City: Brandon, MS
Vessel Model: Searching now
Join Date: Aug 2016
Hello to all, I joined this forum to learn as much as I can and try to get a handle on my newest obsession. Just bought my first boat a few months ago and want to go bigger of course, I got a wild hair and decided I wanted to get a boat and mentioned it to a coworker and he just happen to have a project boat that had given up on. I went to take a look and offered him $500 for the boat and trailer which he accepted, and we both got a good deal. It is a 1986 Sea Ray Seville cuddy cabin that needed a load of work, he got it 3 years ago and never could get it to run, so he was glad to get rid of it since it was well beyond his abilities. I like projects and usually make anything work, and within the first two hours I had the little 3.0 Mercruiser running like a top, it was locked up and pistons were rusted in place a little so just had to free it up and prime the fuel pump and run a hose to a gas can. Next was putting in a new floor and rewire the whole boat and new steering cable. Easy since I did the floor redneck style just a temp fix to see if I really liked the boating experience and to make sure the engine didn’t blow up the first time out. Long and short, full tune up and a little dress up of the inside and have put over 400 miles on it so far and the kids and I love it.
That is where this started, a simple project boat to “get my feet wet” and I am hooked, but first a little more about me. I am a DIY guy through and through, and a full on gear head, been taking things apart since I was 2yrs old, my dad had to keep his tool boxes locked or I would have TV’s, toasters, radios, phones or anything else taken apart to see what was inside. That has stuck with me the last 44 years and served me well, and got me in plenty of trouble too, but overall a good thing. The down side for me is too much is never enough and I never see an end or a wall that can stop me, so I get carried away most of the time. I built a 1986 Suburban which is still ongoing due to budget constraints, and is on its 3rd engine since I bought it for only $1000, started with a 350 and now has a 496 with a 4L80E electronic transmission. Still no A/C after 6 years or paint but has carpet and newer seats……anyway I have way more money in it than I will ever get out of it but I love that truck and it suits me. I also have a 72 VW Bug in the works, full roll cage flip front end, every nut and bolt is new all new wiring and added a sunroof (well cut the hole for it) and it has stalled out and way over budget, ridiculously over budget, and way behind schedule. That is because I bought a 1986 Honda Nighthawk for next to nothing that was stuck in 6th gear, so I had to rebuild it and get it ready to ride, needed to save gas as you can imagine daily driving a 10.5 MPG truck 70 miles a day cuts into the budget real fast. Which brings me back to the boat, which is why I have not finished the bug that was supposed to save me gas but was taking to long so I got a bike……kinda see a pattern here?
Well I have a garage full of tools and equipment, just about everything you can think of except wood working stuff. I have welders, compressors, chop saws, presses, even a plasma cutter and I am always getting another tool to do some job that can’t be done without it. I don’t usually take anything to anyone to get fixed or built, I do it all myself and just figure it out as I go, even the 496 big block in my suburban I built myself but did farm out the machine work. It is still going very strong and has almost 40K on it so far.
So how does all that belong here in a Trawler forum, now I am getting to the point, well as I said I want a bigger boat……..well let me clarify that, a much, much bigger boat. I intend to travel with it in the future, starting with going to the Bahamas in June of 2022 (I will be 50 then), and eventually making my way to Australia to visit my son. So I need something with a long range to make that happen and can live aboard it for long periods of time and possibly full time as my retirement home. I don’t have a wife to clog up my decisions so whatever I want goes (could be good or bad, time will tell) and any future women will just have to accept it or move on. I have 3 kids still at home 16, 11, and 5 and the youngest is my little boy so gotta make accommodations of at least three separate cabins and my cabin. So space will be a big deal, as well as power consumption and water. We had a 28Ft travel trailer for a few years when the kids were smaller and did lots of off grid camping with a generator in the mountains of Colorado so feel like I at least have a good understanding of space and food and water requirements for being at sea for long periods. I also lived on an Aircraft carrier for six months during the Gulf war so have cool sea stories already..mostly I know how big seas can get way out in the big blue so I have plenty of respect for the deep water.
I may be way over ambitious about finding a trawler I can afford and having it ready to go to the Bahamas in the next 6 years but that is why I am here, I hope it will make the process eaiser. I have been browsing boat trader and a few others and have seen some really cool looking Shrimp trawlers in the 68’ to 86’ range and around 35k to 55k in price so that is about as close as I will get to a real budget, understanding I will have to convert it from shrimper to pleasure boat, but that is what I like to do so looking forward to that. I have seen single engine and twin engine, and not really sure which way I want to go yet, budget and cost says single but safety says twin, just have to weigh the risk of a breakdown I can’t fix underway vs cost of getting and maintaining twins. I know I want to go Detroit Diesel natural non turbo just for a reliability and parts availability but that is about the only hard decision I have made at this point.
Anyway that is where I am at and what I am about, I am looking forward to the journey and hope I can fit in and get a good network here, first glance of looking through lots of threads says I am in the right place.