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Old 09-03-2020, 11:20 AM   #1
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Hello

My wife and I have always loved the water, had a small fishing boat years ago and sold it prior to an anticipated move to the PNW. The move never happened, we bought a canoe instead of another boat and we have spent the last 25 years paddling midwestern rivers and lakes.

My wife's father is originally from the northern coast of the Olympic peninsula, in fact, my wife was born there, but the family moved back to my MIL's homeplace in Kansas City while my wife was still an infant. However, (I promise this is relevant!) after my FIL retired my inlaws spent 6mo of each of the last 20 or so years living aboard their 28ft Tollycraft (yes, it was very close quarters!) in a marina back in WA state. They recently and very reluctantly, decided that caring for the boat had become too much for them and sold it.

After a week long visit to the marina last summer and their sale of the boat this summer the subject of boats kept popping up. Eventually my wife and I started discussing owning a boat, cruising, possibly even an eventual live aboard situation as something we would both enjoy. Especially since after learning about the Great Loop several years ago we both thought it sounded like a fun thing to do.

We are both 50, so while retirement is not imminent, it is beginning to peek over the horizon and with one kid in college and one not it's something I decided to start investigating.

Bad news is that while are able to hold a pretty good credit score we aren't particularly wealthy so any consideration of a hobby/lifestyle that offers a 100% guarantee of one way (outbound!) cash flow has to be examined pretty closely before we dive in.

The good news is that we are both healthy (KoW!) adventurous and like to travel. We don't require luxurious accommodations or brand new anything. Having owned and worked on /semi restored various old vehicles (cars, tractors, motorcycles, campers) I am pretty handy with 12v electrical systems and things mechanical. Between youtube, manuals and schematics I can usually bumble my way through repairs and upgrades. On rare occasions I even manage it on the first try.

So... Starting to research boats, discovered trawlers in particular and this seemed like a pretty good place to start learning the things I need to learn about in order to make an informed decision as to whether we may be able to make this work. Or not.

Of particular interest are the mundane expenses, insurance, mooring, hauling out (I just read a thread on insuring wooden boats and looked up to see the $20K 1971 32 GB I had been lusting after on YW flying straight out the window) and various other annual fees and expenses they don't tell you about in the brochure.

Anyway, I apologize for the extended play version of an intro and I'll go back to lurking and learning...
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:30 AM   #2
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Welcome to TF. We like pictures. Lots of good info for you here. Good luck on your search.
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:44 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard.
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:54 AM   #4
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Thanks for the welcome! I like pictures as well. No trawler, so here's me stern paddling our 18'6" Wenonah Champlain (in ultra light kevlar layup for easy portaging!) during our Sept 2019 Boundary Waters trip in northern MN.
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Old 09-03-2020, 01:52 PM   #5
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Great picture. My experience with canoes has usually been from an inverted position.
Welcome aboard.
Boats and boating will never be cheap, but the more you can do, the less you have to pay to others.
You have plenty of time for your boat search, so start looking at what might fit your needs, and figuring out what those needs actually are.
Boat search 101 here is a good place to start, and the search function can help you find threads about things that interest you.
Nigel Calders' books are very helpful, Marine Diesel Engines, and Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Handbook are great. You might also wsnt to find some books on surveying boats, to identify problems to be be aware of as you start to look at boats.
Chapmans Piloting Seamanship and Small Boat Handling is a great resource also.
Have fun.
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Old 09-03-2020, 01:59 PM   #6
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Thanks for the welcome and the suggested reading list! One area I have absolutely no experience with is diesels, marine or otherwise. My FIL's Tolleycraft had a single gas engine, when I asked him his preference his reply was that both gas and diesel had advantages and disadvantages and the trick was to match those to how you plan to use your boat. Makes sense to me.
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Old 09-03-2020, 02:55 PM   #7
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I began with a kayak on Green River Lake in central KY.
Began sailing at LBL (western KY) while in grad school
Now...years later on the east coast in my second trawler and planning the Loop trip; and Im not rich by a long shot.

Look around LBL and the marinas, many loopers stay around there. Many trawlers in that area.

Good Luck!

Tim
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Old 09-03-2020, 04:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Black View Post
My wife and I have always loved the water, had a small fishing boat years ago and sold it prior to an anticipated move to the PNW. The move never happened, we bought a canoe instead of another boat and we have spent the last 25 years paddling midwestern rivers and lakes.

My wife's father is originally from the northern coast of the Olympic peninsula, in fact, my wife was born there, but the family moved back to my MIL's homeplace in Kansas City while my wife was still an infant. However, (I promise this is relevant!) after my FIL retired my inlaws spent 6mo of each of the last 20 or so years living aboard their 28ft Tollycraft (yes, it was very close quarters!) in a marina back in WA state. They recently and very reluctantly, decided that caring for the boat had become too much for them and sold it.

