Uber-Newbie here

What's on your mind? Anything generic goes here.

Uber-Newbie here

Postby mpstan on Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:57 pm

My wife and I are about 5 years from retiring and, after going 10 years without a boat, started discussing getting into boating again now that we are empty nesters. I never thought I'd own another boat; I was always busy working and feeling guilty when I wasn't out on the water on available weekends as continued to make payments. Selling my 22' Glastron was a relief, but funny things happen when you approach 60 and you start thinking about yourselves more and kids less. The thought of exploring the BC coast is very appealing to both of us and we are excited about the prospect of getting a boat.

We live near Bellingham WA, and it didn't take us long to run into Ranger Tugs, which I'd not heard of a week ago. I'm pretty sure we'll end up getting one. I have to undertake some training, and I'll have to try some out; predictably we are trying to get a sense of the size of boat we'll be happy with. We cannot afford a new 31' boat but love how it looks; I'm afraid we'll find a new 25' a little confining but that's probably closer to our budget. Not opposed to the used market. Not sure how buying newer and putting in a Charter would work; don't see much discussion on that here. We'd love to salmon fish, explore Desolation Sound, maybe even explore further North when I am qualified to do so. Until we retire, we might have a 7-10 day cruise window each year, and weekends.

I know picking the boat length is personal, and we plan to charter different ones to see what we think. I'm hoping to catch other's life stories of how they tackled this problem and what they decided; their regrets, and any direct advice.

Great looking through this forum; thank you
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Re: Uber-Newbie here

Postby jagizzi on Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:07 pm

I think it is fair to ask yourself fast or slow too. My wife and I went for the 23 as we are mostly weekenders until we retire in several years, so we wanated to be able to get to more places in a long weekend.

The 27 has a bit more space and a lot more storage and since weved decided that we like the range that we get from the speed we are leaning in that direction for our next boat. Will it be tight, yes, but we won't be living aboard so we figure we can deal with it.

Jim
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Re: Uber-Newbie here

Postby SassyRed on Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:59 pm

Given you live in Bellingham, can I recommend you drop into Bellingham Yacht Sales? BYS is the local Cutwater boat dealer. Cutwaters are sisters to Ranger Tugs. Both are manufactured by Fluid Motion. BYS has a close relationship with the Fluid Motion/Ranger Tug/Cutwater factory (and family), they know a good deal about both Cutwaters and Ranger Tugs, and I know they have sold a number of previously owned Ranger Tugs as well as previously owned and new Cutwaters.


This is a great forum for sharing thoughts. Welcome and good luck with your decision.

Kevin
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Re: Uber-Newbie here

Postby scross on Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:38 am

We are leaving tomorrow morning for a 16 night cruise from Squalicum to the Gulf Islands and PLI on our RT 25 Classic. The RT25 Classic is right in the middle of cabin size between the newer RT25SC and the RT27 Inboard - but the cockpit is smaller than the other two. For the two of us this works fine. Admittedly not a lot of extra space.
Towability is critical for us in Southern Oregon to get the boat to the PNW and the RT27 inboard is probably as big as we would ever go - even for the month long cruises we see in our future.
Vicki Foley and Al Thomas
2009 R25 Classic
"Our Journey"
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Re: Uber-Newbie here

Postby Robvic on Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:55 am

We are newbies as well and recently took delivery of a R-31S. We started the journey when we spotted a C-26 at a local marina. If you don't need to trailer, you might want to consider each models' beam, the beamier, the more immune you be to movement with people walking around your boat. If you are thinking of extended cruising, how much tank capacity will you need (fresh water, fuel, holding tank)- will your anchor or stay at marinas?
Happy hunting.
rob
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Re: Uber-Newbie here

Postby Shano on Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:57 pm

A few suggestions: (btw I agree with all of the previous comments)

