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Old 09-29-2018, 09:34 PM   #1
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Trawlerfest 2018

Visited the show on Friday afternoon. Awesome boats, none that I will ever be able to afford. But what really struck me is that of the 20 or so boats on display, only one was a true trawler, meaning big boat, small motor, 8 knot max. This was the 57' Northern Marine 'Agave'. All the other boats had big motors to cruise at 15-20 knots. I guess that's where the market is.

Having recently 'discovered' the Helmsman brand, I was excited to see one. Made in China, apparently the low price means low features and build quality. I apologize if that opinion offends Helmsman owners :-)

On the other end of the spectrum, Krogen were well represented and all had the feel of a Rolls Royce inside.

Most unique boat: the Dutch made Elling E4, a 49 foot cruiser that has the ability to right itself if it gets rolled. Beautiful and functional at the same time.


Back to the 57 Northern Marine expedition trawler, this is a fantastic boat. I met the owner of the boat, who is also now a part owner of the company. But these boats are for the very very wealthy customer.

All in all, an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. If you can't actually be out on a boat :-)

Jim
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:50 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jimfrens View Post
Having recently 'discovered' the Helmsman brand, I was excited to see one. Made in China, apparently the low price means low features and build quality. I apologize if that opinion offends Helmsman owners :-)

I’m not a Helmsman owner, but I would disagree with your characterization. Helmsman provide good value for the dollar. They are made in China. That means primarily that they are less expensive to make, not made less expensively. The quality of interior woodwork can be exceptional as well as the general construction at the shipyard.

The quality isn’t about where it is made, but how well the construction is managed by the company. As simply a spectator, it appears that Helmsman does a very good job of managing and overseeing their builds.

Reading through Bobphoto’s thread on the build of his new Hampton will give you an idea of just how good a Chinese build should be.

Some features will be different and is reflected in the price. Another way to look at it is like buying a car. Want a 2 door sports car? You can buy a Porsche 911 Turbo S or you can buy a Nissan 370Z. Both are great cars but there are differences. Yeah, the Porches will have higher quality luxurious interiors than the Nissan. The Porsche will be turbocharged, more horsepower, have rear wheel enhanced steering, etc... That doesn’t mean that the Nissan is of low quality.

I can’t afford to look at any new build, but if I could the Helmsman would be in the running along with any other boat out there. I DO own a North Pacific 43. North Pacific IMO was the business model that Helmsman adopted. Take a good design, build it in China so it can be sold at a reasonable price. If someone is in the market for a new boat, I would strongly recommend they consider the North Pacific or Helmsman line. Their designs are very different, so go with the features and layout that appear to your needs. Personally, I think the NP45 is nicest coastal cruiser between 40-50’. However, that is based on my own tastes and features that I find important.

Now, if someone wouldn’t ever be caught dead driving a Japanese car and will only consider Mercedes, BMW, or Porsche, then probably a Helmsman or North Pacific would not appeal to them.
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:21 AM   #3
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Hi,

Cheaper work costs = non-existent work security or hi tech production line.

For example, lamination, not respiratory protection, resins inhaled by exposure to cancer, Even you will not use a gas filter mask and a protective suit. The construction of the scaffold has a swaying plank and etc.

Of course it is far from my own eyes and not my problem if I think selfich and €/$.

Here's an example of a factory situation, could you imagine a boat factory on the US mainland could work this way, here it would not be possible?


This Trawler is fine and of high quality, but I criticize the lack of tired employment.

NBs
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Old 09-30-2018, 10:05 AM   #4
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We must have been at different TrawlerFests this weekend. There was more than one trawler that was moderately powered for displacement speeds - Nordhavn 47, 48’ & 44’ Krogens, 49’ North Pacific. None of those will hit 15 kts at WOT much less cruise at that speed.

And I have to agree with dhays regarding NP. I spent a total of 2 hours Friday & Saturday with Trevor Brice on the 49. What a magnificent boat for the money. And you’ll never find a nicer or more enthusiastic boat builder than Trevor.
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Old 09-30-2018, 11:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimfrens View Post

Having recently 'discovered' the Helmsman brand, I was excited to see one. Made in China, apparently the low price means low features and build quality. I apologize if that opinion offends Helmsman owners :-)
As a person who recently purchased a Helmsman and is waiting to take delivery, It may be considered that I am slightly biased.

