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Old 09-17-2012, 07:51 PM   #1
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Newbie-3 Draft, Flybridge, Hatteras Questions

Hello all,

I am planning to purchase a Trawler to live aboard with my 5 kids and my mom. I am going to purchase something large to give us all plenty of space, probably around 65'. I will live in a marina for a few years so my kids can get through High School. We will take weekend and vacation trips so that I can learn how to operate the boat, then when my kids go off to college I would like to do some world traveling. For this reason, I definitely will try and get something good on fuel (or at least good on fuel for that size). So here are my questions if anyone has any idea about any of these, I would certainly welcome your input.

1. Is it safe to assume that I should get a boat that has a draft less than 6' in order to be able to utilize the ICW? Another words, is 6' the magic number?

2. If a flybridge has an enclosed hard pilothouse, does this make the boat unstable for offshore and rough seas, or does it depend on the boat. Can stabilizers correct that, or does it depend again?

3. What is the story with Hatteras? Can't figure out if it is a trawler or not? Don't really care much either, but trying to figure out if it gets trawler type fuel economy. It seems they have speeds much faster than trawlers, but they are always being labeled as trawlers, so what's the deal. Will they get trawler economy at slow speeds? Geez, there are so many out there for sale. Are they even seaworthy?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
Hello all,

I am planning to purchase a Trawler to live aboard with my 5 kids and my mom. I am going to purchase something large to give us all plenty of space, probably around 65'. I will live in a marina for a few years so my kids can get through High School. We will take weekend and vacation trips so that I can learn how to operate the boat, then when my kids go off to college I would like to do some world traveling. For this reason, I definitely will try and get something good on fuel (or at least good on fuel for that size). So here are my questions if anyone has any idea about any of these, I would certainly welcome your input.

1. Is it safe to assume that I should get a boat that has a draft less than 6' in order to be able to utilize the ICW? Another words, is 6' the magic number?

2. If a flybridge has an enclosed hard pilothouse, does this make the boat unstable for offshore and rough seas, or does it depend on the boat. Can stabilizers correct that, or does it depend again?

3. What is the story with Hatteras? Can't figure out if it is a trawler or not? Don't really care much either, but trying to figure out if it gets trawler type fuel economy. It seems they have speeds much faster than trawlers, but they are always being labeled as trawlers, so what's the deal. Will they get trawler economy at slow speeds? Geez, there are so many out there for sale. Are they even seaworthy?

Thanks for your help.
6 feet is OK...but will limit you to a very small degree....4 is considered a lot better but in the big scheme of things...it all depends on you.

Flybridges are either part of the design or not. If so...they add weight aloft but don't make the boat dangerous...maybe nt even enough to add discomfort in heavy seas. If it's an add on by a PO...then all bets are off.

Hatteras made some great boats...as some say here most rec boats aren't trawlers anyway so if a boat suits your liking and meets your speed/fuel consumption threshold...then who cares who made it or what it is called.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:15 PM   #3
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6 feet is OK...but will limit you to a very small degree....4 is considered a lot better but in the big scheme of things...it all depends on you.

Flybridges are either part of the design or not. If so...they add weight aloft but don't make the boat dangerous...maybe nt even enough to add discomfort in heavy seas. If it's an add on by a PO...then all bets are off.

Hatteras made some great boats...as some say here most rec boats aren't trawlers anyway so if a boat suits your liking and meets your speed/fuel consumption threshold...then who cares who made it or what it is called.
Thanks for the info. I had seen some boats with pilothouses on the flybridge and loved that, then got wondering if it could I could add it to whatever boat I get, or if it would make the boat top-heavy/unstable.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:20 PM   #4
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2. If a flybridge has an enclosed hard pilothouse, does this make the boat unstable for offshore and rough seas, or does it depend on the boat. Can stabilizers correct that, or does it depend again?
To paraphrase psneeld, that's a bit like asking how long is a piece of string. The viability of a flying bridge will depend totally on the design, configuration, and construction of the boat. In the PNW/BC/SE Alaska it is very common today to have the flying bridge on fishing boats like seiners totally enclosed. Usually with an aluminum (I assume) structure. Newer boats are usually built with enclosed flying bridges from the outset--- see photos of Yankee Boy below--- and the flying bridge then becomes more of a pilothouse.

