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May 15, 2013
Hi all,
Looking for new adventures. I would love to do the loop (not mandatory) then go to Bahamas, down to south America, up to Alaska and back. I'm an island hopper type.:hello:
Well good, you're just in time to take my place and carry on.:) While it's a whole lot more interesting to ask questions to the "live" forum and participate in the ensuing discussion, don't forget that this forum has an excellent archives that is quite easy to search. Basically, every post since this place started in 2007 is in there including the photos that they contained, so far as I know.

So if you have questions about a type of boat or how to go about determining what kind of boat might suit you, these questions have been asked and answered, or perhaps a better term is "opinionated upon," many times before and it's all in the archives.

Having said that, I still prefer a live discussion to an archive search.

And no matter what you end up doing or how you end up doing it, never forget that all this is supposed to be fun.:)
Thank you since I have not the slightest idea how to begin other than jumping in with both feet.
Thank you since I have not the slightest idea how to begin other than jumping in with both feet.

Well, you've said in a general way what you want to do with a boat. So things people will want to know are what kind of boating experience do you have thus far, what's a realistic description of what you want to do first with a boat, do you want to live aboard full time or will work keep you a free-time-only sort of boater (like me) for the time being, how many people do you anticipate boating with, and so on.

Once people know that stuff then, if the past serves as any indication, they'll start jumping in with their opinons on how you might want to go about doing what you want to do.

I'll give you my two cents right off the bat here. Since I have no idea of your boating experience in the kinds of cruising boats most of us on this forum have, if you don't have any or much you might want to charter a boat for a week or so in an area you're interested in boating in. This will get you experience with the basic type of boat we're talking about, and even more important, help you determine if you even like this kind of boat and this kind of boating.

Now perhaps you have a lot more experience already than I realize and you're more interested in figuring out what boat will best suit your requirements. But if you are fairly new to this whole thing, chartering is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to get started. It's what I and my wife did when we decided it would be interesting to find out what this cruising thing was all about. We each had plenty of boating experience already, but not with this kind of boating or boat.

And if by chance you know absolutley nothing about all this you can charter a skipper along with the boat.

So that's my two cents worth. Enjoy the ride from here and have fun.:)
Thank you again. My experience thus far is: canoed on lake erie, canoed in Ohio and Florida, drove a john boat on crystal river in Florida, drive my 19 ft. Bay liner on lake milton . Wishes travel the world. Starting with loop and bahamas , then south from Texas. My first adventure is almost over,one kid married and out,one in military and one starting college, so I guess it will be my husband and me most of the time on boat with occasional family and friends. Suggestions would be grateful.
Welcome Heather,

To piggyback on what Marin said, chartering is a good way to start. My wife and I started with a 3 day bareboat charter class that gave us a hands on way to learn about driving a single screw boat, they also had twin screw classes but we had already bought a small single and wanted to get instruction before we ventured out. It was through a company in Anacortes and we went into the San Juan's for 3 days of practical learning.

Have fun, this is a good group.

It sounds like you guys are ready for adventure:)

You're in the mid-west? Any idea of what time you have available?
I ask because it may be possible for you both to help crew other peoples boats as the move from north to south.

I'm just getting back to NY finally after a month and the last two weeks i have been alone. This fall, as I go south, I will seek some help, to make it less of a grind.

Also, pick up a few of the books written by pleasure trawler people. Some are quite interesting and it's a great way to help you reflect on what you like or not, ain, "I'd Never do that" or "I can't wait to go there"

Thanks for the offer but unfortunately I just got back from Florida 3 weeks ago. And that was my second trip this year. So of course my zoo here is out of control, can't go anywhere else till a couple of my kids go back to college.
I think you're going along the right path here; start with the big plans (dreams) and then look at the budget. Not just money, but time. Most people have to budget both. You can usually substitute, if you find you have too much of one and not enough of the other.

A lot is going to depend on what you like to do. Sounds like you like to be outdoors, so a fully enclosed boat like a sun deck style might not be for you. Or maybe you like to get inside at the end of the day, and a sundeck gives you store some kayaks on top.

You already have a lot of experience with day trips in small boats, but living aboard for weeks at a time is WAY different. Also, salt water is different. And big water. You may find those things just aren't fun for you.

It really, really helps if at least one of you is mechanically inclined. The kind of person who sees a boat as a collection of related, and sometimes unrelated, systems. Each has it's own quirks to explore. And frequently, learn to fix. Again, with sufficient financial resources you can just hop aboard whenever you want and let someone else worry about all that stuff. But that's not really boating, that's just being a passenger. And stuff doesn't often break when there's a mechanic around to fix it.

It doesn't sound like you're in a huge hurry to make a decision. Hang out here, and browse boats on YachtWorld and BoatTrader. Make a folder on your computer for each kind you like and fill it with pictures and specs of that model. One by one, you'll develop a list of "must haves" and "nice to haves". Along with "don't want to haves." You'll also find some limits. Each foot in length is going to cost you more to dock, maintain and insure. Too much boat can be hard to handle, or even to get on and off of.

And I really, really encourage you to make sure your next trip is to the coast. Any coast. Spend some time on the ocean. Even when the weather isn't ideal. You're gonna have to like it if you plan to cross big chunks of it to get where you want to go. Maybe you'll find it exhilarating. Maybe you'll decide you want to stick with inland boating.
Thanks for the advise, I have already decided to hire a captain and boat before I buy to see if it is for us. In the mean time I,m gathering information on boats, kind, abilities,places,conditions of locations, style of atmosphere, that sort of thing.Is living on a boat full time like living in a trailer? I've been there done that.
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