After a week long visit to the marina last summer and their sale of the boat this summer the subject of boats kept popping up. Eventually my wife and I started discussing owning a boat, cruising, possibly even an eventual live aboard situation as something we would both enjoy. Especially since after learning about the Great Loop several years ago we both thought it sounded like a fun thing to do.

We are both 50, so while retirement is not imminent, it is beginning to peek over the horizon and with one kid in college and one not it's something I decided to start investigating.

Bad news is that while are able to hold a pretty good credit score we aren't particularly wealthy so any consideration of a hobby/lifestyle that offers a 100% guarantee of one way (outbound!) cash flow has to be examined pretty closely before we dive in.

The good news is that we are both healthy (KoW!) adventurous and like to travel. We don't require luxurious accommodations or brand new anything. Having owned and worked on /semi restored various old vehicles (cars, tractors, motorcycles, campers) I am pretty handy with 12v electrical systems and things mechanical. Between youtube, manuals and schematics I can usually bumble my way through repairs and upgrades. On rare occasions I even manage it on the first try.

So... Starting to research boats, discovered trawlers in particular and this seemed like a pretty good place to start learning the things I need to learn about in order to make an informed decision as to whether we may be able to make this work. Or not.

Of particular interest are the mundane expenses, insurance, mooring, hauling out (I just read a thread on insuring wooden boats and looked up to see the $20K 1971 32 GB I had been lusting after on YW flying straight out the window) and various other annual fees and expenses they don't tell you about in the brochure.

Anyway, I apologize for the extended play version of an intro and I'll go back to lurking and learning...
Wifey B: There are two resources you need to carefully look at. You already mentioned financing. The other is time. How much time per year do you have to boat?

Perhaps for the next few years the idea boating is on the Ohio River, staying fairly close to home, maybe if you get extremely adventurous to the Cumberland or the TN but you could do years of boating on the Ohio. Now the negative is only about 3 or 4 months a year are good. But perhaps you only have vacations for boating and summer weekends, in which case it matches fine.

Look at the costs and rules of marinas in your area and at the least boats you think you would enjoy, then decide. We boated happily for years on a relatively small lake until we moved to Fort Lauderdale.
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Old 09-03-2020, 05:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kokopelliTim View Post
I began with a kayak on Green River Lake in central KY.
Began sailing at LBL (western KY) while in grad school
Now...years later on the east coast in my second trawler and planning the Loop trip; and Im not rich by a long shot.

Look around LBL and the marinas, many loopers stay around there. Many trawlers in that area.

Good Luck!

Tim
Thanks!

Never been on Green River lake, but we have done an overnight canoe trip on the section of the Green that flows through Mammoth Cave N.P. and it was gorgeous. We were planning a week or so canoe camping along the shore of KY Lake this fall, but the stupid virus kind of put it on the back burner while we wait to see how it all plays out. We may still take a weekend trip car camping out that way just to scout it out. Would be a shame not to visit the marinas while we were there!
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Old 09-03-2020, 06:09 PM   #10
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Wifey B: There are two resources you need to carefully look at. You already mentioned financing. The other is time. How much time per year do you have to boat?

Perhaps for the next few years the idea boating is on the Ohio River, staying fairly close to home, maybe if you get extremely adventurous to the Cumberland or the TN but you could do years of boating on the Ohio. Now the negative is only about 3 or 4 months a year are good. But perhaps you only have vacations for boating and summer weekends, in which case it matches fine.

Look at the costs and rules of marinas in your area and at the least boats you think you would enjoy, then decide. We boated happily for years on a relatively small lake until we moved to Fort Lauderdale.
It always comes down to time and money, doesn't it? Lol! You're spot on... We currently have decent amounts of vacation, she has 3 weeks and I have 5, plus weekends when the cars/lawnmower/clothes washer/dryer/water heater/house doesn't need something fixed.

I grew up in St Louis, Mo then moved up near Louisiana, MO both of which are on the Mississippi and we now live just south of Louisville within 15min of the Ohio, so the rivers are something that has always been near and dear. I've daydreamed since I was a kid about taking extended river trips. When we were in MO we paddled quite a bit on the Mississippi (and occasionally the Missouri) and do the same on the Ohio now that we're here.
Should we end up with a motor powered boat, I have no doubt that most of our time on the water would be on rivers, at least until retirement.

