Friday, February 5, 2016

Faro Blanco Marina, Marathon

We've been here several weeks and MAY have a weather window this Saturday for heading north so we can eventually cross to Great Harbor Cay.  We'll see.

Last weekend the Florida Powerboat Club was here. These boats go 145 mph! They were fun to see.

This boat had 2, 1350 hp engines.


Iguanas by the swimming pool


When we were in Key Largo, we went to Davis Reef on a calm day. The water was gorgeous.  Lots of barracudas. 
At anchor in the Everglades National Park.
This is the 18ft Key West that we tow behind the Mainship. When it's calm on the Atlantic side, we take this out snorkeling.

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Glory Days is up for sale

For sale:

2004 Mainship 400T $159,000.
Boat is turnkey and ready to begin cruising.  It has been extensively upgraded with a stern thruster added in 2013, 3 new AGM batteries in 2014, a  44 pound ROCNA anchor and a new Bimini and enclosure in 2015.

“Glory Days” is  powered by a single Yanmar 370 and has bow and stern thrusters for easy maneuverability. A 2500 hour engine service and tune up was completed in January of 2016 and  included removing and cleaning the coolers and adjusting the valves. See the attached spec sheet for full details. The boat is currently located near Marathon Florida in the Keys.
Boat Specs

Maintenance has always been our top priority.  A full record of what we've done and the fuel and trip log are in the Maintenance Log link below.

Maintenance Summary

Parts List
Trip and Fuel Log

The Partnership:
Glory Days is currently held in a 50/50 partnership in a Florida LLC.  The boat is a USCG documented vessel and registered in Florida. The partnership agreement is attached in this link: 

Details on creating a successful partnership are in the next post.

Our Blog:
The rest of this blog is arranged chronologically from the present to when we bought the boat in Boston in 2012. The postings from the winter months are mostly from John and Karen and the postings from May through December are mostly from Francisco and Maria Paula (MP).
 Below are a few pictures of the boat. Many more can be found by scrolling though this blog.

New Stern Thruster 2013
New Bimini and Enclosure 2015

Looking forward

Duel remote thruster controls

Bottom Paint 2015

A Successful Boat Partnership
John Ryan

We are entering our fourth year of a great partnership with another couple in which we shared joint ownership of a 40-foot Mainship Trawler. My wife and I (Karen and John) use the boat from January through May and Francisco and his wife, Maria Paula (MP), use the boat the rest of the year. We echo Francisco’s sentiment when he says “what has made our experience with Glory Days absolutely FANTASTIC!... has been our partnership. We have never had any disagreements. We have always shared the same focus on making sure we take the best possible care of our great boat.”
Francisco and MP have adopted a 2-year-old boy.  For obvious reasons, they won’t be using the boat much, so we are actively looking for another partner or else we will put the boat up for sale this spring.  We have thought about buying their share, but we see so many positive attributes to a partnership, that we’d like to find another likeminded partner.  In this brief post I want to share the key elements of how we made this partnership successful and why we want to do it again.
John & Karen in Great Harbor Cay
How we met

I posted a notice on the Mainship Forum indicating an interest in finding a partner to purchase a late model Mainship and Francisco responded. We subsequently corresponded by email, shared thoughts on a partnership agreement and the kind of boat we were looking for, and then agreed to meet in person. I went to Miami and they flew out to meet us. We could not have been more different in our life styles and how we planned to use the boat. They lived in a condo near downtown Miami, we live on 10 acres on a rural island. We planned to be “snowbirds” in the winter and use the boat to cruise Florida and the Bahamas as live-aboards, whereas Francisco and MP wanted a weekend getaway from their busy lives in Miami.  We all shared an enthusiasm for boating and recognized that a partnership could maximize the enjoyment we could derive while minimizing our costs.

Francisco & Maria Paula in Miami

Once we met and worked out the partnership details we started looking for a boat in earnest and bought “Glory Days” from an owner on the Mainship Forum. The boat was in Cape Cod and Hurricane Sandy was on its way when we made our offer, contingent on Glory Days weathering the storm and being delivered to Norfolk, VA. Everything worked out and I picked it up and delivered it to Miami via the ICW. The delivery and the rest of our boating adventures are documented in this blog.

