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Old 11-26-2015, 07:24 PM   #81
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Andy, great to hear you found us. Yes, this will be the thread for the new boat until we figure out how to build a web-site. Amazing the issues I'm having (I need a little kid around the house who can tackle this for me). ,,,,,,

It is a struggle (but fun) to build a simpler boat while still demanding the best and playing the balancing game of comfort versus system complexity versus safety. I spent a lot of time comparing N4050 (a relatively basic equipped Nordhavn) against N4061 (fully loaded) and concluded we didn't need or use many items on N4061 but we still paid for and needed to maintain them. Time will tell how this all will work out but so far we are very pleased and confident with our decision process.

When do you cast off for New Zealand?

John

Hi John,
All sounds great!
I wish you guys a pleasant build, and that you have fun with it.
What an amazing project to be embarking on.
I look forward to reading every word of your build.

Our departure date for New Zealand has been set for March 31st, 2016
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:17 PM   #82
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Electronics - So many options

This week we started to look more seriously at our options for electronics including a quick email to Alcom Marine in Costa Mesa, Ca who took care of our previous new builds. While our previous boats had Furuno systems and to be honest they performed well, I was intrigued by some of the other brands super nice displays. I also posted to the Nordhavn Owners group asking "what brands would people select today if they were going to build a new boat" and the response was overwhelming Furuno. Between our personal experiences and the endorsement of those who have traveled much further then us I think we will stay with Furuno.

Now the fun starts with selecting what I consider the "best value" for our boat and our planned journeys. Options like 3D display versus regular HD and open versus closed array radar all come into play when you start looking at the budget. One reassuring aspect of selecting a highly respected brand such as Furuno is that we should be safe with any model selection.

Deciding where to perform the installation also needs to coordinated since it impacts the cost of labor a little more then one might think. We are working with Scott on potential options and look forward to successful installation next spring. That's all for today.

John T.
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:09 PM   #83
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We like Furuno as just a good, quality all around system.

The one aspect of a build we're happy to have not gone through is the commissioning. Our only build was a US builder and everything was installed in the factory.

You're very right about determining where to do the installs is a major consideration. I'd think it's quality of workmanship, price and time that would be part of the decision.
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Old 11-27-2015, 04:26 PM   #84
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John T: Any pictures from the builder you can repost?
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Old 11-28-2015, 11:52 AM   #85
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Build Photo's

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John T: Any pictures from the builder you can repost?
Larry, we just received the first few pictures of the port & starboard hull molds starting lay-up. We will hold off posting anything another week or two until we receive some photos of the hull being removed from the molds to allow folks to see something that resembles a boat. From that point forward we plan to post photos periodically so people can follow the build process and allow for some level of boat building education along the way. It can be a fun process though at times feel like things move a little slow. Thanks

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Old 11-30-2015, 12:58 AM   #86
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Thanks for the great posts; especially since we are considering a similar trawler, (also thinking San Diego) in the next year or so. Have not decided on a boat yet. Will likely go to the show in Seattle at the end of January.
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:56 AM   #87
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Thanks for the great posts; especially since we are considering a similar trawler, (also thinking San Diego) in the next year or so. Have not decided on a boat yet. Will likely go to the show in Seattle at the end of January.
Pay special attention to the process he went through. Before we ever had a boat built we went through similar, perhaps even more formal based on how I evaluated things in business. We did a written list of requirements. We then noted those things that were preferences vs. deal killers. We created spreadsheets on which we compared boats. We compared all the objective things like LOA and Beam and air draft and draft and speed and fuel usage at different speeds and many more but then we also gave our subjective thoughts. We even color coded good, ok, and bad. It's an emotional choice and some things are difficult to quantify but in forcing ourselves to write them down and rank them it became obvious.

