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Old 01-21-2019, 08:56 PM   #1
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Migrating from a sailboat to a motor yacht or trawler. Much confusion.

Greetings all-

ó I wrote a long post but buried the main question which is this: is there a boat thatís practical to sail the great loop with (bridge clearance 15í) but that can also sail Seattle to Homer AK in the summers? AND can be moved from Miami to San Diego or Seattle cost effectively? Seems a Panama Canal transit and great loop bridge clearance is a combination with nearly no solutions.

For many years I had a sailboat. Loved that boat. When I sold it, though, I vowed ďnever againĒ. Yet here I am, once again considering a serious boat purchaseó but not immediate. It took me 3-4 years to buy the right sailboat and when I saw it I knew it was right (and at that point I had near memorized every 30 foot used sailboat on the market nationwide.)

I bought the right boat- a 30 foot S2 9.2C. I was glad to sell her because I ended up doing most of my sailing (racing) on otherís boats. She was a bit to unwieldy for me to single hand and my SO was not enthusiastic (bought the boat before we met.)

Now Iím retired, divorced and have the proper time a mistress, er, boat demands.

Anyway, I have decided I want a boat for two things: 1. I want to do the great loop. Plan to sail around Florida area for 6 months or so to get familiar, then do the great loop.

2. I want to start cruising from Seattle to Alaska every spring/summer after doing the great loop. (All previous boating experience was in PNW)

Maybe in winters Iíll go as far south as Mexico or Central America, depending on the boat.

Now Iíve spent a couple weeks trying to find a good cruising motor boat. Loopers have recommended aft cabins like the Bayliner 4788 ó but that era seems to be over and no such animals exist. Mid cabins with IPS drives seem to be closest.

Iím looking for something I can single hand and dock totally by myself. I donít have dedicated crew. I also want 2 heads and 2 cabins at least and a separate shower in the master.

Kinda liking boats based on the IPS system from Volvo.

Yes I know this is a trawler forum, and Iím not sure I want a trawler. Hope thatís ok.

I do want something that can practically do 20-30 knots for extended crossings in coastal regions- to escape weather or minimize pilot fatigue. This is my main concern about pure displacement.

I have money and can afford to spend it, particularly when it comes to safety and it just means burning 3 gallons per mile.

To that end Iím looking for boats built in the last ten years and since Iíll probably buy in 2022 (or when the next financial crisis hits and people are bailing out of, rather than buying boats.)

Coastal sailing I have a good handle on but havenít done any serious passagemaking. My longest day ever was an epic 90 miles and I hired a captain to help out. When it comes to motor boats, though itís a whole different ballgame.

Any suggestions if educational courses for power boaters I should take? I have coastal nav down pretty good, but handling sea and basic power boating.

Hereís some of the boats Iím infatuated with, trawlers first:
Kady Krogan
Benneteau Swift
Prestige 460-560
Nordic Tugs - love the tug look
Cruisers Cantius 45-50í
Benneteau Gran Tourismo
Nordhavn 43

Catamarans! Love them, hate heeling.
Aspen C105-C150 a C120 has done the Panama Canal and a non-refueled circumnavigation of Vancouver Island.
Aquila 44
Maybe Aquila 36- be fun great loop boat then sell and move to PNW. Or maybe small enough to truck to west coast... but Alaska worthy?

Thanks for your thoughts. This is just a brain dump. Iíd love to find out that shipping a boat between coasts is cheap and easy. (Eg cheaper and faster and easier than a solo Panama canal transit.)
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:04 PM   #2
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I should add, my budget is flexible but Iím targeting boats that sell today for around $1M-$1.5M, assuming that in 2023 the 2019 built boat will have lost %30 of itís value or more.

A better approach might be to buy something small in the $100k range sooner and spend time on it then trade up. Thatís why Iím looking at the Jeanneau NC1095 and open to a small cost effective trawler or tug.

Outboards seem to be a whole lot cheaper than inboards and I like them better anyway from a maintenance standpoint.

But the small rugs/trawlers seem to be unusually expensive. Mainly because they come from small makers and are in high demand. (This is why Iím looking at conglomerate built boats- they can afford to iterate faster and give a better value because mold costs donít dominate as much.). Thatís economics of the industry, and we have the evil luxury tax that killed the American boat industry to thank.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:54 PM   #3
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is there a boat thatís practical to sail the great loop with (bridge clearance 15í) but that can also sail Seattle to Homer AK in the summers? AND can be moved from Miami to San Diego or Seattle cost effectively? Seems a Panama Canal transit and great loop bridge clearance is a combination with nearly no solutions.
A boat that can do both the loop and cruise the West Coast is fairly easy. You want a boat that can be moved cost effectively? Then you are looking at a small boat, which does not seem to be what you have in mind based on your list below. However given your price range, assuming you are only planning to move the boat once, I think you could afford to move a boat that is not really "cost effective" to move, so I would not worry much about that requirement.

