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Old 10-23-2014, 10:56 AM   #1
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Best boat for PNW

Marin wrote re the Nordic Tug;
"and their boat models seem ideally suited for cruising these waters, by which I mean from Puget Sound on up the coast through BC into SE Alaska."

Heard that many many times and usually wonder what is it about the boat that makes it so good for the PNW.

My knee-jerk reaction is that a heavier deeper boat more like a Willard would be more appropriate. But there's a lot of space in the PNW and almost all of the waters are protected so perhaps a much lighter and faster boat Like Sabre or a Beneteau Swift would be better. Sailboats are a very poor choice but it's a run what you brung situation. Most of the time the sky's are overcast keeping the sun generated winds at bay so even 18 to 22' OB boats can do well if the crew leans a bit toward camping.

For dealing w waves most trawlers (especially the NT) are a bit light w a very fwd located wheelhouse so hours into head seas can be stressful or even dangerous. Trawlers don't have air bags.

Mr Cook has probably logged the most cruising miles on this coast and does it w a small Bayliner.

So why is the NT considered such a great boat for the PNW? One could probably include the GB, CHB and the others of the type.

But for most the best boat to go north in is the boat they have .. because it's available. Just do a little re-fit, buy some groceries and go.
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:11 PM   #2
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With all your PNW timber flotsam, I'd think a heavily-built hull and lackadaisical speed would be a plus.
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:21 PM   #3
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Best boat? One that keeps you dry and warm..... :-)
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:23 PM   #4
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The best boat for the PNW is one that's paid for. The make, model, and means of propulsion are irrelevant.
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:31 PM   #5
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The best boat for the PNW is one that's paid for. The make, model, and means of propulsion are irrelevant.


What he said.
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:09 PM   #6
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The best boat for the PNW is one that's paid for. The make, model, and means of propulsion are irrelevant.

That's my favorite boat for anywhere.
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:45 PM   #7
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The best boat for the PNW is going to be based on individual needs and preference as with any other local. That said the are climate and local conditions where certain aspects of a boat design and performance can be tuned into the local conditions. In the PNW I value the following 1. good all around visibility 2. protection from the weather rain-wind and sun. 3. The ability to handle rapids or have enough reserve speed to get there at slack water. 4. Enough fuel and water supply to stay out of marinas for a week or two if necessary. 5. High maneuverability in tight spaces if you enter local marinas and current plagued docks. 6. Good windless and anchor and enough chain( not all boats can tolerate 150-250 ft of heavy chain). I am sure others can add to this list.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:01 PM   #8
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I am sure others can add to this list.
For my wife and I, based on our experience for the last 16 years doing this kind of cruising, a full walkaround main deck that's wide enough to be practical and safe is absolutely essential as far as we're concerned.

The prevelant type of dock in this region is low, floating, and has bullrails instead of cleats. This tends to make it important to be able to get off the boat easily when the boat first reaches the dock. And if the wind or current or both are adverse, getting off the boat easily and fast.

So we want a full walkaround main deck and a relatively low freeboard. The GB32/36/42 meet this requirement fairly well. So do a lot of other boats, including Mark's Coot and Eric's Willard.

I know there are plenty of people who put more value on interior volume than exterior access. Their reasons are not wrong. It all depends on what's most important to each boater, and the conditions that boater encounters. For my wife and I, that nice, wide, teak (great traction wet or dry) deck on our boat is exactly what we want. It's part of what gives us the confidence to to what we do with our boat.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:08 PM   #9
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Marin,
I don't think walk around decks have any greater benefits for the PNW than anywhere else. I realize you like them but at least 50% of TF members would rather have the interior space. Bull rails make it easier to step of your boat and give lots more options for tieing up.

eyschulman,
Your point about rapids seems odd to me as I've navigated PNW rapids for a long time w boats that have speeds of 6 and 7 knots. If you go cruising for 2 weeks or 30 days you usually don't have a better time if you go further.
But your point about individual needs is very applicable. Your own for speed stands out. The need for extra chain in one's rode sounds personal too. Ground tackle that dosn't drag in 40 knots or a bit more I'd call a requirement but how much chain and what anchor is strictly an individual matter.

That said I think your post is the best yet .. by far.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:30 PM   #10
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Marin,
I don't think walk around decks have any greater benefits for the PNW than anywhere else.
Probably not, but the thread is about a boat for the PNW, not the east coast.


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I realize you like them but at least 50% of TF members would rather have the interior space.
It seems a lot of people believe that if you have a walkaround deck, this narrows all the interior space in the boat. It doesn't. It only narrows it from the deck level up. In our boat, the spaces where the interior width really matters are in the berth and cabinet/drawer areas of the aft and forward cabins, and in the engine room. The berth/drawer areas are all below deck level so go all the way out to the hull. Same thing with the engine room. So the only cabin on our boat that's actually affected in width by having a walkaround deck is the main cabin. And in our opinions, a maiin cabin that's a couple of feet narrower in exchange for a full walkaround deck is a good deal.

