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Old 10-31-2019, 10:44 PM   #1
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36' trawler how far would you go

My husband and I just purchased 1972 36' GB and was wondering. Out of San Francisco bay how far would you travel? To Oregon, Mexico or closer like Monterey, San Diego? Posts I've read about people traveling pretty far seems like they are in at least a 42'.
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:09 PM   #2
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I remain in the great San Francisco Estuary (bays, sloughs, delta). Outside, suggest you should select favorable weather windows. Your named destinations are all possibilities.
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:17 PM   #3
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Hi, here is a link to a good, recent thread about cruising the west coast. You should enjoy it. Congrats on your new boat.

Going up and down west coast
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:36 PM   #4
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Welcome aboard. With a 36í trawler, if you are willing to wait on the weather, you should be able to do any of those destinations.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:14 AM   #5
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Welcome. That boat, in proper state of repair, will take you to any coastal destination you wish. I recall another TF poster recently took a 36 or so down the coast from Victoria...

Victoria, BC to the Sea of Cortez
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bleacherfan View Post
my husband and i just purchased 1972 36' gb and was wondering. Out of san francisco bay how far would you travel? To oregon, mexico or closer like monterey, san diego? Posts i've read about people traveling pretty far seems like they are in at least a 42'.

yes...
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:53 AM   #7
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It's not a matter of distance when you are coastal cruising.

Just pick the right weather window and you can travel anywhere on the continent.
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Old 11-01-2019, 01:35 AM   #8
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We have friends that live in Sausalito and routinely take their GB32 to Mexico. Usually nonstop if the weather permits it.
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:20 AM   #9
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Old 11-01-2019, 05:03 AM   #10
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When I was living aboard in Huntington Harbor (CA) I knew a guy with an old wood GB of about your size. He told me he routinely took it to Cabo. He also said he had tankage for 900 gal of water. I never saw the tanks but it must have taken up all his bilge and lazarette space.

I think you could take that boat anywhere with proper weather windows, but I would highly recommend some form of stabilizers.
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Old 11-01-2019, 05:06 AM   #11
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I have owned a 1970 Willard 36 trawler for 20+ years. Last year, my wife and I and a third crew took her nonstop from San Francisco to Ensenada MX, 500 nms. Trip took 75-hrs and we had a blast. Late September through October is a known seasonal weather window along the coast. We are having a refit done in Mexico - from there we will likely head back north next spring to SE Alaska, then return south and slowly make our way to our home in Florida. I have moderated the Willard owners group for over 20-years and have collected a ton of history on these 36-footers. In the 1960s, owners were venturing long distances, even the galapogos islands. In 1987, a Willard 36 went to Hawaii. In 2005, I was aboard a friend's Willard 40 for the Baja Ha Ha as one of four powerboats - one of the other three was a classic 37-foot Taiwan trawler of 1970s vintage. Finally, I know of a 1972 Willard 30 that went from Ventura CA to Olympia WA this summer as the owner relocated.

If you don't already possess, a cruiser needs two fundamental skills: a modicum of experience which you can initiate with trips to Drakes Bay and Half Moon Bay. And weather forecasting - there are some great tools now, though many require a fee.

In my opinion, transiting the pacific coast doing day trips on a slow boat is impractical and stressful, so running at night is part of the practical experience that has to be acquired. A lot changed at night - 95% of which is mental. Boat movement feels accentuated. Plates rattling in the cupboard are amplified.

You now own what I consider to be the quintessential family trawler - the GB36. It is small enough to be super easy to operate in close quarters but big enough to really take you distances. There is a zen and finesse to GBs that is often copied but never replicated - they handle so very nicely. The GB36 has to be a Top 5 design of all time. Congrats.

Suffice to say your boat is capable of serious coastal cruising from Alaska to Maine, including the Caribbean. The limiting factor will be the people aboard. I will say that I've transited the coast 35-40 times, almost always northbound (mostly as a deliver skipper in the early 2000s). Getting out the Gate is a mental block. My typical strategy was to leave before first light when seas were at their flattest. For some reason, there was always stronger winds than expected getting out the Gate, and I always second guessed my decision to leave. But within an hour or two, seas would (usually) lay down to predicted weather.

