We just got back from the looper gathering at Wheeler State Park over in Alabama, and what an amazing event. So much information, so many beautiful boats (all types), and some of the nicest people that you could ever meet. Many people that were there are in the planning stages, but others are in progress, and others are Gold and Platinum loopers (gold is twice, platinum is more than twice). There were numerous seminars about all aspects of doing the loop, from wind and weather, anchoring, buying a boat, navigation, and many others. There were also sections where experienced loopers shared detailed information about different sections of the loop. I attended two of those, the first was from just north of Clearwater Florida to Miami, and the other was about going to the Bahamas. Really, really good information. People also shared the tools they use for navigation and how to share the location so others can track the path of the boat. There were vendors as well as boat brokers, boating insurance, and other boat related services. There are were also captains that will train you and help bring you boat back to your home port, which is a service we will absolutely use.
But probably the best part of the vent, was the Loop Crawls. Every afternoon around 4, we got to go down to the docks and explore all the different boats, inside and out. There aren’t many places where you can actually get on 40 boats, and not just any boat, but boats that are actually doing the loop right now. One boat just started the loop 2 days ago. 🙂 Here are a few of the other boats. I should have taken a picture of each boat.
We think we found a boat that would be suitable for extended traveling for us. Because there are so many types of boats doing the loop, there is no “perfect” boat. What every your personal requirements are determine what boat you choose. Obviously, the wife’s likes and wants will play a big part in what boat we get, and it needs to be spacious on the inside, not only for us, but for any guest that would like to travel with us, and it should have the basic creature comforts that you might have at home.
What we found was this boat, and it’s a 2007 Cruiser 455 Express Motor Yacht. This boat is not for sale (we we tried to steal it from them), but it is currently 2500 miles into the loop. The owners, Peter and Kim Squier were very gracious in allowing us to climb all over their boat and explain all of the features to us.
The specs for this boat are:
- Length: 45’6″
- Draft: 3’3″
- Beam: 15’4″
- Fuel Capacity: 500 gals.
- Water Capacity: 140 gals.
- Waste Capacity: 100 gals.
The Cruisers 455 Express Motor Yacht is an updated version of the company’s 4450 Express MY that was built from 1998 to 2003. Both boats share the same fully cored hull, the same tankage, and the same unusual express/motor yacht design configuration. What is different is the exterior styling; the 455’s tiered cabin windows and restyled hardtop add much to her rakish personality. Below deck, the three-stateroom cherrywood interior is a departure from most aft-cabin floorplans in that the salon, galley, and dinette are all on the same level (although the dinette is slightly elevated to provide headroom for the small stateroom below). The forward cabin, with a walk-in closet, is nearly as large as the owner’s aft stateroom. Note that the aft head compartment includes a whirlpool tub in addition to a separate shower stall. Topside, the tiered helm and cockpit area keeps the captain and passengers in close proximity. Helm visibility is excellent, and the side decks are wide enough for secure access to the foredeck. A well-built yacht, twin 480hp Volvo diesels cruise the Cruisers 445 Express in the low 20 knots and reach a top speed just under 30 knots.
Here’s a look at a Cruiser 455
I took some pictures, but I discovered after the fact that some of them were blurry, but here are some the show what the video didn’t.
It does have a combo washer/dryer.
This is the forward stateroom, and it’s very roomy.
Forward head. It has a standup shower.
Two smaller berths next to the washer/dryer.
Headed down to the Master bedroom.
Yes… it has a tub. 🙂
Cockpit area behind the upper cockpit.
Looking down inside the cabin.
The boat has bow and stern thrusters, and they can be controlled with a handheld remote control. The throttle and steering can also be controlled with a handheld remote.
This is looking from the slightly lower rear cockpit, toward the front. This top area has heat and air conditioning. At the bottom of the picture is a refrigerator/freezer. On top of the hardtop are three solar panels that provide 1400 watts of solar power for charging batteries. It also has AIS, radar, sonar, GPS, and a full set of Navionics equipment.
I now have Custis Stokes and Associates to help me find one that will suit our needs, so we’ll see what they can come up with! If this boats were for sell, I would certainly buy it.
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