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Two Long-Distance Cruisers Find the
Upside of Downsizing Trailerable Trawler

Jim and Lisa Favors
Jim and Lisa Favors have been avid boaters in the Great Lakes region for over 20 years. They spent the first year of retirement cruising the 6,000-mile Great Loop route on a 40′ trawler. One year turned into five years of cruising as liveaboards and another Loop trip under their belts. Their mission soon became a desire to share with others the joys of cruising the waterways in the USA and Canada. “We want to help people discover this rewarding lifestyle!”
“We’re excited to continue our boating adventures on a trailerable trawler, Kismet, a Ranger Tugs R27. Flexibility, mobility and affordability – trailerable boating is the wave of the future. We use our tug as an RV when traveling to a cruising destination, staying at RV campgrounds all over the country. With the flexibility of a trailerable trawler, one can travel all over the United States and Canada experiencing waterways unavailable to a bigger boat. Our initial concerns of downsizing were easily set to rest once we headed out on the water in our new and improved, Kismet” – Jim & Lisa Favors  Read More

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eBooks by Jim and Lisa Favors at Amazon, iBooks and the Nook.
(Click on book below for reviews and more information)

Upside of Downsizing to a Trailerable Trawler Women On Board Cruising, Book Cover  When the Water Calls, We Follow, Book Cover

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When the Water Calls and Women On Board Cruising

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Ranger Tugs/Cutwater 2015 North Channel Rendezvous!

Ranger Tugs/Cutwater 2015 North Channel Rendezvous!

Join Us for the Second Annual Ranger Tugs/Cutwater 2015 North Channel Rendezvous! If you've never cruised in Canada's North Channel, this might be the time to trailer or cruise your Ranger Tugs/Cutwater boat to join us in Little Current, Ontario, for the second annual Ranger Tugs/Cutwater 2015 North Channel Rendezvous. With spring in the air the much anticipated boating season in Canada’s North Channel is just around the corner. With that in mind the official registration process for the 2015 rendezvous is…

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Keys Eco-Tours?  See Captain Sterling – John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Keys Eco-Tours? See Captain Sterling – John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Looking for Keys Eco-Tours? See Captain Sterling at Everglades Eco-Tours Our first stop in the Keys this year was John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, time for another Keys Eco-Tours. This was a new stop for us and we're glad we had the opportunity to check it out. We left Boca Chita while it was still quite windy, but manageable. When we got to where the waterway narrowed down a bit, we passed under the Jew Fish Creek Inlet and Bridge,…

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Triangle Loop Cruise – New York State And Canada

Triangle Loop Cruise – New York State and Canada

The Triangle Loop Cruise includes all or parts of the Erie Canal, Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River downstream, Montreal, Sorel, Chambly Canal, Richelieu River, Lake Champlain and the Hudson River. After the Ranger Tugs 2015 North Channel Rendezvous in Little Current, Ontario this year we plan to trailer our Ranger Tug, Kismet, south through Canada, to do most of the Triangle Loop Cruise. Stay tuned for blog updates, end of summer. We'll put the boat in at Clayton, New York and start our…

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Safe Harbor Before The Start Of The Keys

Safe Harbor Before the Start of the Keys

Boca Chita Key, an Island Paradise! Kismet is on the wall at Boca Chita Key. Twelve miles south of Key Biscayne sits this beautiful bahamian type island. It is part of Biscayne National Park and consists of 32 acres of land, beach and harbor. It includes a beautiful 65-ft. ornamental lighthouse which sports an observation deck overlooking the beautiful harbor, nearby islands, Key Biscayne Bay, ocean, Miami and Key Biscayne Island. Down below the lighthouse sits an old canon salvaged off a nearby shipwreck. There is a…

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Sky On Fire – Hurricane Harbor – Key Biscayne, Florida

Sky On Fire – Hurricane Harbor – Key Biscayne, Florida

Hurricane Harbor Provided Us with an Idyllic Sunset! Leaving Miami in our wake, we pointed our bow toward Key Biscayne Island. Jim did some research and found this beautiful anchorage, a spot further enhanced by a flaming sunset. The sky was on fire, I must have taken a hundred photos as it morphed with varying shades of sky blues, oranges and hot red tones. Soon after we threw the hook into the harbor, we had a visit by local law enforcement.…

