BoatingABC.com

Shopping for another boat...

Posted By: Dave R

Shopping for another boat... - 11/06/18 10:46 PM

Decided it's time to stop planning and start doing. Going to look at what looks like the perfect live-aboard boat for us this Saturday. Already have a recent survey and if it is nice as it seems in the ad, we'll make an offer. If it does not work out we'll keep looking until we find and buy the perfect boat. With luck, we'll have our next home moored in Great Bay (here in NH) for a season and then we'll sell our house, our cars, our truck, our boat etc. and start a new phase of life. Hoping my little brother will be willing to baby-sit and use my collection of mechanics and woodworking tools (whatever I don't bring on the boat), I hate to part with them just yet... We will be keeping a nice building lot we own in Maine and if we get tired of the live-aboard lifestyle, we'll build a new low-maintenance (metal roof, vinyl exterior walls and windows, and vinyl or aluminum exterior trim, I never want to exterior paint or do roofing again...) house and move back ashore.
Posted By: captkevin

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 11/06/18 11:11 PM

How exciting, Can't wait to hear more about it. Good luck
Posted By: GoFirstClass

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 11/07/18 12:38 AM

Keep us posted, will ya?
Posted By: WayWeGo

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 11/07/18 06:23 AM

Good luck on your search!

Of course, we want to know more...
Posted By: captkevin

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 11/07/18 04:51 PM

Don't forget the most important part - pictures for us
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 11/07/18 08:36 PM

Oh, no doubt you'll all be updated. I love to share here...
Posted By: tpenfield

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 11/11/18 08:59 PM

Wow - not only moving onto a 'new' boat, but also a new phase of life. smile

I guess we should meet up for lunch soon, so I can get my outdrive tools back before you have your change of life sale. smile
Posted By: MarkHB

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 11/12/18 06:35 PM

Found a nice live aboard for you just in case the other one does not work out.
[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=q6x-WZmYrfE[/video]
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 11/14/18 10:27 PM

We loved the boat and plan to make an offer. The asking price is on the high end for this particular model, but it is in ridiculously good shape and has many upgrades. We were thinking of offering 80% of asking price as it has been on the market for many months and I imagine it's costing somewhere around 10 grand a year to keep at the marina, so there should be some eagerness to move it. Any advice on this would be appreciated, never bought anything this expensive (it's more than we paid for our house...).


The offer will be contingent on a survey and sea trial. The boat is presently on blocks in a heated storage facility for the Winter so the sea trial will have to wait. I have a survey from 14 months ago and it's stellar. The few minor deficiencies from that survey have all been addressed and there's only been 6 hours added to the engines since then, so I'm confident that the next survey will be fine.
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/13/18 01:47 PM

We have agreed on a price and have placed a deposit. Survey is being done today or tomorrow. Also getting oil analysis on the engines. A mechanical survey may follow, depending on the outcome of the oil analysis. If survey and oil analysis look good, we'll close by the end of the month. As a condition of the sale, the seller is putting 10 grand in escrow to cover any unforeseen repairs that are deemed necessary during sea trial next Spring. Heated indoor Winter storage and Spring launch fees are already paid in full by seller. 95% sure it will be ours soon.

Assuming we get it, we know we will need to get a dinghy and davits; and replace the failed inverter/charger (negotiated price reflects the need for a new inverter/charger) to get it ready to cruise. Hoping to get a 11 to 12 foot RIB with console helm and a 30ish HP fuel-injected outboard as a dinghy. We want to be able to explore for many miles around anchorages by dinghy, so a fast and comfortable one is a must. Inverter/charger will be a true sine wave with enough capacity to run one of the air conditioners (however, we won;t be doing that with the existing house batteries), just preparing for future.

Future upgrades include 1000+ watts of solar panels on the hard top and LI-based house batterie$. We'd like to be able to run the master stateroom air conditioner/heater all night without needing to run the genny at night, and LI-based batteries easily accomplish this. Sure don't give them away though... The solar panels should give us the ability to go a day or two at anchor without running the genny if we don't use air conditioning or heat.
Posted By: captkevin

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/13/18 01:58 PM

Awesome news
Posted By: Justification

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/13/18 02:55 PM

Can't wait to see pictures
Posted By: CJS

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/13/18 03:01 PM

Congrats Dave!
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/13/18 03:23 PM

Originally Posted by Justification
Can't wait to see pictures


Since it's under contract, I guess there's no harm in showing... 65 pictures in the ad: https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1992/tollycraft-44-cockpit-my-3232754/
Posted By: captkevin

