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pallares 07-06-2009 08:31 AM

advice re boat
hi...i have been around boats all my life (french catamarans to large bertrans) but have never been in a wife and i are presently living in cayman and we are thinking of relocating to the PNW...closer to family and believe it or not grand cayman has NO CARDIOLOGY SERVICE!!!...i am a cardiologist working part time in arizona...and our plans so far are to spend the winters in arizona and then 2 weeks/month trawler the PNW...i would like some advice as to what to purchase...i am thinking of a single engine with bow thrusters and low maintenance* ie. no wood and big enough for 4 adults....any thoughts as to what trawlers i should look at would be greatly appreciated
frank and therese pallares

sunchaser 07-06-2009 11:30 AM

advice re boat
I had a similar question. I chartered twice from Anacortes Yacht Charters, learned the area and learned about different boats. Your budget, mechanical apptitude and lots of time dock walking and going to boat shows will help shape your decision. The tight economy is helping the buyer, especially on new(er) vessels. Moorage availablity and location*is a question too.

-- Edited by sunchaser on Monday 6th of July 2009 11:32:06 AM

pallares 07-06-2009 12:13 PM

RE: advice re boat
thanx much

sunchaser 07-06-2009 12:40 PM

advice re boat
So what is your budget so the Forum can toss out some boat suggestions? I'm in AZ working now and doing the PNW jaunts along the same lines you contemplate.

-- Edited by sunchaser on Monday 6th of July 2009 12:42:18 PM

Carey 07-06-2009 07:34 PM

RE: advice re boat
Frank** * I concur with Sunchaser about moorage. It is hard to find in the northwest. Part of the solution might be to buy a boat in a marina that you might find desirable. Select your city and marina, then the boat. Hopefully the boat owner will sublet to you for the first year, while you are on the waiting list for all the other marinas in the area. In fact, I would get my name on several waiting lists as soon as you can. As to the boat, that is a tough call. It's such a personal issue. I guess I would first consider cabin configuration. Will you have four adults along on all outings, or only occasionally, and only for short trips, or will you always have four. For me, only occasionally having four adults aboard, we chose a single stateroom, with a spacious head and shower, and lots of storage. Guests sleep on the dinette (a very large dinette that becomes a nearly queen size bed. If you will have four all of the time, I would say two staterooms is a must. You may have to sacrifice in other areas in order to have the two, but constantly converting a dinette from sleeping to dining would get old, very quickly. Once you decide on cabin configuration, the next thing to consider is your intended cruise speed. Do you truly want a trawler, as in full displacement, 6-8 knots? *Given your desire for simplicity, I would definitely choose single engine. Twins offer more maneuverability, but after a short familiarization, you would likely become very comfortable. It's all about what you are accustomed to running. The lower maintenance and less crowded engine room make it all worth while in my book. One set of engine zincs, one oil filter, one change of oil, etc. There is so much more to consider, that you really must do a lot of research. Answer all the questions, considering where you might be willing to compromise, because every boat is truly a compromise. No one boat will work for everyone. Good luck, and remember that the process of boat selection is probably the most important decision making process you will ever find.*
** * * * Carey

pallares 07-06-2009 09:35 PM

RE: advice re boat
THANKYOU CAREY...that's one of the nicest responses i've ever had....i think i'm going for the single engine with bow thrusters and 2 couples most of the time scenario...i am a very experience cardiologist and if i can ever help you with second opinions in regards to cardiology don't hesitate to call on me...right now we are concentrating in selling our house and boat in cayman may be a while...
again ..thanx for your advice
frank and therese

sunchaser 07-06-2009 10:10 PM

RE: advice re boat
Check out these singles:

Selenes - I really like the 57/59 - Bluewater vessel
Nordic Tug 54 - Coastal cruiser
Ocean Alexander 60 - Coastal cruiser
Nordhavn 55 - Bluewater
Northern Marine 60 - Bluewater

The above brands have a good following for resale potential. And you and your "other" can handle any of the above quite easily. Love em all but their prices wreak havoc on my heart. I used a broker who was employed by the marina. No problem with moorage when I bought through them.

