Kids I need help.  It’s obvious.  I crack myself up with the stupid questions I keep asking in these boat tours.  I have to admit it is far more difficult than I imagined to both 1) keep an engaging conversation going with the boat owner, while also making sure I 2) hold the camera steady, 3) get a good shot and 4) don’t put my finger over the microphone.  And, I’m blonde people.  It kind of makes editing easy, though.  All I have to do is CUT! every time I start talking and pick the footage back up every time I stop.  Seriously … watch this and you’ll see:


Now, how many times did he say “It’s electric?”

Two, right?  Yes, twice.  And, what was my first question?


“So, that’s-a-what powers it?”  Really Annie … 

You can see why I just resort to humor often to try and gloss over my sometimes hideously-poor questions.  But, I do believe I am getting better and I hope you all are enjoying the boat tours.  I’m getting some great feedback on YouTube, Facebook and the blog, where you all have let me know how helpful you’ve found them and that you’re looking forward to more.  Awesome!  Because I have already filmed several more boats.  Coming soon, I’ll have a Sabre, a Gulf Star, a Tartan, a Nonsuch and more.

So, now I pose the question to you.  As you know, my primary goal in doing all of this is to help folks like you looking to get out and cruise.  If you’re finding the content helpful, please support my Give the Gift of Cruising campaign on Patreon!


But, in order to truly help you all, I want to make sure I’m asking the questions you would of these generous (and patient) boat owners and getting you the answers you need to help you find your boat.  So, lay it on me!  What are the most important boat features you want me to discuss during these boat tours?  I can’t promise to include them all every time (nor can I promise to not goober them up on occasion — you’ve met Video Annie),

Screenshot 2016-02-23 at 11.26.40 AM

but I vow to try to touch on each of them as often as I can.  Send me your top ten questions list and I’ll put together a conglomerated master Q list for my boat tours and share with you all.

Okay … GO!

18 thoughts on “BOAT TOUR QUESTIONS!

  • Chances are the type of people this video series are going to help the most don’t know a lot about sailboats. What kind of questions do they have? How big of a boat do I want (or need)? What kinda of stuff do I need for the type of sailing I’m going to be doing. Why do I need it? What the boat owner you interviewing likeso and dislikes about there boat and boats in general. How easy is it to sail with the expected crew and there experience level? Why did you pick this boat? That should give you an idea or two.

    And to keep the shots steady and my fingers away from things I attach a shot tripod and hold it. It also allows for a quick counter top setup for shots. We’re not pros no matter how nice we we want our videos to be. Your doing a fine job and being a little goofy is one of the reasons we watch your videos. Don’t worry to much about it.

    • Thanks Cougar. It’s sad but true, if you’re new to boats you’re probably going to have no idea what features and systems you will actually want, need and/or appreciate until you just get on a lot of different boats and sail them around (which is hard for someone to do who perhaps isn’t plugged into the sailing community or doesn’t have many sailing friends with different boats), which is where I hope to step in with a little virtual help. Appreciate the input and advice. Who me? Goofy?? No ….

      • Before purchasing my Islander 38 C I had looked at tens of thousands of boats online. It is the only one that I actually went to see. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted although I have never been on a boat any bigger than my current 27 foot.
        I knew I wanted it to go cruising so I wanted space, an oversized engine to get out of situations and I didn’t want a V birth. I knew some of the options I wanted on the boat. Generator, nice living space, Pullman berth was way up on the list and something I could sail single handed. Really wanted a water maker also and this boat came with one but I ended up finding it a new home it and using the money to buy I knew heat pump.
        I think the biggest limiting factor for most people is the amount of money to have to spend on the boat initially. Buy a cheap boat and you’ll have a cheap boat. I would rather get something a little older and a little less equipped and something that I couldn’t trust in heavy weather.
        A few things I missed on when buying this boat were the age of the standing rigging, overall conditions of the interior woodwork some electrical in main engine problems. Didn’t look at the sales but fortunately they were in good shape. No I did not get the boat surveyed but I got it for about half of what book value was. To go one crazy step further, I bought it when it was on the hard and no sea trial. Bought it just outside of Cincinnati off of the Ohio River and there was no way to get it in the water.
        Passion and enthusiasm can make you do stupid things. But it’s a decision I don’t regret I’ve owned the boat for 4 years this month and have been a happy live aboard for three and a half years now.
        One article I read said that when you did you away from your boat you should look back at it and think it’s the most beautiful boat you’ve ever seen..
        As you can see with your boat, we’re going to miss things and we’re going to make some stupid decisions but in the end it’s all about living the dream.

        SV Wild Hare

      • “To go one crazy step further.” Ha! Love that quote. Thanks Wild Hare. (Sounds like you got one of those when you bought your boat unsurveyed AND un-sea trialed. WHOA. Passion and enthusiasm, though, to me should be the driving force. I agree with you there. Love this write-up about the boat-buying process. Thank you for sharing!

  • That should have read, when you dingy away from your boat you should look back and think it’s the most beautiful one you have ever seen.
    Type, edit and then publish.