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Bull rails make it easier to step of your boat and give lots more options for tieing up.
My wife and I agree with you. Bull rails are much more useful than cleats for the reasons you state, plus I suspect they will generally take a lot more pressure (if the bull rail and dock are in good shape) than the typical cleat arrangement. The only downside of a bullrail in my opinon is the need to pass a mooring line under it. Hence the need to get someone to the dock as soon as the boat arrives. Hence our preference for a user-friendly main deck and a relatively low freeboard.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:42 PM   #11
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With dry land sorting it's just a small fraction of what the flotsam/deadhead issue was 40 years ago.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:45 PM   #12
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:58 PM   #13
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Less need for a flying bridge, so a 360-degree view from the pilothouse is desirable. So is a good heater.

Wide/low decks are great anywhere: not unique to the PNW.

I consider my Coot to be ideal for the PNW except for its lack of a built-in heater (a declined option).
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Old 10-24-2014, 12:21 AM   #14
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Let’s see, I’ll look at each preceding post……

Heavier and deeper (manyboats). 5,000 lbs. of lead and cement in keel - Check.

Sailboat poor choice (manyboats). Don’t raise sails - Check.

Aft located wheel house (manyboats). Wheelhouse at back of boat - Check.

Heavily-built, slow speed (markpierce). Welded Aluminum, full displacement - Check.

Warm and dry (Alaskan Sea-Duction). Welded construction (no leaks), Dickenson Furnace - Check.

Paid for (Marin) - Check.

Paid for (dhmeissner) - Check.

Paid for (CPseudonym) - Check.

All around Visibility, Protection from elements, handle rapids, Lots of fuel and water. High maneuverability, Good windlass and anchor gear (eyschulman). 360 deg visibility from fully enclosed pilot house, 7.5 knot max speed, 1000 mile range, 100 gallons water, Large keel prevents wind blowing bow off while maneuvering, SL-555 windlass, 45lb Supreme, 65 lb Forfjord, 280 feet of chain - Check.

Full walkaround main deck that is wide and safe, Low freeboard (Marin). Decks are wide, Flat, non-skidded and has 100% solid railing with gate at low point, Freeboard amidships is less than 2 feet - Check.

Electric Blanket (djones44). Down comforter and pillow - Check.

No flybridge but need 360 degree vis from pilot house, Good heater, Wide low decks (markpierce). No flybridge, 360 vis, Dickenson furnace, wide low decks - Check.

I have not been to Alaska with my boat - yet. Looks like it will do fine when the time comes. Thanks for the affirmation.

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Old 10-24-2014, 12:22 AM   #15
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The junk in the water is down from years ago BUT there is still plenty of it. Visit my marina and you will see what I mean.

Right now I would not move the boat even if I wanted to. It's not little stuff, that I would push through, but logs, many of which are big.

The rains have washed out the creeks. There are still wet sorts which add to the problem.

But you are correct generally that the stuff is down. In some ways that's worse as one gets complacent.
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Old 10-24-2014, 12:23 AM   #16
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I consider my Coot to be ideal for the PNW except for its lack of a built-in heater (a declined option).
Our boat spent its whole life in the SFO Bay area (Sausalito and Alameda are two of its former hailing ports). It, too, was ordered (in 1973) without a built-in heating system, and none of the previous owners had one installed. We trucked it north in 1998 and it still doesn't have a built-in heater. We use a portable propane heater during the winter when we're on board. Its use is governed by some very strict rules and procedures.

A proper diesel heater, probably a Wallas, is on the to-do list once I get the time to deal with it.
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Old 10-24-2014, 12:30 AM   #17
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The junk in the water is down from years ago BUT there is still plenty of it. Visit my marina and you will see what I mean.

Right now I would not move the boat even if I wanted to. It's not little stuff, that I would push through, but logs, many of which are big.

.
I put up a post earlier this year on the Cruising-West Coast section of this forum called Stuff in the Water. I included some photos I'd taken of the Fraser River.

While dry sorting may have reduced the amount of debris, there is still tons of it, brought down by the rivers, escaped from log rafts and the raft make-up areas like Beaver Cove up by Port McNeil, and lifted off the shorelines on a high tide.

More than enough opportunities to take out a prop or a strut or a rudder or a hull still today.
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Old 10-24-2014, 12:54 AM   #18
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Panope, your boat is a winner, love it. Go ahead, raise the sails! Forward mast like a Sharpie? Tell us more about the design.
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Old 10-24-2014, 01:23 AM   #19
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...

More than enough opportunities to take out a prop or a strut or a rudder or a hull still today.
One reason I'm thankful for a steel hull and keel-protected propeller and rudder.

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Old 10-24-2014, 01:48 AM   #20
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Panope, your boat is a winner, love it. Go ahead, raise the sails! Forward mast like a Sharpie? Tell us more about the design.
Thanks dhmeissner, Hull is a run of the mill Colvin Saugeen Witch. Original build per Colvin plans as a poop deck (no cockpit) Gaff schooner in the late 1970's by my father and myself (child). See first pic. Original mission for boat was extended off shore cruising - that did not happen.

I brought boat to my home in the year 2000 for a 14 year modification/rebuild with a new mission of cruising the waters between Olympia Wa. and Skagway Ak. New pilothouse, sailing rig and new systems installed of my own "seat of the pants" design.

For the rig I just got rid of the bowsprit and stuck the old mainmast (after lengthening and fitting tabernacle) in the fore mast position. It is a sloop but is damn near a cat rig with such a large main. I do enjoy raising sail.

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