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Newbie here looking for info/suggestions

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by TimP, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. TimP

    TimP New Member

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    I hope this is OK, not sure where the search function is on this forum. If not please delete.

    We have been RVing full time in a 40'er for a couple of years and recently decided to look into trying our hand at boating. Just started looking at motor yachts to get an idea of what we would like and think a 40-45'er outfitted for live aboard rather than a weekender type (larger fridge, water and fuel capacities, etc...) would work for us. No big hurry and plan to take a year or more to look, visit, attend boat shows and generally get familiar with what's available.

    We would prefer to buy used. Buying a new RV has soured us on new, (we had too many to count warranty issues, most of which I ended up fixing myself as it was faster and easier), and figure used will have most of those bugs worked out. Am I right in that thinking?

    We have never owned a boat. I have some experience with smaller boats, former Navy and dive team member on a large fire department before retiring. Do you think we are biting off more than we can chew by considering a 40'+ as our first?

    Plans for our new adventure would be mostly cruising S. Florida, Keys, Bahamas, maybe doing the Great Loop.

    Any help or advice would be much appreciated.
  2. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    40 - 45’ is ok in my opinion, would not go over 45 for a first time boater.
    Sedan/convertibles are easier to handle as opposed to a tall motoryacht that has too much wind age and creates issues during tough docking situations.

    The twenty dollar question, what is your budget?
  3. TimP

    TimP New Member

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    Budget? Good question. I think $150k-250k. Been looking at a few brokerage sites and kinda like the Bayliner/Meridian with the larger aft master suit. I may be barking up the wrong tree, I dunno, since I've not seen one in person.

    Don't need top of the line luxury but want something clean and comfortable. Kinda like the fly bridge style since it offers more outside space.

    Open to suggestions.
  4. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    A boat could drive you equally crazy. Any given pre-owned boat will have had good/some/not a lot/no service (you pick) so pre-purchase inspections and surveys are typical (even on new boats, BTW)... and even then, many/some/a few issues may still remain undiscovered... until you need something to work...

    Hiring the work done can be expensive; doing it yourself can mean less $$$ outgo but can also be equally expensive in terms of time value, aggravation, etc. Especially if you have to do the work while underway "at sea" somewhere...

    But yes, there can be advantages to buying SOME pre-owned boats.

    Psychic income can be priceless... but don't think of boating as an easy improvement over RVing.

    There's also a whole bunch of stuff about actually knowing how to operate a boat; it's not a turn-key deal, if you don't have prior experience. Not un-learnable, though. You might search out local branches of USCG Auxiliary or the US Power Squadrons to learn about local training opportunities.

    -Chris
  5. TimP

    TimP New Member

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    Chris I appreciate your input and honesty. I'm not going into this thinking it will be easier than the RV at all, in fact, just the opposite. I have SOOOOO much to learn that if I think about all of it it becomes a pretty daunting thing. I'm not getting discouraged.

    Like you said, finding the right boat is key. So we are going to take our time and try and do it right.

    Like I said earlier, we plan to do some shows, maybe take some classes, search the web.......
  6. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    You've gotten lots of good advice so far. I owned (or co-owned) my own boats for decades. Ten years ago I bought an Airstream which we owned for 5 years, then bought a Dynmax Trilogy which we owned until recently. RVs are way easier and cheaper. For the first several maintenance repairs, I kept asking if the bill was correct - I thought they had left off a zero or two. There are places to travel that are more accessible and easier by RV. RV sites are like freebies compared to marina rates.

    However, if you like to hear the sound of water lapping at your hull, if you get lulled into sleep by being gently rocking at anchor, if you can't get enough of sunrises, sunsets, and green flashes, and if your favorite sport is white sand beaches, then the learning curve of cruising is minimal compared to the rewards. Proceed carefully and cautiously. Hire a broker you can trust and a captain who can cruise with you until you're competent.
  7. TimP

    TimP New Member

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    JWY, slow and methodical is our approach to this. I didn’t expect cruising to be cheap but if I find it out of our reach or comfort zone then so be it.

    A good broker is the plan but we are a long way from that stage. RV needs to be sold, many boat shows to attend and eventually decide on a type of boat. I need to dig deeper into the true costs of ownership, etc.......

    Appreciate all the input. Keep it coming please
  8. Joe Deepwater

    Joe Deepwater Member

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    I would look into boats with Axius or Docking On Command features if you're new at docking a large boat.
  9. TimP

    TimP New Member

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    That sounds like a smart thing to do. Thanks
  10. MBevins

    MBevins Senior Member

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    Actually no.... You should learn to dock and handle , you hire a good Capt. and pay him to train you properly. You're going to need it anyway from your insurance company.
  11. Joe Deepwater

    Joe Deepwater Member

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    Of course, but the wind and currents don't care if it's your second time out trying to dock in between other people's million dollar yachts and the increased insurance premiums you'll be paying for bravado. It takes some time to develop the correct touch with no boating experience. You can always deactivate and practice when conditions are more favorable.
  12. TimP

    TimP New Member

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    Last thing I want to do is mess up someone else's property. So I can see the benefit of some electronic help. I also see the value in having someone teach me the proper way to do it myself.
  13. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    The most critical skill is the go-nogo decision. Whether you re flying or boating... this is where 50% of the accidents sequence start. Relying on gizmos and gadgets may help until that one time the thruster overheats, the yacht controller gets interference or the wind or current is just too strong for the joystick thingy.

    40/45, maybe 50 is doable if you have the right mind set. More important than size is the actual layout. I strongly disagree that a convertible is easier to dock. You re up there quite a few steps and a ladder from your lines... by the time you re down, your boat could have drifted beyond line throwing range. Unless you have engine controls in the cockpit.
  14. TimP

    TimP New Member

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    Pascal, thank you for the input.
  15. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    What activities do you plan on doing? How many people on board and for how many days? Do you plan on anchoring out on your own or plan on staying in marinas?
  16. TimP

    TimP New Member

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    Mostly the wife and I, maybe another couple or grandkids occasionally. Guests for a week or so, wife and I for a few months at a time.
    We prefer being out and away from things so anchor out more often than marina.
    We like to travel and see new places but aren’t real big on crowds, although I will say people watching in the Keys can be fun. lol
  17. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    But unfortunately many never do that...

    And then don't have much of a clue when the unit fails...

    -Chris
  18. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    I think their budget will preclude this option.
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I was delivering a yacht South earlier this year and there was a 40' ish Pursuit with quad outboards that passed me in SC with a clueless couple on it...….it had one of those obnoxious names on the side of the boat. Anyways, you could tell how clueless the people are as they passed me about 40' off my side and it was the ship channel with 300 yards of channel, then they weaved and stopped in front of me, because they didn't know where they were going...….

    Well I pull into a marina a few days later in St. Augustine and the dockhand tells me, they're waiting on mechanics and can't leave because their joystick isn't working......LOLOLOLOL
  20. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    A lagoon 43/44' power cat would be worth looking at. As would a 50' Post SF in that price range.

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