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Old 25-09-2007, 20:42   #1
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Could this be a reality

I am trying to get my wife onboard with the cruising life. I started reading and researching this a few years ago and just haven't had the final push yet. We recently moved back from Florida to Colorado and I would like to cruise south florida and the bahamas during the Colorado winters. I want to buy a trawler and try it out for 2-3 months to see if we like it.

Do you think this is something that could be eased into or do you have to fully commit?

If I buy an older trawler, should I expect a lot of repairs?

What price range should I look at for something that would do the intracoastal and bahamas?

I have the ASA 101 Basic Keelboat certification, but not a whole lot more experience than that. Can I get buy on learn as you go philosophy?
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Old 25-09-2007, 21:15   #2
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Do you think this is something that could be eased into or do you have to fully commit?
Used trawlers can be a lot of extra work. t may be worth it economically but you won't get buy without a fair commitment. Keeping a boat in FL is not that cheap even though you are not a resident. You will need a lot of practice with docking / undocking and backing into the slip. basic boat operations don't change that much but the engine side of the equation is more serious. A boat to cross over to the Bahamas needs to be a bigger commitment vs. just going up and down the ditch.

I would spend some time working out your finances. A boat far away needs attention you can't give in the off season yourself. It will add to the cost else you will spend too much time working and not enough cruising.
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Old 25-09-2007, 22:11   #3
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If I was interested in a trawler, I would charter one for a couple of weeks in order to try out the cruising lifestyle.

If you buy a trawler that's used, you will spend a lot of time fixing things before you leave and fixing things along the way. It will be expensive and also generate some negative vibes that might make your wife apprehensive about the cruising lifestyle.

If your wife can't enjoy a couple of weeks of chartering in paradise, then it's very unlikely she will enjoy the challenges of ownership and the many compromises that come with living on a boat.

It's important to give her an opportunity to see how good life can be in the cruising lifestyle. I would spare no expense to be sure that her intial boating experiences were awesome rather than arduous.
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Old 25-09-2007, 22:26   #4
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Do you think this is something that could be eased into or do you have to fully commit?

If I buy an older trawler, should I expect a lot of repairs?

What price range should I look at for something that would do the intracoastal and bahamas?

I have the ASA 101 Basic Keelboat certification, but not a whole lot more experience than that. Can I get buy on learn as you go philosophy?
I think you have to commit if you are buying a boat

Older boats - Depends on the condition but generally yes - more repairs and upkeep

Cost - $90-$150k - minimum 32 feet

Learn as you go? - Depends on the boat. But yes - cruise florida waters first until you are confident to make a crossing.

All my humble unfounded opinions. You say you know Florida so you generally have an idea of the marinas etc.

As to whether this is the best bang for your buck I am not sure. It sounds like the boat will spend a lot of time untended. Boats need maintenance even if you aren't there using them. Proceed with fiscal caution.
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Old 26-09-2007, 15:28   #5
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If your goal it to get your wife interested.... you may want to consider another area. Check out charter of Power Cats in the British Virgin Islands. These are generally newer well maintained boats and you can not beat the location, views and amenities both ashore and at a mooring. Probably LESS expensive than a Trawler in Florida. The area is easy to cruise and most boats come with full GPS mapping chart plotter displays... it is almost impossible to get yourself into trouble unless you really try or are drunk which can be a problem with the cheap price of high quality rum!

I just returned from the Virgin's a few days ago and on the ferry from St. Johns to West End/ Sophers Hole Tortola I met a newly wed couple where the young man had done some lake power boating but no sail and was chartering a power Cat for part of the honeymoon. We got into a conversation and he asked if I would explain the mooring process as he had never moored before and his new wife had no boating experience at all. When I told her one of them would be at the helm/ steering wheel... and the other would be at the bow/ front of the boat standing on the Tramp/top of the cloth looking thing with a boat hook/ the thinge that looks like a poke with a small hook on the end and they would dip it into the water when they reached the mooring ball and pull up the tether/ rope and run their own bridle through it and tie it off on the boat cleat. She asked.."Won't the rope be wet and yucky?" They then began the conversation on who would be at the "steering wheel" and who would handle the yucky stuff... I wasn't sure the marriage would last the charter....