If the boat was designed to have a flying bridge, like our GB for example, it will be safe as houses as long as you are sensible about using it. Don't allow a ton of people up there, particularly in rougher water. Be mindful of the boat's construction. Most recreational cruisers like GBs support the flying bridge with what in essence are the window frames. So they're not made to support huge amounts of weight.

The higher you get above a boat's axes of pitch and roll the more magnified the motion will be. To the point where it can be downright uncomfortable. So if you want a boat with a flying bridge it's a good idea to have both upper and lower helm stations so one has a reasonably comfortable and stable place to drive when it gets rough.

A lot of people prefer the elevated flying bridge for driving the boat. The view is certainly nice and many people feel they have a better idea of the boat's position during close-in maneuvering and docking. My wife and I don't--- we much prefer the perspective from the lower helm--- but a boat with upper and lower helms gives you the choice.

All this said, a boat with an added home-made flying bridge, or a heavy home-made flying bridge enclosure, may be trying the limits of the boat's stability under some conditions. Stabilizers-- passive or active--- can certainly render a boat's ride more smooth. But active stabilizers can quit and passive ones could conceivably break. So I would not want a boat that was dependent upon stabilizers for safety.

As to Hatteras I suspect you brought some smiles with your "are they even seaworthy" question. I know very little about Hatteras boats but I do know that they are extremely well built and some of their models are very well suited for long, open-water passages.

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Old 09-17-2012, 10:38 PM   #5
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I just love the flybridge for the fresh air, watching for whales, for the admiral to relax amongst other things , for the grandkids to learn to drive, for passengers to view the scenery and for looking behind...

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Old 09-17-2012, 11:54 PM   #6
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FlyBridge is right-on for eyeing tight spots between other boats during heavy traffic scenes.

Sightseeing days on sunny canals! And, great for sunny-day docking too.

I do love the FlyBridge!! Occasionally, in real rough weather, the salon pilot station is also well appreciated! For safety I believe in redundancies on boats, i.e. twin screws and dual pilot stations to name just a couple...
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:56 PM   #7
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With the oppressive heat and humidity of most of the eastern half of the USA, I'd say it's a good idea there to have excellent air flow such as offered by a flying bridge assuming one also has an interior helm.

Haven't missed the absence of a FB here yet in central CA, however.



Side comment: I don't understand why the fore-and-aft moorage layout in Ayala Cove (Angel Island, San Francisco Bay) is laid out perpendicular to the currents.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:56 AM   #8
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I know very little about Hatteras boats but I do know that they are extremely well built and some of their models are very well suited for long, open-water passages.

Question 1 is how far can you go with out running out of fuel?

Question 2 is can you find a hand grip to keep from being thrown across the boat.

Things that make a great live aboard big spaces , lots of glass, volume for people, are less great if the boat is to go in Blue water.

6 ft on the AICW , will require care in 1 or 2 spots , world wide 6 ft is less of a handicap , but is still not great.

With a Hat , cruising the Carib or Central American coast will be fine.

Doubt if you have the efficiency or range to cross even the smallest ocean, Va to Bermuda to the Azores and on to Gib would require some long legs.

Drums of fuel on deck would help.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:16 AM   #9
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I suspect there are one or two Hatteras forums. You might go there and do some talking. There is also a Crusiers forum that might have some Hatteras members.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:07 AM   #10
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Given you are a Newbie, lacking experience and asking some very base level questions, how will you get insurance when contemplating a large vessel? Also, FL liveaboards who are confined/locked to the dock pay very high rates due to hurricane losses.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:18 AM   #11
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Visit this Hatteras ad on CL - Picts and text (copy below) make it seem real nice boat, at OK price.

Hatteras Yachtfisher

Endless Journey

Very handsome Jack Hargrave designs are classic, and popular (though rarely on the market these days), the 58 Yacht Fisher series has appealed over the years to the more experienced yachtsman who knows that onboard ingress & egress--from dockside or dinghy--is SO much easier with a cockpit and, yes, you can fish this boat. The aft deck is the ideal sun-and-rain-protected place to enjoy the sights and also acts superbly as a mezzanine as found on today's modern sport fishermen.

This particular 58 YF has a modern and a lightly used genset (50 hours), plus a bowthruster, and, yes, 2100 ORIGINAL engine hours !!
"Endless Journey" will be the perfect Keys/Bahamas/Chesapeake cruiser--great for family & friends with her three-stateroom, three-head layout, upper & lower stations, and full-size galley.