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/13/18 05:15 PM

Beautiful boat - congratulations
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/13/18 08:02 PM

Thanks folks. Can't wait for Spring. I'm amazed how much support I'm getting from the people I know. I figured they'd think I was crazy, but pretty much everyone has said that they can totally envision me doing this... I liken it to living in an island camp (we have good friends that do that all Summer, every Summer, on Lake Winnipesaukee). I describe the lifestyle as "wonderfully inconvenient". It's certainly not for everyone; I sure hope it works out for my wife and I. Speaking of my wife, I am so glad she is totally on-board with this plan. We have had countless heart to heart discussions and continue to arrive at the same conclusion. She's actually the one that pushed to start doing this now (after our 17 day cruise this past Summer) instead of 4 years from now, which was our original plan, based on when the house will be paid off.
Posted By: kdl

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/14/18 01:59 AM

Very nice. Congrats.
Posted By: KCook

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/14/18 07:44 AM

Wow!
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/14/18 01:49 PM

We love the contrast of the oiled teak and off-white interior and the huge windows in the salon/galley. It's incredibly bright inside. Not thrilled with the ultrasuede headliners, and carpet in the salon, but they are in excellent shape and I'm told they dramatically cut down on engine noise when underway. The previous owner had snap-in Sunbrella covers made for the carpet (first time I have ever seen that) and it's still like new.

We would have preferred a factory lower helm station, but compromised because this boat is in such great shape. It has electronic shifters/throttles, hydraulic steering, and a blank lower helm pedastal in place already, so adding one would not be too challenging. We'll wait and see if we think we really need one though. Word is that they are rarely used and if I can keep it simple, I will.

The canvas is nearly new on the bridge, brand new on the aft deck, and made of Stamoid, which is supposedly top-quality stuff and easier to clean than Sunbrella.

It has two 10" Garmin color multi-function displays, the newer one is ActiveCaptain capable, which is really nice to have. If we don't like the older Furuno RADAR, we'll ditch it and add a Garmin antenna to the suite some day. Also plan to add an engine room camera and transom-view camera (for docking). Really excited to have a boat with auto-pilot, that will be sweet on long 8-10 knot passages.

The boat came from the factory with a pair of spare props bolted down in the lazarette, which I think is great (even if I never use them). Since inspecting the boat, I have learned that many Tollycrafts also had a spare prop shaft from the factory that is stored in a built-in PVC pipe compartment that is easy to over-look. Now I'm dying to know if it has a spare shaft as well. I know I'm a total geek about this kind of stuff, but I just love having a comprehensive spare parts inventory on my boat. My current boat has a ridiculous collection of spare parts and tools on board, and a complete spare drive that I leave in my truck when I tow the boat to cruising areas far from home. On my last boat trip this year, I fried an impeller and was able to anchor, swap the raw water pump, and be back on the move in just 40 minutes, due to said spare parts and tools.

We plan to replace the 50lb CQR anchor with a Mantus 85 lb (recommended storm anchor for this size boat) when we start cruising full-time.
Posted By: Jack T

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/14/18 08:50 PM

Wow! Looks like you have great adventures ahead of you.

Is there evidence of Quagga Mussels in any of the areas you will be traveling? Is that a concern?
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/15/18 07:59 PM

Originally Posted by Jack T
Wow! Looks like you have great adventures ahead of you.

Is there evidence of Quagga Mussels in any of the areas you will be traveling? Is that a concern?


They are in the Great Lakes, but not in the ocean (they only live in fresh water). I won't be spreading them.
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/15/18 08:14 PM

The surveyor did his inspection yesterday and has not typed up his report, but he called me to say "Holy S#*t, what a great boat! Buy it!" He was literally gushing about how nice it is. So psyched, hope the oil analysis comes back clean.
Posted By: captkevin

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/17/18 03:18 AM

Sounds like you found a great boat. Congrats
Posted By: CJS

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/17/18 06:07 PM

Dave, looks awesome. You like these boats from the midwest, huh? I guess the short season extends the shelf life. Beautiful lines!
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/17/18 08:21 PM

Originally Posted by CJS
Dave, looks awesome. You like these boats from the midwest, huh? I guess the short season extends the shelf life.


I do indeed like midwest boats. They are so much nicer than the same brand/model/age salt water boats from hot, sunny climates. They get half the use, half the sun exposure, and none of the salt. This boat has spent 13 of its 26 years in heated indoor storage. This will be my third cream puff boat, one toilet of a boat was all it took...

Originally Posted by CJS
Beautiful lines!