  • Annie, You are doing a great job with this. Too many times it is a Dry presentation of a boat, Typical boat show fashion. You make it real and fun, so don’t lose that. Focus on the boat at first. Ask the owner Why they purchased it, what was the main reason and are they happy with it. What would they have done differently. (We were at a speaking/show of an around the world cruise. At the end some questioned what was the perfect boat. The answer was simple, The Boat You Own) Questions on the boat itself should focus on livability, How much water does it hold, is it enough? What engine does it have and is there enough power to punch through a head sea if necessary? Is there enough fuel. Is the motor reliable and is it easy to service?
    Do they like the Sailing ability of the boat? Is it easy to sail short handed and what would they change/why? How is it when the wind really picks up, easy to handle and do they feel safe?
    Is there enough storage for all the Stuff they want to have? Both below and on deck.
    Is the Keel internal or external (What is it make of, Lead, Iron) What type of Ground tackle do they have and what are their plans to improve on that? Is there enough space for the Rode and chain?
    After the basics then you can focus on the gadgets that are on the boat. This is where it gets personal in choices. Everyone will have their own idea of what is needed and what they want. So focus on their choice and why. Are they happy with what they have and what are the future plans. Water maker, generator, wind generator, solar, What would be this biggest change they would make to their boat and why?
    As I said, you make it fun so don’t change that, I love your humor and that you can laugh at yourself for your mistakes. You make it real and tangible.
    We lived aboard our C&C 36 here in Michigan year round for 4 years and although this boat was never meant for that she did admirably well and we loved the experience. A boat is a personal choice and then you make it yours with all that you change and improve on.
    Any boat any place as long as you listen to her and take care of her. They can usually handle much more than the people she caries.
    Keep up the good work Annie, keep it fun

    • Wow, Rick. Thank you. Such a thoughtful and insightful response. This will really help me hone my list and give me good ideas for the next tour. Thanks so much. You’re right, everything about a boat is personal, which is why I always try to ask the owner what he or she likes best about the boat and what they might change. I really appreciate you chiming in and am so glad to hear you’re enjoying everything so far. It’s been fun having you along. You’re going to be excited about the upcoming videos at the shipyard, I know it!

  • Annie: I’d like you to cover more about:
    Engine and any history (like your troubles with yours on the trip back from Florida)
    Sails with boat

  • Annie,

    Thanks for trying to make things easier on new cruisers. Your tour are useful, but you could put a little more focus on the characteristics of the boat. I think it would be a lot more helpful if you’d put the features clearly into 3 categories:

    Usual stuff: Stuff you find on every boat in similar manner and just works for cruising. Stuff like a gimbaled 2 or 3 burner stove with oven, a bimini, a sprayhood, a cockpit table, a cockpit seating 6 for cocktails.

    Good stuff: Things that make this boat and better than the rest for cruising. A seperate shower stall, a wide bunk with headroom, a good cockpit layout for single handed sailing.

    Limitations: stuff that one should be aware and consider before choosing the boat. No oven, no hot water system, bad ventilation, not enough handholds under deck, manual anchor winch

    I think it would help newcomers a lotore if they get an idea what’s useful and usual.

    As to topics, here are a few you could address a little more in depth:

    Storage space: Is there enough or is the stuff in one of the cabins? Saillocker? Fenders? Wine cellar?

    Bunks in the master cabin: does it sleep a pair comfortably or is More like a can of sardines? Is it easy to get into it without acrobatics even with sore muscles? Is it easy to have sex in it without hitting the roof or some nastily placed corners?

    Headroom under deck. That one probably doesn’t affect you, but we stopped some viewings 2 minutes after going under deck because someone over 1.85m high always had to hunch over.

    Sailhandling. How easy is it for a couple to set the sails or reef them? Or alone?

    Storage and handling for dinghi and outboard motor.

    And finally, every review should have a short summary with the strengths of the boat and the best uses for it. Eg nice coastal cruiser, easy to sail alone but a little short on storage.

    • Wow. Popsi. Incredibly helpful. Thank you so much. Just reading these makes me confident I will continue to inorove at these over time as I want them to be helpful. I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks for taking the time!

  • I like the reviews from yachting monthly they are kind of dry but they tell you things that you might not think of like where the handholds are.

    I would like to see some reviews for some of the carabean charter boats that are comming on the market like 36/47ft Beneteau’s or jeanneau’s

    • Sweet. Yhanks for your inout Pete. I’ll see what I can do. I know ive got my eye set on a Beneteau in our marina right now! I’ll get on it. Thanks gor following and contributing.

    • This brings up the sore topic of how well charter boats are suited to cruising and living aboard. Wow it has 3 cabins, sleeps 8 and 2 heads in 35 ft! But why would a couple need 2 tiny toilets (creating twice as many problems as one) where showering is only possible to contortionists? Are they aware they’re going to lose those two oddly shaped aft cabins to storing their junk being left in cramped V-berth with only space for one set of feet? Would they know that the cleverly hidden access to the engine makes changing the filters about as easy and enjoyable as brushing your teeth from the inside by bringing the brush in from the butt?

      It’s probably one of the biggest misconception newcomers that a charter boat, optimised for big party crowds staying for a week, make also good designs for a couple living aboard.

  • Just a couple that I joted down. Btw, I got a pretty good chuckle out of Popsi’s comment about making sure there is enough room to not smack your head into an unfortunately placed storage locker corner, nothing says “sexy time” like having to run to get the first aid kit. Haha.

    How easy is it to access the engine to service it?
    How easy is it to access the bilge?
    What is she like when underway in heavier weather conditions?
    How easy is it to get around below deck when underway?
    How fast / slow it is underway? Lots of sail area to work with or not?
    How much headroom is there?
    Where do you store the dingy? How much of a pain is it to take it out / put it away?
    How much storage do you have on board?
    Where are the lockers for heavier items located?
    Do you have to be careful of too much weight in certain areas?
    How much does she generally roll when at a typical mooring? At anchor?
    How easy is it for someone to single-hand?

    ps – If you happen to come across a Gozzard we would love to see your take on it. 😉

    • Great questions. Thanks for the input. I’m going to mash all these together and get myself a good checklist going to make sure I hit all the right points for you guys. And … I don’t know, it might be kind of sexy to watch him struggle with the little white backs of band-aids while he doctors you up! Ha ha.

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