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Hereís some of the boats Iím infatuated with, trawlers first:
Kady Krogan
Benneteau Swift
Prestige 460-560
Nordic Tugs - love the tug look
Cruisers Cantius 45-50í
Benneteau Gran Tourismo
Nordhavn 43

Catamarans! Love them, hate heeling.
Aspen C105-C150 a C120 has done the Panama Canal and a non-refueled circumnavigation of Vancouver Island.
Aquila 44
Maybe Aquila 36- be fun great loop boat then sell and move to PNW. Or maybe small enough to truck to west coast... but Alaska worthy?
Given your desire for speed and a fair amount of open ocean use, I would seriously consider a convertible like a Viking or an Egg Harbor.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:19 AM   #4
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I would seriously consider a convertible like a Viking or an Egg Harbor.

Thanks. Hadnít heard of those brands. Will check them out.
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:59 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum!
The Great Loop is a wonderful trip. If it's likely you will only do it once, buy a boat suited to do it, do it, and then sell it. The cost of moving a boat from the East coast to the West coast would likely be significantly more than the what you will lose buying and selling a Great Loop boat. When I did the Loop in 2017, this seemed to be a pretty common practice with maybe 20 to 30% of the Loopers I met, doing it.

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Old 01-22-2019, 07:25 AM   #6
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Seems a Panama Canal transit and great loop bridge clearance is a combination with nearly no solutions.

???

Can't be that hard; I suspect any of the largest boats that can do the Great Loop (19' max bridge clearance somewhere near Chicago, I think) would be OK for the Canal transit and west coast travel. Maybe more limited to kindly weather windows, until up near the PNW, but still...

The AGLCA site probably has boatloads of info about which boats have done the Loop, and there are several boats mentioned here. Pick one.

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Old 01-22-2019, 03:10 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum!
The Great Loop is a wonderful trip. If it's likely you will only do it once, buy a boat suited to do it, do it, and then sell it. The cost of moving a boat from the East coast to the West coast would likely be significantly more than the what you will lose buying and selling a Great Loop boat. When I did the Loop in 2017, this seemed to be a pretty common practice with maybe 20 to 30% of the Loopers I met, doing it.

Ted

I have no idea if Iíll do it more than once. Iím going into semi-retirement so I have lots of time. It seems Florida and the Caribbean have lots of great cruising, and also Alaska too. I know I want to do both and the great loop.

But for the great loop maybe I should just buy a Macgregor 26X. Do the loop with the mast down in powerboat mode. Then trailer it wherever to do light sailing for a few years. See if I really want to spend more time in Florida or Alaska and then sell it and buy a ďreal boatĒ.

I wonít lose any meaningful money in a Macgregor. And I can trailer it myself between coasts. I was thinking bridge clearance, but this is a boat where you can easily drop the mast. Just not sure about the being able to make a 300 mile distance between fuel. May have to put a diesel outboard in it.

Youíve done the loop- Iím imagining itís mostly a lot calmer than puget sound and that the worst of the Great Lakes (in good weather, I will stay in port during bad weather) is not worse than bad weather on puget sound.)

The Macgregor isnít... luxurious.... but should be ok for me with some fixing up.

What boat did you do the loop in?
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:25 PM   #8
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But for the great loop maybe I should just buy a Macgregor 26X. Do the loop with the mast down in powerboat mode. Then trailer it wherever to do light sailing for a few years. See if I really want to spend more time in Florida or Alaska and then sell it and buy a ďreal boatĒ.
Given that plan, I would buy a Ranger Tug or similar.
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:23 PM   #9
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So, let me summarize:

You want a comfortable newish boat that will go 20+ kts when you want to, be shippable from coast to coast and costs about $1 MM today. I note that your comments about owning an S2 9.2C, hopefully a joking comment about doing the loop in a Macgregor 26 and interest in outboard powered boats all makes me wonder about your financial capabilities.

