First run in a cruiser
Well I just arrived from Seattle with my new-to-me 2001 Maxum 2900 SCR. The prices are a steal for us Canadians compared to local due to increase in our currency.
After buying the boat, I had to get it here - to Victoria BC (Sidney area). I considered hiring a captain, but the salesman suggested that I should be enjoying all that boat time and gas money. I thought about it and said - yes, I'll do it.
We flew into Lake Union (float plane flights are a great deal right now), and picked up the boat. My initial plan was to sail up to Edmonds to refuel and do the final 70-90 miles the next day.
We set out up the canal and through the locks. Hmmm .. locks are unfamiliar to me. This big boat is unfamiliar to me, coming from a 19' Bayliner. I read up in advance on all the procedures .. but still embarrassed myself by kissing the wall a couple times. Luckily, the fellow on the Riviera beside me was understanding and prevented me from scratching his half-mil yacht. I came out with a slightly bent anchor guide. phew.
Heading up Puegt Sound, the waves were about 1-2ft. This felt like nothing compared to in the 19 footer! Wow ... hardly bit into the speed at all. I decided that conditions seemed good enough to brave the 'big water route' up Admiralty Inlet towards Starit of Juan de Fuca.
As I approached a few miles south of Point no Point, the water did start to kick up a lot, but no bow crashers. These conditions would have been no-go in my old boat for sure.
We turned into Oak Bay and up the channel to Port Townsend for the night, to end the 35 mile 1st leg of the trip. Great marina there, with self-check-in after hours. Got some practice mooring the bigger boat .. and this went flawlessly.
Wanted to set out at the crack of dawn over the 22-mile open stretch of Juan de Fuca, but the gas dock didn't open till 8:00am. Fortunately the water was flat calm - a huge relief. I have heard numerous harrowing tales of nasty waves on this Strait, and was unfamiliar with the landmarks and hazards (but had all the charts, of course). Calculated my heading with declination and pointed the boat to 300 degrees for the entrance to Haro Strait. The Victoria Clipper came across our bow as we left Townsend, so I used it as an additional 'landmark'. This leg was uneventful and fast - but saw some largish porpoises. We arrived in Tsegum Harbour in about 2 hours for 40 miles dock to dock.
I felt confident enough in handling the boat, I even backed-in and stern-tied in our new slip. Problem is, the boat seems to take up more than half the width of our double berth (other side the boat was absent). Now I'm worried that the marina put us in a slip too narrow for our boat - but this boat is 1 inch narrower than the 2855 I told them I was planning to buy?? hmmm
Overall: I can't compare this Maxum to other cruiser, since I have zero experience with them. I love how smooth the ride is in the larger heavier boat. The sound of the 7.4 MPI B3 is slightler quieter than the 3.0 mercruiser, but this big boat goes much faster also. It can't plane below 20 knots like the 19' did, but getting around faster is nice. The best thing is - it is the BEST looking boat in our section of the Marina (of 28' slips) - yeeha!