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Date: 23 April 2017. Buying a Big Boat (part 2)


The introductory article Buying a Big Boat (part 1) tells how Pete and Deb are exploring boating. They are deciding if this life is something they would like to pursue. Like smart people everywhere they are taking classes and learning all they can before making a final decision.

As we mature, at least for me, the boating fun is found most often in a life of decadence. I'm a big proponent of having the most comfortable boat you can afford. Then make her better. Nine years ago Seaweed had potential. She was however an Inadequate Boat. It has taken literally years to get to this point. I must admit the here and now is mighty fine.

Life aboard Seaweed is better than I ever imagined.


Please don't expect any boat you buy to be walk-on ready to live life at anchor. You'll need to familiarize yourself with her systems first. There will be oddities the Previous Owner did that you will wish to unscramble.

Often I hear "We don't want to be dock queens but rather live on the hook as much as possible just like you do." This is common and it is a goal to work toward.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Initially new live-aboard boaters SHOULD BE dock queens. Get to know the systems in comfort with a power cord providing unlimited power. Learn where you have ready access to supplies, advice and help.

C-Quarters Marina is a friendly place. Cap'n Kim who works there made me feel right at home.
She provides weather forecasts for the Loopers getting ready to cross the Gulf of Mexico too.

Life on the hook is not for brand new boaters. Those that can afford
 it should plan to spend a couple months getting ready while dockside.

I recommend a marina with congenial boaters. Making the transition will be easier if you are with other folks who have been there and done that, just as you are doing now.

Meeting friends for breakfast at McDonald's is fun too. Ruwan, Nishan,
me and Tracy had a lovely chat the day my water pump died. I needed that too!


A marina also offers options. You're not having a good day? Go to a restaurant, spend the night at a hotel, and/or visit another boater on your dock. Having an "out" makes staying aboard a CHOICE not a requirement.

Being on a vessel at anchor when things are going belly up is definitely not for a
new-to-the-boating world couple. That is almost always a recipe for disaster.

Most boats are not set up for extended life at anchor. Many of the newer boats have generators. You will also want multiple ways to generate power, including a solar array.

Having a built in diesel generator is a very good thing.

Side Note: I am a firm believer in having the ability to recharge my battery bank in a variety of ways. Some options you might consider are via solar panels, a wind generator, a portable generator and/or the alternator on your engine.

I believe solar is a good adjunct to a generator. With enough solar panels, the sun might be your sole source of power. I have 445 watts of solar atop Seaweed. All of my power needs and wants are provided by the solar panels, except I cannot run my 5k BTU room air conditioner. That requires a generator.


Solar panels, with a Large battery bank are "the way to go" in my view. Solar power is virtually trouble free. No hassle, and just monitor your battery bank. An inverter will turn your battery power into AC.

On Seaweed solar powers everything except the air conditioner.

Affiliate Link

 MorningStar ProStar PS-30M PWM Solar
Battery Charge Controller, 30 Amp 12/24 Volts


I have a Morningstar ProStar-30 aboard Seaweed. It allows me to see how much power I'm putting into my batteries. Of course an MPPT solar regulator would be ideal. It's also a bit more pricey than I can manage at this time.

For details on solar regulators read the
Solar Regulators (Standard vs. MPPT) article.


If you are planning on life away from docks and anchoring in remote spots, solar is a good addition to your power plan. I recommend it.

Thank you for reading. Part Three will be posted shortly.

Do you have solar and how much aboard your boat?
And, how large is your battery bank?



Categories: Characters, Comfort, Gear, Locations, Recommendations,

Buying a Big Boat (part 1) ~ Previous Post ...    ... Next Post ~ Buying a Big Boat (part 3)


The Archive holds a running list with synopsis of published articles, and links to same.

A favorite aphorism:  I think we have distilled the power vs sail argument down to one pivotal question. Do you want ice? Twistedtree on TrawlerForum.

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The Cruising Kitty is what boaters refer to as spending money. There's never enough aboard Seaweed!

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