I love the lines on it too, not too top heavy.
Posted By: tpenfield

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/17/18 10:31 PM

Wow, nice find. I thought you were going for a Cutwater ?

Where are you planning on keeping it . . . Looks like a tough tow with the Durango smile
Posted By: Frantically Relaxing

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/18/18 12:47 AM

There's a couple of older Tollycraft's for sale on "my" broker's website that have been there awhile, thought I'd check to see if they're still for sale, they are ('80's boats)...

The last boat in the 'yacht's section I thought I'd check out, a 2000 Bluewater 5200 for $139k- seems to be a pretty nice boat, but I'm wondering how well a pair of 450hp 8.1 Merc's will push it around?

(always boat shopping... always wink )

https://executiveboatandyacht.com/p...r-bluewater-5200-millennium-motor-yacht/
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/18/18 01:31 AM

Originally Posted by tpenfield
Wow, nice find. I thought you were going for a Cutwater ?

Where are you planning on keeping it . . . Looks like a tough tow with the Durango smile


For now, it will be moored in the Merrimack River in Newburyport. We are number 3 on the wait list for a mooring in Great Bay and will move it there once one becomes available. We plan to keep that mooring until we are done with the boat, even while we are out cruising in the Caribbean and such.

Sold the Durango 3 years ago. Got a GMC with a Duramax now, but thinking it might be a tough tow for that too... Will be selling the GMC when we sell the house.
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/18/18 01:41 AM

Originally Posted by Frantically Relaxing
There's a couple of older Tollycraft's for sale on "my" broker's website that have been there awhile, thought I'd check to see if they're still for sale, they are ('80's boats)...

The last boat in the 'yacht's section I thought I'd check out, a 2000 Bluewater 5200 for $139k- seems to be a pretty nice boat, but I'm wondering how well a pair of 450hp 8.1 Merc's will push it around?

(always boat shopping... always wink )

https://executiveboatandyacht.com/p...r-bluewater-5200-millennium-motor-yacht/


Mine only has twin 375HP Cats and will do 29 MPH on top.
Posted By: WayWeGo

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/20/18 05:19 AM

Dave, you are living the life now! Are you keeping your current boat as a tender? I tried to talk my wife into that, but she would not agree.
Posted By: WayWeGo

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/20/18 05:37 AM

Originally Posted by Dave R
we know we will need to get a dinghy and davits;


Looks like it already comes with Weaver davits and the base for a single St Croix crane, though that is probably not what you would want for the dingy you are thinking about. We have been doing quite bit of thinking about how to mount our 350 lb dinghy - give me a call if you want to chat. Very exciting news!
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/20/18 10:57 PM

Originally Posted by WayWeGo
Originally Posted by Dave R
we know we will need to get a dinghy and davits;


Looks like it already comes with Weaver davits and the base for a single St Croix crane, though that is probably not what you would want for the dingy you are thinking about. We have been doing quite bit of thinking about how to mount our 350 lb dinghy - give me a call if you want to chat. Very exciting news!


Coincidentally, I scored a ridiculously good deal on some custom welded aluminum davits today on craigslist. They are made of 3/8" thick plates welded into an arched and tapered I-beam and then they are welded together with 3 thick-walled pipes. I would be shocked if they could not lift 3000 lbs. They are powder coated and the welds are gorgeous. The block and tackle assemblies are top quality too. I'd guess they cost someone 10 grand when they were built. I go them for 500 bucks and I'm just thrilled. I need to fabricate some brackets to fit them, but that's something I can do easily enough. This will make my TIG welder pay for itself 12 times over...

You are spot-on regarding the Weaver stuff (not 100% sure about the St Croix), but I was not able to locate all the parts on the boat, and as you said, they are inadequate for the dinghy I want anyway. Speaking of the dinghy I want, I have a really nice Zodiak Yachtline 340DL with a 25HP Yamaha in my sights. It has a brand new tube, a trailer, and a full cover. May go buy it after the holidays. I know the PVC tube on a Zodiac is not as good as the Hypalon tubes on other boats, but it is cheap and easy to change. Being brand new, it should last at least 10 years.
Posted By: WayWeGo

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/21/18 02:31 AM

Originally Posted by Dave R
Coincidentally, I scored a ridiculously good deal on some custom welded aluminum davits today on craigslist. They are made of 3/8" thick plates welded into an arched and tapered I-beam and then they are welded together with 3 thick-walled pipes. I would be shocked if they could not lift 3000 lbs. They are powder coated and the welds are gorgeous. The block and tackle assemblies are top quality too. I'd guess they cost someone 10 grand when they were built. I go them for 500 bucks and I'm just thrilled. I need to fabricate some brackets to fit them, but that's something I can do easily enough. This will make my TIG welder pay for itself 12 times over...