The latest issues of Passagemker and Power and Motoryacht have some good boat writeups along the lines of what you may be looking for.

Marin 07-06-2009 11:19 PM

advice re boat

The weather in the PNW changes constantly, with rain, overcast, and wind being the norm most of the year. So I would strongly suggest selecting a boat configuration that gives you the maximum usable space regardless of the weather. In the trawler category the best configuration in our opinion is the Europa with its fully covered side and aft decks that can be enclosed aft when the weather turns really windy and damp. This gives you a great space that lets you be "outside" while not having to be outside.

My wife and I personally prefer a pilothouse configuration with a covered aft deck--- boats like Krogen, Fleming, etc. We have found we have no use for a flying bridge when we're underway. It's a nice place to sit once we get somewhere and the weather is conducive but we run the boat exclusively from the lower helm. So I think an aft deck space that's usable in any weather and a good, user-friendly, good-visibility, enclosed lower helm-- be it in a GB-type trawler or a Fleming-type pilothouse boat--- are prime considerations for selecting a PNW boat.

You would also be well advised to get a boat with a good heating system on it unless you're planning to use the boat only in the June-September timeframe. Air conditioning is not necessary. Our boat spent its whole life in San Francisco Bay until we bought it so it never had a heating system of any kind installed on it. It still doesn't since a decent one runs $6,000 to $8,000 installed, but we use a portable propane heater when we reach our destination and moor or anchor. In our home slip we use electric oil heaters. We plan to add a good heating system someday but not until we are able to use the boat for longer trips in the fall, winter, and spring.

In terms of electronics, while a lot of people from the original native tribes through Capt. Vancouver to a whole lot of salmon fishermen got everywhere they wanted to go with either no charts or paper charts, a good GPS chart plotter is a must I think. There's a lot of stuff to hit in these waters, and while much of it is constantly on the move like the logs, deadheads, and eelgrass mats, there are more than enough rocks, reefs, and shallow bars to keep you constantly on your toes. The tidal range varies from 8 to 15 feet in this area and much more up north. By the same token, a good radar is also a must in my opinion. There are lots of islands, lots of marked rocks and reefs, and so lots of navaids, plus a lot of boat, ship, and barge traffic.

Putting a lot of emphasis on having a long-range radar is kind of a waste--- the islands preclude you from seeing much more than three to six miles except on the few big bodies of water like the Strait of Georgia. Far more important is having a very sensitive radar that can pick out things like the crab pot buoys 100 yards ahead of you in the fog, sport fishing boats and ferries, and other close-in stuff. We have a relatively new Furuno NavNet VX2 and while it's a 36 mile radar we have never taken it over 6 miles and we usually run it at ranges of 1 to 3 miles. You also want to be able to work the radar at very short ranges--- in some of the narrow passes we go through on a regular basis we take the radar down to a half or even quarter mile range when the visibility is poor.

As to the number of engines, it's a matter of preference. Singles and twins both offer advantages and disadvantages. When we went shopping for a GB36 we didn't care if it was a single or a twin. The GB we had chartered was a single with a bow thruster. As it happened, the boat that best met our requirements and boating budget eleven years ago was a twin. We have needed the second engine four times in the last eleven years, three for different raw water cooling problems that made an engine shutdown the prudent action and one due to my misunderstanding of the fuel system that permitted an engine to pull a slug of air during a fuel transfer. Had the boat been a single, we would have completed the three cooling problem runs on the end of a very expensive rope while the fuel starvation would have required me to bleed the engine with the boat pitching and rolling around in rough water.

