Thinking About a Boat

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted DuPuis, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Because we don't own enough unreliable vehicles, we're thinking of adding a boat into the mix.

    Actually, it's more because with our one 2 year old (and twins on the way), going on our friend's boat last weekend was quite fun, and we think it might be a fun diversion that we'd be able to do for amorning/afternoon with small kids, and continue to enjoy further.

    Of course, I want a twin. :D But I'm not sure it's mandatory so much as iLikeTwins. ;)

    Our driveway space is limited, but we can fit a 20ish ft boat w/trailer in a corner without getting in the way I think. We have a 1/2-ton Avalanche, so that's about right for towing it anyway. Likely don't want something bigger due to cost and storage concerns, not to mention not wanting to buy a bigger truck just for a boat.

    I really have no idea what I'm looking at. General mission thought would be that it would be nice to get something that has the ability to tow a tube or skis. It seems like a cabin area would be nice (especially for kids having naps or needing a bathroom break), but it seems the boats with cabins have virtually no deck space. Definitely not looking at a "go-places" boat, more the $100 hamburger sort since I don't like $100 hamburgers in planes. The twin engine jet ski types also look like fun, but probably be something we'd outgrow in a few years, and might even be too small to start.

    Curious as to thoughts. Maybe a cabin sounds nicer than it would really be, especially if it makes it hard to be on deck. Also figuring that needs could change, so I'm not opposed to buying something and upgrading later. With vehicles I tend to just buy what looks interesting and then buy something else later if my needs change.
     
  2. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    I hear Donnie Baker has a boat for sale.
     
  3. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

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    You know what the two happiest days of boat ownership are, right?
     
  4. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    My pal got himself a jet ski for the same reason. Didn't keep it long. Figure it this way, the season for one of those things is measured in weeks. Oh, and I imagine that a fair number of weekends will be spent ferrying quadrupeds.

    My pal found himself using his jet ski only a couple times a year, and found it to be a maintenance hog.
     
  5. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Build one in your garage! I'm sure there are experimental boat kits too! :goofy:


    ;)
     
  6. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    The same as airplanes, but we keep on suckering people in anyway.
     
  7. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    That sounds like a deathtrap. :no: :D
     
  8. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    My former chair built himself a boat when he started his faculty career, and built a second upon his retirement. That said I suspect Ted is going to be a bit busy with the spawn. Congrats on the twins by the way, you lucky guy. I hear you like twins.
     
  9. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    After you get your boat maybe you can give us an objective comparison of airplanes vs. boats for the family toy. :)
     
  10. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've had so many trailer boats over the years, I could write billions of electrons on it.

    You are on the right track. Here's a few pieces of advice: With little kids you do NOT want a pontoon or deck boat, you want one with standard well type cockpit. I'm a big fan of I/O drives, but the newer 4 stroke outboards are pretty nice, however they are very costly. I like having a marine chevy V8 pushing a Merc Alpha 2 drive just because everyone knows them, they get decent fuel econ, and they are pretty bulletproof. If you plan to use it in the middle of the day, in sunny weather(yup, you will), you want lots of shade. Get the biggest bimini top, and also a small cuddy cabin you can find. The bimini can always be folded down, but most times you'll have it up. A porta-potty that slides under the center console is a nice feature if you stay out all day. Don't bother with a built in stove, you can get a nice railing clamp-mount round bbq if you want to cook anything. Safer, and portable. Always have two batts and a A-B battery switch. Starting battery and house battery. Cruise with it on both setting, and switch to house battery when you stop for a while. I would avoid the large jet-ski type of hulls unless you operate on smooth water. They do not ride well in rough stuff, and they ship water easily. It's not fun with kids. Even though it's for pleasure, look for boats that have utility too. Fancy graphics, and radios, and gewgaws aren't as important as comfy seats, a lounging pad, and easy launching. Whatever you think is enough for ground tackle(lines, anchors) double it, and you'll be glad you did.

    If you have specific questions, let me know, I can go on all day.
     
  11. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    Inland lake? I'd be looking at a bowrider or pontoon.

    Pontoon: Lots of deck space, lots of chairs/lounges, everyone has room. Also, as the kids get older, they'll want to bring friends. DAMHIK. Bad? Slow, asthetically unappealing, the outboard is noisy.

    http://www.pontoons.com/images/slider/slide-04.jpg

    Bowrider: Decent people space, faster, sportier, better for towing tubes, skis, or wake boards if that's your thing. Many in the 20-22ft range have the Mercury 4.3, basically the Chevy 4.3 vortec truck V-6 engine. Quite robust and good on gas compared to V-8 boats. I/O boats tend to be quieter.

    http://www.nmma.org/lib/img/gallery/img13121143739.jpg

    Our 21ft bowrider is perfect for our little family of three, and we can comfortably take on another four. Our boat is rated for 9 passengers, but I think anything beyond seven would be pushing it comfort wise. Also, performance and how the boat rides takes a big hit as the weight approaches gross rating.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  12. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    For us, family loves the boat. My daughter loves to swim, and it can be a very social thing. Find a nice cove or slew to raft up together, and the kids all entertain themselves while the adults enjoy a few cold ones and lively discussion.

