Anybody complete the Great Loop?

Discussion in 'Sea Ray Lifestyle & Cruising' started by Arizona Mike, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. majoma

    majoma Member

    256
    Oct 10, 2008
    San Francisco
    2000 340, V drive
    Twin 7.4
    I would love to do the Great Loop but being on the left coast makes it hard. Someone suggested to buy a boat in Florida and re-sale it after the trip but even that is not easy to do.
    The longest trip I did was four years ago from San Francisco to La Paz, Mexico.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr7tM2iKc30
     
  2. Gimme Time

    Gimme Time Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    738
    Jan 7, 2007
    Charlottesville, VA./ Deltaville, VA
    2006 52SB, Ray Marine E120, Garmin 7612 through BOE site sponsor,
    QSM11s
    Not hard to do at all as about a third of the boats on the Great Loop where bought and sold after they completed the loop. I'm in Florida this week with two couples we met on the loop whom both bought looper boats and each sold them within 6 months of completing the loop.
     
  3. SeadawgVB

    SeadawgVB Active Member

    198
    Jul 8, 2013
    Tidewater Virginia
    '03 Sundancer 360
    Twin 8.1s with V-drives
    I'm glad this thread bubbled back up to the top or I may have missed it. I singled out the above quote due to the fact that I actually met the Van Halls while they were heading north to explore the Chesapeake after completing the loop and then spending some time in South Florida and the Bahamas.


    I've been having "loop dreams" (as I call it) for about five years now. I also work across the street from where the AGLCA have their spring rendezvous and get to see many loopers come and go. With still having one child in high school, we have to wait a little longer to begin out loop.


    My wife and I were out "window shopping" for a boat to explore the Chesapeake with the intent of finding out whether or not we might actuall be able to do the loop some day. I noticed the AGLCA burgee on the bow of Sum Escape and struck up a 45 minute conversation with them. To make a long story short, my wife said out loud as we got into the car "Alright, I'm in." I had to work real hard to not shout out loud!


    I read thru almost all of the Van Hall's blog page and kinda keep track where they are using their AIS thru vesselfinder.com (I hope that doesn't make me a stalker!) I just like to see the variety of locations that they stop in.



    I'm kind of trying to emulate their example. (They used their 44DA to explore Lake Michigan before moving into a Grand Banks for the loop.)

    My thought process (like theirs) is use a mid-sized Sundancer to get my feet wet and explore the Chesapeake and learn the ropes, so to speak. The Sundancer would be able to get us home to return to work on schedule as opposed to trawler speeds that works for a less tighter schedule. Then when the youngest is settled into college, move into a trawler type boat with an extra space or two (flybridge, separate salon, etc).


    I'm currently looking for validation or criticism for my thought process. It served the Van Halls well, but others say "buy your last boat first......"
     
  4. BigBoysToys

    BigBoysToys New Member

    421
    Mar 12, 2013
    Hudson River/NY Harbor/LI Sound
    2009 Riviera 4400 Sport Yacht
    Twin Volvo Penta IPS600
    Usually the "buy your last boat first" comment refers to size. You have pretty legitimate reasons to potentially buy two boats. Just keep in mind the depreciation, brokers fees, sales tax, etc that will be spent twice.
     
  5. bracketracer

    bracketracer Active Member

    313
    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons
    I'm right on board with you (no pun) with your thought process. We're going to use our 380DA to do some Lake Ontario exploring, then likely a longer trip up the Trent to the Georgian Bay. And even though we only picked this boat up last year, when we finally make the Loop commitment, get into a diesel trawler of some sort.
     
  6. SeadawgVB

    SeadawgVB Active Member

    198
    Jul 8, 2013
    Tidewater Virginia
    '03 Sundancer 360
    Twin 8.1s with V-drives
    Most likely it will be about four to five years (which is about the most I will be able to stand) before the trawler transition, so maybe those fees won't be as painful.
     
  7. SeadawgVB

    SeadawgVB Active Member

    198
    Jul 8, 2013
    Tidewater Virginia
    '03 Sundancer 360
    Twin 8.1s with V-drives
    The Trent is on the MUST DO list!
    How do you like he 380 w/454s. Do you find yourself wishing for the 8.1s or the 3126s?
     
  8. bracketracer

    bracketracer Active Member

    313
    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons
    Yeah, been following a few blogs and pictorials from the Trent. It looks amazing.

    So on the 7.4/8.1 thing...honestly, I don't have a frame of reference, so I can say that I'm pretty happy with what I have. On the diesel thing, do I wish for them? Yeah. But, I negotiated a screaming deal on this boat. Fresh water only, 230 total hours, not a nick anywhere, for $20-30k less than comparable salt boats with double and triple the hours. The fuel cost savings, even if I keep this thing for 8-10 years, would never be realized.
     
  9. SeadawgVB

    SeadawgVB Active Member

    198
    Jul 8, 2013
    Tidewater Virginia
    '03 Sundancer 360
    Twin 8.1s with V-drives
    Check youtube for some videos of the marine railway and the lift locks.... Nothing short of amazing!!

