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Old 10-09-2019, 08:09 PM   #1
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Loop Boat

The “Loop boat!”

After discovering the loop, and as an Englishman (Now a proud American) and being dumb with disbelief that such a thing could even exist, I spent a good 3 minutes thinking about it before deciding it had to be done. (Currently sail a 26 ft Hunter)

Like many people in our situation, we started looking at boats WAY too big. Even in my most recent searches, I still find myself drifting into the 42-45 ft range. A part of me still says, a year is a long time on a boat!

What we would like, is a single engine, raised pilot house, flybridge trawler, preferably full width salon. Selene, Helmsman, Nordhavn, Independence, etc.
But, as raw novices I’m thinking a far more sensible “Start” would be in the 36-39 ft range, Monk 36, Mainship 390, Heritage East 36, Pacific seacraft 38, Maybe even a Mainship 430, if the boat and price were right, but once again you see me “drifting” Up..

For this more sensible start, we want to stay in the $150-$200K range.
With our general thinking now being, start small, but not too small.
We even looked at the Ranger 29 tugs but were disappointed with the quality, lack of storage, and price.

My questions, to you who all have much more experience than us, are..

1: Are there gaping holes in our thinking here?
2: If we can afford it, should we be looking at boats in the $300K range, for any reason?
3: Again, if we could find a screaming deal on say a Mainship 430, close to what we would spend on a 390, does economy and simplicity still make the 390 the better Looper?
4: Can anyone suggest any other boats in that $200K- 39ft- range that we should consider?

We don’t want:
Unnecessary speed, complication, or anything.
We do want:
Good salon and galley, rear deck (Even if over a cabin) Flybridge, decent walk around, pilothouse door/s would prefer 2 staterooms, even if one is sparse.
2 heads are great but not a deal breaker. (As are twin screws if economical)

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
The Bolton Wanderer.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:15 PM   #2
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For a loop boat, keep both draft and air draft in mind, as both will have an impact on where you can or must go at certain points on the trip.

As far as the boat, I wouldn't necessarily limit yourself to only slow boats. Some of the somewhat faster options are still very economical to run at low speeds (with the option of going faster if desired), so they could work well if they otherwise meet your needs. And it can provide some options for shallower draft boats or different layouts. The only downside is once you get away from trawlers, a good lower helm starts to become more rare.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:20 PM   #3
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In my opinion you are going down the right path. I am biased of course but if you could see your way down to <43 feet you might look at the Nordic Tugs. I plan to do the loop in a couple of years but I plan to spend time ashore in hotels and with friends so I think we will be fine in our 32/34 foot NT. I have had much larger boats up to 58 feet and really have fallen in love with the simplicity and easy handling of the layout. It has a true pilot house and plenty of storage. If we have guests the saloon pull out is ok for a night or two but a hotel is even better! Bow thruster and port and starboard doors makes docking easy. On the loop there are many spots with current so docking a larger boat presents a bigger challenge.
Keep us updated with your plans!
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:04 PM   #4
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Rslifkin
thanks for the reply. you are correct of course. The Ocean Alexander 426 looks good, and i fell in love with a OA 45 but was thrown off by the huge fuel consumption. Having looked at some Carvers and Navigators at the Seattle boat show a couple of weeks ago, we decided the poor walk round, and dare i say "Ritzy" feel of the boats left us feeling like Trawlers and tugs are our gig.
Food for thought though as you make sense.
Cheers, C.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:09 PM   #5
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Ready, same..
We were very interested in a Nordic 42, but have started to feel that they seem overpriced, when compared to other boats. having said that, they obviously hold their money. we went aboard one in Seattle. Nicely built boat, but cramped feeling for a 42.
Still like them, but we love the added exterior room of a flybridge.
Raised pilot house is fantastic though, which is why our dream boat would be Raised pilot house, flybridge, full width salon, single engine..
The Helmsman 38E is fantastic from all those requirements, but are hard to come by below $400K and only have one stateroom..
Cheers,
C.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:14 PM   #6
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This new phase in my life is so exciting to me.
I have been a sport and racing sailor all my life but are now very excited to be venturing into MV.
Sailors (boaters) are good people!!

