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Old 14-04-2022, 19:40   #1
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To get started..?

Hello all,
We have sold our house and have this crazy idea to get a 63ft'er.
I was in the Navy for 8 years, but have never driven. I see it as one helluva adventure to learn it all and liveaboard.
We both work from 'home' and our plan is to go from marina to marina from Pensacola to Tampa to Key West.
I know I will have to beg for insurance and hire a captain for days if not longer to show me all there is to learn (to be able to get insurance in the first place I'm sure), but my question is...am I going about this in the right steps? or just crazy?
I look at it this way....you can buy that house one row back from the beach and always wish you would have bought the one on the beach...you can buy that condo on the beach and look at the ocean....OR, you can buy a boat and be out in it.
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Old 15-04-2022, 02:11   #2
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Re: To get started..?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, 'relax.
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Old 15-04-2022, 03:13   #3
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Re: To get started..?

Hi 'iwannarelax'
You asked the cruisers forum "if you crazy". Well, a lot of us are, if not crazy, somewhere on that spectrum. So, do not expect an objective answer.

On the other hand you will get answers ranging from:
"yes, you are"
"buy a smaller boat first"
to "go for it"

I am sure you have considered these possibilities, and anything in between.

Maybe you can rephrase your question: "what are the difficulties, pitfalls when buying a 63ft boat, without having any experience".
When asking that, not really many people have a boat that size, but many opinions then are based on somewhat smaller boats.

Another comment, the more vague a question is the more opinions one gets, the more specific a question, the more accurate answers you can expect.

Now to your question, I live on the other side of the world, not sure what the marina landscape is there or the insurance situation, but yes everyone with a boat is somewhat crazy and it could well be the level of craziness is in proportion to the cost or size of the boat.
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Old 15-04-2022, 04:07   #4
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Re: To get started..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwannarelax View Post
Hello all,
We have sold our house and have this crazy idea to get a 63ft'er.
I was in the Navy for 8 years, but have never driven. I see it as one helluva adventure to learn it all and liveaboard.
We both work from 'home' and our plan is to go from marina to marina from Pensacola to Tampa to Key West.
I know I will have to beg for insurance and hire a captain for days if not longer to show me all there is to learn (to be able to get insurance in the first place I'm sure), but my question is...am I going about this in the right steps? or just crazy?
I look at it this way....you can buy that house one row back from the beach and always wish you would have bought the one on the beach...you can buy that condo on the beach and look at the ocean....OR, you can buy a boat and be out in it.

Well you seem very confident in your aptitude to learn good and fast purchasing a 63' sailboat for your first boat,
I would feel overwhelmed just trying to get that out of a dock with just me and my wife.
But I see you're planning to hire a captain, have you also any plans to charter a ship of that size, just seems kind of huge for a first purchase.
Just thinking of the budget I would require to upgrade and/or replace what will be needed on a ship that size and the fuel required, not for me.
I would never feel comfortable with anything over 40' for a first boat, but maybe that's just me.
Best of luck to you!
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Old 15-04-2022, 04:19   #5
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Re: To get started..?

Going from never driving a sailboat to moving a 35 foot 22k pound sailboat was a bit eye opening.

The mass of a sailboat was not something I was prepared for mentally but we got it done. Almost took out the dock pylon with my bowsprit. Good times.
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Old 15-04-2022, 04:21   #6
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Re: To get started..?

Sailboats much over 40' do not make it under the standard 65' bridge. They also have more draft, keeping you out of places like the north/west side of the Florida Keys. Both will limit your ports of call. If you want the interior space of a 63' monohull, consider a 40' catamaran.

In addition, a 63' foot boat has rather heavy sails to be managed, and in your case, by two inexperienced sailors.

I hope that you will move from "We want a 63' boat" to "We want a boat that has this space and will take the two of us to these places." Then, go look at boats that will do that.
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Old 15-04-2022, 05:16   #7
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Re: To get started..?

