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Old 10-23-2012, 10:03 AM   #1
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Boat Selection Game - Round 2

Great feedback presented thus far during Round 1, so I thought I'd start a second round. If you haven't read the rules, please read this thread:
New Game - Rules & Round 1

Scenario: Great Loop, 300k
A couple with a single child (~8-12 years old) takes a year off from work to cruise the Great Loop (America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association). Mostly gunkholing, rivers, and ICW, but perhaps with a run over to the Bahamas for the winter. Still living aboard full time for a year as with the last round - only just for a year this time rather than multiple years in the circumnavigation in round 1.

Four options this round:

1) A late model GB 42 such as this one:
1997 Grand Banks Motor Yacht Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

2) A late model KK 42 such as this one:
1995 Kadey Krogen Widebody Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

3) A Great Harbour N37 such as this one (note, I'm not talking about the double deck GH37, but the N37 depicted here):
2005 Great Harbour N37 Flybridge - Mirage Power Boat For Sale -

4) A boat of your choosing - ~$300k or less - you believe to be better suited for the Great Loop than either of those listed above.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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Four options this round:

1) A late model GB 42 such as this one:
1997 Grand Banks Motor Yacht Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

2) A late model KK 42 such as this one:
1995 Kadey Krogen Widebody Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

3) A Great Harbour N37 such as this one (note, I'm not talking about the double deck GH37, but the N37 depicted here):
2005 Great Harbour N37 Flybridge - Mirage Power Boat For Sale -

4) A boat of your choosing - ~$300k or less - you believe to be better suited for the Great Loop than either of those listed above.
Animal, you have selected 3 good boats for the Loop. In fact, many of the Loopers choose one of these boats. There is one fallacy here. Wintering in the Bahamas would make it really tough to complete the Loop in a year. It could be done, but why? The Loop is about enjoying the stops along the way.

By doing much of the Loop (not all) and cruising the Bahamas, I would probably choose the KK42. The GB42 in a great boat. The N37 is a great boat. In the Bahamas, the living on the GB would be on the fly bridge much of the time. The level walk out of the KK and N to a livable outdoor space would make a big difference. The raised pilot house, and generous outdoor area of the KK would be the deciding factor for me. Also there would still be enough separation of the living areas ie: the den, saloon, aft deck, and pilot house so that everyone could find some solitude.

For fuel economy, the KK will probably have the edge. Both the GB and N or twin engine boats. That may give a comfort level to some people.

The Loop could probably be done on a jet ski. Almost any type of cruising boat is capable of making the passages. It boils down to personal preference and comfort level desired. Thus my choice of the KK42.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:00 AM   #3
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Animal, you have selected 3 good boats for the Loop. In fact, many of the Loopers choose one of these boats. There is one fallacy here. Wintering in the Bahamas would make it really tough to complete the Loop in a year. It could be done, but why? The Loop is about enjoying the stops along the way.

By doing much of the Loop (not all) and cruising the Bahamas, I would probably choose the KK42. The GB42 in a great boat. The N37 is a great boat. In the Bahamas, the living on the GB would be on the fly bridge much of the time. The level walk out of the KK and N to a livable outdoor space would make a big difference. The raised pilot house, and generous outdoor area of the KK would be the deciding factor for me. Also there would still be enough separation of the living areas ie: the den, saloon, aft deck, and pilot house so that everyone could find some solitude.

For fuel economy, the KK will probably have the edge. Both the GB and N or twin engine boats. That may give a comfort level to some people.

The Loop could probably be done on a jet ski. Almost any type of cruising boat is capable of making the passages. It boils down to personal preference and comfort level desired. Thus my choice of the KK42.
Great input! I just threw the Bahamas option in there so that whatever boat was selected by the players would maintain the ability to do at least some open water runs - even if >90% of the time was ICW/rivers.

Surprised the KK would have the best mpg, but I completely understand the layout consideration. That porch looks fantastic.

