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Old 07-31-2011, 07:01 AM   #1
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A little help for a boat purchase please….

In 4 years we plan on liquidating home and business and circumnavigate, slowly, taking 5 to 10 years. Ive had my eye on a 55 Nordhavn for several years now.


In the mean time we want to purchase something next May/June to get us out in the water. We will dock it between Charleston and Hilton Head, same 4 hour drive to both places for us. We plan on this as a learning experience, cruising the southeast, Bahamas and possibly the Caribbean. We would be able to get to the boat several weekends a month and several multi-week getaways a year.


Our budget for now would be around 250K, MOST of the time it will just be the two of us.


Things that are important to us:


Comfort (AC, comfort cruising, stabilized, noise level)


Duel cockpits (interior and fly bridge)


Ease of line handling (good side decks, no tugs)


Pilothouse (not a deal breaker)


On YW I find the following interesting: Grand Banks (older classics Teak decks-YUCK), Mainships, DeFever, Ocean Alexanders.


What am I missing?


Thank You for your time and experience..


Mark
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:28 AM   #2
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A little help for a boat purchase please….

Grand Banks (older classics Teak decks-YUCK), Mainships, DeFever, Ocean Alexanders.

What am I missing?

Nothing , The Nordy will work OK for distance or ocean cruising , the others may not be suitable for blue water passagemaking.

The ocean boat will be far different from the coastal cruisers , fewer created , very different scantlings , compromises (like tankage) will be toward ocean work not toward mere interior volume.

*

Almost every on board system will have choices made for simplicity , repairability , and perhaps redundancy.* The WOW! factor is seldom a choice for blue water equippment.

*

Just one example , the coastal boat can get by just fine with a $100 macerator , and repair , replace it as needed everey few months. The offshore cruiser might have an Obendorfer , close to $1000, but built for decades of service , and repairable , should that be needed.

*

This comparison , quality vs cost can be done on everything from engine / tranny choice to the anchor windlas or even shaft sizing.Offshore IS different.


-- Edited by FF on Sunday 31st of July 2011 07:35:55 AM
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:51 AM   #3
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

What FF said.

Also don't discount some of the other Taiwanese tubs - Cheoy Lee, CHB for example - as learning boats - obviously not ocean crossers.* Agree your concerns for line handling vis side decks - also look for good stout cleats, particularly midship cleats.

OPINION ALERT: under 50 feet a pilothouse just takes up usable space.* 50 feet and over a pilothouse becomes a living space and centre of activity.* Lots (300+ gallons) of water storage is important in any liveaboard if you want to spend extended time away from the dock.

*

*
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:02 AM   #4
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A little help for a boat purchase please….

The only offshore cruise on the learning boat would be Charleston to Nassau, with a good weather window.
A lot of anchoring out to see if this is the life for us.
I am not looking now for a blue water boat. Well make that decision in several years, but it is our ultimate goal
Thanks again.
Mark


-- Edited by RetSurfer on Sunday 31st of July 2011 08:02:30 AM
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Old 07-31-2011, 12:40 PM   #5
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

Look for a single engine trawler.* All other things equal, it will cost less to buy and cost less to operate.* There will be more space in the engine room so that you can learn about all of the systems involved in boat operation.* Critical to self sufficiency.* You be miles ahead when you switch from the trawler to the Nordhavn as you will not have to unlearn twin engine operation and start over with the single.* You can take some of the money you save and put a bow thruster in the trawler.* But, the guys I envy most have great single engine skills and no thruster.*

Side decks are a great help at the start and you can look at Krogens if you later decide you can't get along without them.* I can't.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:02 PM   #6
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

Quote:
bobofthenorth wrote:
OPINION ALERT: under 50 feet a pilothouse just takes up usable space.*

*
*OPTION ALERT ACKNOWLEDGED***:* The pilothouse on our 37 footer*is:* "Used" as a pilothouse, a centre of navigation activity, and a place to flop down with a good book (allowing separate space with other boat "users".
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:24 PM   #7
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

Quote:
Penny Lane wrote:
Look for a single engine trawler.*

Side decks are a great help at the start and you can look at Krogens if you later decide you can't get along without them.* I can't.
Thank you for that good advice!


