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Old 03-05-2014, 04:05 PM   #1
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New boat

I am recently retired and have owned 2 smaller boats and am looking at something to do in retirement. I am thinking that learning what I need to know about seamanship, navigation, and caring for a boat as a fun retirement project. (As well as cruising of course)
I attended the Seattle boats afloat show and fell in love with the whole trawler concept. We will be cruising the San Juan's, & Canada mostly.
Of course I fell in love with the Selene's and Nordhavn's they are really more boat than I think I need. And damn expensive to boot. (Just when I think I have done pretty well, I see people plunking down a million bucks plus for a boat and wondering where they made their money?)
Anyway, being a novice to larger boats (looking at 40-50ft) I really like the new technology especially the kind that takes away my docking anxiety ie (bow/stern thrusters).
So here's my dilemma, considering my budget of under 400k am I better off trying to find a solid older boat and adding the "new" stuff (meaning electronics and thrusters) or am I better off spending more for a newer boat already equipped with what I want.
Realistically I will probably only own the boat for 5-7yrs. So I don't mind spending a little more for something that would not depreciate too much.
Are there newer boats that are WELL MADE without the huge price tag? Or am I better off just buying a 5 year old Nordy or Selene because they will hold their value better?

Thanks for any input
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:09 PM   #2
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Greetings,
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mralki View Post
So here's my dilemma, considering my budget of under 400k am I better off trying to find a solid older boat and adding the "new" stuff (meaning electronics and thrusters) or am I better off spending more for a newer boat already equipped with what I want.
I would not worry too much about finding a boat with the electronics that you want already in place. Most electronics gear should have a sticker on the back that says, "best if used by date". You can add the electronics gear that you like when it is convenient.

Having at least a bow thruster already in place on a single screw vessel is very nice and should help reduce your docking anxiety. You will find the larger vessels move slowly (lots of mass) so are actually easier to dock than a small vessel that is blown about by the wind.

Good Luck with your boat search!
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:23 PM   #4
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There's plenty of 1st time trawler owners here (me too) that went through the anxiety thing in the beginning, but try to relax about that. It's true that the thrusters do help in docking situations, but these are bonus features and learning to handle your boat shouldn't ever depend on them. Don't worry....you'll get the hang of it. If someone tells you they've never made a fool out of themselves, run aground, or had an "incident", then my advice is not to take advice from them.

I agree....Nordy's and Selenes may be more boat than you need. There's a lot of good boats out there in your budget. Before you plop down the cash for either of these brands, do some more research. There's a few more possibilities that might sway you, Get aboard anything you can. Study Yachtworld. Read the forums. Most of all, have fun dreaming.
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:24 PM   #5
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I would not worry too much about finding a boat with the electronics that you want already in place. Most electronics gear should have a sticker on the back that says, "best if used by date". You can add the electronics gear that you like when it is convenient.

Having at least a bow thruster already in place on a single screw vessel is very nice and should help reduce your docking anxiety. You will find the larger vessels move slowly (lots of mass) so are actually easier to dock than a small vessel that is blown about by the wind.

Good Luck with your boat search!
Welcome!

Scott gives some great advice in the above post. With regards to how much vessel to buy- bigger isn't necessarily better (says the guy on a 52'!)

With your stated experience and goals, I think that something in the 35-45' range might better suit your needs. Look for a vessel that has thrusters installed- the navigation electronics can be added/upgraded after purchase. You may also consider looking for a boat with a diesel furnace, newer canvas, and a decent tender.

Best of all, in these waters, you have an exhaustive choice of vessel types (express, trawlers, convertibles, etc) to choose from, as well as a huge number of manufacturers. I personally love Nordhavns, but am perfectly happy on our semi-displacement PT52. We were also very happy with our Bayliner 4087- probably the best layout of a boat its size.

Whatever you choose, these are wonderful first world choices to be blessed with......
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:28 PM   #6
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Thanks for the help...As a Nordhavn owner, can you tell me why you bought it and do you feel the quality is justified in the price? Also, do you think it might be overkill for the kind of cruising I would be doing? I have fallen in love with a 47 I saw at the boat show...sometimes the peace of mind of having a top quality boat under you is worth it.?
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mralki View Post
Thanks for the help...As a Nordhavn owner, can you tell me why you bought it and do you feel the quality is justified in the price? Also, do you think it might be overkill for the kind of cruising I would be doing? I have fallen in love with a 47 I saw at the boat show...sometimes the peace of mind of having a top quality boat under you is worth it.?
Worth every penny! When you goto something on this boat whether it's running wires adding electronics, or adding mechanical gear, they've already thought it out so it's not a hassle for you. It would be most definitely over kill for what you're doing but then again it's also over kill for what were doing to. But it's nice to be able to know that it could make my dreams come true (South pacific islands, and crossing the Atlantic). Also when you do run into the occasional bad weather it makes you feel a whole lot better being in a "tank" sorta speak. BTW Welcome aboard!!
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mralki View Post
Thanks for the help...As a Nordhavn owner, can you tell me why you bought it and do you feel the quality is justified in the price? Also, do you think it might be overkill for the kind of cruising I would be doing? I have fallen in love with a 47 I saw at the boat show...sometimes the peace of mind of having a top quality boat under you is worth it.?
I'm not a Nordhavn owner, and I know your question was not directed to me, but i have been there...

