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Old 12-25-2014, 05:15 PM   #21
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Then again, manyboats may have been thinking of the Albin-27, a newer design having a larger motor which pushes them at greater speed. Lots of them around, too. We wanted the 25 because we wanted to tow her around the country, perhaps even up the Alcan Highway to Alaska.
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Old 12-25-2014, 05:31 PM   #22
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Hi Rob,

Welcome to the forum and welcome to Sitka. We live in Sitka and have cruised S.E. Alaska for 40 years. Additionally I am familiar with the Mainships. A friend brought the first one to Sitka about 1979. I have owned several boats and have knowledge of most of the style of boats that may interest you.

There will be more for sale signs on the boats this spring. If I can help you just let me know.

Ken
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Old 12-25-2014, 05:34 PM   #23
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Not to put too fine an edge on it, however, as some here use the term "trawler" with a grain of salt, and since my Albin-25 was built way before the term "trawler" gained wide-spread popularity, I usually tell people our vessel is a "Swedish Motor Cruiser".
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Old 12-25-2014, 05:43 PM   #24
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Hello, we recently moved to Sitka, AK and I plan on getting a boat sometime in the next 3-9 months. The biggest problem is that I don't have any idea what I'm doing! We're not new to tackling the unfamiliar, but since I started researching a few months ago, the task has become overwhelming. I know very little about the ocean, and even less about boats, but some things I have narrowed down a few things so far.
Let's back up a moment. If you know very little about the ocean and less about boats, I'm afraid you're rushing things. Now I am pleased that later you posted mostly inside passage. Now there's a time the ocean could be enjoyable. Regardless, I'd like to hear how you're going to get training. Do you have a plan there?

Personally I'd recommend either chartering some with a captain who will train you or at least getting someone to help you on your boat. Also some classes to familiarize yourself with rules and practices. What is your mechanical ability?

I think selecting a boat too soon can be a serious mistake. You've heard bits and pieces but it may be that none of it ties to your usage and preference. You got detoured by the Bayliner topic. There are many Bayliner owners who have cruised SE Alaska very happily. Is it a Nordhavn? No. But will it meeet your needs? There's no way to really know that yet.

Do you know where you're going to keep the boat? How much time will you have for most of your cruises? I ask that because it's obviously not like the East Coast with marinas and ports every ten miles. How many people on board when you're using it?

Letting others select your boat is risky and you need more time and education to be able to do it yourself.

I do not want to discourage you at all. Just want to encourage you to follow a process that gives you a higher probability of really enjoying it.
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Old 12-25-2014, 06:12 PM   #25
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thanks Old Deckhand, I'll being PM'ing you in the near future!

BandB, I appreciate your concerns. I have been here about 3 months and started researching boats on the ferry while on the way up. So while I have a long way to go, I am not letting others choose my boat, I just came to the forums to try to broaden my informational base, so to speak. I hope to have something as early as March but no later than September, depending on what's available and my comfort level as the months go on. There are Coast Guard Auxiliary classes, as well as many locals and experienced boaters that have lived here for quite a while and have volunteered to help me. I have only been out a few times since I've been here, but this time of year isn't a time very many people are going out cruising due to the weather and short days, so hopefully it will open up in the Spring some more. As far as my needs go, I am keeping them simple- sturdiness of the hull, reliability of the motor, safety, and spacious enough to do what we want to do without breaking the bank. I don't care about cosmetics, my wife and I can deal with those as we need to. I just want something that isn't going to sink and will get me home without a helicopter rescue. And if I'm honest, the Bayliner that we saw at the bottom of the ocean floor in the harbor a few weeks ago did nothing to help my forming opinion of them! . The ocean is unforgiving enough, and adding hypothermia to the mix with kids on board isn't anything I want to mess around with. Most of our trips will be a day or two at a time on the weekends but with my work schedule I will have a week off every 4-5 weeks and plan to make the most of it. I think we could probably spend decades exploring SE Alaska without seeing the same thing twice. I'm pretty mechanical overall and always like learning more. I've had several International Scouts in the past and if you are familiar with them, that will tell you that I'm willing to work on things myself and improvise however necessary! Breaking down in the woods with cell reception is a lot different than the ocean when it's raining and 40 degrees out though. Thanks,

