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TOPIC: Discovery 288 on The Great Loop

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 12 Feb 2017 22:37 #26

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Yes, we're getting it fixed and we'll see. Going to miami boat show. Lots of things to see! If you are going to do the loop and are not members already, I really recommend joining the AGLCA (americas great loop cruisers association). Lots of good info and support through members forum and access to others. Probably most importantly, you get a burgee identifying you as a "looper" which is a great conversation starter at the dock or anchorage.

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 12 Feb 2017 22:48 #27

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The I/O comment is a very Floridian perspective. We've seen very few I/O boats at the dock. Those that are from Florida are kept on lifts or in dry storage. There are way more outboards than where we're from in the Pacific Northwest because they can be tilted up clear of the water. Water is so warm that unless you're constantly moving, you get growth on everything very quickly including boots, intakes, etc.... We are moving more than most and we have barnacles on the outdrive and it was pristine as we entered the gulf. We even had growth on our stainless props! Have just put on new Solas props (4 blade front and 3 blade rear). They are SUPER. More response at slow speed while manouvering, faster to plane and more speed with lower rpm.

Our boat is an '07 and the Florida mechanics looking at it all comment it is clearly not a Florida boat. We do try to keep it nice, but they all say it's obvious it's not been in Florida over it's working life!

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 12 Feb 2017 23:13 #28

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Lots of boats with IO drive do the loop. Most of the boats are trawler style since

1) They have more room
2) They move slowly sipping fuel
3) The brokers that sell to Loopers push Trawlers
4) Past Loopers on trawlers push trawlers so they can sell their trawler.

Help has come for the long haul between Hoppies Marina on the Mississippi to Green Turtle Bay for fuel. There is a new marina opening up in Paduca that will have fuel. This opens up what boats can now go.
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Yep, my Bayliner IS my happy place :whistle:

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 13 Feb 2017 13:57 #29

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No doubt the vast majority of loop boats are trawlers and if one started planning for the loop before buying a boat, you'd probably end up with a trawler for the reasons mentioned. We know trawlers and have cruised on them throughout the Northwest. They're great, but we couldn't imagine signing up for a 6,000 NM trip at 8 knots with no option of going faster. It's a personal choice though.

As it turns out, we bought our boat before we even knew of the loop. We wanted a Bayliner 288 because we thought it was a GREAT boat for the PNW, easily trailerable, inside and outside helms and incomprehensively less expensive than options like Ranger tugs or Cutwaters. Having found it in Maryland we decided to use it a bit on the east coast, discovered the loop and off we went. Our time from buying the boat to leaving on the loop was about a month (we didn't spend a minute on her before getting started in Pittsburgh). Boat has been great until this transom issue, but we'll get that fixed.

If one is interested in the loop, I really suggest joining the AGLCA. Tons of great info on selecting boats, planning etc.... and a fun forum where folks like Foster contribute really helpful info on daily basis.

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 13 Feb 2017 17:17 #30

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have join AGLCA ....activecaptain .have.US cruising permit.....maritime radio station...renewed passport .good for the next 10 years ,renewed pleasure craft licence must be done evrey 10 year in canada got my MMSI # almost ready.
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Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 14 Feb 2017 00:15 #31

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Yes, Active Captain is also super helpful. There is also a marina reservation app called Dockwa that you might want to download. Sort of like hotels.com, but for marinas. The only issue is I like to look at a marina before actually booking. I've found Active Captain reviews to be helpful, but not everyone has the same perspective on the same set of "facts" and of course things change over time.

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 14 Feb 2017 01:56 #32

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A little off the subject, the wife and I are planning on moving onto the boat and doing the loop in about 3 years. We have looked at trawlers but have decided to get a 4788 or 4588. We will live on the boat after the loop, so we have decided the extra fuel and dockage fees that would be incurred by the 4788 over a trawler will probably be offset by the amount of money we would lose on the sale of the trawler when we were done with the loop.

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Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 22 Feb 2017 03:21 #33

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We're back underway! Here are some pics of issue and repair. Turns out the problem was more of a transom warp than crack, but good to go now.

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 22 Feb 2017 03:37 #34

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BTW, if you have a dual prop and have not yet tried the four blade forward, three blade rear set-up, you must. I have switched out to Solas props and the difference is amazing. Super bite and control at low speed and faster cruising at lower rpms. Reversed into a slip today against wind and current and guy on dock was convinced we had twin engines.

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 22 Feb 2017 10:46 #35

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Well maybe you're just getting good at it... ;)
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Jeff & Tara
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In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. July 2, 2010

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 22 Feb 2017 11:40 #36

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Wow what an interesting read from over here in the UK, i traveled 350miles in mine when i first bought it to take it home and that was a long 3 days i tell you!! The thought of doing 6000!!! ha ha i take it you are in no rush :P i will definetly have a look at the blog :) I own the same boat and was quite surprised at that crack.

I will be sure to keep an eye on mine!
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Last Edit: by mctaggart.

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 22 Feb 2017 13:24 #37

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Haha... perhaps! I've been boating a long time though and don't want to downplay the prop performance versus boating skllls. The prop set-up is truly transformational in my opinion.

