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Old 25-08-2015, 18:24   #1
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Change of plans

I posted back in March that in 5 years we planned on selling everything and moving to Florida to live on a boat. Well, 5 years has turned into 1 year! My wife and I are going down in October to scout things out (look at a few Marinas) around the Bradenton area, when we come home we have some loose ends to tie up, sell our house and hopefully be on our way after the first of the year! I have several questions I hope everybody can help me with.
1. Does anyone have an opinion about Regatta Pointe Marina or Twin Dolphin Marina?

2. I'm really starting to lean towards a late 90's Sea Ray 370 Aft Cabin. Any thoughts?

3. Gas vs. Diesel? Most of the 370's I'm finding are gas motors. Any advantages or disadvantages?

Thank you for any advice or suggestions.

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Old 27-08-2015, 19:14   #2
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Re: Change of plans

For living on a boat a 370 Searay Aft Cabin is as good as any. I have seen people living on much less of a boat.

I am only familiar with the area 70 miles north at Pete's Pier and Kings Bay Crystal River. I know Crystal River gets cold at night during the winter but you are not far from a grocery store.

Also in the winter you will see manatee. Probably the same for the Bradenton area.







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Old 27-08-2015, 19:21   #3
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Re: Change of plans

So lucky. Have fun.
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Old 27-08-2015, 20:45   #4
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Re: Change of plans

Love love love Twin Dolphin, great people, hot tub, pool, restaraunts pubs and such all around, library, museums etc all kinds of festivals right up the street and very well protected.
The boats are coastal so I would be more concerned with how well they were maintained rather than which fuel, though I do prefer diesel. Neither is extremely fuel efficient on that boat.

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Old 27-08-2015, 21:40   #5
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Re: Change of plans

2. The 90's were when manufacturers started to play with the thickness of the Grp lay up of the hull, not so sure with searays, but generally the layup was better in the 80's
3. Petrol/ gas. Generally higher costs to run and the risk of a highly inflammable vapour that can end up in your bilge.
So for live aboard, it would not be my choice ! Go diesel !
If it still has the original engines, they will probably need work sooner or later, they tend to rot from the inside out, so even if it looks shiny the manifolds and leg elbows will need inspection
This is just my opinion others may have other views, good luck with you venture


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Old 28-08-2015, 01:33   #6
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Re: Change of plans

A Searay 370 AC has a nice layout for a living. Big galley, 2 heads -one with separate shower. Lots of space for a 37 foot boat.

Don't expect much for performance though. And they will be thirsty. Ok for a short daycruise in calm water, but that's about it. If you want the odd cruise to the Bahamas, this is probably not the boat for you.

Here a review of the good (layout and use of space) and bad (performance and mechanical design).
Boat Review at Yacht Survey Online : Sea Ray 370 AC
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Old 28-08-2015, 02:35   #7
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Re: Change of plans

My colleague in Port Charlotte had one. Great days out, good comfort, good weekender or longer.

I had a couple of petrol powered 42 footers. (Not SeaRay) I went fishing a lot. Some months fuel bills going offshore were $11K...... Traveling at high speeds became uneconomical, 60 gallons an hour on two engines.

Great liveaboard. No problems in my mind with petrol safety. Most of Floridas boats are outboard and petrol. Just the cost of operating.

If you have plans for extended cruising or cutting through the canal to the other coast, a slower trawler yacht would give you amazingly improved fuel consumption and seaworthiness plus equal or better accommodation.

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Old 28-08-2015, 08:06   #8
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Re: Change of plans

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Originally Posted by Robbie430 View Post
3. Gas vs. Diesel? Most of the 370's I'm finding are gas motors. Any advantages or disadvantages?


Lots of on-line discussion about gas vs. diesel, but the short version is generally that:

1) Some boats are heavy enough to need diesel torque, some are light enough to not benefit from diesel, some are in the middle somewhere (I'd guess a 370 MY would be in that latter category), and

2) You pay a lot up front for future savings (diesel) or you don't pay as much up front and enjoy higher fuel bills from then on.

That should be modified by how you intend to use the boat. Occasional short cruises, gas can be adequate. Lots of underway time and long cruises, diesel would usually be better.

Maintenance might depend on your own interest/ability; some think diesels are more expensive to maintain. OTOH, I think diesels are simpler to maintain (mostly) myself... but that's mostly because I've taken training on diesels, and haven't done that for gas engines.

Some safety issues, too, given gas fumes explosive nature... but those are easily managed, assuming you have the temperament to pay strict attention.

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Old 28-08-2015, 09:07   #9
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Re: Change of plans

So it sounds like I need to go Diesel, any suggestions on boats? Looking at 37' to 42' around 100K. Haven't really looked at any Trawlers but the ones I have seen don't do much for me as far as looks.

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Old 28-08-2015, 11:46   #10
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Re: Change of plans

I would check out fuel economy on different boats. I would rather a slow comfortable boat than paying for lots of fuel. But if you just stay tied to a dock, just go for looks.

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Old 29-08-2015, 06:29   #11
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Re: Change of plans

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Originally Posted by Robbie430 View Post
So it sounds like I need to go Diesel, any suggestions on boats? Looking at 37' to 42' around 100K. Haven't really looked at any Trawlers but the ones I have seen don't do much for me as far as looks.
Maybe, if you anticipate boating a lot, as opposed to dock queening.

'Fraid most can't help too much when "looks" are concerned. Go to yachtworld.com and search motor yachts (aft cabin) models in the 37-42' range with diesels -- for example -- 'til you find models that float your boat. Look at other design models too. Then you can ask for commentary that might be more useful.

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Old 29-08-2015, 14:39   #12
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Re: Change of plans

You've picked a great location to live aboard. From Bradenton, there are many great short trip destinations to explore in Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay, and longer trips such as down to the Keys. Just make sure you have air conditioning for our hot humid summer nights. We've arrived at the dog days of summer now at the end of August and it is hot hot hot.

I agree with the other commenters, though, that a gas cruiser is so very expensive to run unless you are wealthy. If you are wealthy, then go for the Sea Ray with the petrol inboards. If you are not, personally, I would look into trawlers (displacement vessels) and semi-displacement vessels that lean toward displacement like the Albin 36, Mainship, Monk, etc. But then again, your boat choice should be made on whether you want to anchor out more, or enjoy the marina social life more, and whether you want to cruise sedately and save on fuel or go fast and spend buckets of money on fuel.

Having said that, down here in SW Florida, many of the wow factor inside islands, small harbors and great fishing spots feature skinny water with sandbars, narrow or no channels, and numerous places to beach your boat for the day if it doesn't draft more than 2 feet. So if you get a deep draft boat like the ones mentioned above, make sure you have an easy-to-launch dinghy.
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Old 30-08-2015, 05:42   #13
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Re: Change of plans

The pdq trawler cat is a great big little vessel lots of space and accommodations and at 32 or 34' you'd save alot in dock rent but have he space of a larger boat and be economical enough to cruise..

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2001...s#.VeLspR_D_cc


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Old 30-08-2015, 06:15   #14
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Re: Change of plans

I can highly recommend the Twin Dolphin Marina. Kept my boat there for a year.
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Old 30-08-2015, 07:05   #15
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Re: Change of plans

The Searays have a reputation for a reason, and if you're going to use it for anything but as a dock queen, it would best be avoided. Lots of show, but quality of construction is generally considered not their strong point, and you better have a healthy cruising budget to feed those engines.

The PDQ link above would be a far superior choice.
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