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Author Topic:   Trip to St. Augustine
Traveller posted 12-24-2007 10:45 AM ET (US)   Profile for Traveller   Send Email to Traveller  
My wife and I will be leaving for St. Augustine, FL on Thursday, December 27th. We're going to put the 20 hours of break-in time on our new Montauk 170 by cruising around the ICW from Matanzas to Mayport.

If the weather is nice enough, we'll stick our nose out the St. Augustine Inlet and give the new "Traveller" her first taste of the ocean. We plan to be on the water at some time every day from December 28th to December 31st, and will come home on January 1st.

While we're in St. Augustine, we'll take delivery of a new Loadmaster aluminum trailer for our boat, equipped with 14" tires, stainless bolt upgrade, diamond plate fenders, load centering bunks, plus several other options from Loadmaster.

I'm taking the digital camera, so when we get home I'm going to figure out how to share pictures of our trip.

Mambo Minnow posted 12-24-2007 02:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow     
I recommend the Conch House to pull up for a drink or meal after time on the water. It's on the opposite side of the Bridge of Lions from downtown. Venture out at night. St. Augustine is beautifully lit a night with white lights.
jlh49 posted 12-24-2007 09:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for jlh49  Send Email to jlh49     
Be sure to eat at O'Steens. Best fried shrimp you can buy! Other menu items very good also. On the right after crossing the Bridge of Lions heading to the beach side. Look for a sign with a shrimp wearing a top hat! Enjoy your stay and trip!
Traveller posted 01-01-2008 11:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Traveller  Send Email to Traveller     
We are back from the trip a day early. We found out there was a possibility of snow here in the mountains of NC on New Years Day, so we cut the trip one day short.

First of all, everything good that people have said about the Montauk 170 is true. The boat handled great and the Mercury 90 4 stroke ran flawlessly. We purchased a new Loadmaster aluminum trailer in St. Augustine, and that trailer has made an already great package even better.

We left on Thursday, December 27th and started the drive from Asheville, NC to St. Augustine, FL. Our first stop was to buy diesel fuel for the truck in Clinton, SC. I mention a fuel stop because it was the first of four times on the trip that a complete stranger walked up to us to tell us how much they admired the boat.

While we were in St. Augustine, we stayed at the Avenida Inn. It used to be a Days Inn, and was purchased by an individual who left the franchise and changed the name. They had a special on room rates of $49/night. This rate was WAY less than what we had been quoted when we made reservations, but they only charged us $49 plus tax.

The morning of December 28th, we took to the boat to First Coast Trailers and left it with the owner, Chuck Dykes. While the boat was with him, we went shopping in St. Augustine.

Chuck called about an hour later to say that the trailer Loadmaster has sent for our boat was too narrow for the new, wider Montauk. He had a 2008 trailer on his lot that was longer and wider than the trailer we had ordered, and he told us that he could adjust it to fit the Montauk 170, for the same cost of the smaller trailer. The work took him all day to complete, but the new trailer is wonderful.

On Saturday, we launched the boat at the Vilano boat ramp. While we were launching our boat, we received the second compliment from a gentleman who was launching his boat at the same time we were.

The weather was perfect for our first salt water boat ride. The wind was from the SE at 5-10 knots, seas in the Atlantic were 2-3', and it was supposed to get to the upper 70's for the high temperature. We decided to go out the St. Augustine Inlet, run north up the beach to the St. John's River Inlet, and take the Intracoastal Waterway back to St. Augustine.

The boat handled the 2-3'seas with ease. I tried all headings, and only had to slow down a little when going directly into a head sea. Heading north, with a following sea, we could run at any speed we wanted.

At the end of the day I filled up the gas tank with 12.3 gallons. I don't know the exact mileage of the trip. I do remember from fishing in kingfish tournaments that the straight run from the St. Augustine Inlet to the St. John's River Inlet is 30 miles, and the ICW run is longer. My old boat with a 200 carbed Johnson would have taken 60 gallons to make that run. I was thrilled!

On Sunday, we launched the boat and headed south down the ICW to Fort Matanzas. It is a tiny Spanish fort with four cannons that used to protect the Matanzas Inlet from foreign invaders from the ocean. The wind was blowing much harder out of the south, and there was quite a chop on the ICW. My wife and I used the RPS as a leaning post and stood for the ride south to Fort Matanzas. On the return trip, we used the RPS as seat and were perfectly comfortable.

