Long time lurker, first time poster.
We have been enjoying our 20' Wellcraft cuddy for some time and now that the crankcase looks like it's filled with chocolate milk (
) it looks like it's time to upgrade. Currently we keep our boat in the Chicago River and spend plenty of time cruising down the river and often make trips out into Lake Michigan. We've really enjoyed taking short trips and spending weekends in our little boat and have dreams of longer cruises.
We'd like to venture around the Great Loop and possibly do some coastal cruising on the Caribbean coast. Maybe an eventual West Coast journey up to Alaska. We've ventured around the world at high-speed for a while now, now it's time to see it at 8 kts. Mostly it will be 2 humans (and a dog and cat for extended cruises) with 2 friends or family mbrs occasionally coming along for the ride. This is on the small end of what looks comfortable for our journeys and we've often heard "get the smallest you can without being uncomfortable". FWIW, I'd also like to throw a few rod holders on the rails so I can troll for Salmon/Steelhead in the big pond and along our journey.
I've been looking around at a lot of boats and building a short list. One of them is a 1977 North Shore 35 by TD Vinette in Escanaba, MI. She has a 130 hp Perkins 6.354. You can see the rest of the details here: 1977 T.D. Vinette North Shore Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
. I've never maintained a steel hull but its durability sounds nice in a river where it's not unusual to find anything from a tree to a chair just below the surface. And the drunken idiots in the lock can bounce their Rinkers off my boat all day long without issue.
I've seen a few threads mentioning the larger Vinettes but if anyone has any input on this smaller build I would greatly appreciate it. I'd also appreciate any input about this boat and my plans to use it. We'll obviously need a survey and to splash her for a sea trial but I'm also curious if anyone can predict how she'll hold up in 2-4 waves in the Lake. Some of the other boats on the list include the Prairie 29, Cape Dory 30, Californian 35 LRC and Albin Family Cruiser.
Thanks in advance!