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Thread: My retirement plans...

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    Default My retirement plans...

    My wife and I enjoy everything that is Alaska. Wildlife, scenery, fishing, hiking, camping, etc. We've made many trips over the years to many parts of the state. The time always seems too short. With retirement three years away we are exploring ways to spend even more time enjoying this great state.

    So the idea is to purchase a power boat, something like 35-45 feet, twin engine diesel, and spend a couple summers cruising around the inside passage and if we can safely get there maybe PWS. We'd mix mooring in Marina's with remote anchorages. We'd fish when appropriate but basically just see where the adventure leads and enjoy the sea, the land, and of course the great people.

    We would buy a used boat, probably 20-30 years old, budgeting ~$100k for purchase plus improvements. We'd spend a couple months getting used to it and taking care of any maintenance or upgrades and then be off. We'd cruise June to August then have the boat pulled out of the water somewhere, stored for the winter, then do it again the next year.

    Repeat until we're ready for a different adventure. Winters would be spent in our current home in Texas.

    Optionally we could begin or end the journey in Washington state.

    Does this make sense? Is there a major flaw in this idea?

    Is it better to buy a boat like this in Washington or Alaska? What about selling?

    We have nearly 3 years to plan so would appreciate all thoughts and feedback to consider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by torchroadster View Post
    My wife and I enjoy everything that is Alaska. Wildlife, scenery, fishing, hiking, camping, etc. We've made many trips over the years to many parts of the state. The time always seems too short. With retirement three years away we are exploring ways to spend even more time enjoying this great state.

    So the idea is to purchase a power boat, something like 35-45 feet, twin engine diesel, and spend a couple summers cruising around the inside passage and if we can safely get there maybe PWS. We'd mix mooring in Marina's with remote anchorages. We'd fish when appropriate but basically just see where the adventure leads and enjoy the sea, the land, and of course the great people.

    We would buy a used boat, probably 20-30 years old, budgeting ~$100k for purchase plus improvements. We'd spend a couple months getting used to it and taking care of any maintenance or upgrades and then be off. We'd cruise June to August then have the boat pulled out of the water somewhere, stored for the winter, then do it again the next year.

    Repeat until we're ready for a different adventure. Winters would be spent in our current home in Texas.

    Optionally we could begin or end the journey in Washington state.

    Does this make sense? Is there a major flaw in this idea?

    Is it better to buy a boat like this in Washington or Alaska? What about selling?

    We have nearly 3 years to plan so would appreciate all thoughts and feedback to consider.

    Sounds like an awesome plan! You are 10 years ahead of my wife and I. We were just thinking of moving to Anacortes and making that home base. Keep us posted with pictures.

    M.

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    I would suggest spending some time browsing on Craigslist Seattle, and Juneau and see just what $100k will buy you for a boat. Then check in with some storage yards and see what kind of off season storage fees you are looking at.

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    My dad's buddy did something similar.
    He bought a sailboat and sailed all over the caribbean for several years.
    Dry docked it when he wanted to come back home for visits.
    They left from Toronto on Lake Ontario and sailed all the way down the coast.

    As for you buying a boat don't forget to look at Vancouver!!!
    Your American $$$$ will go 30-35% further up here in Canada.

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    Thanks for the input so far. Yes, I've checked Craigslist and other Boat selling websites to get an idea of what I can get for my budget. I've looked at the entire Pacific Northwest, including Vancouver! All that's only useful for rough planning for now, since I won't actually buy a boat until 2020.

    It looks like storage rates are from $3-$4.50 per foot per month at one marina I found. The price range is outside versus inside. That seems reasonable.

    Keep the thoughts coming. This would be a very big deal for us and I want to make sure I'm not overlooking something major.

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    You're probably looking at a trawler in that size, price range and purpose. Many of the older ones made in Taiwan have decent hulls but the topsides aren't up to Alaska weather. I've seen several sorry tales from friends boats that had serious damage on the upper decks and house. Seems they don't always laminate the under sides of the decking with fiberglass, just the exposed outside and cover the inside surfaces with carpet. With our wet weather, condensation forming inside gets into the wood and it freezes/thaws delaminating the fiberglass or just rotting. So look carefully. Also, there are trawler and cruiser forums that may be a good resource for tips too and may be more knowledgeable about the kind of boat you want to purchase. Cruising the SE was a dream of mine, and I own a couple acres on a cove on one of the islands down there to build a cabin and do what you have in mind but life changes and that's not in the cards anymore, so be sure you keep the admiral happy and good luck!

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    Were it me I would consider a sailing vessel like a Nauticat as well (one here: https://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa...233158787.html). Our family spent a week on one in southeast a few years ago. Great vessel and lots of light in the cabin due to raised pilot house - unlike many sail boats which tend to be cavelike. Very seaworthy, very weather proof, very economical. Of course a bit fat trawler would be fun too . . . it will be a fun to search & plan!

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    Sounds like the retirement I have planned in about two decades, I like the idea of converting and old seiner or troller but practically speaking a trawler or a power sailer like stroganof just posted would be perfect.

    As a rule boats are cheaper in the lower 48, but they may not be built for Alaska weather let alone Pacific NW weather. You can find deals in AK especially when talking about live aboard boats of a certain size, once they get here they are here and it cost more money to move them downhill when people are done with them, but it is a smaller market.

