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Old 10-27-2018, 10:26 PM   #1
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What type of hull?

Greeting. New to the forum and looking for advice on my first Trawler purchase. There are a lot of really nice boats for sale and I wanted some perspectives on whether to look at fiberglass or steel hulls. I don’t know anything about steel hulls and currently I have a 34 ft Wellcraft 3200 Martinique. Also looking at having a twin diesels with 2 staterooms at least 40ft long. Looking at purchasing possibly next summer and my budget would be $60,000 or less. I am not afraid of an older boat and I also do like the classiness of older boats in general. The Hatteras, ChrisCraft, Grand Banks and older Trawlers I think are some of the nicest boats out there. Also, can I get roominess from a Trawler less than 40ft in length. Don’t want to be crowded with 4-6 adults if cruising the Great Lakes.

Any comments are much appreciated.

Jim
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:32 PM   #2
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Greeting. New to the forum and looking for advice on my first Trawler purchase. There are a lot of really nice boats for sale and I wanted some perspectives on whether to look at fiberglass or steel hulls. I donít know anything about steel hulls and currently I have a 34 ft Wellcraft 3200 Martinique. Also looking at having a twin diesels with 2 staterooms at least 40ft long. Looking at purchasing possibly next summer and my budget would be $60,000 or less. I am not afraid of an older boat and I also do like the classiness of older boats in general. The Hatteras, ChrisCraft, Grand Banks and older Trawlers I think are some of the nicest boats out there.

Any comments are much appreciated.

J8m
Welcome.

I've never owned a steel hulled boat. Most modern boats are made of fiberglass for a lot of very good reasons. There are some very good boats with steel hulls but in general, I believe they are more expensive.

Take a look at the boats you mention. Older ones are made of wood and modern ones are fiberglass.
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:46 PM   #3
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Dave,

Thanks for the reply. I am looking at boats from 1975 thru mid 1980’s. You are right about Fiberglass boats. I found a couple steel hulls reasonably priced but don’t know anything about them. I would rather have fiberglass.

Thanks Jim
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:05 PM   #4
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A 40-45 footer would be crowded with six adults for more than an overnighter. If you're retired and have a lot of time to poke along at 6-8 knots, a "trawler" with small twins might make sense. If you're not retired and are thinking in terms of vacation outings around the Lakes, a faster planing hull might be the better bet.

My brother-in-law's family owned a nice 36' Vinnette (steel hull, built in Escanaba). Lots of character, slow, nice ride. Old systems. Definitely not a rust bucket, but they kept after it...always sanding and painting something. No thanks. It was a single.
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:19 PM   #5
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I guess the biggest thing for me was fuel economy. My Wellcraft has Volvo 7.4 GI and cruising at 18 knots burns about 40gph. I know I could cruise slower but not being on plane the ride isn’t great. It’s nice to cruise faster but wish I could go at least 10-15 knots with decent fuel economy.

Thanks Jim
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:26 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr. JV. 10-15 knots cruise AND "economy" might be pushing it with a 40' boat. Have you considered a "Motor Yacht"as an alternative to a "trawler"? The ability to "cruise" with low fuel burn as well as higher speed operation with the accompanying drainage of your bank account.
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:37 PM   #7
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RTF

I have looked at some, being Hatteras and ChrisCraft. I was told about Trawlers from a gentleman who has a boat slip next to me. Fuel economy like you said is better traveling under 10 knots but I wasn’t sure if there were some out there that did ok above the normal 7 knots or so of a Trawler.

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Old 10-27-2018, 11:46 PM   #8
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Thatís a very challenging combination. I would suggest optimizing for fewer variables. 6 adults, cruising, I donít think so unless theyíre close family. Even thatís tight.

Iíve had steel, wood, ferrocement, and fiberglass. All have pluses and minuses, but once you let anything other than fiberglass deteriorate then itís game over. Might take a while, but 99% of those boats arenít coming back.

You will need insurance, even if you pay cash (I.e. not financed). Project boats are getting very unwelcome in marinas and the environmental hazard is always increasing.

Youíre not new to boating, but understand that the kind of boat you are talking about is...guessing...2 times the maintenance of what you have. In the range you are contemplating thatís a fair amount of exterior wood, which deteriorates surprisingly fast. Or gas engines. Or 30 year old diesel engines. And 30 year old fuel tanks. Any boat in this range could turn around and bite you for another $20k overnight.

The subject is ďwhat type of HullĒ and I guess what Iím saying is that really shouldnít be your top concern - you can make almost any hull style work for you but you cannot boat with a vessel in poor condition.
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:53 PM   #9
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Greetings,
Mr. JV. One alternative is buy a slow boat and a dinghy fast enough to scare yourself. EVERY boat is a compromise in some form. Again, read through this link...Boat Search 101
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:58 PM   #10
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Keith

Thanks. The only reason I mentioned things other than the hull was due to reading other posts were guys asked about purchasing a boat and then being asked for more info.