On Sunday evening we heard about possible snow back home, so we decided to come home early. On the return trip, at two different rest areas on the interstate, we had people come across the parking lot to admire our new Montauk 170 and talk to us about the boat. We arrived home on Monday evening to find that a Winter Storm Warning had been posted for Western North Carolina.

I took a few pictures, and will try to share them when I get to a computer that will let me download them from my camera. My computer at home doesn't want to let me do that.

Sorry this is so long, but I figured I would share our first adventure in our 2008 Montauk 170. We love everything about the boat, and can't wait for this cold weather to end so we can head get back on the water.

Happy New Year!

Mambo Minnow posted 01-01-2008 03:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow     
Wonderful! It's a real complement to our local waters to make such a long trip. I am a little confused why such a new boat would need a new trailer, but it's nice to know we have some well regarded local dealers.

The Vilano ramp is a nice facility, but there is some tricky shoal water between the ICW markers and the Inlet markers. Sounds like this would be a nice next NE FL rendevous cruise maybe in the spring.

Come again!

Traveller posted 01-01-2008 05:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Traveller  Send Email to Traveller     
Mambo Minnow -

The shoals between the Vilano ramp and the ICW are probably legendary for the number of visiting boaters that run aground there trying to head straight to the inlet. I have fished every Kingbuster and Ancient City Kingfish Tournament in St. Augustine since 1995, and knew all about them and how to avoid them.

With regard to purchasing a new trailer for a new boat - I trailer a boat an average of 8,000 miles per year. The Karavan trailer that comes standard with the Montauk 170 is probably great for short commutes to the boat ramp and an occasional longer trip. I'll pull this boat from Asheville to NE Florida at least 8 times in 2008, either to Fernandina, Jax, or St, Augustine. I wanted the security of knowing that the trailer under my boat would be capable of handling that kind of mileage with ease.

I would probably move to St. Augustine in a heartbeat, but my wife wouldn't leave here for anything. Therefore, I am - the Traveller.

Mambo Minnow posted 01-01-2008 05:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow     
Traveller...guess the name is apropo :) I'll try to remember to copy you on any future rendevous we plan locally.

I agree the Karavan package trailer not up to those kind of miles. Based on your generous experience, I'd be curious your preferences for type of brakes (Drum or Disc) and hub lube system (buddy bearing, Zerk fitting, Lube Bath or Air hub you preferred on your new trailer.

I did my first kingfishing this summer on the party grounds out of Mayport. I saw a Montauk in Kingbuster website pictures, wonder if it was you! Loved the screaming drag! I'd like to fish the Kingbuster or ATT Greater JAX tourney, but I need a crew to share expenses. Registration fee alone and time on water is too much for young family alone. No way Whaler can compete with Regulators and Fountains seriously for prize money!

Tohsgib posted 01-02-2008 10:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
What did you do with the OEM trailer, trade it in? Just wondering because you can delete the trailer and save like $800 bucks or something.
Traveller posted 01-02-2008 02:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Traveller  Send Email to Traveller     
Tohsgib -

I traded the trailer at 1st Coast Trailers. My dealer told me that the trailer could not be deleted, but that they would buy it back from me if I purchased a different trailer from them. Their other trailers didn't impress me, so I took the boat to Florida on the Karavan and came home on the Loadmaster.

Mambo Minnow -

It couldn't have been me in the Kingbuster pics - I just bought the Montauk last month! However, I have placed in the Kingbuster several times in the old Stratos 22 I sold in June of last year.

We'll have to see about how competitive I am with the Fountains and Regulators. Most of them run far, far away just because they can. If the weather is decent, while they're running, I'll be fishing. If NOAA issues a small-craft advisory for the tournament days, I'll stay home and enjoy boating on a lake up here.

where2 posted 01-09-2008 08:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
The Loadmaster trailer will treat you very well. My father has had one under his 20' Edgewater for 10 years. He did essentially all the upgrades you specified. If ever you have any issues with the trailer, do not hesitate to call the Loadmaster Factory in Tampa, they WILL treat you right.

A buddy I used to work with moved to Asheville, NC on Jan. 2nd. He was greeted by snow when he arrived. Good call on leaving Florida a day early.

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