The N37 would seem to have the shallowest draft. Advantage? Thoughts on a max draft for a GL trip?
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:01 AM   #4
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I'm with Don on this one. (Although, I might be a little bias.)

Animal: You asked about draft. The KK42 draws 4' 7", the N37 draws 3' and the GB draws 4' 2". We did the Bahamas and the ICW in NC with 7' draft. We weren't able to get into some of harbors in the Exumas. The ICW was a bit of challenge and we had to watch tides. I would think any vessel under 5' should be a plus.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:18 AM   #5
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GB42.

Not too big, not too small, just right for the waterways in question.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:25 AM   #6
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The N37 would seem to have the shallowest draft. Advantage? Thoughts on a max draft for a GL trip?
Animal, you are correct on the draft. A 5' draft is not real problem for the Bahamas. There are few places that would not be accessible on the Loop or the Bahamas. With a good dinghy, just anchor a little farther out.

The Krogen could have some problems on some of the Canadian canals. Maybe someone here will know about that. That "would be the only limitation that I could think of, and it may not be a problem.

It's nice to have an "unbiased" opinion agreeing with me.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:27 AM   #7
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OK, following your rules I'd pick the Bayliner/Meridian 4877/490.

Here's why...

Coastal cruising is all about comfort and roominess. There are few boats out there that offer the roominess and comfort of the Bayliner 4788. Remember that this is a year on the boat. Comfort is key.

Here are the features that in my very biased opinion make a difference.

1. Two, very comfortable places to drive the boat from. You can sit in a very roomy pilothouse, or an equally spacious flying bridge. There is room for everyone to actually sit very comfortably in either place and have a elevated view of the scenery.

2. Full width salon and super large galley. There are no compromises here. It would be difficult to find a more comfortable salon or galley.

3. Two staterooms with real human sized beds. The master berth is a real queen. The mid stateroom is a real full mattress. There is also a third stateroom that can be used for storage or guests. The 3rd stateroom can be made into a couch, or bunk beds.

4. Two full size functional heads with showers. Remember this is living aboard. Full size heads and showers make a huge difference. Two heads isn't a luxury, its a necessity.

5. Layout that doesn't seem like you are decending into a hole. The 4788 has three steps down into the cabin deck, three up to the pilothouse. 4 inside stairs (not a ladder) to access the flying bridge. You can see from the salon all the way to the foward cabin in a straight line. This design is extremely liveable, bright and airy.

6. Covered cockpit with easy boarding. Getting on and off a 4788 is a straight accross motion from the swim deck. The cockpit is covered providing shade and protection from the elements.

7. Twin engines with enough power to buck river currents. With some rivers running at up to 3 knots, the 4788 has the power and manuverability of twin engines, along with almost 2 nmpg efficiency at 8 knots.

8. Easy access for mooring. From the pilothouse you have full port and starboard access to the fordedck, making mooring a breeze.

9. Laundry. Going to a laundry mat is not the way I want to spend my precious time. Onboard clothes washing is a must.

This is of course my biased opinion. I own a 4788 Bayliner. I've looked hard, and been aboard lots of boats. Its difficult to find a better layout for coastal cruising.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:56 AM   #8
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Bridge/air clearance is an issue on the GL. On NY State's canal system, if you clear 15.5' you can go anywhere. If you can't clear 20.5' you have to go up Maine, Nova Scotia, St Lawrence and can only go as far as Chicago (from what we've been told). The KK42 with the mast up is 22'9" and down is 14'. For us, we'll also have to remove our paravanes. The GL is on our bucket list.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:08 PM   #9
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We've done quite a bit of the great loop...38' sloop, 41' sloop, 21' Sport Cabin, 18' cuddy, 16' cuddy, 35' trawler, 28' houseboat. Hands down the houseboat is my preferance. You can only find the kind I have, used, and after the very successful family vacation on Lake Powell (4 adults a two year old and a dog for a week with no overnights at marinas), I declare her 'Loop Ready' at about 5% of the cost allowed and that includes a total rework of her trailer.