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 22 Feb 2017 13:39 #38

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There are several Brits (and other Europeans) making this journey. As you demonstrated with your 350 miles in three days, we could get this trip done in less than a few months (I think the record is under 60 days, but that's an entirely different loop experience). We are going to take about a year. We fly home from time to time and we're not in a hurry (we do cruise at about 22 knots when underway!).

PS: I was born in Sheffield and moved to US as a child. Lived and worked in the UK as an adult for a few years on two separate occasions. Debating cruising the canals after this adventure.

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 23 Feb 2017 15:37 #39

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The only downside to the UK is the weather, its great when the sun is shining in the summer but it doesn't happen enough these days, seems the summers and winters have become milder and milder/wetter than from when i remember the baking hot days in my youth of the 80's!

I grab every sunny day i can get my hands on over here :)

Just out of curiosity in regards to your impeller, had you changed it before you set off on the trip? I am just wondering how long you should leave them before you should swap them?
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Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 23 Feb 2017 21:12 #40

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I did not change the impeller, but should have. Mechanic who did this recent repair told me every 3 years or 300 hours (whichever comes first). My boat has 375 hours on engine now. Not a complicated job, so if you don't know when last done, I would do it. Of equal importance is the fuel module. The design has been changed on newer merc models (mine's an '07), but the older units are prone to failure. When they go, it's a problem. I'd at least look at it.

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 25 Feb 2017 15:12 #41

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Thought maybe I should post picture of transom repair. As it turned out, we found a crack, but the bigger issue seemed to be a "warped" transom. The latter was identified by running a straight edge across the outdrive exit and noting an 1/8 of an inch or more difference across the two sides. The solution was to rebuild everything to level. Of
Purse the work required removing the outdrive and engine and that was the most expensive part of the whole experience! The good news is the leak is gone and we're back to running strong. Did 90 miles across the Gulf yesterday and bilge was bone dry! Onward we go with a slightly smaller bank account.

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 25 Feb 2017 15:14 #42

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More pics

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 25 Feb 2017 15:18 #43

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Sorry to post pics his way, but can't seem to get them onto one post

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 25 Feb 2017 15:19 #44

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OK, last one! View from the bridge. Makes it all worthwhile. Blow up pic to see where we are on plotter

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 24 Apr 2017 23:31 #45

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Thanks for posting about your adventures. I feel like I am cruising vicariously with you through your blog! Keep it coming!
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| 2052 LS | 3.0L MerCruiser | Alpha I Gen II | Spifire 14" x 19"p | 1996 |
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Last Edit: by Aircraftbuilder. Reason: Typo

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 27 Apr 2017 10:59 #46

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Thank you for reading it. Doing a blog is way more work than we expected, but it's fun. In Charleston today on our way to D.C. by 5/21.

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 26 Sep 2017 02:37 #47

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Well, we finished the Loop yesterday at Green Turtle Bay in Grand Rivers Kentucky. We bought our boat in Annapolis, trucked it to Pittsburgh and started our trip on 9/3/16. Pittsburgh isn't on "The Loop", but it was the shortest distance to truck the boat to connecting water! We took off with absolutely minimal planning and no charts and here we are, 8,100 miles later. We ran the boat hard throughout the trip and she held up well although we did need to address a leaking transom issue. All our systems have worked reliably except the cheap bilge pumps. We needed to change the engine and outdrive as the result of a rock strike in Canada, but all was covered by insurance!

Here are a few stats... we put 587 hours on the boat over 182 days underway (we sat around in some places and travelled home from time to time). Although we "cruised" at 25mph+ whenever possible, we still only averaged about 14mph after accounting for wake zones, go slow areas and idling. We averaged 1.4mpg (yes, we spent a ton on gas!). We could have done much better, but just couldn't stomach traveling literally 1,000's of miles at 7mph. We made it through the famous 205 mile run from Hoppies to Paducah by carrying four five gallon gas cans. We carefully calculated our fuel burn and arrived in Paducah with only 4 gallons left!

We're now going to bring the boat back to the PNW and keep her in Tacoma at Foss Landing. Cruise on!

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 26 Sep 2017 09:32 #48

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Thanks for the update. Did you buy a trailer, rent one, or using a shipper?

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Jeff & Tara
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MMSI: 338094599
In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. July 2, 2010

Discovery 288 on The Great Loop 26 Sep 2017 13:26 #49

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With respect to shipping the boat, I plan to do it myself as a few things have fallen into place. Most important, a friend from Boise (fellow 288 owner) I met on the Loop has offered to loan me his F-350 to tow my boat home. I had a $7,800 quote for a new tri-axle trailer from Platinum delivered here in Kentucky (where I am right now) and a shipper quoted me $5,900 to move the boat with his truck and trailer. Believe it or not, some guy about a mile away from here is selling a used all aluminum tri-axle trailer for $2,500! The bones are good, but I want to replace all tires, get new receiver, re-do all brakes and bearings and re-wire. Hope to negotiate price down to cover some of that cost and then get work done. Hope to get a re-built trailer for under $5,000 and I figure I come out ahead. Should know if plan comes together today!

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2007 288 Discovery Command Bridge
Tacoma, WA
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