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Old 01-27-2017, 01:39 PM   #1
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Monk 36 or Ocean Alexander 40

I have been looking for a trawler for about six months, with the intention to do the loop later this year. We had pretty much decided on a Monk 36, which is the right size etc, for my wife and myself. There are several for sale at the right price (under $100,00) and we have even looked at a few in the Boston area. Which is the problem. I am in Florida and the boats of interest are about 1000 miles away. Yes, I know I can pay someone to move it and yes, I could do it myself, but both those options are expensive and time consuming. Just FYI - I discussed this with a professional captain and were up to $16,000 before we stopped counting - and that assumed nothing went wrong. On balance, I would rather use that money for repairs or improvements.

On Wednesday I looked at a Ocean Alexander 40 located in Fort Lauderdale. Right price, a little larger than I wanted but designed by Ed Monk, so it looks a LOT like a Monk 36. It also has teak decks and twin engines - both things I had hoped to avoid. So to my question. Does anyone out there know anything about the Ocean Alexander 40's ? Are the teak decks problematic ? Will having twin diesels (Lehmans) mean my fuel consumption is much worse ? Does the extra four feet mean I am going to paying a lot more for slips and maintenance ? Of course the interior and exterior are larger, which is "nice" but not essential. So really what I'm asking is: should I buy a Monk 36 in Massachusetts and deal with the hassle of getting it to Cocoa Beach, or should I buy the Ocean Alexander which I can get to Cocoa Beach with no trouble at all. What would you do and why ? You can assume that I would have a thorough survey done of ANY boat, so let's assume price, condition and age are all essentially the same. I have mixed feelings, so all opinions are welcome.
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Old 01-27-2017, 01:48 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. D. Start your loop in Boston.
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Old 01-27-2017, 01:54 PM   #3
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I have thought about that, but I really wanted to start and finish in Florida. If I start in Boston, we would have to do the Florida - Massachusetts leg at the end. As I want to keep the boat in Florida when I am done, I would still have to turn round at the end and bring the boat back down the ICW. So it's an option, but not my preference. But thanks anyway, it's an obvious solution.
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Old 01-27-2017, 02:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Mr. D. Start your loop in Boston.
X2, My thought exactly. Drive her home the scenic route!
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Old 01-27-2017, 03:27 PM   #5
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After we were out for 6 months or so, the Loop didn't seem that important. We may or may not go back to Lake Erie, which we left 3.5 years ago. The Loop requires a schedule of some kind and we don't do schedules anymore.
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Old 01-27-2017, 03:43 PM   #6
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I've had a single and now have a twin. More maintenance, but it isn't that bad since I do it all at the same time. Fuel consumption would be more, but I like the idea of a spare engine. We were on the Cumberland River and a bolt (more like a plug) broke out of the water pump and caused the engine to run hot. We shut it down and I tried every McGyver trick I could to plug the hole until we go back to the marina to no avail. We ended up just running on the starboard engine, which wouldn't have been possible in my old boat. As for the additional 4 feet, if you can afford a $100k boat, you can swing the minimal difference in marina fees and bottom paint.

If you feel comfortable with the boat close to home, I'd definitely lean that way.
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Old 01-27-2017, 03:44 PM   #7
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What I understand about Monk 36s-- there is almost a cult-like following for these boats. I suspect that will make it easier to sell when finished.

I have an OA 456 and love all the room an amenities. After living on a 43-foot sailboat for quite a while I can tell you that all boats begin to feel small after awhile. I am 6-2 and 215 pounds. To me, the 36 felt smallish. To may way of thinking more boat is more better, everything else being equal.

Two engines are twice the maintenance - - twice the fuel and oil filters and twice the oil. My engines take 15 quarts of oil every 250 hours.

A four-foot longer boat will cost you more in dockage. Figure around the ICW about $2/foot, you will be paying $8 more per night.

Showers are important as well as tankage. Will the admiral be happy with the toilets - electric vs manual vs vacuflush, etc.

My 456 feels more stabile to me than my friends Monk 36, even without engaging the stabilizers, but again, I way considerably more and am about three-foot wider.

Twin engines will probably burn more than single engine. But, as a former sailboater, I will say this again . . . . fuel is the least of your concerns. Fuel will be the least of your expenses. More important, I think is that a single engine will be easier to work around than the twin engines in the Monk. I love our boat and its twin cummins 5.9BTA, 330HP engines. But, because I am normally at hull speed anyway, a single engine would have been enough and a single engine in my engine compartment would have been luxurious. And I have a fairly commodious engine compartment. Perhaps if I had only one genset things would be more comfortable.

I don't see significant build differences between my Monk designed boat and my friends Monk 36.

Teak decks are to me a warning flag. My boat has no exterior teak.

