Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-11-2011, 02:03 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 24
Bitten!

Hello all. I've recently been bitten with the trawler bug. I've been boating all my life and I have been through a pair of offshore fishing boats in the last two years. My last was a big Pro Line, twin OB walk-around. After carefully examining our intended usage of the next boat, it seems that something a little less utilitarian is what we really want. We still want to fish, but I think camping and cruising are going to be higher priorities.

I've cruised through some of this forum's posts, as well as the "cruisers forum" and I appreciate that the questions I have, have already been asked here and there, but rather than hijack someone else's thread, I wanted to post some specific concerns, apprehensions and thoughts on trawler ownership. I further appreciate the fact that the majority of trawler owners are retired, semi-retired or otherwise indipendantly wealthy. I represent none of the above. Rather, we are a 40-something family with two teenagers going into 11th grade. We both work, but we are in pretty good financial shape. That is to say, we're on a plan that will have us debt free in the next couple of years.

I was going to purchase/finance a new boat next year with a substantial down payment to keep my installments low. It was going to be another walk around fishing boat with a 250hp OB. After I started looking at trawlers, I was slapped in the face by the fact that for the same money, I could satisfy some long term wants as opposed to the short term by holding out just a little longer and buy a trawler that will provide us with years of cruising, camping and enjoyment in our local waters and later on, provide us a means of escape once our schedules and budget permits long distance cruising.

My primary question is this...is it cost effective to own a ship of this sort for many years before its full potential is explored? Is it worth the burden of ownership only to use a trawler locally? I know that's a loaded question. Being a Gulf Coast resident, we have several cost efffective dockage options not available to everyone. I'm pretty handy and am fully aware of maintanence costs and the labor repairs entail. I know its a stretch to make this comparisson, but I've owned several RV's and I know what's involved in keeping up the systems on one of those. I've been through some very costly repairs on my other boats and I like to think by now that as a graduate of "The University of Hard Knocks", I've learned a thing or two.

All of that considered, I'm still unfamilliar with diesel marine engines, gensets, climate systems, marine propane systems and marine sanitation systems. These are really the only things that bother me as to the potential of getting in over my head. I realize that not every boat may have ALL of these systems, but suppose to only boat I look at that "speaks to me" has them all, I can't walk away from "THE ONE" just because she's got some baggage.

Taking my budget into consideration, I'm pretty sure that I will have to put in some sweat equity to make her all she can be. I just don't like surprises with major systems. Interior refurbishment, bottom work, glass, running gear, paint, plumbing, electronics*and routine maintanence are all right up my alley. Keeping everything working so as to last us a good 10-20 years before we can put her into fulltime service is what bugs me.

My bottom line question is, should I be thinking about the "end-all, be-all" boat NOW, or should I look at maybe getting something that will ease us into the lifestyle before we go ahead with a big boat. By big, I mean 36+. My boat budget is pretty much what a new 24' walk around would be...you can figure that out.

Another question I have is about towing a "tender" rather than having a dingy onboard. I'm going to buy a little bay boat, maybe a 17'-19', 60-90hp OB just to have to slip in and out of the water. The kids can also use it to come find mom and dad on the weekends that they have to work and can't go out with us or stay overnight. Is it feasible to drage something like that on a short leash, or should I just plan on leaving that at home? Just curious.
__________________
Advertisement

nehringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2011, 04:02 PM   #2
Guru
 
Steve's Avatar
 
City: Thibodaux, Louisiana
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Gumbo
Vessel Model: 2003 Monk 36
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,605
Bitten!

Hi Neil, In Panama City you are in some prime cruising grounds! Beaches, bays and bayous my avatar pic was taken in Pitts bayou just East of P.C.
Please check your profile page inbox for a message I just sent you
Steve W


-- Edited by Steve on Monday 11th of July 2011 04:04:37 PM
__________________

Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2011, 07:06 PM   #3
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Bitten!

Quote:
nehringer wrote:
1. My primary question is this...is it cost effective to own a ship of this sort for many years before its full potential is explored?

2.Is it worth the burden of ownership only to use a trawler locally?

3. My bottom line question is, should I be thinking about the "end-all, be-all" boat NOW, or should I look at maybe getting something that will ease us into the lifestyle before we go ahead with a big boat. By big, I mean 36+.

4. Another question I have is about towing a "tender" rather than having a dingy onboard.
*1.* "is it cost effective to own a ship of this sort for many years before its full potential is explored?"

We have owned our GB going on 13 years now and we are looking forward to at least that many more years of continued ownership and use.* Not sure how this applies to your "cost effective" question.* I don't regard recreational boats as being "cost effective" in any manner at all.* They are certainly not investments--- you will almost always lose money on them in terms of their dollar value (not necessarily in terms of the dollar amount.)* But only you can determine if the use and enjoyment you get out of whatever boat you buy is worth whatever you pay to purchase and own the boat.* As you should know from owning other boats, the purchase price of a boat is just the down payment for the overall, never-ending ownership cost of a boat.* Is that never-ending ownership cost worth what you get out of the*boat?* Each boater has to answer that for themselves.