C.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:26 PM   #7
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At 200k I don’t think you’re going to have difficulty finding a boat that checks most of those boxes. You could find a fine Krogen 42 for that number. economical, huge interior and big back deck, raised pilothouse, decent draft and the option to go outside for blue water crossings if you wanted to.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:49 PM   #8
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Larry, i like what i hear.
We also went aboard a KK 42 in Seattle, very nice boat and great layout.
If i was to be picky i would say the only thing it lacked is the Flybridge.

I may be making too big a deal of this, but i see having all that extra exterior space and extra helm as being very valuable on the loop.

Not sure if the KK42 is available with the FB, but they aren't cheap either way.

All good stuff.

Who was it said "I'll take one of each!"
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:10 PM   #9
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Welcome aboard. We have a 41’ sundeck trawler. It has 2 cabins, 2 heads, flybridge, sundeck that is like an outdoor room but no lower helm. We didn’t want a lower helm as it takes up valuable interior room. We put a hardtop on the flybridge so it is dry. However it isn’t air conditioned. We had 2 priorities when we were looking, 1 no vertical ladders due to my wife's 5 shoulder surgeries and an 85 pound Lab that boats with us, 2 no builtin furniture due to both of us having back issues. Try sitting on builtin furniture for 2 to 3 hours to watch a movie or read a book, most people when looking at a boat don’t sit down for any period of time and imagine how comfortable/uncomfortable the seating is.

For doing the loop, I would almost consider our 41’ boat a bit small for a year living aboard. Some people do it in a 25’ and say it is fine, I don’t think that we would be happy. We cruise at about 8.5 knots which is close to 10 mph. 10 mph makes the navigation calculations simple. We try to do about 5 to 6 hours a day. We ran our boat home 1400 miles, 75 locks and 45 days when we bought it. Certainly did not miss a lower helm. We did add a stern thruster the next year since my wife handles the bow lines and I drive and handle the stern lines along with Radar our Lab. Radar has to be first so by the time I get down from the bridge and past Radar the stern usually had blown off the dock or away from the lock wall. Now with the wireless remote I can just nudge the stern back to the dock.

Good luck with your search and enjoy.
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clivepc View Post
Larry, i like what i hear.
We also went aboard a KK 42 in Seattle, very nice boat and great layout.
If i was to be picky i would say the only thing it lacked is the Flybridge.

I may be making too big a deal of this, but i see having all that extra exterior space and extra helm as being very valuable on the loop.

Not sure if the KK42 is available with the FB, but they aren't cheap either way.

All good stuff.

Who was it said "I'll take one of each!"
You should stick to the flybridge, it's like a large outdoor covered living area. On both boats I've spent time there even when not underway. The view and visibility are all much better up top.
If you're ever going to be single handedly cruising you'll probably enjoy having the lower helm and galley on the same level. The pilot house is cool though.
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:48 AM   #11
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For just a loop , you dont require a roomaran, just a comfortable easy to handle boat.

On this board the advertised

1975 Gulfstar 36 MrkII Trawler

would seem ideal , at about 1/10 the bigger boat cost.


And with no "teak deck" hassles.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:27 AM   #12
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For the helm options, if you don't need the ability to heat / AC your helm and you're fine with just canvas to keep the sun / rain off you, something like what I've got for a helm is an option.

I call it the 50/50 helm. As in, somewhere between a flybridge and a raised pilothouse. It's got deck space immediately aft of it like a large flybridge, but it's not up as high, so more stable / comfortable. It's up high enough to have good visibility. And it's got real windshields with wipers (more like a pilothouse), not the typical flybridge plastic flaps or open front.

Depending on the conditions you travel in, a helm layout like that (not typical for a trawler, but more common for some other boats) can work well. But if you want to run a lot in bad or cold weather, it's not much better than a flybridge.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clivepc View Post
Like many people in our situation, we started looking at boats WAY too big. Even in my most recent searches, I still find myself drifting into the 42-45 ft range. A part of me still says, a year is a long time on a boat!

3: Again, if we could find a screaming deal on say a Mainship 430, close to what we would spend on a 390, does economy and simplicity still make the 390 the better Looper?
4: Can anyone suggest any other boats in that $200K- 39ft- range that we should consider?