My $.02
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Old 01-27-2017, 05:04 PM   #8
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The ad on Yacht World says it uses 1.7 GPH. Can't get much better than that. Lehman engines are easy to work on and have a good reputation. You will love the better docking with the twins. If you are going to be spending months at a time cruising, having more room would be much better. Only downside is the extra maintenance, but not that big of deal. The survey will tell you if there are issues with the decks. If moorage is $1.00 a foot, that's a extra $4.00 per night.
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Old 01-27-2017, 05:44 PM   #9
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Since you asked, I'd go for the OA.

Heritage - Ocean Alexander
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:41 PM   #10
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We looped on a Monk 36 and full time live aboard for 2 years. Go with the OA.
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Old 01-27-2017, 08:05 PM   #11
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Twin Lehmans have modest fuel consumption, it won`t be an issue. You don`t say what engines are in the Monk 36s. Without getting into the twins vs single debate if you can get a pair of Lehmans in a good boat you will do well. You will have better maneuverability, and redundancy, even reliability, parts are available,and any mechanic can work on them.
As to teak decks,they can be a problem,costly to fix. Common fix is removal of the teak planking, repair of the substrate deck, followed by a layer of fibreglass and paint. If they leak, the fuel tanks can get rusty, especially on top. But the decks can be ok, so careful inspection is good. Look for missing/separated caulk, missing plugs, "cupped" planks, signs of water migrating to the house, internal timber water damage or marking.
Whatever your choice, you should be looking at fuel tanks. Steel can rust and leak, think about access to replace them if needs be, and cost, especially if they are original, or tired looking. If replaced already, that`s a plus.
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Old 01-28-2017, 06:31 PM   #12
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We have been very happy with our 2003 Monk 36, Gumbo. We bought her in 2008 in Annapolis cruised her to Louisiana and have made several cruises along the Gulf. In 2010 down to the Keys, up to Stuart across the Okeechobee and back to LA.
I am not familiar with the Ocean Alexander so can't make any sort of comparison.
I do like the single engine a Cummins 6BT5.9 210 hp. I had a single in my previous boat a Camano 31, and that was a "must have" on my list for her replacement, same for "no teak decks".
Many have done the loop, there are several blogs of loopers in Monks.
The MOA, Monk Owners Association is a strong, active group, the website is a good source of information specific to Monks, I think you are familiar with it, maybe already a member.
In any case good cruising wishes to you whichever you choose!
if you have any specific questions you can Private Message me I'll try to answer.
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:14 PM   #13
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We looked at the Monk 36 before we bought our last boat, an Albin 36. The one drawback for us was when we were sitting in the Monk, we couldn't easily see out the windows. It may have been just the one we were on but it was noticeable.
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:23 AM   #14
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We looped on a Monk 36 and full time live aboard for 2 years. Go with the OA.
That's a curious response, if I may say so ? Did you find the Monk too small or was there something else that would cause you to recommend the OA ?
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:10 AM   #15
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I looked at a Monk 36 before I bought my OA 38. The Monk seemed to be above normal quality from your typical late 80's Taiwan trawler. What pushed me to the OA was the interior space gained with those extra 2', it just seemed to be much roomier.
I had chartered an OA 40, with single Lehman the year before, so they do exist, but I prefer twins.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:33 PM   #16
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Buy the one that you like the best. You won't be happy if you don't. I'm in North Carolina and looking at a trawler in Maine. Buy the one in Massachusetts and we can run south together. Love to chat more if you get serious about the one in Massachusetts.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:59 PM   #17
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Dalesman, the 1987 Monk 36 we owned as commented is tight on interior space in the salon. Ours had a full enclosed fly bridge with wicker love seat, two chairs and a table which gave us room to have guests for drinks, etc.The access to the upper deck where by aft corner cut out steps in the stateroom house sized wrong and dangerous too use, a badly sprained ankle was caused by this design fault. The aft stateroom port side closets need insulating liners on the hull sides as they condense water during cold weather. The 135 hp Perkins enginep only cruise at 6 1/2 knots. The holding tank centerline fwd of the engine is also the only area for a generator positioned over it. The Monk 36 is a very sea worthy hull and has attractive lines but can't compare to the OA 40 floor plan for us.
The size of the owners when chosing a comfortable trawler makes a big difference, if I was 5'3" I'd be cruising a Ranger Tug.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:33 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=BruceK;517768]As to teak decks,they can be a problem,costly to fix. Common fix is removal of the teak planking, repair of the substrate deck, followed by a layer of fibreglass and paint. If they leak, the fuel tanks can get rusty, especially on top. But the decks can be ok, so careful inspection is good. Look for missing/separated caulk, missing plugs, "cupped" planks, signs of water migrating to the house, internal timber water damage or marking. QUOTE]

Dalesman

Pay attention to very relevant issue - old teak decks. Bruce K is spot on.
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