July 01, 2013
When The Water Calls ... We Follow


June 20, 2013
New Adventures


May 31, 2013
Storing Our Shiny Red Tug


May 13, 2013
Viva La Difference


May 06, 2013
Swinging Free & Easy


April 15, 2013
In The Middle


March 29, 2013
On The Hook


March 18, 2013
Tinker Time


February 28, 2013
Jumping Into the Mix


February 15, 2013
Time Travel


February 06, 2013
Charlevoix - A Small Town With A World-Class Reputation


January 15, 2013
The Perfect Ending


January 01, 2013
Magical Weather & Mysterious Ports


December 15, 2012
Collins Inlet, Killarney, & Little Current


December 01, 2012
New Neighbors


November 16, 2012
What Makes a Perfect Anchorage?


November 01, 2012
Are We There Yet?


October 15, 2012
CHANGE OF LATITUDE


October 01, 2012
Womens Roundtable


September 15, 2012
Freedom to Discover a Southern Gem


September 01, 2012
Promises


August 15, 2012
Nice to Have Options


August 01, 2012
Go West!


July 15, 2012
The Perfect Boating Vacation Destination


July 01, 2012
Propane


June 15, 2012
Flagler’s Folly


June 01, 2012
Everglades Detour


May 15, 2012
Making New Friends


May 01, 2012
Something Old and Something New


April 15, 2012
Florida’s Wide Open West Coast


April 01, 2012
Life On the Water in a Trailerable Trawler


March 15, 2012
Becoming Second Nature


March 01, 2012
Last Dance


February 15, 2012
Call it Romance or Mystique


February 01, 2012
Natural Wonders Abound


January 15, 2012
Hardly a Care in the World


January 01, 2012
Wide-Eyed Anticipation


December 15, 2011
Winding Our Way to Lake Powell


December 01, 2011
On to New Cruising Grounds


November 15, 2011
Sharing the Love


November 01, 2011
On the Water Again


October 14, 2011
First Impressions


October 03, 2011
Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Fun


September 15, 2011
Getting the Show on the Road


September 01, 2011
Lets Dance!


August 15, 2011
Getting Our Ducks in a Row


August 01, 2011
Summer Without a Boat


July 15, 2011
The Water and The Boater Home


July 01, 2011
One Step Closer


June 15, 2011
Time Keeps on slippin’ Into the Future


June 01, 2011
Made in the USA


May 15, 2011
Making the Right Truck Choice


May 01, 2011
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder


April 15, 2011
What Goes Around Comes Around


April 01, 2011
Wishing Star Interlude


March 15, 2011
Helping Hands


March 01, 2011
THE PERFECT BOAT!


February 15, 2011
Weighing the Options


February 01, 2011
Making a List, Checking it Twice!


January 14, 2011
The Science of Towing


December 30, 2010
The Upside of Downsizing


December 15, 2010
The New Plan!


December 01, 2010
Homeward Bound-The Final Leg


November 15, 2010
Somethings In The Water


November 01, 2010
Our Turn to Relax & Smile


October 15, 2010
Gem in the Rough


October 01, 2010
Whats Your Favorite Place on the Loop?


September 15, 2010
Reflecting Pool


September 01, 2010
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder


August 15, 2010
Canadian Wonderland


August 01, 2010
"Low Bridge, Everybody Down"


July 15, 2010
One Day At A Time


July 01, 2010
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!


June 15, 2010
Lets All Do the Rendezvous


June 01, 2010
On the Hard


May 15, 2010
Falling in Love With Key West


May 01, 2010
Helping Women Get On Board


April 15, 2010
Key West - A Repeat Performance


April 01, 2010
Unexpected Pleasures


March 15, 2010
Mom Cruise


March 01, 2010
Okeechobee Bound


February 15, 2010
Chance Encounters


February 01, 2010
Three Nights in Paradise


January 15, 2010
New Frontiers


January 01, 2010
First Time Experiences


December 15, 2009
A Friend In Every Port


December 01, 2009
Dealing With A Temperamental Lady


November 18, 2009
You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello


November 13, 2009
A Cult Following


October 15, 2009
Somewhere in Time


October 01, 2009
Unlocking Our Minds Eye


September 18, 2009
Its In My Nature


August 15, 2009
The RBS Antidote


August 01, 2009
Crab Crazy


July 15, 2009
Sights And Sounds Of The Bay


July 15, 2009
Sights And Sounds Of The Bay


June 15, 2009
Our Last Leg North


June 01, 2009
Northern Migration


May 15, 2009
Priceless


May 01, 2009
Hello Goodbye


April 15, 2009
Let The Sun Shine In!