    Keep us posted.
    "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle." - G.I. Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fish Witch View Post
    You're probably looking at a trawler in that size, price range and purpose. Many of the older ones made in Taiwan have decent hulls but the topsides aren't up to Alaska weather. I've seen several sorry tales from friends boats that had serious damage on the upper decks and house. Seems they don't always laminate the under sides of the decking with fiberglass, just the exposed outside and cover the inside surfaces with carpet. With our wet weather, condensation forming inside gets into the wood and it freezes/thaws delaminating the fiberglass or just rotting. So look carefully. Also, there are trawler and cruiser forums that may be a good resource for tips too and may be more knowledgeable about the kind of boat you want to purchase. Cruising the SE was a dream of mine, and I own a couple acres on a cove on one of the islands down there to build a cabin and do what you have in mind but life changes and that's not in the cards anymore, so be sure you keep the admiral happy and good luck!
    Interesting.... what material are the decks and houses built from? I wouldnt think it would be balsa cored?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    Interesting.... what material are the decks and houses built from? I wouldnt think it would be balsa cored?
    Decking is plywood, but I don't know if it's marine ply or not. Some of the early Taiwan boats I've seen were not glassed in on the bottom side. Even Bayliners do that! If you've spent any time up here overnighting on your boat, you know how much condensation forms on the inside surfaces which winds up saturating the decking eventually and freeze/thaw does the rest.

  11. #11

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    I'd begin and end your boat search with two words: Marine Survey.

    I wouldn't even consider a boat in that size class that hadn't had a recent and very thorough inspection by a certified and trusted marine surveyor. And I'd want to talk to the surveyor himself after a careful read-through of the survey.

    Your plans are sound and do-able, but not if you buy someone else's troubles that are nothing but a hole in the water and in your wallet.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    For the sake of full disclosure, my experience with boats of the type /size the OP is looking at is limited to looking at a couple of (yes, precisely 2) purchase/leaseback agreements for friends of mine...I dabble at being an attorney in the midst of my retirement.

    So a couple of very likely less-informed thoughts:

    - As noted previously, the used market in SE Alaska could be a target rich environment: Boats that "don't work" for the current owner (either literally work or don't fit the needs anymore) and where the cost to relocate them "outside" is a barrier to marketing them in the PNW;
    - Just a gut feel (see my "not knowledgeable" disclaimer above) is that the budget is too low.....primarily due to the inclusion of "plus improvements" in the budget #.
    - Not sure of your experience level, but if you're new to boating and to the boat you ultimately get, at least the first (if not second) summer will be spent learning boating and the boat....might not be a totally enjoyable time to cruise the IP;
    - Again, experience will impact this, but Alaska isn't Texas. FWIW, I spent most of my life in AK, but spent 8 years in Texas (Ewe-stun...yuck) and it's taken me the past 16 months to once again internalize some of the challenges of Alaska. <<<<<< This will also be a thing that occupies one's attention the first year (or two) that is spent on Alaskan waters; might further impact the ability to wholeheartedly enjoy the cruising.

    Opinion, obviously, and we all know about opinions......I think your plan sounds great: change the type of boat and the locale and it's primarily what I'm doing (except when the boats not in the water, I'm at home in Los Anchorage).
    Back in AK

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    Wow - thanks for all the advice and encouragement.

    Yes, I will absolutely spend the money on the best marine surveyor I can find. If there are recommendations on a good one for me to file away for later that would be helpful. Thanks for the heads up on the deck issues. That's good to know.

    I hadn't considered a sailboat at all, I certainly like the economy aspect, but not sure that's the best choice for us in SE Alaska.

    When the time comes I will shop from Seattle northward and see where that leads.

    We definitely appreciate that Alaska is way different than Texas, and certainly there will be a learning curve. Definitely open to a few day long training course in SE AK. Does anyone know of any?

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    Many sailboats in Alaska will never see the sails raised if they even have them onboard. Rather most have a relatively small diesel inboard that very very fuel efficiently will move you from port to port. Just don't be in a hurry to get there. Kinda like a retired person would do. My first experience to PWS was via a 47' sailboat. Left out of Seward and went on a deer hunt on the North end of Monty. Long ride @ 9 knts but was a great trip and didn't burn much for fuel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by torchroadster View Post
    When the time comes I will shop from Seattle northward and see where that leads.
    Do some nosing around in Canada while you're at it. I barely know enough to open my mouth on this one, but it's never stopped me before!

    Over the years some really fine boats in your contemplated size class, especially gillnetters, have come from Canada at bargain prices as Canada cut back on their commercial fleet. Dunno a thing about the current status of the trade and movement, but I've sure admired a few of those boats up here. Very well built and designed for rough water and stability. You likely would need to do mods to convert some of the commercial fishing features to rec use, but from the prices I've heard you could probably make the mods and still remain within budget.

    Shot in the dark considering my out-of-date status, but worth taking a peek in Canada anyway. Maybe someone on here will rightly remind me that I'm a fogy with old info, but back in the day it was a great source of cheap but very good boats. You're in luck if the same is true today.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    Also check out this forum site, many SE cruisers in there.

    http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/#trawler-forum

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    For your budget I would suggest a Taiwanese trawler. From the late sixties to early eighties they made hundreds of boats from different boat builders to essentially compete with Grand Banks trawlers. Many names were made to fit the American market such as CHB, K Shing, Puget trawler, Universal, and a bunch of others. They were typically powered by Perkins or Lehman diesels. Using a lot of teak, they are pretty, but require a lot of care. Depending on the boat, they had issues. Therefore I would suggest a good surveyor who is familiar with the older Taiwanese boats. Finding one in good shape will give you many years of service providing you keep maintaining the boat. Some common problems are black iron water tanks, Windows leaking, teak decks leaking. Some of these boats are well kept and the owners have addressed these issues by replacing tanks, removed the teak on the deck and replaced it with awl grip or something of that nature. Most burn 2.5 gallons per engine at cruising speeds of 7 to 9 knots. They're a bit of a pig in following seas but find a good one and you have a real gem. I put mine up by building structure over the boat and encapsulating it with a heavy tarp. I might suggest you looking at yachworld.com for an idea of what's out there, and good luck in your search.

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