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Old 04-21-2014, 07:06 AM   #1
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Trawler, Cuddy or houseboat?

Hi there, we are new to boating and are overwhelmed. Just trying to make good choices (new to me) We love the water, the lifestyle, the people etc. etc. We don't fish or party (please don't stop reading!!) We have kayaked all over the world and approaching 70. We are ready to take the plunge but there is so much to consider. We are looking at small trawlers with a diesel engine (chb etc) or 24' cuddy cabins etc. and a 28' houseboats with twin gas volvo engines.
What are the + and - of each choice based on your experience. We are interested in puget sound, the san juans, lake shasta, lake powell, we don't want to cross oceans, just move around the edges in safety and comfort with out spending and arm and a leg (we are prepared to spend an arm) thank you for any advice.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:27 AM   #2
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something like this...lots of older models out there of other manufacturers. Used to be a guy on here all the time that had one and travelled over most of the country...outcruised but a handful of trawler owners...

The Nomad 25 Trailerable Houseboat - By Nomad Houseboats, Inc.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:34 AM   #3
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We are looking at small trawlers with a diesel engine (chb etc) or 24' cuddy cabins etc. and a 28' houseboats with twin gas volvo engines.

What are the + and - of each choice based on your experience. We are interested in puget sound, the san juans, lake shasta, lake powell, we don't want to cross oceans, just move around the edges in safety and comfort with out spending and arm and a leg (we are prepared to spend an arm) thank you for any advice.

Those three types are sort of like polar opposites. Perhaps you could hum a few more bars how far you might travel in a single trip, how fast you might need to get there, whether your budget will support low or high fuel consumption, what kind of sea states you can tolerate on a trip like that (e.g., Puget Sound), whether you want to "live" or "camp" on board... and so forth.

In the meantime, it usually helps if you go look at lots of boats, and you can also do that virtually (sorta) by browsing on yachtworld.com.

-Chris
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:55 AM   #4
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Yes I am tri Polar, are there meds for that?? We are not in a hurry, low fuel consumption, what do you mean by sea states? , we would rather live on board ( i finally got married at 60 ..you know the rest!) At my age i would rather not go through the normal boating phases if i don't have to. Thanks what you say makes a lot of sense! you know at this point i don't even know the right questions!
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:09 AM   #5
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Checkout the C-Dory or better yet their Tom Kat models, almost ideal for what you want to do. Another, hassle free, and generally less expensive alternative is to not buy a boat, but rent/charter. All those places have extensive boat rental and charter operations. Certainly do that first for awhile, then if you still have the urge to buy, you will know exactly what you want.
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:37 AM   #6
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From your post it appears that you want to be able to trailer the boat around.

Based on that I would recommend a trailerable cabin cruiser. Pick your brand, and there are several out there.

For what you are wanting to do I think one of the best boats out there is the Bayliner model 2859.

It offers....

A real cabin, with a door
A vee berth larger than a queen bed.
A full galley with sink, stove, microwave.
A full head with shower.
A real raised pilothouse with seating for three comfortably and great visibility.

If I sound biased, I am. I've had two of that model boat and took ours all over Prince William Sound Alaska, along with trips out into the Gulf of Alaska.

These boats are very heavily built and easily seaworthy enough for your intended cruising grounds. They are very popular in the PACNW for use in Puget Sound, the San Juans, and surrounding areas.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:04 AM   #7
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Well your choice of cruising grounds- both lakes and seas, demands a trailerable. The Land and Sea that you have been looking at is going to take a big tow vehicle as I have previously indicated. And it won't be the best for the San Juans unless you are very careful with the weather. The Bayliner even though a good choice for a moored boat isn't really trailerable due to its weight- 8,500 lbs dry and its beam 9'6" which will require a permit.

So take a look at some of the trailerable trawlers. The Rosborough, C-Dory, Atlas Acadia, etc. All are less than 6,000 lbs dry and a beam of 8'6" which makes them towable with a half ton pickup or big SUV. They all have the accomodations that you require. Some are gas, some outboards, and some are diesel.

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Old 04-21-2014, 10:10 AM   #8
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Good recommendations so far. You should seriously look at the C-Dory--they are gas outboards but quite economical. I took a long look at the Bayliner 2859 recommended by ksanders and must agree this is a very good option as well--I was particularly impressed with the interior arrangement.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:55 AM   #9
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Hi Zinco,

Sounds like you want a trailerable boat with decent living accomodations, and with a fair amount of seaworthiness as well (needed for San Juans etc).

I'd ask: what's your budget? And don't forget to consider operating and towing costs.

If budget were generous, from what you've said so far I'd think a Ranger 27 or 25 would be pretty near perfect.

For quite a bit less, maybe a used Sea Sport 27 Navigator or Pilot. Sea Sport also made a nice 24 XL.