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Miami – A Last Glimpse Back At The Skyline

Miami – A Last Glimpse Back at the Skyline

Leaving Miami Behind! We departed Fort Lauderdale today to cruise through Miami to our end destination, Hurricane Harbor, an anchorage Jim found off Key Biscayne Island. So, we left a multitude of cruise ships in our wake in the wide expanse of Port Everglades before we entered the narrower part of the ICW heading to Miami. It's an exciting area to cruise through with the beautiful homes lining the waterway, yachts of every shape and size and finally the towering buildings of Miami…

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Upside Of Downsizing To A Trailerable Trawler – Book Review

Upside of Downsizing to a Trailerable Trawler – Book Review

Reading this e-book, I couldn’t help but wonder how many cruisers might be tempted to follow the example set by Jim and Lisa Favors, a couple with thousands of miles of Great Loop cruising experience who, after five years of full-time living aboard, gave up their comfortable 40-foot trawler for a trailerable 27-foot Ranger Tugs.

Like many other PassageMaker readers, I’ve gone aboard boats like this at boat shows, asking myself whether my wife and I might someday want to downsize and try to squeeze into a smaller boat. A trawler yacht that can be towed over the highway and cruised in many different areas each year, avoiding long passages over water. After all, it’s a whole lot faster and cheaper to cover the distance between, say, Ft. Lauderdale and Halifax or San Diego and Seattle at 60mph, compared to displacement speeds. “One of the beauties of this plan,” the Favors wrote as they were planning their move, “is that we’d be able to cut out a lot of long boat travel days by driving to the heart of a spot and dropping the boat into the water.”

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Rendezvous With Ranger Tug “Pour House”

Rendezvous with Ranger Tug “Pour House”

Fort Lauderdale has it all. On our way for a week's stay in Fort Lauderdale. This Florida boating destination has it all... lots of canals to explore, a beautiful beach to walk on the ocean, shopping on Las Olas Avenue, a beautiful River Walk for leisurely strolls along New River and  now we can add one more thing to our ongoing Fort Lauderdale list... the warm and welcoming home of Carolyn and Harry House, (homeport for their Ranger Tug, PourHouse). We left our anchorage at Lake…

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Hooking Our Way To Fort Lauderdale

Hooking Our Way to Fort Lauderdale

Exploring New Inlets While "Hooking" Our Way to Fort Lauderdale! It's very rewarding experience for us when we have an opportunity to explore new inlets, coves and potential anchorages while cruising AND we end up throwing the hook for the night. The previous times we’ve cruised north or south between Stuart and Fort Lauderdale we’ve always traveled past Peck Lake, Lake Worth, Lake Boca Raton and Lake Sylvia without ever stopping let alone anchoring. We’ve either been in too much of a hurry to get…

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New Friends, Laughter, And A Cozy Bed To Boot – Palm City, Florida

New Friends, Laughter, and a Cozy Bed to Boot – Palm City, Florida

One of the reasons we love to boat is that we are more prone to make new friends while we're cruising, Visiting friends in Palm City, Florida, was no exception. We had briefly met Alyn & Diane in our hometown, Traverse City, they also live there part of the year, we share a passion for boating. One day they stopped by to look at our Ranger Tug, which Jim often works on while it is parked in our driveway. It's as simple…

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We Found A Boating Haven In Indiantown, Florida

We Found a Boating Haven in Indiantown, Florida

Short Cruise Today – Transiting from South Bay Cover to Indiantown, Florida. Leaving South Bay Cove in the morning put us with an early arrival to our day's destination of Indiantown, Florida, located on the St. Lucie River, just off the big lake. Indiantown was established by the Seminole people as a trading Post. On the way to our destination, we were intrigued by Slim's riverside sign (below), too bad we didn't have time to stop, it looked like it might…

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Rim Route To South Bay Cove On Lake Okeechobee, Florida

Rim Route to South Bay Cove on Lake Okeechobee, Florida

"Big Water" – Lake Okeechobee and the Rim Route From our one-night stop in LaBelle, we proceeded toward Lake Okeechobee (or in Seminole Indian language, Big Water), we'll be taking the rim route around the lake instead of going straight across this time. The Okeechobee Waterway, which includes the Caloosahatchee River and the St. Lucie River, boasts a 134.3 nautical miles from west to east and is the 2nd largest fresh water lake in the United States. You can transit the lake…