Rob
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Old 12-25-2014, 06:19 PM   #26
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Just keep this in mind. Very few boat rescues are because the boat couldn't handle it. It's the operator who couldn't. Now the boat is very important to the comfort and enjoyment.
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Old 12-25-2014, 06:20 PM   #27
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If operating costs are driving you to a trawler I can offer this. Of all the boats I have owned that you could go out for a week and be comfortable in Alaska, the one with the lowest operating cost was a C-Dory 22. The next was a 25 C-Dory. My current trawler comes in a distant 3rd and that's just counting parts. When you talk about labor, I could winterize either C-Dory in 30 minutes, change engine and lower unit oil in less than a hour, wash and wax the 22 in an hour. For fuel planning purposes, I planned on 3.8 mpg on the 22 and 2.8 on the 25 and generally got 4.1 on the 22 and just shy of 3 on the 25, in mixed hull speed and on step travel. 4500 miles on the trawler at 6.5 mph over 2 years has been a fun time all over southeast, but averages 4.8 mpg. If I drove either C-Dory at that speed I am pretty sure I could beat that. We sold our last C-Dory when we were no longer weekend warriors and had the time to untie from the dock in Wrangell and come back a month later.

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Old 12-25-2014, 06:24 PM   #28
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Scouts rule! Have owned two and just sold one this past year.
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Old 12-26-2014, 10:26 AM   #29
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As far as which kind of boat to buy, from what I've seen, the smaller power boats go faster, which is nice, but also have less accommodations for longer stays out cruising and are much more expensive to buy and operate than many of the larger cruisers. So, with my budget being the driving force, a trawler seems like something that I can cruise fast enough in for the things I would do, while still getting more bang for my buck and not spending $100 or more in fuel every time I go out.
FWIW: There's no reason you couldn't travel slow and economical most of the time in a smaller power boat. Our diesel 26-footer is has excellent creature comforts for its size, and is built like a brick outhouse. Gets only 1.8 nmpg at 18 knots, but we travel at 6 knots most of the time, and get 4+ nmpg. A diesel Sea Sport 26-27 would be similar. You could do considerably better in a C-Dory with four-stroke outboard(s), and still be able to crank up the speed if you wish.
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Old 12-26-2014, 11:13 AM   #30
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Rob,

I have to say I second much of what AKDoug had to say re: Bayliners.
We started w/ a 24' and never regretted it. With a number of US Sail & Power Squadron course under our belt we very successfully cruised Great Lakes & 1,000 Islands for a month at a time. Further and longer than many with larger and more expensive boats.
I have progressed to the point of being able to instruct USPS courses and endorse them to all as, for the most part, they are well done and informative. Many are now available online if there isn't a Squadron convenient to you.

I did my own survey on our last purchase and happy to share forms / checklists if you are interested. I'm not a proponent of boaters doing DIY surveys but I think it can be educational and help avoid hiring surveyors for multiple boats - especially ones you may be able to rule out on your own. Then hire the surveyor for the one you have gone over and believe "could be the one".
Although I have never owned one I especially like the C-Dory and Albin suggestions by others.
If you are interested in reading about a cross country trip in a C Dory get a copy of River Horse: A Voyage Across America.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:46 PM   #31
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Hey everyone, it's been over a year since I started this thread, and in that time, a friend gave me a homemade 20' wooden Glen-L Carolina Dory. I added a motor, have had a blast, and now we're ready to upgrade. It doesn't take long with cold, waterlogged passengers to make a family daytrip get old quickly, and the few hunting trips in the snow I did were a lot less enjoyable than if I had a cabin! Comparing our thoughts now to everything that was said last December, not much has changed. I still plan on doing a lot of fishing, and I still get 6-7 days off every 4 weeks or so. I also still plan on getting a trawler. I've talked to people, cruised the docks, and would probably be embarrassed if I could add up all the hours I've spent online looking at boats since Sep 2014.