The N55 only has the starboard side open. Can't remember what they call it but it should work. For now though I will be spending most of my time in the southeast and the Bahamas so I need to pay attention to the draft. 5 feet max I suppose...

I've been on KK several times at the 3 Trawlerfest's I've*attended and like them along with Nordhavn's. Thank god I don't have to make that decision now...



I took two courses at Chapmen's already and the first boat we took out was a single engine with no thruster so I know that can be done.


Mark
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:57 PM   #8
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

Quote:
Penny Lane wrote:
Look for a single engine trawler.* All other things equal, it will cost less to buy and cost less to operate.* There will be more space in the engine room so that you can learn about all of the systems involved in boat operation.* Critical to self sufficiency.* You be miles ahead when you switch from the trawler to the Nordhavn as you will not have to unlearn twin engine operation and start over with the single.* You can take some of the money you save and put a bow thruster in the trawler.* But, the guys I envy most have great single engine skills and no thruster.*

Side decks are a great help at the start and you can look at Krogens if you later decide you can't get along without them.* I can't.
*When we purchased our single screw 34' boat, everyone would say "Single screw, eh?" and lift an eyebrow.* We soon found out that many powerboaters support the myth of twins being a requirement, since you have redundancy and they are more maneuverable.* Many told us we should immediately install a bow thruster.* The person we ended up learning a tremendous amount from told us in the midst of all this that a single-screw boater can go places most of the twins can't get into, IF (BIG IF) they really learn how to handle their boat and spring lines.

As an aside, he said if you put anything on the boat, you'd want a stern thruster.* You won't have any problem getting the bow where you want it, it's the stern that's a challenge cause she'll back down like a sail boat.

After owning that boat for several years, he was absolutely right, although we never got to test the "stern thruster" theory

Jim
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:46 PM   #9
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

I agree with everything except the stern thruster.
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:27 PM   #10
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

Turn the rudder full stop either way, give it a goose and you have a stern thruster, free!
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:10 PM   #11
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A little help for a boat purchase please….

Quote:
Steve wrote:
Turn the rudder full stop either way, give it a goose and you have a stern thruster, free!
Steve W
*Absolutely, Steve.* On my single screw which backs to starboard, I lock the wheel to*starboard when backing.* With the torque of the Cat it backs markedly to starboad.* A quick burst in forward will straighen and even steer the stern to port.* By over correcting a little it can usually slide right into the slip.* Piece of cake..

There are two advantages to a bow thruster to mention.* They are great*for moving the bow over to a piling for an easy reach to get a loop over a piling.* Also, with a little judicious use of rudder and throttle, you can move the boat side ways with a bow thruster.* It is a neat trick.*


-- Edited by Moonstruck on Sunday 31st of July 2011 08:47:55 PM
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:47 PM   #12
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

I've concluded that every boater ought to own and learn to operate a single screw, large boat at least once in their life. Learning to handle our Monk has taught me more about piloting a vessel than any other boat I've owned or operated. Once you learn how to get one to go in a straight line in reverse you can pretty much do anything.
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:48 AM   #13
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

Quote:
Moonstruck wrote:Steve wrote:
Turn the rudder full stop either way, give it a goose and you have a stern thruster, free!
Steve W
*Absolutely, Steve.* On my single screw which backs to starboard, I lock the wheel to*starboard when backing.* With the torque of the Cat it backs markedly to starboad.* A quick burst in forward will straighen and even steer the stern to port.* By over correcting a little it can usually slide right into the slip.* Piece of cake..

There are two advantages to a bow thruster to mention.* They are great*for moving the bow over to a piling for an easy reach to get a loop over a piling.* Also, with a little judicious use of rudder and throttle, you can move the boat side ways with a bow thruster.* It is a neat trick.*



-- Edited by Moonstruck on Sunday 31st of July 2011 08:47:55 PM

*While it's been awhile I can still distinctly recall times on the Piscataqua River (6+knts current) where I didn't really have time to go stop to stop and goose
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:13 AM   #14
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

Quote:
Woodsong wrote:
I've concluded that every boater ought to own and learn to operate a single screw, large boat at least once in their life. Learning to handle our Monk has taught me more about piloting a vessel than any other boat I've owned or operated. Once you learn how to get one to go in a straight line in reverse you can pretty much do anything.
********* Agree totally with Tony,* It is not always the easiest but it is not hard either.

