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Old 12-27-2021, 02:03 PM   #1
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New Convert from Sailing

Just sold my sailboat, a 46' Moody center cockpit, earlier this month. Bitter sweet experience, but getting up in years and the maintenance on a 46' sailboat was getting to be a bit much, and we are ready for something different.

Momentarily boat-less, but probably will be looking into a trawler later this spring or summer, hence joining this forum. Chartering would make more financial sense than owning, except we are interested in a version of the Big Loop, and that sort or rules out renting. We want to take the boat from the Eastern seaboard to the Great Lakes for a summer or two, then bring her back to the Eastern seaboard via the St. Lawrence and around Nova Scotia.

Both of us are retired so we would spend the summers on the boat and put her ashore in the winter. We are used to cruising (more coastal than off shore), and I can do a fair amount of the maintenance. Have rented trawler-like boats on the Rideau Canal in Canada a couple of times. Enjoyed the experience more than I thought I would.

Joining the forum to get an idea of the issues of trawler cruising along with listening to the owners of the various makes discuss strengths and weaknesses of their vessels.
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Old 12-27-2021, 02:29 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard, Capt.
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Old 12-27-2021, 02:30 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard. Sounds like a good plan.
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Old 12-27-2021, 04:34 PM   #4
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Glad to have you aboard, Captain. I am unfamiliar with Daniel Island. Would you care to tell us about it?
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Old 12-27-2021, 05:17 PM   #5
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Daniel Island is in Charleston Harbor--just north beyond the cable-stayed bridge that is the hallmark of the harbor. The island actually is more of a peninsula between the Wando (to starboard) and Cooper (to port) Rivers when passing under the bridge. Used to belong to the Guggenheim family as a hunting preserve and some cattle ranches, and it was fairly isolated and hard to get to. That changed in 1995 when I-526 was extended east of I-26 to Mt. Pleasant, crossing Daniel Island. Development began then and is almost complete now. There are three "areas" of some 7000 homes, apartments and condos comprising the island: two residential areas with a commercial region (stores, shops, fire/police, waterfront area, retirement home, churches, schools, libraries) between them, all located on the east side of the island. The first residential area, the older one, is opposite the state port authority on the Wando River, then there is the commercial area (the Volvo Tennis stadium the most visible landmark) with some docking, then the park side along the Wando with more homes and golf courses. I-526 divides the island with the older residential and commercial areas to the west; the park side to the east. There is some transient space on the docks, but I did not keep my boat there when I had her--the taxes on boats in SC are ugly, characterized as personal property and at a rate higher than automobile taxes.
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Old 12-27-2021, 05:26 PM   #6
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Welcome. That route you describe is commonly called the Down East Circle or Loop. You'll find some discussion here on that and also on looper forums. Sounds like a great plan to me, and many summers can be spent cruising the Great Lakes and associated waterways.

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Old 12-27-2021, 06:53 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=Captain_Michael;1063469]Daniel Island is in Charleston Harbor--just north beyond the cable-stayed bridge that is the hallmark of the harbor....../QUOTE]

Thanks for that. Where would you expect to moor your new trawler?
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Old 12-27-2021, 08:31 PM   #8
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I am far from purchasing a trawler. Have to do a lot of research, convince myself to go back into debt and payments, then act, and act in the spring so I can start the loop. But if all the planets line up, I would also try to buy a vessel in ready to go condition. So a month renting a slip where I buy the boat to get her ready and loaded, and then off to start the Downeast Loop.

If I can do that, I avoid an annual slip fee which I would like to do as I know I'll have enough slip fees in marinas over the course of the loop plus winter storage, and by moving, I avoid the property tax. Property tax is based on where the boat is moored or docked. Storage or docking a boat at a yard for repair work is not seen as a taxable location, and in winter storage, there are always some repairs that need doing.

I used to keep my sailboat in Kilmarnock, VA, Northern Neck, Chesapeake Bay, in Lancaster County. Lancaster dropped its boat-property taxes and makes far more revenue in sales taxes from local purchases, yard work, boaters eating out, etc. A third of the boats from the neighboring country (which kept its tax) moved to Lancaster the year they dropped the boat tax.
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Old 12-30-2021, 01:41 PM   #9
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Welcome to Trawler Forum. It sounds like you have a few options based on your travel plans. Remember many items associated with the "cost of ownership" of any boat (power or sail) are similar so be careful thinking a trawler may cost less. I'm experiencing the reverse (trawler to sail) today and the only real savings is related to the difference in size (40' trawler to 16' Sailboat). As I explore potentially larger sailboats, I see very similar costs to our trawlers (slip fees, insurance, hull cleaning, washing / waxing, maintenance, taxes, etc....).