The Partnership Agreement
Our partnership agreement was a simple 2-page statement of our expectations about managing costs and schedule. Basically, we split insurance and maintenance 50/50 and were each responsible for our operating expenses (moorage and fuel) while we had the boat. We had the boat for about 4.5 months per year in the winter and Francisco and MP had it the rest of the time.
Partnership Tools
We developed a number of tools and check lists to communicate with each other. Several spreadsheets are kept up to date by each partner to track:
  • Expenses
  • Maintenance
  • Ships log and fuel use
These are stored and updated in “DropBox”, to allow each partner to see what is going on. We also communicate by email frequently to agree to and stay on top of any maintenance or upgrade expenditures.
We worked out a checklist of handoff expectations to make sure the boat was in perfect shape prior to turning it over to the other partner. One of these items was to have the boat professionally cleaned and detailed both inside and out.
This blog has also proved to be a good way of staying in touch and enjoying each other’s boating experience.
Managing Costs
Any owner will tell you that purchasing a used boat can include a number of unexpected costs, so it’s best not to stretch your budget on the purchase alone. Beyond the obvious benefit of sharing the cost of the boat purchase, we also shared the boat tax, which is 6% in Florida.  We also completed many of the upgrades which are desirable on a Mainship trawler, such as a stern thruster, since sharing the costs made these options more affordable.  Going forward, a new partner would benefit from the experience we gained and not face the unexpected surprises of buying from a broker or third party that is not vested in the boat’s future.
A significant benefit of a partnership is sharing the annual maintenance and insurance costs. We keep detailed records of what was spent on maintenance, upgrades and insurance over the past 3 years. We spent about $36,000 on maintenance and upgrades over the past 3 years which works out to about $12,000 per year not including insurance. I would expect maintenance and upgrade costs to be less going forward as these costs include the 2,000 hour engine service we completed when we first bought the boat. We have since found better vendors and I do some of the routine engine and gen set work. Also one of the paint jobs involved removing the old paint.  Going forward we could find better rates for haul out and painting than those available in Miami. We had some big ticket items on the upgrades list including the Bimini and stern thruster which I also don’t project going forward. “Other” costs of $1100/year primarily covers diver and boat cleaning and some minor repairs like a new fresh water pump I installed and are likely to be similar in the future.
Projected annual expenses going forward should be less than $11,000/year including insurance, and still leave a $3000 allowance for upgrades and the unexpected. Split two ways that is less than $5500/partner/year.
3 year total through 9/15
Projected Annual expenses
Engine/Gen maintenance*
$           7,257
 $       2,419
$           1,459
 $          486
$           3,341
 $       1,114
$           7,163
 $       1,791
Maintenance Subtotal
$        19,220
$      5,810
 $   4,400
$           5,564
Stern Thruster
$           7,274
$           1,533
$           3,148
$        17,519
$      5,840
$           9,990
$      3,600
$    15,249
 $ 11,000
Other Partnership Benefits
The saying “two heads are better than one” certainly applies to boat ownership. We had each other’s back whether it was shopping for insurance, finding an elusive part or solving a maintenance problem on the fly. An example was when I was in the Bahamas and had to replace a faulty raw water pump impeller. Francisco tracked down the part, put it on a plane and I was back boating in less than a day. We were each other’s emergency contact on our DeLorme InReach, (which fortunately we never had to use) and supported each other in solving any problem that cropped up from IT issues to boat maintenance issues.
Because I am retired, I can act as delivery captain. This might be of interest to people contemplating longer trips where they could do a one-way leg rather than a round trip.
Who is a good fit?
If you are not planning on living aboard full time, a partnership is worth considering. This arrangement would be a good fit for folks based near Florida that want a boat any time from May through January; or someone considering doing part or all of the Great Loop. I could pick up or drop off the boat at a mutually agreeable location. Your expenses would be less, and you would be getting a lot of boat for your money. You would also own a boat which has been well maintained and upgraded, and benefit from my experience with this boat and my flexibility to act as a delivery captain. I hope you consider this.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Summer Vacations - FAMILY TIME!

We've come to the end of a month's worth of vacation time for our great family and close friends.
We had the fortune of great weather every weekend we drove to Key Largo and our exploration area was a total success.
Alligator Reef: Real winner! Best place. Beautiful water and scenery.
Cheeca Rocks: Not as clear water, but beautiful non the less.
Bottle Key: Peaceful location on the bay area.
Best toy of the summer: HERO GOPRO!
Guests are gone.
MP is gone on one of her business trips to Chile... and here... alone, as I remember the great times that we had, I wanted to post this update full of great pictures and a hopeful hint of things to come!
Enjoy the pics and videos!

Here is our last trip with the full group of friends and family to Alligator Reef:

And the MOST famous of all mermaids: LUISA!!!!!

Pictures by Juan Camilo!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Back to Alligator Reef

This time we went back with our first guests: Andres and Marcela!
We had a great time and I cooked a killer burger!
Some nice pics:
... and one more GoPro Video!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Diving in the Keys!

It was a very unique and exciting weekend!
We went diving for the first time.
It was a first for several things:
First time for MP diving in the open ocean
First time we are out in the ocean!
First time to diving spots in the Keys
We learned a lot and enjoyed it even more!
Glory performed fantastic!
Some interesting facts about Glory Days I did not know:
Best cruise speed on flat water: 1990 rpms - 7.3 to 7.8 knots
If yo go faster, she will simply dig the stern in and create a huge wake, with very little gain in speed.
But once in the ocean... guess what?
2500rpms and the movement of the ocean waves actually helps Glory speed up!
9-9.3 knots burning only 7.5gph so over a 1 mpg at 9 knots! NOT BAD!
OK, now the pretty part: videos and pictures of our weekend and diving experience.

I used my new GoPro camera!

And some cool pictures:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Weekend Number 1 - GREAT

It was a FANTASTIC weekend.
So many great things I just don't know where to start!
It was a long weekend and EVERYONE was out on the water.
Even so, in the Keys, you don't see the massive amount of crazy boaters you see in Miami, so it was great.
We did a lot of "exploration" and that was also great!
There are several places to go to do the type of boating we like: Anchor, paddle, swim, sleep over.
The marina is great too (I know I'm using the word GREAT a great number of times...that's the point of this great post)
So to summarize:
Saturday - go to the multiple locations, starting with the open ocean! - Too windy and too choppy to dive, but went to the site and will go back when weather is better.
Sunday - woke up at a well protected anchor (from windy night) and went to marina, did biking, then back to the boat, went to an island that we will be back in future trips (Bottle Key) to paddle, swim and overnight sleep.
Monday - MP was traveling, so we spent 1/2 at boat taking care of many little chores.
Here are the pics:

This is the entire weekend trip:

And the details -----

That's where the marina is at

Our new marina in the morning

Bringing the toys back into the boat!

Can't get over the beauty of these waters

Going out into the open ocean!! what a new thing for us!

Slept here!


Sunrise in the same place

From inside.. sunrise

Our marina is a happening place!