So far we have spent several hundred thousand dollars on buying and owning our 1973 Grand Banks.* Have we gotten several hundred thousand dollars (to date) worth of experiences,*enjoyment, life-enhancement, etc. out of it?* We think so.* Someone else who spent the same amount of money on a boat might not.

2. "Is it worth the burden of ownership only to use a trawler locally?"

For the most part, the use of our GB has been "local."* I consider "local" to mean Puget Sound from Olympia*to Anacortes, the San Juan Islands and the Gulf Islands in BC northwest to the town of Nanaimo.* All of our boating is in the San Juan and Gulf Islands other than the longer vacation trips we take up to Desolation Sound.*

But in this relatively small "local"*area there are hundreds of destinations that are worth going to.* Even going to the same places repeatedly is not boring, at least not to us, as every time our experience is different.* That's what we find wonderful about being out on the water as opposed to doing something on land like RV-ing.* Water is always changing.* The land never does (unless it erupts, shakes itself apart, or burns down).*

We *personally cannot see the appeal of RV-ing at all---*we would find it staggeringly boring.* But even though we're doing somewhat the same thing with the boat-- going to "RV parks" in the form of anchorages, marine parks, and harbors--- the fact that everything on the water is constantly in flux and the same place one day will be totally different than the same place on another day, makes it a continuous adventure.

3. "should I be thinking about the "end-all, be-all" boat NOW, or should I look at maybe getting something that will ease us into the lifestyle before we go ahead with a big boat?"

Unfortunately only you can answer this question, too,*because every boater's wants, dreams, needs, and objectives they want from boating is different.**In my opinion you should get the kind of boat now that will meet*the needs you think you*will have for the time you own the boat.* That might be five years it might be thirty years (I know people who have owned*and regularly used the same boat that long).*

Some people fall into the trap of thinking,*"Someday I want*a fifty foot boat" but their boating experience so far has been in little runabouts or fishing boats.* Probably not a good idea for them to jump right into a fifty foot boat, although*I have heard of a few people who have done so and had it work out for them.* Again, everyone is different so there's no one-size-fits all piece of advice.*

4.* "[What]about towing a "tender" rather than having a dingy onboard?

Towing a larger shoreboat or tender as opposed to carrying a small dinghy on board is very common in our waters.* I've seen large RIBs, Boston Whalers, even 17' Arima's like ours, being towed behind cruising boats up here.* It's not uncomon to see a 36-50 foot cruiser towing a larger tender and*still have a dinghy of some sort--- hardshell or inflatable--- carried on board the boat.*

However..... bear in mind that our waters--- Puget Sound and the inside waters of British Columbia and SE Alaska--- are relatively protected and with the exception of the Juan de Fuca Strait, Georgia Strait, and Queen Charlotte Strait the various bays, passes, and channels we boat in*are not all that large so you don't get swells on them, just wind waves.* So towing a tender is a very viable thing to do here, even at speeds up to 15 knots or so (although most boats that tow tenders go slower than that).* You wouldn't want to do it in stormy weather with big wind waves being whipped up, but then most of us wouldn't want to be out boating in that stuff anyway.

If you are boating in the open ocean or in bodies of water where the swells can be big with wind waves on top of them, towing a tender is probably not the best of ideas.

Fishing---* I can offer an opinion on your desire to get a trawler but keep fishing.* It depends on where you're fishing and what you're fishing for, but in my opinion, for the kind of fishing we do--- salmon and halibut-- our Grand Banks. which is a typcial "trawler type" boat, is pretty much worthless.* The diesels don't much like being run at idle hour after hour and even at idle the boat is still going too fast for downrigger salmon fishing.* There are ways to slow it down but regardless, the engines would still be*at idle.*

As for halibut fishing, where we like to fish for them in British Columbia we are in amongst far too many narrow channels, rocks, and reefs to be doing this in the heavy. cumbersome Grand Banks.* So for our fishing boat we have a 17' Arima that was designed specifically for fishing, and fishing in the kind of environment we have around here.

If we fished in more open waters where the trolling speeds were faster, or where there was room to drift around and not hit any rocks or shorlines, the GB might be an okay fishing platform although I personally don't believe its layout, freeboard, etc.*would be very conducive for any kind of fishing.* It wasn't designed for this, it was designed to be a "dependable diesel cruiser" to use American Marine's own description of their Grand Banks line of boats.* So for serious fishing, there are far better boats to use for this than the typical "trawler."

All the crap above is based on my own opinions, experiences, and observations.* You will get as many different opinions about your questions as you get answers.* But hopefully they will all help you ask yourself the right questions, your answers to which will help you determine the course of action that will best meet your requirements, which are the only ones that matter in this case.