    And I agree on the fuel costs being un-realized. I think that's currently where I'm stuck in the decision making process. Diesels in a 380DA seems to add 20-25K (or more) to the gas powered price tag.
     
  10. bracketracer

    bracketracer Active Member

    313
    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons
    Yep, watched those a few times. This whole idea of the trip has captivated me. Wife is still a little dubious.

    Looking at Yachtworld listings right now, the least expensive diesel 380 is $42k more than I paid for mine, has 5x the hours, and is salty. But, with that said, I'll definitely go diesel before doing The Loop.
     
  11. electricaldoctor

    electricaldoctor Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    May 14, 2008
    Thousand Islands, Rockport, Ontario.
    1988 390 EC
    454 Mercruiser Gassers
    What should be on the wish list for the ideal "Looper Boat"
     
  12. bracketracer

    bracketracer Active Member

    313
    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons
    Man, after all of the reading I've been doing, it's all over the place.

    I suppose for me, my current boat wouldn't be ideal for a couple of reasons.
    1) fuel mileage/cost
    2) it would be nice to have a galley on the main deck, so that neither of us is stuck below without a view for stretches of the trip. We both like to cook, and get fairly elaborate with meal planning and prep. It would be nice to do that on the same level as the helm.

    It seems that the majority of Loopers like to use some sort of single diesel trawler (with bow and stern thrusters). Not ideal for open water crossing, I'd imagine, but good for the two items I mentioned.
     
  13. kiloil

    kiloil Member

    191
    Sep 15, 2013
    Tallahassee, Florida
    2015 25' SLX 8.2L-SOLD
    BOATLESS
    Really single diesel trawler? I just can't imagine going that slow for so long. It would drive me nuts.
     
  14. Jack380AC

    Jack380AC Member

    854
    Jan 28, 2008
    West Chester, PA / North East, MD
    2000 380 Aft Cabin
    Twin 454 Mag MPI Horizon MerCruiser
    The one you own.
     
  15. bracketracer

    bracketracer Active Member

    313
    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons
    Considering the range of different boats I've seen do this trip, this isn't a bad answer.

    If I could drop everything tomorrow, I'd have no hesitations at all doing this in our 380.
     
  16. bracketracer

    bracketracer Active Member

    313
    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons
    I agree to a point. In open water (Great Lakes, Chesapeake, Gulf), sure, but if you're more focused on the journey rather than the destination, it really doesn't matter. Hug the shorelines, and take in the scenery.
     
  17. Gimme Time

    Gimme Time Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    738
    Jan 7, 2007
    Charlottesville, VA./ Deltaville, VA
    2006 52SB, Ray Marine E120, Garmin 7612 through BOE site sponsor,
    QSM11s
    IMHO as I've done the Loop our 420AC was/is a great boat for us. We run weekends, weeks even 11 months at a time on the Loop and like our size, comfort and ability to crawl or run 20kt when we wanted to. Great cross between boat and dollar for dollar we haven't see. Anything in the 9 years we've had her we'd swap for.

    That at being said we've traveled with Sun Dancer as well as a Well Craft Portfinio with 3126's Cats as well so the 380 has as good if not better accommodations as some of the older clunkers we've seen out there. I wouldn't hesitate to do it in a 380. The only short coming which can be overcome is gas fuel Mileage iba few places. Lots of Buddy boats out there and ya run the speed required to get the fuel mileage required where need be and your home safe.

    I lost my my dad at 54 and oldest sister at 56 and neither had any weight problems. I started the loop at 60 and finished this spring. Non of us are guaranteed tomorrow so do it when you can rather than waiting till you think you can and read the book "Honey let's buy a boat" by Rob & Eva Stob. You want be able to put it down. Feel free to asked me any questions and start planning!
     
  18. SeadawgVB

    SeadawgVB Active Member

    198
    Jul 8, 2013
    Tidewater Virginia
    '03 Sundancer 360
    Twin 8.1s with V-drives
    This question is similar to "What's the best anchor?"

    There are certain requirements / restrictions i.e. 19' 1" fixed bridge near Chicago, 5 foot draft (6 foot depending on route) and a minimum of 250 mile range. After that it comes down to preferences. Probably one of the most discussed preference is how much fuel do you feel like burning. There was actually some guy from Virginia Beach who did the entire loop on a PWC in less than 90 days, but I don't believe that is the preferred method. (Kinda defeats the purpose in my book.)

    Check out this website: http://www.captainjohn.org/Looperboat.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  19. bracketracer

    bracketracer Active Member

    313
    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons

    All good info. And yeah, that book will be waiting for me when I get home tonight.

    I've already read this
    https://smile.amazon.com/Crossing-Wake-Womans-Great-Adventure/dp/1635052378
     
  20. Jack380AC

    Jack380AC Member

    854
    Jan 28, 2008
    West Chester, PA / North East, MD
    2000 380 Aft Cabin
    Twin 454 Mag MPI Horizon MerCruiser
    Totally agree. Our 380AC has a sweet spot at about 9 mph. Seems like we can go forever on very little fuel. She can also get up and go over 20 if needed. I also agree that when everything considered, we always choose our boat over all other options.
     

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