I appreciate your advice. I agree that 6 adults would be too much but was looking at traveling across Lake Michigan and docking at Harbor but staying in local hotel. I have 2 sons, one married with second child on the way and the other son is serious with current but you never know how that goes.

Thanks again

Jim
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Old 10-28-2018, 08:35 AM   #11
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There are a lot of really nice boats for sale and I wanted some perspectives on whether to look at fiberglass or steel hulls. I don’t know anything about steel hulls and currently I have a 34 ft Wellcraft 3200 Martinique. Also looking at having a twin diesels with 2 staterooms at least 40ft long. Looking at purchasing possibly next summer and my budget would be $60,000 or less. I am not afraid of an older boat and I also do like the classiness of older boats in general. The Hatteras, ChrisCraft, Grand Banks and older Trawlers I think are some of the nicest boats out there. Also, can I get roominess from a Trawler less than 40ft in length. Don’t want to be crowded with 4-6 adults if cruising the Great Lakes.
Hull material -- fiberglass, steel, aluminum, wood -- can be one part of the question, and then hull form (or shape) -- full displacement, semi-displacement/semi-planing, planing is maybe part two. That said... I'd expect much of that will fall into place as you research boats that have other features you need/want, at a price you like.

For example, 6 adults for cruising (more than just an overnight here or there) can be a first filter. From what I've seen, many 40-45' boats are often set up with two staterooms, one head or two, with maybe some additional sleeping facility on a pull-out or jackknife couch in the saloon, or maybe in a convertible dinette. Even that depends on boat style; an aft-cabin motor yacht or a trunk-cabin trawler (etc.) even maybe 35', may have that with two heads, whereas a sportfish or "Euro" model trawler at 42-44' may not (I think likely wont') have a second head.

Then maybe at the 46-48' mark or larger, you start seeing a 3rd stateroom, 2nd head.

All that very much a generalization, though.

(Ours is a 2-stateroom, one head model and it initially HAD a pull-out couch. Six on board for even one night would be a major pain in the a$$. YMMV, but our couch has been replaced with recliners.)

Maybe you can rummage through yachtworld.com and ID boats that appeal to you AND have three staterooms (if you think that's a good goal) and then use what you learn from that to focus a bit. (Maybe use something like the Hatteras LRCs as a benchmark for that style, maybe some other brands/models that appeal to you for trawler or ACMY/CPMY styles, etc.)

And what you see may make the hull material question sorta beside the point.

-Chris
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:44 AM   #12
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Chris

Thanks for the response. After reviewing the link RTF mentioned above and your comment, reaffirmed what most are saying. I believe a older ChrisCraft or Hatteras between 40-50ft would be ideal for what I am looking for. Thanks for mentioning your boat and view on accommodations for up to 6.

JV
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:09 AM   #13
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You could come close to what you want but only in a light planing hull. I mean light for the type not light compared to a trawler. The only efficient trawler will be 8 knots.

An old Tollycraft plywood boat may be good. And w turbo diesels .. like Yanmars.
Light as in not over loaded w anything like heavy engines, excess fuel or water and things like batteries. Big holding tanks are ok as they start out empty. Fuel not as they start out full.

Weight is the enemy. Even FD boats compute the power required by comparing the power to the displacement. A very light planing hull w little transom submerged will deliver. Also a light SD but close to planing form w a small amount of rocker and again lightweight. SD w straight run aft will not be economical ... unless she’s extremely light and trawlers are not.

Adding to the efficient formula look for narrow boats too. Light, slight rocker and narrow. But I know of no such boat ... off hand. An old Huckins comes to mind but they have no rocker and are not narrow. A 32 Nordic Tug has slight rocker and is somewhat narrow but not at all light. Bigger NT’s may have rocker. You probably won’t find this boat you want. So you either misstated your requirments or youll need to compromise. Sorry
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:49 AM   #14
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Keith

I appreciate your advice. I agree that 6 adults would be too much but was looking at traveling across Lake Michigan and docking at Harbor but staying in local hotel. I have 2 sons, one married with second child on the way and the other son is serious with current but you never know how that goes.

Thanks again

Jim
The reason I asked about how you're planning to use the boat in my earlier post is that fast versus slow versus fuel economy versus weather on the Great Lakes are all obviously closely intertwined. More than on the ocean or rivers. We have a 44 Ocean Alexander with an Ed Monk Jr designed semi-planing/displacement hull. It has twin 250 diesels. The design point for a semi-planing hull is the hump speed + range...12-15 knots for our hull. So, they're much better than a planing hull (in terms of ride) at hull speed, and decent in the hump speed+ range. Our boat easily gets 2 mpg @ 7 kts, and about 1.6 mpg @ 8.5 knots where I like to cruise. Fuel burn at 12 knots is about 10 gph. At 15 kts it's about 15 gph. Max speed is about 17 kts. A semi-planing hull can be pushed into the mid 20's with big engines, but the fuel burn will be worse than a planing hull by a lot.