The more you can define how you will use the boat the better the odds of getting the "best compromise".
Day trips vs overnighter vs extended trips. what percentage of each?
Budget -- watch out for budget creep....
Fishing: salmon fishing with a trolling valve (diesel boat) is ok (from the Volvo people themselves as long as at operating temp) but with the currents in our waters you may be going too fast to effectively fish your gear so you may have to drag a drogue (with our Seasport Pacific 3200 I trolled with one of the diesels and frequently had to drag a drogue or a large bucket). So depending on your answer to how much salmon trolling you might be doing maybe an outboard boat would be better? Also, I am basing this on our boat with the 435 D6, the trolling valve only gets it down to 3.4 knots maybe other configurations can get the speed down slower? Also, even tho it is ok to use a trolling valve we choose to put on a 25hp kicker/back-up motor for fishing. So we have 180 hours on the diesel and I am guessing 500 hours on the outboard.
How many people on the boat usually?
We are on our third boat and best to not follow our example and get a boat you can use with a hopefully 8 years+ horizon. Our first larger boat was the Seasport Pacific 3200 Cat (with Volvo KAD285 diesels) which we loved but when our daughters got to ages 14 to 15 they simply did not want to go boating and it was a bit big for me to take out solo and it seemed big for daytrips with 2 people so we sold her and bought our second boat. I still have regerets about selling her. Our second boat was a Skagit Orca 28XLC which was an awesome fishing boat (it had a Volvo D4) but not so comfortable to sleep on so here we are with our CW30 -- which we both love and we are getting lots of use both day trips fishing and overnighters and extended trips. It is great that both of you are keen so that is a huge bonus! Have fun and the only direct advice I would give is to go on as many applicable boats as possible and you will probably feel it when you get on the right boat. Good luck!
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Re: Uber-Newbie here

Postby mpstan on Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:37 am

Thank you everyone for your insights. Was in Victoria on a weekend getaway so didn't have time to respond. I spent one morning on a sailboat for the first time in my 59 years.......... was very interesting but I confirmed that sailing is NOT for me.

We are still in debt retirement mode; last child will be done with college in 2 years and as I continue to read about expected maintenance costs, even with a newer boat, we continue to fear that we really can't afford a Ranger or Cutwater, even a dated one, at this time. We will pursue training that will allow us to charter for a while. I'll continue to try resisting the trap of the 30 foot Bayliners that would allow instant boating but present a cloud of financial unknowns.

Thanks again
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Re: Uber-Newbie here

Postby Cutwater28GG on Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:53 am

just for reference here's a rough breakdown of my maintenance costs on a cutwater 28

Moorage $3500-6000
engine $1000-1500
general replacements/new purchases $1200
insurance $800
fuel about $2000
Bottom paint per year (/3) $700
Zincs $300

About $12.5K a year.

others should chime in with theirs or if I have missed something!
Last edited by Cutwater28GG on Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Gavin - 2012 Cutwater 28
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Re: Uber-Newbie here

Postby mpstan on Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:02 am

That is super helpful laying out your expenses. Thank you. For a guy working too hard who wouldn't get to use his boat that much, you are reinforcing the concept of chartering for a while until one has more time.

Is there much fractional sharing of boats that goes on? I don't see much here. Is there a website where people go to look into such? If I can only take time to get out 1/4 of all weekends and maybe a week or two each summer, I'd only need 1/3 or 1/2 of one of these boats. Flawed logic? Too many headaches?
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Re: Uber-Newbie here

Postby Cutwater28GG on Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:33 am

there are firms out there who charter. many are sailing orientated. one power boat firm in seattle is freedom boats. give matt at bellingham yachts a call. there are charter tugs out of Anacortes. you could also buy and put the boat in charter. this offsets a ton of costs (with some extra wear)

the unrecognized value I get from the boat is the summer evenings when I don't even leave the slip and we sit in the cockpit drinking a beer playing cards. Perhaps even sleep on the boat in the marina before heading home just because it feels a million miles away from work and normal routine. because of this use case, it becomes easier to justify the cost. its not just the trips away at weekends that are plugged into an already busy schedule. without the weekday evenings I would find it hard to justify. its why I also pay more to moor the boat 15 minutes from the house as there is no barrier to use even for an hour or two. my father had a sailboat when i was a kid. it was moored a two hour drive from the house. it was amazing to go boating as a kid but it was so rare because of the commute time. That was a big learning for me.