I fly a single-engine floatplane with an engine made in the 1940s and have taken it up and down the Inside Passage more times than my wife and I can remember. I just spent a week hanging around lobstermen on PEI whose hard-working 44' boats are all single engine with no bow thruster, and their maneuvering makes most operators of recreational twin-engine boats look like uncoordinated twits. So I have no argument against a single-engine anything. However my wife has stated that she is a lot more confident with a spare engine under the floor, and I've found that having a confident and happy boating partner is WAY more important than one's own preference for singles or twins. Besides, I like operating engines, so the more the merrier.* I'd have three of them if I could. But that's just me

Moorage rates in Puget Sound are on a sliding scale based on their proximity to Seattle-Tacoma. The closer they are, the more expensive they are. Last I heard, a typical monthly moorage rate in the Seattle area is $10 to $15 a foot depending on the marina. Moorage rates in Anacortes, Bellingham, and Blaine are not much more than half that. Plus if you have a slow-ish boat and are not retired, keeping it in the Seattle-Tacoma area usually means you'll have the time to get up into the islands-- the San Juans and Gulfs-- perhaps once or twice a year on vacation. We keep our 8-knot boat in Bellingham, and my so-called 9/80 work schedule gives me (in theory) an extra day off every two weeks. In 3 to 3-1/2 hours we can get to many of the places we like to go in the San Juans. So, winds and work schedule permitting we can get into the islands every two weeks or so for three days at a time on a year-round basis. It's exactly 95 miles from our house east of Seattle to Bellingham, so we can make the drive in about an hour and a half at 35 mpg, as opposed to a day and a half at 5-6 gallons per hour if we had the boat in the Seattle area.

However..... as Carey said, the waiting lists are long in all the marinas around here. I was told recently that for a 40 foot slip, the wait in the northern marinas is at least two years if not longer. It's probably even longer in the Seattle-Tacoma area.* According to a boat broker friend, boat (trawler-type) sales are starting to pick up again after a pretty abysmal last year.* So there are not many slips going vacant due to owners bailing out of boating altogether as we first thought there would be when the economy started to slip.

When a boat is sold in most of the marinas up here the slip does not go with it. So unless the person selling the boat is not going to be replacing it with something similar in size and so would be willing to sublet the slip for a year (the maximum limit in most marinas), you'll have to find another slip for your boat when you buy it. You can sublet from owners who are taking their boats out of the area for a season, and sometimes if a marina knows you want to become a full-time resident (I don't mean liveaboard) they may have some commercial fishboat slips they will let you rent for a specific amount of time. It took us two years to get a permanent slip in Bellingham--- we sublet for two winters from a fellow who moved his boat to Vancouver Island for six months out of the year (tax break), sublet from a fellow going north for a summer, and the marina found us empty commercial slips the rest of the time. This was eleven years ago--- I don't know what the situation is today.

-- Edited by Marin on Monday 6th of July 2009 11:58:27 PM

FF 07-07-2009 04:10 AM

RE: advice re boat
"any thoughts as to what trawlers i should look at would be greatly appreciated

The first question should be which boat style , not which trawler.

A true TRAWLER , 70+ ft converted from a work boat is a huge amount of work to convert to a floating home. Big bucks and man years of work.

I think what you refer to as a "trawler" is simply the style of the hull shape and deck house above.

In other words its a motor yacht , designed with some elements of a trawler , to seem more PC., or to look more "shippy".

Many motor yachts are designed as displacement boats (the key to getting better than 1 mile per gal of fuel burn) although some "trawlers' are claimed to be "fast trawlers"" and get poor mileage even at displacement speeds. The hull shape underwater for speed is not the shape of cheap at low speeds.

My suggestion is to view the Dave Pascoe web site , read all the surveys and comments , and first decide on the hull/deck house shape , then figure out which country has created the better built boats.

It will get you a way towards finding a better first boat for your plans.


