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Old 12-31-2017, 12:28 PM   #1
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The Jump to a 40 foot boat

As I get my affairs in order to make the jump (probably a series of hops) to being able to take more than a couple of weeks at a time to cruise around, I've been looking into the vessel that will best allow me to enjoy the transition. The smaller C Dory or similar seemed to fit the bill (and maybe it does). Trailerable, efficient and simple. The problem is that by the time I buy a heavy duty truck to pull it and pay for the boat I could buy a much nicer full size trawler.
So my question is how did you guys make the transition from a trailer size boat to the big, beautiful and very intimidating boats that are featured in this forum. I can only do so much damage in my little center console, but when you displace 12 tons or more.....that's a whole different world.
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Old 12-31-2017, 12:37 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigj View Post
my question is how did you guys make the transition from a trailer size boat
For me it was a series of steps. My interest in boats has always been based on fishing, so a succession of larger / nicer trailer boats served me well for a long time, but it got to the point that to take it to the next level, I needed the range and stability that trailer boats were not able to handle. From there, it was a succession of slipped boats. At that stage of my life, the needs of my family needed to be taken into consideration, to the upgrades were primarily motivated by my desire to have a boat that was as inviting to them as possible, while also equipped to give me full long range fishing capabilities. Every step of the way, I have expected that each boat was the last I would ever need. The others I grew out of quickly, but this one may be it as the only thing that bigger would get me is more staterooms (not necessarily a good thing).
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Old 12-31-2017, 12:39 PM   #3
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Boats shrink soon after purchase. A 40' is not hard to run at all. Moving up in steps as some people do just wastes money.
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Old 12-31-2017, 01:32 PM   #4
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Craig, I also did it in a series of steps. My first "real" boat was a 20' open bow. After the kids started fleeing the nest I wanted a boat I could overnight on so after a year or more of looking I found a Sea Ray 330 Sundancer suited what I was looking for. Six months later I found one and bought it.


I had that for several years then decided I wanted to do one long distance cruise that would take the entire summer, and do it before I got too danged old to do it well. We bought the boat we have now in 2010 but have not taken the cruise yet for a variety of reasons we have no control over, but we're getting closer.


So 20' to 33' to 60'. No twofootitis for this guy. Where is Mt Pleasant?? What waters do you boat on? That info might help with providing some info to you about boats to consider.
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Old 12-31-2017, 01:37 PM   #5
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I took the approach that intermediary steps is money inefficient. I would not say wastes money. Purchased a 41 foot sedan bridge in October which was my first big boat. Very intimidating at 14 T displacement. But it has “shrunk” just like everyone says. In a short time I was very comfortable operating her.
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Old 12-31-2017, 01:37 PM   #6
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The best advice I got was "buy your second boat first."
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Old 12-31-2017, 01:47 PM   #7
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The only big difference between a 20' boat and a 40' boat is docking. Practice as much as possible when you get the boat, maybe with another captain aboard. For awhile, plan your dockings to avoid high winds and currents. Slow speeds and low throttle positions should keep you out of trouble. If a docking starts to go bad, don't be afraid to stop, back out and try again. In my current boat, I dock at idle, taking my speed off long before the dock. The only time I go above idle is rotating with twin screws.
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:18 PM   #8
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Lepke,
I’ve heard that before.
Did it once w no wind.

I’m on the opposite side of the fence.
Learn how the boat responds right up to full throttle. Learn how much time it takes to stop. Situations will come up where you need lots of throttle. If you’ve practiced you will be prepared.

Practice away from everything first. Then make your landings w a bit of throttle and more over time till you’re comfortable at full throttle.

I backed out of a hole at full bore very quickly w my previous boat and never would have made it pussyfooting around. A strong gust of side wind suddenly came up.
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:29 PM   #9
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Believe it or not, you have gained valuable experience with tides, currents, weather, navigation, docking, etc with your small boat. A little time with a capt to help with docking will help.
Bottom line is there are things you got away with in a small boat that will cause damage or injury with the bigger boat (like fending off a seawall by hand).
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:46 PM   #10
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Just. Do. It. My first (current) and only boat is 42' DeFever aft cabin trawler. I think the displacement is something like 20 tons. I took a few trips with my uncle who has more experience than me (I'm still pretty young @ 35 years old and didnt grow up boating). It's been about a year. I'm able to pull into my slip without rubbing against either side of my slip about 75% of the time. And I'm always single handing. I'm not trying to brag, just telling you it's entirely doable as long as you take it slow and be easy on yourself.
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Old 12-31-2017, 03:08 PM   #11
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We went from a 25' Albin to a 32' Ennos Sapphire and are now in a 42' Nordic Tug. As has been mentioned, the biggest challenge generally is docking or undocking.
It has been my experience that the larger the vessel, the easier the docking. Larger boats tend to track straighter and stay where you put them (more or less). Everything happens slower (if you let it) and winds and currents usually have less impact while you are maneuvering.
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Old 12-31-2017, 03:37 PM   #12
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Spend some time on other people's boats. I have a 100 ton Masters License and had never run a vessel over 40'. Got an offer to 2nd captain an 80' boat out of NJ for the weekend (owner was looking for a new captain). Sure. After a walk through of the engine room, helm, and an introduction to the crew, we loaded 25 customers. The owner handed me the keys and said the helm was mine. Nothing like learning a new boat with 30 people watching. The weekend went fine. Docking the twin screw steel hull was actually a lot easier than I had expected. Received an offer and declined it. I don't like those kind of surprises from an employer.

