Click for McConaghy Click for Llebroc Click for Bering Click for Trinity Click for DeAngelo

Size matters...

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by lightspeed72, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. lightspeed72

    lightspeed72 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Hi Folks,

    I am new too the forum and what an education it has been. Just reading and following the threads has been such an education in the ins and outs of boats and all the behind the scenes stories that the glitzy websites don't reveal to you about. What a great collection of people here. :)

    As far as my boating experience is concern, I was a scuba instructor for 4 years...in that time I had some great fun driving and crewing a variety of launches, dive boats, sailboats, etc. Nonetheless, I consider myself a neophyte when it comes to boating.

    So here is my question for you, I would love to get into a Princess 72, as it has all the size, comfort and luxuries I am looking for. However, is that just too much boat for owner/operator? I have also looked at the Princess/Viking 63, which feels much more manageable, but in terms of elbow room, I am tending to lean toward the 72.

    I guess it all comes down to experience and sea time, as well as courses and proper instruction. But having taken care of all that, how reasonable is it to run a 72 on my own?

    Would love to hear your thoughts on all that.

    Cheers!!
  2. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,254
    Location:
    Sarasota/Ft. Lauderdale FL
    It's not unreasonable for a 70+ foot boat to be owner operated. But there is a lot of maintenance involved.
    And most owners don't have the time and skill to deal with that on a boat of that size. So you might want to consider hiring a mechanically inclined mate.
  3. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,247
    Location:
    Is Everything!
    Welcome to the forum.

    72' is a fair amount of boat as an owner / operator. I'd consider an engineer and a first mate who are cross trained to some degree or another. Maintenance is where you'll fall short as Capt. Bill pointed out. And of all things, maintenance is perhaps the one area where you don't want to fall short or have sacrificed.

    Is your expectation to captain the boat yourself? If that's the case you'll need to hire a captain for the first year or so to build your log time for insurance purposes. Once you have the experience and time, and you and your insurance company see eye to eye, you can figure out / decide if a mate is needed in addition to the engineer.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,039
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    You didn't mention you family situation. If you're talking one person (or one person with a high maintenance wife), yes it is too big. You don't single hand a 60 or 70 foot yacht. If you and your spouse (or kids if they are older) are hands on type people you might get away with it, but most fun time will be turned into work on the boat time. You also didn't mention if this is a weekender or full-time live-aboard. There are a lot of variables. Also, as said earlier, if you don't have experience on a similar sized vessel your insurance company will most likely insist on at least a captain.
  5. lightspeed72

    lightspeed72 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Vancouver BC

    Well guys, really good points to consider and appreciated feedback. A lot of experience talking there. When I take a step back, I see that fantasy can certainly take over reality when it comes to the boat I want as opposed to the boat I can handle.

    I see that perhaps something more along the lines of a Viking/Princess 58 (which I think is still probably a lot for me to handle) is a good start. I plan to use it for weekends or week long trips. I'll probably take a friend or two on any such trip, but I also wanted to be sure that I would be able to handle a boat on my own if I just have the desire to be by myself in a quiet cove for a few days.

    Having a captain to go training and log hours with is certainly a must. That and simply just building up experience.

    Well, the fantasy bubble is broken, which is not such a bad thing as I am sure this is the very cheap way of learning. Thanks again.
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,039
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I was recently fired. My boss hates it when I say that.:D 5 or 6 years ago he bought a 46' motor yacht. His broker threw in like 3 or 4 days of lessons. He turned out to be my best student. He did the work needed to be good and then some. Well, he got so good so fast the he was good enough to recognize what a good idea it would be to have the experience of a captain by his side. He went from 46 to 50 and 5 or 6 years past. I had a good gig, but you know, it seemed sooner or later I earned my keep each day out. Things come up from rough seas to seeing a floating log to fixing something that breaks. Now he downsized to a 40. I recently taught him how to deckhand so he can single hand the boat ( since he had a captain on board he didn't deckhand except when dockings were hinky where I'd take the helm). Now when I go out with him it will be as a knowledgable friend. That's not to say you'll have a captain for a few days or a few years. You just never know how these things work out. So don't break the bubble. Go for it. Take advantage of as much experience as you need or want and have a good life boating. Whether you talking about a 72 or a 58 or a 50; whatever you feel comfortable with go for it. You can always move up or down. Meanwhile, every day you get better from experience. That's what it's all about.
  7. lightspeed72

    lightspeed72 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Well said my friend, sometimes we get so lost in the shoulds or should nots, or caught in the worry of looking like a fool who took on to much, or too little, that we forget the bigger perspective, that really no one can know what is good for you. Advice and experience speaks loudly, but ultimately, the greatest risk is taking the chance of going for what you want and testing the waters to see where your limit is. Sometimes the fear of heading out to open ocean can keep a captain tied to the dock or anchored in safe harbour. Definitely good advice and wise words that go along with everything else that has been said here. :)