April 01, 2009
Dont Worry, Be Happy


March 15, 2009
Bahama Bound


March 01, 2009
What Do You Do All Day?


February 15, 2009
Slow Motion


February 01, 2009
On The Hook With A Million-Dollar View


January 15, 2009
High Anxiety


January 01, 2009
A String Of One-Night Stands


December 15, 2008
Pushing Into New Tennessee River, Upstream To Adventure


December 01, 2008
All Together Now


November 15, 2008
Kismet in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ike


October 31, 2008
Our Love Affair With The River


October 16, 2008
Big City Lights


October 01, 2008
The Adventure Begins


September 15, 2008
Prepping For The Loop


September 01, 2008
The Space Ship


August 15, 2008
Jumping Aboard In Seattle


August 01, 2008
If We Knew Then What We Know Now!


July 10, 2008
The Second Time Around


July 01, 2008
Our Turn For The Great American Loop

   

THE PERFECT BOAT!
By Kismet, Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Jim Favors

We have friends and family members who have very young children or grandchildren and they just can't stop talking about these little "bundles of joy." They go on and on - you know the type! Well Lisa and I, unfortunately, don't have any grandchildren - YET. So until that happens we'll continue to direct our unbridled attention to our passion of boating and lately, just like our friends and family, who have small children, this is all WE seem to talk about. I guess you'd have to say we are on a course with a laser like focus. So forgive us if we seem over the top enthusiastic about our new boating plans - until we have grandchildren I guess boating will continue to be OUR "bundle of joy."

After several months of planning Lisa and I flew out of the snow-covered tundra of Northern Michigan to the warm welcoming weather of southern Florida to look at trailerable trawlers. We left on a day when over one thousand flights were cancelled in New York City because of heavy snowfall. Our flight had to be rerouted so we felt fortunate to have arrived without any delays. When we landed in Fort Lauderdale we gladly had to ditch all the cold weather clothing for our more familiar boating attire. It felt good to pull out the shorts, t-shirts and sandals. After all it's no fun looking at boats when you're all dressed up as if you're going ice fishing.

This is the Aspen's roomy, comfortable looking, well thought out interior.

Our plans, for the first three days of our trip, were to attend the Trawler Fest in Fort Lauderdale, the Naples Boat Show as well as look at a privately owned boat north of Naples. So with little time to waste we spent our first full day at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show crawling all over the Ranger Tug 27 and 29. We also toured the Aspen C90. We were surprised that these were the only trailerable boats on display at this show. Never having been aboard either of these boats we were excited to check out not only the fit and finish but how the boats were laid out and conversely how comfortable they felt to us. Did we feel like we could move around safely? How big was the cockpit? How was the access to the engine? How much storage space was there? We wanted to see the quality of the construction first hand. We needed to actually get on the bed to see if it would work for us. We wanted to find out if the side windows opened and was there enough visibility? Were there roof vents for proper air circulation? Pictures in brochures and or on the factory websites are one way to get a feel of a boat if you can't immediately get on one in person, a few have virtual tours which is really nice, but when you're face to face with the real McCoy, you get a much better understanding of the overall product.

Lisa and I spent a lot of time checking out the Ranger Tugs, mostly the 27' and we have to say, we were duly impressed. I say we were impressed because the 27' Ranger is not only well constructed but it's laid out in a very boater-friendly manner. Little things, like the engine access being from the cockpit instead of the cabin, gives easier access to it and a quieter ride. The fit and finish were exceptional and we could tell they spent a lot of attention to details, like an iPod docking station and a fold up flat screen TV in the saloon - both take up less room - this is key in a trailerable boat where every inch counts. We do, however have some concerns about the wood lined head, which also serves as a shower. Nice looking; but is it practical?

Lisa liked that the captain’s chair flipped up, to make more counter space in the galley.

