Leila and I (Greg) just bought a new boat, a Sea Ray 270 Flybridge.  We are currently overhauling it and should have it in the water by the end of spring.   There is not much to write about now, but here is where all our journeys will be logged.  We are excited with our new boat and cannot wait to go exploring, we are unsure where we take it this year.  We want to go to Lake Champlain again, but also want to explore the Finger Lakes and western Erie Canal.   Maybe we will do both, but I doubt we will have the time.

How we chose this boat:

We chose the boat for a number of reasons but the few things that made this boat stand out were:

  • Motorboat - Nothing against sailing, we love it, but they do make good homes in the size range we were looking at.   They also have inferior visibility (steer from aft of boat), draft (3′+), speed (~6 mph), etc.   Besides the fuel economy (due to small engines) and the actual time sailing, there are little advantages of cruising on a sailboat of about 25-28 feet.  My parents have a sailboat too, so no since of getting another, and you cannot sail the canal anyways.
  • Flybridge - We wanted good visibility to see markers, as well as full windows ‘down below’ to prevent feeling like we were in a dungeon.  Flybridge boats also have a nice rear cockpit for sitting outside and relaxing, which works well for us as we love the outdoors, and so do our dogs.
  • 10′ Beam - 10′ is 25% more than 8′, which makes a big difference as far as being cramped up.  Also we are hoping it will be more stable when at anchor in small waves, though we are not expecting to see a big difference.
  • Fuel Economy - We did not want to waste all our money on fuel, especially since when we bought this boat, fuel was about $4.30/gal for an automobile, and much more at a marina.
  • Headroom - I am 5′9″, and I could not stand easily in the sailboat, with the flybridge, this is no issue. (besides the bathroom, but Leila can stand)
  • Trailerable - Absolutely required, as we store the boat at home to save money, without this we could not afford a new boat.  This kept us looking at boats with 10′ beam or less, and less than about 28′ and 10,000#.  This also worked in the favor of fuel economy above.

There were also a lot of little things that were now necessities on a new boat.  Leila only asked for a shower, A/C and a swim platform, of which the new boat has the shower and swim platform, and I have an A/C unit that will be installed before the heat of summer.

My (our) biggest complaint about the sailboat was that everything was temporary.  What I mean by this is that when we wanted to cook, we had to get out the grill/stove and use it on the aft seating area.  When we wanted to sleep we had to move the sails somewhere else.  When we ate, we had to take the table from half folded to unfolded.  Water was dispensed from a jug (had fresh water system, but it broke after about a week).  There are more, I just can’t think of any, but I think you get the picture.  This was not a big deal most of the time, but living like this day after day started to wear on us.

To deal with the temporary issue, I wanted the next boat to have a permanent stove, freshwater system, black water system, table, etc.  The above requirements indirectly had taken care of most of this.  The wider boat means more space, and thus the table is off to the side.  No sails/rigging means more space for other things.  A working fridge, stove and sink means we we can cook from the galley inside.  There is ample room around the boat so we are not atop each other.  I also liked the idea of the lower steering helm, this means that when the weather is bad, or it is hot, we can be inside.  Other things we liked were the large 110 gallon fuel tank which will make stopping for fuel every other day a thing of the past.

There is not currently a black water system, but I hope to change this either this year or the next.   Also the boat does not currently have a hot water heater, but we may put one in for warm showers.  I’m not sure how necessary it is as the water tank is in the engine compartment which means that water should be at least air temperature, if not warmer.  We are putting a full enclosure so we can enjoy the boat ‘Rain or Shine’, which is how we operate, and the boat got its name.  Leila loves the rain, and thus we do things raining or not.

Stay tuned, come springtime when the boat is out from being winterized I will post photos and show the improvements we are making.

In the meantime, read about our trip that we took from Oneida Lake to Lake Champlain and back on my parents sailboat in 2007.  We spent 29 days living on the boat and it got us hooked on cruising, and that is why we bought this boat.  Find it here.

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