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Old 05-08-2021, 08:56 AM   #1
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Retirement Vision

Hi All,
First time posting here. I plan to retire within the next 16 months or so, and my wife and I plan sell the house, vehicles, and most of our possessions. I didn't have a vision at all for retirement until I saw an ad for a trawler. I showed it to her and said how about this for retirement? She said let's do it! Although I won't be buying that particular trawler, we now have a vision for retirement and it can't come too soon.
Our plan is to take a couple of weeklong seamanship courses over the next year, buy a trawler, trial run it for a few months, do the Great Loop, then Bahamas, and have a live-aboard lifestyle. We're reading/watching everything that we can about the lifestyle in the meantime.

Here are my trawler specs:
- 35-45 ft
- full/semi displacement
- single engine/low horsepower
- double berths
- no older than 1998
- boat purchase budget is $110,000-$200,000

My questions:
- should I include older boats in my search?
- Max number of hours on the engine?
- engines to avoid?

I'm liking the following models:
- Heritage East
- Mariner (38 Sundeck/Orient)
- Mainship (370/390)
- Marine Trader (Europa)
- Island Packet PY

Any comments/recommendations will be appreciated.
Thank you.
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Old 05-08-2021, 09:51 AM   #2
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My wife and I are moving forward with a similar plan, only we will be part time cruising. It all comes down to your personal financial situation and risk tolerance. More challenging in many ways if you have to sell your home etc. and shoestring your effort vs. selling to minimize your lifestyle and re-allocate your assets. For us, we could lose the boat and easily take the financial hit, one reason we own an older less expensive boat. In my endeavors I try to keep the odds of success in my favor.
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Old 05-08-2021, 09:58 AM   #3
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Couple questions. Do you have family you'll be planning to see in retirement? Many Loopers take 2 years to complete the Loop, wintering their boat someplace and returning in the spring to continue the trip. What is your plan here? If you plan on becoming live aboards you may want something closer to 45' so as to have amenities such as washer/dryer, freezer and adequate storage. For me there is no better engine then a Cummins.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:03 AM   #4
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Walk the docks, go to "in the water" boat shows, get on as many boats as you think fit your current criteria and see the different layouts and try to envision living there.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:17 AM   #5
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plan sell the house, vehicles, and most of our possessions.
Thread carefully with this one way plan.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:22 AM   #6
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My 2 cents FWIW:
Take your time settling on a boat. It takes years to learn all the differences between boat makers, pros and cons, fiberglass types, engine mfrs and types. Many of us are on our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th boats. Following your direction you may not have the luxury of learning by buying the wrong boat 2 or 3 times. You lose money every time. So my advice would be to know what your boat really needs to do, list those out (which you've started nicely), then ruthlessly compare it to every boat you see. Over the next 16 months I feel you should spend as much time as possible looking at Yachtworld, doing searches, reading every ad that has a boat mildly close to your requirements, and then researching every term, mfr, and engine you see there. Every term you don't understand, fuel and water tank sizes, layouts, etc. I learned the most valuable things by reading Yachtworld ads. Doing so produced questions that I needed to learn answers to. I thot I fell in love with THE boat probably 20 times throughout the learning process. Over a 3 year period the right vessel slowly surfaced and became the clear "right choice" for us. The only choice, in fact, that met our requirements.

If you're not an experienced boater, you can still become a studied expert on boats, like a guy who knows the pros and cons and stats of a football or baseball player - he may not play the game, but he knows what "good" and right looks like. And it's worth it. Live without regrets. Best of luck to you.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:25 AM   #7
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If you are not all ready a boater you are at risk of discovering that you hate boats. The most successful liveaboards are those who were boaters and decided to not go home at the end of their trip.

Down sizing is not for everyone. If your hobby is reading books you will have a higher success rate. If your hobby is wood working, skiing and camping, then space is going to be an issue.

Living on a boat is never as convenient as living in a house but for many, the trade offs are worth it.