Since I am a newbie here, I hope rocks are not thrown by correcting my original post.
It is a 63ft Viking powerboat, not a sailboat. Hopefully I can learn all there is and handle it with my wife.
My question was also vague as I was falling asleep when written, so I'll try harder to explain:
With us just starting out, what are the steps you had to take on getting your first boat? Did you already have experience? How hard was getting insurance if you did not? Did you hire a Captain to teach you and how long did it take? Looking back, what would you do differently?

Thanks everyone that responded and I apologize for not being specific...we are still packing boxes and close on our house May 9th...
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Old 15-04-2022, 05:37   #8
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Re: To get started..?

OK.. Much different issue. I'll try again.

You're in the southeastern USA. Therefore, you can buy a megayacht and play Bumpum Boats all you wish. Just read newspaper articles that start "Florida Man..." and watch "Boneheaded Boaters of the Week" on YouTube to get the picture.

At 63' you might get some questions from an insurance company, or either Giego or Markel may just issue the insurance online. Markel insured my 44' steel trawler based on the surveyor's report.

A captain and lessons would be a very good idea. A 63' power boat can do a lot of damage, particularly in docking/undocking at a marina. Developing a fine touch with the throttles is a learning curve not too different from learning to drive a car. In fact, if you were born after Jan 1, 1988 you need a Florida License, based on the FWC on-line course.

"All there is to learn" does not happen. I'm still learning. The point is to get basic safety down, and then slowly enlargen your envelope through practice and experience, without ever truly messing up, just as you graduated from driving in the neighborhood to highways as a beginning driver.
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Old 15-04-2022, 05:50   #9
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Re: To get started..?

Thanks!
I do not take all this with a grain of salt. I proceed with caution and even though it is a large boat, we plan on living aboard and taking things slowly...very very slowly.
If I have to have a Captain onboard for weeks until I (and the Captain) feel comfortable with me handling her; in and out of marinas, then that is what I'll do. Plus, I want to learn everything I can about maintenance of it and the motor of course. I know it will be a lot of work.
I know I can't learn it all, no one can, but hopefully in a few years I'll be able to 'mostly' be self sustainable.
Thanks on the insurance information as well. One company already turned us down stating we needed 2 years of experience, which I asked if that was a catch22.
We will get there.
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Old 15-04-2022, 05:54   #10
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Re: To get started..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwannarelax View Post
Since I am a newbie here, I hope rocks are not thrown by correcting my original post.
With us just starting out, what are the steps you had to take on getting your first boat? Did you already have experience? How hard was getting insurance if you did not? Did you hire a Captain to teach you and how long did it take? Looking back, what would you do differently?
Question 1 - Get the broker to let me look at the boat. "Forget" my sunglasses on the boat during the little tour. Broker tells me on the phone where the hidden key is. Survey the boat on my own using boatpokers guide. I think it was his guide. Anyway, lowballed the broker and made him upset. Then replied im sorry and offered better. Offer accepted. Boat hauled and surveyed. Wired money. Moved boat.

Question 2 - No experience. Well, I beat the courses up to gold level on a sailing simulator I bought on Steam............

Question 3 - Got the insurance on my phone while standing on the dock after picking up the keys with Progressive. All automated.

Question 4 - No captain. Books, a friend with a boat, sailing simulator on the computer

Question 5 - I woulda bought that other boat I didn't look at that was cheaper, needed less work, and was faster. Maybe the Pearson 367 in Mexico I saw on Yackworld. lol

Edit: Oh ya there was a sea trial in there somewhere. Knowing what I know about the boat now we were all lucky to make it back alive.
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Old 15-04-2022, 06:28   #11
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Re: To get started..?

You may want to also ping TrawlerForum, sister site to CF

If the boat doesn't already have thrusters (bow and stern), consider them for docking. Will significantly shorten learning curve, lower stress, and ultimately lead to increased use of the boat.

