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Old 08-24-2018, 10:12 AM   #1
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"Small boat" boating

Let me begin by saying that this thread is really about going big or sticking to our more portable trailer hull as we currently have now.

I have always enjoyed reading the numerous threads about all you people's boats and your ventures. But I seem somewhat undersized and outclassed on the water to most of you guys when I read about your budgets on spending for a boat. You throw out prices like 100 grand for used stuff to 250 and more like its one sand pebble on the beach.

I take it most here are almost retired or retired from very successful ventures, which is not a problem for me. While we have had the pleasure to travel to far away places on boats for and with others, my wife and I have always enjoyed smaller sized boats which really has allowed us to venture in creeks and off the beaten path in our off hours on the water.

So my question is for all of you big boat guys , say 40 to 50 feet, if you had it to do all over again, would you stick to under 30 feet hulls when you have a land based address to fall back on ?




We are probably more conservative in our spending habits in our retirement years now. But we really are steering towards more room and comfort on the water, but not if this may require excessively more expense, for sure more additional work than pleasure that is returned to us. Going bigger to us may not be the answer if the work ends up outweighing the time on the water. We are really spoiled with the manual costs and work now for the hours spent. We boat approx. 10 months a year now.
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:45 AM   #2
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"Comfort " on a boat has little to do with size.

If its a great place to be , even on a rainy weekend , its big enough.

Much of the maint on larger boats is self imposed .

Autopilots are expensive and need maint, hot water showers require a level of parts a solar shower does not require. Without the multiple toys , there is far more time to enjoy the boat , than enjoy the toolbox contents..
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:18 AM   #3
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Wish I had an outboard like yours Scratch.
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Old 08-24-2018, 12:49 PM   #4
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Scratch, I went from a 33' boat to our 55' boat because I want to spend a summer cruising Canadian waters north of Puget Sound.


If I didn't have that dream and this boat to do it on I'd probably still have my 33'er.
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Old 08-24-2018, 04:10 PM   #5
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I would not go as large as 40 feet. We would really like something in the neighborhood of 35' for more extended cruising. While I have room for one more person to overnight on my current boat, I would like room for my two grandkids. We can use the current one without a problem, and its much easier to tow and clean up for most of our excursions.


While I know the current fiasco with the GH hulls and would not buy one anyway because of the costs in particular, I can actually duplicate that style hull myself. That's what I have been pondering even while building my previous one.


And I would not get rid of it either at this point. It costs nothing for it to sit along side of the house in its own protected stall. I just don't know if it would really be too overbearing for the amount of work to accomplish it.
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Old 08-24-2018, 06:46 PM   #6
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There are a lot of ways to be on and enjoy the water...
None right or wrong.
Decide what works best for you and your style and comfort level.
You don't need large boat or expensive one to enjoy the adventures.
I always suggest writing down your musts and wants have SO do the same then compare notes and compromise (do it her way) before you go looking.
Then you have the criteria to evaluate how well anything you consider will fit your style.
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Old 08-25-2018, 07:40 AM   #7
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Leave "stuff" at home and the boat can shrink by half.
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Old 08-25-2018, 08:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scratchnsaw View Post
Let me begin by saying that this thread is really about going big or sticking to our more portable trailer hull as we currently have now.

I have always enjoyed reading the numerous threads about all you people's boats and your ventures. But I seem somewhat undersized and outclassed on the water to most of you guys when I read about your budgets on spending for a boat. You throw out prices like 100 grand for used stuff to 250 and more like its one sand pebble on the beach.

I take it most here are almost retired or retired from very successful ventures, which is not a problem for me. While we have had the pleasure to travel to far away places on boats for and with others, my wife and I have always enjoyed smaller sized boats which really has allowed us to venture in creeks and off the beaten path in our off hours on the water.

So my question is for all of you big boat guys , say 40 to 50 feet, if you had it to do all over again, would you stick to under 30 feet hulls when you have a land based address to fall back on ?




We are probably more conservative in our spending habits in our retirement years now. But we really are steering towards more room and comfort on the water, but not if this may require excessively more expense, for sure more additional work than pleasure that is returned to us. Going bigger to us may not be the answer if the work ends up outweighing the time on the water. We are really spoiled with the manual costs and work now for the hours spent. We boat approx. 10 months a year now.

I’m still working and due to some unexpected events, will likely be working for another 10 years. Even so, I spent over $300k on a used 43’ boat a couple years ago. For us, we went from sail to power. Our last sailboat was 40’. Now, $300k is a LOT of money. Owning a $300k 43’ boat is expensive as well. There are some TF members who view what I spent as exorbitant. There are also a few TF members who could afford to spend that on a tender for main boat.

Bigger isn’t better it is just different. The best thing you can do is identify how you want to use the boat and then pick the boat that will meet those needs/desires. Many times, those needs/desires can be met by a small boat. There are a plenty of TF members who have boats under 30’, use them a lot, and get as much satisfaction and enjoyment as someone with a 60’ boat.

