PDA

View Full Version : What would you guys do in my predicament?



michigangeorge
05-15-2013, 07:46 AM
After months of weighing our options and discussing the pros and cons, Sandy and I have decided to make the move back to Florida to spend more time with our kids and grandchildren. This of course entails selling our home and along with it, my beautiful boatshop. We live in a popular summer resort area so if our home sells it will likely happen over the next 90-120 days.
So here's my problem. The restoration of my 18' Fenwick Williams catboat is not yet finished and there is no way I can complete it within three months or less as most of my available time will be taken with maintaining our property in A-1 shape for real estate showings. I can probably finish her exterior paintwork over the summer but the spars need varnishing, the engine is in place but not hooked up, the electrical system needs to be installed and the interior needs to have some cabinetry work completed and then painted. She is therefor an unfinished project with all the pieces there but not ready to sail. Like many of you, I have far more invested in this project than I would ever receive if I sold her even when she is finished but we do this as a labor of love and knowing how these things work.
My dilemma is this: do I take out an ad in our favorite magazine and sell her as is at a huge loss? Have her trucked to Florida (my Ridgeline tows her locally just fine but is not enough truck for highway use) and try to finish her outside in that climate?
New England catboats work just fine in Florida waters but then I would need to paint over all her beautiful new brightwork as I won't have a shop to work in.
I cannot afford to have a boatyard complete the job but maybe I should ship her to Maine or Cape Cod and try to sell through a broker while paying storage fees in some yard?
I love this little boat but right now she's causing me a lot of sleepless nights. What would you guys do?

wizbang 13
05-15-2013, 07:58 AM
Are you sure your pick up cannot tow her? I towed a Lightning across the country with a VW aircooled beetle, (with a diesel engine in the passenger seat).
My adventure means nothing to you , except to reflect that my ONLY option would be to take her to Florida, by hook or by crook, ( whatever that means).
brightwork? screw the brightwork.
bruce

oldsub86
05-15-2013, 08:24 AM
Make sure the trailer tires and bearings are in good shape and haul her south.
Keep her under cover even if it is only one of the tent style sheds and keep up your varnish.
I am sure there are boats in Florida with brightwore.
You can always paint over it some day when you get tired of sanding and varnishing.

chuckt
05-15-2013, 08:33 AM
I have had a lot of luck with Uship.com I've got some amazing savings on shipping heavy stuff. I absolutely would ship her/have her towed to Florida.

Like Wiz, I would think you could tow her with your truck. Wiz--funny story about towing with a beetle. I did close to the same thing and towed a 420 down to a race in Florida. Of course, a lightning is a lot heavier. My beetle used to vapor lock when I worked her hard--like on mountain roads. I was really worried we wouldn't make it.

chuckt
05-15-2013, 09:01 AM
I took a quick look at Uship. I see some "tow on trailer" bids or prior shipments from the upper Midwest to/from the Southeast in the $1500 to $4000 range

michigangeorge
05-15-2013, 09:11 AM
Are you sure your pick up cannot tow her? I towed a Lightning across the country with a VW aircooled beetle, (with a diesel engine in the passenger seat).
My adventure means nothing to you , except to reflect that my ONLY option would be to take her to Florida, by hook or by crook, ( whatever that means).
brightwork? screw the brightwork.
bruce
Wiz, I towed her here 500 miles on flat land with no traffic across the UP of Michigan and burned through a set of brakes doing so. Once I made it to our local hills the 6 cylinder Honda was straining to get her up. Even at 18' she is basically twice as much boat as a comparable Marshall Cat and sitting on a heavy equipment hauler type trailer with no brakes. I'd have no problem painting over many good base coats of varnish so the paint could be sanded off at some future date but I'm not there yet.

kelso
05-15-2013, 09:17 AM
My Caledonia Yawl was shipped via Uship -New Hampshire to Texas. I am very pleased with the service and all the options the online service allows. You can change the parameters of your 'search' on Uship anytime, even in the middle of your 'auction'. The hauler contacted me daily. Like Ebay, just look for a highly-rated hauler. I would not have been able to make the up-there-and-back trip for the price I paid through Uship.

Thorne
05-15-2013, 09:25 AM
You probably know this, but out here many boats use small fitted fabric (sunbrella or ?) covers for their brightwork, usually set up with snaps or toggles. Seems worth a try to keep it, as you can always paint over the brightwork later.

Garret
05-15-2013, 09:40 AM
Wiz, I towed her here 500 miles on flat land with no traffic across the UP of Michigan and burned through a set of brakes doing so. Once I made it to our local hills the 6 cylinder Honda was straining to get her up. Even at 18' she is basically twice as much boat as a comparable Marshall Cat and sitting on a heavy equipment hauler type trailer with no brakes. I'd have no problem painting over many good base coats of varnish so the paint could be sanded off at some future date but I'm not there yet.

Maybe use/buy another trailer? $1500 shipping could instead buy a decent used trailer with brakes. $4000 or less could buy an old pickup that'd handle your current one no sweat.