********* JohnP
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:03 AM   #15
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

Quote:
Lobstah wrote:
*While it's been awhile I can still distinctly recall times on the Piscataqua River (6+knts current) where I didn't really have time to go stop to stop and goose

*It would be difficult indeed to back a single screw perpendicular to*a 6 knot current.* A strong piling with the use of spring lines could do it.* One marina that comes to mind is Cannonsport at Palm Beach Shores-----nasty tidal current that can catch you unaware.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:21 AM   #16
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

Quote:
Steve wrote:
Turn the rudder full stop either way, give it a goose and you have a stern thruster, free!
Steve W
*Having a boat with a considerable amount of windage prompts one to learn the value of the occasional "goose". *My Krogen Manatee will nearly spin in its own length. *So far, I haven't found the urgent moment that stern thrusters were built for, but if I had one on the boat, knowing myself, my lazy behind would probably use it.

**My boat is only a '36, but the pilothouse is definitely a spacy place to hang out. *RetSurfer....if you're headed for a Nordhavn eventually, I'd be looking at a 40 Willard or perhaps a Krogen 42 as a trainer. *Both are great blue-water boats that may even make you change your mind. *Krogen 39's are a more bucks, but still under a Nordhavn 40 and exceptional designs. *My two cents.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:25 AM   #17
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

Re backing,

On Willy (backs to stbd) I put the rudder to port and back rather fast. The Willard has a rather large rudder and w some stern way the rudder overcomes the prop walk and Willy backs quite straight. I push off the stern and engage reverse when it's about 2 to 2.5' away from the float. Give it about 1500 to 1800rpm and reduce to 1000 when a walking pace is achieved. At 1000rpm the prop walk is so small the rudder overcomes it and the boat goes straight. I can go straight back into the opposite slip of a wide fairway. With a bit more speed it may work w a regular trawler. May need to push the stern out more to start also.
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:37 PM   #18
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A little help for a boat purchase please….

Quote:
RetSurfer wrote:
*
In 4 years we plan on liquidating home and business and circumnavigate, slowly, taking 5 to 10 years. Ive had my eye on a 55 Nordhavn for several years now.
*In the mean time we want to purchase something next May/June to get us out in the water.
*If your decision is to buy the N55 in the not-too-distant future and if you have the funds to do so now, then I would recommend buying it now.* The difference between the typical 36' boat and the N55 is 19 feet.* Why bother with screwing around with a boat that isn't what you actually want?* I don't know how much boating experience you have now, but if you have enough to buy a 36-42 foot cruiser now, you have enough to get a 55 foot boat.

I remember way back in the late 1960s talking to a United Airlines captain about the new 747 he flew.* Not being a pilot yet myself, I knew nothing about flying planes.* I asked him* if the 747, being so huge, was a handful to fly.* He said, no, and that in fact the bigger a plane is the easier it is to fly.

I have heard the same sentiment about boats, or at least aobut sailboats.* A popular saying was, "If you can sail an El Toro you can sail anything."* (If you don't know, an El Toro is a tiny, pram-type sailing dinghy.

So why waste your time, effort, and money on a boat that isn't what you really want?* If it was me and I really wanted a Nordhavn (which fortunately I don't) I'd get the Nordhavn.* You can "learn" as effectively with it as with a "learner" boat.

Now if one has virtually no boating experience but wants to get a cruising boat in the 36 to whatever size, the notion of getting a smaller boat to learn the basics in can have some value.* Say a 16-25 footer, IF-- a big if--- the smaller boat will still be enjoyable to them and allow them to do to a degree the kind of boating they want to do.

But a person who's decided to jump in with a 36-42 or whatever-foot cruiser right off and then a few years later get the 55 foot boat they really want, I say get the boat you really want right off and don't bother with the slighly smaller "learner" boat.

As to some of the other comments that were made, single engine and twin engine both have their advantages and disadvantages.* Many Nordhavns have a get-home engine with its own shaft and prop (see photo).* So this gives you the "what do I do when I have to shut down the main engine" solution.

