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DeFever 47 POC- Florida to Orange Beach, AL

Captain Chris Yacht Services
DeFever 47 POC- Florida to Orange Beach, AL
They're off! After a few days aboard Trawler Training these new owners capably cruise off to start living their dream!
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Bob and Sharon have moved up from their 37 foot gasoline powered Sea Ray to a Cruising Boat: the DeFever 47 Performance Ocean Cruiser. When they asked about recommending a captain for trawler training, the former owners sent them to Captains Chris & Alyse!

It can be intimidating when transitioning into a twin diesel cruiser with saddle fuel tanks and five air conditioners. Many systems to learn so let's get started!

We were excited to help them on their new adventure and joined them at the dock in Vero Beach. Because of their previous boating experience they were ahead of the learning curve than some new boat owners so we worked at a pace that was comfortable for both of them.

They choose displacement speed because they could enjoy the comforts of a larger heavier boat, one with long legs for cruising and the ability to accommodate more guests. The increased lifestyle features cant compare! 47 feet offers wonderful space for living the dream.

We began with below deck systems and move to navigation & trip planning before starting south. Their goal was to have us cruise with them to Key Largo. From there we would rent a car to return home while they continued to Key West for Independence Day then on to Marco Island, Clearwater and across "the jump" to Apalachicola and the final destination of Orange Beach, AL.

A few days aboard allowed us to review all navigation equipment including RADAR, GPS, Autopilot as well as most lifestyle systems below the flybridge. We always encourage use of paper charts to supplement electronic nav equipment and this trip is no exception. Storms were following us throughout our time on board showcasing the great value in checking the RADAR screen- how close WERE we to each powerful cell!
Tour the photos below to see the first few days of their training cruise...

Getting ready to go on a long adventure!
Uh-Oh! Storm clouds are brewing in the distance. Better keep an eye on it and have a plan for the just-in-case.
RADAR tells us that although the storm looks close it is actually staying 8 miles or more off in the distance.
Swirling fingers could be water spouts trying to form....but luck is with us and we barely get a drop of rain over the next few days the entire way down to the keys.
Checking all the fluids before we head out in this roomy engine space.
Stowing lines before we get out into any rough seas. If the lines are neat then you can carry quite a few while having a free hand for the boat- to hold on if needed.
Learning navigation as we go. Paper charts are a great compliment to a chart plotter on the dash.
In just one day on the water this new navigator understood everything on the chart or knew where to look for the answer. Amazing what you can learn with hands-on training.
This was a family trip and everyone experienced time as navigator, linesman, at the helm and in the engine room.
On a trawler of this size we enjoyed all the comforts of home, including coffee at any time of day or night from this spacious galley.
While the REAL captain considers anchoring options using the ICW flip chart, a family friend gets comfortable at the wheel.
Anchoring in Biscayne Bay allows plenty of swing room but not much protection from winds. Good thing it's just practice.
A snubber helps take the stress from the windlass and keeps the chain from slapping.
The Captain gives hand signals when anchoring in the keys for lunch on our last full day aboard.
A family of Dolphins were curious about who was anchoring in their neighborhood. They gave us quite a show and stayed close by for a long time. What a treat!!
Coming up on a bridge. Will we make it under? Nope...a great opportunity to practice calling the bridge tender to lift the bridge.
We gave this barge enough room to clear the bridge and channel before we headed through ourselves.
Believe it or not we made it under this bascule bridge with room to spare.....
This is the underside of the bridge and offered at least 6 feet above the flybridge, maybe more.
Look carefully and notice that this bridge only opened one side for us to pass. A little tense but doable.
Building Cruising Confidence As A Couple.
Captain Chris assists with the first dinghy launch from the swim platform.
Getting ready for a quick dinghy ride in Lake Worth.
Dream Fever as seen from the dinghy.
Getting lines and fenders ready for a floating dock in Fort Lauderdale.
Everyone gets an assignment and the opportunity to practice.
Taking notes while doing an engine room check underway. Ear muffs protect your hearing from the loud engine noise.
Celebrate a successful trip!
The crew is ready to fly solo. We wish them well on their send-off early in the morning as they untie lines, using a boat pole to help.
Bon Voyage! Fair winds, Dream Fever...
Onward to enjoy the next leg of their journey back to the Gulf Coast...Key West, here they come!
A great family aboard a great trawler...maybe you'll meet them along the waterway one day while YOU are living the dream!

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