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Old 04-20-2016, 09:39 PM   #21
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Matt, quite a few of the charter companies up in Bellingham offer training by the day. You'll practice with a captain of theirs. Go out on a 50 or 60 footer, practice, practice, practice. Then when you start working with your own 45 footer it will seem easy.
Absolutely. Just one day of focused training may be enough to get over the hump and into the area of "comfort" with your new boat. Years ago I took a huge jump into a 65 footer. Tried practicing by myself and never figured it out. Finally a guy at the marina (ex-freighter captain) spent a half day with me. Wonderful - never looked back.

That being said, check your marina. If you have pilings/finger piers on both sides of your vessel then you can install tons of fenders and not worry about heavy cross winds. However, if you are sharing a slip then the nervousness factor goes up tremendously.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:56 PM   #22
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I would agree with most there. Have no fear of the larger boat. Find what you are comfortable living or spending time on and you will learn to handle it just fine. WE are 58', 62' LOA. My wife, then in her late 50's had never handled any boat, much less one of any size. I was comfortable up to around 65-70'. It only took her 10 or 12 trips before she started feeling comfortable running the boat. It took her about a year to get the hang of getting into a slip. She still does not want to do it or really like doing it, but she can if need be. We have no problem whatsoever in handling the boat ourselves. Interestingly enough, my daughter who was 13 when we got it (and turns 17 today!), took to the boat like a duck to water. Within a year, she could handle it, dock it, change the oil, do routine maintenance checks, and pretty much understands how everything works! God help the guy that falls for her! He better have a boat and he better take good care of it!
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:56 PM   #23
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The biggest question IMO is are you being absolutely honest with yourself about why you are not using the current boat???? Have a pow wow with your wife and make absolutely sure. I wouldn't want you to go through the rigors of getting another boat only to not use it also....
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:09 AM   #24
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The biggest question IMO is are you being absolutely honest with yourself about why you are not using the current boat???? Have a pow wow with your wife and make absolutely sure. I wouldn't want you to go through the rigors of getting another boat only to not use it also....
Very good point.
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:05 AM   #25
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"Handling primarily. I don't want to end up with a boat that has all the amenities that we want, but that we still don't use because we are afraid to take it out."

House Windage would be the key ,

If she is 2 stories off the water , with an oxygen tent then stuck on top docking in a good breeze will be an adventure , single screw , twin screw or multiple thrusters.

If you prefer a roomaran it may only cost a few extra nights on the hook, not that a bad price to pay for a salon that echos.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:06 AM   #26
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If you and your wife have made the list of wants/needs for the next boat, does either of these boats check more/less boxes than the other? Both will have windage issues, but you just have to learn to adapt to that. How does the space in the engine room compare, can you reach all the important pieces parts? What about cleaning and maintenance? Does one or the other make your crew more or less comfortable with docking/line handling/anchoring?

Finally, go see them both in person and then ask yourself the same questions again. 45 or 39 on paper isn't much difference....but in person might be. Go shopping.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:10 AM   #27
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boats shrink after a few months of ownership. Handling a 45' is easier than a 30'. More room to work, less wind effects, more stable etc. Chartering for a week is a good idea. Space for people to escape for a while seems important to some.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:35 AM   #28
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The biggest question IMO is are you being absolutely honest with yourself about why you are not using the current boat???? Have a pow wow with your wife and make absolutely sure. I wouldn't want you to go through the rigors of getting another boat only to not use it also....
Great point.

The boat we have now we bought because it landed in our lap. We weren't boat shopping, but it was too good a deal to pass up; in fact it will be the first boat that we will actually sell for more than we bought it for.

While it's a great boat, and perfect for the right person, it would not have been the boat we would have chosen in the open market -- primarily because it only has one stateroom. Even our 28' Bayliner had two permanent berths.

We "use" the boat quite a bit... weekly during the summer months, and at least a couple times a month the rest of the year. But we don't sleep aboard or go on multi-day trips as often as we'd like, and that's primarily what we are looking to change.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:41 AM   #29
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I know some folks think the Hell Hole should be sized to waltz in , but why?

Routine maint is done on a sked and a half hour of sitting changing the oil is hardly worth the volume consumed by by a standing walk around ER.

Simple systems are simple to fix , or Deep Six and stick in a better one.

Hardly a need for workbenches, drill press and a tool room extension.

Spare parts & 3 or 4 oil changes do not need to be comfortable when stowed , just accessible.

The less volume taken up by the engine space and noisemaker , the more room there is for people.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:42 AM   #30
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If you and your wife have made the list of wants/needs for the next boat, does either of these boats check more/less boxes than the other?
Great question, and one that we debate. I love the idea of a pilothouse (having never had one), but my wife not so much -- she likes that whoever is at the helm is still a part of the main salon.

