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Old 12-08-2014, 11:22   #1
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Thinking about a cruiser for weekends & ICW...

Hello! I'm a new member, hope this is the right forum for me. Currently we have a 22' Grady white and do short day trips on the Potomac River around DC and MD.

I'm quickly realizing that my wife is an "indoor boater" and just wants shade, maybe A/C, be able to cook, read, and enjoy the boat without being out in the sun, jumping waves, or fishing. RV'ing on the water is more her style. Being in the Navy, I like the idea of my own "ship" with lots of gadgets like radar, FLIR, electronics, planning voyages, exploring, etc.

We currently have 2 boys, aged 2 and 4. As long as they can jump in the water and swim, they're happy.

Next year we're going to try and sell our second home (we're both active duty Navy) which would open up the budget for a "second home" boat/yacht.

Budget would be a big factor- but with a 20 year note, maybe $100k is a realistic goal?

We want to expand to going out for the whole weekend, gunkholing in coves, exploring the Cheasapeake Bay, and we like the notion of taking a week off work and cruising the ICW.

What got us thinking along these lines was seeing the Ranger tugs at the baltimore boat show. It really got us thinking maybe a trawler is what we need.

I'd have to recalibrate my thinking of time/distance coming from speed boats, but since we wouldn't need to worry about getting back to the dock, load it, trailer it, put it away, etc. we'd have more time on the water.

I'm not sure if want to limit ourselves to a trailerable boat- being Navy, we could potentially move anywhere in the country- but we're hoping to stay here for several years. I retire in less than 3 years too. She has longer.

Any words of wisdom for me to start research?

My short list of requirements so far:
Comfortable to sleep 2 adults, 2 kids. Stand up head/shower. A/C and heat with genset. Economical cruise. Handle rough choppy water. My dad thinks a flying bridge should be a requirment- It would be nice for good weather to drive from outside.
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:09   #2
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Re: Thinking about a cruiser for weekends & ICW...

From a Retired military person, wait until you Retire.
At least the Army is famous for doing exactly what you don't want or expected. I bet the Navy is similar.
Any chance they could PCS you to the other coast?
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:37   #3
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Re: Thinking about a cruiser for weekends & ICW...

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
From a Retired military person, wait until you Retire.
At least the Army is famous for doing exactly what you don't want or expected. I bet the Navy is similar.
Any chance they could PCS you to the other coast?
If we do PCS, it would most likely be Norfolk, VA or San Diego, CA. Norfolk would be even better boating. Not so sure about San Diego- big waves outside the harbor...
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:42   #4
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Re: Thinking about a cruiser for weekends & ICW...

The biggest Ranger Tug has a folding flybridge and is trailerable (with a pretty big truck and over wide permits). You could haul it to wherever the Navy sends you if need be.

The down side is, it costs about $380K.

I like my flybridge and would hate to not have it. There are any number of trawlers for sale at a given time. You can search the Internet or, if you're serious, you can have a broker find you boats to consider. There's no cost to you, the seller pays the broker's commission.
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Old 12-08-2014, 14:08   #5
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Re: Thinking about a cruiser for weekends & ICW...

If you don't have a lot of time, I would go with a planning hull boat, so you have decent range. A true trawler is likely going to top out around 10mph which means a 100 mile desination is a long day on the water to get there and a long day on the water to get back. If you have a 25mph boat it's a 4 hr run. This also opens up a much wider selection of boats.

If you slow down to trawler speeds in the planing boat, the fuel efficency won't be much worse.

If you want to be able to tow, that tops you out in the upper 20's without getting into wide load permits and the like and needing more than a 1 ton pickup.

But if you jump up to the low 30' range, you can get 11-12' beam boats that make a world of difference in actual living space. The downside is you are looking at a marina and likely paying someone to haul it if they move you to the west coast.

I like flybridge power boats but would probably go express cruiser so you can get it trucked more easily if the need arises.

If you go express cruiser (searay, cruisers, etc...), depending on how old you are good with you can something that won't need a major refit from $20-100k. Regardless, get a survey done.
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Old 12-08-2014, 14:51   #6
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Re: Thinking about a cruiser for weekends & ICW...

