scratch with no prior experience is likely to consume several years of your life when you could be out cruising on a purchased trawler. I am a boat builder and we bought a new boat for our retirement cruising. I sure am glad that we did.
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Old 01-29-2017, 11:54 AM   #3
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thanks, Tadhana...you're right, is would be a big undertaking..a decision I haven't settled on..but I look at it as another activity to experience, not solely a mechanism to enable a cruising lifestyle.
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Old 01-29-2017, 11:57 AM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. ATC. Welcome aboard if I've missed you. I tend to agree with Mr. t. So, in your retirement will the focus be on the build or the cruising? IF on the build, go for it but as mentioned, construction will be a daunting task. You most probably will NOT save any $$ building if that's your reasoning behind the exercise and you will inevitably be chained to your work space while others are on the water.
A possible option might be to buy a fix-em-up special to assuage your "itchy fingers" and depending on your starting vessel, may get you on the water much sooner. Again, don't expect to save $$ if you go this route.
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Old 01-29-2017, 12:08 PM   #5
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thanks, RT...I have been looking online at fixer uppers so that may be a route to take. I'll have study plans in hand soon so then I'll be able to make a reasonable estimate on cost. After that, the decision may be made for me.
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Old 01-29-2017, 12:16 PM   #6
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Well, if you are thinking about building a George Buehler design in steel of about 50' then you obviously have quite a budget in mind, at least a half million and probably closer to a million.

And even if you choose a standard Buehler design, there will be hundreds, maybe thousands of choices to make vis-a-vis interior layout and systems design as these will be mostly custom.

So, why not take a couple of hundred thousand of that budget, buy a 40-45' fifteen year old trawler and get some experience operating it in coastal waters. Then if you really have the itch for a blue water, steel trawler then start building it. You will then have a much, much better idea of what you want in a trawler after operating a smaller one for a year or two. In addition, you will be a much more competent skippper capable of blue water passages when your dream boat is finished.

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Old 01-29-2017, 12:37 PM   #7
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thanks, DJ. that may be the smarter road to take. I was just on yachtworld as we speak.
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:13 PM   #8
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Wifey B: You're new to boating of this type, new to boat building, and you are thinking about building a boat you'll cross oceans in?

No way. I certainly wouldn't cross an ocean in one you built. Think about that. If someone else built a boat with no experience, would you want to do it on theirs?

Seems to me that's really undervaluing experience.
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