And one final suggestion--- if you have anyone who is going to share in whatever your next boating adventure will be--- wife, kids, significant other, whatever--- I think it is imperative* that they are in full agreement with the type and configuraiton*of boat you get and how you're going to use it.* Because a boating partner who is not confident and relaxed on the boat*and who is not enjoying the experience as much as you are will severely dampen the enjoyment you yourself*get out of your boating.

*


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 11th of July 2011 07:24:36 PM
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2011, 09:22 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 24
RE: Bitten!

Thanks, Captain. That's some good advice and I intend to follow it, as well as everything else I absorb. I am in total agreement as to being the final judge of if a boat "fits" or not. Yeah, I'm one of those guys you referred to that has been in small fishing boats all my life and now I want abigger one. Not a 50'er quite yet! My Pro Line laid 30' LOA. Another six feet isn't going to test me significantly. I had a little Shamrock before that, so I've got some familliarity with inboards and their handling characteristics. I've flown a variety of helicopters over the course of my career, so moving from something small and familliar up to something larger and more complex is a task I am up to, from a technical standpoint. I paid less than $10K for that Shamrock and I sank just over $12K into repairs, maintanence and modifications in the course of a year. Some of that could have been prevented, but that's another story...a lesson that I learned from.

My wife is a seasoned Admiral. I shared a link to a boat in Miami on here listed at $99,500. She's about to sell the kids and she's entertaining offers on one of my kidneys, so I'd say she's on board. Her words; "I want that boat"! Very encouraging.

Fishing down here is a bit of a pickle. We're up against some limited seasons for common species, (Atlantic Red Snapper, Gag Grouper, Amberjack) imposed by NOAA and all of those fisheries folks. Those species are all bottom fish and I think that we would have no problem "bottom bumping" from pretty much anything that floats. King Mackerel, Wahoo and dolphin can all be caught trolling at cruising speed. The little bay boat I intend on dragging will be what we fish from in the bay for Red Drum, Speckled Sea Trout and such. I'd only be dragging it about the protected waters of the bay and the ICW. As far as the trawler itself for fishing, all I really need is some deck space. Most of the aft cabins I have seen barely have a gangway, much less anything that can be called a deck. There are a few though that offer enough space for a family to fish comfortably.

I guess what I really want to know is, what systems are repairable when they fail, and which ones have to be replaced? Yeah, I know...that depends on the extent of the failure/damage. But in the most common terms, what is the normal course of service, life expectancy, most common failures, etc. of all of those systems to which I admitted ignorance, (sanitation, genset, diesels, AC, etc)? Whattay reckon it would cost to re-wire a boat? What are some things that should be left alone to enhance a vessel's aesthetic value? Most of the lower helms I have seen have original gauges from back in the day. Is it considered bad form to update those? In most installations, how accessible is the bilge for access to bilge pumps, thru-hulls, thrusters, etc? Feed me more, feed me more!
nehringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2011, 09:51 PM   #5
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Bitten!

Quote:
nehringer wrote:
I guess what I really want to know is, what systems are repairable when they fail, and which ones have to be replaced?
Almost everything major on a boat*is repairable*if you throw enough money at it.* Some smaller*things like water pumps, macerator pumps, etc. are sometimes more cost effective to replace rather than try to*repair.* Or items that simply wear out like engine mounts, cutless bearings, exhaust components,*etc. They have to be replaced--- they cannot be repaired.

Probably of more value for your*cost planning purposes is the rule of thumb that says that the average ownership cost of a trawler-type boat is about ten percent of the purchase price of the boat per year.* The ownership cost consists of everything except the purchase price and purchase payments if you finance the boat.* So moorage, insurance, electricity in the marina, fuel, maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.

Obviously a new or new-ish boat won't have as many repair and upgrade needs as an older boat, at least not for a while.* And some years may not see much in the way of maintenance, repair, or upgrade costs even on an older boat, while other years may see major costs in these categories.* For example one year*we had a shaft replaced, new shaft couplers installed, and the props completely reworked.* Another year we had all-new exhaust systems installed on both engines that required some custom components to be made.* Yet another year saw new engine mounts on both engines, a shaft straightened, all the cutless bearings replaced, and the engines aligned.* But some of the years in between saw little to nothing in the way of repair or upgrade costs.* Not to say nothing broke or needed maintence during those years, just that whatever needed fixing or maintaining we were able to do ourselves.* Like rebuild a toilet, change oil and filters, overhaul a window, and so on.

The more work you can do yourself, the lower the maintenance and repair costs might be.

But the general rule of thumb is ten percent of the boat's purchase price per year for ownership costs.* It has worked out this way over the 13 years we've owned our boat.* So, buy an older trawler-type boat for $100,000 and you'll be pretty safe figuring an annual cost of $10,000 to own and operate the boat every year that you own it.

But to answer the question in detail about what can be fixed and what has to be replaced, or how much does it cost to rewire a boat,*that's impossible to answer other that for people to tell you how much these sorts of jobs cost on their own boats.* But what they encountered and paid will not have much bearing on what you will encounter and have to pay.* Every boat is different, even boats of the same make and model.* And every system on a boat has multiple failure modes so it becomes almost impossible to forecast what might happen to a boat's electrical system or plumbing system*and how much fixing them will cost.