You are spot-on regarding the Weaver stuff (not 100% sure about the St Croix), but I was not able to locate all the parts on the boat, and as you said, they are inadequate for the dinghy I want anyway. Speaking of the dinghy I want, I have a really nice Zodiak Yachtline 340DL with a 25HP Yamaha in my sights. It has a brand new tube, a trailer, and a full cover. May go buy it after the holidays. I know the PVC tube on a Zodiac is not as good as the Hypalon tubes on other boats, but it is cheap and easy to change. Being brand new, it should last at least 10 years.

It might be worth it to hang on to the Weaver davits - they can be used to steady the boat while boarding and to attach it to the swim platform when you don't want to hoist it. We are probably going to add them to our swim platform to make it easier to get dogs aboard if the water is rough. I think we are going to end up with St Croix davits for storing the dinghy while cruising. We have an aluminum floor PVC dinghy (West Marine AL360) with a 20HP Mercury 2-stroke. Not an easy dingy to load/unload, but nice to run around in with 5 adults and a big dog.

The davits you got sound awesome -- nice find!

PVC is fine for a dinghy as long as you don't leave it in the sun all the time. A cover is pretty easy to make and a lot cheaper than Hypalon. Our dinghy stores in 2 ~100lb bags when not inflated, so we have minimal exposure except when cruising. We also got an inflatable Advance Elements Convertible kayak that is 15' long and carries 2 people very nicely. It also stores in a bag.
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/21/18 02:40 PM

Originally Posted by WayWeGo

It might be worth it to hang on to the Weaver davits - they can be used to steady the boat while boarding and to attach it to the swim platform when you don't want to hoist it. We are probably going to add them to our swim platform to make it easier to get dogs aboard if the water is rough. I think we are going to end up with St Croix davits for storing the dinghy while cruising. We have an aluminum floor PVC dinghy (West Marine AL360) with a 20HP Mercury 2-stroke. Not an easy dingy to load/unload, but nice to run around in with 5 adults and a big dog.

The davits you got sound awesome -- nice find!

PVC is fine for a dinghy as long as you don't leave it in the sun all the time. A cover is pretty easy to make and a lot cheaper than Hypalon. Our dinghy stores in 2 ~100lb bags when not inflated, so we have minimal exposure except when cruising. We also got an inflatable Advance Elements Convertible kayak that is 15' long and carries 2 people very nicely. It also stores in a bag.


Great Idea on the weaver hardware, if I can find it all, I will do that for sure. What's the 20HP Mercury 2 stroke weigh? Seems like it would be a pain to remove and remount ll the time. We already have a 2 person inflatable kayak (not a really nice one) that we use as a dinghy on our 25 footer. We will be using it as a dinghy on the trip home from Michigan. Most nights on that trip will likely be on free docks on the Erie canal, so there's little incentive to make the davits a priority until the boat is home.
Posted By: WayWeGo

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 12/22/18 05:41 PM

The Mercury weighs about 120 lbs - way too much to wrestle with on the swim platoform. It is one of the older motors with the shift on the throttle, you rotate the throttle counterclockwise past neutral for reverse. The crabbers like them because you can operate one handed, leaving the other hand free to work. I would really like to find a 15 hp Yamaha 2-stroke in good condition, but they are hard to find. They have similar power to the Mercury and weigh about 85 lbs. We have been towing it, but that only works in calm waters.

You can find Weaver hardware on eBay and Weaver also sells parts. The nice thing is that it is not all that pricey unless you get into things like the Weaver Lever. With a RIB, it can handle heavier boats. Ours would require glue on patches that are only rated for a 150 lb dinghy, so we would only use them to attach the dinghy to the swim platform while anchored.
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 01/24/19 01:48 PM

Man, this boat buying process is so complex... We were all set to put the boat on a mooring in Newburyport, MA and then discovered that MA charges a one time "use fee" (which is another name for sales tax) for a boat that is registered in a NH but used or stored in MA for more than 60 consecutive days. Would have cost us more than 8 grand, so we got a slip in Hampton Beach NH instead. It's substantially more than the mooring, but less than the 8 grand and we'll actually a benefit from it as the slip will be very convenient for all the changes we plan for the boat in the coming year. The slip is also only 25 minutes from my house (10 minutes closer). Once that was sorted out, we were all set to close on the boat and the broker wanted to charge us MI sales tax. NH registered boats sold in MI are exempt from MI sales tax, but they must be delivered out of state for this to apply. We thought this would be a simple thing since the brokerage/marina is just a few miles north of Ohio, so delivering it out of state should be a breeze, right? Well, no, turns out the broker also has an office in OH so delivery there would require OH sales tax and the same deal applies there... So now the sale will take place in MI, but we will take possession of the boat in PA after a delivery Captain brings the boat there. We are not allowed to be passengers on the boat for this journey either. These rules are so ridiculous and don't address the spirit of the law at all. I never had to deal with any of this when I bought a boat in Indiana and registered it in NH. Can't wait to use the boat!