Marc1 07-07-2009 05:12 AM

RE: advice re boat

pallares wrote:

hi...i have been around boats all my life (french catamarans to large bertrans) but have never been in a wife and i are presently living in cayman and we are thinking of relocating to the PNW...closer to family and believe it or not grand cayman has NO CARDIOLOGY SERVICE!!!...i am a cardiologist working part time in arizona...and our plans so far are to spend the winters in arizona and then 2 weeks/month trawler the PNW...i would like some advice as to what to purchase...i am thinking of a single engine with bow thrusters and low maintenance* ie. no wood and big enough for 4 adults....any thoughts as to what trawlers i should look at would be greatly appreciated
frank and therese pallares

Hi Frank and Therese. My wife is an ophthalmologist, if you ver have something stuck in your eye...
Jokes aside, check out the Diesel Duck website, I love most of George Buehler's design


pallares 07-07-2009 06:13 AM

RE: advice re boat
excellent advice....thankyou very much

pallares 07-07-2009 01:00 PM

RE: advice re boat
i guess somewhere between 400-900K....need to do a lot of home work first
thanx for your help

Marin 07-07-2009 02:19 PM

advice re boat
Depending on what you want I would not assume that the bottom of the envelope is $400k. For example you can get a nice 1990s GB36 in the $200k range, and a similar vintage GB42 in the $300k range (or less). You may not have any interest in a GB, but for an idea of what's available and prices check out Northwest Explorations ( *) and check the Brokerage section. The lead broker is Scott Blake. He found our boat for us.

Another suggestion is to charter the type of boat you're interested in for a week. That way you can see if you like this type of boat, like cruising the area, etc.

-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 7th of July 2009 02:19:58 PM

pallares 07-07-2009 03:14 PM

RE: advice re boat
thanx for the advice...i'm sort of leaning to a boat without a flybridge and pretty well enclosed, one engine with bow thruster and under 42'...i presume the new GB's don't have a flybridge..i'm also nervous about boats older than 5 years although i'm sure i could find one in great condition...kinda of fun looking at communities to settle... and boats...the harbour chief told me a little while ago that the waiting list for a 40' slip in BLI was 10 years!!! but in anacortes prob about 6 months...places like edmonds and everett also have very long times and as u mentioned quite expensive....the slip in anacortes is 374/month + 10$ for electrical!!! ( we pay in cayman about 600 CI$/month electrical and about 3-400CI$ for water!!!!!) u know anything about anacortes or la conner? the lady at the anacortes harbour is a real sweety...she was very helpful and when i asked her where she would like to settle she mentioned la conner
all your advice is greatly appreciated

Marin 07-07-2009 03:37 PM

RE: advice re boat
If it was me I would definitely not rule out boats over five years old. Our boat is 36 years old and is in great shape mechanically because the previous owners did a good job of maintenance. The captain of a 120' corporate yacht I was associated with awhile back once told me that all the stuff that's wearing out and will need replacing on a new boat is the same stuff that's wearing out and will need replacing on an old boat. And an older boat will often get you a simpler and easier (aka cheaper) to maintain engine than a brand new boat with all-electronic controls and systems.

Of course it all depends on what one's boating budget is. If the budget will accomodate a new or nearly-new boat, great. But if not, there is no reason that this means you have to buy a less reliable boat. As I suspect everyone on this forum will tell you, it's all about service and maintenance. Done correctly, a 40 year old wood boat can be every bit as safe and reliable as a three-year old plastic boat. Done incorrectly, a five year old boat can be less reliable and more of a headache than a 25 year old boat.

The only Grand Banks models in production today are the GB47 (new "tunnel" hull design for higher speeds), the GB41 (new hull design plus computer-controlled pod drives), and the GB52 (conventional GB hull). The GB47 is available in both Europa and Classic (tri-cabin) configurations. The GB41 and GB 52 are available only as Europas. All of these boat have flying bridges.

pallares 07-07-2009 03:55 PM

RE: advice re boat
agree..i'm sure there are good old boats out there....thanx..fp

Marin 07-07-2009 05:06 PM

RE: advice re boat

pallares wrote:

do u know anything about anacortes or la conner?

