Originally Posted by lakewaytrawler
While studying trawler and tug designs & tradeoffs...I have a few initial questions for the experts:
1. What formal classes or certifications will I want / need to attain to:
a) be safe, and feel safe cruising in and around the coasts with my significant other (she has very little boating experience but has enjoyed sailing the past couple of years).
b) charter a trawler, should I decide to do that in exploring boat options, and the lifestyle.
c) secure reasonably priced insurance on a boat - say, in the $150,000 to $200,000 range.
I have read a lot about the cruising lifestyle - starting from a sailing perspective, but have come to realize that local lake sailing to satisfy that itch, and a trawler of some sort would likely be the best way to explore the coasts while enjoying all that retired life has to offer.
a. As to training, I'd recommend both some formal training and some hands on training. As to the formal, at a minimum Power Squadron type stuff but you'd really get a jump on things if both of you took some formal captain's courses. For hands on, a training captain or school both initially and then after finding a boat. I do ask caution on your behalf toward stating that you've become comfortable with systems, maintenance and repairs. Don't deceive yourself. We went from lake boating on a larger, faster powerboat on a larger lake than Travis but what we knew vs. what we didn't know as pertains to coastal boating was minimal.
b. Absolutely I recommend chartering. Also perfect for the locations you mention as excellent charter operations in Florida and the PNW.
c. Reasonably priced insurance is something I can't answer as I have no idea what you consider reasonable. Your lack of experience and the age of the boat you select will play a role in pricing as will location.
Also, you speak of a trawler likely being the best way to go. A very large percentage of persons here do not own a trawler. You'll have to figure out what is best for you and some chartering and even power boat renting may help you.
Now I don't know your age but I'd advise you to move swiftly with a plan. Not an immediate plan to buy but a plan to figure out what is right for you. It may be your first boat isn't at the upper end of your price range and isn't a trawler. A lot of people on the coasts are very happy in moderately sized Sea Rays or Bayliners or Mainships or various Tug brands or Tiara or Sabre and you might get in with a 30-40' boat that the two of you can enjoy safely and then if a couple of years and more experience you decide you want more boat, do so at that time.