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Old 02-14-2018, 11:48 AM   #1
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City: Palmetto
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Wanderlust
Vessel Model: 1999 Jefferson Rivanna 52'
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 619
New Member Here

Good Morning,

We've been hanging out over on cruisersforum.com for about a year and a half but it's largely about sailboats so we've decided to join here.

We live in central Florida. I'm a web developer for a major insurance company and my wife Debbie works at a theme park. We're three years and 25 days from retirement (countdown clock is running).

We started on a 42' Chris Craft Catalina and loved it. We also learned a huge amount! She served us well as we cruised the east and west coast of Florida, the Okeechobee, and a two week tour to the Keys. We sold her last fall and are looking for, but in no rush, our next one. We kept our dinghy, a fiberglass, center console job with a 15 hp, electric start outboard. The dinghy is nicknamed Baby... because she comes from the mother ship.

The intention is to sell the house when we retire and spend the first year cruising up the east coast to Maine and back. A portion of the next winter will be in the Bahamas. We also plan to spend time cruising the Gulf coast to see places like New Orleans and Texas.

Our cruising style has evolved toward running at displacement or hull speeds and anchoring out or grabbing a mooring ball with the occasional stop at a marina. I have learned to handle most maintenance work. Debbie can grab a line on a mooring ball or a dock line in a lock like a world champ.

Our next (last) boat will be 50' to 60' with twin diesels, an enclosed bridge or a pilothouse, a covered and enclosed aft deck, a cockpit or stairs (not a ladder) to a respectably-sized swim platform, a washer/dryer or combo unit, a water maker, a davit and cradle, and satellite TV. If there is no pilothouse, the bridge will need to be enclosed and air conditioned. The engine room doesn't necessarily need to be stand up height but there needs to be plenty of access all the way around the engines. You know... a home. We really like the elbow room of an aft cabin with a centerline queen berth. Freshwater heads and separate shower stalls are a must. Yeah, we have some criteria. We're flexible on some things. Like, if there is no water maker or satellite dome on an otherwise-perfect boat, we'll install it.

Thanks for adding us to the group.

John
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:32 PM   #2
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City: Fort Lauderdale
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Wifey B: Good luck in your boat search. Plenty of boats to fit your needs, subject to price of course.

Let's talk size a moment. Yes, size is important.

I don't know how much time the two of you have spent on larger boats but, if not a lot, then I might suggest doing a couple of charters since plenty available in SW FL.

Here's the deal and I'm consulting hubby so I get this right, but he'd tell you a 50' isn't just 25% bigger than a 40' but more like 50% and a 60' isn't like 50% bigger than a 40' but more like twice the size.

Right now you're talking 50-60 and there are going to be lots here who would tell you both are bigger than you need. Listen only partially to them. Now, I'll tell you 60 vs 50 vs 42 is a huge difference. I'd always pick the bigger one but gonna tell you many and perhaps even most wouldn't.

The pluses of size: (I'm being very careful in writing this)
-Space, luxury, closer to the home you're leaving. It impacts every space on the boat from ER to head.
-Consider how many guests you will have. We have lots, but many cruisers find they have far fewer than expected. Kids? Grandkids? Nieces and Nephews?
-Storage. You're going to be parting with many things but size allows you to keep more. Things like clothes for all seasons. Cruisers take a few casual outfits and wear them over and over. If you're living on it, you'll want more.
-Sea Conditions. Assuming equal design, bigger handles seas better. That means more comfort and fewer days stuck by weather, easier to cruise outside and not be confined to ICW.
-Ability to have more convenience and luxury items from watermaker to hot water capacity to more fuel to freezer capacity.

The negatives of size:
-Expense. Larger slip. More costly to wash or bottom clean or paint. Lot's of things go by the foot.
-May be more difficult for one or two to handle. I don't buy this as much as some here. Handling isn't by strength or force. If you know how to operate a boat then handling bigger is as easy as smaller. At a certain size you need more people for some things but 60' isn't it.
-Needs more space in anchorages and might not fit in moorings.
-Keep an eye on draft, but also on air draft. Some areas can be challenges as either increases.
-May have more equipment, be more complex, more to break.

I'm for size, but you'll have to see what is right for you by walking them, trying them, etc.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:44 PM   #3
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City: Palmetto
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Wanderlust
Vessel Model: 1999 Jefferson Rivanna 52'
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 619
Thanks, Wifey B! Most of the pros and cons you mentioned had already been topics of discussion between Wifey E and I. At this point, I'm all for the lower 50s for all of the reasons you mentioned. A lot depends upon what's available when we're ready.
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