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Old 16-05-2013, 13:25   #1
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Newbie to boating on large scale

Hello,
My husband and I are planning in 5 years to sell everything and buy a boat. We are planning to do the loop, then go to south america, etc. Can we do this on a carver4207, 50ft marine trader or a 46 choey lee? Which would you choose and why? How easy is it to learn to drive 2 engines? I have a 19 foot cruddy cabin now. Thanks for any help.
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Old 17-05-2013, 09:41   #2
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Re: Newbie to boating on large scale

The vessel for the Gt. Loop may be different to an ocean crossing vessel suitable for a passage to S. America. The Loop vessel needs to pass under low draft bridges and does not need to be so rugged. A passage to S. America will ideally take you towards a vessel such as a Nordhavn, Selene or Krogen - full displacement trawlers with efficient single engine propulsion systems. Stepping up to 45ft or so from 20ft is challenging but we did it. Just get some help up front.
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Old 17-05-2013, 13:06   #3
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Re: Newbie to boating on large scale

So what you are telling me there is no middle way boat to do both the loop and go along the coast all the way around north and south America unless I get some gigantic boat?
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Old 17-05-2013, 13:09   #4
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Re: Newbie to boating on large scale

Thanks Chris for the info and encouragement
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Old 17-05-2013, 17:40   #5
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Re: Newbie to boating on large scale

No. You indicated you were interested in 42-50 ft boats. I just said that in my opinion, boats of that length would be different for the GL rivers/bridges vs what you might prefer for significant ocean crossings if you plan on cruising to S. America. Both boats could be the same "size" but have different configurations. Much easier to do the GL in many different boats with low air draft. Many fewer boats suited to the S. America trip
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Old 18-05-2013, 11:31   #6
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I don't know the three boats you mentioned well. I looked at a Marine Trader 50 when we shopped for our boat. That one needed more work than I was willing to provide.

We ended up with a DeFever 44 and are 3 legs from returning to Florida from a 2 1/2 year circle of the Eastern and Western Carib, including Colombia. Several DF44's have done the Great Loop, but you may need to hinge the radar arch (if not already done) depending on which route you take near Chicago.

You don't have to have a Krogen, Selene or Nordhavn in the Caribbean or coastal waters. An almost new DeFever 45 recently made the trip across the Pacific carrying some bladder tanks on deck. I don't recommend that, but it can be done.

You should look for, at least in my opinion:

1) Weight/Displacement (the heavier the better)
2) Stabilizers - needed for the Caribbean not Great Loop, very expensive to add (40-50K)
3) Fuel Storage - more allows you range and selection of better fuel prices, at least 800-900 gallons
4) Room/Storage - we sold the house... everything we own, plus full spares are aboard the boat
5) A boat that looks like it will survey well, at least increases the odds it will, unless you like working on boats.

If funding allowed it, I like the Nordhavns and Krogens, but otherwise I think the DeFever 44 Sun Deck, 49 RPH or 49 Cockpit are good values. Perhaps a Grand Banks 49, but those are not cheap. The Hatteras LRC designs may be worth looking at.

Good Luck! Bob
M/V Mar Azul
Roatan Honduras
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Old 18-05-2013, 11:42   #7
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BTW...2 engines are very easy to learn. Just plan a few days with a Captain aboard to get you started. Then allow some time to practice before you get started on the Great Loop with a "schedule". Thats the Achilles heel of that trip, the average mileage per day or trying to live in the great white north for a winter with no home to go back too.

Add a diesel heating system if that's part of the plan or figure on staying with relatives or friends for the winter or renting a condo somewhere warm....
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Old 18-05-2013, 20:36   #8
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Question Re: Newbie to boating on large scale

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BTW...2 engines are very easy to learn. Just plan a few days with a Captain aboard to get you started. Then allow some time to practice before you get started on the Great Loop with a "schedule". Thats the Achilles heel of that trip, the average mileage per day or trying to live in the great white north for a winter with no home to go back too.

Add a diesel heating system if that's part of the plan or figure on staying with relatives or friends for the winter or renting a condo somewhere warm....
is there a schedule for the loop?
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Old 18-05-2013, 21:06   #9
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There are many more than I with more knowledge of the loop. But to do it in one year from Atlantic waters you have to get to the Hudson by May and be south of Chicago before about Oct 1. Then it's still a long way to the south via the Illinois, Mississippi and TenTom to Florida. Check the mileage and interesting ports and there are more then there is time to see in one summer season.

It requires some planning and a schedule of sorts to keep up with the distance to cover to not get "stuck".
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Old 18-05-2013, 21:16   #10
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Re: Newbie to boating on large scale

Why Oct 1? Are the rivers frozen? We usually don't get snow here in Ohio until after halloween.
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Old 18-05-2013, 21:28   #11
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Why Oct 1? Are the rivers frozen? We usually don't get snow here in Ohio until after halloween.
I'm thin blooded. Not frozen yet, but the nights can get pretty cold. But pick a time to emerge from the river system and look back to see when you need to leave Chicago.

lLook at the shorter "loop" going east at the Saint Lawrence seaway back to the Atlantic too. It skips the mid continent river systems, which are of the least interest to me. But YMMV, depending on your interests. Wintering around Norfolk or points south is possible on the Atlantic.

Read all the write ups along your route on ActiveCaptain.com to get an idea of what it's like.
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Old 19-05-2013, 00:16   #12
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Re: Newbie to boating on large scale

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Why Oct 1? Are the rivers frozen? We usually don't get snow here in Ohio until after halloween.
Most of the lock systems close seasonally up here on the lakes. The Soo Locks, the Welland Canal, St Lawrence seaway, and the NY State Canals all close for the winter. You'll have to make your escape before then if you don't want to winter on the lakes. It gets awfully cold up here.

The Major Shipping locks are usually all closed up around the beginning of January. NY State canals close a great deal earlier. Not sure about the western rivers.

More often than not, you won't have to worry about major ice accumulation until well into December, and sometimes you don't get any at all. Sometimes the entire great lakes system freezes over, but it's been several years since that happened. You really never know how it'll work out.
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Old 19-05-2013, 00:21   #13
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Re: Newbie to boating on large scale

Also, fall is the most volatile season for weather on the lakes. October is probably a pretty good time to be on your way out the door. Otherwise you'll be spending a lot of time hiding, waiting for the big wind and seas to die out for a few minutes.
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Old 26-05-2013, 22:29   #14
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Re: Newbie to boating on large scale

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Originally Posted by chrisjs View Post
The vessel for the Gt. Loop may be different to an ocean crossing vessel suitable for a passage to S. America. The Loop vessel needs to pass under low draft bridges and does not need to be so rugged. A passage to S. America will ideally take you towards a vessel such as a Nordhavn, Selene or Krogen - full displacement trawlers with efficient single engine propulsion systems. Stepping up to 45ft or so from 20ft is challenging but we did it. Just get some help up front.
Why FULL displacement rather than semi?
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Old 27-05-2013, 06:30   #15
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Re: Newbie to boating on large scale

For long distance offshore / blue water cruising the full displacement hull is more "sea kindly". It will roll more than a semi but takes the sea action better in general. Stabilizers reduce the roll and make passages more comfortable. The other advantage of a full displacement is it is generally more efficient, though slower than a semi. The FD is limited to hull speed whereas a semi can get on top and plane at higher speeds. Combining FD with single prop. gives you the most efficient (lowest fuel burn) set up for long distance cruising. As mentioned previously, you can do whatever you want and cross the Pacific on a raft if you want but I believe I have given you the conventional "wisdom" answer.
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