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A Simple Sailor Man

A Simple Sailor Man

Tribute to a Friend – Tom Conrad We lost a good friend. Tom Conrad passed away recently and the boating community lost one of its best. We met Tom and Patsy Conrad many years ago through AGLCA (America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association). If the Great Loop boating adventure did not exist, we probably would never have met – with the Conrads living in Florida's Panhandle and us living in northern Michigan. What a loss that would have been for us. Because we shared a passion for boating and…

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The Belle Of The Caloosahatchee – LaBelle, Florida

The Belle of the Caloosahatchee – LaBelle, Florida

Free Dock in LaBelle, on the Caloosahatchee River! On our way east on the Caloosahatchee River today with our eye on making it to the free town dock in LaBelle for a one-night stay, we had to go through two locks to get there. The Caloosahatchee River always provides us with a scenic cruise and the easily accessible free dock was a welcome stop, one we had not taken advantage of before. LaBelle, Florida, was settled along the Caloosahatchee River, in the late…

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Friends Helping Friends – Fort Myers, Florida

Friends Helping Friends – Fort Myers, Florida

First Stop Legacy Harbor Marina, Fort Myers, Florida After spending the holidays at home in Traverse City, MI, we returned to Legacy Harbor Marina in Fort Myers, Florida for the start of our 2015 winter cruising season. Our plan this winter is to cruise to Key West from Fort Myers, spending most of our time in the Keys. Legacy Harbor Marina is a fun spot to spend a week, a month or a whole season. Last year we spent a…

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Fun Times, Good Friends – Fort Myers, Florida

Fun Times, Good Friends – Fort Myers, Florida

Kismet Secure at Legacy Harbor Marina, Fort Myers We planned our winter trip to include a month-long stay at Legacy Harbour Marina in Fort Myers. Many of our Looper friends stay in this area during the winter months, some of them at this marina. We find that boating is like that, we bump into Loopers or boaters we know everywhere we go– planned or not. We did parts of our second Loop with buddy boats, Bella Luna and C-Life. We know other Loopers docked here…

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Kismet Shares See Life Too’s Dock – Sanibel Island, Florida

Kismet Shares See Life Too’s Dock – Sanibel Island, Florida

Sanibel Island, Florida – An Invitation We Couldn't Refuse While at the rendezvous, we had an invitation to stay at a fellow tugnut's dock in Sanibel Island. How could we pass that up? Steve and Laurie, on See Life Too, were so gracious to share the dock behind their house with us for a few days. Sanibel is a beautiful island with excellent shelling beaches. We borrowed our host's bikes to go grocery shopping and visit an art fair, we also got some good walking exercise…

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New Pass Interlude Near Bonita Springs, Florida

New Pass, a welcome break before we head into Fort Myers for a month. Lisa and I have an unquenched passion, as it relates to cruising, and it has to do with going places we’ve never been. With this in mind we departed Ft Myers Beach and instead of heading out into the open Gulf we decided to cruise the inside route through Estero Bay, south past Big Carlos Pass, to an anchorage at New Pass inlet, just north of Big Hickory…

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Hooking Up With Friends – Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Hooking Up with Friends – Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Not a lot going on this time around for the crew of Kismet in Fort Myers Beach. We usually take a mooring ball, but this time we docked at Gulf Star Marina. It was Sunday when we arrived and we were treated to live music at the nearby restaurant, Doc Ford's. Our main objective while here was to hook up with some friends in the area. We scheduled breakfast at this Greek restaurant on the beach with friends, Hal and Marianne, from Charlevoix,…

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Old Florida Fishing Village On Pine Island – Matlacha, Florida

Old Florida Fishing Village on Pine Island – Matlacha, Florida

Pine Island boasts of having no traffic signals, tolls or high rises! Although we have been on Pine Island by car before, we had never visited by boat. Jim did some research and found Olde Fish House Marina, a local marina in Matlacha Pass, situated smack dab in the middle of one of the most colorful little "Old Florida" towns in Florida. Matlacha is just a small part of Pine Island, when you cross the bridge going toward the bigger (18-mile long) Pine…