It all was a matter of our tastes and choices. There's one boat too that at the very start of the process in late 2012 we considered and it stayed near the top all the way till recently. It was consistently in our top two choices and the others kept changing. The fact was that it met our needs well and yet we didn't want it. We could never pull the trigger and order it. We could figure out things we didn't feel great about on it but nothing to eliminate it. I still believe a new boat (same with a new used boat) should excite you. It just didn't and we realized how much it didn't when a different boat came into the picture that we really felt excited about.

If in the process it doesn't draw you to it, then it's not the one. It's like the man or woman you meet who is really perfect in every way but you don't feel any chemistry.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:48 AM   #88
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Pay special attention to the process he went through. Before we ever had a boat built we went through similar, perhaps even more formal based on how I evaluated things in business. We did a written list of requirements. We then noted those things that were preferences vs. deal killers. We created spreadsheets on which we compared boats. We compared all the objective things like LOA and Beam and air draft and draft and speed and fuel usage at different speeds and many more but then we also gave our subjective thoughts. We even color coded good, ok, and bad. It's an emotional choice and some things are difficult to quantify but in forcing ourselves to write them down and rank them it became obvious.

It all was a matter of our tastes and choices. There's one boat too that at the very start of the process in late 2012 we considered and it stayed near the top all the way till recently. It was consistently in our top two choices and the others kept changing. The fact was that it met our needs well and yet we didn't want it. We could never pull the trigger and order it. We could figure out things we didn't feel great about on it but nothing to eliminate it. I still believe a new boat (same with a new used boat) should excite you. It just didn't and we realized how much it didn't when a different boat came into the picture that we really felt excited about.

If in the process it doesn't draw you to it, then it's not the one. It's like the man or woman you meet who is really perfect in every way but you don't feel any chemistry.
Exactly! Often it is said... "The boat choses you!" That is why I believe many, but maybe not all, boats have virtual waterborne souls.

It's great to follow your journey - Thanks! - Art
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:00 PM   #89
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Exactly! Often it is said... "The boat choses you!" That is why I believe many, but maybe not all, boats have virtual waterborne souls.

It's great to follow your journey - Thanks! - Art

My additional comment is to try to spend as much time as possible on a sister ship before buying. When I bought the Helmsman 38 PH, I had already been on two older ones at the dock, gone out on one that a friend had and spent a few evenings having some libations to get the feel of the boat and then went on another friend's PH38 to see how he had made modifications. Of course I got everyones' opinions. I did the same for other brands of boats and was clear on my choice of the PH38.

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Old 12-06-2015, 01:57 PM   #90
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A look at Pilothouses