Question: Should I take it through the Welland Canal/Lake Ontario/Oswego Canal/Erie Canal or just take the Erie Canal the whole way?
Posted By: captkevin

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 01/24/19 05:39 PM

Sorry to hear about all the hassles. It will all be worth once you finally take delivery & begin to enjoy the next chapter.
Posted By: On Holiday

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 01/25/19 07:55 PM

The Erie Canal will be scenic however it is no wake (at least where I grew up outside of Rochester, NY).
Posted By: WayWeGo

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 01/25/19 10:04 PM

When we bought our boat in Maryland, we had the option of taking it out of state to reduce the sales tax. Virginia was 2% but Maryland charged 6%. We were documenting the boat, but even US Documented boats have to pay Maryland sales tax if kept in Maryland.

We really wanted to slip the boat on the Chesapeake Bay and if we had paid Virginia's 2% tax and later moved it to Maryland, we would have to pay Maryland the 4% difference. We just bit the bullet and paid the 6%, figuring that most states would recognize what we paid Maryland and we should be good just about anywhere. I am glad we didn't buy a really expensive boat and have to pay 6% on it. bug_eyes

It seems like every jurisdiction is looking at boaters as a source of revenue and fairness really doesn't enter the picture.
Posted By: jetjack

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 01/27/19 05:31 PM

Do like John Kerry, keep it in RI, beat the taxes
Really nice Boat BTW, still see you on the Lake on occasion?
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 01/28/19 01:16 AM

Originally Posted by jetjack
Do like John Kerry, keep it in RI, beat the taxes
Really nice Boat BTW, still see you on the Lake on occasion?


Thanks!

Selling the Regal and can't tow the Tolly, so will only be on Winni when I get out on someone else's boat. Please come by Hampton River Marina and visit. We are in slip G2 after the first week in June. Boat will be named "Mischief Managed II".
Posted By: Frantically Relaxing

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 01/28/19 06:14 PM

So, Dave, you KNOW you're just gonna HAVE to get another 'bomb-around' boat wink
(--we did, three times now grin )

My advice: The Babyliner was a blast but beat us to death, go at least 19'. Let us know what you find funny
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 01/29/19 12:37 AM

Originally Posted by Frantically Relaxing
So, Dave, you KNOW you're just gonna HAVE to get another 'bomb-around' boat wink
(--we did, three times now grin )

My advice: The Babyliner was a blast but beat us to death, go at least 19'. Let us know what you find funny


We'll be getting a 13ish foot RIB with at least 25 HP to bomb around on. Bear in mind, after Spring 2020, I won't have a house to store a trailer boat...
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/23/19 12:54 AM

Sold the Regal after 6 days on the market. The new owners were astounded by the condition and offered full asking price, guess I should have asked for more, but after 14 years of heavy use, it depreciated only $17.5k, so I'm not unhappy. Coincidentally, the new owners are coming from a 40 foot twin inboard motor yacht and want a boat they can tow to different cruising areas in the north east for multi-day cruises, just like we did.

Picking up the new boat on May 18. So psyched.
Posted By: captkevin

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/23/19 01:16 AM

Congratulations on the quick sale.
Posted By: GoFirstClass

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/23/19 03:15 AM

Nice boat. You're gonna make a lot of memories on that one.

You're going to love the Stamoid. After having it on this boat I wouldn't do anything else. It is just soooo easy to clean. Hose it off and you're good to go.
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/23/19 01:01 PM

Originally Posted by GoFirstClass
Nice boat. You're gonna make a lot of memories on that one.

You're going to love the Stamoid. After having it on this boat I wouldn't do anything else. It is just soooo easy to clean. Hose it off and you're good to go.


I confess that I'd never heard of Stamoid until I saw the receipts for the recent enclosure that were included in the boat paperwork . I researched the stuff and seems like a great product. The boat also comes with some custom Sunbrella awnings (to allow us to use open the big salon windows even when it's raining), a dark blue and a white windshield cover, and a full cockpit cover.

