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Old 11-18-2015, 12:11 PM   #21
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Stunning... simply stunning! I envy you.

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Old 11-23-2015, 12:17 AM   #22
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Congratulations, see you out there on the water soon. We are always hanging around Blake Island.
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Old 11-23-2015, 02:06 PM   #23
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2007 Mariner/Helmsman 38

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Originally Posted by aginglawyer View Post
My new Helmsman 38 Pilothouse was loaded on board its transport last week in China and is now en route to its new home on Bainbridge Island, Washington. After semi-customizing the boat with Scott Helker the builder and watching its construction via photos provided from the factory, we can almost smell the sea air as it comes in through the center windshield opening window. We are ready. And excited.
This is our sixth boat, having come to the Helmsman by way of a Catalina 30 sailboat, a 28 foot Bayliner that would take you anywhere but had problems bringing you home, a small Arima runabout and then two Ranger Tugs, a 25SC and a 29. With all of our time traveling and boating, we decided on a smaller house and a larger boat.
The decision to go with the Helmsman was easy once we became familiar with the boat. We were not aware of the Helmsman but then two of our friends own the same boat and we got such rave reviews from them and enjoyed their boats so much, we decided to more carefully look at the Helmsman. The experience of working with Scott on getting this boat has been excellent so far and we are hoping for a long relationship.
Our initial inclinations were to go with a Nordic Tug 38 or an American Tug 395, both excellent boats. We looked at these both very carefully and saw many used Nordics. The Nordics certainly hold their value as used boats and were quite expensive for 10-12 year old boats. The American Tug is an excellent boat but got a bit pricey for us. There has been talk of a larger Ranger Tug but so far, after a few years of talk, there is no boat on the horizon and I think we have outgrown Ranger Tugs and want a more substantial boat.
When we saw the completed Helmsman, however, there was really no comparison in terms of the finish and the value of the boats. The Helmsmans are definitely built by incredible craftsmen who take great pride in the work they do and it shows in the fit and finish and in the quality joinery with the well-matched woods inside the boat. Equally important to us has been the large amount of the inside space that is usable in the 38PH. With no side decks around the salon, the entire beam is available inside so the interior is vast compared to the other boats we looked at. Our friends have had about 20 people on board at the dock with no issues of space. While some might think that having no outside decks is a problem for docking, we don't see that issue. My wife takes a line off the boat from the swim step on arrival and secures the stern and then I had her the line for the bow from the helm door so we haven't used the side deck anyhow. The convenience of two helm doors is not to be underestimated here.
The components of the engine and drive train, the gauges and the controls also met our needs for quality reliable products and the custom electronics for navigation will be installed after arrival in the US. The value for dollar is part of what made our decision.
We plan to spend most of the summer on the boat so we have looked carefully at what we had previously. The Ranger Tug 29 fits a lot of stuff into a small space and a 10' beam but it was not enough space for our 3 week adventure last summer from the Seattle area to the Broughtons, a nearly 700 mile round trip. We hope to do a similar trip this summer but in six or eight weeks instead of three. Our boat will be used throughout the inside waters of the Northwest and may make a run up to Alaska if the spirit moves us.
This will be a new experience for us in another way: speed. In our Ranger Tug 29, we regularly cruised along at about 14-16 knots. In the Helmsman, we are more likely to be in the 7-9 knot range. In preparation for this change, we spent part of last summer just wandering around in our Ranger Tug at 8 knots and found it was actually pretty nice -- we had less worry about logs and deadheads, saw more of the surroundings and had a much more relaxed hold on the helm. We don't think this will be a difficult adjustment.
The boat will be docked about 2 minutes' walk from our front door. So, with a smaller house, the boat then becomes our guest quarters when we have company and an extension of our home at other times.
Now comes the hard part: we have to come up with a name for the boat. I have some I like and my wife has some she likes; it's just that the lists don't quite line up.
In the meantime, I will continue a log on commissioning this new boat and will be happy to answer any questions any may have. I suspect we are all going to be seeing a lot more Helmsmans around.
Any suggestions on breaking in the new boat will be most appreciated. The engine is a Cummins QSB6.7 380HP. I can provide more specs if anyone wishes.
Now then, back to the list of names.

Allan and Yvonne (with Admiral Fergus, the Westie)
We sold our last sailboat, a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 35 and bought a 2007 Mariner 37/Helmsman 38 PH from Waterline Boats. Our boat only had 430 hours on the QSB 5.9, 380 HP.