Anacortes is a nice town, not very large, with a number of private marinas as well as a large city marina.* The town itself is quite old and has a long maritime history.* There is still a commercial fishing fleet based there.* One downside, at least visually, is that there are two huge oil refineries located on a narrow penninsula immediately east of the town.* However if you like to see tankers and tugs come and go, it could be a plus for you* Anacortes is the location of the state ferry terminal for the boats that serve the San Juan Islands.* If you like the area but want to live a little more remotely, check out Guemes Island.* Guemes is directly across the channel from Anacortes and is served by a county car ferry.* Very rural--- my former boss built a nice house over there.**There is no place to keep a*boat on Guemes, however.* You'd have to keep it in Anacortes.* There are a number of good marine services in Anacortes as well as boatyards.

La Conner is an interesting community strung out*along the Swinomish Channel, a somewhat man-made channel connecting Skagit Bay to the south with Padilla Bay to the north, east of Anacortes.* La Conner has become something of a tourist attraction with antique and art stores, waterfront restaurants, etc.* The town itself is quite small and is bordered to the east by the berry, flower, and potato farms that occupy most of the Skagit River delta.* There is a marina community across the Swinomish Channel from La Conner called (I think) Shelter Bay.* This community combines homes with a dredged harbor.

I would agree with Carey Worthen's previous post that Bellingham is the ideal community in the north end of the Sound.* Not so large to be a city, but large enough to boast an impressive array of cultural outlets and events, restaurants, shops, etc., the greater Bellingham area has much*more going for it than either Anacortes or La Conner in my opinion.* It has neighborhoods of small houses, new condo developments for people who don't want*to mow a yard,*or you can spend a few million on a custom home overlooking Chuckanut Bay.* You can live in the town proper, along the beautiful (and expensive) shoreline south of the town,*in the country,*or*on the shore of the very large Lake Whatcom*in the hills immediately behind the town.* Squalicum Marina is a large, full-service marina with a variety of excellent support companies from diesel shops to electronics plus a large boatyard (Seaview North) with 35 and 165 ton Travelifts to pull just about anything out of the water.

Carey 07-07-2009 06:27 PM

RE: advice re boat
Frank** * I responded to your post on "Cruising the West Coast". Check it out.
** * * * * * Carey

FF 07-08-2009 04:40 AM

RE: advice re boat
Boat prices for useful boats is still declining .

We last had an Albin 36 with gen set and dual coldplate freezers go for $25K.

And that was 2 years ago.

In Florida $75K will pick up a fine cruiser .

Florida Mariner lists the boats for sale on line.

Many can be trucked to the PNW and still be half or less of what the dreamers are still asking.

Since the Fanny/Freddy disaster baloon popped the housing bubble they created , DEFLATION has so far been the rule.

If you don't have to borrow to purchase the boat , you are in the drivers seat!! Big time!!


sunchaser 07-08-2009 05:38 AM

advice re boat
No flybridge? The beauty of the PNW is best enjoyed from the top deck. For a single engine vessel, check out the Nordhavn 4Xs, Selene 43, Nordic Tug 42 or American Tug 41. All top notch PNW vessels. The Nordhavn and Selene are hull speed vessels whereas the Tugs are both 15 knot vessels if you desire the increased speed. Three years ago I was looking in the 40-44 range and quickly went to 50' range for additional space and improved sea keeping.

The newer Grand Banks in this size range are all twins. And why do not want a twin?*A GB 47/49 is a beauty and with twins at displacement speed very fuel miserly. On my twin Defever 48 I burn 4-5 gph at 8 knots with 1000 gal of fuel capacity to boot! Try to get to the September Seattle boat show. Look very seriously for a covered side decks vessel. Staying dry in the PNW is a must in my book.

Consider berthing in Canada where you can avoid the very steep WA taxes. The cruising grounds in Canada are less crowded. At my Sidney BC marina over 1/2 of vessels are US flagged.

-- Edited by sunchaser on Wednesday 8th of July 2009 05:46:44 AM

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