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Old 08-29-2017, 07:09 AM   #1
City: Arlington
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 2
New Member... New Life

Good Morning All,
My name is Jeff, and I and my girlfriend are planning to retire next year from the DC area after 28 years in the military, and an additional 5 years working as a contractor at the Pentagon. We spent a couple years living in our 40ft Monaco motorcoach before moving to DC, and have decided to sell everything and purchase a boat to live aboard come September 2018. We had started looking at the Catamarans (owner not charter) when someone mentioned looking at Trawlers, we do not sail so it would have been a power catamaran. I have owned boats in the past, the last one being a 30ft Maxum sport yacht that I lived on for about 6 months between deployments. We (Sherri my girlfriend) have decided on the Caribbean or Belize as a home base as we both love to dive, and she hates the cold.
Iím new to the Trawler way of life, so any suggestions (size, make, model, equiptment) or insight would be greatly appreciated. We have already sold everything except our Jeep and will be ready to purchase something in the next 12 months.
Again Thank You for your time and insight!!!

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Old 08-29-2017, 07:18 AM   #2
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Vessel Name: Bacchus
Vessel Model: MS 34 HT Trawler
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Welcome aboard TF
Check out the TF thread
Boat Search 101
2008 MS 34 HT Trawler
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:20 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard and good luck in your quest for your perfect boat

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Old 08-29-2017, 09:16 AM   #4
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Welcome aboard.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:29 AM   #5
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City: PNW
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welcome and very exciting plans, yes a trawler could allow you to be mobile and "chase the warm weather" you desire based on the season.
Couple of comments: Buying within 12 months is a great goal, just be advised, many people can take a year or two in the boat search process. I and others have said this in other posts but to me when it comes to judging boats, nothing beats actually getting on board several different brands and styles.
If you're not already aware of this, to me there was no better venue to study trawlers than to go to "Trawlerfest" boat shows, which i believe still happen twice/year.
The next one and close to you starts Sept. 26th at Baybridge, just east of Annapolis, MD.
The show includes seminars; some of which might already be all booked up but regardless, there should be a nice selection of boats to see.
To be clear: i have no affiliation with Passagemaker, but i do like their magazine and their shows.

Good luck and if you feel like sharing, keep the forum up to date on your search process.
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:29 PM   #6
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City: La Conner, WA
Vessel Name: Agnus Dei
Vessel Model: 36' Shin Shing
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 276
Welcome! I'm a recent Trawler purchaser and can tell you, you have come to the right place for answers and advice from lots of folks who "been there, done that".

GOD, Family, career
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:40 PM   #7
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Vessel Name: M/V Maerin (Sold)
Vessel Model: Solo 4303
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Welcome Jef,

As a full-time cruiser, I can share some of our experience and maybe provide some insight into the selection process. Through the process, keep in mind that any boat will be a study in compromise. To help insure that your compromises are made on what's really important, it's helpful to have a checklist of things you must have, want, and along with those, deal breakers; things that simply won't fly.

For example, we wanted a fly bridge, pilothouse, access for dogs that cruise with us, single engine, forward berth, displacement/semi displacement hull for economy, stabilized?, and so forth. Deal breakers were gasoline, non-centerline berth, trunk style cabin, galley down, etc. We made a detailed list with all those things prioritized in order of importance, and any boat we considered we applied the list. It really helps take some of the emotion out of the initial equation, that comes later in the game!

We spent well over 2 years hunting, attended many trawler fests, did trawler crawls and spoke to owners to get the unvarnished truth about how they liked their boats. It helped to tweak the list. It also helps having boating experience, lacking that, lists like this one can fill some of that void. Equally important is to define as well as you can how you plan to cruise/use the boat. Loopers need a different platform than cruisers who plan to do any open water cruising. If you intend to cruise the Caribbean, then you may want a more seakindly boat to handle passages on more open water.

The objective is to start with as close a match as practical for the cruising style you intend. Starting off with a mismatched vessel is a recipe for souring the experience from the get-go. It really helps to have a boat you love, one that enhances your cruising experience rather than add to the potential stress that can be part of a lifestyle change.

Chartering is also an option, or wrangling time aboard with real cruisers. Nothing like spending a week on a boat to find how it fits. You'll discover stuff you never thought to consider. Again, that's the value in discussions with those who are doing what you plan, whether in person or through discussion through lists like this one.

Enjoy the hunt! Good luck on finding a good match!
Steve Sipe
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:17 PM   #8
City: Arlington
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 2
Thank you for the keen insight, we will be attending Trawlerfest, and will also start looking at boats when we travel (Belize in Oct, St Martin in Dec) just to get as much exposure as possible. We are spending our evenings reading and looking online at the large selection of manufacturers and types, we are leaning towards something in the 50-60 FT range, as it will allow us enough room for visiting family members and friends, while still being manageable for me and my girlfriend.

Again, I appreciate the thoughts and suggestions!!!

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Old 09-01-2017, 08:20 PM   #9
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City: Thibodaux, Louisiana
Vessel Name: Gumbo
Vessel Model: 2003 Monk 36
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Posts: 3,882
There are several charter companies that offer training courses on trawlers, covering almost all aspects of operating, and cruising on a trawler.
Good Luck!
Steve W.
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:42 PM   #10
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City: Cleveland
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Posts: 587
Welcome Jeff.

I am sure you will find a world of info here to help you out in your plans.

Cheers Mate

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