We did some upgrades, specifically, installed a NextGen 3.5 KW diesel genset in aft end of the salon lazarette. Good place for it. I also replaced 3 original wet cell 8D house batteries with 4 AGM Golf Cart batteries, and installed 3 custom made swim step "staples".

I ordered the genset directly from the mfr. and saved a bundle. With regard to the "Staples", they have added a great safety factor when docking and boarding our dinghy. The manufacturer is absolutely top notch and does most of the SS work for Westport Yachts. His company is Tanner Manufacturing in Ferndale, WA.

I have posted pictures on "E-Boat Cards", and if you haven't signed up for that free application and its companion: "Active Captain", I highly recommend you do. Those 2 applications are free and available for both IOS and Android systems. They also allow direct contact between members. If you do join, send me a "friend request". Our boat is named "TINKA". I would be very pleased to share info with you on our boat, and perhaps see you out in the Islands we share. You are also welcome to contact me at: sharpseadog@gmail.com. Congratulation of your selection of the Helmsman 38 PH. It represents an incredible value, and the quality is truly impressive. Also, Scott treated us very well.
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Old 11-25-2015, 11:37 AM   #24
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Congratulations on your purchase. We look forward to following your journey and sharing thoughts on similar boats.

John T.
Helmsman 38PH - Under Constrution
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Old 11-25-2015, 11:45 AM   #25
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What are the pros and cons of a Helmsman vs the similar design North Pacific? I have been on both and see little material difference.
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Old 11-25-2015, 11:55 AM   #26
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Well, as of this moment, the biggest difference that I can see is that the North Pacific web site is down and the Helmsman site is up and running smoothly.
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Old 11-25-2015, 02:28 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
What are the pros and cons of a Helmsman vs the similar design North Pacific? I have been on both and see little material difference.
There are some fundamental differences.

For one,and an important one, the beam on the Helmsman is 13'9" while the NP is 12'7". This is really important because all of that extra 14 inches is in the cabin. The Helmsman is 7,000 lbs heavier which some would see as a good thing for stability while others might see more fuel use. I go for stability.

Much of the fit and finish appears similar but you have to make a personal decision as to the layout of the boats. I much prefer the Helmsman (obviously) for a well thought-out interior with a full second head and shower.

It is a personal choice but there is more space on the Helmsman but you have to see them both. I also really like the swept back helm windows on the Helmsman compared to the raked forward on the NP. Again, personal preferences.

allan
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Old 11-25-2015, 02:59 PM   #28
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Great information; thanks. I think the staples are a great idea. I had rails on my Ranger Tug swim step and hadn't thought about them for the Helmsman. I will have to get them; they make the boarding and disembarking from the dinghy much safer. We will look for Tinka on the water.

Allan
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Old 11-25-2015, 04:35 PM   #29
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Staples and Gen Set

Quote:
Originally Posted by aginglawyer View Post
Great information; thanks. I think the staples are a great idea. I had rails on my Ranger Tug swim step and hadn't thought about them for the Helmsman. I will have to get them; they make the boarding and disembarking from the dinghy much safer. We will look for Tinka on the water.

Allan
Allan,
I will attempt to attach pix of my staples and gen set install. When I told Scott Helker about NextGen, he was very interested. My unit cost me less than $6K delivered, plus about $1k for installation.

Paul

PS: FYI, last time I spoke with Scott I asked him what he thought this boat would cost if it were built in the U.S. Given the incredible interior wood work, I don't think he exaggerated at all when he said about $1M. The amount of skilled labor in all that joinery would be cost prohibitive.
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Old 11-25-2015, 06:36 PM   #30
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Comparison

Allan, your assessment between NP and Helmsman is spot on. Beam size plays such an important part of interior space on any boat. Displacement really comes into play when the seas come up and your are looking for a smoother ride. I would only add that anyone looking for a boat in this size and price range spend some time crawling around the engine room and under decks, take photos and measurements on the different boats then sit down with a nice glass of wine or cup of coffee and compare. Add up the facts and make your own decision.

John T.
Nordhavn 4050, 4061, 3522 - Former Owners
Helmsman 38PH - Under construction
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Old 11-29-2015, 03:10 PM   #31
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Arrived!!!