With outboard power, C-Dory boats are great - really well designed for cruising, very simple, economical, and seaworthy, ranging from 22 to 26 feet.

Another outboard option is a Rosborough RF246.

We started with a C-Dory 22 Cruiser, and after Lake Powell and several other big lakes graduated to the San Juans and BC's Gulf Islands, further north in BC, then on to a summer in Southeast Alaska in ours. We've since moved to a much heavier 26-foot diesel powered cruiser, with more comfort and amenities than the 22 C-Dory.

There are so many tradeoffs. For instance, one key one is how much weight are you willing to tow, and thus how big a truck do you need. Of all the above boats, maybe only the C-Dory 22 and 23 are safely towable around the west with a Grand Cherokee. Our cruising buddies had a Bayliner 2859 as mentioned above. It's very roomy, but on the very heavy and challenging end of towable boats - big truck, wide load permits, etc.

To make a good choice, you'd need to think through several aspects of how and where you might use your boat. Kinda hard to do without cruising or at least boating experience. Or, you could start small and simple as we did, learn some, and maybe switch to a bigger more complex boat later.

To consider some of the tradeoffs in boats, boat design, and equipment, you might find it interesting to check out my book on small power boat cruising of the Inside Passage, "Cruising in a Big Way". It's available with a sizable preview to look at on Lulu.com. Also on Amazon.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:32 AM   #10
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Here's one for consideration. There are several available. They have been made in outboard and stern drive configurations in both gas and diesel. I particularly like the covered aft deck. They can be seen most anywhere on the ICW just cruising away.

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2007...ingston/Canada
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:16 PM   #11
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On smaller boats, a four stroke outboard really makes sense. It can annoy the traditionalists, but on a practical level it can really be a win. Stern drives are a PITA. Worst of all worlds, complex and access is often bad. Diesel outdrives even worse, if possible. Above about 30-35' is where diesel inboard starts to make sense, but lots of variables there.

Anything that goes wrong with an outboard can be fixed with the "four bolt tune-up"!!!
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:30 PM   #12
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You might want to take a peek at Ranger Tugs. Try not to spend your arm as it may limit any future kayaking. This advice is given by someone who spent half his life going in circles.
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:16 PM   #13
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Trawler, Cuddy or houseboat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonstruck View Post
Here's one for consideration. There are several available. They have been made in outboard and stern drive configurations in both gas and diesel. I particularly like the covered aft deck. They can be seen most anywhere on the ICW just cruising away.



http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2007...ingston/Canada

I had a double take at that last pic moonstruck. I was looking at it thinking how in heck have they fixed that fly bridge hahaha ...



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Old 04-21-2014, 01:21 PM   #14
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Yes I am tri Polar, are there meds for that?? We are not in a hurry, low fuel consumption, what do you mean by sea states? , we would rather live on board ( i finally got married at 60 ..you know the rest!) At my age i would rather not go through the normal boating phases if i don't have to. Thanks what you say makes a lot of sense! you know at this point i don't even know the right questions!

Yes, I have similar issues; so many boats, so little time.

Comparatively speaking... Lots of space in a houseboat, but the hull form usually doesn't lend itself to choppy seas or big waves. Fair amount of space in a small, usually slow (or slower) and generally economical trawler with a hull form that can usually handle rougher sea states. Often more speed from a cuddy cabin cruiser of approx. the same length, not so much interior living space... but the additional speed often gives you some flexibility when it comes to wind and weather (not good? wait it out. you'll still get there in time...)

Living on board can have a couple meanings: really, no kidding, always. Many gravitate toward a bigger and usually non-trailerable boat, houseboat on lakes and rivers, trawler or long range cruiser of some sort in coastal or even passage situations.

Or just for extended periods, but comfort wouldn't hurt. Smaller "trawlers," including some of the trailerable cruisers.

Compare that to camping on board (cuddy?), which tends to be more minimalist. But costs less

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Old 04-21-2014, 01:25 PM   #15
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I had a double take at that last pic moonstruck. I was looking at it thinking how in heck have they fixed that fly bridge hahaha ...



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Matt, I think that flybridge is optional.
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:41 AM   #16
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Until you try cruising the unknowns , what you will enjoy the most , will remain a mystery.

Since price counts , a low priced cruiser gas IO or outboard under say $7500 on a trailer would be my first look for.

A good running boat , NOT a fixer up special. Look at 23-25 ft boats to see how you fit first.

The gas bill nay be higher than a diesel crawler , but the round trip Buy , maintain , and finally sell will be fairly low , perhaps free!

After a season you will have discovered just what it is you enjoy the most.

In many marinas if you dont live too far , you can arrange the boat to be towed to your home for storage if needed.Ask a kid with a big pick up truck.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:24 AM   #17
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WOW..you guys are awesome..i feel like i found the holy grail here!
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