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Old 17-01-2014, 08:09   #1
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St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

Hello all,

I just bought a 32 foot Columbia (Alan Payne Design) and need to move it next week- ideally to St. Augustine, Fl somewhere. I need to put a plan together and only know a few locals. The boat is in/near the St. John's River. I am VERY new to all of this- excited but nervous a bit in my leap into the great unknown.

My mind is still racing on learning the chronological order of things like getting insurance (if needed), and with the title getting a temp registration to avoid getting boarded every five minutes while in transit. The planning is stressful and would sure love some in the flesh help or advice here from those who know the area or made the journey. Public or P.M. is fine.

I am looking for help in moving it, but some info first:

The boat needs a bottom job soon and some minor interior leaks fixed, replacing and re-tacking panels around the cabin windows. I wasn't able to check the through holes but want to with the bottom job (but the boat has been docked a LONG time in fresh water). Also need a tank for the head to be compliant. Eventually a dinghy too.

One concern is that the engine MAY need some testing to ensure a safe move, so it is possible minor engine work to get her going. I have a leap of faith all will be well but it's a heads up. I don't want to get someone to free up a 18 hour(?) or 2-day schedule only to find we can't move her safely.

What are my options? I've heard of Sea Tow and that they may be hired, albeit pricey. Any other private boaters that can safely tow? There is a marina a mile up the water, and may be able to get it there, but doing the work there in full or at least the engine is both a commute and I'm not experienced. I'd need to hire someone and it may work right away or take days(?) so ideally I'd prefer to do all work in St. Augustine. Where to?
Anyone have a private dock?

I'd love to save costs by doing things over time, but in a pinch it may behoove me to throw it on the hard, do the bottom job and fixes in the most cost efficient way. I plan to do any work I can do that won't destroy the boat and throw some bucks to experienced people while I learn.

Engine, leak and head tank work can be done at a marina I suppose, but I'd need a bottom job within a month or two- is it better to haul it out and do everything? I heard there is a place on Riberia called XYZ something that is more cost effective than Oasis or the big St Augustine one where you need to sign in every time. Marinas require insurance though I hear (don't have it yet), but I need to ask around (liability only, etc.) From other threads I'm looking at Boat US and Pantaenius too. I'm open to all.

I can move it to a cheaper land lot, but then the expense of mast removal for road travel applies.

I'm overwhelmed but hope to connect with you soon!
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Old 18-01-2014, 06:10   #2
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Re: St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

Pappy,
I would suggest you get it hauled out first (check to make sure you can work on your boat in the yard) , get everything checked that you want, repair what you need to do while out of the water, check and run your engine. You will probably need liability insurance for the yard.If the yard is close, do not even bother with registration. This give you time to think about this and do things in a controlled fashion. This also gives you some time to get to know your boat. If you have seriors concerns about the engine before you move it, find some friend with a small boat (16-25 ft) to shadow you and pay them $100 for the fuel
I would also suggest Sea Tow or Boat US towing plan 3 days BEFORE you put back into the water. They usually have a 2 day waiting period.
And once you get to St. Augustine - what is your plan then?
BTW, we got very inexpensive insurance as a rider on our home owner's policy ( we also have a $1million umbrella) Anything other than liability on an older boat is near impossible.
I forget the distance involved but the only tricky section I remember there is the St Johns River. Just make sure you have a good sized anchor ready to deploy in case of trouble. And a VHF (fixed or handheld). Good luck.
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Old 18-01-2014, 06:19   #3
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Re: St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

If the boat is already south of downtown on the St. Johns, Green Cove Springs marina/boatyard is very affordable if you don't stay in the yard for more than 30 days.

Green Cove Springs Marina - The Cruiser's Homeport

And its a nice drive from St. Augustine to Green Cove Springs.
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Old 18-01-2014, 06:44   #4
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Re: St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcapo View Post
If the boat is already south of downtown on the St. Johns, Green Cove Springs marina/boatyard is very affordable if you don't stay in the yard for more than 30 days.

Green Cove Springs Marina - The Cruiser's Homeport

And its a nice drive from St. Augustine to Green Cove Springs.


Good advice. Haul at GCS and fix her up. By the sounds of it sailing (motoring) her to St. Augustine is out of the question. No other yard is as cheap as GCS.
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Old 18-01-2014, 08:02   #5
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Re: St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

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Originally Posted by Paul Annapolis View Post
I must disagree. Fellow boaters should be wary of this guy and not encourage him to do everyThing cheap and scrimp by. Boaters like him are a threat to our safety.
You may be being a bit tough. It doesnt seam out of the ordinary to keep an eye on the costs.

In St Augustin is an excellent marina called comanchee Cove Marina and if you use the mechanics there First Mate then the marina fee is HALVED!
I was there for a month and forund First Mate the best mechanics I have ever used, and very, very reasonably priced.
The marina was lovely too.

As for driving the boat 18 hours. Thats no problem either. Where you are now, turn the engine on and in nutral idle it up a little bit and let it run for six hours. If it can do that then you will be pretty safe for it to run for 18 hours.

