Greetings from semi-sunny Seattle, As my golf career winds down I'm becoming increasingly enamored of the boating life, particularly because I'm exposed daily to the wonders of Seattle's expansive waterways. I've always been envious of friends who've invited my family to tour Lake Washington or cruise up the Puget Sound to the San Juan Islands... particularly during this time of year: Seattle's four-month summer! While country club and resort golf has been my passion for years, I've recently come to the conclusion that a whole new chapter of exploration, recreation and education could be opened with the purchase of an appropriate power boat. Naturally, the costs of yachting are significantly more than those associated with even the most enthusiastic golf endeavors, but at this stage of my life I continue to ask myself, "Why not buy a boat?" and every answer continues to tell me I should. Like many first-timers, I'm both excited and cautious... eager to jump in but also determined not to make a mistake. I look forward to using this Forum to interreact with others whose knowledge is vastly deeper than my own. First question: how large can I go without a crew? Certainly, I would in the early stages of ownership antaicipate being accompanied by a Captain who can accellerate my education, but at some point I would expect my use of the boat will find such a presence unneccesary, save for special events where would be devoting most of my attention to guests. I envision most of my time on the water to be one-day excursions around the lakes as well as three-to-four day outings through the San Juan Islands and into the waters off Canada. Alaska? Perhaps one day. Our family includes myself, my wife and teenage boys, 15 and 17. Therefore, I'm curious as to whether this "crew" will one day be sufficient to manage what I would consider to be a fairly large vessel. At this point, I'm most attracted to yachts in the 75 to 95 foot range. Do I have enough bodies or should I already count on bringing aboard a handful of hard-working seamen? Please feel free to include any advice and counsel regarding this or other topics suitable for a newcomer. Happy cruising.