I've been in touch with the guy that sold it to the guy I'm buying it from and learned:
1. it has a fuel polishing system
2. it has upgraded ZF Mathers Microcommander electronic controls,
3. all four props have been prop-scan tuned
4. it has an added pump and valves to allow for raw water to be used in the heads to conserve freshwater
5. the complete Weaver davit system and a 9 foot dinghy with 9.9HP 2-stroke merc are available (I might buy them for the time being since the boat is already set up for it and it will be easy to sell when I upgrade my dinghy; at present, I have no dinghy...)
6. there's a spare alternator included

I want to limit the genset run time as much as possible at anchor and have purchased a Trident two-20lb tank LPG locker/valve/regulator kit and a Dickinson 3 burner LPG stove to replace the electric stove. Still planning to add up to 1000 watts of solar on the aft deck hard top (through MPPT controller(s?)) and will be dramatically upgrading the house batteries from the FLA golf carts batteries (which only provide a 120AH of real world capacity) to some lithium iron phosphate batteries (these are the "safe" lithium-based batteries) that weigh 1/3 as much, take up 75% of the space, and provide 288 AH of real world capacity. They also re-charge so efficiently that I won't need to upgrade the alternators, regulators, or battery chargers on the boat.

Since the boat really needs a major electrical power makeover for our live-aboard plans, I intend to make the boat "inverter-based" for shore power. I will install a stacked pair of Magnum or Xantrex 2800 to 3000 watt true sine wave inverters that will run every AC appliance on the boat except the water heater. The water heater will be powered by it's own 2000 watt modified sine wave inverter since it does not need clean power. The reason for all of the inverter power is so that we can completely isolate the AC side of the boat from the shore power. The shore power will only be connected to a pair of battery chargers that allow for universal input voltage and current (boat came with these already). Conceptually, it's like having a totally variable isolation transformer and will allow us to run the boat on 100VAC to 250VAC 50Hz or 60Hz, and from as little as 15 amps to as much as 50 amps. This will enable us to connect to any shore power in the Caribbean (really, the whole world) and still be able to use all the electrical items on board. You might be thinking that a 120V 15 amp circuit will never allow us to run all the air conditioners, but you need to understand that peak excess loads will be absorbed by the house batteries which will then be re-charged when the peak loads drop. It's easy to forget that the basic US electrical outlet found in everyone's house can provide a continuous 120VAC at 15 amps. 120VACx15ampsx24hour=43.2kWh of power. The average US household only uses around 30 kWh a day, so running a 600 Square foot boat on roughly 150% of what a house requires, at a minimum, should be no problem. In reality, I doubt we'll ever find a transient slip with less than 120VAC 30 amps, regardless. FWIW, this is not my own idea; I got it directly from Nigel Calder when I attended a half day seminar he gave a couple of months ago. The guy is brilliant and really cool to talk to. Oh, one other thing, the genset will be connected to the AC input side of the inverters so they will become the battery chargers when the genset is running. I should be able to fully charge the lithium iron phosphate house batteries in less than an hour on the genset this way.

Gave up on the heavy dinghy idea, they look great, but they simply trade capacity for style and that is totally against my personality. Still plan to use the davits I bought though. After seeing some Achilles aluminums RIBs in person, I think we'll be getting an 11 foot one of those with a bench seat with back rest, a Hula Helm, and a 25 HP Etec. It should be super light, fast, low maintenance, and fun. It will also safely carry more people than a fancy Zodiac that costs and weighs twice as much...
Posted By: GoFirstClass

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/23/19 04:35 PM

"I want to limit the genset run time as much as possible at anchor....."
Let me throw out a thought on a different direction. If you're putting those big inverters on board, you shouldn't need to use the propane system at all. We don't use the gen much when we're on the hook, we simply rely on the inverter to run the 110V things. All of our heavy electricity users (stove, water heater, heat/AC, etc.) are 240V. If we need to run one of those we fire up the gen, run it while we need that 240V power, then kick it back off.

We're in a desert climate where it gets to 100* and higher in the summer. When it gets that hot, opening windows and hatches doesn't cool off the interior of the boat so we'll kick on the gen and run the A/C units. The way I look at it, there's no sense having those comfort units and not using them. That only results in being how and sweaty/stinky when we're on the boat.

That is about as appealing as drinking hot beer.

