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Old 05-18-2013, 08:19 AM   #1
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Thoughts makes/models for a family

Well good morning,
I thought I would start another thread. I am looking for a bit of advise and help in selecting our next vessel. My wife and I are starting the process so bare with me please. Some of the requirements I have come up with,
Economy a must. We use our boats when we have them. I don't want to think that ever time I want to enjoy the boat for a few hours that I have to spend a large sum of money to do so. Diesel. I am not hung up on one or two engines. I would prefer one but am open to both.
At least one head and shower
One main berth and another for our son so a small berth or bunk would be fine
No teak decks, I have read the horror stories and would like to avoid this at all cost.
We usually cruise at displacement speed so fast or slow is ok with us. In fact I'd prefer a boat that was made for economy over speed, we can always buy a lake boat for speed.
Safe - the whole family is going to be aboard.
Fly bridge is a plus but I'd be willing to consider without for the right boat.
A year round vessel, I don't like winterizing because some of the best boating can be done in the winter.
Our budget needs to be under 100k, would prefer to be closer to 50k. I don't mind a bit of work but would like a solid boat, mechanically sound and ready to enjoy. Light sanding/varnishing the rails and what not wouldn't scare me, but major work no thanks as I'd rather enjoy using the boat as opposed to "working" on the boat. I am more of a maintain the boat guy than a fix it guy.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:33 AM   #2
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How old is your son? Our Monk 36 was a great family boat without a doubt. However, we didn't buy it til our kids were 6+. If your son is 2 it has an entirely different set of requirements for safety and mobility than if your son is 7. When our children were super young we looked for minimal steps and what steps there were could not be ladders they had to be wide/safe molded in steps. Thus ruled out most all trawlers.
Also, we find with a family (our children are now 10.5 and 9), that having a cockpit at water level makes family time and water access fun. so- our current boat is a pilothouse configuration.
Age of your son will play a big factor in the boat you pick right now if he is young.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:36 AM   #3
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Good point, our last boat this year was the C-dory. Our son litterally has grown up on boats from three weeks of age. He is going to be four next month. When on the boat he understands he follows direction or no boat time. I'd like to see a rail of sorts around the cockpit for safety but that too can be added after purchase if the need is there. I think looking at some the fly bridge he might need some help from Mom or Dad, but overall so far I don't see any "deal" killers.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:16 AM   #4
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Do you want a cockpit or an aft cabin....or both?

Do you want safe walk-arounds or a full-width cabin?

What do you envision doing with this boat? Long Coastal Cruising? Fishing? Diving?
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:20 PM   #5
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Trawler

I'd like a bit of a cockpit. I do enjoy being able to enter the salon directly from the cockpit.
Using the boat for day trips, weekends, and extended vacations.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bshillam View Post
I do enjoy being able to enter the salon directly from the cockpit.
Good man!
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bshillam View Post
I'd like a bit of a cockpit. I do enjoy being able to enter the salon directly from the cockpit.
Using the boat for day trips, weekends, and extended vacations.
I agree!

Two staterooms, one head with shower, flybridge, kid-friendly, cockpit with salon access...you might be describing my boat. Many sedans and Europas fit the bill...depending on your needs for protection from the elements. In the rainy PNW for a non-angler, I think a Europa style cruiser with its covered side decks and cockpit and extended flybridge might be a good fit.

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Old 05-18-2013, 03:32 PM   #8
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Europa

I have just started looking at the Europa style of trawler. Love the lines and style. However, one thing I noticed was how much the walk ways take up salon space. I am only use to a few inches on the gunnel to walk. Something like a sedan or europa are really appealing. I also like the cockpit space and hardtop or awning provides on the backside. In the PNW you never know what the weather is going to be like from one week to another. Specially since we are year round boaters, so having a hardtop would really be nice. Great place to keep crab traps or a tender when not in use. I'd like to build our tender use cold molded s&g. But thats a whole other thread.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:42 PM   #9
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Yes, the kid-friendly walkaround side decks, which also are great when docking and anchoring, come at a price. You sacrifice some interior cabin width. To regain the cabin size, you'd need to upsize a few feet from a mid-30's to a 40ish sedan/europa.

IMO, all recreational boats are floating sets of compromises. All it takes is money to minimize some of them!!
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:20 PM   #10
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Kids are amazingly adaptable and I've found us parents are less so. They will love and enjoy any boat you get.

