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Old 08-17-2016, 05:43 PM   #1
City: Franklin
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1
Smile New Member from very far inland!

Greetings from a new member in middle Tennessee. Im hoping some of you can give me some advice, comments and opinions! I have limited boating experience (really limited), but am fascinated with the Great Loop and being able to get to the Bahamas easily from south Florida. Given my lack of experience, Im working on a plan that gets from from zero to being able to operate a 40 or so trawler by the time Im within a few years of retirement (Im 46 now). My thinking is that I start out with a 20 deck or pontoon for the next 4-5 years, then move up to a 30-32 vessel like a cabin cuddy for a few years after that, then look at the 40 trawler by the time I'm approaching 60. Id start with one of the US Powerboating courses next year (smaller vessel) and within a couple years of buying a trawler, take one of the trawler school classes that seem to be pretty plentiful in Florida. Ive been looking at lots of websites and videos on everything from safety to basic navigation to the equipment to docking, etc., and will continue to do so. Waiting on Chapman's book from Amazon now. Every time I see new terminology, I go look it up (had no idea what a macerator was). I dont see ever living aboard as our residence, but since my wife and I want to be on a beach when we retire, its likely wed wind up in a condo on the gulf coast and Id love to have a trawler or motor yacht for regular use and some overnights, up to and including traversing the Great Loop.

I dont really have any questions per se, but given my current line of thought, any advice you guys can offer is of course appreciated. Any constructive criticism, too. No thin skin here. Thanks!
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Old 08-17-2016, 05:59 PM   #2
dhays's Avatar
City: Gig Harbor
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 9,046

I don't have much experience with power boats, as this is my first.

I think the idea of looping and going to the Bahamas is a great one. However, unless you have a LOT more money than I do, retirement is likely a ways away. I think the boat progression sounds fine but I would suggest that you do now what will be fun now. Start off boating in a way that will be fun for the water, time, and money that you have available to you.

If starting small doesn't sound all that exciting I would say don't do it! There are other ways to learn and gain experience. There are charter opportunities where you could charter a boat and get some instruction at the same time. This would be a good way to see how much you and your family actually enjoy the experience. However, nothing at all wrong with starting with smaller boats that you can use during the season near you. The skills you develop will transfer to bigger boats, you will have a good time, and you will gain experience in boating that will help inform your decisions down the road.

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Old 08-17-2016, 07:37 PM   #3
O C Diver's Avatar
City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in the Great Lakes
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 12,788
Welcome to the forum! Always good to have goals to plan for.

I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:00 PM   #4
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City: Slicker?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,505
Welcome aboard...
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:55 PM   #5
Steve's Avatar
City: Thibodaux, Louisiana
Vessel Name: Gumbo
Vessel Model: 2003 Monk 36
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,882
I would recommend you look into the courses offered by one of the charter companies in Florida. I did one years ago with Southwest Florida Yachts in Ft Myers on a 36 Grand Banks. Actually Tom, forum member "Loafs and Fishes" had booked the course before and when I called SWFY he agreed to share it with me, it worked out fine. It was about 5 days with captain, 2 days orientation, 3 days 2 nights at anchor"mini cruise". We learned a lot and had a great time.
As I mentioned there are several companies, maybe a couple of forum members offering something similar.
Good luck!
Steve W.
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