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Old 11-08-2015, 11:25 AM   #21
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Yep, following the build process should be interesting. With Matt leaving TF, Fernando's project finished, Rick's Canadian building over and Ted's refit winding up we need something to satisfy our need for vicarious boat building. Thanks for taking us along on the process. I am very interested in seeing the changes that you plan to introduce.


Yup! Vicariously living through you!!
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:44 AM   #22
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Stabilization

Thanks everyone for your kind words on our new project.

I thought I would post something related to our most difficult decision with this new build - stabilization. Since I wanted this boat to be simpler, I struggled with every "system" we considered installing especially stabilization. I figured we have three options; Active Fin Stabilization, Gyro and good old fashion speed. Our experiences with Wesmar and Trac Active Fin stabilizers on our N40's were both positive and to be honest spoiled us. Recognizing that this type of system with 4' fins would create drag on a semi-displacement hull of this size I had to quickly rule them out. Our next option was a Gyro system and Seakeeper was willing to work with Scott and I to be the first boat with their system. While there is enough room in the ER to accommodate one of their smaller systems in the end I decided against this technology. My main reason was the need to have the generator running every time we needed the stabilizers and thus creating a more complex boat. Possibly in time when Seakeeper can design a unit that runs off the inverter using just the engine alternator. For now we plan to use the hull design for greater initial stability and various speeds to make the ride as comfortable as possible. On the west coast, our experiences have been that we didn't need stabilizers about 50% of the time we were out. I only hope that percent increases with the weather gods in the future. When I spoke with two previous Nordhavn owners who took their Helmsman 38PH's to Alaska they told me they had no hesitations and they would watch the weather a little closer. Here's to praying for calm seas.

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Old 11-08-2015, 05:55 PM   #23
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Contract Signed / New Build Underway

If I was having a new boat built I would definitely include installing stabilization now instead of possibly being sorry I didn't have it later, and then having to retrofit it at a greater expense.

What about a simple paravane system?
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:22 PM   #24
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If I was having a new boat built I would definitely include installing stabilization now instead of possibly being sorry I didn't have it later, and then having to retrofit it at a greater expense.
I agree. I think they will regret that decision. And fins should not add much drag, even at displacement speeds.
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:40 PM   #25
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Soft Goods Selection Process

One of the easier decisions when building a new boat is the selection of soft goods such as granite (standard), leather (optional) and lighting fixtures (standard). While we had to make our selections today from photo's of many samples, we didn't have any problems due to computer technology allowing for enlargement of photo's. Having been down this road a few times before also aided in the process. The other option would have been for Scott at Waterline Boats to mail the samples to us which he was willing to do.

The balance of soft good items (carpet, window coverings and bed spreads) will take place after the boat arrives. Mary will work with our designer Jeddy from Jeddy's Interior in Dana Point, CA. Jeddy did our all our Nordhavn's and we would recommend him to anyone looking for quality.

Window tint is something we learned should be done at the factory. We ended up tinting all three previous boats salon windows post delivery and while they turned out nice, this time around we want the windows to come with factory tinted medium dark.

Exterior canvas will wait until the boat is delivered and we decide which direction we want to go. While folding canvas tops are the most likely approach we are talking about a custom hard top of sort over the flybridge seating area. We will need to look at costs associated with this "nice to have".

That about covers the soft goods and this part of the process.

John
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Old 11-08-2015, 08:06 PM   #26
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I thought I would post something related to our most difficult decision with this new build - stabilization.
You may find that you wish you had stabilization, but adding either active fin or Seakeeper after delivery is especially expensive. If it were me, I would at least have the hull reinforcements put in place for active fin. That way, if you change your mind, it won't be nearly as big a deal to retro-fit.
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Old 11-08-2015, 08:35 PM   #27
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Stabilization Preperation

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You may find that you wish you had stabilization, but adding either active fin or Seakeeper after delivery is especially expensive. If it were me, I would at least have the hull reinforcements put in place for active fin. That way, if you change your mind, it won't be nearly as big a deal to retro-fit.
We acknowledge the cost trade off between installation of large systems during the build process and aftermarket. Like having a generator foundation and through hulls installed for a future installation. We do plan to have the hull structure enhanced for future fins just in case. Great point.
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Old 11-09-2015, 02:53 AM   #28
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Much looking forward to learn more about your new boat build! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-09-2015, 03:44 PM   #29
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Subscribed! And congratulations! This model is on our short list of next boats (along with a larger Nordic Tug). Really looking forward to following along and glad that although you are leaving the Nordhavn Dreamers list, you will be sharing here.
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:45 PM   #30
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John, it would be interesting to hear how you selected this boat over other similar size boats. Nordic and American Tug come mind, and I'm sure a number of others.
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:48 PM   #31
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John, it would be interesting to hear how you selected this boat over other similar size boats. Nordic and American Tug come mind, and I'm sure a number of others.
Absolutely

Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:47 PM   #32
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When I saw the title of this thread, I figured I'd find N4061 as the initiator and it would be about a "forth" Nordhavn. A surprise indeed! Thanks for sharing the process with us and best of luck in achieving the result you're working toward.
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:47 PM   #33
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The Decision Process - Part I

A few people have asked how we decided on the Helmsman 38PH over other boats in the same or similar category. While there is no one reason why made the choice we did I will try to summarize in a series of posts (future posts of our blog will go into more detail) how we came to our decision. First a few clarifying points, we are fans of all boats (new or old, slow or fast, expensive or inexpensive) we believe every boat is special in its own way to their owners.
Probably the most compelling reason we selected the Helmsman was that we wanted a new boat that offered maximum value. Over 35 years of boating has allowed us to own both new and used boats. What I discovered was that with each “used” boat, we spent more time working on the boat, investing money and dealing with frustrations and stress worrying was going to break next. This included our most recent boat, a nine year old near perfect (so I thought) Nordhavn 35. Used boats (plus cars and houses) are just not for us. I would rather pay a little more up front and enjoy the boat (with warranty) and know the odds are on our side that we shouldn’t have as many issues for the next five years. I should also add that I enjoy the researching and building the boat as much as owning it so that was factored in.
Now that we knew that boat would be new, we used our 90% rule to decide how we would use the boat and what type of boat best fit our needs. I will discuss the 90% rule more in upcoming posts but basically it makes us look seriously at how we plan to use the boat (no dreaming allowed). We knew we wanted a lot from this boat including west coast cruising in open ocean with distance between ports averaging about 40 miles (no place to hide when the weather turns poor), spending many weekends and a few mid-week nights aboard at the marina and eventually shipping the boat to the east coast to do the ICW. I will be the first to say that no boat is perfect and we are mixing things up a little for any boat to survive a fair assessment but that made the process fun.
Now that we had an honest understanding how we would use the boat we had to look at what size boat we really needed for two of us. One mistake we see so many people make is buying a boat for the occasional family or friends who may visit and not the people who will use the boat 90% of the time. We find people who own smaller to midsize boats tend to keep them longer and use them more frequently. For us there is also the issue of single handling the boat which is something I have to do most of the time since I don’t want Maria having to do anything that could hurt her back. While some people feel comfortable handling boats up to 50’ alone, my limits are closer to 40’.
At this point we knew wanted a new boat for the two of us (plus Daisy our 15 year old Chihuahua), designed to handle coastal cruising, spacious enough for serious time aboard at the marina, handle the ICW (via ground shipment) and it had to be under 40’. Easy, right?
These basic guidelines combined with the need for a little more speed than a FD hull could provide, had us decide on a semi-displacement type hull. We stayed away from other hull designs since our desired cruising speed is between 7 – 9 knots. 20% - 30% greater than the Nordhavn 40 and still slow enough to enjoy a long cruise. Top end of around 11 – 13 knots for those rare times when we want to beat sunset of weather. While some boats offer top end speeds in the higher teens we didn’t see the need since at those speeds its more of a “hold on and watch the fuel burn” – just not for us.
The next decision point was boat style (Downeast, Picnic Style, Tug, Sedan or Trawler to list a few). I spent a couple of years researching and talking with a few Downeast boat builders in the NE and would really enjoy working with one on a new boat but for a number reasons I decided that was not the right direction for us. This resulted in us having to find the right “Production Boat Builder” that would be willing to build us a boat the way we wanted it and not an off the shelf boat. Needless to say this ruled out many builders. At this point some of you are probably thinking this guy is too much and wants it all, just hang in there a little longer. What we found with most builders was if we want to change some cabinetry that would be ok but don’t think about moving a bulkhead or anything that were pre-molded and would require engineering and tooling. We understand and accept the fact these builders need to build a lot boats to stay in business and don’t have time for semi-custom.
So with the above criteria and a very short list of builders we had to start looking at their boats, quality, systems used, reputation, costs and who we could trust and build a relationship with. This meant dealing directly with the builder not a dealership. Another important thing to share is that many well-known builders today do not own the boat yards. Many builder’s partner with a yard overseas to build their designed boats, I found this interesting and realized there are risks with this type of arrangement which I will discuss in the future.
Well this is all for now, we are about to land and the pilot asked the crew to prepare for landing so time to shut down the laptop. Thanks for following us. We will post again soon……
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:06 PM   #34
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............