    A plane is for going somewhere, a boat IS the destination. And for me, getting out on the lake for an afternoon is like being on a vacation a million miles away. Very nice.
     
  13. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    Airplanes are only useful for going somewhere. For general family fun a boat is by far a better time, IMO.

    I have a 18 foot old fiberglass Tri Hull which was built in the 70s with a 75 HP outboard Johnson of the same vintage. It's ugly as hell but a whole lot of fun. I spent $1,000 on it.

    I think Ted would be a lot happier though with a V8 inboard as suggested above.
     
  14. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    I told my wife before we were married that if I ever thought it was a good idea to own a plane and a boat at the same time she had permission to shoot me. While the thought may have crossed my mind at times, briefly, I've been careful to never voice it, for fear that she'd follow through.

    I spent all of my youth summers, from the time I was 3 yrs old, on power boats (21'-30') my Dad had. He finally just sold his retirement boat (34' Silverton) a few weeks ago.

    With small kids, the advice to get a low deck well/high transom is excellent. You want to minimize your worry time. You don't need a cabin for the kids to nap, just shade and a short padded bench. My kids (5 and 7) often doze off to the sound of the Mercruiser on my father-in-laws pontoon boat within <30 minutes. You can pick up a portable head for the kids at West Marine, etc, and not worry about having cabin space on a 20' boat.
     
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  15. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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  16. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    There's no doubt to me that the 310 is a crappy family toy. :) Where it will shine is going somewhere. The thought is being able to spend a morning/day having fun we'll all enjoy.

    Doc, appreciate the informative post. I'll probably have more questions later. Definitely don't care about a stove, thinking some bunks and a port-o-potty sounds nice and useful. Any thoughts oonsingles vs twins?
     
  17. stratobee

    stratobee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Once you get into boats, aviation all of a sudden will seem cheap compared!
     
  18. VanDy

    VanDy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Forget the boat, buy your misses a nice taildragger instead!! :D
     
  19. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    Depends on the boat. Our 21ft bowrider isn't bad at all. $70 buys me an afternoon of gas[1], and dry storage (unlimited in/outs) runs me $175/mo. Far less than a hangar. As for routine MX, guess what? I can work on it myself!

    [1] That's if I'm on the move most of the day. If we are just running up to our favorite cove and back, $70 buys three round trips.
     
  20. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    For us the storage would be a deal breaker. Need to be able to park it in the driveway. If nothing else, that means it's right there and easy to work on.
     
  21. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well, you won't find any twin engines in the 20' range unless you go to those dual jet drives. Just too much weight for the hull. I don't see any need for two engine unless you are planning to go out on lake Superior, or open water. If you get stuck out in the lake, you will likely have a marine radio, and a gps and can give coordinates. Also, as you well know twin anything doubles your mx, higher fuel bills, and more hassle. You won't find twin engines until you get up to the 25' and higher size boats. Even then, they are not common(like twin planes) due to the extreme fuel burn rates.

    Here's an example of what I would look at.

    http://boats.iboats.com/2002-sea-ray-boats-225-branford-ct/1494903.html

    This has a B-III drive, which is a dual prop, counter rotating for better fuel efficiency. You don't really need that but it's a nice feature. Note that it has full canvas. Since you are in the upper midwest, full canvas can extend your boating season for a good month or more. Galv trailer, and a huge swim step/lounge pad on back. This might be too big for your parking area but this is the top of the trailer boat line in your range. Of course, there are cheaper boats avail but this looks like write the check, and go have fun. Your truck will tow this no problem unless you are going up and down 8000' mountains.
     
  22. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Yeah, I'm thinking the twin isn't necessary for our use. Kinda like using a 310 for $100 hamburgers. :)

    Bill, the bowrider is interesting and riding up front probably fun. What do you do for shade?
     
  23. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Ted your not thinking about this the correct way. a Catalina 21 is the perfect small family boat.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    I owned a Catalina 25 and loved it, but the family hated it. At 4-5kts, all you see is the same little piece of lake and they quickly became bored. I sold it and bought the power boat and they love it. I still belong to the local sailing club, so I crew on C22s and Flying Scots when I get jonesing for a sail.
     
  25. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    I saw a book a number of years ago: "Sailing: The Art of Getting Cold and Wet While Slowly Going Nowhere at Great Expense." :D
     
  26. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Power boats are indeed fun, I just think any knuckle head can drive one. Sailing now that takes skill and while some may think it slow I really love to sail. If you get a good day and the right boat you can fly like a rocket. Get moving and the boat heels enough that you can hike out ( not gonna happen on a Catalina ) and WOW talk about exhilarating.


    Other that that I agree with you 100% 21' Bowrider. you can find them with engine very inexpensively.
     