    Cheers!
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    6,407
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Why don't you just buy the 72' Viking SC that meets all of your desires and hire a full time Captain to maintain and run it. You can also run it while the Captain is on-board and he can show you as much as you need to learn as time goes on? I think even a 58' Viking is WAY too much yacht for someone without a lot of experience in at least a 40 something footer.
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,039
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Many years ago I moved from NYC to a town about 60 miles east...via Tucson, Az. I wasn't there 4 days when I realized Tucson wasn't for me. 4,000 miles of driving and my last dime to basically move down the road. Some would say that was a colossal mistake, but I wouldn't have led the life I've led nor become the person I became if it weren't for that "mistake".:)
  10. cabobo09

    cabobo09 New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Cabo San Lucas
    If you are really interested in learning the business of running your own boat start studying and attending whatever your area offers on navigation, systems operations, engine maintenance, etc. There are several worth while online courses to obtain your license. The course material will give you a good base before you ever step aboard. Of course you will not be able to obtain your license until you log many hours on the water. Find a good Capt that enjoys teaching and just do it. There is nothing better than experience. Running a yacht is kind of like flying an airplane, most can do it after a few hours of training but the real test comes when the sh... Hits the fan, that's where the hours behind the wheel with someone that knows the ropes gets you on the dock.

    GOOD LUCK!
  11. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,442
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    indeed as others have mentioned a 70 footer can be a lot to handle for an owner-operator. It's not jsut the basic docking/handling but the maintenance and management part of running the boat which can be equally challenging and time consuming.

    as an owner, your time on board is precious, unless you are retired... and you dont' want to "ignore" your family or friends to go fix, maintain or clean something.

    on a 70 footer having a full time, or almost full time, captain adds to the expenses but is still just a fraction of the overall costs when you include depreciation, interests, dockage, etc...

    but the most critical hurdle you will face, even on a smaller 50 to 60 footer will be insurance. often, insurers require extensive training and time with a captain whenever you jump more than 10 to 20' or so.

    as to singlehandling, it's not something that you can do with limited experience but more importantly on a larger boat your "crew" (wife, kids, friends) also needs experience in line handling and proper procedure or they can get hurt if they do something "stupid" like trying to fend off a piling or other boat.

    budget permitting, sticking to the larger "boat of your dream" but with a captain may be a better option than trying to run a 58 footer alone.

    but only YOU will know what is best in YOUR case
  12. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,462
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    That is the most straight forward honest bit of advice given so far.
  13. lightspeed72

    lightspeed72 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Thanks guys, really good info to chew on. When I started with the idea of having a boat, there really was no background on captains, maintainance, insurance, etc. It was just a very nice fantasy to be roaming around in a nice boat on the waters with me and a few friends.

    However, the more I read the threads in the forums, and get solid responses from you guys, it becomes obvious there is a lot of responsibility involved, which I kinda figured. So my initial thought of a 70 footer has now shrunk to a 40 plus. Lol.

    It goes without saying proper instruction and lots of hours and study is a must. Being a career ex-scuba instructor, I know the value of experience when it comes to the ocean. So all in all, this has been a good reality check for me. Yes, I know with experience, I can grow into a bigger boat, but I will first have to ask the basic questions of why I want a boat, what will I use it for, how often and where will I go.

    I have crewed and lived on boats throughout my diving days, and find that managing a boat has ten times more implications, and is more daunting, than managing 10 neophytes under water.