Not discussed thus far in this thread is complexity of a large motoryacht. Count the pumps, pistons, filters, and impellers for all the gear. Add thru-hulls too. Hi-hp engines can easily take 10-gallons of oil so oil changes alone are logistically interesting. Managing power during summer months with high A/C loads can be challenging. None of it is insurmountable, but it will have a much greater learning curve than driving the boat. The expense of maintenance isn't awful, but any repairs can be. Decent diesel mechanics start in $1000/day range. Bottom diver in the warm waters of Florida will average a couple hundred a month. Bi-annual haul with bottom paint, zincs, cutless bearings can easily run $8k or more. Not for the feint of heart.

I started much like you're considering (minus the work remote) and bought a nice condition Uniflite 42 motoryacht. My girlfriend and I had a great time but the surprises were difficult. We overheated one engine (400 hp) when the shaft on water pump">raw water pump broke. Ended up needing the top end done. A dock neighbor was a decent mechanic and cut us a deal to do the work but still ended up costing $8500 in 1994 dollars, so at least double these days. The Vacuuflush head system was another money sink. We had a great time though, but it definitely wasn't cheap. Loved living on the boat. Keeping the boat from committing suicide was less fun. If your goal is "iwannarelax," would consider a more simple platform.
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Old 15-04-2022, 08:30   #12
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Re: To get started..?

That's a lot of boat for a novice. Maybe consider a smaller vessel. A 45 footer has a lot of room for a couple.
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Old 15-04-2022, 14:33   #13
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Re: To get started..?

Following this one (long time lurker, 1st time poster). We are looking at doing something similar but with a smaller yacht (45' range) due to the cost of marina stays. We would spend the Summer in the Chesapeake Bay and go down to the area around the coast of GA, SC, FL (whoever will have us) in the Winter. Brunswick Landing seems like a cool place to Winter.

I always wonder about the chicken/egg bit with insurance/boat/marina. I assume I may be able to make headway on a marina location prior to getting the boat but am torn on how insurance works when getting a boat (there seems to be some lag between when it's purchased and when it's insured?).
I have been driving a 26' center console boat for a decade on the Chesapeake but understand it's nothing like the larger yachts, and like the OP, will need to get a captain to show us the ropes.
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Old 15-04-2022, 16:49   #14
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Re: To get started..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwannarelax View Post
It is a 63ft Viking powerboat, not a sailboat. Hopefully I can learn all there is and handle it with my wife.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jungleland1972 View Post
Following this one (long time lurker, 1st time poster). We are looking at doing something similar but with a smaller yacht (45' range) due to the cost of marina stays.

I always wonder about the chicken/egg bit with insurance/boat/marina. I assume I may be able to make headway on a marina location prior to getting the boat but am torn on how insurance works when getting a boat (there seems to be some lag between when it's purchased and when it's insured?).

Let's assume everyone here is actually capable of learning to handle the boat.

Insurance -- with lack of experience, and in the RELAX case, with Florida in the same sentence -- will be the big hurdle.

I can tell you insurance quotes are maybe all over the map, so you just sorta have to dive in a see what the results might be. My recommendation: use a broker, and let them do approximately the first quarter of the work.

The amount of "Captain time" will vary, the insurance cost will vary (folks with long term experience often get better rates... up to a point), some insurance companies won't write squat for beginner's with 63' powerboats (but some might), some many only be focused on how much bigger your "new" boat is compared to previous boats, and several good insurance companies won't write no steenkin' insurance for Florida no matter what.

Put together your boat info, get with a broker, and learn from them. Compare to quotes from BoatUS/Geico (they're not working with independent broker's anymore, as I understand it) so you have several data points.

-Chris
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Old 15-04-2022, 18:16   #15
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Re: To get started..?

A 63' boat is a lot more money than a 40' boat, and I would have thought a 40' powerboat would accommodate two very computably, or even a family.

When I started looking at boats I had this idea that I wanted a big enough boat for lots of visitors and guests. It is only later I realised how unrealistic that is - cruisers have irregular schedules which makes it hard to accommodate people who have to make airline reservations and be back at work on a specific day. You may have some visitors, but trying to have many will spoil your cruising.
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