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Old 07-30-2016, 02:27 PM   #1
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North Pacific 49/52 for live aboard and possible cruising to Belize

Hi ! My wife and I are seriously considering selling the house, buying a live aboard trawler and cruising - definitely the ICW, canals, Bahamas/Carribean and maybe Belize & Central America. We’re trying to balance livability, since it will be our home, and performance to support what we “may” want to do in cruising. For those who have cruised trawlers over to the islands and down to Central America, with proper caution and no schedule drivers, what might be the issues with taking an North Pacific 49 down there for weeks or months? Is there a huge performance gain to be had by considering something like a Kadey-Krogen North Sea instead ? And how are the NP trawlers considered on retaining value? Our initial inclination between the NP and KK would be the NP if it “has the right stuff” to do the cruising, but we're looking for what we don't know.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated !
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Old 07-30-2016, 02:37 PM   #2
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As a KK owner, can't speak highly enough. Don't know much about NPs. But, read the "Need advice ..." thread going now. DHays is currently doing the Inside Passage on a NP 43, and so far (knock on teak) not much has been said about the boat. I take that to mean that the boat has performed admirably and has been fully up to the task. I am sure others can offer more cogent advice, but I would think either boat would do what you want.
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Old 07-30-2016, 03:37 PM   #3
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Am very interested in the np line myself.I am also considering the kk's,and selenes.I have spoke to Trevor Brice from np. He is very responsive.Seems like a good value for the price,but I haven't personally been on one.I will attend the Annapolis boat show in the fall,where Trevor will be in attendance,and get to tour a 49.
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Old 07-30-2016, 04:02 PM   #4
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The NP 43, which is what I have, is a great coastal cruiser in my opinion. We only went as far as Desolation Sound this trip, but hit some pretty rough water crossing Rosario Strait. The boat handled it great.

The NP has very good build quality and I have very few complaints about the design. The layout has been great for us. So far we have spent a week with 5 large adults on board and have been very comfortable.

The KK and NP are two different types of boats. The NP have a SD hull, the KKs have a FD hull. In a way, comparing the two is an apples and oranges type of comparison. The Selenes are beautiful boats with an exceptional reputation and a price tag to match. I don't know if the quality is much above the NP as I have no experience with them. The Selenes are sure pretty to look at however.

NP has made some design changes in recent years based on owner experience and feedback. This has improved the design in my opinion. Some changes are small, some are larger. I do know that NP is exceptionally responsive to its owners and Trevor is always available, even to someone like me who simple bought one of his boats used. Reminds me of Catalina Yachts relationship with its owners.

You can't go wrong with either the KK or NP. I would look at what your needs are and what your budget is and go from there.
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Old 07-30-2016, 06:06 PM   #5
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buying a live aboard trawler and cruising - definitely the ICW, canals, Bahamas/Carribean and maybe Belize & Central America.
The Great Harbour N47 was designed for this type of cruising.
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Old 07-30-2016, 06:52 PM   #6
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My future cruising plans are the same...Bahamas to Caribbean & Central America. I haven't purchased the boat I plan to cruise yet and have struggled with the decision of whether a coastal cruiser with SD hull is up to the task or if a FD is required for this expanded cruising ground. I'm also looking in the mid-forty trawler size and think tankage and range on the NP would be OK but I seriously question a SD hull for some of the conditions you may run into, despite thinking that you have no schedule or time constraints. Weather in the Caribbean can kick up instantly and passages such as the Mona and Windward Passage can be downright dangerous. I think I've decided I want a more comfortable hull (FD) knowing some of the passages may take up to two or more days at sea traveling 7-8 knots. Much of the cruising is in steep, short-spaced swells generated by constant 15-20 tradewinds much of the year. You should probably consider stabilization on whichever hull design you choose.
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Old 07-30-2016, 08:43 PM   #7
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My future cruising plans are the same...Bahamas to Caribbean & Central America. I haven't purchased the boat I plan to cruise yet and have struggled with the decision of whether a coastal cruiser with SD hull is up to the task or if a FD is required for this expanded cruising ground. I'm also looking in the mid-forty trawler size and think tankage and range on the NP would be OK but I seriously question a SD hull for some of the conditions you may run into, despite thinking that you have no schedule or time constraints. Weather in the Caribbean can kick up instantly and passages such as the Mona and Windward Passage can be downright dangerous. I think I've decided I want a more comfortable hull (FD) knowing some of the passages may take up to two or more days at sea traveling 7-8 knots. Much of the cruising is in steep, short-spaced swells generated by constant 15-20 tradewinds much of the year. You should probably consider stabilization on whichever hull design you choose.

