Don't worry. We all start at the same point, i.e. knowing nothing. But there is a lot to know so if possible, don't be rushed or you are likely to make costly mistakes
I agree that the Miami boat show
coming up in a couple of weeks is a great opportunity to see a lot of boats in one place. Also, I think immediately before the Miami
show is the Trawler Fest in Ft Lauderdale. If you are interested in trawlers, that would be a good stop too.
Here are a few random thought:
- How much boating
experience do you have so far? It's useful to know how big a step you are looking to take.
- You express interest in a trawler. Can you say more about why? What is it that you like about them? It will help in clarifying you "SOR" (great suggestion, by the way).
- Boats generally operate as displacement
speed which you can figure to be 8 kts or so, or they are semi or full planing boats and can go 15-25kts. Slower boats will have less space devoted to engines and get better MPG (figure 1 MPG for the size range you are talking about). Faster boats will obviously get you somewhere quicker, but do so at 0.25-0.5 MPG. Getting there fast means bigger tanks
and bigger wallet.
- Where you you envision living aboard
? In New England
, or somewhere else. Living aboard
in New England
, though possible, is fraught with challenges.
- You say you would like to be able to reach the Bahamas
, but that ties back to the previous question. From Florida
it's a pretty easy shot and most any boat that will fit all of you will also be able to make it there with no trouble. But if you are gogin from New England
it's a lot further.
- 4/5 staterooms is a lot and probably means a 65'+ boat. Your other option is to rack and stack the kids
a bit more which is more typically how boats carry more people.
- When you get above about 55', many boats are laid out assuming there is crew on board, i.e. there are crew quarters. This can work both ways for you as it might be a good place for some of the kids. But also look at how the crew quarters are connected to the other living space. Many boats are set up so the owners never need to see the unsightly crew, and the crew quarters are only accessible from the outside decks.
- How much to you expect to be out and underway in the boat versus in a marina?
- If this is your first boat and you are contemplating buying
a 65' boat and moving aboard, I would suggest extreme caution. Most people work their way up 10' or so at a time, with each step being a refinement of their wants and desires in a boat. It's kinda like raising kids where each step is preparation for the next. Imagine if they were born teenagers? If you are serious about taking such a big step, you really need a good consultant to help you. In theory that's what the broker does, but some are better than others at serving your needs over theirs. Perhaps people here can recommend someone to work with. There are some very good people out there, along with the problem people. The trick is figuring out which is which before you make a big buying