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Old 01-08-2019, 23:44   #1
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Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

Hey friends.
Wanted to get input from the community as I begin the journey of becoming a cruiser. Here is my situation. I have a seasonal job as a wildland firefighter and at this time I am not ready to give that up, as it is my main source of income.

I have a few questions for the community regarding this.

First off, is this possible?
Are there many people out there doing this sort of thing? I dont have any experience cruising and I am wondering about many of the logistics.

How do I store my boat safely and economically?
My income is modest as a firefighter and I spend much of my time dirtbagging around the western united states camping, hiking, biking etc. basically I have learned to live modestly and cheaply. Thinking about a boat in the 28 foot size range.

should I consider hauling out every season and dry storage? From the research I am doing I am looking at $200-$300 dollars a month plus haul out and haul back in.

should I consider renting a slip at a marina?

Should I consider a mooring? is this a safe option? do boats get stolen?

My fire season is from may to october and weather is a consideration both for storage and cruising. Is this a good time of year for those?

Where locations should I consider for storage considering cost and ease of access to cruising grounds.

Right now my best thought is to purchase a boat somewhere in the gulf coast and when I am done cruising for the season to store it in somewhere between texas and florida (with cost being the consideration). I would then return to my job for the season. Then after fire season I would return to the boat and cruise back to the bahamas and caribbean.

what am I missing?

Any questions comments and advice would be greatly appreciated.

thanks a bunch

-Will
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Old 02-08-2019, 00:17   #2
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Re: Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

Storing the boat out of the water means there’s much less to worry about. It can’t sink, docklines can’t chafe through and petty theft of items of interest on deck is not a concern. When the boat is in the water, people walking by can just hop onboard, when its out of the water... they’d need a ladder just to have a look.
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Old 02-08-2019, 00:25   #3
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Re: Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

There are hundreds of cruisers who do 6 months on and 6 months off each year in Pacific Mexico, the Caribbean and tbe Bahamas. All good cruising locations. The cost of laying tbe boat deoends entirely on where yku end up putting it. Dry storage, marina berths and moorings are all an option. Your 200 to 300 a month might be a little shy in a lot of places.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:46   #4
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Re: Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Will.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:03   #5
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Re: Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

Absoultely doable! As posted already, there are many seasonal cruisers. I dont have hard numbers, but my observations are that the majority of cruisers are part-time.

The cost depends on where you plan to stow the boat. If in the USA likely more expensive. If not in a first world venue, then less.

If you want to stow locally to your land base then a trailer would be a good purchase. At only 28' feet it should be trailerable and can be stowed anywhere you can find space. Do you own any dirt there?

Draft will affect ease of trailering. Trailer-sailors (boats built to be trailered) are typically built with center boards/dagger board/lifting keels. All these machanims reduce the draft and make it easier to trailer. My Hobie 33 for example, has a lifting keel. Keel down draft is near 6'. Keel up is inches...making it much easier to trailer.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:40   #6
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Re: Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

One big concern for being apart from the boat is named storms.

A setup that includes provisions for storm preparation decreases that worry.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:56   #7
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pirate Re: Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

Another advantage to being stored ashore is it gives the hull drying out time, in the water year round increases osmosis opportunity and a high cost to rectify or a devaluation if you want to sell.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:39   #8
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Re: Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

Why would you not get a boat on a trailer? For 20 years, I had a Sovereign 28, which I finished from a bare-hull stage. It had a center cockpit, sleeps 4, 3/4 keel, galley and a head with a shower. With a Yanmar 2gm20 and about 30 gals it was a capable coastal cruiser. It weight about 7,000 lbs and had a 6-wheel trailer. Living onboard for months at a time was possible, as was towing it for 1000 miles over a few days.
When I wasn't using it, the boat lived on its trailer in a paddock. It could be launched from the trailer, or by hoist, the mast raised and rigged, in one day.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:46   #9
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Re: Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

We just hauled our new to us boat for the first time at Snead Island, FL.
$325 / month for dry storage (no power) for our 38 foot cruiser plus $654 to haul by Travelift, scrape, pressure wash, block, and strap down the boat. It would be around $700 / month for a slip. Indiantown, FL is probably the safest and cheapest dry storage (it's 40 miles inland behind the Okeechobee locks). Safe Cove in Port Charlotte, FL looks good also. Most places will give an estimate on the phone or online.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:03   #10
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Re: Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

Storing a 28 ft boat on the hard in a place in Mexico like San Carlos / Guyamas on the Sea of Cortez when you are not using it, would not be expensive(see links).