Zimm, take a day trip to someplace like Herrington Harbour North marina in Deale, MD, and walk the docks looking at for sale signs, see what shapes/sizes appeal to you. Once you have a few ideas on features you might like -- or at least might be able to handle -- it'll be easier to home in on the best styles for your intended mission.

While you're looking, consider features you'd have to reconcile:
- Flybridge good, gives you a dry saloon too. Ladders? We only do stairs now. The only helm station is on the flybridge? Now you need an enclosure. Or else a lower helm, too... but that takes room from the saloon.
- Local boating (Chesapeake), gas can be good. Long distance trips (ICW), diesel might suit better. Upfront affordability, pay fuel as you go? Or bite the bullet and invest more right away.

And so forth.

-Chris
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Old 12-08-2014, 15:16   #7
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Re: Thinking about a cruiser for weekends & ICW...

Hard to go wrong with the Ranger tug. I think the little one is trailerable, (26ft?) but may not be big enough for you. OTOH, in that kind of quality.. you're not going to get something very big for $100k.
Nordic Tugs makes a 26 also, but it's even more expensive I think.
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Old 15-08-2014, 12:33   #8
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Re: Thinking about a cruiser for weekends & ICW...

I have looked at the ranger tugs but to get one around 100K is far and few. Also it will be used and most marine lenders will not want to do 20 on a used boat.
Have you thought about slip costs? Down in NC you can get a 30 foot slip for $210/month + your electric. Up in the bay I am sure its allot more.

For 100K you can get a newer mid 30's cruiser style boat. They are going to eat gas though. Cruising at about 20Kt will cost about 30GPH in a 33 foot cruiser with dual 5.0

My 25 foot bayliner cruiser has a single and gets about 13GPH at about 24Kt. 25 foot may be too small for a faimy of four and it will get knocked around much more which the wife may not like. Also power on the hook for AC which wifes and kids like can be an issue. A built in generator will be very loud in a boat that small and the Honda Eu2000I on the swim platform has its own issues.

Its fun and its expensiave but its worth it. seawenchnc.blogspot.com is our blog. We do the ICW and love it.
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Old 14-11-2014, 07:59   #9
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Re: Thinking about a cruiser for weekends & ICW...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zimm View Post
Hello! I'm a new member, hope this is the right forum for me. Currently we have a 22' Grady white and do short day trips on the Potomac River around DC and MD.

I'm quickly realizing that my wife is an "indoor boater" and just wants shade, maybe A/C, be able to cook, read, and enjoy the boat without being out in the sun, jumping waves, or fishing. RV'ing on the water is more her style. Being in the Navy, I like the idea of my own "ship" with lots of gadgets like radar, FLIR, electronics, planning voyages, exploring, etc.

We currently have 2 boys, aged 2 and 4. As long as they can jump in the water and swim, they're happy.

Next year we're going to try and sell our second home (we're both active duty Navy) which would open up the budget for a "second home" boat/yacht.

Budget would be a big factor- but with a 20 year note, maybe $100k is a realistic goal?

We want to expand to going out for the whole weekend, gunkholing in coves, exploring the Cheasapeake Bay, and we like the notion of taking a week off work and cruising the ICW.

What got us thinking along these lines was seeing the Ranger tugs at the baltimore boat show. It really got us thinking maybe a trawler is what we need.

I'd have to recalibrate my thinking of time/distance coming from speed boats, but since we wouldn't need to worry about getting back to the dock, load it, trailer it, put it away, etc. we'd have more time on the water.

I'm not sure if want to limit ourselves to a trailerable boat- being Navy, we could potentially move anywhere in the country- but we're hoping to stay here for several years. I retire in less than 3 years too. She has longer.

Any words of wisdom for me to start research?

My short list of requirements so far:
Comfortable to sleep 2 adults, 2 kids. Stand up head/shower. A/C and heat with genset. Economical cruise. Handle rough choppy water. My dad thinks a flying bridge should be a requirment- It would be nice for good weather to drive from outside.
Hello! I am a new member and currently going through a similar decision process for a cruiser on an inland lake. I was curious to know what you ultimately decided on and how its worked out for you.
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Old 14-11-2014, 08:13   #10
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Re: Thinking about a cruiser for weekends & ICW...

Haven't done anything yet. Still have the Grady White, and were going to sell it in the spring. We have a second home to sell this summer before we can jump into a cruiser, so we have plenty of time to look.
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Old 16-11-2014, 10:29   #11
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Re: Thinking about a cruiser for weekends & ICW...

