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Old 04-01-2017, 05:19 PM   #1
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Lightbulb In the market for my first trawler for the Great LooP

After having been a sailboat enthusiast my ability to handle strenuous situations suggests that it might be time to try the trawler lifestyle with fewer physical and mental demands. All the internet chat suggests trying a lot of trawlers before you buy one. But how can you get access to be able to operate and live on many different trawlers to find out about liveability and handling characteristics before you buy. I have seen 3 day classes for $4000 and little to no ability to rent trawlers. Is there any way to get some on the water boat handling experience before you buy without spending a fortune on private lessons?

I know everyone will say that it depends on what you want the boat for, where you intend to use it, and how deep are your pockets. Well to start with I think I would like to find a 32-38 foot flybridge trawler with reasonable fuel efficiency (diesel) to do the great loop. With a budget of about $75,000 it might be hard to get everything I want as far as electronics, boat handling, and comfort features. Does it make sense to buy a boat just suited for the loop with plans to sell it at the end of the trip and then buy what you really want?
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Old 04-01-2017, 05:39 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Just my $.02 but IF you're just interested in the loop, buy a gasser, do the loop and sell it. I don't think you'll have to spend anywhere near your $75K and the extra you'll spend on fuel is peanuts in the greater scheme of things.
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Old 04-01-2017, 05:43 PM   #3
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Older but we'll maintained Mainship 34s are hard to beat....same with 38 Bayliners.

Both comfy enough for a loop and we'll within the $75K budget.

Tight for guests, is that an issue?

Yes, the perfect boat for $75K is probably a stretch...but not for a perfectly suitable and comfy loop boat.
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Old 04-01-2017, 05:44 PM   #4
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Welcome aboard TF
RTF's point is a good one and worth considering.
You might read through Boat Search 101 as a good place to start...a few searches re: Great Loop will turn up a lot more reading.
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Old 04-01-2017, 05:46 PM   #5
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Join the AGLCA and attend a rendezvous. You will be able to talk to 50-75 trawler owners currently on the LOOP
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Old 04-01-2017, 05:53 PM   #6
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Join the AGLCA and attend a rendezvous. You will be able to talk to 50-75 trawler owners currently on the LOOP
For the most part...other than places and proceedures....I find much better advice here.

Lots of people in AGLCA are doing the loop way before they really have a lot of practical experience.....even some of their gurus seem off compared to things discussed more thoroughly here.
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:57 PM   #7
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Older but we'll maintained Mainship 34s are hard to beat....same with 38 Bayliners.

Both comfy enough for a loop and we'll within the $75K budget.

Tight for guests, is that an issue?

Yes, the perfect boat for $75K is probably a stretch...but not for a perfectly suitable and comfy loop boat.

Thanks for your input but my big question is how do I get trawler handling experience on the water before I buy a boat??
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:58 PM   #8
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To add my 2 cents to these guys with far more experience and knowledge than me I would have just a question. Why would you want to buy a boat for the loop and sell it to buy another one? why not to go directly for the one you would really like and do the loop with it? Except if the one you would like to have is 200 feet long... I mean going for the great loop trip would be the perfect way to learn more your boat and how to handle it and what you like or dislike.
Anyway just one thought

L.
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:03 PM   #9
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RTF-Why exactly would you buy a gasser?
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:07 PM   #10
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The question is why not buy a gasser?

Sure you can come up with reasons...but we can blow holes in all the arguments.

Plenty of gasses do the loop.

As far as handling...trawler, powerboat, sailboat...they all have similarities and differences.

Practice with any one is what is needed, much more so than formal training.

Single sailboat and single engine Mainship...pretty similar.

Twin engine, different, but light years easier to handle.
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KonaBoy View Post
Thanks for your input but my big question is how do I get trawler handling experience on the water before I buy a boat??
Go on several forums (fora, for the Latin scholars) and offer to crew on a passage.
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:41 PM   #12
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Greetings,
Mr. K. Here is a copy of the PM I sent you so others can "blow holes" in the reasoning...

Greetings,
Mr. K. Why a gasser? For a number of reasons.
1) Less initial $$ outlay. You may not like the lifestyle so you're out less $$ to find out. The idea sounds romantic BUT after a couple of 8-10 hour days, it gets stale really fast. Same goes for a couple of weeks of cold rainy weather...
2) IF it's just for the loop, potentially greater speed in the right boat.
3) You pay extra $$ up front for the longevity of a diesel which, if you're buying just for the loop, you don't need.
4) You're more likely to find parts and a good mechanic in the middle of nowhere for a gasser as opposed to a diesel.
5) Cheaper (I think) parts.
6) I've never done the loop but maybe gas would be easier to find.