Until we bought our GB all the boats we'd run had been singles, including the GB we chartered before buying our own.* Having now had thirteen years experience running a twin we would never go back to a single.*

I have no objection to having one engine other than when you have to shut it down and come home on the end of a very expensive rope.* It's rare but it happens.* From our own experience I believe anything one can do with a twin in terms of maneuvering one can do with a single--- the techniques are sometimes different but the end results are the same.* The engine room space with a single is a nice advantage.* The reduced service, maintenance, and repair costs with one engine are a bonus but not enough in my mind to offset the advantages (to us) of having two engines.*

But the decision will be different for every boater and will depend on their priorities, the type of boat they want (some aren't available as twins and some aren't available as singles), and, to some extent, the kind of boating they want to do.* There is no overall right or wrong answer when it comes to how many engines a boat should have.* There will be a right answer for each individual boater, but what one boater feels is right for him is irrelevant to what another boater wants (or needs).*

Actually, what you will find is that the people with single-engine boats will tell you that's the only way to go and you're a fool if you get a twin while the people with twins will tell you that's the only way to go and you're a fool to get a single.* That alone should tell you that both configuration work and work well for the people who have decided it's the configuration they want.* So get the number of engines that you feel will best meet all your requirements and ignore all the "get this, get that" opinions.

Pilothouses.* The statement that they are useless under 50 feet is ridiculous.* The original Nordic Tug, the little 26-footer, is a pilothouse boat as are all the Nordic Tug models that came after.* A pilthouse is, in our opinion, the absolute best configuration for a cruising boat regardless of the size.* Even the little, trailerable (sort of) Ranger Tug is a pilothouse boat.* Pilothouses work no matter what the size of the boat.

By elevating the helm station it gives you the visual advantage of a flying bridge (which I happen to feel is a bad place to run a boat from) but by being inside the boat you are aware of the sounds and smells coming from the engine room or other boat systems.* We avoided a boat fire by being at the lower helm station and smelling the hot electrical smell coming from the instrument console, something we would never have detected from the flying bridge until we saw the flames.* A pilothouse also give you instant deck access should you be needed outside in a hurry during a docking or whatever.

A pilothouse separates the helm station from the aft main cabin which in a number of situations can be very advantageous.* And, while this is a totally subjective opinion, it is the best looking configuration for a cruising boat.* All our favorite production boat designs are pilothouse boats--- Fleming 55, deFever 46, the Krogens, Nordic Tug (the ones without a flying bridge stuck on top), and a few others.

But regardless whether or not you like a pilothouse design, to say it is a bad configuration for a smaller boat is nonsense.

All of the above is strictly my opinion based on my experience and observations.* As such it is worth exactly what you paid for it.* In the end, you should do what your mind and your gut tell you is the right thing to do.* The chances are excellent it will be the right decision.





-- Edited by Marin on Monday 1st of August 2011 12:50:41 PM
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:11 PM   #19
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

WOW! Thank You for your time and advice on that last post, for all the advice each of you has given for that matter.
First off I grew up in Florida and sailed extensively in the Bahamas and Caribbean. Actually, we were leaning towards sail lately until we visited several and decided the comfort of a trawler was the way to go. I would have no second thoughts taking a Nordhavn to circumnavigate.
I cannot pay cash for a N55 at the present time. I have been offered enough for the business now to barely do this, but in three years it will be a no-brainer. Also, I can't imagine having upwards of 2 million sitting 4 hours away and not being on it. 3 more years till ALL kids are gone (6 total). Then were outta here!!!
The N55, in my opinion, would not be the boat for cursing around the southeast and Bahamas. I'm not sure if there are places along the ICW down here to anchor each night on a several day cruise and we don't want to stay in marinas.
Thank You
Mark
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:48 PM   #20
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RE: A little help for a boat purchase please….

Quote:
RetSurfer wrote:
*I'm not sure if there are places along the ICW down here to anchor each night on a several day cruise and we don't want to stay in marinas.
Thank You
Mark
*Mark get Skipper Bob's book on anchorages along the ICW.* Also join Active Captain as many anchorages are rated on their website>

I have owned a single screw trawler with no thrusters* Never had a problem handling it* I have a twenty five foot single screw boat with no thruster* No problem handling it* I have a forty two express with twins and bow thruster* It handles like a sports car* i would have no problem going back to a single screw cruising boat

The Bahamas in an NH55 is doable.* Of course you know there are many shallow spots.* I would prefer a shallower draft boat for that.

Interesting thread.
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