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Old 11-02-2019, 01:17 PM   #1
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The perfect Loop boat

After many appreciated responses to my first posts, and on my continued research for the perfect loop boat, it is becoming very clear to me that there is no perfect Loop boat, or at least that, everyone’s perfect loop boat is different.

Furthermore, understanding that, every boat will likely be somewhat of a compromise, and realizing that even if we find what we think is the perfect boat, it probably won’t be available or in our price range, I want to ask some questions of all those experienced folk out there that have done the loop, or at least traveled extensively along the loop area.

So here we go and you can stick a “Why” on the end of each question.

1:
Knowing the bugs and weather along the way, which would you choose, between?

A: Flybridge with no inner helm, (More inner space but only the exterior upper level helm)

B: Flybridge with inner helm (Less salon volume, but a nice inner helm for poor days)

C: Raised pilot house (So maybe no flybridge, smaller salon but the added space in the PH and again a nice inside helm for poor days)

2:
If your choice was for the inner helm, is immediate access off the helm for docking & locking a big deal, or does a remote (Or experience) solve the problem adequately?

3:
We want a decent outdoor space for dining and hanging out, but we also want 2 cabins for guests, or if we need separation, and again we want to consider size of the boat, ease of use, and fuel economy.

With those things in mind, which would you choose between?

A: A possibly smaller aft cabin boat (More cabin space for the size, good deck over aft cabin, but more awkward traffic patterns in and out, and on and off the vessel)

B: A possibly larger flush deck EU type boat, (Better flow and movement on and off the boat, but probably a smaller interior volume)

And then to “Zoom out” even more:

4: Is interior space or exterior space ultimately more valuable on this trip?

5: Is an Interior helm or exterior helm ultimately more valuable on this trip?

Many thanks for any replies.

“The Bolton Wanderer”
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:36 PM   #2
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You’ve ‘researched’ a lot of boats. How many have you actually been on? I think only you can answer most of your questions based on what appeals to you and yours.

Any of the options presented will work for the loop.

Air draft, water draft, length, economy, maneuvering, ability to access systems, and your experience also matter. Above all, condition matters.

I’m not trying to rain on your parade, but your questions all point to personal preferences, of which you will get many responses, mostly confirming what the responders have.
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Old 11-02-2019, 05:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clivepc View Post
After many appreciated responses to my first posts, and on my continued research for the perfect loop boat, it is becoming very clear to me that there is no perfect Loop boat, or at least that, everyone’s perfect loop boat is different.

Furthermore, understanding that, every boat will likely be somewhat of a compromise, and realizing that even if we find what we think is the perfect boat, it probably won’t be available or in our price range, I want to ask some questions of all those experienced folk out there that have done the loop, or at least traveled extensively along the loop area.

So here we go and you can stick a “Why” on the end of each question.

1:
Knowing the bugs and weather along the way, which would you choose, between?

A: Flybridge with no inner helm, (More inner space but only the exterior upper level helm)

B: Flybridge with inner helm (Less salon volume, but a nice inner helm for poor days)

C: Raised pilot house (So maybe no flybridge, smaller salon but the added space in the PH and again a nice inside helm for poor days)

2:
If your choice was for the inner helm, is immediate access off the helm for docking & locking a big deal, or does a remote (Or experience) solve the problem adequately?

3:
We want a decent outdoor space for dining and hanging out, but we also want 2 cabins for guests, or if we need separation, and again we want to consider size of the boat, ease of use, and fuel economy.

With those things in mind, which would you choose between?

A: A possibly smaller aft cabin boat (More cabin space for the size, good deck over aft cabin, but more awkward traffic patterns in and out, and on and off the vessel)

B: A possibly larger flush deck EU type boat, (Better flow and movement on and off the boat, but probably a smaller interior volume)

And then to “Zoom out” even more:

4: Is interior space or exterior space ultimately more valuable on this trip?

5: Is an Interior helm or exterior helm ultimately more valuable on this trip?

Many thanks for any replies.

“The Bolton Wanderer”
Wifey B: I want flybridge and lower helms. I want to be able to enjoy the nice days up top and stay warm when cold and rainy.

Flybridge is especially nice for the canals. I knew one couple that was on a smaller express cruiser and felt like they were looking at the banks rather than all the scenery.

Interior and exterior space are important. It's a long long trip and you need different spaces so you and any guests can roam. Access to docks is important but, even more, for handling in locks so you need easy access.
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Old 11-02-2019, 07:34 PM   #4
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For me, the 'perfect loop boat' would be one that I already had and one that I wanted to keep after running the loop!

The 'perfect boat' for any adventure is based upon the needs of the person, or couple, operating the boat.
- Some folks want to run fast, some folks more slowly.
- Some folks want to run the boat in any weather, while other folks run primarily in fairer weather.
- etc, etc.

I think you need to get out on different boats and see what feels comfortable to both YOU and your budget!

Jim
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Old 11-02-2019, 08:23 PM   #5
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It all comes down to personal preference, ability and capability. We have met folks who did the loop with an old Mainship 34, others would never consider this boat.
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Old 11-02-2019, 08:49 PM   #6
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Check my avatar for the perfect Loop boat.

All kidding aside, some things to consider (IMO), if you don't understand Looping, the purpose is to get off the boat and site see. It's your home for most of a year or more. You will be traveling on not so nice days sometimes.