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Both will have windage issues, but you just have to learn to adapt to that. How does the space in the engine room compare, can you reach all the important pieces parts?
Both seem to have adequate space for mechanical maintenance.

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What about cleaning and maintenance? Does one or the other make your crew more or less comfortable with docking/line handling/anchoring?
The full walkaround decks on the 40' model make all of these easier. A major plus in that boat's favor IMO.

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Finally, go see them both in person and then ask yourself the same questions again. 45 or 39 on paper isn't much difference....but in person might be. Go shopping.
We've seen the 45 in person. Our response was that it's big, especially when looking up at it from the dock. But once inside the living space sold us.

We've seen the 39 in person, but have never been aboard.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:49 AM   #31
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Great question, and one that we debate. I love the idea of a pilothouse (having never had one), but my wife not so much -- she likes that whoever is at the helm is still a part of the main salon.
We weren't actually looking for a pilothouse, but got one. And Tom said he thought that was going to be a total waste of space. It's our favorite place to hang out inside.

Of course, I also said that the central vacuum was going to the first thing taken off the boat, and it was the first thing I used, and I use it every weekend.
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:51 PM   #32
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Being brand new to a pilothouse, I have to say that it is even better than we imagined. Went out for the weekend with 4 adults and the pilothouse was used for everything from driving the boat, reading a book, taking a nap, listening to music, etc.... At times all four of us were comfortably in the PH while underway. YMMV of course...
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Old 04-21-2016, 02:24 PM   #33
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I've never heard of anybody really getting serious about helmsmanship.
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Old 04-21-2016, 02:33 PM   #34
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Handling primarily. I don't want to end up with a boat that has all the amenities that we want, but that we still don't use because we are afraid to take it out.

Or that we can't feel comfortable getting into an anchorage or dock.

Some larger boats are easier to handle than some smaller boats. There's a lot of "it depends" surrounding that, and there are limits.... but disregarding costs (slip fees, upkeep, etc.) bigger isn't necessarily all that much more difficult to handle... and might actually handle better.

Wifey thought our boat was way big... starting when we picked it up, and then for about a month after that. Afterwards... no big deal.

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Old 04-21-2016, 02:45 PM   #35
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Wifey B: Charter, charter, charter... Best way to get a feel for what you like and dislike and how it is to handle different size and types of boats.
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:49 PM   #36
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In my experience, there are several boat-specific criteria more important than size in determining whether you will be able to safely and comfortably handle a boat. With training and experience, I would guess that a twin-screw 45' boat would not be a problem for you, even without thrusters. FWIW, my wife and I run our boat with ease. In fact, my wife's only responsibility is often limited to getting a line on the dock when we return. At least without wind or current, I can untie and cast off without her help.
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:20 PM   #37
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I am still in the painful learning stage. It took me three tries to do a simple side tie at a pump out dock my first week. I had a large audience.

The plan called for no use of the bow or stern thrusters. In practice, I ended up using both. Another learning experience.
A couple of things to remember:
1. There is no shame in a missed approach. Better to go around and take a second or third shot at docking that trying to force the boat in from the wrong position. That can be very expensive.
2. The only people who pitch you sh!t about using thrusters are those who do not have them on their boats.
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I love the idea of a pilothouse (having never had one), but my wife not so much -- she likes that whoever is at the helm is still a part of the main salon.
We use or fly bridge helm about 99.99% of the time. I think in 5 years we've only used the lower helm 2 or 3 times. The fly bridge becomes the gathering spot for everyone and it's where all the fun happens.
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:28 PM   #38
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Yeah really. Use the dam thruster. I'm all over my thruster coming in and I don't give a shat what some dock watcher says/thinks/expresses. I wear that bitch out!
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:58 PM   #39
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Yeah really. Use the dam thruster. I'm all over my thruster coming in and I don't give a shat what some dock watcher says/thinks/expresses. I wear that bitch out!
I get that, and I am not shy about using them. However, currently there is a poor contact I think in the stern thruster control. It has decided to not operate a couple times. I will get that fixed, but I want to be as prepared as I can be for when one fails unexpectedly. Also, my own bias I guess but I prefer to see them as a supplemental docking aid, rather than as a primary tool.

However, there is no way I can get out of my slip without them in anything but a dead calm and no current. Even then it would be questionable.
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:02 PM   #40
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I'm just drinking wine and jerking your chain. 😄😄

I agree that it would be nice to learn to live without them. My bow thruster didn't work well on my initial cruise home from FL and I learned to live without. (But they sure are nice).
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