When looking at a boat to live on you need to focus on storage. Where will the food go, the pots and pans, dishes, glasses, the TV, the clothes, shoes, coats, booze, paper towels, toiletries, bed sheets, books, charts, jewelry, computers, financial records, toys, tools, spare parts, buckets, hoses, dock lines, power cord. The list goes on.

What is the laundry plan?
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:58 AM   #8
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Welcome aboard. We are on our 23rd boat now. Soon 24 hopefully. Have fun in your search. Maybe attend a TrawlerFest, you will learn a lot there and they usually have some boats to look at although who knows this year. Take some boating classes. Before you buy make sure you can get insurance since your boating history is very thin. The insurance company may require some formal training.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
If you are not all ready a boater you are at risk of discovering that you hate boats. The most successful liveaboards are those who were boaters and decided to not go home at the end of their trip.

Down sizing is not for everyone. If your hobby is reading books you will have a higher success rate. If your hobby is wood working, skiing and camping, then space is going to be an issue.

Living on a boat is never as convenient as living in a house but for many, the trade offs are worth it.

When looking at a boat to live on you need to focus on storage. Where will the food go, the pots and pans, dishes, glasses, the TV, the clothes, shoes, coats, booze, paper towels, toiletries, bed sheets, books, charts, jewelry, computers, financial records, toys, tools, spare parts, buckets, hoses, dock lines, power cord. The list goes on.

What is the laundry plan?
This is very good advice, and like many comments comes from a long time liveaboard.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:26 AM   #10
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First, if you do not have other assets to use to buy a house in the future this is as so aptly put above a one way street.

If.... you are liquidating a house and mortgage and using that equity to knowing start a new lifestyle that is another story alltogether.

Many today are faced with a dilemma... be trapped by a house mortgage that forces you to work more years, or get rid of the mortgage and lead a simpler lifestyle allowing you to retire. This idea could result in you buying anything less expensive than your current house, it does not need to be a boat. The Full Time RV lifestyle comes to mind as an alternative. I have met several folks doing just that and they are from the outside happy. Some end up as state park hosts to give them something to do and make their parking spots free.

As far as the lifestyle itself you will either love it or hate it. Here are a few ideas to help with the decision.

* Do you like fixing things, and have "fix it" skills? The reason I ask is that boats are complex things and stuff is always needing worked on.

* Do you and your wife truly like new things and even a bit of danger or is one of you more hesitant than the other? This is important because when boating you are going to be caught in rough seas. This can shake up people in a primeval way.

* Are either of you "shoppers"? I say that because some people realy like to buy stuff. It becomes a habbit, and on a boat you will not have the space to accommodate that.

* Do you have strong ties to your local community, or local family and friends? In the same concept do you make friends easily? Humans are social animals. Friendships on the water are different by the nature of your constantly moving.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:29 AM   #11
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Thanks. Our plan for the Loop is to stretch it over 12 months; Summer north and Winter south.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyranog View Post
Hi All,
Here are my trawler specs:
- 35-45 ft
- full/semi displacement
- single engine/low horsepower
- double berths
- no older than 1998
- boat purchase budget is $110,000-$200,000

My questions:
1/ should I include older boats in my search?
2/ Max number of hours on the engine?
3/ engines to avoid?
1. Yes you should include older boats if they fit your other criteria. Boats, treated right, can last a very long time. The key with ANY boat whether 23 years old (ie 1998) or older largely comes down to maintenance and use. As you look at older boats you may find that the interiors are too dated for you. At that point stop and look at boats that do not give you that feeling. By the time a boat is 20 years old its use and maintenance have a far greater impact on its desirability than its pure age - and lets not dismiss value - you will get more boat the older you go.

2. There is no good answer to this. Again it comes down to usage and maintenance. A low hours boat has not had much use, this is not good for an engine. It may have sat for years unused at some point in its life, and such an engine more than likely was not receiving regular maintenance. A good mechanical survey will tell you a lot once you narrow down your search to a single vessel.