  27. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    Damn you for posting that! Although I grew up on power boats, I'm much more into sailing now. I also learned to sail when I was 15, and did a fair amount of leisure sail racing (and a bit of one-design with Ensigns) in grad school and afterward.

    Sailboats are really tough with small children though. Too much of a chance of going overboard. Now that my kids are ok swimmers, I'll be looking for the occasional rental sailboat soon.

    Which, of course, might be an option for the OP...is renting an option, or maybe a local marina has a posting for someone looking to share?

    Jeff
     
  28. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Nothing duct tape and a good harness won't solve :wink2:
     
  29. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    GaaaHHHHH!!!! My eyes, my eyes! What has been seen - cannot be unseen. I should report this post for offensive images. :rofl:

    I hate chick-Botes. :lol::lol::lol:

    As for bow-riders, they are good for big families but you trade-off cabin for seating. Your wife will refuse to ride up there unless it's glass smooth, very uncomfortable. If you put 3-6 kids up there they can bounce around and have fun with it.

    As with planes, think of your mission. You're gonna have the kids, and the diapers, and some baby food, and life vests, cooler with drinks, and blankets, water, beer, some clothes, etc. Once you get it all on the boat, you are gonna want to stay out for a full day. Then, it becomes overnight, and finally you are out all weekend, and holidays too. It's just not worth all the setup and teardown to go out for an afternoon, plus the driving to and from the lake. That's why these weekender boats are setup the way they are. They know you are gonna want to get out of the sun and lay down for a while. This is also why I said gets lots of ground tackle. Eventually you will need it all.

    The other thing is, once you get out on a serious lake, you have what you have, and if you don't have it, you don't have it. Want a corkscrew? Take it. Need matches? Better have them onboard. Trashbags? Sunscreen? condoms? Did you forget them? DOH! You aren't going back to shore to get stuff, so make a check list, and keep up with the essentials.
     
  30. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    Our boat has a bimini top, so one can get some shade.

    http://www.travelizmo.com/archives/cobalt-210-sport-boat-2010.jpg

    The pontoons can come with huge biminis that basically cover the whole deck of the boat.

    http://img.benningtonmarine.com/ima...ennington-Pontoon-Double-BiminiTop-2274GL.jpg

    I love the sun, so for me it's lots of sunblock and enjoy. It gets hot down here, but that is what the water is for :yes:. There are some afternoons when I float in the water for a couple of hours straight.
     
  31. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    Small sailboats aren't nearly as expensive to operate as the same size power boats, if you start with decent rigging and take care of it. In fact, in the 20' range I'd be tempted to not have a motor, or at most a very small one for emergency use.
     
  32. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Adam, Laurie and I do love sailing, but I don't see us loving it with 3 kids who don't. Like me, Robert loves horsepower.
     
  33. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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  34. N747JB

    N747JB Final Approach

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    I'd have to say my boats are cheaper than my airplanes! We have a 29 foot Century center console, 2003 model that we bought new and I don't think we spend over $1000.00 per year on average for maintenance. We also have a big Hatteras and I think it's still cheap than the Conquest, but it's a lot slower for the same hourly fuel burn. ;)
     
  35. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We've had a Hurricane deck boat for 17 years and think it's the ultimate family boat for lakes and inland waterways. The room of a pontoon with the handling and ride of a deep-V hull. We love it. Available in either outboard or I/O. We have the I/O.

    [​IMG]

    P.S. There is a portapotty in the area ahead of the captains chair. Small, but functional when needed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  36. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Ted, recall our discussion where you were concerned that Robert wouldn't have any challenges! Let this be one. Find the wind young man find the wind!:D

    Doc, Not that a sailboat is right for the DuPuis but a 21 and a 25 have ample cabin room to lie down or change a diaper. Then again I've been in the cabin of both small sail boats and MVs mid day and it can get a bit stifling in there, just enough to magnify tenfold the aroma of that diaper you just changed :vomit:
     
  37. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you go into the cuddy to change a poopy diaper, well you deserve everything you get! I just hang them over the gunwale by the wrist and dunk them up and down a few times. Towel off, powder, diaper and good to go. Best not to be going more than ~40-ish when you dunk them. :D
     
  38. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    We had a boat for about 15 years, the entire time our kids were growing up. We also had a jetski which is a great combination but requires taking two vehicles. By the time the youngest had reached her teens the boat mostly sat in the back yard and became a cat breeder. I'd take it out fishing once in awhile but not much more so I sold it.

    So for a family it is great fun. The only drawbacks were that every time we went on a camping trip it HAD to be to a lake and there are a lot of nice places to go camping that aren't on a lake so I missed that. The other drawback is that it seems like 60% of the a**holes on Earth are at the lake in a boat at any given time. :rolleyes:
     
  39. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    If you want to imagine what flying would be like without the FARs, go boating in any popular body of water on a nice summer weekend. The stupidity you will witness is outstanding. Sure, there are rules for boating, but I bet 90% of the people out there either don't know there are rules, just don't care, or are too drunk to care.
     
  40. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

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    Fact. It's ridiculous. The things people do are astounding.