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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tow vehicles and boats



My converted ambulance/motorhome makes a pretty good tow vehicle. It's got a big 7.3 powerstroke turbo diesel engine, so towing a small sailboat isn't too hard. My previous tow vehicle was a Ford truck with the older version of the 7.3 diesel. Both of those beasts were converted to run on waste vegetable oil, so that reduced travel expenses.

Now my lovely wife and I are looking at maybe getting a slightly bigger sailboat in a year or two. The van could easily handle a bigger boat. If it can be put on a trailer, the van can pull it.

Of course, the van won't last forever. Do I really want to be locked into needing a big vehicle to tow a boat? I got a fantastic deal on the van, but I can't count on getting a deal like that again. Also, I can see the end of easily available waste veggie oil. Already it's difficulty to impossible to acquire on the road.

So I'm looking at options. It would be nice to have a sailboat at my dad's in Florida. That would save a lot of towing. In fact, I wouldn't need a vehicle capable of towing a boat 1700 miles. It's only about 20 miles from my dad's to a good boat launch. Heck, I could put a good hitch on my dad's vehicle and borrow it for the short trip. We could travel in a small economy car or even take some sort of public transportation.

Do we really need to stick with a boat that can be trailered? Probably, but only because marina fees add up. I've yet to figure out a really good way around that. Well, besides living on the boat full time. We aren't ready for that either. Too many connections to the mountains of New Hampshire.

Right now there's nothing really wrong with the way we are doing things. However, if I've learned anything over the years is that things change -sometimes all of a sudden. The wheels in my head keep turning, looking over my options. Too bad my lovely wife isn't willing to just sail down from New England in the fall and back in the spring. Oh well, maybe that will change in the future too.

-Sixbears

12 comments:

  1. Considering your options is all part of staying prepared. More power to you.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Gorges. Having options is a big part of my preparedness plan.

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  2. Planning for the future is a good hobby to have. Besides, like you say everything changes!

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    1. Sometimes I have to remind myself to live in the present. :)

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  3. You know that the only constant thing is change...

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    Replies
    1. True enough, but one can work toward good changes rather than just taking what comes.

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  4. It's always good to think about options. If one idea doesn't work maybe something else will. Not foreseeing any problems will always give you trouble. Life and vacations don't always go as planned.

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    Replies
    1. The key is to be adaptable, but that goes better with a full toolbox of options.

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  5. Ya but from there to here and back again is a whole lotta ditch riding. Consequently a whole lotta motoring. That or you go outside and that can be exciting in a small boat...

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    1. We stuck to the ICW on the west coast. We tried to pick our travel days, yet still motored about half the time. It was kinda cool to be able to sail through The Narrows. Some of the bridges had to be motored, but a few of those were passed under sail.

      To make any sort of time in the ditch would require a lot of motoring. More efficient to do it at 50 knots on the trailer.

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  6. I think you are doing just fine. You have the best of both worlds, New England and Florida.

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    Replies
    1. Now all I have to do is to find a way to keep making it happen.

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