I thought I would post something related to our most difficult decision with this new build - stabilization. Since I wanted this boat to be simpler, I struggled with every "system" we considered installing especially stabilization. I figured we have three options; Active Fin Stabilization, Gyro and good old fashion speed................................John T
John:

Is there a reason you didn't mention a sail as one of your stabilization options? I ask this because using an appropriately sized sail on a "trawler" type vessel can, and does on many boats, offer decent stabilization and with today's auto-furling sails they're easy peasy to use.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:26 PM   #35
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Used boats (plus cars and houses) are just not for us. I would rather pay a little more up front and enjoy the boat (with warranty) and know the odds are on our side that we shouldn’t have as many issues for the next five years.
My current boat is my 13th (or so, I have lost count) boat, but the first new one. One of my reasons for buying it was that I wanted the reliability that comes with new. In retrospect, I realize that a new boat with complicated systems requires a year or two of shakedown before it becomes optimally reliable. In that regard, I believe that a 1 or 2 year old boat, commissioned and maintained by a knowledgeable and experienced owner, is better than new.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:35 PM   #36
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My current boat is my 13th (or so, I have lost count) boat, but the first new one. One of my reasons for buying it was that I wanted the reliability that comes with new. In retrospect, I realize that a new boat with complicated systems requires a year or two of shakedown before it becomes optimally reliable. In that regard, I believe that a 1 or 2 year old boat, commissioned and maintained by a knowledgeable and experienced owner, is better than new.
I agree. My experience has been the same. The great thing about a new boat is you get it exactly the way you want it set up. But I agree that it will take a year or more to get it all shaken out and working correctly.
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:06 PM   #37
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NEw versus USed

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My current boat is my 13th (or so, I have lost count) boat, but the first new one. One of my reasons for buying it was that I wanted the reliability that comes with new. In retrospect, I realize that a new boat with complicated systems requires a year or two of shakedown before it becomes optimally reliable. In that regard, I believe that a 1 or 2 year old boat, commissioned and maintained by a knowledgeable and experienced owner, is better than new.
Very valid point on a "complex" boat. This time around we optioned for a "simpler" boat since we wanted a break from the complex systems which we could not repair if and when they failed. It all comes down to cost of ownership, budget and what each individual feels comfortable with.

There is no right or wrong answer here, just an opportunity for everyone to figure out what works best for them. Granted when we sold N4061 after only three years of ownership and "zero findings" pre-purchase survey the new owners did well. This is not the norm and we prefer start out new.
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:13 PM   #38
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Thanks John. You have cleared up somethings. It's obvious the amount of thought that you put into the purchase. When I read earlier that you planned to go down to Mexico and then do the ICW, I wondered how the Helmsman handle going through the canal and Caribbean. Shipping overland makes perfect sense. I have a good deal of experience doing the Keys, Bahamas, ICW, and Chesapeake Bay. I have also done much of the Loop, but not all. Your choice of boat will be great for that type of cruising.

Now, I'm waiting for your modifications.
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:15 PM   #39
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Sail Stabilzation

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John:

Is there a reason you didn't mention a sail as one of your stabilization options? I ask this because using an appropriately sized sail on a "trawler" type vessel can, and does on many boats, offer decent stabilization and with today's auto-furling sails they're easy peasy to use.
Sail is something that we have not ruled out but based on real life data and posts on TF, the amount of sail required to make a significant impact would be very large and something that may exceed our comfort level. Our planned mast is not set up for this type of system but then again "never say never". Nothing would make me happier then to find a simple non-mechanical system that would work as well active fin stabilization.

Keep the ideas coming.
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Old 11-11-2015, 08:09 AM   #40
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Hello John T and Maria

Been keeping tabs on your interesting thread. Looking forward to learn more about this wonderful adventure you two are living first hand.

As per your post # 33; as well as other posts of yours:


I can see you have an extremely analytical MO for approaching a situation and setting its boundaries while still keeping flexibility as a premium, important function during refinements.


Yours is an extra comprehensive game plan for ending up with a product that fits your needs and desires. I've never seen better thought pattern placed into life-style fitting design efforts that should culminate in your receiving nearly exactly what you want/need.


The word attrition's meaning offers near-magic qualities when its weights can be applied knowledgably to a circumstance. Thoughtful timing and actions-then-taken are two of its most pronounced lever point weights.

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