All the above said, as another poster said, we loved the Delta and went as far as Sacramento a couple times. It's where I learned to truly read a tide chart.
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:12 AM   #12
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The 36 is a great boat and we loved our 1998 model. Long days with a beam sea get old quickly though. We found ours not to be a particularly dry boat. The keel and hard chines give a characteristic snap roll in certain conditions so pick your weather carefully but the 36 can take a lot more than the crew as a rule
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:00 AM   #13
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Long days with a beam sea get old quickly though. We found ours not to be a particularly dry boat. The keel and hard chines give a characteristic snap roll
The GB's (36 included) are designed with a mostly plumb bow and not a ton of bow flare (peek at Flatswing's beautiful Defever 49 for the other end of the design spectrum). I don't know the design pedigree of GBs, but the hull form is a classic west coast hull that is designed to go through chop versus over it.

All offshore powerboats benefit by having stabilization installed. For a small boat such as the GB36, stabilization can be added for about $25k-$30k and a decent investment if long term cruising is planned. Not sure about value added to a 1972 model, but that's the barrier to entry.
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:06 AM   #14
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You can gain stabilization with a sail for about $500, you can't invest in systems costing $25,000




As far as the trips the boat will do it, it's a ? of the crew if it gets nasty will they handle it
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:13 AM   #15
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You can put a sail on it for $500, but will be a far cry from stabilization. Topic has been actively debated amongst Willard owners for years - and Willards almost always came with a steadying sail which tells you something about the design and execution.

Some owners report a modest amount of roll attenuation. Most say the sail isn't worth the effort to set. Mostly, it looks cool.
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:18 AM   #16
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We love our GB 36. However it is not an “ocean going” boat. Wasn’t designed to be. That doesn’t mean we don’t travel in the ocean. You can go anywhere with half decent weather. Go as far as you would like. It’s a perfect boat for coastal cruising with the availability of places to tuck in when bad weather is expected. And it’s a pretty damn solid coastal cruiser by the way.
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:21 AM   #17
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And a 42 isn’t an ocean going boat either. Coastal Cruiser and Ocean going boat are 2 different animals. Just sayin.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:10 AM   #18
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OP: Do you have previous boating experience or is this your first boat? If the latter, then I would suggest to get used to her first in your immediate area. A 1972 rig may have some kinks and issues to get sorted out before you can trust her to get you to Mexico and back.

Welcome aboard
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:14 PM   #19
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With the forty five years of boating experience I have (including a good deal off shore), I would take it anywhere the safe fuel range allowed.

Would I have done that when I had one years worth of experience? Hell, no.
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:22 PM   #20
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Columbus set sail with no provable port of call and no charts and no weather forecasts. His 3 sailboats were pretty small. His flag ship was about 74ft and he had to sleep and feed his crew of 52 men. His other 2 ships were much shorter (56ft ?) and had a crew of less than 20 men each. No electric, no AC, no showers and the drinking water was questionable, but the head never plugged up. I think after his 36 day voyage, things were getting a bit ripe with the crew.
People have rowed across the oceans. If I recall correctly, there was at least one person who sailed a 6.5ft sailboat across the Atlantic.
Now I'm not sure if any of these people were sane but, they succeeded. Most have said, they would not do it again, except for Columbus. Columbus didn't know he had arrived until he saw land. Of course he had no idea where the land was located.
People have gone over Niagara Falls in a "barrel." I am only guessing but, I think, over 50% survived. None of the survivors wanted to do it again.
Sooooo, using common sense and the skills you will learn before and along the way.... go as far as you feel comfortable. If you aren't comfortable and doubt your skill level, turn around and return to port. Most boats are designed to take more punishment than the people inside her. If your boat is sound and the engine is solid, go for it and pack your common sense.
My point is, if you believe in your boat and your skills, Go as far as you want but, remember to come home.
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