Hello everyone, between technical difficulties with the computer and a little business travel I have not been able to post for a week. The following segment in our series of boat selection process is focused on Pilothouse trawlers. Hope you enjoy and as always we enjoy the feedback and different viewpoints.
Pilothouse Trawlers: Once we decided a full width salon (no side decks) trawler was beginning to make the most sense, our next decision would be “with or without a pilothouse”. To help us make this decision we returned to our list of Pro’s & Con’s based on our previous experiences:
Pro’s – dedicated area to navigate and operate the boat, large console for electronics, enhanced line of sight / viewing, easy access to exterior decks using side doors, independent lighting controls for night cruising, bunk or seating area for additional crew, additional living area.
Con’s, - often results in a smaller salon, compartmentalize feeling, increased structural height increases the boats windage area and may impact its A/B ratio, more expensive to build.
After considering the above and recalling time spent aboard our N35 we agreed the benefits a pilothouse offers easily outweigh the negatives as long as it is well designed. Our next step was to find a boat with a nicely designed pilothouse and one larger than our previous N40’s. As much as we enjoyed the functionality and views the N40 offered, we found the pilothouse small at times. We spend a lot of time including enjoying most meals in the pilothouse so a larger area, table and seating for 2 – 3 is top on our list. Attempting to find this in a boat under 40’ didn’t appear feasible and we knew our best chance would be a design which connects the salon and pilothouse in such a way the division was limited. Many smaller trawler designs offer access to the pilothouse from the side (port or starboard) providing for a long bench seat against the aft bulkhead. This is done to compensate for the narrowness of the pilothouse itself (N40, KK 39). One design we admired was the American Tug which used a center line approach from the salon providing for a lightly more “open” effect. This builder selected a port side access to the OSR forward providing for a large forward console in the Pilothouse. The downside we had with this particular design was the darkness and feeling of being isolated while in the OSR forward. We prefer to have a line of sight from the OSR through to the bright salon. We also felt the pilothouse remained a little narrow and did not offer a large table for dinning. It is important to note these are our personal observations and we recognize others will not agree.
When we first went aboard a Helmsman 38PH back in 2007 (different builder and name at the time) I became jealous that a boat considerably less money and slightly shorter than our N40 offered such a large and well-designed pilothouse. The L-Shaped sofa with table to port was something we both wished we had but knew we would have to step up to a N47 (well over $1M) before we could get something close. The captain’s seat to starboard with adjoining access door to the side deck worked well for me. By leaving the bulkhead behind the captains seat partially open to the salon provided two significant advantages over our N40; it provided visibility aft when backing into a slip and reduced the feeling of being compartmentalized with the view to the salon / galley. This can be important when you are on longer (8-12 hours) cruises and at the helm. We also liked the continuous centerline entryway from the salon to pilothouse to OSR which provides the perfect balance of an open feeling while still providing separate areas throughout the boat – what a great design. Forward of the port side large L-shaped sofa is an ample storage area and map table. If there is one downside to this design it would be slightly smaller electronics console to mount all the fun stuff. The console is large enough to install up to a single 16” multi-screen display, autopilot control along with one or two other pieces of electronics which is actually all the room we need so it should work well. There is also room above the forward windows for smaller electronics and gauges.
Another aspect of this pilothouse design we like is its “lower profile” which can only help the boats overall A/B ratio. Remember the lower the boat is to the water the less likely it will roll. As discussed earlier when you are building a semi-displacement hull boat without stabilization a lower A/B will be your friend especially when the wind and weather picks up. This lower profile also allows for the flybridge and aft deck (above the salon) to be closer to one level offering a much larger are to entertain and enjoy. We are very excited about this aspect of the boat since our N40 flybridge located above the pilothouse was very small and limited to two pedestal seat. The reversed rake windows reduce sunlight glare, help keep the room cooler and provide extra security when waves start coming over the bow and crashing down. Plus I like the commercial or seriousness look.
To enhance this already great design I asked Scott to move the shore power connections from the transom to mid ship just outside the pilothouse door. I find having these connections mid-ship make docking options a little easier and being close to the circuit breaker panel inside the pilothouse can be useful when you are trouble shooting issues that may arise and need to double check connections.
By now you likely concluded we pay a lot of attention to the pilothouse and is our favorite part of the part. Finding the layout the Helmsman 38PH offers is what sealed the deal for us. I don’t think there is another boat under 40’ that offers a pilothouse of this size anywhere. Hope you enjoyed. Next we will discuss the engine room.

John T
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Old 12-06-2015, 03:01 PM   #91
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Absolutely kudos again to the entertainer formerly known as N4061...lol

So often people ask what boat they should get. Just as you did, they have to evaluate their use. I loved your discussion of the pilothouse. We like things to flow, a sense of openness but also want space and equipment. We don't want to be isolated from others so, as you wanted, we must have good seating near any helm.

I still don't know if I could go with no side deck, but I would consider it after reading you and others. I said "I'd never want a boat without side decks." But I have a sport boat with none. It has no decks built for walking and standing at all. Definitely not for use for docking. So, in thinking it's so bad for a cruising boat, I have to rethink. We continue to reexamine what is important to us. Reading your thoughts and processes causes us to do so. I knew nothing about Helmsman prior to this and had no choice after reading your posts and others but to go study their site and find out whatever I could. I learned something and found myself impressed.

