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Old 11-29-2013, 04:05 PM   #1
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Decisions, Decisions

I'm wondering if anyone might be able to help us make a decision about which type of boat to buy to live aboard. We've been sailors for many years but are making the switch to either a trawler or motor yacht and planning to live aboard in Anacortes. For the first couple of years we'd just be cruising the San Juans and maybe trying the inside passage to Alaska.

After my husband retires we'd like to take it down to the Sea of Cortez and hang out there or keep on cruising. The question is full displacement hull or semi displacement? Best rig for beam seas? Heavy seas? I'm in love with a Silverton 453 (2000) but can't find anything complimentary from anyone about the handling or reliability.

The next one in line to see is a 1993 Tollycraft 44. 1552 total engine hours, Cat 3208 Turbo, 750 power. One issue is that the auto pilot stations are inoperable. Anyone know how much it is to get it fixed? Is it true that CAT engines suck down gas more quickly...sigh...diesel or gas engines...too many decision. My head is exploding!

We've also been looking at Grand Banks and Ocean Alexanders but they are a little (okay a lot) pricey. We'd like to stay at around 175K price wise.

We are not in a hurry to buy, but we trying to check every option. Any feedback would be very appreciated.
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:54 PM   #2
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I'm wondering if anyone might be able to help us make a decision about which type of boat to buy to live aboard. We've been sailors for many years but are making the switch to either a trawler or motor yacht and planning to live aboard in Anacortes. For the first couple of years we'd just be cruising the San Juans and maybe trying the inside passage to Alaska. After my husband retires we'd like to take it down to the Sea of Cortez and hang out there or keep on cruising. The question is full displacement hull or semi displacement? Best rig for beam seas? Heavy seas? I'm in love with a Silverton 453 (2000) but can't find anything complimentary from anyone about the handling or reliability. The next one in line to see is a 1993 Tollycraft 44. 1552 total engine hours, Cat 3208 Turbo, 750 power. One issue is that the auto pilot stations are inoperable. Anyone know how much it is to get it fixed? Is it true that CAT engines suck down gas more quickly...sigh...diesel or gas engines...too many decision. My head is exploding! We've also been looking at Grand Banks and Ocean Alexanders but they are a little (okay a lot) pricey. We'd like to stay at around 175K price wise. We are not in a hurry to buy, but we trying to check every option. Any feedback would be very appreciated.
For heavy seas full displacement is the way to go. There is a fairly new member by the name of Tolly40 I believe, he might be able to shed some light on the tollycraft.
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:59 PM   #3
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Given your expected cruising area- from Anacortes to Alaska and then down to the Sea of Cortez, maybe you should look at purely displacement trawlers. That hull form, typified by the Krogen 42 can get twice the fuel mileage as semi-displacement trawlers with bigger engines such as the Tollycraft both running at the same displacement speed.

OTOH if you are strictly going to cruise in the PNW then you might like the speed of the Tolly to get where you want to go quickly on weekends, albeit at much higher fuel consumption.

Other issues:

The long standing debate over twins vs singles, although almost all boats of that size (except the Krogen) will be twins.

Down vs up galley

Aft cabin like the traditional Grand Banks or a sedan or Europa layout.

The issues and choices are large and no one on this site can decide for you. All you can do is look, ask questions and look some more.

FWIW the Cat 3208 doesn't have any higher fuel consumption than any other engine in its class. Fuel consumption is more driven by hull form- round bottom displacement hull vs hard chine, flat deadrise hull form and of course the power required to go faster than displacement speed.

David
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Old 11-29-2013, 05:01 PM   #4
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Faster hulls often allow you to beat bad weather to port...so for coastal cruising...ANY boat that is built well enough and meets your boating requirements may fit the bill .
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Old 11-29-2013, 05:01 PM   #5
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If I had the cruising plan and budget you mentioned above, I'd be looking for a Willard 40, Krogen 42, or Hatteras 42 LRC.
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Old 11-29-2013, 05:23 PM   #6
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If I had the cruising plan and budget you mentioned above, I'd be looking for a Willard 40, Krogen 42, or Hatteras 42 LRC.

I will second that and if your are really planning on going to the Sea of Cortez then I suggest you look for either active stabilizers (fins) or passive stabilizers (paravanes). These are pricey items and don't know if they will fit your budget.

There are also good Canadian built one-off trawlers which are full displacement. A one-off may sell for less than the price of one of the name brands. Don't know the west coast market so I am not sure if they are available in the PNW. I believe some of the older Albins were full displacement. Selenes as well.

Look at the local market you might find a boat brought to the PNW where the owner doesn't want to do the California coast again.

Best of luck

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Old 11-29-2013, 05:55 PM   #7
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... For the first couple of years we'd just be cruising the San Juans and maybe trying the inside passage to Alaska.

After my husband retires we'd like to take it down to the Sea of Cortez and hang out there or keep on cruising...
For the areas you mentioned, a 34' vessel or larger will work with the only issue is how to get the boat from the PNW to Southern CA/MX/Sea of Cortez. Stay around that size range and you can truck it to SD. We cruised the Pacific side of MX from 2008-2011 and it was the only place where power boats sometimes out numbered sailboats in an anchorage. It is some of the best and benign cruising in the world. One issue is some of the anchorages are rolly and flopper stoppers will make the difference.

flopper stoppers by forespar - Yahoo Search Results

Now if you want to keep on cruising beyond MX, by the time you get that far, which most people don't, you will have dialed in what fits and what you want for a boat.
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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I would suggest you purchase the boat that will meet your needs for the immediate needs (living aboard and the San Juan Islands). After several years aboard and local cruising, you will know better what your future plans will be AND what type of boat will meet those plans.

Many buy too much boat the first time around. An ocean voyaging trawler may be great for world trips but not so great for living aboard in the San Juans. Likewise, you may buy the Silverton and it may serve you well for several years, but not be the boat to venture down the coast to Mexico.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:30 AM   #9
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The more ocean worthy the boat is the more it costs.And the fewer there are to chose from.

A true passagemaker (cross oceans) will be about $300% more than a coast hopper.

Try to be honest with yourself in your cruising plans , its big bucks to go outside!

This is very different from most sail cruisers where a lot of 30 ft boats can cruise the world.
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I'm in love with a Silverton 453 (2000) but can't find anything complimentary from anyone about the handling or reliability.
The 453 is a planing hull, not semi-displacement, etc... It'll usually be comfortable at planing speeds, sometimes at displacement speed depending on sea states.

There's an owners club (silvertonclub.com) where you can get additional info.

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Old 11-30-2013, 10:23 AM   #11
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I would suggest you purchase the boat that will meet your needs for the immediate needs (living aboard and the San Juan Islands). After several years aboard and local cruising, you will know better what your future plans will be AND what type of boat will meet those plans. .


If you can find a Tolly 44 with Cummins 6bts you will be very happy. Cat 3208 is second choice with the DD 8.2s a non choice. The Portland area is a good place to look for Tollys too. Fresh water boats (Columbia R and Lake Union) are nice to find.

Beware purchase price fixation, it is only the start of the big $$.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:36 AM   #12
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For your cruising plans, I agree with FF, you need 2 completely different boats. A third for the best liveaboard.

On a budget of $175k you should be able to find a sailboat that works best for the long distance cruises, one that will be big enough for comfortabgle living aboard. It won't do any fast coastal work, but may still be the best compromise.
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