July 1, 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 6, 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 6, 2013
Charlevoix - A Small Town With A World-Class Reputation

January 15, 2013
The Perfect Ending

January 1, 2013
Magical Weather & Mysterious Ports

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

December 1, 2012
New Neighbors

November 16, 2012
What Makes a Perfect Anchorage?

November 1, 2012
Are We There Yet?

October 15, 2012

October 1, 2012
Womens Roundtable

September 15, 2012
Freedom to Discover a Southern Gem

September 1, 2012

August 15, 2012
Nice to Have Options

August 1, 2012
Go West!

July 15, 2012
The Perfect Boating Vacation Destination

July 1, 2012

June 15, 2012
Flagler’s Folly

June 1, 2012
Everglades Detour

May 15, 2012
Making New Friends

May 1, 2012
Something Old and Something New

April 15, 2012
Florida’s Wide Open West Coast

April 1, 2012
Life On the Water in a Trailerable Trawler

March 15, 2012
Becoming Second Nature

March 1, 2012
Last Dance

February 15, 2012
Call it Romance or Mystique

February 1, 2012
Natural Wonders Abound

January 15, 2012
Hardly a Care in the World

January 1, 2012
Wide-Eyed Anticipation

December 15, 2011
Winding Our Way to Lake Powell

December 1, 2011
On to New Cruising Grounds

November 15, 2011
Sharing the Love

November 1, 2011
On the Water Again

October 14, 2011
First Impressions

October 3, 2011
Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Fun

September 15, 2011
Getting the Show on the Road

September 1, 2011
Lets Dance!

August 15, 2011
Getting Our Ducks in a Row

August 1, 2011
Summer Without a Boat

July 15, 2011
The Water and The Boater Home

July 1, 2011
One Step Closer

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

June 1, 2011
Made in the USA

May 15, 2011
Making the Right Truck Choice

May 1, 2011
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

April 15, 2011
What Goes Around Comes Around

April 1, 2011
Wishing Star Interlude

March 15, 2011
Helping Hands

March 1, 2011

February 15, 2011
Weighing the Options

February 1, 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 1, 2010
Homeward Bound-The Final Leg

November 15, 2010
Somethings In The Water

November 1, 2010
Our Turn to Relax & Smile

October 15, 2010
Gem in the Rough

October 1, 2010
Whats Your Favorite Place on the Loop?

September 15, 2010
Reflecting Pool

September 1, 2010
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

August 15, 2010
Canadian Wonderland

August 1, 2010
"Low Bridge, Everybody Down"

July 15, 2010
One Day At A Time

July 1, 2010
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

June 15, 2010
Lets All Do the Rendezvous

June 1, 2010
On the Hard

May 15, 2010
Falling in Love With Key West

May 1, 2010
Helping Women Get On Board

April 15, 2010
Key West - A Repeat Performance

April 1, 2010
Unexpected Pleasures

March 15, 2010
Mom Cruise

March 1, 2010
Okeechobee Bound

February 15, 2010
Chance Encounters

February 1, 2010
Three Nights in Paradise

January 15, 2010
New Frontiers

January 1, 2010
First Time Experiences

December 15, 2009
A Friend In Every Port

December 1, 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 1, 2009
Unlocking Our Minds Eye

September 18, 2009
Its In My Nature

August 15, 2009
The RBS Antidote

August 1, 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 1, 2009
Northern Migration

May 15, 2009

May 1, 2009
Hello Goodbye

April 15, 2009
Let The Sun Shine In!

April 1, 2009
Dont Worry, Be Happy

March 15, 2009
Bahama Bound

March 1, 2009
What Do You Do All Day?

February 15, 2009
Slow Motion

February 1, 2009
On The Hook With A Million-Dollar View

January 15, 2009
High Anxiety

January 1, 2009
A String Of One-Night Stands

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

December 1, 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 1, 2008
The Adventure Begins

September 15, 2008
Prepping For The Loop

September 1, 2008
The Space Ship

August 15, 2008
Jumping Aboard In Seattle

August 1, 2008
If We Knew Then What We Know Now!

July 10, 2008
The Second Time Around

July 1, 2008
Our Turn For The Great American Loop


Life On the Water in a Trailerable Trawler
By Kismet, Sunday, April 1, 2012

By Lisa Targal Favors

Since Jim and I have downsized from a 40-foot trawler to a 27-foot trailerable trawler, friends and acquaintances have been asking questions about how our recent change in boats has affected me as a woman boater. They also want to know if I am still as gung-ho about boating as I was previously. During our planning and discussion stages, I asked myself several questions. Will we be comfortable on a smaller boat? Will we get in each others way? Will I feel safe on the water? How will I deal with limited storage after being used to all that room on the Fathom 40? Will it now feel more like a vacation rather than a lifestyle and my number one question would we still be able to feel a sense of freedom and adventure on a trailerable trawler?

Here is our Fathom 40 and our new Ranger R27. You can see the considerable size difference.

Last year Jim and I made this change to our boating lifestyle, we sold our Fathom 40 trawler and downsized to a trailerable Ranger Tug R27. Long story short, while we loved our Fathom, we had to acknowledge that our needs were changing and when faced with change we like to go with the flow rather than fighting the inevitable. It’s never fun to fight change, you’ll only come out on the losing end, better to recognize the new circumstances and hop on for the ride. I believe the secret to staying young at heart is not being afraid to make changes in your life when the stars are not aligned and you want them reset, fortunately this comes easily for Jim and me. If I was hesitant at all about selling our Fathom and resuming our lifestyle on a smaller boat it was only because with change comes a need to reflect on what’s passed. I had to do this before I could actually focus on what we had to look forward to and how a change might better suit our new situation.