There were 2 open berths at night unless the dog was in one of them, 4 burner stove and oven (we used both), stand up hot water shower, a/c w/ heat, microwave...you get the idea. Her quiet 350 Chevy delivered 2 mpg during the outing.

Like the fancy trawlers, she's an eye-catcher at marinas (and Rest Areas) but not because she's shiny, glamorous and expensive, but because she's ugly and functional.

Bahamas? I've run across The Stream in sailboats and even my 18' cuddy. I'd have no qualms about taking Big Duck across in decent weather, especially with her positive floatation and 30mph capability.

We don't plan on 'doing' the loop in one fell swoop, but you may well see us somewhere along your way, doing 3-4 days at a time.

PS. With the front door open, I can steer, throttle, shift and still HAND a line to a dockhand...or just jump ashore and tie her off myself.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:48 PM   #10
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For all said in round 1, I would now choose the KK. Reliable, good fuel economics, confortable, and high resale value.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:06 PM   #11
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A very timely question for me, one that I've been working on for quite a while.

My answer was the KK42 and I submitted an offer on one this afternoon; although not the one listed above. Wish me luck!
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:00 PM   #12
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only a year on the loop....I pick something with at least 20 knot cruise....gotta get places to enjoy them and kids don't like slow. Trade expensive boat for something cheaper and put the diff into fuel and the occasional "get off the boat into a motel/BB" when it's time.

The Bayliners would be a good choice...
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:09 PM   #13
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only a year on the loop....I pick something with at least 20 knot cruise....gotta get places to enjoy them and kids don't like slow. .
Now you're talking. Oops that fits the description of Moonstruck.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:55 PM   #14
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only a year on the loop....I pick something with at least 20 knot cruise....gotta get places to enjoy them and kids don't like slow. Trade expensive boat for something cheaper and put the diff into fuel and the occasional "get off the boat into a motel/BB" when it's time.
Quite right. Further, the loop is about watching the world go by...from an outside perch. The circuit is typically timed for fair weather. Sundecks are the favored configuration. Try a Tollycraft or OA 44 (sundecks with cockpit), Carver, Cruisers, Californian, etc. Speed does count, especially on the changeable weather Great Lakes.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:48 PM   #15
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45/47 Bayliner Pilothouse, awesome layout, reasonably priced, great at slow speeds but able to kick it up when it gets boring or weather is moving in. In reality my boat because it is the one I plan on using for the loop. She does have big honking DD 6-71 TI's in her but does well at 7 kts and can kick up to 17 if needed. The only drawback I see is I draw 4'9" an it might get thin in a few places but I have a tremendous amount of room and she is real easy to handle with just 2 onboard. With 300K to play with I would be gone for 4 or 5 years even after what I paid for her!
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:43 AM   #16
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In all seriousness...

The perfect coastal cruiser is the boat you and your mate are comfortable in. Probably the boat you have right now.

People tend to think, "when I get xxx boat, then I'll go cruising" The reality is that except for true passagemaking its not the boat that holds us back, its having the time that keeps us chained to shore.

So, take the boat you have, go forth and explore, discover, dream.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:19 AM   #17
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Probably the boat you have right now.

People tend to think, "when I get xxx boat, then I'll go cruising" The reality is that except for true passagemaking its not the boat that holds us back, its having the time that keeps us chained to shore.
And that's probably the smartest answer you're going to get in this round. I've read about people who have gone from Puget Sound to SE Alaska in 22 foot C-Dories. I've met people who've done the trip multiple times in 34 foot Bayliners. We knew a guy on our dock who took his old 40 foot, gas-powered Hacker cabin cruiser (that was in iffy shape at best) to SE Alaska one way, he moved there. He extended his range by lashing big blue plastic drums of gasoline to his foredeck.

If we were adventurous and determined enough, we could do the trip in our 17' Arima.

Kevin is absolutely right. People who own boats perfectly capable of the trip think they need a bigger one, or a different one, or one with such-and-such features. And some of them even have the time to go, but don't think they have the boat to do it in and can't afford that theoretical boat and so don't go even though the boat they have is perfectly capable of the trip.

