Captain's Choice completes the Great loop

Discussion in 'Sea Ray Lifestyle & Cruising' started by my3sons, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    Upstate NY (lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    On August 3, after 7992 miles, we crossed our wake in Buffalo NY, completing America's Great Loop cruise. It has been a dream of ours for years and we consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have been able to make that dream a reality. For anyone who is thinking about doing the loop, I urge you to take on one of the last great boating adventures, cast off your lines and head off into the unknown. You will be rewarded with a journey like no other, will meet untold numbers of like minded cruisers, and will make friendships and memories to last a lifetime.
    A tip of the cap to fellow CSR members we met along the way: The gang from Lake Michigan who allowed us to crash your rendevous last August in South Haven, Jeff and Wendy then again contacted us when in Ft Myers, thank you for taking time from your vacation to catch up with us. Sistership owners Kurt from Chicago and Bill from Beaufort, your kindness and local knowledge were much appreciated. AJ and Amy from Gimme Time, it was fun having docktails along the Trent Severn in Canada when we both were looping. To the many others that recognized the CSR burgee flying from our light staff and would say hello or shout out on the radio, it was nice to know we had friends in places we had never been.
     
  2. Ezsteps

    Ezsteps Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    396
    Nov 14, 2015
    Lake St. Clair-- Michigan
    1999 400 Sundancer, YL310 Zodiac
    7.4 Mercuisers Horizons 380 hp ea., 9.9 hp Mercury
    Congratulations, Glad you had a great trip and made it home safe. I think that trip is on a lot of boaters bucket list.
     
  3. Almightys

    Almightys Member

    180
    Jun 15, 2015
    Warren, MI
    1992 Sundancer 330, 7.4l's w vdrives, and genny
    454 Mercs
    That is just pure awesome! Hope to cross that one off in my lifetime! Congrats
     
  4. LTD.330

    LTD.330 Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2009
    Lake Erie
    1999 Sundancer 330
    7.4 MPI
    Congratulations on crossing your wake. The loop is on our bucket list.
     
  5. SeadawgVB

    SeadawgVB Member

    192
    Jul 8, 2013
    Tidewater Virginia
    '03 Sundancer 360
    Twin 8.1s with V-drives
    Congrats mark & Karen! I've been having "loop dreams" for many years now. Owning my current boat (360DA) is my next step towards the Great Loop. When my wife and I were beginning to window-shop for it, we called it our "interim" boat, so that we could lean how to handle a larger boat and learn about visiting new and unfamiliar marinas to prepare for the loop. We have just begun to explore the Chesapeake Bay.

    It was members here (The Van Halls; Sum Escape (44DA)) that we noticed in Portsmouth VA flying a AGLCA burgee on their 42 Grand banks and struck up a conversation. After talking for about 45 minutes we headed home and as my wife was getting into the car she said "OK, I'm in." That's when we got serious about finding the "interim boat"!
     
  6. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Congrats on making the dream come true.

    What a trip, what memories.

    Would love to hear more about the journey.

    Mark
     
  7. Pyrojodge

    Pyrojodge Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    May 1, 2011
    Lake Erie Ohio
    1989 Sea Ray 340 DA
    twin 454 Mercs
    Awesome....... It's on my bucket list for sure... You'll have to give us some numbers when you get everything sorted out.
     
  8. All's Well

    All's Well Member

    469
    Jan 14, 2010
    Houston
    '03 460DA
    6CTA's
    Awesome!!!!
    Congrats on making the loop, it's a hope of mine to be able to do it at some point as well.
     
  9. chuck1

    chuck1 Super Moderator TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    North GA Mountains
    Looking For Next One
    Looking For Next One
    Congrats!!!! Where is the link to all the pictures and blog?
     
  10. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Congratulations on completing a journey that many just dream about.

    I too look forward to seeing photos and your narrative about the trip.
     
  11. Escape22

    Escape22 Member

    181
    May 22, 2017
    Milwaukee WI
    1986 210 SXL
    5.7 260 Merc
    someday !!
     
  12. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    2000 Cruisers 3870
    97 270 Sundancer
    85 Sea Ray Monaco 197
    8.2 Mercs,
    7.4 BII
    260hp Alpha 1
    It is so good to see the completion of such a long journey. It was about a year ago we were meeting in South Haven. Congratulations!!!

    MM
     
  13. bracketracer

    bracketracer Active Member

    297
    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons
    Nice to see a local do this! Making plans to do the same 9 years from now. And 8k miles! Bunch of side trips?
     