So far, I am really leaning towards a 34' Californian. I like the ability to go a little faster with 2 motors for those 1 day fishing trips when we just want to get out and back, and also having the ability to cruise at 7 knots for the 5-6 day or longer family adventures or hunting trips will be great. We really like the deck space compared to something like a CHB tri-cabin. We don't need the aft cabin, and the deck space would really be missed, plus they seem so far out of the water that it looks like it would be more challenging to haul fish on board. I have also looked at a few like the Grand Banks 32 Sedan (FG, wood has been ruled out) but I think the 2nd motor on the Californian would be worth the extra cost in fuel and suit our needs better. I love the usable space all around the boat comapred to a Mainship or similar style, and my wife and I think the flybridge would be worth its weight in gold on those sunny days we occasionally get.

I have found a few possibilities in Seattle and am working with a broker down there to help out and I will do a sea trial and get a professional survey done before purchasing anything. I love the idea of hiring a captain to come up with me but hate the idea of spending $6000 to do it. I'm half tempted to read a Waggoners inside and out as well as a couple books about cruising the inside passage and doing it with a few friends with more experience than me. The adventurous part of me thinks that would be great, the logical side of me thinks it's an insane idea, I haven't decided who to listen to yet Old Deckhand is willing to let me take a look at his boat this weekend, and I'm sure I'll talk his ear off with questions about all of this.

Any ideas on fishing from trawlers, deck space, obvious things that I'm not seeing, or anything else would be great. I've been reading a lot on the forums here lately and really appreciate the information. It's great to be back, and hopefully I'll be posting pics in a few months. Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:59 PM   #32
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I started boating in 2000.

Brought my own 34' Bayliner up the inside passage in 2003.

You can do it. You will make mistakes. You will learn allot along the way.

The biggest lesson I learned...

The Canadians measure their seas in meters.

I took out of Prince Rupert in 3-5's

I thought 3-5' They were 3-5 meters.

But I lived, and learned so that was good.
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:14 PM   #33
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Don't forget to look at Tollycraft. Lot of boat for the price, and many are often available between Washington, BC, and Alaska. Everything in BC is now 30% off!

Must love the color turquoise though...
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:15 PM   #34
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The trip really doesn't need a professional "captain", you can do it. One of the keys is to plan your destinations so that you have decent anchorages every night to stay in, many sections of the route have no anchorages at all, very steep shores and very deep water. It is also well traveled, so you have to get a little off the main route to get a decent nights sleep. That said it is really an easy route to navigate.

Be sure your equipment is in good operating condition, anchoring equipment and running gear. It's a bad place to be broken down, friendly tows are not a common occurrence. Anyone who ventures out that far wants to stay and play, not tow you in. You should have friends or make friends with those who have the charts for Canadian waters, you shouldn't have to buy them. The map chart chip for Canadian waters is well worth the investment, I wish I had made it.

The logs are much less of an issue now than they were on my first trip, they are well bundled in tow now where as they were loose in tow in 1985. I saw very few loose logs coming up in 2013, heavy rains can change that in only a few days though.

Feel free to contact me for personal preferences as you get closer to planning your trip up. Two trips up doesn't make me a professional, but it does make me experienced and opinionated :-)
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:19 AM   #35
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robs, I'd suggest you start walking the docks and see what others up there are using. Try to determine if you're going to be running around between Baranoff and the AK shore, or if you're planning on venturing longer distances. Talk to the fishing boat skippers to get their advice, and if time and money allows, take a hike down to Seattle to the boat show in January.

Just don't do like a lot of people do--they buy their first boat without doing their homework and determining if it will suit their needs. Then after a year or two they find it doesn't work for them and they end up trading it or selling it. Either way, they take a financial hit.

My advice is buy your second boat first. In other words, do you homework, talk to a lot of people, find out how they use their boats, go on board as many boats as you can and walk around the boat to see if it offers what you want...room, sleeping accommodations, cooking facilities, one or two heads, etc.

Then enlist the help of a good broker to help you find the right boat. That won't cost you anything--he's paid by the seller, so use him.