Canoeyawl
05-15-2013, 09:45 AM
Rent a small closed truck with a hitch tow the boat south and finish the project at your leisure.
There must be other stuff (tools, paint stuff, and etc) you want to move that you could put in the truck that the movers may not allow in the van.
The cost of the rental may be less than the cost of a effective classified ad.

htom
05-15-2013, 09:49 AM
You know she wants to take the grandkids sailing with you in those warm Florida waters once you've finished ... ship or tow.

Gib Etheridge
05-15-2013, 09:49 AM
Since you probably will be bringing a lot of personal belongings to Fla. perhaps it will work for you to rent a bigger truck that will hold those belongings and tow the catboat at the same time. That may even be cheaper than hiring a moving company, especially if Sandy drives the family truck with a camper on it allowing you to save on motels. My wife and I drove separate vehicles from New Hamp. to B.C. I towed a trailer with all of my tools. We had the 2 little kids with us. Most nights we slept in the vehicles at truck stops, maybe twice we got motel rooms to refresh.

Store the boat under a tent in Fla. and finish it at your leisure. It would be a real shame to lose not only your work but your dream.

Gerarddm
05-15-2013, 09:49 AM
Haul south, young man.

ahp
05-15-2013, 09:54 AM
I don't know how big your cat boat is, but could you put it in the moving van. I brought my 17 ft O'Day DaySailor from Massachusetts to Georgia that way, along with all our other stuff. Getting the cat boat in and out of the van would be a special task but it could be done, for extra money of course.

Aside from the trailer issue, if your pickup is not up to the job, could you rent a husky diesel pickup for the task?

George Ray
05-15-2013, 09:56 AM
BRAKES?:
If the trailer issue is brakes then look into putting a new axle on the existing trailer. If you use an electric controller in your vehicle it is pretty much an unbolt then bolt swap. Something you could do even. Should be much cheaper than new trailer.

Priorities:
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Do just what needs to be done to sail safely as if that was the most important thing. Work on perfect after you win the lottery and have more spare time.

Tangusso
05-15-2013, 10:04 AM
I used Certified Marine Transport to haul my 1935 Richardson 32' Cruisabout from Michigan to NH (everyone else here seems to be getting out of NH...something I should know?). They used their own equipment, took care of all permitting, and delivered ahead of schedule and on budget. They worked hard to schedule a return move before we pulled the trigger which saved a lot of money. It was an extensive project and cost just under $4k. They will also do hauls on your trailer with smaller trucks. In my case it was critical to find someone with documented experience moving old wood hulls. Their insurance policy was good too. I have contact info if you are interested.

Robert Wilkinson
05-15-2013, 10:21 AM
However you do it, take her to Florida!

Breakaway
05-15-2013, 10:36 AM
Take her. Paint her. Finish her. Sail her.

Kevin

wizbang 13
05-15-2013, 10:37 AM
So ,......... you gonna be Florida George?

Hwyl
05-15-2013, 11:07 AM
Sell the construction trailer and buy a trailer with brakes, you'll need it anyway. Where you moving to west, east or panhandle?

Mike Vogdes
05-15-2013, 11:09 AM
Finish it in Florida and take the grand kids sailing. Think Cetol..

michigangeorge
05-15-2013, 11:36 AM
Thanks for the comments so far guys. We moved up here with a large U-Haul towing a 22' Chris Craft and although it got the job done it was a miserable ride in that rig. My wife was still driving then so she followed with one of our vehicles. As the result of a couple of bad accidents she no longer drives. In addition, we have absolutely no idea of where we really want to settle aside from being within an hour or less from our kids in Naples. We will likely try to arrange for a rental as we search the area for housing. May might end up in an upscale golf community where they won't even allow my Ridgeline because it is a "pick-up" or some other silly restriction. We could end up in a condo with even more restrictions, or in a $5000 beater trailer in a MHP. Everything remains up in the air depending on the investment opportunity or location we find once there. Basically, the only thing we like about Florida is the good boating water and sunshine, and family of course. My shop full of tools and a small dog with a big bark she uses often, create even more challenges. Not looking forward to this excursion :-(

John Boone
05-15-2013, 11:38 AM
Headed back to Sarasota.?

The rental idea for a small enclosed truck sounds like a good option for you.

You might be able to work out a space under the shed at George's to do your annual work or store the boat...A number of the local gang you know down that way have.

John

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

Oldad
05-15-2013, 12:50 PM
Haul it or ship it. I sent my son's car from FL to VT for 600 with no probs and glad I did. If you love the boat, don't abandon it.

rbgarr
05-15-2013, 01:54 PM
It sounds like the basic move will be enough of a challenge that adding the boat into it may be too much. If you advertise it in WB maybe you could include a 'shipping allowance' in order to encourage someone from afar to make a deal.

michigangeorge
05-15-2013, 02:39 PM
Headed back to Sarasota.?

The rental idea for a small enclosed truck sounds like a good option for you.

You might be able to work out a space under the shed at George's to do your annual work or store the boat...A number of the local gang you know down that way have.