There are lots of great boats out there that will do what you want to do. Me and my dad did it 35 years ago in a 24 ft sailboat. So don't think that you have to have a Nordhavn to cruise the inside passage. (If N4712 dies and leaves me his boat I wouldn't complain.... ) Lots of very small boats have done it. That being said. If your budget is 400k, you have a massive amount of excellent boats to choose from in the new and used market.
American Tug
Nordic Tug
Kadey Krogen
Ranger tug
Selene

just to name a few.

I know others will chime in with other popular and seaworthy brands

Anyhow, there are PLENTY of boats capable of safely cruising the inside passage that meet your requirement.


At this point in your search 'falling in love' with a boat and buying it is not practical. Find the boat you need, then buy it, then fall in love with it.

Questions, among many, you should consider:
Are you going to be cruising with someone who can help you with handling the boat or are you going to have to do it alone?
How many staterooms do you need?
Do you want a pilothouse or a fly-bridge, or both?
Do you want a tender on davits or a tender on deck?
Are you going to fish off of it?
Do you want canvas?
Do you want galley up of galley down?
Where are you going to spend your time on the boat at anchor? under way?
If you are married, how comfortable will your wife be while under way?


Suggestion

1)Make a list of what features you need on your boat and then add things that you want but dont need on it.

2)Look at boats, find the boat that best fits that list in your price range and buy it.

Good Luck!
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:52 PM   #9
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Greetings,
Mr. mr. There are numerous members who have intimate knowledge of cruising the PNW. I'm not one. I can easily see "fell in love with the whole trawler concept." Your enthusiasm, while understandable does give me cause for concern. Try to keep emotions out of any decision to buy a cruising vessel.
Mr. hh said it best. Do your homework as suggested. Maybe charter a bit.
"...a top quality boat under you is worth it." While all boats are not created equal, maintenance and upkeep are most frequently more important than brand name IMO.
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:54 PM   #10
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Nordhavn's are built to cross oceans. If you don't plan to be doing this, you don't need one of those. I consider the Selene more of a coastal cruiser, cost less than the Nordhavn, but still would probably be over $400,000 unless you look at their smallest model. Have you looked the Nordic Tug, or American Tug? Lots of these in the NW. Both boats built here in Washington. Also, check out the Defever trawlers.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:06 PM   #11
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Interesting post. Welcome aboard. A couple of things cross my mind about this. How long do you realistically envision being aboard and cruising in a year? Chartering could be a better choice if you plan to only have a boat for 5 years or so. You will be able to have everything you most likely would want, not have to maintain, purchase, install and repair yet always have current gear aboard. Then there is moorage, insurance, upkeep, maintainance and a myriad of other things associated with ownership that could actually make owning the vessel a bad economic decision.

That bring said, we decided to buy our boat and immerse ourselves in its upkeep and care as part of what we want to do. We began by doing a bareboat charter class for 3 days in the San Juans. If gave us a good overview of vessel operations and some navigation instruction. Coast Guard Auxillary and Power Squadron classes on seamanship to navigation and a multitude of other topics are available too, as I am sure you are aware.

Keep us posted on your decisions and adventures. I hope to send you out and about as we cruise.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mralki View Post
As a Nordhavn owner, can you tell me why you bought it and do you feel the quality is justified in the price? Also, do you think it might be overkill for the kind of cruising I would be doing? I have fallen in love with a 47 I saw at the boat show...sometimes the peace of mind of having a top quality boat under you is worth it.?
Pete's advice about chartering is very good. I chartered a lot of different boats and learned a lot about what I liked and did not like about different types and brands of boats. I bought a Nordhavn because it was the best built, most capable vessel I could find (and I have plans to venture out into the Aluetian Islands). I spent several years shopping for a Kadey Krogen 48 and eventually realized that they were just as expensive as a Nordhavn. The KK's are even more seaworthy, but are not built or engineered quite as well as a Nordy.