    Don't worry, I am not discouraged, and yes, I can always get the boat I want and a captain as well. I am just saying that it has been very educational hearing experience speaking. Cheers!!
  14. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,442
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    you should also consider how you will use the boat and where. I'm not familiar with the PNW but i don't' think that winter is that much fun up there... so, what do you do with the boat in winter? on the east coast, many boats over 60/65 migrate south for winter and owners fly south a few times to enjoy sunny weather and warm water. while it's obviously expensive, when you consider 6 months of depreciation and interest for basically nothing (no enjoying your boat because of the weather) it's often worth it.

    again, not sure how appealing it is to use a boat in the PNW in winter... and i don't think that moving the boat south to California for winter is as easy as it is to send boats to florida from the NE. is it?

    this leads me to suggesting chartering instead of ownership, at least for a couple of years until you really decide what you want. if you consider the cost of ownership it's not as crazy as it may seem. If you're looking at new to recent 65/75 boats, add up depreciation, interest, dockage, insurance, captain, maintenance, etc... your annual costs can easily be over 250k to 300k a year. well, this buys you 8 to 10 weeks of charter on a similar boat without any hassle or worries and first class service on board... and you can cruise very different areas, many probably a lot more fun (and warm and sunny and on crystal blue water...) than the PNW!

    and while downsizing to something around 40' may solve some of the problems, the amenities shrink faster than lenght and for many people, especially wives..., vacationing on a 40' footer is pretty much like camping in the woods...

    just kind of playing devils advocate here, but there are alternatives to consider at least until you get really hooked on ownership. but again it depends on how you envision using the vessel.
  15. YES!

    YES! Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    The Charter Option

    After years of owning, operating, building and managing boats and yachts of all sizes; it has become clearly apparent that chartering (or renting) whether bareboat or crewed, it the best financial, piece of mind and max enjoyment option.

    Seems expensive at the time, but when you walk away from a great week or two on a yacht far more expensive than you would even want to own; you never have to look over your shoulder. NO maintenance, dock fees, depreciation, captains, crew, insurance, fuel, taxes, winter, etc, etc.

    Just my opinion but I could be wrong........
  16. lightspeed72

    lightspeed72 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Ya, I have also had similar thought to that. It's kinda like those exotic car clubs where you pay for an annual membership and can take whatever car of your choice out for a certain period of time, minus the expenses of insurance, maintenance and worry, etc.

    I think this might be the way to go, that way I can go bigger, maybe even more exotic and then leave it all behind and still spend less than owning.
  17. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    551
    Location:
    Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay & S.Jersey
    If it makes you feel any better, 55 foot or smaller is easier to find reglar slips when traveling.
    At least that is the case on the Chesapeake.
    Bigger glitzier marinas can accomadate any width boat, but some of the best cruising is found off the beaten trail.
    The smaller marinas have a hard time with the wider boats and they usually get put on the fuel pier or the pump out T head.

    my 2 cents......
  18. ScrumpyVixen

    ScrumpyVixen Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Sydney
    A couple of observations.

    There is real truth in the saying that "if it flys, floats or f####, hire it by the hour." But buying a boat is not a rational thing. You do it beacuse you love the water and the dream of countless days of hoppin on board, turning the key, great weather, flat seas, young things in bikinis swanning around the boat etc. Reality in my experience is not quite the same, but having a boat is still a great lifestyle if you can afford the time and $$.

    70 is alot of boat. Alot. It comes with more electronics, mechanicals and plumbing than your house - and your house does not sit in salt water or get smacked around on a regular basis. What ever the dealer says, new or not, there will be a continual list of issues and problems to fix. Mostly minor when new, but getting bigger quickly. All fine if you have time or pay someone to give the boat the loving it needs. For us, if we were going boating offshore, we would spend the day before cleaning, checking and preping the boat - and that was a 36 footer.

    Get experience handling in close quarters and docking. Once you get over 25 feet, you can't fend off. All you can do is hold a fend out to minimise the "touch". The most frightening times as a boater are not being out at sea with blue water hitting the flybridge clears, they are coming into fuel dock/berth/ etc with a strong cross wind, new boats eitherside of you, a crowd on the dock, and a family with tired kids on board. great entertainment if you are on the dock.

    Lot to be said for a 40-50 footer. Big but still manageable by you and a capable friend or two. Keep it simple and minimise the toys and things that go beep. Find a good mechanic and do not skimp on servicing. If a part has worn out on the port motor, replace it and the same part on the starbord one as well. The other will fail at the start of a long weekend. Dock it somewhere where you can trust the dealer/guys to keep an eye on it and take it for a run if you have not been on it for 3 or 4 weeks.

    Boats are lots of fun, but they also need lots of loving. Buy one, you only live once. Oh, and never keep a track of the costs. Once you pay a bill, bin it.
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,039
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    :D :D :D :cool:
  20. lightspeed72

    lightspeed72 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Lmao! Saying like it is....Cheers!

Share This Page