The new Helmsman 38 PH arrived yesterday lifted from aboard the Cosco Oceania from Shanghai via Long Beach, CA.


I had to get up at 4am to get to the dealer's --Scott Helker, Waterline Boats, Seattle -- office to go to the tow boat at Elliot Bay and then to the terminal. We had a whole gang on board include Lisa, Scott's wife and Vice President. One of the dealer's staff went aboard the Oceania to take off the shrink wrap and inspect the boat and then supervise its delivery. When he was done, we picked him up ashore and then the boat was lowered into the water on a sling and we attached the tow line after the dealer was put aboard. The unloading of the boat was fascinating and a tribute to the longshoremen who were careful and thorough. We towed the boat away -- all of this in fog -- and then rafted to the new boat and transferred 4 five-gallon containers of Diesel; I also then boarded my new boat. The battery terminals needed to be connected and -- ta da! -- it started right up.

The tow was disconnected and off we went, now followed by the tow boat, just in case.

I took the helm part of the time and we then made for the locks to get into Lake Union where more fuel was added and then we took the boat to the dealer's docks where the boat will now be fully commissioned and further cleaned and tested and inspected. This will include all the electronics and canvas and then a full review of all systems.

My wife Yvonne came over from Bainbridge Island as a walk on on the ferry and then a cab and she went aboard and expressed full approval.

The leather is perfect and we love the colors and the joinery with its seven coats of hand-rubbed varnish is really unbelievable. We were prepared to move aboard for a couple of days.

This is our sixth boat, third new one, and I have never had as good an experience with the whole process. Scott and Lisa are going to be best friends of all of their customers!


When we return from traveling we will have a day or so of orientation on the boat and its systems.


As we arrived at the fuel dock, David and Maureen Baker floated by on Destiny (an earlier hull of the same boat and also Ranger Tug alumni) to congratulate us on the new boat!

More to follow as the commissioning and break in occur!
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Old 11-29-2015, 03:59 PM   #32
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Congratulations !!
I saw the picture on Facebook and wondered if that was yours.
Looks fantastic
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:43 PM   #33
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Congratulations!
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Old 11-29-2015, 07:00 PM   #34
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Wow.....great start to a new adventure! Sincere congrats!
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:41 PM   #35
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PH 38 in Rough Conditions

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Welcome aboard! Helmsman boats are indeed a very good value for a new build, and the interior finish work is exceptional. Great looking boat, too. You're going to love it!
https://youtu.be/soCIqmE6wVY
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:20 PM   #36
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Thanks for posting your experience so far Allan. As you know our PH 38 is under construction now. It was started in November and recently came out of the mold and interior construction is underway. I have been receiving regular photo graphs from Scott Helker on the progress. Someone asked construcion time from the order date. Ours will be about 6 months including a month in Seattle for electronics installation and commissioning. Maybe a little more.

We are moving up in size as well from a Ranger Tug 31 with the fly bridge. Our reasons are much the same as Allans and we considered the same alternatives: Nordic Tug, American Tug and North Pacific. The Helmsman offer much higher quality fit and finish in our opinion and a significantly better value than the two Tug options. We were persuaded by current Helmsman owner comments that the quality and reliability of the Helmsman will not disappoint us. I would add that our experience in dealing with Scott Helker the Helmsman importer has been excellent. His follow up and communications have been outstanding and I am impressed with his integrity.

We live in Edmonds, WA on the Puget Sound and after cruising these waters for the last 5 years I believe anyone considering a boat in the 30 to 45 foot range should evaluate the Helmsman offerings.
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Old 12-06-2015, 02:09 PM   #37
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Seattle Boat Show

[QUOTE=lashobe;393190]Thanks for posting your experience so far Allan. As you know our PH 38 is under construction now. It was started in November and recently came out of the mold and interior construction is underway. I have been receiving regular photo graphs from Scott Helker on the progress. Someone asked construcion time from the order date. Ours will be about 6 months including a month in Seattle for electronics installation and commissioning. Maybe a little more.

We are planning to fly up and spend one day at the show. Will you be attending? Would be great for owners to get together.

John T.
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Old 12-06-2015, 02:55 PM   #38
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I do plan to attend. Likely in the 2/1-3 period. Hope we can meet.
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Old 12-20-2015, 07:08 PM   #39
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You can find me on e-boat cards and Active Captain/Companion by searching for "TINKA". If you haven't checked those free aps out, I highly recommend them.
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