Baseball has Sabermetrics. Is there a term for the obsessive study of boats, wanting to look at every brand, every model, and know as much about it as one can? Whatever it is, I declare myself guilty and my wife who finds that funny still is always looking with me and I don't force her to do so. Pretty obvious no one forces her to do anything. lol

So to read this story is absolutely and total pleasure for us.
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:51 AM   #92
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Absolutely kudos again to the entertainer formerly known as N4061...lol

So often people ask what boat they should get. Just as you did, they have to evaluate their use. I loved your discussion of the pilothouse. We like things to flow, a sense of openness but also want space and equipment. We don't want to be isolated from others so, as you wanted, we must have good seating near any helm.

I still don't know if I could go with no side deck, but I would consider it after reading you and others. I said "I'd never want a boat without side decks." But I have a sport boat with none. It has no decks built for walking and standing at all. Definitely not for use for docking. So, in thinking it's so bad for a cruising boat, I have to rethink. We continue to reexamine what is important to us. Reading your thoughts and processes causes us to do so. I knew nothing about Helmsman prior to this and had no choice after reading your posts and others but to go study their site and find out whatever I could. I learned something and found myself impressed.

Baseball has Sabermetrics. Is there a term for the obsessive study of boats, wanting to look at every brand, every model, and know as much about it as one can? Whatever it is, I declare myself guilty and my wife who finds that funny still is always looking with me and I don't force her to do so. Pretty obvious no one forces her to do anything. lol

So to read this story is absolutely and total pleasure for us.
Glade you are enjoying the posts.

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Old 12-08-2015, 09:10 PM   #93
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Progress Report - Week 4

This past week (week 4) the yard completed the hull lay-up and should be removing the hull from the mold. We are keeping track and will post the entire build schedule for others to use as a guide in their future new boat build.

John
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:16 PM   #94
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It's exciting watching one's boat being constructed, isn't it.

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Old 12-12-2015, 12:30 PM   #95
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Life without side decks

Our last post focused on our desire to find a boat with a Pilothouse which raised the question of "life without side decks". Our time living aboard trawlers included two boats w/o and one with side decks. We factored this experience in our decision to proceed with a boat w/o side decks. While everyone is aware of the pro's & con's, our decision was based on prioritizing interior space over ease of access around the salon exterior. It should be noted that as long as the pilothouse has port and starboard doors providing access to the exterior, upper deck and to the bow this design works well. The only time we have an issue is during the mooring process and having to walk the mooring line aft from the bow. On our N40's there was enough of a side deck lip (6") to walk the line while holding on the roof edge. Granted I was ten years younger but I still don't see this as an issue today. On the Helmsman 38PH it also provides a enough area to side step along while holding onto the roof top lip. We may add a low profile hand rail along the salon roof edge for a little extra security but that would be our only enhancement.

We also found docking not to be an issue since Mary would handle the stern line and step off the boat from the aft deck side boarding door while I control the boat. If there is a need for me to assist I would jump (not a big jump) from the pilothouse side deck onto the dock with the bow line.

In the end everything is a trade-off, but when you consider the amount of time spent inside the boat (saloon / galley) versus times mooring, giving up the side decks on a boat this size is a no brainier.

John T.
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Old 12-12-2015, 01:52 PM   #96
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Our last post focused on our desire to find a boat with a Pilothouse which raised the question of "life without side decks". Our time living aboard trawlers included two boats w/o and one with side decks. We factored this experience in our decision to proceed with a boat w/o side decks. While everyone is aware of the pro's & con's, our decision was based on prioritizing interior space over ease of access around the salon exterior. It should be noted that as long as the pilothouse has port and starboard doors providing access to the exterior, upper deck and to the bow this design works well. The only time we have an issue is during the mooring process and having to walk the mooring line aft from the bow. On our N40's there was enough of a side deck lip (6") to walk the line while holding on the roof edge. Granted I was ten years younger but I still don't see this as an issue today. On the Helmsman 38PH it also provides a enough area to side step along while holding onto the roof top lip. We may add a low profile hand rail along the salon roof edge for a little extra security but that would be our only enhancement.

