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Old 10-11-2012, 09:23 PM   #1
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New vessel Advice

Hello everyone - We have been surfing the forum for some time now but are making our first post this evening. We're researching possibilities for a vessel and looking for some suggestions to help steer us in the best direction. We're planning to retire in a few years, sell the house, and liveaboard full time. We've done a good bit of reading, gone to several trawlerfests, and spent some times with friends on larger boats. We've developed some thoughts on how we'll use the vessel and certain attributes we'd like to have and would like to hear some suggestions on ships that might fit our needs.

We expect to be mostly coastal cruisers. We have family in the Chesapeake area that we would plan to visit from time to time but would prefer to spend most of our time in the warmer waters off Florida and the Keys. We're both avid divers and would plan to dive from the ship as well. The most ambitious we would ever get would potentially be the Great Loop or possibly the Bahamas.

Some features we're initially considering are...
-Overall theme of simple, reliable, easy to maintain
-Full displacement, slow cruising, efficient on fuel
-39 to 45 ft, ease of handling by two people and possibly one
-Low horsepower, top of the line single engine
-Max of two staterooms (second to be smaller for possible visitors)
-Second head not a hard requirement, single head must have full shower
-Fiberglass with no exterior wood, as low maintenance as possible
-Flybridge helm nice for cruising but not a hard requirement
-5 to 10 years old in good condition, not a fixer upper
-Nice size swim platform with dingy storage

We haven't set a hard budget yet but for the sake of this post let's keep it under $300k.

Thanks in advance for any help we may receive and we welcome any questions to clarify what we're looking for.
Regards!
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by divebums View Post
We're both avid divers and would plan to dive from the ship as well.

Some features we're initially considering are...
-Nice size swim platform with dingy storage


If you are interested in a boat that you will be diving from, then you have to ask how will you be getting out of the water (or in) with a heavy BCD and tank with a dinghy on the swim platform, as well as how will you be getting from the swim platform back onto the boat. Again, climbing a tall ladder to reach a sundeck in a wetsuit, with a tank and BCD might be a very tiring challenge in anything but calm seas, especially if you are doing more than one dive a day. You might want to consider looking for a boat with a decent cockpit with a transom door. As a diver myself, it was number one on my list of “gotta have”. KJ
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:57 PM   #3
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As a diver my self the main requirement in that department is a good tender that is eady to get in and out of. I use a tinny with AerOfloats but a good RIB is just as good.
For live a board a good aft cabin with en suite is the way to go with office/guest accom down forward. This keeps everyone seperate. Visitors are like seafood, they go off after about 3 days.
In my opinion a second head and shower on the main deck is a VG option as it can then be used comming out of the water before actually entering the vessel.
Should be a fair few boats out there for you to look at.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:44 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies! I was suprised to get so many comments regarding diving but that's great. We've looked at the Nordic & American Tugs in the 37 to 42 ft range and really liked the layout of the interior and thought the swim platform and transom door would work well for diving. Also, liked the idea of having a shower head on the back deck to wash off. I've read a lot regarding full vs semi displacement hulls and was worried the fuel consumption on the tugs would be too great. We're really looking for simplicity in maintenance and operation. We'd like to spend our time cruising, diving, and enjoying the boat more so than tinkering and cleaning. I'd rather pay more for a good value boat that will hold up over the long haul and give us more time to play on it. Are there certain makes/models that we should start looking at?
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:18 AM   #5
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Divebums

The NT and AT sound like a good fit for your needs. Fuel burn at hull speed is very respectable on both, but as on most vessels, the person on the throttle will determine fuel consumption more than hull shape. You may want to look at the Mainship threads on this forum too. Take your time, good deals on well found vessels abound.

BTW, the larger your geographic hunt, the more likely you are to find a suitable vessel - think fresh water and hauled out each winter. One of my dock mates recently picked up a Great Lakes 57' boat and had it shipped to the PNW.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:45 AM   #6
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Fresh water and hauled out sounds like good advice. I've looked at and read some regarding the mainships and my concern was that of quality. Not to offend any mainship owners but it seems like they may be on the lower end of the quality scale. I don't want to turn this thread into a mainship discussion but if my thinking is incorrect please let me know.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by divebums View Post
Fresh water and hauled out sounds like good advice. I've looked at and read some regarding the mainships and my concern was that of quality. Not to offend any mainship owners but it seems like they may be on the lower end of the quality scale. I don't want to turn this thread into a mainship discussion but if my thinking is incorrect please let me know.
There is no doubt that Mainships were built to a price. However, they were produced in big numbers bringing economy of scale. Many, many of the old Mainships from the early 80s are still around, and in demand. I would not necessarily discount them as being low quality.

With the budget you have mentioned, there should be many good boats to take a look at. It will be interesting following along as you make your decision. Thanks for posting.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:44 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Moonstruck View Post
There is no doubt that Mainships were built to a price. However, they were produced in big numbers bringing economy of scale. Many, many of the old Mainships from the early 80s are still around, and in demand. I would not necessarily discount them as being low quality.

With the budget you have mentioned, there should be many good boats to take a look at. It will be interesting following along as you make your decision. Thanks for posting.
I agree Don,

For some the American is not a Nordic or a Nordhavn is not a Fleming which is not a Marlow. All of that is true so that never ends.

I would like to point out that the later models, 2004 and up like my Mainship have a lot of the same items that are used in the boats built by the same builders I just mentioned. The same shower sump, the same bilge pumps, the same Charles Isolator Transformers....... The list goes on.

So don't count them out. A Mainship 400 is a nice boat that will do what you want and at a price you may like.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:04 PM   #9
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I wouldn't get hung up on the displacement versus semi-displacement issue. There are many semi's with good seakeeping abilities. If you drive them like a trawler (just below hull speed) you will get similar fuel economy. One brand you may want to look at is Tollycraft but they will be older than 10 years. In my opinion, for boats and airplanes the age isn't as important at how they have been maintained.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:03 PM   #10
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Great Harbor 37 Trawlers

This is an awesome boat for the price!
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