One of the best ways to figure that out is to charter some boats of different types and different sizes. I really like my 43’ boat. My wife really likes extra space, storage, shower stall, etc... Even so, as a kid my family would spent weeks and weekends on a 24’ sailboat designed more for 1/4 racing than cruising. We had a GREAT time. By chartering, you can figure out what the best balance between comfort, size, and cost is for you.
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Old 08-25-2018, 08:53 AM   #9
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I really think that the size and type of your boat depends mostly on what you want to do with it, and where you want to go. For many years we had small run-abouts and then graduated up to 32 and then 36. For hanging around the California Delta and San Francisco Bay these boats were more than adequate. Had this dream about one day heading out the "Gate and Turning Left" which lead us to our current 48 ft. that allowed us to traverse the coast of California and Mexico.
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Old 08-25-2018, 02:42 PM   #10
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Ultimately, only you can decide. Tailor your boat to your own likes, needs and finances, not anyone else's. I'd focus on your 90 or 95% needs as no boat will satisfy them all. Think of how and how much you'd use this larger boat. If it's for once or twice a year, then charter or rent or forego. It it's for months of the year then make it fit there. You think of all those places it won't go, but it can have a dinghy that will or kayaks.

You're worried about the work can be addressed a number of ways. First is the condition of the boat you buy and the items on it requiring work. The hull and structure can be minimal work. Then the condition of the engines and other equipment. Second is how many things on it requiring work. Third is your attitude toward the work. Does it have to be sparkling and perfect or can it look like it's being used? Fourth is what you're willing to pay to have done vs do yourself.

Size does increase work but it's just one factor.
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Old 08-25-2018, 03:46 PM   #11
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Small Boats

My Camano, with a 28' hull, is not much larger than some trailerables out there but there was a big difference in salon space, tank capacity and storage space. I have yet to find a boat easy to trailer that has reasonable storage and tank sizes. The Ranger and Cutwater 24 were tempting but their larger sisters too little space for the money and the flybridges seemed toy-like.

So... I believe you don't have to go big in length but do have to go bigger than trailer size in weight if you want reasonable comfort.
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Old 08-25-2018, 05:46 PM   #12
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Personally the Prairie 29 appears to be a good compromise for an upgrade. The older ones are probably priced in line with my thinking for an older production boat. But on the opposite side the redo of the Grand Banks with the flybridge removed on this forum and upfitted is something of serious consideration.

I like the entire upper deck as an open lounge. I can fix everything boatwise . And a single engine is fine for me too. Thanks guys, I am probably between the 30 to 35 foot range tops. All I really need in addition to my current boat is room for two additional people to sleep overnight. Of course added volume comes with most larger boats.
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Old 08-26-2018, 10:25 AM   #13
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I have a cold molded 38, but it is pretty skinny at just under 12' beam. It's based on a Jim Luxton 34' bottom and stretched a bit. I find the size just about right. Two of us can cruise a month in comfort. Three on board and it is a bit crowded, but do-able. Two separate cabins (small) and a futon in the pilot house.

Easy on fuel, small enough to sneak around, big enough to be comfortable. And can cruise at 20+kts with a single. Prop tunnel for moderate draw.

I've been on the Prairies and such around 28'. To me just a little too tight on the space. Not much harder to manage a 35 and you get so much more room.
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
I have a cold molded 38, but it is pretty skinny at just under 12' beam. It's based on a Jim Luxton 34' bottom and stretched a bit. I find the size just about right. Two of us can cruise a month in comfort. Three on board and it is a bit crowded, but do-able. Two separate cabins (small) and a futon in the pilot house.

Easy on fuel, small enough to sneak around, big enough to be comfortable. And can cruise at 20+kts with a single. Prop tunnel for moderate draw.

I've been on the Prairies and such around 28'. To me just a little too tight on the space. Not much harder to manage a 35 and you get so much more room.
I should know that boat. Do you have a better shot of it, if its the one in your avatar?
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:17 PM   #15
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I enjoy my 45' boat. It will take most anywhere I want to go on the East coast and the Great Lakes. It's very comfortable for 2 couples which would be the limit of people I would want aboard.

My dream boat would be a 35' Bruno and Stillman hull (I own one for my charter busines) set up for 2 people. The Bruno has a narrower beam (<10' 6") than most other 35' boats, and is truckable without lead and follow cars. This hugely reduces the price to move it. If I want to go from my home in Fort Myers to spend the summer cruising Lake Superior, $6- 8K gets you there. While that sounds like a lot of money, the all in cost to motor your boat there is would likely be most of that amount. Want to spend the summer in Alaska? $10-12k would likely get the boat either there or to Washington state. Want to leave Alaska and winter in the Sea of Cortez? You can truck it to Tucson and have a Mexican trucking company have it moved to one of several ports in the Sea of Cortez.

Yup, if I were considering a boat to large to be trailered behind a one ton pickup, I would at least make sure it was height and width wise road legal with only minor wide load permits, no lead and follow cars.

Ted
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