We also found docking not to be an issue since Mary would handle the stern line and step off the boat from the aft deck side boarding door while I control the boat. If there is a need for me to assist I would jump (not a big jump) from the pilothouse side deck onto the dock with the bow line.

In the end everything is a trade-off, but when you consider the amount of time spent inside the boat (saloon / galley) versus times mooring, giving up the side decks on a boat this size is a no brainier.

John T.
John I appreciate your desire for large interior roominess. However, (no matter a person's age) age can play "tricks" that suddenly develop upon several body mechanical portions as well as inner ear equilibriums. I respectfully recommend that as your boat is constructed you and the architects/builders plan into the layout solid ways to make it easy as possible to accomplish anchoring/docking/mooring/tow-line/fender placements.

Keep up the great posts!

Art
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Old 12-12-2015, 02:29 PM   #97
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John I appreciate your desire for large interior roominess. However, (no matter a person's age) age can play "tricks" that suddenly develop upon several body mechanical portions as well as inner ear equilibriums. I respectfully recommend that as your boat is constructed you and the architects/builders plan into the layout solid ways to make it easy as possible to accomplish anchoring/docking/mooring/tow-line/fender placements.

Keep up the great posts!

Art
I agree. Walking a deck lip or jumping from pillar to post or in this case boat to dock are just not recommended actions. However, you can design and fit things so that won't be necessary.
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:52 PM   #98
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As a past owner of a Helmsman 38PH, I can assure you, you will never miss those side decks. Maybe if the boat was 50 - 60 ft long, it might be a problem but I'll bet you can be in the cockpit quicker going through the salon then going out a side door and along a narrow side deck. At least there will be no difference in the time. Just make sure the aft door is open when you approach the dock.

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Old 12-12-2015, 07:43 PM   #99
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Progress Report - Week 5

Its hard to believe we have entered the second month of this new build, time goes by fast. Last week we reported hull lay-up was complete and we would be removing the the hull from the mold next. I think a little excitement came over me and forgot to mention we still need to install the stringers (these long rectangular shaped beams that provide strength and stiffness forward and aft). Once these are glassed in place work will start on the smaller stringers which run across or port and starboard. Helmsman like many quality boat builders limit the use of wood stringers to the engine mounts, this is done to lower the risk of wood rot in the future. Once the stringers are in place the builder will start to install the main bulkheads, once these are glassed in the hull will be strong enough to support itself and can be safely removed from the mold.

The builder also started to lay-up the day head and shower molds separately outside the boat for installation later. Short of building a one-off custom boat, builders design and manufacture tooling or molds which they us many times to lay-up the hull, top deck, interior areas like showers, heads, as well as smaller exterior hatches and storage compartments. A significant amount of tooling and investment can into even the smallest boat. This approach to building production boats is what reduces labor hours (major cost driver), provides for a repeatable and high quality product.

On a side note, I always wondered how long a hull mold can last and if our boats (Nordhavn 40's included) were going to be lay-up on a mold that was nearing the end of life cycle. While I have no hard evidence to support my estimate (except experience at work on composite aircraft flight controls) I believe a well built mold that is cared for, does not see high temperatures (no auto-clave or oven) could last 100 lay-ups before requiring major repair or refurbishment. I don't believe we are even close to that number on the Helmsman 38PH.

I'm still working with Scott on how to select and present the photos without going overboard. We should have something soon. I hope a few newbies find these weekly updates educational. I know I learn something new on every new build.

John T.
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Old 12-12-2015, 09:22 PM   #100
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Just curious - what wears out in a mold? I could see how the finished surface might need some touch up since the gel coast surface of the boat is no better than the mold surface. But what else?
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