Oliver hit the nail on the head with his remark about how well thought out the vessel is. Every time I have to work on anything on the boat, I am continually impressed at how much thought and engineering went into the boat's systems and design. The downside, as you pointed out, is that they are insanely expensive.

I would suggest you charter a DeFever, Nordic Tug, Selene, etc. You will find things you love (and a few things you hate) on each boat. If you're not venturing out across oceans, you may not need a full displacement trawler.

Good Luck,
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:50 PM   #13
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Welcome aboard Mralki... you're experiencing much the same questions as the rest of is did some time back. BLIGH offered up a nice checklist that you can add to depending on your specific druthers. I did this same thing a couple of years ago - made my list and went from there - and I adjusted it a couple of times also. I recommend taking the Captain's course - you don't have to go through the USCG licensing process, but just having the knowledge from the course is a good start to a new boater. For each boater recommending an older boat, there'll be the same suggesting a newer boat. My choice is the newer boat - my neighbor has a 53foot '78 Hatteras and he has a mountain of maintenance to deal with but it's a beautiful boat. The next post will probably say go for the older boat... Good luck with your search, and please post pictures of the candidates..
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:00 PM   #14
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As it has been said. " the boat will pick you"

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Old 03-06-2014, 12:00 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mralki View Post
I am recently retired and have owned 2 smaller boats and am looking at something to do in retirement. I am thinking that learning what I need to know about seamanship, navigation, and caring for a boat as a fun retirement project. (As well as cruising of course)
I attended the Seattle boats afloat show and fell in love with the whole trawler concept. We will be cruising the San Juan's, & Canada mostly.
Of course I fell in love with the Selene's and Nordhavn's they are really more boat than I think I need. And damn expensive to boot. (Just when I think I have done pretty well, I see people plunking down a million bucks plus for a boat and wondering where they made their money?)
Anyway, being a novice to larger boats (looking at 40-50ft) I really like the new technology especially the kind that takes away my docking anxiety ie (bow/stern thrusters).
So here's my dilemma, considering my budget of under 400k am I better off trying to find a solid older boat and adding the "new" stuff (meaning electronics and thrusters) or am I better off spending more for a newer boat already equipped with what I want.
Realistically I will probably only own the boat for 5-7yrs. So I don't mind spending a little more for something that would not depreciate too much.
Are there newer boats that are WELL MADE without the huge price tag? Or am I better off just buying a 5 year old Nordy or Selene because they will hold their value better?

Thanks for any input
Big Welcome Aboard to You!

Much good guidance has been posted to assist your search. Best Luck!

If I might add: Please, don't prepare yourself for a financial let down in the future. see bold sentence in your post above. Boats depreciate, that's a fact! New boats depreciate faster in their beginning years than new cars. Not too old, or fairly old boats seem to slow in their speed of depreciation (good models / good builds / in good condition - that is). If you're lucky and get a sweet $$$ deal on a great boat then its depreciation might be lessened. However, don't be surprised if when you go to sell that the boat's depreciation went deeper than you'd anticipated. Pleasure Boaters are a fickle market... Majority of us need our boats not; while wanting our boats to the highest degree. Only thing more fickle than boaters in general is the price of boats. That market's value levels can change in a flash - due to many, many, conflicting reasons.

Otherwise - Get It ON!!! And, Have a Great Time Doing That!

Happy Boating Daze! - Art
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:05 AM   #16
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Try to find a new model that has been used in boat shows. They're pampered, well-equipped and with a few dozen hours on the engines they're already broken-in. You could find a good deal.

Talk to Trevor Brice of NPY, they make a 28' a 38' a 39' a 43' and I understand they're working on a 52'

Good luck

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Old 03-06-2014, 05:39 AM   #17
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After a while , if you work at it, the skill set required to dock a boat is easily acquired.

Hire a boat driver for a morning to show you how.

No need for $50,000 to $100,000 extra , and all the repair and short lived problems with Pod drives.

Retirement should be for FUN , not as a cash cow for a variety of boat fixers , many of dubious skills.

A simple single engine boat of about 40 ft will take you wherever you wish (but NOT across blue water, no ocean crossing) and require the least amount of labor to maintain.

In todays market NEW is only for suckers , unless the boat is very special , 100Knot cruise or?

A US boat (no rotten decks or pilot house) that is older will have the best round trip, purchase , outfit to your stds and then sell.

Use the boat S IS for a year of cruising , before deciding to change anything.

Fancy electric gadgets are not a substitute for basic knowledge and understanding , start with Chapmans .

Welcome aboard.
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