The only totally safe statement one can make in this regard is that a boat lives in an environment that is hostile to almost everything on and in it, and almost everything on and in it is always*in the process of failing.* The only variable is the length of time it will take for each component to reach the point where it has to be repaired or replaced.



*


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 11th of July 2011 11:42:48 PM
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2011, 10:45 PM   #6
Guru
 
Edelweiss's Avatar
 
City: PNW
Country: USA
Vessel Model: 1976 Californian Tricabin LRC
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,834
RE: Bitten!

Marin was right on and to add just a couple of things (I boat the same region):

1.* "is it cost effective to own a ship of this sort for many years before its full potential is explored?"

I have owned mine for 30 years and the ocean is my one true love. *I never regret my purchase, but it is a money loosing operation. *If money/iinvestment is the utmost concern for you, then don't buy a boat. * **

2. "Is it worth the burden of ownership only to use a trawler locally?"

For the most part, the use of my Californian is local, usually within 30 miles of Anacortes. *Often we don't leave the dock at all, it's our RV, summerhome, or get away, whatever you want to call it. *All of our boating is in the San Juan and Gulf Islands other than the longer vacation trips we take North.*

Having grown up RV'ing with my parents until I moved out on my own, I would never want to do RV'ing again. *Boating is so much more beautiful, relaxing, and like Marin says, "a continuous adventure."

3. "should I be thinking about the "end-all, be-all" boat NOW, or should I look at maybe getting something that will ease us into the lifestyle before we go ahead with a big boat?"

*Boats right now are a Buyers Market. *If you have an idea what you want and can afford it, go-for- it !! *Maybe charter a 40 ft boat for a week first and try it out. *Two adults can easily handle a 40 footer and with some experience even by yourself if necessary. With twins, they're usually between 10 - 20 tons.*

4.* "[What]about towing a "tender" rather than having a dingy onboard?

*I do and have done both. *I have a 11' Calypso on the stern davits which we use for a tender and some fishing. *It works great, but sometimes we'll tow a 16' aluminum if we have two groups of fishermen on board.

Fishing--- * Trawlers are not the best trowling platform, but ok for Pink salmon and silvers. *Wide walk around decks are great for bottom fishing and crabbing. *With good electronics and twin engines we could find and hover on submerged reefs and rock piles, while jigging for fish. *We slayed the Lingcod and Cabezon this Spring. *Very easy to handle, set and retrieve crab pots, lots of room for pot storage and lines on classic trawlers. *During crab season I keep four pots of my own on board and we've often fished 10 -12 pots. *p.s. Crabbing opens this Friday for us and my gear is loaded. *So guess where I will be Friday thru Sunday?? *

Enjoy !!

*Larry B

*
Edelweiss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2011, 08:39 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 24
RE: Bitten!

Wow, Marlin...exactly what I was looking for. Thank you. I know some of my questions were loaded with ambiguity and there are no direct answers, but I totally dug your cryptic logic and I think I have a clearer picture of what's ahead. I think you can see what I've been getting at with my querries; I'm trying to compare some of the operating costs of a boat like these to the type of boats I have experience with. One of the biggest failures I had with my little inboard was a manifold/riser failure. When I bought the boat, I was told that they were still good. I should have looked at the casting dates myself. I got about 100 hours out of the motor before it sucked up 3 cylinders full of sea water through the risers. The machine shop that worked the heads didn't help matters, as they missed some deterioration in the valve wells. As soon as the boat came out of the shop, it hydro-locked again, only this time it sucked all of the water into the crank case. I got a break on the heads, but the labor was murder. They also replaced the starter with a cheap after market model that never disengaged after the first crank and it nearly started a fire. Are there any boats in the class we are discussing that use pnumatic starters? Being more familliar with gas than diesel engines, is there a similar assembly that requires replacement every 3-5 years?

I never pretend that a boat is an investment. I know people who have made that mistake, and having been through about half a dozen boats myself, I've learned that very rarely can one actually make money on a boat. I've taken two boats and completely rebuilt them. After adding up everything I put into the boats comparred to the purchase and sale prices, I broke even. Of course, that basically accounts for a few years of free use, minus gas and oil. I haven't been so lucky lately. My biggest problem has been with engines. Of course, on a fishing boat, the engine is the most complex and expensive component. I know that a properly maintained diesel will outlive any gas motor by thousands of hours, so acquiring one in tip top shape should be at least one less thing I need to worry about right away.