Although we knew of the Aspen C90 we didn't know ahead of time there would be one at the Trawler Fest. The Aspen C90 is built with a 10' wide catamaran hull therefore providing a nice wide-open saloon with the added benefit of a king-size bed in the stateroom. Because we'll be trailering our boat all over the US and Canada the 10' wide beam makes this boat somewhat problematic for us because of the permits we'd have to purchase every time we travel. I think the C90 would be a fine, comfortable boat - it would provide a stable ride with low fuel burn but its better suited for folks that are not going to be transporting across country on a regular basis, as we will be.

Day two was a road trip across Alligator Alley, to the west side of Florida. Our objective was to look at a privately owned C-Dory TomCat and attend the Naples Boat Show, where we knew there would be a Rosborough RF-246 on display. Like the boats at the Trawler Fest we'd never been onboard a C-Dory TomCat or Rosborough Sedan Cruiser.

I caught Lisa climbing around the exterior of the Ranger 27, she was checking out how the Ranger Tug would handle during docking.

I'd just finished reading, River Horse, by William Least Heat-Moon, the true story of a cross-country navigation on a C-Dory 22. The writer traveled from the Hudson River, on the East Coast, to Oregon where the Columbia River dumps into the Pacific Ocean. The book highlighted the durability characteristics of the C-Dory while handling such a rugged excursion. The C-Dory TomCat, like the Aspen C90, is built with a catamaran hull therefore providing the boat with a more stable ride, less drag on plane therefore achieving greater fuel economy. The boat has a nice open cockpit with no fewer than four storage lockers. Upon entering the cabin, although very functional, it didn't seem to be as homey to us as other trailerable boats we'd been on. With that said what I want you to take away from my comment is that the perfect boat for us is not necessarily the perfect boat for someone else. What we might find desirable in a trailerable boat someone else might not find appealing at all. The important thing is to find what's right for you and get out on the water.

The Naples Boat Show had a little bit of everything, from exotic cars and motor coaches to fishing boats and runabouts but they only had one trailerable trawler, it was the Rosborough RF-246 Sedan Cruiser. We met Peter, the Rosborough Sales Manager, who showed us all of the features and benefits of the Sedan Cruiser. We liked the fact the boat is designed to provide one-third of its space to the stateroom, as well as another third to the saloon/galley and the last third to the cockpit. We liked the fact that the cockpit is available with an optional fiberglass roof extension, providing an area for getting out of the sun or providing a shaded area for an outdoor dinner. Another feature we liked about the Rosborough are the three available propulsion options (I/O diesel, single or dual outboards).

One of the ancillary benefits of our trip was meeting folks who owned trailerable trawlers as well as being able to talk with factory reps. We met one couple from Ohio, at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, who are owners of a Ranger 25. They've owned their trailerable trawler for about one year and could not say enough about the helpfulness of the Ranger Tug Company when they had a question or needed assistance. We found the same to be true with the owner we met of the C-Dory TomCat. In both cases we were able to get their unvarnished opinions of their boats handling characteristics, likes and dislikes of their respective vessels, and relationship with the builders. These types of testimonials are priceless when you're looking to buy a boat, whether it's new or used.

Shown here is the TomCat’s signature feature – its catamaran hull.

We had two full days of boat inspections and boarding's where we opened cabinets and lazerettes, looked at engines rooms and heads. We still have the Nordic Tug 26' and North Pacific 28' to examine. Until then we'll evaluate the boats weve seen but I need to state again that there is no one perfect boat! No one-boat design can fit the bill for everyone. With that said, if I could take the best parts of each of the first four boat boats we've boarded while in Florida, I think I could get pretty close to OUR perfect boat.

Here is how I think the perfect trailerable trawler would look like for US (subject to change, after we've boarded the Nordic Tug and North Pacific). First I'd take the hull of either the Aspen C90 or C-Dory TomCat for stability, we'd like to have the king-size bed on the Aspen and we'd like the Ranger Tug's fit and finish, layout and overall looks. If we could then add the sliding pilothouse doors of the Rosborough along with the cockpit hardtop cover we would be pretty darn close to OUR perfect boat.

Rosborough does a great job of maximizing the interior space of a trailerable boat.

I would guess this "fantasy" boat is just that, unless we decide to become boat builders sometime soon. So we'll need to be more realistic and continue the hard job of weighing the pros and cons of each of the models we've looked at. After we've looked at the Nordic Tug and North Pacific we'll be able to narrow the playing field down as our process of elimination continues. Meanwhile we'll be trying to contain our enthusiasm as we anticipate the continuation of our boating adventures.