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Old 18-01-2014, 08:19   #6
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Re: St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

I'd say, he at least asked, the scary ones don't they just figure they can use their phone to navigate at night or something similar.
By asking for advice, I think that he knows there are flaws with his original plan
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Old 18-01-2014, 08:21   #7
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Re: St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

Oh, and in my opinion you don't know about an engine until it's been operated for an hour or so under load, marginal cooling system can handle no-load conditions easily, but overheat in ten min. under a load.
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Old 18-01-2014, 14:34   #8
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Re: St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

Sir, I have restored and liveaboard the very boat if she is the 9.6 Alan Payne design. At any rate I sent you a PM and do not become discouraged, folks fear what they do not understand and Columbia boats (classic plastic) have been misunderstood for years and are not appreciated because of the work involved in modernizing them I suppose. They are heavy over built hulls not good for racing, but can be restored for liveaboard and even cruising....so good luck...saving costs means considering a local diver to clean hull for the trip, trust me this means the differance of 3 knots or 5-6 knots and fuel consumption! She can be towed on the hip easily by 25HP motor boat. And make sure you have anchor and rope ready to deploy, these are your "brakes"! Best wishes on your adventure!
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Old 18-01-2014, 14:43   #9
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Re: St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

P.S. I have done this very same adventure but with experience! I had a diver clean the bottom, make sure.batteries can substain "working" bilge pump and temp. running lights and use a motor boat with 9- 25 HP in good running order. The St. Johns River is no joke! as like in the Mississippi River, it will eat your lunch then a ship will run over you!
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Old 18-01-2014, 14:56   #10
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Re: St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Pappy View Post
I wasn't able to check the through holes
I am normally a bit of a "Have at it type" but that one sentence from the OP tells me he is way over his head.
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Old 18-01-2014, 15:59   #11
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Re: St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

All it takes is one hole, bring a mallet and plugs, of course you should do that anyway
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Old 18-01-2014, 16:47   #12
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Re: St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

Giving advice from the other side of the world is questionable but from here there are two suggestions that you may care to consider.

First jcapo's suggestion of Green Cove Springs Marina, and then MarkJ's suggestion of Camachee Island.

I can see where you're coming from. When buying a larger boat the number of issues seem overwhelming and the facilities non existent.

It looks like you've taken the first step and checked that the boat is not likely to sink in the near future and are now assessing what needs to be done to get the boat into seaworthy condition.

What I'd suggest is that you assess just how difficult is to get your boat to the two yards mentioned above and then drive there and have a chat with them. Sus out the lay of the land before putting any cards on the table but do assess 1) Can they help you with docking and moving your boat to and in the marina and getting it on the hard and 2) Do they provide the services that you need and can you afford them.

As you're probably starting to understand what money buys in boating is safety so you may need to do some sort of risk analysis as to what you can afford.

Some or all of the following may be necessary as a minimum. Sea Tow insurance, boat insurance (may be necessary before you can get into a marina or yard, check if third party only cover is acceptable) and mechanical assessment/repairs.

The other advice given above is to check the engine. If you don't know how to check the oil and coolant and other essential engine functions then find out how. A friendly mechanic is a wonderful person to have round at a time like this.

And finally, if you can, plan on having the boat on the hard for a considerable time. Maybe several weeks, maybe more. This can be a big money saver as the below the water condition can be properly assessed, all those niggling problems can be "fixed", a good coat of bottom paint applied and you may not have to haul the boat again for some time.
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Old 18-01-2014, 16:53   #13
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Re: St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

He's not even going to sea. Its just an 18 hour drive down the ICW.
It doesnt get easier than that... And he looking for crew to help. A great way to start learning, imho.
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Old 18-01-2014, 16:57   #14
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Re: St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
It looks like you've taken the first step and checked that the boat is not likely to sink in the near future
How do you reconcile that statement with ....

Originally Posted by Captain Pappy View Post
I wasn't able to check the through holes
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Old 18-01-2014, 22:50   #15
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Re: St Augustine - moving a boat there soon - HELP!

Whoa whoa whoa here people. Thank you to those who have offered some advice and constructive wisdom (as well as private messages of which I will be getting back to shortly.) As for Paul, I think you may be misjudging me based on projection of your interpretations of one or two lines of my post. Perhaps I was too brief as lengthy posts may get ignored. It was a precursor invitation to those who might be in the area (if any) and I could detail more.

Checking the through holes WAS done by a professional and the boat has been on the water for a long time. I did not do it myself. Others have suggested that you can inspect them better on the hard.

I am NOT a reckless individual, and take safety of myself and others VERY seriously. I've trained in CPR, First Aid and more. I never intended to imply that I thought some duct tape and smacking a hammer on a pipe would convince me that's all I need, and then risk damage to people or property.

I do believe one can spend a fortune on bargains, so neither I am not some cheapo that you seem to paint me as. I have skill levels in some areas that runs circles around most others: Boating is new to me though. I want to spend money properly focused on PRIORITIZED repairs or chain of events. I never said I wanted to skimp on any detail or do it cheaply in PLACE of safety or common sense.

If it were a house, I'd spend the good money on fixing a roof leak before buying the pool. That's all. I don't want to be double-billing or inefficiently billing by wasting time or money through a lack of experience on overly pricey marinas for shoddy work or haul outs and then a re-haul out because I didn't know something.

Same here- I want a safe boat, and to move it safely- not by myself with idiot super power delusions- With licensed captain friends and trained professionals that ALSO would know not to put themselves, me, or others at risk.

To tell a stranger they are cheap or being cheap, or that they are a risk or danger to others is completely unfair, Paul. Your assumptions may really turn off newcomers to this forum which would be a shame for all members as they may become informational assets, or even that boater that saves your life some day.
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