But let's take your $1+MM budget at face value. Almost none of the boats in your list meet those criteria, either because they are too slow or too difficult to ship coast to coast. Any boat with a flybridge has to have it removed to truck any distance. You could ship by boat but that is a pain to schedule and everyone that I am aware of like the company that used to be Dockwise, ships from Ensenada to Miami as US maritime regulations don't allow US port to US port shipments by foreign flagged boats. And they aren't cheap at $30-50,000 per trip (but maybe that isn't a problem).

So that leaves downeaster and downeaster style boats like MJMs and Sabres. Both MJMs and Sabres have twin engines at that size. Here is an almost new MJM 40 at the top of your price range:https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/201...neast-3485522/. There are lots of Sabres for less, both 42s and 48s.

Bespoke downeasters are typically singles and here is a gorgeous one that is new and reasonably priced: https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/201...sedan-3178723/.

So what did I miss: speed, comfort, shipability, price?

David
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:16 PM   #10
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Migrating from a sailboat to a motor yacht or trawler. Much confusion.

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So, let me summarize:
Ultimately I want a boat good for Seattle to Homer cruising in the summer. Before doing that more serious cruising, I plan to spend some time in Florida and eventually do the great loop.

I attempted to remove money from the equation. A boat costing $1M now will be $500k in 5-6 years, even less in an economic crisis.

I brought it up only because itís usually a critical factor for most people and it isnít as much if one for me. That said, Iíd rather spend the same amount on a better boat than one that is built by a fancy name or has fancy woodwork. I see a team deck and I just see it as wasted money. Give me plastic with awlgrip.

I just read an article about a guy who this year kayaked from Montana to the Gulf of Mexico. I donít think a Macgregor 26 is going to be roughing it too much, and it would sold the transportation issue.

Most boats that seem ocean rated (Eg capable of transiting the Panama Canal) are also too big for the great loop. A Nautulus 650 looks like a fantastic boat. I could afford to buy it in a few years. Itís ocean A rated. It would be fine in the Panama Canal and in Alaskan waters. No need to ship it, just take it thru the Canal... maybe eventually sound South America. But thatís too big, too much boat and too luxurious for me. Plus would require crew.

Iím just looking for info in boat transport and whether there is something thatís both capable of a Panama crossing and yet low enough for the great loop (15í bridge clearance.)

In theory one could take a very small boat thru the Panama Canal, but thatís a level of risk Iím not looking for. (Not the Canal so much as the offshore crossings to and from it.)
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:26 PM   #11
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Given that plan, I would buy a Ranger Tug or similar.

Ranger Tugs are kinda nice. I like you can get one with an outboard. One of the challenges is almost all the reasonable sized boats (and even too many big boats) are designed for weekend use at longest. With the Macgregor, which is also even less equipped than a ranger, I would equip it with a fridge, freezer, heater, electrical system etc... and I could do that without tearing a lot of stuff out. With a ranger Iíd have to tear a bunch of stuff out to replace it to achieve months at a time livability.
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:31 PM   #12
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But let's take your $1+MM budget at face value. Almost none of the boats in your list meet those criteria, either because they are too slow or too difficult to ship coast to coast. Any boat with a flybridge has to have it removed to truck any distance.
Did you look at my list? None of them have fly bridges though some come in versions with flybridges. A fly ridge wonít fit under the bridge clearances in the great loop. All of the ones on the list are fast enough, only the Krogan I think wonít do 20 knots.

At the start of this thread I had no idea of shipping costs and thatís exactly why I created the thread.



ďSo that leaves downeaster and downeaster style boats like MJMs and Sabres.
So what did I miss: speed, comfort, shipability, price?Ē

Iíll check out MJM and Sabreís. Downeasters do fit the bridge clearance, much like express cruisers. But are they trailerable? Or do you think they are appropriate for a Panama crossing?
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:36 PM   #13
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OK, now I am really confused. So anything from a Macgregor 26 to a Nautilus 650 meets your requirements .


Seriously, read Boat Search 101 here: Boat Search 101, and think about what is really important. Maybe break your search into an immediate boat for the loop, then one for the PNW, BC and Alaska and finally one that combines the best of all.


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Old 01-22-2019, 06:51 PM   #14
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As an aside on Ranger Tugs, I took my 31 Ranger Tug sedan to Alaska in 2017. 3 months onboard, guests about half the time I put an Engel freezer in the lazarette, in addition to the two small built-in refers.

No issues!!
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:09 PM   #15
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I have no idea if Iíll do it more than once. Iím going into semi-retirement so I have lots of time. It seems Florida and the Caribbean have lots of great cruising, and also Alaska too. I know I want to do both and the great loop.