Last first. Many people own boats to use on nice days or nice weekends and host parties with friends. That's not the purpose of your Loop boat. This doesn't mean you will be traveling in high winds etc., but you will likely be moving on rainy days and other less than optimal conditions. Anyone can endure driving in the rain and getting soaked once or twice a year. How many times in a year do you want to do it? Now add cold, hot and humid, and how about bugs. I'll take my pilothouse with 2 side doors, heat, air conditioning, and real glass with windshield wipers.

Inside space is the most important. Again, this is going to be your home for a year. All boats have some outside space. It's really not as important as you're likely not entertaining like you would at home with a bunch of friends over. Let's say you bought a 40' boat. Let's say a really good design yields 300 to 400 square feet of internal living space. You're getting ready to live in an apartment for a year with 300 to 400 square feet of space. Don't waste space; don't underestimate the need for space. And don't worry about where you're going to put a folding chair on deck when at anchor or tied to the dock.

Lastly, this boat is about functionality for a site seeing trip. It needs to be easy to dock and get off of, easy to anchor and launch a dinghy /tender, and easy to leave unattended while you site see. If it's not easy, you will miss a lot, because it's too much like work.

Ted
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:36 AM   #7
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Did the Loop last year and got rained on lightly just a couple of times. Watch the weather and travel smartly. Doing the Loop is not a race. We were stucok in Charlevoix, MI for six days along with 15 other Loopers waiting out the rain and waves. Charlevoix is a delghtful town. We are on a DeFever 44 with an upper and lower helm. Rarely used the lower helm even in cold weather even though our upper has only a bimini. We just dressed for the conditions. If you have an enclosure for the upper, well, that is luxury for us. We are adding that to our boat soon.

OC Driver, we prefer a pilothouse for all the reasons you state but made a compromise to have the added space and big engine room of a DeFever rather than the Krogen 42 we considered when we were looking. When we were ready to buy, there were no even decent KK42s on the market. Our dream boat is a DeFever 49 Plan B pilothouse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Check my avatar for the perfect Loop boat.

All kidding aside, some things to consider (IMO), if you don't understand Looping, the purpose is to get off the boat and site see. It's your home for most of a year or more. You will be traveling on not so nice days sometimes.

Last first. Many people own boats to use on nice days or nice weekends and host parties with friends. That's not the purpose of your Loop boat. This doesn't mean you will be traveling in high winds etc., but you will likely be moving on rainy days and other less than optimal conditions. Anyone can endure driving in the rain and getting soaked once or twice a year. How many times in a year do you want to do it? Now add cold, hot and humid, and how about bugs. I'll take my pilothouse with 2 side doors, heat, air conditioning, and real glass with windshield wipers.

Inside space is the most important. Again, this is going to be your home for a year. All boats have some outside space. It's really not as important as you're likely not entertaining like you would at home with a bunch of friends over. Let's say you bought a 40' boat. Let's say a really good design yields 300 to 400 square feet of internal living space. You're getting ready to live in an apartment for a year with 300 to 400 square feet of space. Don't waste space; don't underestimate the need for space. And don't worry about where you're going to put a folding chair on deck when at anchor or tied to the dock.

Lastly, this boat is about functionality for a site seeing trip. It needs to be easy to dock and get off of, easy to anchor and launch a dinghy /tender, and easy to leave unattended while you site see. If it's not easy, you will miss a lot, because it's too much like work.

Ted
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:47 AM   #8
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1. A) Money no object: Raised pilothouse AND flybridge. B) If cost drives: flybridge and lower helm. C) If cost REALLY drives: flybridge, at least with an enclosure, ideally a hardtop, and stairs (no ladder).

2. Immediate side access preferred. No experience with remote controls.

3. We prefer a mixture of inside, outside open, and outside enclosed areas.

4. Yes.

5. I prefer flybridge helm (with stairs, no ladder) for almost everything; better visibility.

Your questions speak to personal preference, though, so YMMV.

-Chris
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:47 AM   #9
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All, thank you very much for your replies and I got much of what I expected back in your comments.
Although we could wait some days, piloting in the cold and rain looking through plastic seems less appealing. having the flybridge though does feel appealing in better weather. both helms therefore feel right, access feels sensible, layout is huge, I'm hearing exterior space less important, as on any boat there will enough.

Feels like 40ft may be the minimum, with 45 pushing the max. availability, and funds will come into play, and as you all say, getting on boats is a must. Currently living In Idaho presents the biggest challenge to that, but we'll make it happen and have been on a few to date.
Nordic 42 decent boat, cramped salon.
Helmsman 38 and 43 great boats, not many used.
North Pacific 39 42 good contenders.
KK 42 nice boat, just didn't feel right.
Nordhavn 40 43, nice vessels, great for Alaska, too much boat and money for this trip.
Ocean Alexander 426 and 45 Classico, short on interior space, otherwise impressed. Engine choices seem to give poor economy.
Grand Banks EU grand boats, overall feel a bit overpriced (For me)
Mainship 44 decent value, good layout.
Selene 45 RPH Oh Baby!

Just saw (Not visited) a Westcoast 46 trawler 46 for sale. hits a ton of buttons. Like the Tolleycraft hull, single screw, price point.
Need to keep taking trips out of state.

Dream boat.. Raised pilothouse, flybridge, upper rear deck, full width salon, 2 stateroom, prefer 1 screw.

Thanks to everyone

The Bolton Wanderer.
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:23 PM   #10
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What about a Bene SWT 44/41?
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