The other way i look at it. is every time we go away for the weekend its almost always $2000 once you factor in dinners, flights, hotels, activities. - life is expensive. which makes boat ownership appear cheaper! ;)

I ummed and erred about the purchase for a long time. yes its a depreciating asset but it doesn't fall off a cliff like some others. You only live once.
Worst case i could sell the boat again and that was one of the reasons I chose a cutwater (and definitely applies to the tug) is the boat is valued in the market, the after care service is great and the community up here in the PNW is wonderful. it should sell relatively easily.

I can't say enough good things how this website, fluid motion and the fellow owners have helped me out from either being a sounding board for questions and building confidence to fundamentally saving me money.
Gavin - 2012 Cutwater 28
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Re: Uber-Newbie here

Postby scross on Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:41 am

We were using our Monterrey 242 cabin cruiser about 15-20 nights a year when we decided to up our game. In the RT 25 Classic we have spent about 30-35 nights a year on the boat. Easier to justify the expenses when you use the boat a fair amount.
If you trailer, your expenses can be quite a bit different than if you keep the boat in the slip or in a “hanger” all year.
On average, we spend about this per year:
Insurance: $850
Trailer maintenance: $300
Moorage: $1,000 (33 nights at $31/night)
Fuel: $1,100 (280g @ 4g per hr)
Zinks: $80 (easy to replace with boat on trailer!)
Avg engine maintenance: $600
Bottom paint: $250
Misc boat maintenance: $500

It’s about $400/month for us for everything to keep the boat going. That works out to about $160/night of use. Let me know if you find a RT charter for $160/night!
Vicki Foley and Al Thomas
2009 R25 Classic
"Our Journey"
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Re: Uber-Newbie here

Postby Cutwater28GG on Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:50 am

interesting data - reducing moorage costs is the key.
I keep my boat up in la conner for the winter on a free dock which helps a ton and was the final straw in making a purchase decision. (my costs above were assuming 12 months in a marina)

The cost of a trailer at $12K and a lack of boat storage (condo living) and I figured it offset some of my potential trailering costs to keep it in the water full time. plus I dont have the hassle and time of putting the boat in the water every time.
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Re: Uber-Newbie here

Postby mpstan on Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:15 pm

So I live in Lynden, probably a 30 minute drive with a trailer from Squalicum harbor in Bellingham WA, dont have a pickup but could trade my Lexus SUV in for a truck that could trailer a boat. Probably I'll be doing a car payment either way, so this would mitigate mooring costs some, plus the Marina is waitlisted......
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Re: Uber-Newbie here

Postby scross on Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:20 pm

We bought a used low time boat with an excellent marine and mechanical survey and bought a new trailer. Took a five month search to find the right boat. There are lots of RTs in the PNW that have trailers included in the price. We think our depreciation over the last 3 years has been modest.
Vicki Foley and Al Thomas
2009 R25 Classic
"Our Journey"
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Re: Uber-Newbie here

Postby BradOwens on Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:57 pm

I think chartering is a great way to spend some time on a boat before deciding if you want to by one. Most of the charter companies offer training as well.
As far as buying one and putting it in charter service, we did that, and the first year was happy with that decision. Since then however, several other Ranger Tugs have been added to the fleet at Anacortes Yacht Charters, and we don't get as many charters as we did that first year. I think the market is over saturated now.
Brad Owens

A boat is a hole in the water that you pour money into.
It's also a hole in the water that you get happiness out of!
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