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Old 12-30-2021, 02:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Captain_Michael View Post
Have to do a lot of research, convince myself to go back into debt and payments, then act, and act in the spring so I can start the loop. But if all the planets line up, I would also try to buy a vessel in ready to go condition. So a month renting a slip where I buy the boat to get her ready and loaded, and then off to start the Downeast Loop.
That's a very ambitious schedule.

The Downeast Loop can be quite a bit more rugged than the Great Loop and repair facilities in both are fewer and further between. I've done the Loop, spent a summer in Lake Superior, and did some research on the Downeast Loop. My caution to you isn't about doing it, but about the amount of time needed to make sure systems are current, no postponed maintenance, and the boat will handle the conditions you may encounter. If you plan to spend a summer in the Great Lakes before heading out the St. Lawrence River, then you will likely have a better handle on your boat's systems and its ocean capabilities.

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Old 12-30-2021, 03:15 PM   #11
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That is the plan--a summer on the Lakes, put the boat ashore for the winter, then out and down the St, Lawrence the next year (in the summer).

Nothing makes sense financially about owning a boat unless it is a workboat. Otherwise, the boat is that hole in the water into which we toss bundles of money.
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Old 12-30-2021, 03:30 PM   #12
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Welcome aboard TF
Lots of great cruising options in the NE. I have N etc a number of loopers that return or winter their boat in the area to explore the territory they bypassed looping. The Trent Severn Waterway and Georgian Bay are worth a season of exploring alone.
My Bacchus website has a cruising notes section with some info to entice you.
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Old 12-30-2021, 09:02 PM   #13
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Bacchus,

Thank you. My wife and I have rented canal boats twice from LeBoat on the Rideau system. The first trip was our 50th anniversary in 2019 and we liked it so much we planned to return in 2020. Covid zapped that, but we made it in September 2021.

Have rented sailboats for over a decade up on Manitoulin Island and the North Channel, so we look forward to filling in the gap between Rideau and Georgian Bay--the Trent-Severn Waterway--hopefully on our own bottom some day soon.
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Old 12-31-2021, 07:31 AM   #14
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Captain-Michael
I have never rented the LeBoats but have recommended them to many that are interested in buying boats as a way to experience cruising and figuring out what their musts, wants and don't wants are for a boat.
If interested, I have a Cruising Notes section on my Bacchus website (linked in my signature). The 2019 Georgian Bay cruise is the most complete. Lots of info from prep & planning, lessons learned and a daily log (with track and pics).
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Old 12-31-2021, 08:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Michael View Post
Just sold my sailboat, a 46' Moody center cockpit, earlier this month. Bitter sweet experience, but getting up in years and the maintenance on a 46' sailboat was getting to be a bit much, and we are ready for something different.
Welcome aboard! Many of us here are former sailboat owners, but not sure it was the expectation of less maintenance that drove us here. It's generally more comfortable conditions to travel in and less physical effort than sailing. Just curious if you really expect a decrease in maintenance and why? I guess maybe a much smaller trawler than 46' could be easier to maintain.
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Old 12-31-2021, 09:09 AM   #16
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Considering how much time many sailors are under power... it is a natural gravitation to a boat type more suitable....

World sailors I apologize...but there are but a few in your category.
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Old 12-31-2021, 09:24 AM   #17
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I"ve heard many times of this "physical effort" effect, in reference of the escaping sail and going to power. I'm doing the opposite and nearing retirement.

Are people finding winch grinding to be this effort? or, listing hulls, or raising halyards??

True, I've only been sailing for less than a year, but have done almost a thousand miles of ocean transit already. I find working on cars to be more demanding. or yard work, or...

thinking more on this, certainly racing is demanding; but, racing power boats vs sail maybe even more so.
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Old 12-31-2021, 09:38 AM   #18
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A lot of the physical effort can be taken out of sailing compared to in the past. Modern furling systems, self-tacking headsails, electric winches, etc. So then it comes down to the comfort of passage where I think most would agree a trawler wins. I know that's a generalization and you can always cite examples to the contrary. I actually enjoy sailing more because motoring can be a little boring at times, but I do find it more comfortable especially in bad weather.
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Old 12-31-2021, 09:49 AM   #19
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I think my limited past has contaminated my thinking. Its' been 99% southern boating, where the sun in the eyes issue is far more painful than the "its cold" issue. Also, I do 90% + of all the boat work myself, and I still have 4 x big block rebuilds in my mind on the power side. My current little 29hp diesels seem so easy to wrestle with. And, my sailcat makes a fine power boat, level cruising, quiet, but true, only a piece of fabric over the helm, and a fake window ahead to keep out the spray. But, usually 70 to 80's water temp.
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Old 12-31-2021, 10:00 AM   #20
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As usual...depends on the boat, its layout and its primary cruising use.

Some boats are hard and uncomfy, others better suited...whether sail or power.

Small and offshore, hard to make a trawler more seaworthy than a good small sailing vessel. Those attributes make it less "comfy" on various levels.
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