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Birds Of A Feather Flock Together – Cayo Costa State Park, Florida

Birds of a Feather Flock Together – Cayo Costa State Park, Florida

Flotilla Cruise, Shark's Teeth and Happy Hour on Heart Tug Mike Rizzo had organized a post rendezvous flotilla to Cayo Costa State Park for a one-night group anchor event, about a dozen boats participated. First, after anchoring, most of us dinghied to shore and the entrance of the park where we caught a buggy ride to the beach – we all seemed to be on a hunt for shark's teeth. Later that evening everyone was invited to Heart Tug for happy hour. Now, this seemed to concern…

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2014 Ranger Tug Winter Rendezvous – Palm Island, Florida

2014 Ranger Tug Winter Rendezvous – Palm Island, Florida

Kismet is hustling to get to Palm Island Marina, in Cape Haze, to attend the 2014 Ranger Tug Winter Rendezvous. Over the four years we've own our Ranger Tug, we've met lots of other owners, some we'll see again at this rendezvous and we looked forward to making new friends during the rendezvous. The event was hosted by fellow tug owners, Ted and Carol Whittier and Mike and Jess Rizzo. Many thanks to all of them for a well-organized and fun Ranger Tug…

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Two Options For Our Stay – Sarasota, Florida

Two Options for Our Stay – Sarasota, Florida

We always enjoy stopping in Sarasota for a few nights. The city is vibrant and provides a nice break for two salty tugnuts. For our first two nights, we choose the mooring ball option, just outside the harbor, instead of docking at Marina Jacks like we usually do. It was calm enough and just a short dinghy ride to the marina offers us access to town and the ability to get our daily exercise while visiting the Farmer's Market or stocking up at the…

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Exploring Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge

Exploring Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge

Fort Dade was built during the Spanish American War and remained in military control for many years. In 1974 the island was turned over to the State of Florida and became a state park in 1989. In 1974 the southern portion of the island became Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge (also a bird sanctuary). Visiting Egmont Key should only be done during fairly calm water. Because there are no docks, one needs to anchor a ways off of the island…

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Pristine Anchorage At Mullet Key – Fort DeSoto State Park, FL

Pristine Anchorage at Mullet Key – Fort DeSoto State Park, FL

As one leaves the Gulf of Mexico to enter Tampa Bay, Mother Nature provides two keys that stand sentinel to the entrance of Tampa Bay. In 1889, Mullet Key, to the north, and Egmont Key, to the south, had fortresses built to guard against invasions that never came, remnants of both forts remain today in the parks that were created in the late 1800s. Robert E Lee made the recommendation, in 1849, that both Mullet and Egmont keys become fortified. Fort DeSoto, on Mullet Key, was…

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One-night Stay – Gulfport, Florida

One-night Stay – Gulfport, Florida

Gulfport is always a good stop, the little town is within a short walking distance of the marina and has lots of little beach restaurants and gift shops. We are just here for one night. I loved the pine needle crafts I saw in one of the shops, very "Old Florida," with all natural ingredients, long pine needles and raffia.

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Laid Back Beach Town – Pass-A-Grille, Florida

Laid Back Beach Town – Pass-A-Grille, Florida

Lots of sights to see on the water today as we made our way to Pass-A-Grille. We anchored in Pass-A-Grille, in a big well just behind the beautiful Don Cesar hotel (above). We passed two "Rangers" today. The one above, looked like an interesting yacht. During our night at anchor we met the crew on Tortuga, the Ranger Tug below, while they circled the anchorage during and evening cruise. Frank and Salma just recently bought their tug and we would meet them…

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Peaceful Night On The Hook – Redington Beach, Florida

Peaceful Night on the Hook – Redington Beach, Florida

  We've always found Redington Beach to provide a well-protected anchorage, located in Pinellas County, west of Tampa on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. The town has four parks, five public beach accesses, and a causeway with benches for relaxing and fishing. We thought the exercise equipment in the park next to our boat was a thoughtful addition for residents and visitors. The dolphins were loving our boat wake today, they love to swim just under Kismet's wake. We dinghied over…

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