You have a lot of projects in your future. How about posting photos as you do them.
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/23/19 05:57 PM

Originally Posted by GoFirstClass
"I want to limit the genset run time as much as possible at anchor....."
Let me throw out a thought on a different direction. If you're putting those big inverters on board, you shouldn't need to use the propane system at all. We don't use the gen much when we're on the hook, we simply rely on the inverter to run the 110V things. All of our heavy electricity users (stove, water heater, heat/AC, etc.) are 240V. If we need to run one of those we fire up the gen, run it while we need that 240V power, then kick it back off.

We're in a desert climate where it gets to 100* and higher in the summer. When it gets that hot, opening windows and hatches doesn't cool off the interior of the boat so we'll kick on the gen and run the A/C units. The way I look at it, there's no sense having those comfort units and not using them. That only results in being how and sweaty/stinky when we're on the boat.

That is about as appealing as drinking hot beer.

You have a lot of projects in your future. How about posting photos as you do them.


Our goal is to stay in the comfortable temperatures as much as possible by moving north and south with the seasons, which should dramatically reduce the need for air conditioning. We know we'll need it now and then, but really prefer fresh air and specifically bought a boat known for great natural ventilation. I will be keeping a photo log of all the upgrades.

We switched to LPG so that we can cook a meal or ten without ever worrying about power. The same 40 lbs of LPG will power the gas grill too.

I'm hoping we can run our fridge, microwave, computers, washing machine, anchor light, fans, stereo, water heater, and TV solely by solar power when anchored or moored; and alternator/solar power/engine heat when underway. Without using air conditioning, we don't expect to exceed 200 AH @12V of use per day and we hope to generate at least that much (one can typically expect 250 AH @12V per day from a 1000 watt solar array on a boat). We have just enough room for 1000 watts. With FLA batteries, we'd likely break even with 250AH generated and 200AH used due to inefficiency in charging, but with lithium iron phosphate, there's only a 1% loss in recharging, so aiming for 200 AH used and 250 AH generated means we should always have juice to spare for say, a long shower, a little extra heat on a cold night, extra laundry, or running the master stateroom air conditioning for a couple of hours without the generator. I have a lot of room to add more batteries too, so that we could have even more capacity if needed. They are just really expensive right now. I'm looking at $3900 just for the three 120 AH 12V. I don't plan to run them below 80% depth of discharge (hence the 288AH capacity mentioned above). If needed, I could run them down to 100% depth of discharge now and then to get 360 AH of usable capacity, but there is a life cycle penalty for doing that. At 80% DOD or less, they are good for 6000+ life cycles, which in most applications is 16+ years.
Posted By: GoFirstClass

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/23/19 11:51 PM

Wow, you have put a TON of thought and planning into your power needs and how to make it work. Heck, I can't even spell Injuneer let alone be one. Good on ya for having those talents and skills.
Posted By: Jack T

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/24/19 12:16 AM

"Wow, you have put a TON of thought and planning into your power needs and how to make it work."

Yep, that's what Dave does for anything. Have you noticed over the years, that his help on technical things is out to us, not from us to him? Have we ever been able to stump him on any subject? He certainly does his homework--and then some.
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/24/19 01:36 AM

Originally Posted by Jack T
"Wow, you have put a TON of thought and planning into your power needs and how to make it work."

Yep, that's what Dave does for anything. Have you noticed over the years, that his help on technical things is out to us, not from us to him? Have we ever been able to stump him on any subject? He certainly does his homework--and then some.


Thanks! It's what I do for a living too... (well not boats, but engineering solutions for stuff).
Posted By: tpenfield

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/24/19 03:16 PM

Dave -

Sorry to hear about your sales/use tax hassles. Probably many of the states have tightened up their regulations to close loop-holes, etc. I've had my head buried on some boat projects, so I have not been following along as much. Hopefully, you got it all squared away.

I'm surprised that the boat was not better outfitted for shore power, but sounds like you've got a handle on the upgrade.

Nice work on selling the Regal. That is always a good thing to have sold your previous boat before you take possession of the 'new' boat.

Post some pictures of launch day smile
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/24/19 04:22 PM

Originally Posted by tpenfield
Dave -

Sorry to hear about your sales/use tax hassles. Probably many of the states have tightened up their regulations to close loop-holes, etc. I've had my head buried on some boat projects, so I have not been following along as much. Hopefully, you got it all squared away.

I'm surprised that the boat was not better outfitted for shore power, but sounds like you've got a handle on the upgrade.

Nice work on selling the Regal. That is always a good thing to have sold your previous boat before you take possession of the 'new' boat.

Post some pictures of launch day smile




The new boat is set up wonderfully for US shore power right now, it's not set up well for power away from shore, or on foreign shore power.