That said, I must agree with Dave and brewster812 with their previous posts, and strongly disagree with your assessment of the Helmsman Brand. The Helmsman 38 and 43, with the 380hp Cummins top out at about 11.5 - 12 kts. Its comfort zone is at displacement speed.

I have spent my life on the water, and have been on a lot of boats. Over the last 12 months we have looked at tens of boats while we narrowed down what we wanted in a vessel for our next purchase.

The Helmsman's joinery work is some of the best you will find. Spend enough time studying every fine detail and you will be hard pressed to find any imperfections. I think I measure my time staring at these things now in days instead of hours.

The Helmsman is built using the same high end components as most luxury yachts. Blue Sea systems for electrics, Cummins powerplant, and the list goes on.

Taking things a step further, I was just on a 3 hour run to bring the 38E to TrawlerFest. Not once did I hear or feel a single creak while on the boat. Again, speaks to the quality of the build, as well as the hardware and materials. This is not so for some of the other "Name Brand" trawlers that we examined during our search for our new boat.

The beauty of the Helmsman is that it allows you to tailor the vessel to your needs. This is turn lowers the bottom line and allows you to invest in what works for you. For us, an example of this is the generator. We spend a fair amount of time on the hook and at moorings. Instead of a costly generator we will be investing in 1500 watts of Solar power to meet our power requirements. Thats a net savings of almost $15k after our solar install. And since the boat is pre-wired and plumbed for the generator, we can add it with little effort in the future if we require.

I would highly recommend anyone in the market for a quality Trawler take the time to look at the Helmsman line in detail. They provide an excellent vessel, that you will struggle to find at the same price point as any other builder.
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Old 09-30-2018, 03:38 PM   #6
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The E 4 is on my short list, it previewed last year in Newport...Anton was a pleasure to deal with as well..
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:51 AM   #7
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Back to the 57 Northern Marine expedition trawler, this is a fantastic boat. I met the owner of the boat, who is also now a part owner of the company. But these boats are for the very very wealthy customer.

Seems to me there's a black cloud hanging over Northern Marine; do some searching for that story...

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Old 10-01-2018, 10:17 AM   #8
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Hmmm

I was at the T-fest all day Friday and Saturday. A lot of beautiful, and for some hulls, very beautiful and pricey models on display. New and used of course. I am not sure I agree with the assessment by the OP as to true trawlers on display. Using the traditional definition of displacement hull alone there were in excess of twelve by my count. NP was certainly very well represented by T & J’s model that Trevor managed to use as his static display and the Helmsman model was a looker as well. (Thanks Scott & Paul!)...

The NM model (as previously mentioned) has it’s own “history” as to transparency....

Oh well, to each their own in the never ending quest to define a “true” trawler, right?
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:27 AM   #9
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Seems to me there's a black cloud hanging over Northern Marine; do some searching for that story...

-Chris
I'd give the guy a break on Northern Marine. It seems that they have a new crew and different design than the past bunch. Not sure why one would want to associate the new boat with a name with a bad history but that's not my decision.

I look forward to boarding the NM boat in Ft Lauderdale in a month.
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:40 AM   #10
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I'd give the guy a break on Northern Marine. It seems that they have a new crew and different design than the past bunch. Not sure why one would want to associate the new boat with a name with a bad history but that's not my decision.

I look forward to boarding the NM boat in Ft Lauderdale in a month.
Yes, new company. Yet the marketing literature on board [at the show] mentions all of the glorious positive history of Northern Marine.

So it’s either one of two things in my book;

If you want to assume all the good of the past as being yours, then the bad is attached with it.

If you want to be considered fresh and new, then don’t use history that isn’t yours.

Part of the “cost” of buying a name and then trying to make a go of it, right? For me, there’s an issue of transparency with whomever is attempting to resurrect a name of a business that someone else started. Be clear it’s about a name-only re-start and no one will take offense. Try to suggest you have the secret recipe, etc. and peeps will sniff the truth out pronto.

