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Old 31-03-2010, 09:59   #1
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Two Boats or One - Need Help !

My wife and I are in the planning stages and need some help/advice. We keep a boat in the western end of Lake Erie and ideally would like to maintain residence on Lake Erie in summers, and cruise the SE coast and Caribbean in the winters. So, we are trying to figure out the options of making that happen and have a few initial questions:

1. Is it feasable to have one boat (37 or 38 foot) and transit back and forth?
2. If so, what are the best routes and how long should we plan on taking each way?
3. Is is better to maintain two boats, leaving one on the hard in winter and one on the hard in summer?
4. Where is the best place to leave a boat for the summer?
5. What are the costs and issues associated with leaving a boat in the south for the summer?

Any help is much appreciated!

Thanks,
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Old 31-03-2010, 10:36   #2
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, CaptainBW.

1. Yes, itís feasible to have one boat (37 or 38 foot) and transit back and forth between Erie & the Southern East Coast.
2. The best route is through the Erie Canal, Hudson River then south via AICW or coastwise (or combination of both).
You should plan on taking about a month each way, depending upon how many stops you mak (& for how long), and your exact destination.
3. Itís easier, and (I would maintain) better, though much more costly, to maintain two boats, leaving one on the hard in winter and one on the hard in summer.
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Old 31-03-2010, 11:17   #3
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Thanks Gord...

Thank you so much for the reply. As a follow up, do you have any thoughts on the best places to leave a boat for the summer in the south?
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Old 31-03-2010, 11:30   #4
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I think a couple questions to answer:

1. Do you see the journey to and from each location each year as a fun part of your cruise, or as a burden?

2. If you keep a boat in one location, say the Caribbean, what are your needs in the other? Owning two expensive cruisers is different from owning one expensive cruiser and something like a Catalina 27 as a second boat. (Or perhaps your current Catalina 30)

The cost of a second, cheaper boat may be less than the cost of your transit. Maintaining two 37 foot boats, probably not.

I kept one boat at Indiantown on the Okechobee waterway for several years. Glades, I think it is has another option in that area. My Hunter 30 is now on the hard in the Abacos for the next 9 months. Westland Marine near Titusville, is another I've heard many cruisers recommend, but have never used myself.

In the Caribbean, I know many like Trinidad and Tobago as they have typically been considered to be south of the hurricane belt.

I find storing a trailerable boat (such as the Catalina 27 mentioned), to be substantially easier, less expensive and less stressful than storing a larger cruising boat in a boat yard.

Rates of course vary, but my Hunter 30 is about $1,900/year to insure, about $2,000 per year to store on the hard and about $500 round trip to haul, wash, and block, that for Bahamas.
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Old 31-03-2010, 12:04   #5
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Might be more economical have a single boat shipped back and forth (or delivered. Compared with cost of mantaining two boats and always having one in storage.
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Old 31-03-2010, 12:16   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
3. It’s easier, and (I would maintain) better, though much more costly, to maintain two boats, leaving one on the hard in winter and one on the hard in summer.

I can't imagine why it would be better. Storage is hard on any machine. It sits there rotting away. The idea of paying for storage of not one hole in the water you pour money into, but TWO, beggars the imagination, not to mention the work and complexity and expense of laying up or recommissioning FOUR times a year.

If you are retired and plan to be sailing all the time, it would be far better to do it on ONE boat which you are constantly maintaining and never storing. Besides that, the month-long passage there and back every year would be half the fun. It would really make it an occasion and a ritual -- a kind of annual pilgrimage -- to change climes that way, instead of just getting on a plane. It will be really fun to do it on a regular basis because you will get to know the route, develop favorite places you will go back to over and over again. To use a good cruising boat for a really long trip where you're actually trying to get some place is really what it's all about -- using it to just hop around some local area is more of a form of masturbation, in comparison, in my opinion.

The only way using two boats could be "better" is less wear and tear from sea miles in transit. But that's the kind of wear and tear you want -- you will be having the fun while you incur this wear and tear, using the boat for its intended purpose, unlike deterioration in storage.

If you are not retired and don't have two months a year to make the passage, then it's a little different question. Without a good answer in my opinion.
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Old 31-03-2010, 13:03   #7
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I don't know if you care or not, but summer in the south is hurricane season...And from what I read lots of insurance companies do NOT cover damage from a 'named' storm. Or won't cover you at all while in hurricane alley during hurricane season.
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Old 31-03-2010, 13:15   #8
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Indiantown Marina, on the St. Lucie Canal (between Stuart Fl & Lake Okeechobee) is a good summer storage yard.
Indiantown Marina, Indiantown, Florida, Martin County, St. Lucie Waterway, Lake Okeechobee, Hurricane Hideaway, Boating


Quote:
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I think a couple questions to answer:
1. Do you see the journey to and from each location each year as a fun part of your cruise, or as a burden?
If it stays fun, then my critics are absolutely right.

If you do, or eventually come to, see the journey as a burdensome commute, then two boats may be a more desirable, though perhaps impractical, solution.
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Old 31-03-2010, 13:24   #9
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Here on the west coast, I know a number of people that have two boats.. one up here in Northern California for the summers and another in Mexico for the winter..
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Old 03-04-2010, 15:55   #10
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Thanks everyone for the input! It was very helpful.
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Old 03-04-2010, 17:19   #11
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I find it hard to imagine myself having two boats at the same time. I guess if one of them was small and inexpensive to maintain, it would be possible. The thought of maintaining two yachts doesn't fit into my comfort zone.

I have been maintaining two hulls for more than fifteen years. But both of the hulls have always been in the same location - since we have a catamaran. When it's time to scrub the hulls and work on the engines, it seems like we have two boats.
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Old 03-04-2010, 17:34   #12
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I think it depends on a number of factors. What part of the Carribean will you be cruising? When would you plan on leaving the US to go there, and how long would you stay? When would you bring the boat back to the US? If you are making ocean passages, clearly the bigger the boat, the better. Small boats have made it across the ocean, but I wouldn't want to be on one under 43 feet on an ocean passage. Whether it is practical to store a boat depends on where you want to store it, and for how long. If you plan on storing a boat in the Carribean during hurricane season, unless it is on an engineered cradle, and you are prepared to pay excessively high premiums for insurance, you won't have any. If you head too far South before you turn to the East, you will be fighting the trades. Probably, if you had a little more detail, better advice might be possible. If all you are talking about is Florida, and then to the Bahamas, go for it. That passage is no big deal.
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