I'm down with the whole "aqua-RV" idea. That's pretty much what is motivating us. We love the water, hate the road. Mom and Dad are recently retired and on the road in a 30' class C from May to October. They left FT Meyers for my wedding in May and are now on their way to the Grand Canyon from the Black Hills. While they were watching our kids durring the honeymoon, dad bought $1000 worth of tires. He'll have to buy them again when they get home! I can't live like that. I have a 350 mile commute every week. That's more than enough time on the road for me. My wife and I met on the beach. We spent most of our first two years together on the water building a foundation for our future. We got married on the same beach where we met. We took a cruise for our honeymoon. There's no way that this boat isn't going to happen! It's what we're all about and learning everything there is to know BEFORE we commit to such a major purchase, particularly one with little to no monetary return. The investment is more of one in our own personal satisfaction and lifestyle.

Keep the good advice coming, fellas! I really appreciate it.
nehringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2011, 08:53 AM   #8
Guru
 
Codger2's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: US
Vessel Name: "Sandpiper"
Vessel Model: 2006 42' Ocean Alexander Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,420
RE: Bitten!

Quote:
Marin wrote:
The only totally safe statement one can make in this regard is that a boat lives in an environment that is hostile to almost everything on and in it, and almost everything on and in it is always*in the process of failing.* The only variable is the length of time it will take for each component to reach the point where it has to be repaired or replaced.

*_________________________________________________ _______________
********* That pretty much sums up my boating experience. (But absolutely worth it!)
Codger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2011, 11:50 AM   #9
Guru
 
Phil Fill's Avatar
 
City: Everett Wa
Country: US
Vessel Name: Eagle
Vessel Model: Roughwater 58 pilot house
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,919
Bitten!

I agree with the above statement.* We bought the Eagle 15 year ago when we were when we were 48, the children had just move out of the house, the house was to big, we want to live in down town Seattle, and my wife bought to big of a boat.* We are close to retirement but we are thinking about moving off the Eagle, putting her on the hard for the winter.* I dont think I can justify the cost with out living on the Eagle, so maybe will sell her if the right buyer comes along.*
*


We still own a 1978, 19 ft run about that we still use as a tender, and before the 58 ft a 28 ft boat that we had for 3 years after purchasing the Eagle.* We also have a 12 ft Livingston, 20 HP, and a 12 ft sailing/rowing dink with a 4 HP.* I personally had more enjoyment, use the smaller boat/dinks daily, as they are more with in my comfort zone.* The 58 ft was bought to be a dock queen condo, not really to take out.* Heck we did not even know the brand name, and the capability, all we knew it was big for a good price.* However, ownership cost does average about 2 grand/month, but it is big enough for My wife and I.*


*
My point is you can buy a boat too early and to big of a boat.*****


-- Edited by Phil Fill on Tuesday 12th of July 2011 12:52:40 PM
Phil Fill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2011, 12:52 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 24
RE: Bitten!

Phill, it sounds like you interpretted my concern about buying too early. Based on other life plans we have, I think it should work out for us. Right now, we have an average size 3br home on a cul-de-sac with two high school juniors. One has his sights set on the Marine Corps, (yes, I've tried but its no use...I'm retired Army) and the other has her eye on an art institute in Tampa. I have every reason to believe that they are both going to follow through with their plans and they should both be out of the house within a few months of graduation. The admiral and I have long discussed a condo or townhouse on the water with a slip. Being that we are still working, and will be for a while, I don't really think we will abandon our terrestrial dwellings quite yet. I'm gone all week, every other week so I wouldn't want to leave mama alone on the boat. Living on the boat will have to wait until we retire, and that's fine. I don't want a yard, property tax, a pool, or anything else to deal with once we have the means to put all of that behind us. Maintaining a live-aboard vessel will be quite enough! Since it will primarilly be just the two of us using the boat, I think we can keep wear and tear down to a minimum thus making upkeep a little easier.
nehringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2011, 01:11 PM   #11
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
RE: Bitten!

Quote:
nehringer wrote:
Are there any boats in the class we are discussing that use pnumatic starters? Being more familliar with gas than diesel engines, is there a similar assembly that requires replacement every 3-5 years?


Not that I know of but my firstlhand knowledge of marine diesels is limited to what's in our boat, which is to say Ford Lehman 120s.

Diesels--- at least the ones of reputable make and that are operated and maintained properly--- are pretty long-lived machines.* The FL120s in our boat--- and I'm not a fan of these engines so I'm not saying this because we have them--- are said to be 12,000 to 14,000 hour engines in recreational boat service IF--- and that's a very* big "if"-- they are operated regularly and properly and maintained correctly.* The base engine for the FL120 was designed by Ford of England in the late 1950s so they are relatively primitive engines.* This is both a plus and a minus, but the bottom line is that if treated properly they will run reliablly a long, long time.

Gas engines, on the other hand, seem to have relatively short lives in marine applications.* On the other hand they are relatively inexpensive to replace, as opposed to the typical diesel which can run from perhaps $12,000 to $30,000 (or proabably even more).* But there are other people on this forum who are more qualified to speak to the advantages and disadvanates of gas engines in cruising-type boats than me.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2011, 01:52 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 24
RE: Bitten!