There’s another term for that we are all familiar with when attached to the military....
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Old 10-01-2018, 11:16 AM   #11
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IF you are content with the boat you own, I cant think of a reason to go to a trawler fest except to look at the toys. You might discover toys you didn't know you wanted or needed. LOL

Dont overlook the Stuart show.
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Old 10-01-2018, 11:37 AM   #12
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I am content with the boat I have. I go to boat shows to see the boat I might own in five or ten years from now. If I hadn't gone to a boat show six years ago, I probably wouldn't own a boat today. My wife is still kicking herself for suggesting we go to that show back then.
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Old 10-02-2018, 05:48 AM   #13
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Of course the Chinese also believe the KK’s are made in China! Sorry for the political insertion.
What I like about KK is ,that similar to Porsche in the above analogy, they stand behind their product and address all issues for a new owner ( my experience with both). The after purchase costs of remediating problems were not borne by the owner- not always the case with all builders.
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:17 AM   #14
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While the OP is very much entitled to his own opinions, I have a couple of comments. I think the criticism of Helmsman quality is poorly informed. Just read all the stories of happy purchasers here. That's one thing I base opinions on is the stories and reports of owners. China does not mean poor quality, just less expensive labor. Quality can vary widely.

As to the Elling, a nice boat, but let's not get carried away with the righting feature as that's very much a public relations attribute in a closely controlled situation.

As to the Northern and Agave. Please be aware that boat was not built by the current company or in the current manufacturing plant. It's a one of a kind built by Concorde marine.

I concur in finding it odd that they want to use the history of all the other Northern Marines there have been.

Glad you found Trawlerfest enjoyable and appreciate the report.

You are correct that the larger boat market is semi-displacement boats capable of greater speeds. This is especially true with any buyers who are not retired but have jobs and families involved.
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:34 AM   #15
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Attended the Diesel Class

I only attended the diesel class as ,y schedule was tight and I attended the full show in Stuart a few years back. IMHO, the highlite of the class is the stories from and access to Nigel and Steve. The Annapolis School of Seamanship class is much more hands on though it uses sailboat engines. Just a matter of scale there though.
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:53 AM   #16
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What trawler isn't built in China? The list is pretty short.
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Old 10-02-2018, 12:56 PM   #17
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What trawler isn't built in China? The list is pretty short.
American Tug is NOT built in China.
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Old 10-02-2018, 01:23 PM   #18
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American Tug is NOT built in China.
Wifey B: And is not a trawler. It's a TUG. It doesn't fit the trawler definition the OP is using as it typically runs 16 to 17 knots at WOT. Now, Nordhavn does since they're the proverbial "Slow Boat from China" people are always waiting on. Wow. Just thought about when they're shipped. Slow Boat from China on a slow boat from China. That could be made into a song.
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Old 10-02-2018, 01:49 PM   #19
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Wifey B: And is not a trawler. It's a TUG. It doesn't fit the trawler definition the OP is using as it typically runs 16 to 17 knots at WOT. Now, Nordhavn does since they're the proverbial "Slow Boat from China" people are always waiting on. Wow. Just thought about when they're shipped. Slow Boat from China on a slow boat from China. That could be made into a song.
BandB, ah yup, I totally agree with you, it does not fit the true definition of a trawler. At one time, a trawler was defined as round bottom and could not go faster than 8 knots. Yes, I owned a N46 which a boat yard destroyed when some idiot decided he could pull a jack before putting a new jack in place.

Then people kept expanding the definition of a trawler. We must consider the definition of a "fast trawler", what ever that is.

If I run my tug at 8 knots, I should get about 2 gph. Where as if I run it at 16 knots, in theory I will burn about 15 gph. Guess which I find more economical?
Remember I only carry 400 gallons of fuel compared to the N46's 1000 gallons of fuel. It was nice to bring the N46 down from Long Island to Ft Lauderdale without stopping for fuel. It had hyd stabilizers so I could and did run it outside the ICW at night. Seeing the bow take a bit of a dive through the waves, green water up against the pilot house windows, scaring the crap out of the guy holding a Captain's license. LOL I assured him the boat would survive but we might suffer a bit physically discomfort or damage. Well, he took my word for it and went back to bed. I did notice some days, he didn't want bacon with his eggs. LOL

It is nice to have the reserve speed..... to race the tide or to skirt a front.
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Old 10-05-2018, 01:29 PM   #20
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To quote a recent poster, American and Nordic Tugs (and Sundowners, etc.) are "trawleresque"...

Such a great word for the wide variety of our full to mostly-full displacement vessels!
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