Now, here's the deal on the Great Lakes (which you already know). The wind and short period waves will seriously narrow the decent windows for running at hull speed. Even if you have a full displacement hull like a Nordhavn, you would find yourself waiting around for 3 footers or less because the chop sux. Happens to us, and it happens to loopers with slow boats that we see passing through Michigan in late summer. Sturgeon Bay light house to the Frankfort breakwater is 6 hours at 8.5 knots....long time getting knocked around...your guests will hate it. Green Bay - Frankfort is 11 hours. If you or your passengers have a lot of time, then you can wait around for weather windows. If not, then as mentioned earlier, a motoryacht with a planing hull makes more sense. Diesel powered Carver, Cruisers, Maxim, Hatt, Sea Ray motoryachts fit the Great Lakes best in my view.

By the way, easily 90% of the "trawlers" you see with the jaunty Grand Banks "look" are either planing hulls, or not very good semi-planing hulls. The lower price range boats are the worst with mediocre hull designs and low powered twins that can't get them over the hump even if the hull is up to it. So, they're stuck at hull speed with a hull shape that isn't a whole lot better than a planing hull (at slow speeds). I'd look for an older diesel powered Carver or Hatt if you want to make best use of limited time for occasional short duration cruises.
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Old 10-28-2018, 12:59 PM   #15
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@JimmyV - As others have pointed out, long distance Great Lakes travel (not my area) has its own set of tradeoffs in terms of time, conditions, and comfort.

The good news about boats in this area is that they are in fresh water, may have been there most if not all their life. The bad news is that they're a bit more expensive. I know a couple of folks who purchased Tiaras from the region (where they are manufactured) and trucked them to Seattle specifically because they were freshwater boats.

Among the brands mentioned, Hatteras has fiberglass fuel tanks. But they have heavy-duty systems that can be expensive to maintain/replace, many are still 24vdc, and the ones in your range will almost certainly have 2-cycle Detroit Diesels. But there's also a very strong owners forum. There are a couple of 43 DCs on YachtWorld in your area that you might look at.

And I had another thought - look at what boats are in your area in good numbers and are in use - THOSE at the ones that "work" for other folks in YOUR area, in YOUR conditions, during YOUR boating season. Boats that "work" there will tend to collect there over time, and those that don't will migrate away. If there are zero of a particular type in your area, that's probably indicating something important.
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Old 10-28-2018, 01:15 PM   #16
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My Hatteras motoryacht has 12v, 24v, 32v, 110v and 220v systems onboard....... it’s all high quality equipment, but there sure is a lot of it!
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Old 10-28-2018, 01:25 PM   #17
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We have a 41’ President sundeck with 2 cabins and 2 heads. It is great for 4 people (2 couples) but would be crowded for 6 for more than a couple of nights. We have twin SP225 Lehmans in it. It topped out at 17 knots on the sea trial. We find that we cruise most of the time at 9 knots. We burn about 6 to 7 gallons per hour at that speed. It would be better if we slowed down but 9 knots just works for us.

I would not focus so much on a brand but rather the condition of the particular boat. Our boat was a cosmetic mess when we bought it, but I am retired and love to work on my boat. We have painted the whole boat, replaced all the portholes, replaced the main electrical panel, new canvas all around, added a stern thruster, removed old leaking windows and glassed them closed, added new hatches for light and ventilation, new hardtop on the flybridge and so many other projects that I can’t remember them all, but this is what I like doing and have all winter to work on the boat. My project this winter is to recaulk and refinish the teak decking on the sundeck along with a lot of other teak railings.
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Old 10-28-2018, 01:52 PM   #18
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We have painted the whole boat, replaced all the portholes, replaced the main electrical panel, new canvas all around, added a stern thruster, removed old leaking windows and glassed them closed, added new hatches for light and ventilation, new hardtop on the flybridge and so many other projects that I canít remember them all...
If that work were hired out, it would approach $100K. And it didn't even mention propulsion or tankage. But even assuming 100% of labor was provided by the owner and "friends", that's still maybe $20K in parts, materials, and tools. And while the work was "in progress", if anything happened that prompted selling the vessel, it would mean a substantial value beatdown.
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:22 PM   #19
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I donít do it to make money. I do it because I love working on my boat(s). We are on our 23rd boat now. However when we go to sell a boat it usually goes to the first person to look at it... Having said that, this may be my last big boat as I am not able to work as much as I used to be able to.
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:40 PM   #20
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Your $60K budget and goals may need a rethink. Your Wellcraft all in expenses will be much less than a twin diesel 40 footer that needs lots of care, attention and new stuff. Stuff like possibly new fuel tanks, upgraded instruments, engine parts and pieces, fixing windows etc. A 40 footer that is pristine will be way more that $60K.

This is one reason why so many buy a sailboat that motors but never sails. Easy on fuel, hull speed easy to do, seaworthy, sleeps 6 and low maintenance.
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