This Hatteras offers today's buyer really strong bones: thick fiberglass, copper (not plastic) water, fuel, and hydraulic lines, and tinned copper wiring which will outlast your grandkids. She is located in Deerfield Beach, Florida -- adjacent to Fort Lauderdale.

Call Dan at 925-337-7949 or go to my website at danielkolody.com for more info
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:33 AM   #12
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At 65' , I wouldn't worry about an enclosed FB affecting stability. But that doesn't mean that I would rule out stabilizers.

Hatteras has many models. Most are faster cruisers bur they have trawler types they call LRC (long range cruiser). The LRC is in line with what you are looking for but I don't know if they made ones that are 65'.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:33 PM   #13
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Most of the older commercial trawler as shown the enclosure of the command bridge was done later. 99% now and old commercial trawler have enclosed bridge. On a pleasure the enclosure are make a bigger and more plush/comfort and call a Ski Lounge, which could be used as a sleeping area. Most of the commercial have a sitting and sleeping area in the bridge. Being full displacement they can add more ballast to off set. However, being high and so far forward makes a rough/tough ride, but for the commercial guys its about making money.

Those are the kind/type of boats that are on our dock. We where the first pleasure to moor on the Everett commercial dock, and not very well received as it was their territory. But I can curse, spit, chew with the best of them.

The Hatteras Long Rang 72 ft and 80 ft might be big enough. The 58 long range would be too small. Make sure itís the long range models. The Monk MaQueen boats I have always drooled over. http://www.crowsnestyachts.com/listings/brokerage/92-McQueen-Flush-Deck-Motoryacht-1984.html. They make a small 75 ft which might accommodate 7.

Once you are in the 70+ ft the boats are big enough and heavy enough for coastal cruising, but not world, unless you ship it. If you have the money you cans ship a boat anywhere in the world, so it does not have to be blue water, which is an option. If we move the Eagle south, I will probable have it shipped, a little more expensive but a lot easier on the boat and crew.
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:21 PM   #14
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That is a SWEET ride!
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:41 PM   #15
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I don't normally care for that basic design of boat but that is one of the best ones I've seen. But I wouldn't touch that boat unless I had the bucks to pay someone to do the upkeep, brightwork, etc., etc., etc. Thirty-six feet is enough as it is. Any more than that and someone else is going to do the work.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:12 PM   #16
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At 65' , I wouldn't worry about an enclosed FB affecting stability. But that doesn't mean that I would rule out stabilizers.

Hatteras has many models. Most are faster cruisers bur they have trawler types they call LRC (long range cruiser). The LRC is in line with what you are looking for but I don't know if they made ones that are 65'.
Yes, Hatteras did make a 65' LRC I think powered by two Detroit 6-71s. They were built like a tank. One is listed on yachtworld.com.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:34 PM   #17
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A statement like this quoted from the ad...

"This Hatteras offers today's buyer really strong bones: thick fiberglass, copper (not plastic) water, fuel, and hydraulic lines, and tinned copper wiring which will outlast your grandkids. She is located in Deerfield Beach, Florida -- adjacent to Fort Lauderdale."

tells me to be very wary of taking the broker too seriously unless he pointed out to me that each and every inch of those copper lines/wiring was in pristine shape...which on that age boat unless recently replaced...I seriously doubt.

I really like the older hatts...but with 5 kids and a mother aboard...I'd probably be looking for the extended cabin models...not the yachtfish...

Also...they are starting to flood the market so anything over $100 grand better have some recent mods/upgrades and rebuilt engines...I looked at the 53's before settling back smaller...just because of their precipitous pricing fall recently...but as Marin pointed out...they are a lot of boat to keep up with.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:51 PM   #18
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Any boat big enough to house 7 people is going to be a job to maintain, as would a house big enough to house 7 people.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:19 PM   #19
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Any boat big enough to house 7 people is going to be a job to maintain, as would a house big enough to house 7 people.
In many cultures that's only a one bedroom...

I think a huge difference (if you do the work yourself) is the difference between liveaboard and non-liveaboard. Living aboard with no external distractions allows for a lot of maintenance that otherwise would cut into other lifestyle options.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:02 PM   #20
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Unless it's located in a tornado or hurricane zone a house is generally not sitting in an environment bent on it's rapid destruction. Ignore a house for a few years and you will most likely have a dirty house with some cosmetic repairs to be made. Ignore a boat floating in salt water for a few years and you will most likely have some major overhaul, rebuild, replacement, and repair work to do.
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