Honestly, before you mentioned Europa designs I felt you where describing a Californian 34 or 38 Perfectly. Is the desire for a second cabin a deal breaker? If so you've narrowed the pool of thirtyish foot boats with good size cockpits considerably. Forty footers would open up your options if the second cabin with cockpit is a must have.

Make your list of desired features and sit down and assign your priority numbers to those separately. Then you and your wife trade lists and compare what's important to each of you. In our case a large comfy covered cockpit was far more important than spacious overnight sleeping accommodations. As our kids leave the nest that mission will change.

Al is right, boats are compromises. No matter how much money is thrown at them. If not Roman Abrahmov woulda stopped with one mega-yacht.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:32 AM   #11
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A few other requirements,
Only on the West coast as I don't want to have to ship via land once purchased. Ideally she'd be in the PNW. Maybe a long weekend cruise to bring her home to Bellingham.
No teak decks, after looking through dozen of listings it appears there are enough vessels out there that are glassed. Teak decks although nice are just thousands of dollars in expenses later down the road. I know this might reduce the options, but it will ultimately save me down the road. In the vintage we are looking at the decks are reaching their end of life cycle.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:34 AM   #12
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Also I'd like to stay under 40' just due to the increase in moorage. My accountant (wife) wants to keep her as close to 250. A month as possible.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:49 AM   #13
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My wife bought the Eagle because it is a wide body as she did not have walk around side decks, and the total beam is living space. In the PNW having a hard top over the stern is almost a must, and they can be canvas enclose for year around use. Having a fly bridge is optional as most are canvas enclosed and/or not used much, but again with children/grandchildren having a pilot house keep you closer to others on the boat.

When looking at older boats besides the price of the boat also keep in mind the cash flow out lay. Sure the month payments are lower but you can spend thousand fixing and up grading the boat. You can finance a boat but you can no finance repairs and upgrades. So something to keep in mind.


If we had a smaller boat we would store it on the dirt and moor it during the summer months. Wehn we had the 28 ft that is what we did and if we move off that is what we might do with the Eagle.

Most big boats tend to use the dink and water toys more than taking the boat out.
Kids tend to like the smaller go fast boats as crusing on a big boat can be quite boaring to a child. The big boats tend to be the mother ship to carry/tow the water toys. In the summer months we use the run about and/or dink daily. So also give some thought as to the what dink and davits. Bellingham has a great marina to walk the docks, yard and talk to people. People love to talk about their boats, and many will show them to you.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:20 PM   #14
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You can find some 1997 or 1998 390 Mainships at the upper end of your budget. Wide protected side decks with high bulwarks and rails, no outside teak, stairs to the flybridge with a rail, wide door from the swim platform to the cockpit, a wide sliding door from the cockpit to the saloon, queen master forward, two bed stateroom forward, port side, only three steps inside, sliding door starboard side at the lower station; there is a great space outside this door that is about 3.5' high plus a rail where your son could stand completely protected while you drove from the lower station with the door open; most are singe diesel with a bow thruster. These are all the reasons we bought ours.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:08 PM   #15
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Be sure to check that mooreage is available in Squalicum harbor or Blaine before moving too far down the road. At Squalicum I believe there is a waiting list for anything above 33'
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:14 PM   #16
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Thanks for the great advice. I'll be sure to check sooner than later as we'd like to be cruising this summer.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:37 PM   #17
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Sounds like a Californian or Mainship with a single engine plus thruster would be good for you.

Once you start looking other options are bound to come along as well, there are quite a few boats in the 32-38' range. Don't be too hung up on brand though, a good condition Mainship or Californian is a better bet than a poorly maintained Grand Banks, great boats that they are.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:25 AM   #18
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Mainship, Californian

I'd have to agree after looking at both they are very close to the list that my wife and I have. Although we'll need to look at others I am probably going to be looking very closely at those two. We really like the layout on them. That to us is more important than say space we won't use. I am going to call Bellingham port to see what options there are, I'd like to avoid having to "buy" into the marina. Better though as we would use the boat more frequently if it was local.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:39 AM   #19
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No offense to the Californian as they are great boats but with small kids I'd go the Mainship 390 route...molded steps to the bridge, deep gunnels around the sides, nice cockpit, HUGE bridge, good stateroom layout for a small family, nice lower helm, etc. They are very good boats for the $$$.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:56 AM   #20
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I have my eye ons 390, but won't be in Washington until July. Maybe it will be our next boat. Just have to wait until the wife and I can check it out.
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