But for the great loop maybe I should just buy a Macgregor 26X. Do the loop with the mast down in powerboat mode. Then trailer it wherever to do light sailing for a few years. See if I really want to spend more time in Florida or Alaska and then sell it and buy a ďreal boatĒ.

I wonít lose any meaningful money in a Macgregor. And I can trailer it myself between coasts. I was thinking bridge clearance, but this is a boat where you can easily drop the mast. Just not sure about the being able to make a 300 mile distance between fuel. May have to put a diesel outboard in it.

Youíve done the loop- Iím imagining itís mostly a lot calmer than puget sound and that the worst of the Great Lakes (in good weather, I will stay in port during bad weather) is not worse than bad weather on puget sound.)

The Macgregor isnít... luxurious.... but should be ok for me with some fixing up.

What boat did you do the loop in?
I did the Loop in the boat you see in my avatar, a Cherubini 45.

You could certainly do it in a Macgregor, it's been done in much smaller. Don't underestimate the conditions that can develop on the Great Lakes. Also, you will be crossing the Northeast corner of the Gulf of Mexico (80 miles minimum) of open water.


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Old 01-22-2019, 07:13 PM   #16
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OK, now I am really confused. So anything from a Macgregor 26 to a Nautilus 650 meets your requirements .


Seriously, read Boat Search 101 here: Boat Search 101, and think about what is really important. Maybe break your search into an immediate boat for the loop, then one for the PNW, BC and Alaska and finally one that combines the best of all.


David
Totally agree.....

Reformed-sailor, your wants are all over the place. I might argue to sharpen the pencil and get what works for the occasion.

Can't comment on the Alaskan trips and NW stuff, as it's not in my agenda, but for the loop, you can do VERY well with a nice trawler in the 35 to 45 ft range and spend anywhere from 200K to 2MM, but there's a TON of choices in the less that 700K range.

I could argue strongly to NOT convert a sailboat to a temporary power boat for the loop. Just too many negatives to mention, and very few positives.

Do the loop, sell you loop boat and get your NW/Alaska boat for that part of your life.

If you're planning to do the loop again, just keep your loop boat somewhere for your future looping, and perhaps get someone to use it to keep it exercised. There's plenty of good folks that would do it. And get your Alaska boat separated for your Alaska stuff. If you're spending north of 1.5MM you can certainly afford that.

Food for thought.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:19 PM   #17
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Migrating from a sailboat to a motor yacht or trawler. Much confusion.

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Maybe break your search into an immediate boat for the loop, then one for the PNW, BC and Alaska and finally one that combines the best of all.
Literally this is what I was suggesting the Macgregor for, and you used it as an excuse to dishonestly characterize me.


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OK, now I am really confused. So anything from a Macgregor 26 to a Nautilus 650 meets your requirements .
I guess discussing different possibilities is too much for you to handle.

Whatever, youíre not trying to help, so I donít care to hear from you further. Bye!
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:43 PM   #18
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Migrating from a sailboat to a motor yacht or trawler. Much confusion.

Duplicate
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:45 PM   #19
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I see where this is going!
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:58 PM   #20
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I did the Loop in the boat you see in my avatar, a Cherubini 45.

You could certainly do it in a Macgregor, it's been done in much smaller. Don't underestimate the conditions that can develop on the Great Lakes. Also, you will be crossing the Northeast corner of the Gulf of Mexico (80 miles minimum) of open water.


Ted


Good points... the thinking though with the Macgregor is that 80 miles is 2 hours at 40 knots, so you could pick your weather and go fast.... though Iíve only seen it in powerboat mode on lakes. Hmm.

Unfortunately a whole lot of boat makers on the smaller dude got wiped out in the past several decades, and the boats that used to be made that were prime targets for members of this forum to buy 15-20 years ago, are now 40 years old, and the companies are long gone.

Not just the luxury tax of the 1980s, but the Great Recession took a bunch of them out too. I canít seem to go buy a new Cherubini pilothouse. Newest I found was 2003. (For financing reasons Iím looking for 15 year old boats or younger.)

The market has moved on too. Loopers seem to recommend the aft cabins that donít seem to be made by anybody. The Bayliner 4788 became the Meridian 5xx and Meridian stopped making them and now makes an express cruiser like whatís several on my initial list- though they seem to have flybridges.

Hence me looking at the Swift Trawler and Prestige series- both by the same parent company, both semidisplacement.
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