  14. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    Upstate NY (lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    Thanks guys! I will put some numbers up when I get a chance.
    The link to The Admiral's blog and all the pics is below.
    Yes a few side trips, the big one was doing Canada in 2015 and returning home through Huron and Erie, then heading out again after full retirement. Also spent a month in the keys, didn't cut it short by going through Okeechobee.
    www.ourcaptainschoice.blogspot.com
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
    Doc O Rock likes this.
  15. JC3

    JC3 Active Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Kentucky
    N/A
    N/A
    Mark, What a great accomplishment for your family. I salute you. Great job! JC
     
  16. northshore

    northshore Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 17, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    1989 340 Sundancer
    Raymarine E90W Radar/Chartplotter
    Twin 454 Mercruiser 340's
    Congrats Mark! - Looking forward to reading the admirals blog!
     
  17. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    Upstate NY (lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    For those that wanted to see the numbers on the loop, here's the tally.
    Period of travel: 6-14-15 through 8-23-15 (Canada mostly, western shore of Lake Huron, Lake Erie)
    7-24-16 through 8-3-17 (Back to Michigan to pick up where we left off and then complete the trip.
    Loop-in-progress time: 25.5 months
    Total days actually looping: 447
    Total miles traveled: 7992
    Travel days: 201
    Average distance traveled on travel days: 39.8 miles
    longest distance traveled at one time: 172 miles, Gulf crossing (Dog Island to Tarpon Springs)
    Average speed for entire loop: (total miles / total hours put on engines) 8.58 mph
    Typical travel speed: 9.5 +/- mph
    Locks transited: 141
    Bridges: (swung, lifted or otherwise moved for us to pass) 110
    hours put on the engines: 931
    hours put on the generator: 204
    Nights spent at a marina: 278
    at anchor: 96
    at a free wall or dock: 62
    on a mooring ball: 11
    Dinged props: 0
    Groundings: 0
    Haul outs: 0

    Most of the Dollars and cents:
    Grocery costs were slightly less than when we are not looping.
    Dining out (all meals, apps, wineries and craft breweries etc) were slightly more than not looping. We tried to keep this in line with our normal lifestyle
    but were sure to get out enough to experience local fare and well rated local restaurants.

    Boat expenses: all routine. Oil, filters, fuel additives, anodes, cleaning supplies etc. Also $375 for Loop rider onto insurance.
    We had 3 non-routine maintenance items, all age related: radio handset cord started cracking and disintegrated $95,
    strata glass panel cracked when I rolled it up on a cool morning $200 to have a new panel sewn in.
    Walker air sep housing hairline crack that started dripping oil $475
    Labor spent on boat: divers to clean bottom, 3 times at $2.50/ft plus one $15 charge to change diver plate I provided.
    We were very fortunate that all the systems on the boat never skipped a beat and she ran perfect mechanically.

    Fuel: 5686 gallons @ average cost of $2.83/gal= $16075.
    I estimate based on previous years that I would have spent $8000 in fuel for the boat in the 6 summer months that I would have used the boat here
    had we not looped, maybe more because we are retired now, and her explorer and my f-350 sat for 64 weeks, with that factored in, (that's not reaching, is it?)
    fuel cost difference: $4038 more to loop.

    Dockage: This is the big one. 278 nights in a marina plus 11 nights on a paid mooring ball that I can only subtract 1 winter's indoor storage from.
    We had to pay for our slip here at home because we were here for a part of the 3 summers involved, and there are no empty 44' slips at the marina
    and we would have lost our slip to someone else. Total cost for docking: $14317 - $2000 winter storage = $12317.

    Misc. costs: $2844. This is stuff like charts, gifts, air fare to fly home for Christmas, Uber, renting cars to visit nearby places of interest,
    upgrades to cell phone service, FL registration etc. all loop related.

    Additional costs at home like lawn care, snow plowing, and upgrading security system were more than offset by cancelling cable, minimums on utility bills,
    removing insurance from our vehicles, etc. Family members took care of our mail forwarding.

    We spent quite a bit on entertainment like city tours, theater, baseball games, concerts, museums etc but that's half the reason we went.

    Totaled up it was about a $22300 trip.
    Spending almost 450 days doing what we have talked about for years, seeing things and hearing about peoples stories, chasing 80 degrees and sunshine around the
    eastern half of the country in a 2 bedroom 2 bath condo on the water and spending more than a year in shorts and bathing suits: priceless.
     
  18. Alegria

    Alegria Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Lancaster,PA Boat: -Sue Creek, MD
    2000 410 DA
    3126 CAT
    Thank you SO much for taking the time to post up all this information. Please complement your wife on her blogging effort is was so enjoyable, I'm still reading. Your information shared really puts a great perspective on this adventure. I think I would like mostly all of it, well except for the Mississippi River section LOL...

    Hope you continue to enjoy cruising and the boat stays running well.
     
  19. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    Sounds so amazing! I cannot wait to do this one day!

    Josh
     
  20. bracketracer

    bracketracer Active Member

    297
    Aug 23, 2016
    Wilson, NY
    2001 380DA
    Twin 454 Horizons
    Stellar wrap up! Thank you so much for this!
     

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