The local ads are full of Marinettes, Carvers and Chris Crafts in various states of seaworthiness and of various lengths and configurations. Something I've been mulling over is whether it would be worthwhile to get something in the 25-28ft range while we learn the ins and outs of boats and boating and then bump up to a 30-36ft boat eventually. The alternative plan would be just get what we want at the start and dump time and $ into that instead of something I intend to eventually sell.

Well, I'm not in any rush and there's plenty to learn in the meantime.

Thanks for the reply!
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Old 09-06-2020, 05:49 AM   #11
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Welcome aboard -
As a very young person floated the Huzzah, Current, Courtois Creek, Meramec almost every year. Learned power and sail boating on the Mississippi.
After 40 years of Sailing turned to the Dark side earlier this year in prep for the loop.

The “layout” (equip, galley, engines etc) are different on every boat - look at some and decide what works for you -
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Old 09-06-2020, 08:02 AM   #12
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Is there a question in there? If so it may be cost. Here is what I tell prospective trawler owners.

$500 a month covers pretty much everything, including fuel, dockage and storage. It will be at least twice that amount for the first couple years until you get the boat the way you want it.

Here is the "kicker" though. Any major breakdown or upgrade will approach half to three quarters of the value of the boat. The bad thing about major breakdowns is that the boat actually has $0 value until the repair is completed. When it is completed it will add little or nothing to the resale value.

disclaimers: These are 2020 dollars, this is for about a 36 foot trawler, this estimate is for central Wisconsin.

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Old 09-07-2020, 08:59 PM   #13
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Welcome aboard -
As a very young person floated the Huzzah, Current, Courtois Creek, Meramec almost every year. Learned power and sail boating on the Mississippi.
After 40 years of Sailing turned to the Dark side earlier this year in prep for the loop.

The “layout” (equip, galley, engines etc) are different on every boat - look at some and decide what works for you -
Those crystal clear, gravel bottomed, spring fed Missouri streams are some of the best small water paddling in the US. Fishing isn't bad either...

We spent a lot of our time in the shallow sloughs and wetland swamps off of the Mississippi in the northeastern part of the state. We did venture out into the river itself occasionally but drifting silently through an area of flooded timber is much more relaxing than dodging ski boats and barges!


We got the canoe out for a while this morning. Went to a place we hadn't been before, a creek off the Ohio that opened up into a wetland area that actually kind of reminded me of where we used to go in MO. We popped out of the creek mouth into the Ohio, but the wind was kicking up whitecaps so we just pulled off and ate lunch sitting on a log that had washed up on a sandy piece of shoreline. We sat with our feet in the water and watched chunks of wood on their journey to the gulf. Nobody around except a bunch of cows eyeing us warily from under the shade of some trees further behind us on the riverbank.
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Old 09-07-2020, 09:05 PM   #14
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Is there a question in there? If so it may be cost. Here is what I tell prospective trawler owners.

$500 a month covers pretty much everything, including fuel, dockage and storage. It will be at least twice that amount for the first couple years until you get the boat the way you want it.

Here is the "kicker" though. Any major breakdown or upgrade will approach half to three quarters of the value of the boat. The bad thing about major breakdowns is that the boat actually has $0 value until the repair is completed. When it is completed it will add little or nothing to the resale value.

disclaimers: These are 2020 dollars, this is for about a 36 foot trawler, this estimate is for central Wisconsin.

pete
If there was, you answered it! thank you very much, that makes a lot of sense.
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Old 09-07-2020, 09:46 PM   #15
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It was nice out today, maybe a little warm and windy but could have been worse. Since we were both off work for labor day so we decided to act like we didn't have anything we should be doing around the house and play hooky for a day. We packed up the canoe and headed to a place we hadn't been before, a creek off the Ohio that opened up into a wetland area that actually kind of reminded me of where we used to go in MO. After exploring the backwater nooks and crannies for a while we popped out of the creek mouth into the Ohio, but the wind was kicking up whitecaps so we just pulled off and ate lunch sitting on a log that had washed up on a sandy piece of shoreline. We sat with our feet in the water and watched chunks of wood on their journey to the gulf. Nobody around except a bunch of cows eyeing us warily from under the shade of some trees further behind us on the riverbank.

Headed back to the house and grilled a couple ribeyes for dinner. Pretty good day altogether.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:09 PM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr. MB. Welcome aboard. Your FIL is a smart man. Horses for courses.


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Old 09-08-2020, 06:54 AM   #17
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Welcome aboard TF.
You may want to explore the trailerable trawler section.
With your location and vacation time you may be able to explore different cruising grounds within a reasonable distance. It gets your feet wet and a perfect way to decide if the lifestyle is something you both enjoy. When closer to retirement trade up to something that fits your plans at that time... which may be different that todays.
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