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Old 06-16-2014, 11:30 AM   #1
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Question Might be trawler, still confused about the term. Need input!

Hi! Brand new here. Husband and I are pretty interested in a 1996 Norstar 301.
It runs on twin Volvo KAMD-42 with pretty low hours. It has a nice little 15 hp kicker for trolling. This boat seems almost perfect for us: three kids, we love to fish & explore. Anything I need to look out for with this boat? We will have it surveyed. Thanks for your input!
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:38 AM   #2
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Don't worry about it. If the boat's performance, accommodations, and condition meets your needs, go for it. You aren't buying a marketing label, are you?
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:41 AM   #3
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Nope. Just buying a boat. A much bigger boat than what we currently own. Newbie jitters - we want to make a great choice!
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:39 PM   #4
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The Volvo K series engines are interesting. They have both a mechanically driven supercharger and an exhaust driven turbocharger.

The supercharger provides more torque at moderate speeds to let the boat get up on plane quickly. After the rpms rise, the turbo charger takes off.

Some owners have problems with the clutch (electric I think) that controls the supercharger. So watch for that.

And I would definitely get an engine surveyor, particularly one who knows the quirks of this engine.

I think I found the listing on Yachtoworld. It is the Norstar 301, the hardtop, no flybridge model, right?

I did notice in the listing for its sister, the 302 flybridge model that it said that the turbos have been refurbished. This isn't a plus. It is a big red flag. The most prevalent reason for turbo failure is that the exhaust system was badly designed which allows seawater to back up into the turbo and possibly beyond.

Your boat probably has the engine installed the same way so the red flag is there for that one as well.

The exhaust dry riser (the part before the water injection elbow) must rise (measured at the elbow's lowest spill over point) at least 12" above the water line to be reasonably safe from this happening. On some boats this is relatively easy to fix. But on some it is a bitch and might even require an elevated engine box to get enough clearance.

Ask your engine surveyor to check the exhaust geometry. If he doesn't know what this means, get another surveyor.

David
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:51 PM   #5
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Hi David,
Thank you so much for your informational reply. Yes - it is the 301 without the flybridge. Here are the specs:
Twin Volvo KAMD42 - 230 hp low hour (2680) turbocharged inboard diesels with Twin Disc MG-5010 transmissions and dripless shaft seals; Engine monitoring and alarm system; 3-blade NIBRAL cupped propellers; Stainless shafts; Cast bronze struts and rudders; Hydraulic-assisted steering; Mechanical controls; Trolling valve (1); Heat exchanger engine cooling system with fiberglass muffler; Diesel-fired hydronic furnace; Large capacity inverter / three-stage battery charger with automatic relay; Stereo / CD player w/ four speakers. Estimated 360 miles cruising range at 20 knots w/ 10% reserve.
I will search for the sistership as well. It's a local boat with a local owner. It 'seems' well cared for and the price can't be beat for the size etc. We haven't formalized our decision and will definitely have the engine surveyed as well. Would also love your input on other boats of this size that can meet our requirements, think: 3 kids (ages 8, 11, 13) we all love to fish, may cruise up the inside passage to AK a few times. Comfort, and great fish deck a huge bonus. Galley size and head size not a biggie, pilothouse a must for our Washington weather.
Thank you!
~Erinn
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:25 PM   #6
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Make sure you check on parts and service for the Volco engine in your area. Also make sure you have the engines survey and also the turbos.
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:48 PM   #7
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With two adults and three kids, you might think about a bigger boat. The Mainship Pilot 34 being currently discussed on the forum (and look at my avatar) would give you 5 sleeping places: two in the V berth for the adults, one in the lower cabin's dinette and one each on the upper cabin's settees.

That boat won't go as fast as the Norstar, but it will cruise at 14-15 kts with the single Yanmar 370.

You can find them in the low to very low $100s. The hardtop is a better choice than the soft top IMO.

Also you may find something in the 34-36' Bayliners that will work. Or maybe an Albin. These will all be flybridges but most have a lower steering station.

I assume from your interest in the Norstar that you want to be able to cruise fast. If you can slow down to 7 kts or so, the choices open up considerably but like the Bayliner these will mostly be flybridge models. Don't discount the flybridge in the PNW. Marin and others will tell you there are lots of summer days when it is nice to have one.

David
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:06 PM   #8
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Hi David,
We love the Albin's, pretty to hard to find in good condition out here. Our budget is around 80-90k. We don't need to cruise super fast, but comfort and ease/access for fishing off the bow and the stern a big plus. Open to lots of input! Ideally: comfort, quality, big decks with walk-around. Something we can take up to AK eventually.
Thanks!
Erinn
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:26 PM   #9
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I'm not a Norstar expert, but have something to add in that type of boat.

The Norstar, at least the two I've been on are the caddilac of that size boat in terms of fit and finish. Very nicely put together boats.

As far as the engines, I'd second the getting an expert involved, but my concern is based oon the hours. 2600 hours isnt allot for the slow turning engines in a trawler, but it can be quite a few for a high HP to displacement engine which the engines appear to be. Just because its a diesel does not mean it'll last forever, and a new set of engines in a boat that size represent a significant percentage of the boats value.

In the same size range, IE approx 30' there are several choices. Some in the same price range, some less money but just as functional.

Another choice is the Osprey 30 long cabin. This is a fantastic boat as well.

The 2859 Bayliner is also a great boat, with a very loyal following. I've had two of this model boat and cannot say enough good things about the design. My last boat was a 2859 and sold with a almost new under warranty mercruiser 375 HP 496 cu in engine for the high 40's, leaving allot of money on the table for other things.
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