I suspect you'll find a 42-45' boat will feel "large" for about 2 weeks.

We shopped on all those Mainship models for several years, unfortunately (for us) most of that was when the models were just introduced, too new for our wallet. That said, and as much as we liked the 350/390 as a very logical successor to our previous 34 Mk III... if we could afford it, we would always have selected a 430 instead, better (for us) in every way. And we liked the 400 better than the 350/390, too. In fact, the 430 was my first choice on our short list, the 400 was my second choice, and the boat we bought was my Admiral's first choice.

Given that you can drive faster boats slow and "cheap" (in the grand scheme of things boat), you might also look at some of the aft-cabin motor yachts and cockpit motor yachts in your budget range. That would additionally give you some speed options to get through weather or uncomfortable sea states.

We did not actually do much of our shopping by brand first. First we listed our own requirements, wanna have, nice to have, etc... an example I remembered a few days ago:
1) Big dogs need shore trips when we're anchored, therefore we need a dinghy. And a way to carry it. (And a way to propel it.) And a swim platform to load/offload big dogs. And a transom door. And a cockpit.
Another one was about stairs, no ladders... hence our interest in the various Mainship models.

-Chris
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:29 AM   #14
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I’ve never seen a Krogen 42 without a FB. In 4 years of full time cruising with our 42 we’ve used the FB a half a dozen times. The PH is just too comfortable
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:28 AM   #15
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Did the Loop in my 45' Cherubini (avatar). No need for a flybridge with 2 pilothouse doors that open. As already mentioned, need to keep the airdraft under 19' (15' let's you go everywhere) and ideally less than a 5' draft. Here is the Hans Christian version of my boat that would make a nice Looper.

https://breweryacht.com/boat/1991/ha...dence-45/2638/

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Old 10-10-2019, 01:22 PM   #16
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Dave, thanks for the input.
I like what you are saying, and we MAY be taking our 40 pound dog on the trip. Frankly though, i get what you are saying about losing space with the lower helm, but i'd almost give up the flybridge rather than the lower helm. a good salon is important to us, but my thinking is a good rear deck and then a flybridge gives us plenty of other areas to "be"
I hear you on the built in furniture. the first thing we will likely do (My wife being an interior decorator) is replace all the furniture. A clean well maintained boat with a shabby interior would be great.
Cheers C.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:30 PM   #17
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When the boat has built in furniture it isn’t easy to replace it. It may be that if you remove the built in furniture the boat builder may not have finished the area behind and below the built in furniture. With loose furniture it is easy to change or update the furniture. The one downside to loose furniture is that it can move in heavy seas. What we do with our recliners is put an area carpet with a thick pile under the recliners. Under the area carpet we out a non skid pad. We have had this boat in 6’ or larger waves and they have not moved. Another way is to put some pad eyes and temporarily strap the furniture down if you are going to be in large waves. Typically we try not to go out in that conditions.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:36 PM   #18
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Chris, your comments on fast yachts make sense. we liked the Carver and Navigators but started migrating to smaller boats for fuel and mooring costs, plus general maintenance fees, and the lack of pilot house doors on smaller yachts just feel more of a pain than the gains. The 430 keeps coming back to me as a great option.
Cheers,
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:47 PM   #19
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Ted, that Hans Christian is a very nice vessel, and a decent price and very clean looking.
I really though i would be getting more advice to go small.. I have questions on the AGLCA site and i suspect i'll get the smaller boat advice there. There is no need for a flybridge with the nice RPH like yours.
Hear you on Draft AD. Clearly there is a seat for every arse. Cheers Ted, Clive.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:12 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Clivepc View Post
Having looked at some Carvers and Navigators at the Seattle boat show a couple of weeks ago, we decided the poor walk round, and dare i say "Ritzy" feel of the boats left us feeling like Trawlers and tugs are our gig.
Food for thought though as you make sense.
Cheers, C.

This made me laugh... We have a 42' Navigator and I wouldn't consider her ritzy at all! I am sure some of the newer ones might fit that category...



One of my most favorite things on our boat is wide side decks all the way around for easy line handling. And the great visibility from the pilothouse...and the cockpit for easy boarding for our dog-mate.



Good Luck shopping!!
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