That's something you really have to be careful of with forums like this. You'll get all sorts of opinions on everything from what anchors to use to what boat to buy. And it can be easy to convince yourself that your boat's not quite right, you need a different anchor, your refrigerator's not big enough, you need a pilothouse boat, you need a twin (if you have a single) or you need a single (if you have a twin). Everybody is offering all this advice on what it takes to do something and it can be very easy for a boater--- particularly a newer one--- to be intimidated into thinking they or their boat or both are not ready for the trip.

You certainly don't want to be foolhardy and rush into something that exceeds your limitations. But I suspect most of us on this forum got into boating long before the internet and boating forums and such. We got a boat, we talked to people we knew or met along the way, maybe we took a safe boating course, we started out timid, but each time we took the boat out we got more comfortable with the environment, and the self-imposed bar of our limitations got set a little higher.

Today, you can get bombarded with so much "do this" and "don't do that" advice that I think many people convince themselves that they aren't ready, their boat's not ready, or worse, wrong, and so the dream never gets realized.

The internet has put a lot of information at our fingertips. I think it's also taken away a lot of our self-reliance and independence. I related a long time ago a true story about a couple of guys during the Depression who couldn't find work in the logging and fishing camps in lower BC so they rowed their wooden skiff in the middle of winter up the Inside Passage to Prince Rupert on the strength of a rumor there was work to be had there. There wasn't, so they rowed back down again. And thought nothing of it. It was just something you had to do back then.

They probably would never have done it if they'd checked an Internet forum first and been told that they needed a longer boat, a pilothouse boat, a twin engine boat, a bow thruster, an integrated navigation suite, a 6.254 cubic foot refrigerator, 300 feet of all-chain rode, a rollbar anchor, a Danforth, and a Bruce, a naturally aspirated diesel instead of a turbo-diesel, and an autopilot.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:23 AM   #18
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There are many who don't really want to go, but enjoy talking about wanting to go.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:02 AM   #19
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I've read about people who have gone from Puget Sound to SE Alaska in 22 foot C-Dories. I've met people who've done the trip multiple times in 34 foot Bayliners.

Kevin is absolutely right. People who own boats perfectly capable of the trip think they need a bigger one, or a different one, or one with such-and-such features. And some of them even have the time to go, but don't think they have the boat to do it in and can't afford that theoretical boat and so don't go even though the boat they have is perfectly capable of the trip.
Hey, I'm one of those guys doing the inside passage in a 34' Bayliner. I actually crossed the Gulf Of Alaska in one, and would do it again in a heartbeat.

I thought seriously about what would be the "perfect" great loop boat a few years ago. After a little dreaming I determined that if it were me alone, the almost perfect boat (at that time) would have been my 28' Bayliner pilothouse. The boat I owned.

Why...

Because it has a full sized matterss to sleep on, a full head with shower, a place to drive from out of the weather, easy to dock, reliable, the list goes on and on.

At that point I wasn't alone though, and had enough committments that I could not devote the time to making the trip. But it could have been done, and quite comfortably for one person.

We tend to use the "I need a bigger boat" argument to hide the real argument which is "I need more time". The simple fact is that most of us have other committments in life that keep us from the really long cruises. But alas, fortunately or unfortunately our time will come. I am myself very near there, thats good. But on the flip side that means that I'm getting old.

The most heartbreaking thing I see is when somebody dreams the dream, and by the time they put the pieces in place to for example do the great loop, or spend a full summer cruising Alaska, its too late for their body. These folks die with a world of unfulfilled dreams. That gentleman is the real tragedy, and one we need to avoid.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:20 AM   #20
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The most heartbreaking thing I see is when somebody dreams the dream, and by the time they put the pieces in place to for example do the great loop, or spend a full summer cruising Alaska, its too late for their body. These folks die with a world of unfulfilled dreams. That gentleman is the real tragedy, and one we need to avoid.
Harumph! Harumph!
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