Marina San Carlos

http://marinasancarlos.com/wp-conten...age-Prices.pdf

http://marinasancarlos.com/wp-conten...ist-Marina.pdf

If you are already in SW USA San Carlos / Guyamas is not hard to get to.

Most could not survive without air con living a board in summer anywhere on the Sea of Cortez. But the climate is excellent in the winter.

For a couple of grand you can install a marine air conditioner on a 28 footer if you can install it yourself. To power it you can plug into shore power or use a portable generator when shore power is not available. Some people install window air conditioners in the companionway or a hatch or use a portable air conditioner vented out a hatche(s), all would be less expensive than installing a marine air conditioner your self, but more awkward.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:10   #11
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Re: Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Augi View Post
Storing a 28 ft boat on the hard in a place in Mexico like San Carlos / Guyamas on the Sea of Cortez when you are not using it, would not be expensive(see links).

Marina San Carlos

http://marinasancarlos.com/wp-conten...age-Prices.pdf

http://marinasancarlos.com/wp-conten...ist-Marina.pdf

If you are already in SW USA San Carlos / Guyamas is not hard to get to.

Most could not survive without air con living a board in summer anywhere on the Sea of Cortez. But the climate is excellent in the winter.

For a couple of grand you can install a marine air conditioner on a 28 footer if you can install it yourself. To power it you can plug into shore power or use a portable generator when shore power is not available. Some people install window air conditioners in the companionway or a hatch or use a portable air conditioner vented out a hatche(s), all would be less expensive than installing a marine air conditioner your self, but more awkward.
OP stated he works May thru Oct, so he'd be cruising Nov thru Apr
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:13   #12
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Re: Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby View Post
Why would you not get a boat on a trailer? For 20 years, I had a Sovereign 28, which I finished from a bare-hull stage. It had a center cockpit, sleeps 4, 3/4 keel, galley and a head with a shower. With a Yanmar 2gm20 and about 30 gals it was a capable coastal cruiser. It weight about 7,000 lbs and had a 6-wheel trailer. Living onboard for months at a time was possible, as was towing it for 1000 miles over a few days.
When I wasn't using it, the boat lived on its trailer in a paddock. It could be launched from the trailer, or by hoist, the mast raised and rigged, in one day.
How much did the truck (tow vehicle) cost? You could store on the hard for a few years before you could pay for a reliable truck.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:17   #13
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Re: Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

Hi Will, reiterating others in saying it's absolutely doable.

I am an ex-wildland guy (CO) who cruises part time w/ GF on a 27'. We hop on the boat for 3-4 months over the winter. Indiantown Marina in FL is a relatively protected and cheap place to leave the boat over the summer. As of 2016 it cost us a little north of $200/mo. The Rio Dulce is another great option. Cheaper and more protected than any options in FL, and your a hop skip away from Belize and the Bay Islands of Honduras. We have met many buddy boats over the years that do something similar.

If I were starting from scratch, I'd find a boat on the US east coast (or the gulf) and sail it to FL, learning and shaking out the kinks along the way. Once in FL, you have quick access to the Bahamas where it's easy to make the jump back and forth for a season or two, the while preparing for and deciding if you want to venture further afield.

Another approach would be finding a cheap little trailerable boat (or even a little expedition sailing dinghy). We built a little car-toppable 17' sailing/rowing dory from a kit.. fun to build, pretty cheap for a lot of boat, and perfect for camping expeditions and much more portable and easy to launch than ever the smallest keel boat.

Ryan
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:34   #14
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Re: Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

We tried dry storage for a few years in Florida. 2 out of 3 years had hurricanes go thru, it's to stressful. Back in the Rio there are no storms and it costs only $5 a foot in a marina. I've found the boat stays cooler inside, in the water than it does on the hard.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:58   #15
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Re: Part time cruising... how to store the boat?

We haul our boat and store it on land from October through May. Most people do where the water freezes in ambient air temperatures in the winter.
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