3/ Once you narrow down your boat decision you will have only one or possibly two choices of engine so its too early for you to spend much time considering pros and cons of engines. You will find as many opinions on engines here as there are posters! Some are certainly better than others, but given that you are choosing a boat, not an engine, your best bet is to narrow down your boat search, then see what engine choices you have (if any) and at that time learn more about those specific engines.
~Alan
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:39 AM   #13
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Thank you; great points. We’re not tied to our current location, so we’re ready to cut loose, explore, and embrace a simpler lifestyle. Also, not a one-way street, as we have a land-based Plan B.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:44 AM   #14
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We’re taking a weeklong Chapman course in July and will take the next level weeklong course this Winter/next Spring.
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:07 PM   #15
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Lots of good advise here....


For a live aboard, I'd absolutely look larger than smaller, especially if you want some comforts.


And, you haven't stated your boating history.... how many boats have you had, and trips longer than a weeks worth?


If not much, I could argue to do this in two steps. Get a boat for a starter boat that's easy to sell. Of what you've mentioned, the Mainship is certainly one. Very easy to own, operate and sell, however, pretty small for a live aboard. However, they are big enough to have some comforts including washer/dryer, reasonably galley, living area, etc.



Travel around for a year, visit places where there are lots of other boat, perhaps do the loop, go to trawler fests, and then buy your permanent boat.


I'm on boat no. 21, and it wouldn't be first choice as a full time live aboard... but close.... (but not my goal, either).



Unless you're very familiar with boating and have had a LOT of experience, I could argue close to impossible to pick the right boat on the first try.
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:17 PM   #16
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Retirement Vision

For our future full timing plans, amount of storage aboard is one of the top five considerations as we shop. Maybe top three. We charter once a year in the PNW or SE Alaska (another suggestion for you by the way, it may center your decision making a bit, yes prices can be eye watering but they are relative to the cost of purchasing) and the relative lack of inside storage on the boats we charter has been instructive.
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:17 PM   #17
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Retirement vision

Thanks; great points.
We’re new to the boating world, so will be as prepared as possible and take it slow.
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:20 PM   #18
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Good cautionary note on the "one way" trajectory of shedding the house and as many possessions as you can, but when it comes to shedding "stuff" -- even if you decide you hate boating and want to go back to land, I don't think it ever hurts to shed mountains of stuff in life. We're not hoarders but I still feel like I'm drowning in stuff. My father had a little tin mechanical merry go round when he was a kid, clockwork. Still works and plays a song. Dad lives in a small condo in Florida so they don't have a lot of room, so he offered it to me. It's a touching item and I felt terrible turning it down, but what am I going to do with a clockwork merry go round? My mother gave me my grandmother's china set. A ton of Thanksgiving and family dinner memories at Gram's, but it's a pattern we would never choose in 10,000 years and what are we going to do with an antique china set? I would save (and maybe scan) Dad's letters and notes for the rest of my life though, that's personal, but not the stuff. I'll bet most of us drown in stuff and I think it's good to lighten your load in life, boating or otherwise.
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:31 PM   #19
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Retirement vision

We’re with you that! Planning on yard sales
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Old 05-08-2021, 06:24 PM   #20
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Have you been out in boats at all? It sounds like you don't have any experience, which is fine, but it does suggest a few basic tests to make sure there isn't immediate transplant rejection.


The first is sea sickness. Most people are subject to it if conditions get bad, but some people are subject to it under the most mild conditions. It would be good to make sure neither of you is the later.


Second is the more cramped lifestyle on a boat. You life in a much smaller space with no room for extras, and you are often confined to that space, or it's immediate vicinity. You may not realize how much you value elbow room and being able to hop in the car and go do something until you can't.


So I think there would be a lot of value in getting on a boat or two for a few days, like via a charter, just to make sure there isn't an immediate or early transplant rejection.


Earlier someone mentioned how much of a fit-it person you are, and I think that's important too. And it's both capability, and patience. Things will be breaking all the time. If you have to get help for everything, you will be spending a lot of time waiting for other people, and will probably be spending more $$ than you expected. And if you are impatient, it might all become trying on your nerves.


When I think of people I know who dove into boating, then shortly after ran away screaming, these are the most common themes.
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