A week later after I had finished my business on Tortola, I was back at the Ferry/ customs building at West End and a nice womans voice said... Look... that is the Man!!! As I turned around and was shocked to see them about to depart on the same ferry... I said "HI... And How was the Charter???" With a bit of stumbling around as it turned out they had some "boat" trouble but it was worked out and they had a great time and loved the area so much it surpassed any problems... even for them. They were planning on returning and learning to sail.

Before you spend tons of money on an older heavy slow deep draft trawler... check out power cats and sailboats both mono and cats. Define what your considering doing and see where... the ditch is OK for a season and the Bahamas are OK but shallow... the US, British and Spanish Virgin Islands could keep you busy for years with less problems and probably less money overall.

Older boats particularly power boats are money traps... you would probably spend months and loads of money getting the boat safe to move across the Gulf Stream
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Old 26-09-2007, 16:30   #6
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Don't know about power boats, but for the logs of two Colorado based on/off cruisers who sailed (40' Caliber) the Bahamas/Caribbean for years go here:

S/V Windom
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Old 26-09-2007, 18:00   #7
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Heres one of a converted Trawler in Australasia.

Cruising Under Power Southeast Asia in a Converted Fishing Boat

Very affordable and plenty of info on the numbers involved (over here anyway)

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Old 26-09-2007, 18:07   #8
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Older boats particularly power boats are money traps... you would probably spend months and loads of money getting the boat safe to move across the Gulf Stream
I think that is a bit of an unfair statment,

There are plenty of threads on here about people that have purchased old sailing boats that have proved to be money traps as well.

A more correct statment would be that " Most older boats CAN be money traps as CAN new boats. Do due dilligence before purchase"

Dave
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Old 26-09-2007, 20:40   #9
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I recommend that you go with new or near new unless you are very good with your hands. Go small as you will have pleanty of places to restock.

Boats are heavy and when the winds blows it is worse. You can always upgrade in a couple of years or stay at a motel a few nights a month.

Continue with your courses and get a sailing computer game that you can put in a trawler in. Try to get some time on the water when you can even if it is in a canoe or raft.
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Old 26-09-2007, 21:22   #10
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The age of a vessel is of secondary importance to maintenance. How much the previous owner has replaced things as needed and how well he or she kept up on the maintenance is more important than the age of the vessel. I have seen boats that are thirty years old that are in better condition than when they were a year old.

On the other hand, there are relatively new boats that are of such shoddy construction and poor engineering that they may cost you more money in the long run than an older boat that was built well and has been frequently maintained.

A marine surveyor will be able to give you a good idea on what needs to be replaced and a rough idea of what it is going to cost. You will need to tell the surveyor how you plan on using the boat and where you are going. A boatyard can give you the best idea on what it is going to cost.

Older, very well maintained vessels can sometimes be the best value for the dollar. New boats are incredibly expensive to build and are not necessarily better built than the older boats. Sure some technologies have changed, but the construction technique of spraying gelcoat into a mold and then laying out the fiberglass has not changed all that much.

Maintenance, engineering and construction should be your first concerns with respect to how much it is going to cost you to buy and upgrade a boat that is seaworthy enough for going offshore.
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Old 26-09-2007, 22:58   #11
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Boats are heavy and when the winds blows it is worse.

get a sailing computer game that you can put in a trawler in. Try to get some time on the water when you can even if it is in a canoe or raft.

WTF ?????

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Old 04-10-2007, 17:37   #12
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Thank you all for the information, it was what I needed. I will look into those other posted threads of true cost. I think your right... I should probably charter something first before I jump in with both feet. The Virgin Islands sound like a perfect place to start. My wife loves the ocean and boating as much as I do, but to get the reality of what is truly involved we will need a little more than just Jimmy Buffett songs (the songs don't hurt either)
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