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Old 09-20-2017, 11:41 AM   #1
City: Bethlehem
Join Date: Sep 2017
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Question Newbies looking for advice

Greetings to all!
We’d like to say hi and introduce ourselves. We are Lori and John, a (soon to be) retired couple who have never owned a boat. We were going to move into the home we own on the Gulf coast of Florida when we retire in about a year and a half. Even before Irma hit our area, we had decided that we didn’t want to move into a land locked house, no matter how beautiful the area. Instead we want to spend our retirement living aboard a motor yacht and doing some exploring. We love the idea of the freedom living onboard would give us as well as the ability to enjoy life living simply.
We have no experience in boat ownership, operation, piloting, maintaining, navigating….you get the picture. This is what we want to do and are going to learn everything we need to make this a reality. We are hoping for some sound advice from people who are doing just that. We have been doing a lot of research and are starting to zero in on the type of boat we would like to buy. It has to be something fuel efficient as it doesn’t make sense to spend $100,000 on a boat and not be able to go anywhere with it since it burns 30-40 gph. We are looking at trawlers and similar since we are not looking to go anywhere in a hurry and fuel burn of 2-6 gph would be perfect.
We welcome any comments, suggestions, resources that would help us to make this our reality.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:55 PM   #2
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The US Coast Guard does not have regulations about operating a boat without any previous experience but insurance companies do have limits and restrictions. I have had clients in the past who had to hire an experienced captain each time they left the dock until they had enough experience that the insurance carrier allowed then to go on their own.
You need to research what size boat that you will be able to insure without prior experience. Big enough to live on might be hard to insure for you.In the meantime find some educational courses in your area to start to learn about safe boat operation. You will meet other boat owners who can give advice about what they have done to learn and get insurance.
Tucker Fallon CPYB
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by yachtbrokerguy View Post
.In the meantime find some educational courses in your area to start to learn about safe boat operation. You will meet other boat owners who can give advice about what they have done to learn and get insurance.

Good advice. Search out your local Power Squadron. They regularly offer classes from Novice to experienced. We've met lots of interesting and helpful folks after attending a class. While we're experienced lifetime boaters, a refresher is always good and almost mandatory for new boaters...
Good luck in the quest!
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:24 PM   #4
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As for education....depending on your budget, year of boat purchased, etc., I would add diesel, electrical, and other technical classes, as well as some book studies such as Nigel Calder "boat owners mechanical and electrical" book. Maybe even Chapmans book of seamanship for the very basic knowledge, also a good reference.
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:33 PM   #5
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Welcome Lori & John.

You both will learn what is what all in time, so do not worry. You both taken the right steps thus far by jointing TF. So ask all the questions you want. That is what this site is all about.

Best of luck.


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Old 09-20-2017, 05:11 PM   #6
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Speed and size will determine fuel use. But the engine make has a lot to do with that, too. Once you decide on a boat type, see what engine choices are available and start a thread on that subject.
If you're living aboard, you need to divide your stuff into what you need, can live without, and what you're willing to pay to store the stuff you don't need. Some of the stored possessions won't survive storage. My suggestion would be to sell or toss everything that can't be used aboard. Maybe after some time aboard.
If you can, ride on others boats and have them describe their handling moves. You can read about it. It's nice if you know you're going to have a single or twin engines. Rules of the Road, tying knots and much of navigation can be learned out of a book. Insurance companies like experience, but also schooling. Many of the books can be bought used on Amazon. Older books sometimes have better examples. Boat and ship handling hasn't changed much since steam engines came about.
I was a professional mariner. My book list would be different, but one I recommend is Naval Shiphandling. Mostly about destroyers. Destroyers handling in docking sitiuations is very similar to twin screw boats. Many examples of docking, use of spring lines, other lines, anchoring and more. Probably the older the edition, the better. $15 up on Amazon. I first read it at about 10 and it helped me greatly as I moved into bigger boats.
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:58 PM   #7
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Often the best advice I hear for those in your situations is to charter. You can charter a boat with a captain to get some training, and then bareboat charter after you have some experience. Chartering will give you lots of boating experience and help inform your decision making when it comes to selecting a boat.

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Old 09-20-2017, 10:19 PM   #8
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Tucker give good advise, you want some experience. With a year and a half, and no experience, get an "entry level" boat to play with for awhile.

With ZERO experience, the first thing is training... a simple boaters course and someone to just go thru the mechanics of operating a boat. Then, I'd recommend to join a simple boat club or rent boats in the 15 to 20 ft range.... then pick up a boat in the 25 to 30 ft range with a small cabin for an overnight or so. You can make a few mistakes with this size boat that won't hurt much.

With your time frame, you'll be busy getting experience and figuring out the boat for you. But, most likely, you'll love it.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:45 PM   #9
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Welcome into the pleasure boating world!

TF can be your friend... so can google searches.

You have a couple years of intent reading, research and learning to do.

Wait not. Rent small boats first and then work slowly up the size available to get used to boats. Won't take too long to become comfortable. I'd advise getting some time with a licensed captain to get first hand training. Classroom study courses are great too.

Happy Pleasure Boat Daze! - Art
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