By no means would I even consider a gas engine in a boat over 4 tons! Gracious sakes!! Yeah, they're a dime a dozen comparred to diesels or even outboards, but you gotta ask yourself, why? Because they don't last as long, their technology is simple, they're inexpensively manufactured and relatively easy to maintain. However, MPG is more like GPM. Who am I, OPEC? I may work for an oil company, but the basis of that relationship is that the oil compnay keeps ME in business...not the other way around. With E-10, I don't even want to think about storing fuel for any length of time. Diesel has a much better shelf life and is much more chemically conducive to the salt water environment. Nope...it's diesel all the way for my next boat. One or two 6BT's would be lovely. Of course, I wouldn't walk away from a pair of Cats, Perkins or Detroits. I just don't see that much bad gouge on any of them. However, I'd like to know which engines have the quietest, most efficient and most reliable reputations. That same question applies to generators. All I know of them is that everyone affectionately referrs to them as "noise makers". I see lots of boats for sale with Westerbeke gensets. Onan was the generator of choice for RV's because they're quiet, but pricey. Does narrowing the field of choices by powerplant and auxillary power make any sense, or is that an acceptable area of compromise?
nehringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2011, 03:37 PM   #13
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Bitten!

Quote:
Duplicate post
-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 12th of July 2011 06:42:22 PM
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2011, 06:29 PM   #14
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Bitten!

Quote:
nehringer wrote:
1. I'd like to know which engines have the quietest, most efficient and most reliable reputations.

2. That same question applies to generators.
1.** I believe the noise issue is more a factor of the engine installation--- the muffling, engine room insulation, exhaust system design, etc.--- than the engine itself.* However the Jurassic thumpers--- Ford Lehmans, Perkins, etc.--- tend to be noisier and have more vibration than the newer-generation engines, one reason I'm not a fan of these engines.

When it comes to reliability the frontrunners are the ones you most commonly find in boats these days, probably why they are the most common :-)* So John Deere, Cat, Cummins, Volvo, and Lugger.* There are some Japanese diesels--- Yanmar is pretty popular and a whole era of Bayliner cruisers were made with Hino diesels.* (BTW Northern Lights/Lugger is a marinization company--- their propulsion engines and generators use American, Japanese, and German base diesels.)

If you go back far enough in time you will get into the Detroit era with the 6-71, 8V-71, etc.* If what you want to do is get a boat from Point A to Point B with an extremely good chance of success in getting there, an old Detroit is a fine way to do it.* However they are very inefficient (as I'm sure you know they are two-stroke engines) and they are amazingly noisy.* But if fuel consumption and decibels are not things that concern you, they're excellent engines.

In terms of efficiency I think the modern*electronically controlled marine diesel gets makes the best use of the fuel it burns.* I believe that electronics in everything from engines to airplanes have reached the point where they are so reliable they no longer warrant worrying about.**And the benefits they give in terms of fuel efficiency, weight, and operational smoothness are well worth it.*

If you want to start a lively argument, electronic controls on marine diesels is a great way to do it.* Old-timers will paint dire pictures of what happens when the computer on your engine craps out a thousand miles from shore in the direct path of a 30-knot bulk carrier in the middle of a hurricane.* But I don't put any stock in these scenarios, as theoretically plausible as they may be.* If we were buidling or buying a new boat today we would definitely go with a pair of*modern, electronically controlled diesels.

Given your past experience with boats, as well as your experience with vehicles and other machinery, I think you would agree that if a used*boat has engines from a reputable manufacturer/marinizer, the way those engines have been operated and maintained by previous owners will have a far greater impact on how reliable those engines will be under your care than*who the engine manufacturer happens to be.* So as you begin looking at trawler-type boats, the engine log and maintenance and operations records--- if they exist--- should probably be of far more interest to you than the name on the engine's*rocker cover.

A couple of things to keep in mind---- It is beneficial in the long run if you buy a boat with engines that are familiar to your local diesel shops and mechanics.* If nobody in your home area is all *that familiar with Cummins engines, or Cats, or Detroits, or whatever, that might be something to consider if you come across a boat you like that has that make of engine.

Another thing to be aware of is the cost of parts.* Some makes, particularly Volvo, have reputations for having extremely expensive parts.* So this is another thing to research and keep in mind if you start hunting for that ideal trawler-type boat.

2.* Generators.* Strictly in my opinion, there is Northern Lights and then*there is everyone else.* Were we in the market for a new generator for our boat the only make we would consider is Northern Lights.* So the only decision we would have to make is which model.


-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 12th of July 2011 10:09:44 PM
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2011, 07:11 PM   #15
TF Site Team
 
dwhatty's Avatar
 
City: Home Port: Buck's Harbor, Maine
Country: USA
Vessel Name: "Emily Anne"
Vessel Model: 2001 Island Gypsy 32 Europa (Hull #146)
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,730
RE: Bitten!

Nice to have you posting again Marin. Missed you.
dwhatty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2011, 09:58 PM   #16
Guru
 
Codger2's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: US
Vessel Name: "Sandpiper"
Vessel Model: 2006 42' Ocean Alexander Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,420
RE: Bitten!