Some parts of the plan I failed to mention: we plan to add a 30 amp Smart Plug to the boat for the connection to the universal input voltage battery chargers. The original twin 50AMP 125VAC shore power inlets will remain in place and connected to the maiin panel just in case we need them someday. Fortunately, the boat already has an elaborate shore power multi-position switch that makes this safe and easy to execute.

I have your Bravo tools in the back of my car...
Posted By: tpenfield

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/24/19 06:35 PM

Originally Posted by Dave R


I have your Bravo tools in the back of my car...


Yes, I'll set up some time for a lunch get together. It's been crazy busy at work and I decided to make an extended swim platform for the boat, which has been an uphill climb.
Posted By: athiker

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/25/19 03:45 PM

Wow, just read through this thread. First big congrats on the purchase and upcoming life change...hope it brings you and yours much joy. I have to admit my first thought was what is Dave R going to do w/o a home shop for projects?...then I read on and realize ala Al you have plenty of projects lined up to keep you busy for a long while! I have no useful advice, will just follow along vicariously so again, congrats and enjoy.
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/25/19 06:45 PM

Originally Posted by athiker
Wow, just read through this thread. First big congrats on the purchase and upcoming life change...hope it brings you and yours much joy. I have to admit my first thought was what is Dave R going to do w/o a home shop for projects?...then I read on and realize ala Al you have plenty of projects lined up to keep you busy for a long while! I have no useful advice, will just follow along vicariously so again, congrats and enjoy.


Now that my kids have grown up and moved out, I'm tired of taking care of the big house and only use the big yard for big yard work, which I hate, so it's time to move on. I will miss my shops, but I am keeping my tools. My little brother who is pretty handy, has eagerly agreed to babysit my tools and I know he'll take great care of them. Of course, I'm putting together a pretty impressive set of tool bags for the boat. I have 5 done so far and will likely add 2 or three more. Need to figure out how to mount a work bench and vice securely but conveniently temporarily on the boat...
Posted By: WayWeGo

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 04/27/19 03:11 PM

Originally Posted by Dave R
Some parts of the plan I failed to mention: we plan to add a 30 amp Smart Plug to the boat for the connection to the universal input voltage battery chargers. The original twin 50AMP 125VAC shore power inlets will remain in place and connected to the maiin panel just in case we need them someday. Fortunately, the boat already has an elaborate shore power multi-position switch that makes this safe and easy to execute.


I have been hearing some grumblings about the 30A Smart Plug reliability in the last year. They do have better contact surfaces than the standard NEMA L5-30 connectors, but as I understand it, the NEMA SS2-50 125/250V connectors are at least as good from a continuity and reliability standpoint.

That said, we are still using the dual L5-30 connectors, but will probably update to a single SS2-50 at some point in the future. Our dock pedestal has a single 50A socket so we have a Y-cable adapter that allows us to connect to almost any power available in marinas, along with a 30A to 15A adapter.
Posted By: Dave R

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 06/12/19 09:35 PM

Got the boat home with some indispensable help for the first half the trip from WayWeGo. He was an awesome tutor/deck hand/galley wench/companion and we were really glad he offered to help us out on the challenging parts of the trip. Some of the lock-throughs would not have been possible without him due to crazy high winds.

The trip took 16 days (12.5 travel days) and was great fun. The Erie Canal was excellent, other than the submerged log that damaged my starboard prop. Boat ran great and was perfectly reliable after a day-one electrical gremlin was addressed. After 125 hours at the helm, I'm getting a good feel for the boat and really enjoy having twin engines and electronic throttle/shifters. The boat is a treat to operate around docks. Radar, auto pilot, fish finders and three GPSs were fun to learn to use.

Some issues (bear in mind it's a 27 year old boat...):

I had to re-wire one of the on-board battery chargers that was installed improperly. I initially did a hack job to get it working while we were traveling, but have since wired it properly.

Two port holes and a deck hatch started leaking. We temporarily sealed them up and I bought new gaskets to fix them.

One engine uses more fuel that the other and started using anti-freeze toward the end of the trip. Thinking a bad injector for the excess fuel use and head gasket for the anti-freeze. Cannot think of a single reason for both issues. Fortunately, there's great access to the engines and head gaskets and injectors are a breeze to change on these 3208s. The parts are pretty cheap too.

Radar crapped out on the last day of the trip home. Was planning to replace it regardless, but it was a terribly foggy day and not having it made me nervous. Of course it's working now...
Posted By: captkevin

Re: Shopping for another boat... - 06/13/19 02:19 AM

Glad to hear the new boat is home. Can't imagine how exciting it must be.
© 2019 BoatingABC.com