New to Trawler Life

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Sep 8, 2015
United States
My wife and I have decided to seriously consider living on a trawler in the southern US for the winter months as the winters here in Wisconsin are brutal. I have been a sailor for 40 years, and currently own a 24' pontoon boat, but this will be completely new, different and exciting experience for us. We will also be retiring in 3-5 years, so we may spend even more time as live a boards. I joined this forum to try to learn as much as I can about trawlers, marina life, tax implications, etc., before I buy anything.

So, at the moment we are looking at a 1987 Albin 43. It looks big enough for both of us plus there is enough room for family and friends to visit. We do not intend to move the boat around much, once we find a marina we like, we will likely stay there for a while. There are no trips to Bora-Bora in our future.

I understand that a survey/sea trial will be an important part of our ultimate buying decision, but I have lots of other questions, and would love any input from any other trawler owners.

1. What are the top 5 things for us to look at (besides price) in a trawler?
2. Are there any particular advantages of staying at marinas in FL verses, AL, TX, GA, etc.?
3. Any input on the Albin 43 verses other similar boats?
4. Once at a marina, and excluding marina fees, what kinds of things are required as regular maintenance for a trawler?
5. Because we will not use the boat between May and January, I thought it made sense to put the boat on the hard for those months. Does this make sense? Does this reduce the possibility of damage in a hurricane?
6. Insurance coverage and providers. Any recommendations?

I'm sure I'll have other questions as we go along, but this seems like a good start.

We are very excited about the prospects of trawler living and look forward to your comments and advise.
Welcome aboard -- glad to have you with us. With regard to your question #5, yes, it does make sense to have it on the hard for those months. I would recommend going inland, and there are at least a couple of places (perhaps more) on the Okeechobee Waterway that are good.
When I started looking I came here first and someone made a great suggestion and that was as I started looking to make a list of things I would like on my boat and then refine it over time as we looked at boats
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