Quote:
dwhatty wrote:
Nice to have you posting again Marin. Missed you.
* * * * Ditto!!!!
Codger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2011, 08:08 AM   #17
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 24
RE: Bitten!

Marin, I see from the last two previous posts*that you are well respected here. Clearly your insight, knowledge and ability to convey all of the above has earned you that respect, and you've definitely earned mine. Thanks.

You mentioned engine logs. That is something I have long thought of as absent with recreational boats. Is keeping a log a common practice with traler type boats? If I find something without a log, (This applies to pretty much any boat) how would you start a new one without much, or any previous engine history? The FAA mandates aircraft logs and sometimes gaps exist with privately owned aircraft. There's an exhaustive process to re-create missing logs and much of the re-creation requires zeroing out time on time sensative components that may or may not be due for replacement/overhaul. That can get REALLY expensive, but its probably not something that one would have to do necessarilly in order to establish a new record for a boat.
nehringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2011, 10:05 AM   #18
Guru
 
Phil Fill's Avatar
 
City: Everett Wa
Country: US
Vessel Name: Eagle
Vessel Model: Roughwater 58 pilot house
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,919
RE: Bitten!

As for engines, one that can be rebuilt in frame, proven performance/high hours, correctly sized for the boat, natural aspirated, with no electrical controls/ignition, dry exhaust manifold, wet or dry exhaust and parts/service as available in your area. So the band name of the engine is not all that important.* When my wife bought the Eagle we know nothing about diesels/large boats/trawlers. Shoot we did not enough know the brand name of the Eagle.* The Eagle is a single 671 DD green leaker, which I was very much against.* Until I started talking to boaters with larger/single engine boats, mainly commercial.* The Eagle is more commercial than pleasure.
*
Also engine and/or engine rooms can be made to be more quiet with exhaust wrapping, muffles dry and water, engine room sound proofing/insulation.* When we bought the Eagle to be a dock queen condo moored down town Seattle, she was very noisy, stark and shippy.* One of the first things we did has modify/change the exhaust which sort of my modified design.* We changed the exhaust so it had a few bend in it, a dry muffler, which drops down to a modified water exhaust, heat wrapped the exhaust to the point raw water enters the exhaust, then another smaller muffler, carpeted the engine room, and carpeted the salon floor.* The end result is the engine, engine room and stern deck are very quiet to the point you can talk in a norm voice/volume.* If you want to know what works in your area walk and talk to the commercial yards and dock.* They know what works and is reliable.
*
It sound like you are were we were 10+ years ago.** We have 7 children, 21 grand children and one great grand child so my wife bought the biggest darn boat we could afford.* We can sleep 8 adults and at least a dozen grandchildren. So plan ahead.
Phil Fill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2011, 11:48 AM   #19
TF Site Team
 
Baker's Avatar
 
City: League City, Tx
Country: Texas
Vessel Model: Carver 356
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,630
RE: Bitten!

Ringer, I am going to go back to your initial questions and take a little different tack. People approach boat purchases loaded with emotion and dreams. The successful boat purchaser will realize that and make sure that his emotions are in check and that he will merge the emotions and dreams with reality. When you go to a marina and see the vast majority of boats being neglected and unused, it is a failure of my above stated theory. They had a dream....but it didn't meld with reality. So the boat sits unused!!!!!

How does this apply to you??? You come on here "bitten" by the trawler bug. What is it about trawlers that you like??? Is it the appearance...the fuel economy...etc??? Don't get too hung up on all of that. If I were your broker or your "boat counselor/consultant", I would tell you to get a sportfish based on what you have told me. A convertible sportfish....meaning the salon area is enclosed and has a flybridge increasing the liveable interior space. You can do everything in a sportfish that you can do in a trawler...and you can fish!!!! The compromise would be 2 bigger engines and higher fuel consumption(and styling). Is there a compromise between a trawler and a sportfish???? Yeah, to some extent there is. Maybe a trawler(sundeck) with a cockpit...sometimes referred to as a "yachtfish". Or a sedan style trawler with the ability to fish out of the cockpit(ie no overhang/cover over the cockpit). I will say this. A trawler that only does displacement speed(slow) is not something you want to be out in the Gulf of Mexico unless you have stabilizers. You need speed to get out of the weather and you also need speed to stabilize the boat. A big slow top heavy boat(ie what we refer to as trawlers) is not ideal for being offshore in the GOM. As FF will tell you, there are very few "trawlers" that are fit for offshore work. And the ones that are are usually very utilitarian or just too damn expensive.