One of my favorite spots on the boat is the canvas covered cockpit area. We can relax here playing games, eating, reading or socializing. When the weather cooperates, this is where we like to be.

During our many discussions we realized we didn’t want to live aboard full-time any more; it was a mutual decision. We wanted to have a house again. We felt we needed a base to return to once in a while. Sometimes we felt constricted by having a bigger boat. We could never, without great effort and time, bring our boat home to the Great Lakes, just for the summer. In addition, in the back of my mind, I was starting to worry about where we would go if one of us got sick. Would we be in an unfamiliar spot and have to leave the boat and rent an apartment or house for a period of time? We are both in great health, but worry-wart that I am, it was gnawing at my mind. After five years of life on board the wheels were turning and so were we. On the flip side one question that came up a lot in our discussions was if either one of us wanted to give up boating? It was always a double, resounding, NO!

My answer to everyone concerned about our switch to a smaller boat is an emphatic, YES! It works for me, for us really. As soon as I stepped on board our new Kismet, I knew everything would be okay. I think I realized fairly soon on that the size of the boat doesn’t matter to me, once on the water it feels just the same whether we are cruising in a 40-foot boat or a 27-foot boat. I guess that’s because the most important thing to me is the freedom and adventure part. However, beyond all that, a well thought out trailerable trawler can offer everything a larger trawler will boast – just in miniature.

Our v-berth doubles as a sitting area where we can lean back and stretch our legs out during the day when we want to read or take a snooze.

Our Ranger Tug is outfitted with numerous amenities. We have a refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave, a roomy cockpit, lots of screened windows, overhead vents, both incandescent and LED lights, heat and air conditioning, an iPod docking station with speakers inside and out, HD/DVD TV, windlass, inverter, generator, solar panel, water heater, both bow and rear thrusters and a roomy, canvas covered, cockpit. My concern about storage was quickly set at ease when I realized that since we’re not living aboard full-time any more, I don’t need to take as much stuff on board because we’ll be returning to a house (and home) periodically where all our other “stuff” now resides. I also discovered that there really is a lot of room, for provisioned items, in the cupboards provided on our boat, as they are much bigger inside than appears, at first glance, on the outside. The little cubby under the oven reminds me of a “clown car.” You just would not believe what I have stored behind that little door.

This is how much stuff I can store behind that little door under the oven.

You would think cruising on a considerably smaller boat would make a big difference to a woman cruiser and truth be told there are some differences, but in my opinion, none that have caused me real concern. Sure, there’s not much to “decorate” on a smaller boat, we are more concerned with function and being comfortable, but now I have a house to fix up, so that’s not great a concern for me.

My friend Diane, on Bella Luna, who knows me well, was concerned that I would get seasick easily on a smaller boat. Well, in our four months of cruising on the new Kismet, I have only had to take Dramamine once. It was when we were at dock in Fort Myers Beach recently and an extremely windy day presented itself, the docks at the marina and our starboard side took the full brunt of the wind, we eventually just left the boat for several hours and it finally calmed down. We have always tried to plan our movement on good cruising days, and I have not noticed a discernible difference on the smaller boat.

In all honesty I have to say we could use another foot of space in our v-berth, it’s rather “cozy,” to say the least, but maybe this is really a good thing. When we return home we can always wallow in our king-sized comfort zone. We know there will be times when we’d like to accommodate another couple for an overnight stay, but we have adjusted to the fact that our 27-foot boat is perfect for just two. What is that saying? “Cocktails for six, dinner for four, sleeps two.” This is reality on our little red Ranger Tug.

RV Park

It takes much less time to clean a smaller boat when we get to port. This gives us more time to get off the boat to explore harbors, towns or visit with other boaters.

Another bonus for both of us is the fact that a smaller boat takes less time to clean, inside and out. Jim would spend up to 4 hours cleaning the outside (about 2 hours for me on the inside) of the Fathom vs. 1.5 man-hours on the outside (only under an hour for me to clean the inside) on the Ranger Tug. One of the reasons I boat is for the simplicity of it all and a smaller boat is definitely simpler – less to fix, clean and maintain. Then comes the savings in the pocket book; less boat equals more savings. A smaller boat costs less to dock, store, maintain, operate, and let’s not forget the difference in the cost of insurance.

For us, Boating has always been about the excitement of exploring new territory, but now that we have added the flexibility factor to the mix we know we have expanded opportunities for new adventures. We will also be able to tow our boat home this spring to use in the Great Lakes – all summer long. At a moment’s notice we will be able to tow it anywhere in the United States and Canada and fairly quickly compared to if we moved the boat by water to the same places. We do not have distant foreign destinations in mind for our cruising activities, we think what’s available in our own country and neighboring Canada will keep us busy trailering, exploring, and cruising for a long time.

We are currently cruising south along the west coast of Florida headed towards the Keys. This photo was taking on our way to an anchorage in Englewood.

I am glad to report, the freedom and adventure factor is still alive and well for the captain and crew on Kismet. Having put my number one fear to rest, we have picked up where we left off. While cruising the west coast of Florida this winter, heading towards the Keys, I’ve virtually forgotten that we used to travel on a much bigger boat. We are living and traveling as we did before. We’ve moved down Florida’s west coast as if we were still living full-time on a boat, moving from anchorage to marina like live-aboard nomads, making new friendships along the way and sometimes changing course when a whim arises. Guess you could say we are just two happy peas in a floating pod.