Good luck with your search and keep us informed of how goes the battle.
Very well said, Mike
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:59 AM   #36
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The trip really doesn't need a professional "captain", you can do it. One of the keys is to plan your destinations so that you have decent anchorages every night to stay in, many sections of the route have no anchorages at all, very steep shores and very deep water. It is also well traveled, so you have to get a little off the main route to get a decent nights sleep. That said it is really an easy route to navigate.

Be sure your equipment is in good operating condition, anchoring equipment and running gear. It's a bad place to be broken down, friendly tows are not a common occurrence. Anyone who ventures out that far wants to stay and play, not tow you in. You should have friends or make friends with those who have the charts for Canadian waters, you shouldn't have to buy them. The map chart chip for Canadian waters is well worth the investment, I wish I had made it.

The logs are much less of an issue now than they were on my first trip, they are well bundled in tow now where as they were loose in tow in 1985. I saw very few loose logs coming up in 2013, heavy rains can change that in only a few days though.
Agreed. And a few more thoughts:

Have key spares on board (belts, impellers, filters etc) and the tools and experience to be able to change as needed. You will likely be "out there" when something needs work.

Logs tend to be considerably more numerous during the spring tides, which come up higher and tend to float some off the beaches. Every so often we come upon quite a collection of them. Even though we travel mostly slow, we do need to keep a lookout for them.

Make sure you understand the tidal currents in the squeeze points north of Campbell River between Vancouver Island and the mainland. There are a few you really need to time fairly close to slack current, which is often quite a bit different from the timing of high or low tide. Sergius Narrows in Peril Strait needs timing also. " Ports and Passes" is a good source for BC tides and currents.

The Exploring Series cruising guides by Douglass, particularly Exploring the North Coast of BC, and Exploring Southeast Alaska, provide lots of good info on anchorages. You might also register on the Active Captain website - lots of info on anchorages, marinas, and more.
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Old 02-06-2016, 11:39 AM   #37
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Logs are much less of a problem now than in years past, though we tend not to forget how frequently a huge log used to be in the way.
Forestry stumpage costs, levied against the logging Co.s, used to be based upon the volume of wood scaled at the mill, after an often tumultuous voyage through those same waters. A change to scaling at the sort nearest the source of the logs meant the Co.s were paying for all the wood they lost, so quickly changed to bundled booms or self loading barges. Benefits to us all by cleaning up the loose logs. Beachcombers are virtually non existent now.
High river levels in the spring still bring some logs, but the great mass of newly cut trees is gone for good.
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Old 02-06-2016, 11:55 AM   #38
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Logs are much less of a problem now than in years past, though we tend not to forget how frequently a huge log used to be in the way.
Forestry stumpage costs, levied against the logging Co.s, used to be based upon the volume of wood scaled at the mill, after an often tumultuous voyage through those same waters. A change to scaling at the sort nearest the source of the logs meant the Co.s were paying for all the wood they lost, so quickly changed to bundled booms or self loading barges. Benefits to us all by cleaning up the loose logs. Beachcombers are virtually non existent now.
High river levels in the spring still bring some logs, but the great mass of newly cut trees is gone for good.
When we went to Alaska, the warnings of logs far exceeded the reality of anything we encountered or saw. The spring run off is true on virtually all bodies of water. Certainly the high waters of spring on the lake we lived on as a result of the snow melting in the mountains brought everything imaginable off the shoreline.
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Old 02-06-2016, 01:00 PM   #39
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thank you everyone for the replies. When I came up here on the ferry, I noticed sections that seemed like there were quite a few logs, but maybe it's nothing compared to what it used to be. I have nothing to compare it to, yet. Your replies are encouraging, I think I better get some charts and order some books so I can get busy reading!
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:43 PM   #40
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We lived near Ketchikan for 8 yrs ... hit a log in Clarence Strait. ... "BOOM". What a sound it made but no damage that we could find. Saw it come up astern and was about 10" dia and 10' long. T boned a Humpback whale too and survived that as well. The little Willard may be a tough boat.
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