I guess my main point here is pretty much what some have already said. You have to be very honest with yourself about how you are going to use the boat....NOW! Don't worry about 20 years from now...that is dream...and not reality. We spend our whole boating lives trying to figure out what boat is best for us...and that is exactly what you are doing right now. It seems Marin was very good at applying my theory...he liked his boat THEN it is still serving them well NOW. Another thing as PF pointed out is that big is not always better and I fully agree with this statement. You do not want it to be a major production when you take your boat out. You need to be able to just GO whenever you want. I think you have already realized that because a mid to upper 30s boat is a perfect compromise between size and "useability"!

Again, you have to be honest with yourself. And you and your wife also have to keep each other in check and get a boat that you both like for the right reasons...not just because it is "pretty"....sound familiar????....;-) IOW, the beautiful blond with the big boobies is not always the right choice....might be fun for awhile but then reality will rear it's ugly head....and there you are...

That's all I got!! Maybe post up a link to that $99.5k boat and let us have a look at what you are thinking about. I am sure you will get a lot of opinions on whether the boat jives with your expectations.
Baker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2011, 12:56 PM   #20
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Bitten!

Quote:
nehringer wrote:Is keeping a log a common practice with traler type boats? If I find something without a log, (This applies to pretty much any boat) how would you start a new one without much, or any previous engine history?
The boat we bought did not have any previous-owner engine or maintenance logs when we bought it.* It did have every single manual, instruction sheet, etc. for every single piece of equipment on board, including the original (1973) Grand Banks owners manual for the boat.* But no maintenance or operational records at all.* The boat had spent the first 25 years of its life in San Francisco Bay where, it was explained to me, there is nowhere to go other than back and forth across the bay and up the river, so the engines were quite low time despite the boat having been used regularly by all of its previous owners.* The engine surveyor gave the engines very high marks and the oil samples he took came back great, although a one-time oil analysis doesn't tell you much other that what metals and fluids might be getting into the oil.

Once we got the boat up to Bellingham in Washington State we created an engine log using a graphics program that was on the Mac we had at the time.* We based it very loosely on the engine logs used for the floatplane we fly.

There are columns for each engine with spaces to fill out engine start and stop hours, time for each run, total time, hours when the engine and injection pump oil was changed, how much time is on the engine oil and pump oil since they were changed, when the generator oil was changed, and when filters were changed.

There is a row at the top of each block with the trip number, date, start location and destination.* And there is a space to the right of each block for comments.

I printed of a whole stack of these forms, ran them through a hole punch, and stuck them in a three-ring binder.

We also have a separate maintenance log for the boat itself to list maintenance and repairs to the boat itself.* This is an off-the-shelf maintenance logbook we bought at West Marine or someplace like that.

But filing out paperwork and logs is not my strong suit, so my filling out of the maintenance log consists of jotting down the jobs that are done and the month they happened.* I only note big stuff--- new engine mounts, new batteries, alternator overhauls, stuff like that.* Things like toilet rebuilds and window overhauls I usually don't bother with.* I also have a sideview photo of our boat hanging in the Travelift slings taped to the inside cover to remind us where to mark the rails of the boat for the slings when we haul out (we don't have any permanent markers to show this).

The engine log is easy to fill out, or at least jot down the engine stop hours after every trip.* The comments box to the right has ended up being our trip log where I or usually my wife writes in what we saw and did on the trip.* We bought a nice off-the-shelf cruising log when we bought the boat but neither one of us is much into filling this sort of thing out so after a few half-hearted stabs at using it we got rid of it.

Everyone approaches record-keeping differently.* I know people who meticulously write down every aspect of their maintenance and repair work, keep track of every turn of their engine, and describe their trips in minute detail.* A friend we cruise with keeps track (sort of) of his engine hours in a pocket notebook.* And I know people who keept it all "in their head."

Unlike the FAA and airplanes, there is no requirement to keep track of anything on a recreational boat.* So what you do is strictly up to you.

PS--- Just read John's post and he makes an outstanding point.* Most "trawlers" (I hate that term-- a trawler is a boat that pulls a trawl net; it's application to recrational cruisers is purely a marketing ploy.* American Marine never referred to their Grand Banks line as "trawlers"), most "trawlers" have semi-planing hulls.* So they can be driven faster than displacement speed if you put enough power in them which a lot of manufacturers do. Also they have relatively high superstructures and big windows.**

As such, they are not well suited for offshore work at all.* The flat after-section, hard-chine hull has what Eric Henning of this forum aptly describes as a "snap-back" roll.* It can be a rather violent and uncomfortable change of direction as opposed to the slower and easier, albeit greater, roll of the typical displacement hull.* The big windows are a liability in really nasty weather.* The high superstructure can also be a liability.* There has been at least one rollover of a "trawler" in Bellingham Bay that I know of when the wind waves were a good six feet and the boat got sideways to them.

If offshore fishing (or cruising) is what you want to do, I suggest that a "trawler" may not be the right boat for you unless you buy an actual trawler that is made for fishing in waters like the North or Irish Seas.* One advantage of doing this is that you'll probably catch more fish with the trawl net than with a couple of trolled lures or bait-on-a-hook rigs :-)








-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 13th of July 2011 01:15:20 PM
__________________

Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012