John

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

John, I agree, I'd be stopping at George's shop first thing if we were going back to Sarasota but it is just too inconvenient from Naples. Besides, then I'd be working right under the eyes of a master builder whom I'm certain would have something to say about my work habits :-)

michigangeorge
05-15-2013, 02:42 PM
It sounds like the basic move will be enough of a challenge that adding the boat into it may be too much. If you advertise it in WB maybe you could include a 'shipping allowance' in order to encourage someone from afar to make a deal.

Thats been the way I'm feeling RB. Good idea about the shipping allowance should I decide to part with her.

Reynard38
05-15-2013, 03:40 PM
I've got a full cover on both my knickerbocker and my Coquina. Keeps the sun off the brightwork.
Having to deal with a cover is a small price to pay for year your sailing!

waltwood
05-15-2013, 04:17 PM
I don't want to take a different tack than almost everyone else but don't take it to Florida unless you are absolutely sure you will finish her off. You will have a different life down there and the boat might not get finished for a long while or never. i have seen people move and do nothing with their project and then you have the added expense of the move to add to your loss. I know it means a lot to you and would be hard to give it up but you asked our opinion.

Harbourmaster
05-15-2013, 04:58 PM
How could you move to Naples Florida and NOT take the boat!?

I know it would mean some extra work and expense... but so would starting AGAIN from scratch!

JayInOz
05-15-2013, 06:13 PM
The loves in your life seem to be your family and your boat George. So plan to live in Florida with both- unless of course you're just another old fart waiting to die:) JayInOz

Peter Malcolm Jardine
05-15-2013, 07:50 PM
Here is the deal with situations like this..... if you sell the boat, you may never get it back, or have the energy to start another project that large. For the sake of a pain in the ass trip at either lower speeds with your ridgeway, or renting a truck, or having someone haul it down there, you still have the boat. Yep, inconvenient, maybe an extra expense, but in the grand scheme of all things boat, you will probably regret selling it.

Oldad
05-15-2013, 08:37 PM
Wait a minute, 18 feet? Wont that fit into a bigger uhaul? there ya go, load it up, pack other stuff around it, get your son, son in law or college age grandson to come up and drive it down for you. No sweat. Trailer wont fit, leave it and buy another in FL... uh oh, what about the mast smart guy? Lash it to the roof?

Timmo
05-16-2013, 02:42 AM
Clearly keep the boat, somehow. Loads of suggestions so far. But life without a shop? You've got to give some priority to re-establishing a decent boatshop. I cannot imagine how frustrating life would be without one.

Lewisboater
05-16-2013, 08:29 AM
Rent a Pickup and haul it down, have the wife follow in the Ridgeline. Or rent a U-haul and haul some of your possessions along with the boat.

MoMan
05-16-2013, 08:50 AM
At 18 feet, it should fit in a standard public storage facility. I pay $100 per month to store my 18' ski boat in one. You could store it for a few months until you get settled in Florida, then decide.

wizbang 13
05-16-2013, 10:21 AM
I have had a lot of luck with Uship.com I've got some amazing savings on shipping heavy stuff. I absolutely would ship her/have her towed to Florida.

Like Wiz, I would think you could tow her with your truck. Wiz--funny story about towing with a beetle. I did close to the same thing and towed a 420 down to a race in Florida. Of course, a lightning is a lot heavier. My beetle used to vapor lock when I worked her hard--like on mountain roads. I was really worried we wouldn't make it.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7290/8743676965_2de2488675_c_d.jpgGoing up the mountains was no problem , 35 in second gear. It was the brakes that were the weak point. "Specially when we took a "shortcut" through Vermont and my wife was navigating, the "shortcut " was over a steep lil mountain. I drove this car both ways across country 3 times , still own it. You can see the 7hp white Ducati diesel in the seat, my wife rode in the "bunk" in back. The actual seat was in the boat.

Bert Langley
05-16-2013, 10:55 AM
What is the beam on the boat? I suspect it will not fit in any u-haul you can rent, and I think anything over 8' can result in needing special permits.

michigangeorge
05-16-2013, 02:22 PM
[QUOTE=MoMan;3794448]At 18 feet, it should fit in a standard public storage facility. I pay $100 per month to store my 18' ski boat in one. You could store it for a few months until you get settled in Florida, then decide.[/QUOTE

She's only 18' hull length but her beam is 8 1/2' and she stands 8 1/2' high on her trailer. Her mast sits another 2' higher than that and is 24' long. These are BIG little boats.

Gib Etheridge
05-16-2013, 02:28 PM
Sounds to me like you need to go down there and stay with family for a short while and look around at what's available. I wouldn't be satisfied without a shop.

rbgarr
05-16-2013, 04:15 PM
She's only 18' hull length but her beam is 8 1/2' and she stands 8 1/2' high on her trailer. Her mast sits another 2' higher than that and is 24' long. These are BIG little boats.

I wouldn't want to tow that to FLA either, especially with a Ridgeline-size truck.

rvanvoris
05-16-2013, 05:55 PM
"Don't give up the ship"

Lewisboater
05-16-2013, 08:37 PM
Sorry... had to throw this in. I just saw it and it seemed apropos with all the beetle discussions

http://www.wimp.com/beetleidea/