If weather is not very predictable and you have a couple of days at sea at a time, then a FD hull might be better. If OTOH you can better view the weather windows then a SD should be fine. Most anywhere you travel you should have access to decent forecasts I would imagine.

Let's face it. None of us really want to get into weather conditions when the difference between a good SD hull and a FD hull would matter a lot.
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Old 07-30-2016, 10:25 PM   #8
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If weather is not very predictable and you have a couple of days at sea at a time, then a FD hull might be better. If OTOH you can better view the weather windows then a SD should be fine. Most anywhere you travel you should have access to decent forecasts I would imagine.

Let's face it. None of us really want to get into weather conditions when the difference between a good SD hull and a FD hull would matter a lot.

Good post!!

That's where you can use the SD hull form to its adavantage.

As you know, sometimes weather windows are fairly tight. With the SD hull form and appropriately sized engines you can trade fuel for miles and make a port or anchorage before weather or darkness sets in.

with the FD boat, yes you have better seakeeping qualities, but the trade off is that you do not have a choice regarding cruising speed.

Here's a great example that happens almost every day in many parts of the world. During the morning hours in general the weather is fairly calm. As the day warms we get sea breezes. These 15 knots or so breezes don't make anything dangerous, but they can make things unpleasant by early afternoon. If you are making a say 60 mile run between places you can do that in 4 hours at 14 knots or 8 hours at 7 knots.
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:54 PM   #9
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I think the boat you're considering in the NP 49/52 could be an excellent choice for the purpose you outline. To get from the US to Belize, you're only talking one offshore stretch, from Key West to Cancun, and it's less than 350 nm. So, even at 10 knots, it's only a day and a half. Once there you're back to coastal cruising. Yes, fewer ports.

The NP vs. the KK becomes a matter of taste and what you like. We would like having the extra speed in reserve. You do need to check the range of the boat at various speeds. KK builds fine boats and they can be passagemakers, but you're really not talking about a long ocean passage. Now you may sit in Key West two weeks or more waiting for a good window as one board member had to. But then that's fine. How absolutely horrid to be stuck in paradise. I think the Bahamas and Eastern Caribbean are all well within the capabilities.
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Old 07-31-2016, 06:58 AM   #10
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Steve,

We have a NP 39 Pilothouse and are planing on moving to the new 45. For us, North Pacific is great. As mentioned above Trevor is very responsive and is constantly taking owners suggestions to make improvements. Today is the fifth anniversary of buying the boat and as noted we would buy another but everyone has to make their own choice.

Are there any owners in the area that would be willing to take you out for a day? We would be happy to but are a good drive from Maryland. I have no connection with the company, just a happy owner.

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Old 07-31-2016, 07:07 AM   #11
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And if Cuba is truly opened up as a cruising port then the open water sections will be much less.
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Old 07-31-2016, 10:25 AM   #12
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Kevin and BandB make great points above. I am also jealous of Date night because the new 45 is the new and improved version of my 43. It will be a great boat.

The larger NP the OP is considering won't be as fast as either Kevin's or BandB's but definitely would have more speed available than the KK.

From the sounds of your hoped for usage, I would suggest buying the boat that will be the comfortable to actually live on for you. The number and ages of folks you will have on board, the style of living you anticipate etc and go with the boat that best fits.
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Old 07-31-2016, 11:19 AM   #13
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The Great Harbour N47 was designed for this type of cruising.