Zimm
Having your kids grow up on and around boats is a great experience.
Use the time you have to look at and read about boats under 30' I have a 28 Flybridge cruiser which would probably be adequate for a couple and two small children. Wife can have her own space in the cabin and you and the kids can be on the flybridge or in the cockpit. Take your wife to local marinas and walk the docks to get a better idea of hull styles. I consider access to the bow without going through the cabin very important and my boat has gunwales to do that. Some new designs extend the cabin out to the side of the hull to increase the cabin volume but bow access is only through the forward cabin hatch.
Storage/moorage is another issue to resolve. My 28 is trailerable without removing the bridge, but it weighs about 14,000 lbs. It is permanently moored in salt water so requires monthly bottom cleaning and periodic zinc replacements and bottom painting. Moorage fees are generally more than trailer storage fees but if you have a trailer and keep the boat in the water, you pay both. You may be able to keep the boat on base.
Power depends on how far and how fast you want to go. Many 28 - 30' hulls have twin engines and room for an installed generator (important if you plan to run A/C).

Just remember, the purchase price is only the entry fee to boating.
Good luck in your search.


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Old 16-11-2014, 10:44   #12
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Re: Thinking about a cruiser for weekends & ICW...

If you want to do semi serious distances like the ICW- get something with a diesel engine. There are many beautiful tugs and trawlers out there that would suit your price range and lifestyle. The Nordic tugs sure are pretty.....
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:13   #13
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Re: Thinking about a cruiser for weekends & ICW...

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If you want to do semi serious distances like the ICW- get something with a diesel engine. There are many beautiful tugs and trawlers out there that would suit your price range and lifestyle. The Nordic tugs sure are pretty.....
Zimm,
The nordics are a wonderful boat BUT with family and all I would be rethinking the single screw vs. twin screw engine set ups or at least find a nordic that had a sail engine placed in it for they do make a GOOD get home boat engine.

Think about your draft as well. I know doing the loop which includes the icw you need to be careful how deep you run and if you are going to be doing bridges you need to pay attention to "air draft" as well or make sure your tower or mast etc can be lowered or you could find your self in a tight situastion.

We have been searching for a new boat for a year or so in order to become full time live aboards and cruise the loop continuiously. I have thought we found the right boat more times then I want to admit but I bet you have been there as well.

For us and livingh aboard full time we have settled on the trawler style boat which includes tugs such asd a nordic or victory etc. We had truly thought the new NT 49 was the best fit but even though tyherte is so much wonderful room and getting to any one place in or out of the boaty is a simple tasdk it came down tyo the single engine thing. I found a used NT 52 with twins but the amount of fuel it holds vs gph burnt at even a cruise just wont do.

The river part of the loop has longer fuel gaps and I am a fan of picking where I buy fuel and not I have to buy fuel. Gasoline is getting more scarce and you can get a truck load of diesel fuel brought in at certtain placves but it will cost you.....Following me here ?

I said all this to make this one point...............weather you choose a full dfisplacment or semi displacment hull or a planing hull..............remember...draft.....fuel capacity and consumtion and single vs shew I got one more engine to get my family safe to port.
Speed can be nice and many boats with top speeds of 20 knts or more can burn just a hand full a gallons an hour BUT.....................planing hull boats V and semi v etyc tend to NEED stablisers and or ballast etc and that can be costly and a chore and Fail as well.

For mer I am going with a full displacment hull and smaller twins with a fuel burn of about 2 gph and a little over a thousand gal tank. Shallower draft ( under 4 foot ) with a cruise speed of about 7 to 8 and tops out 9 to 10. That works for our type of cruising.................but not for everyone...............

Choose the boat that BEST fits your desire and needs and type of cruising and you wont regret your choice.......

Trawlers do have wonderful space and well thought out and you have your typical Slow trawlers ........and....... FAST trawlers which can run around the 20's......as well.

Some older motor yachts are a good choice for some as well. Bayliner, hatteras to name a couple. I saw one reply that said spend time at ther docks andf marina's....good advice
also trawler forums and such as well.

Dont rush and make sure the family is happy with the choice and enjoy !!
Have a great day
Jim
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