The take away is that the fundamentals are the same; take your time until you're comfortable; assess situations such as docking carefully before attempting them. Lastly, remember that you can always hire a captain for a few days, to help you learn a new boat.

I bought my last trawler first; it's cheaper that way.

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Old 12-31-2017, 04:37 PM   #13
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Thanks for the great input, just what I need to hear. I'm 48 years old, not quite old enough to retire, but I'm enthusiastically heading in that direction with intense focus. My wife is ready to sell our house and move onto a boat tomorrow, I just want to be able to cast off and explore for weeks at a time. and until recently, I assumed that any boat, big enough to be comfortable for an extended stay, was simply out of my price range. So many great possibilities, such awesome problems to have.



GFC

Where is Mt Pleasant?? What waters do you boat on? That info might help with providing some info to you about boats to consider.

Mt. Pleasant is just across the harbor from Charleston, SC. The most consistent issue here is probably a strong tidal surge . We get a good 6 foot swing on average.
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Old 12-31-2017, 04:48 PM   #14
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I have had 23 boats, having said that if you can afford a big boat first, go for it. You will be wasting money and more importantly time if you buy a smaller learner boat. Even if you have to hire or ask for help learning to handle the big boat, it will be worth it. Go out on calm days first to learn how to maneuver the boat successfully. Then go out on not as nice days to learn how to handle it in worse conditions. Have fun.
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:03 PM   #15
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We went from sea kayaks to the 30' boat we have now.

All the time tippy-toeing to the edge and back repeatedly pondering over everything that might go wrong is time wasted.

Have a dream? Grab it!

TOHO! (Today Only Happens Once)
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:19 PM   #16
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Craig: This thread is right up my alley! I have owned several C Dorys and as many on the C Brats forum can attest to, I moved up very quickly to a bigger boat (I'm not proud of that! I did it the wrong way...)

My last C Dory was a 25 cruiser. It was very capable and actually a great mini trawler. Many folks here will say that it's NOT a trawler...But to me a trawler means many different things to many people. Anyway, the 25 C Dory is definitely capable of long distance coastal cruising and at a fraction of the cost of bigger boats. There are several Brats (C Brats website forum members) who have done the Great Loop and some long range runs from the PNW past BC and beyond.

However my initial reason for getting into trailerable trawlers was to TRAILER. Lol. No surprise there right?? Well, I found out over the course of two years that I didn't like trailering. I came to that conclusion from many factors but for me it was something that I didn't want to do anymore.

You brought up a good point about the tow vehicle. That IS a major expense and consideration for sure. Most bigger trailerable trawlers (C Dory 25, TomCat 255, RangerTug 27+, Rosborough 246, etc...) will require a 3/4 ton or bigger sized pickup truck. Can you get away with a smaller rig for shorter distances? Sometimes, yes. But usually a bigger rig is needed. So that definitely is an added expense, especially in my case because I didn't own a big tow vehicle (and didn't want to, lol).

But one of my biggest reasons was ease of use. I realized that I'd get much more use out of keeping my boat at a marina vs trailering. I love having my new slip and I'm trending towards the liveaboard lifestyle in 2019. It's so easy to just get up and drive to the marina. Easy. Done. But I know that many folks don't live close to the water so that is another pro/con question for why they trailer.

The other big factor for me was that damn 3 foot itis. My 25 C Dory was pretty roomy and very well designed for a 25 footer with an 8'6 beam but I felt that it was just a tad too cramped for my future plans. So after that I started looking at boats in the 28 foot to low 30's range. I didn't wanna make the jump to high 30 footers or low 40' just yet (although my liveaboard aspirations will probably lead me there in a few years). I'm glad that I found my Camano 31! I feel that it's the perfect stepping stone from a 25' to the next range. Not too big and overwhelming but also not too cramped. I love the interior space! I also looked at the Albin 30 aft cabin, Eastern 35 and some other downeast designs. There's actually a LOT of options for "trawlers" in the low 30 foot range....Do your homework.

Well sir, I don't wanna get too long winded because I know that many other more experienced TrawlerForum guys will add their valued input. In closing I would say go a bit bigger than what you think you need! 3 foot itis is very REAL and VERY expensive! If you move up quickly in size like I did then you'll be wasting a good amount on sales tax and other items. On the other hand, many folks keep their trailerable trawlers for a long time and would never even consider a "big" boat. Sorry! Lol
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:21 PM   #17
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:38 PM   #18
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It all depends on ones ability some can some cant some never will .Its up to you to decide where you fit in
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:50 PM   #19
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I just bought a 40ft DeFever DownEast model and it has twin Perkins diesel and my wife and I are going to leave around June to head to the Bahamas for couple months and this is our first Trawler but not our first boat but I donít see much difference
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYTraveler View Post
For me it was a series of steps. My interest in boats has always been based on fishing, so a succession of larger / nicer trailer boats served me well for a long time, but it got to the point that to take it to the next level, I needed the range and stability that trailer boats were not able to handle. From there, it was a succession of slipped boats. At that stage of my life, the needs of my family needed to be taken into consideration, to the upgrades were primarily motivated by my desire to have a boat that was as inviting to them as possible, while also equipped to give me full long range fishing capabilities. Every step of the way, I have expected that each boat was the last I would ever need. The others I grew out of quickly, but this one may be it as the only thing that bigger would get me is more staterooms (not necessarily a good thing).
What he said! (Almost exactly.)
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