Has anyone here cruised an N47 in the Caribbean? Wondering how it would do in the bigger seas without stabilization.
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Old 07-31-2016, 11:57 AM   #14
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Has anyone here cruised an N47 in the Caribbean? Wondering how it would do in the bigger seas without stabilization.
I haven't, but wouldn't personally want any boat that size in that area without stablization.
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Old 07-31-2016, 12:44 PM   #15
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Wow !! Thank you all for the great feedback !! We live outside Annapolis and JUST found out the NP49 will be at the boat show. Unfortunately, we’ll be out on a 2 month road trip right at that time. We hope to maybe see the 49 in Stuart FL this month though. We DO drive north regularly (VT, NY) so CT could possibly happen and we’d really appreciate a ride ! Thanks Datenight ! It’d be interesting to see the 39. Our impression by pictures online is that the beam on the 43/45 is such that the salon be a bit narrow for our taste as a live aboard. Yep - understand that lots of folks live on lots less.

The N47 has been very high on our list, particularly for it’s shallow draft, full displacement hull and livability. We do like gunk holing on our Nimble Nomad. But, we’re still looking at as many other boats as possible before the time we plan to go buy. The Selenes look great but the price is a bit much and we’re trying to keep the draft to 5’ or less.

The FD versus SD tradeoff is going to be interesting. Giving up a bit of comfort to have the option to go faster with a SD may be worth the tradeoff to gain a safety advantage - even if the “plan” is never to need to do so. But, on that 350nm leg at 11.4 knots, the NP would use about 442 gallons of it’s 500 gallon standard fuel load, although I think you can go up to about 950 gallons if you reduce the freshwater tanks.
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Old 07-31-2016, 01:31 PM   #16
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But, on that 350nm leg at 11.4 knots, the NP would use about 442 gallons of it’s 500 gallon standard fuel load, although I think you can go up to about 950 gallons if you reduce the freshwater tanks.
I would target more range. However, it doesn't matter what boat you have there will be places where you adjust speed for range. On the boat you described if I was making a 350nm crossing, I'd find a speed, perhaps 10 knots, that would only require 350 gallons for the trip. Then I'd make the first half of the crossing at that speed, check my usage and remaining fuel, and then if everything looked ok speed up slightly the rest of the way, having increased my cushion. If we were making that trip on the boat we're on at the moment, we'd go the first half of it at 12 knots where we have a range at 90% of 476 nm. Then we might speed up to 15 knots where our range is 378 nm.
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Old 07-31-2016, 01:39 PM   #17
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...but wouldn't personally want any boat that size in that area without stablization.
That was my thought. Regardless of FD/SD I'd think an effective stabilization system would be very important. Is that a typical NP configuration?
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Old 07-31-2016, 02:53 PM   #18
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I don't see stabilizers on the 2006 52 ft NP or the 2016 49 ft NP for sale online nor on the NP website spec sheet for the NP49. Interesting though, the Kadey-Krogen website cites an article which refers to the 48 North Sea being "form stabilized ", like the Great Harbour website does, but I'm finding that most of KK North Seas have fin stabilizers. I guess stabilizers are another "preference" item ?
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Old 07-31-2016, 02:56 PM   #19
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That was my thought. Regardless of FD/SD I'd think an effective stabilization system would be very important. Is that a typical NP configuration?

North Pacific's are not typically equipped with stabilization systems that I am aware. However that is not to say they can't be. That is a good question for Trevor Brice.
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Old 07-31-2016, 04:14 PM   #20
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Np 49

I remember reading a blog several years ago by a couple who spent years cruising the Pacific Coast and Mexico. He had a SD boat but said he rarely went very fast. Basically, he said something like "it's an 8-knot ocean out there." The question becomes how often you might want to--and be able to, given sea/weather conditions--go faster than about 8 knots
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