Some of the cons are:

1) Extra $$ for fuel but in the overall picture, fuel is not a big factor IMO.
2) Potential fire/explosion hazard BUT thousands of gassers are safely run for many miles every year. Ya just gotta be careful.
3) Less $$ when you sell but you payed less in the first place so it evens out.

Now, all that being said, IF you plan on looping AND running around the Caribbean long term, a diesel is probably a better bet simply because of the above mentioned longevity and fuel efficiency.

Hope this helps but keep in mind, this is MY opinion only.

Kindest Regards...
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:04 PM   #13
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What Forums?

Quote:
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Go on several forums (fora, for the Latin scholars) and offer to crew on a passage.
Haven't seen any forums that actually list crew wanted for trawlers
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:09 PM   #14
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Agree with you

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Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
To add my 2 cents to these guys with far more experience and knowledge than me I would have just a question. Why would you want to buy a boat for the loop and sell it to buy another one? why not to go directly for the one you would really like and do the loop with it? Except if the one you would like to have is 200 feet long... I mean going for the great loop trip would be the perfect way to learn more your boat and how to handle it and what you like or dislike.
Anyway just one thought

L.
Lou, I totally agree with you. But everything I have read and my experience supports it says that with some experience on any boat ( especially a first boat) that I will change my mind about the layout and accessories and size of boat etc etc that I really wish I had bought.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:14 PM   #15
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You get experience from doing. If you can motor a 30'+ sailboat, about the only thing you have to work on is docking. That said, don't buy the boat and then head off on the Loop. Spend some time cruising locally first.

While I'm not going to tell you not to get a flybridge, learn the recommended limitations of a loop boat, before you buy anything that isn't compatible (there are height restrictions on different parts).

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Old 04-01-2017, 08:39 PM   #16
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If cost and time is no object.. definitely do professional training and crewing.

Or.. bump the dock a few times, yell at the wife or other crew a bit.. and learn on your own. Its not rocket science. Keep the people in the boat. Keep the water out of the boat. Keep the round side down.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:49 PM   #17
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Welcome, I was born in Hakalu across the island from Kona.
As others have suggested take a look at the website of the America's Great Loop cruisers Association Home - America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association maybe attend one of their events. You might find someone needing crew for a leg of the trip.
I have not done the loop, yet! Friends who have really enjoyed it.
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Old 04-01-2017, 09:12 PM   #18
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I'm planning on making the move from small sailboats to powerboats myself.

Why not take a three day powerboating course? The courses that I have looked at run $1,000 - $1250, nowhere near $4000.

I only know what I've read on the internet, but Cruising Florida Powerboat Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida, has a three day course for $995 (plus fuel) and I believe they are taught on trawlers. Classes are taught on either single or twin vessels.

With some training, you could charter a trawler. A charter company may want you to demonstrate your skills with one of their captains. Could be a couple of hours with the captain or more.

Jim
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:10 PM   #19
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You can always get a sailboat for the loop and take the mast down. Your comfortable with sailboat handling, and I understand it is very economical with the hull shape and single engine.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 04-01-2017, 11:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KonaBoy View Post
Thanks for your input but my big question is how do I get trawler handling experience on the water before I buy a boat??
You don't really need to. You've manoeuvred a sailboat. Powered boats aren't that much different. Just get one and get out there and practice, taking baby steps in terms of where you go, and how far until you get the feel of it.
If you can hire a charter boat a time or two to get the feel of different lay-outs and lengths, they usually give you a good run-down on basic handling before you leave. Just trust to your instincts learnt from sailing - it's not that much different, except in many ways much easier. Ask me how I know..? Owned 2 yachts previous to the diesel cruiser.

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Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
To add my 2 cents to these guys with far more experience and knowledge than me I would have just a question. Why would you want to buy a boat for the loop and sell it to buy another one? why not to go directly for the one you would really like and do the loop with it?
Anyway just one thought L.
Also good advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
The question is why not buy a gasser?
Sure you can come up with reasons...but we can blow holes in all the arguments.
Plenty of gasses do the loop.
As far as handling...trawler, powerboat, sailboat...they all have similarities and differences. Practice with any one is what is needed, much more so than formal training. Single sailboat and single engine Mainship...pretty similar.
Twin engine, different, but light years easier to handle.
Again, good advice, although I always wonder why you North Americans always call petrol engines gassers, when they are not. Vehicles that run on LPG or CNG are gassers, if you like, but petrol engines run on petrol, or petroleum to some, or ok, gasoline to US types, but not gas..! Just sayin'...
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