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Old 01-01-2015, 02:22 PM   #1
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Stand up engine room

My husband and I have narrowed down our choice in a used trawler to a either Nordhavn (40, 43 or 47) and Kadey Krogen (44 or 48). I am 61 and my husband is 68 and we plan to become full time liveaboards, close cruising the east coast from the Keys to Maine. My husband is 6'2". How important is it to have a stand up engine room - like the Norhavn 47? What other features do you think are important for "aging boaters". We have one shot at getting this choice right. All advice or tips appreciated!
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:38 PM   #2
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Having had all sorts of engine rooms, I can tell you that even in my early 50's I really appreciate a stand up engine room (with great outboard access to both engines). It makes the difference between enjoying a trip to the engine room versus dreading it, with the consequence that I spend much more time inspecting all aspects of my engines (and everything else in the engine room), which has to be good for preventative maintenance and consequent reliability.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:40 PM   #3
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I really appreciate this advice. I have been reading extensively about engine room and maitenance and I keep thinking that a stand up engine room might be a controlling feature in our choice.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:42 PM   #4
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I think it depends on one's physical condition and the continued expectancy of such. I know 75-year-olds who still crawl around in the underfloor engine room of a Grand Banks or similar boat, and I know 50-somethings who hire out all engine room work because they are physically incapable of doing it for various reasons.

I would say if you can afford a boat with a full stand-up engine room, get one. I'm capable-- more or less-- of crawling and squirming around in the crowded engine space of our GB36 (two engines and a large generator) to do the things I need to do down there. There are some jobs we hire out because I'm simply too lazy and unwilling to make the effort. But I would love to have a walk-around engine room simply because it would make most engine room chores that much easier and quicker to do. Let alone the advantages it would present as I get older.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:57 PM   #5
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Thanks - its sounds like a used Norhavn 47 is the trawler for us. That is the only one in our budget with a stand up engine room.
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Old 01-01-2015, 03:11 PM   #6
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I believe the Defever 44 and 49 have stand up engine rooms, not sure about 6ft 2 but close....
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Old 01-01-2015, 03:30 PM   #7
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After seeing the ER on a Great Harbor GH37 I had a bad case of ER envy. It's is especially bad when I get in to the bilge, slide under the muffler and lay between the hull and the starboard engine to change the oil filter.
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Old 01-01-2015, 03:32 PM   #8
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Ha ha! But seriously, I think since we are older boaters planning our one and only trawer purchase, we need to consider ergonomics very seriously.
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:25 PM   #9
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Great short list
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:28 PM   #10
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Stand up ER with plenty of walking and maneuvering room around the engines was a must-have for us when buying a full time cruiser and live aboard. The point made about it encouraging time in the ER, rather than discouraging, is a very good one. Likewise, making it easier for a big klutz like me to do work and easily see what was going on with all the systems housed there. One factor not mentioned is that it will save you money and increase quality on the work you do hire out, making the tech's job easier and faster.
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:29 PM   #11
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I think more room is always better, but don't forget that the space comes from somewhere, so there is no free lunch. Room to get around the engine(s) and to reach /access everything I think is just as important as how much you have to crouch over.

I think the Nordhavn 47 is a good choice (I'm partial, I know), but keep in mind that only the forward-most part of the ER is "stand up". As you move aft you will be crouching more and more. I think this is typical more most boats except for the really, really big ones.

One thing I've found as I get older, and especially climbing around in a boat, is that knee pads are an old fart's best friend.
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:56 PM   #12
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Thanks - its sounds like a used Norhavn 47 is the trawler for us. That is the only one in our budget with a stand up engine room.
All standup ER are not created equally. You will need to look at each boat but I suspect most will limited to 6'. Your husband in most cases will need to duck a little. Also, you might want to check out the Great Harbour N47s that are on the market.
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:58 PM   #13
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I see your planing to cruise the coast from Maine to FL. I can take nothing away from any Nordhavn or Krogen, but if you aren't going to do blue water cruising, there may be some of the others you'd like to consider. The Nordhavn is a sea vault, with proper bulkheads, windows and ports to harden it against the weather and waves of the ocean. The compromise is that the space inside may be a bit more confined for the size of boat, which is actually an advantage at sea. Krogen is also outstanding and a bit more friendly to live aboard if space and light is important to you. Beautiful looking boats, too. If you're plan is to stay outside the Intercoastal Waterway and travel the ocean, you might be better off with those brands.

A stand-up engine room becomes more important to me each day. My cruising agenda is very similar, although I intend to do the Great American Loop and Bahamas as well. If you've got the budget to afford the boats you mentioned, and would rather travel the Intercoastal Waterway and it's various bays, rivers, etc., I would also get aboard the Great Harbour N-47. They are the kings of ergonomics and mostly the reason I am considering one myself. They are considerably shallower in draft (the amount of boat that is under the water), so exploring in rivers and bays is the boats forte. A great deal of storage space below is also full height. They are built like tanks but are not the blue-water design of a Nordhavn, Krogen or Diesel Duck.

A few custom builds have stand-up or near stand-up engine rooms but require much more research and a really wise surveyor. Selene is another brand that may have the engine room you want in some models. Someone might suggest Diesel Duck, which is another very capable ocean vessel if you don't mind the cave-like interior. If your husband is handy, older boats like the DeFevers would be well worth considering, but with your budget, you could probably save yourself some trouble by staying with newer vessels that are well cared for.

Hope someone else can think of more stand-up designs to add, and it would help if you could share some of the things you'd like in the boat as well. Best of luck.
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:39 PM   #14
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"If your husband is handy, older boats like the DeFevers would be well worth considering, but with your budget, you could probably save yourself some trouble by staying with newer vessels that are well cared for. "

Not all DeFevers are old; rather, new models continue to be built exclusively by Pocta in China.
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:36 PM   #15
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Not all DeFevers are old; rather, new models continue to be built exclusively by Pocta in China.
I have no scope on later DeFevers as they relate to stand-up engine rooms. Please comment.

BTW, Mainetrawler, I wish I had an Admiral that was seeking a stand-up engine roomed vessel to stamp her approval on. Bless your pea-pickin' heart.
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:49 PM   #16
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We are on our second Defever, first a 44 and now a 50. Both have almost 6 feet of headroom in the engine room. It was a luxury on our 44, when we were in our 30's. Now that I am 65, it is almost essential. True, we sacrifice some space elsewhere, but it is well worth it not to have to contort myself to check the oil.

One factor to consider is whether an uncomfortable engine room might tempt you to cut corners on maintenance when it just seems too much trouble.
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:55 PM   #17
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I think more room is always better, but don't forget that the space comes from somewhere, so there is no free lunch. Room to get around the engine(s) and to reach /access everything I think is just as important as how much you have to crouch over.

I think the Nordhavn 47 is a good choice (I'm partial, I know), but keep in mind that only the forward-most part of the ER is "stand up". As you move aft you will be crouching more and more. I think this is typical more most boats except for the really, really big ones.

One thing I've found as I get older, and especially climbing around in a boat, is that knee pads are an old fart's best friend.

Good evaluation, I'll have those knee pads ready the next time you come into town.
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:56 PM   #18
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If you have any specific questions on the Nordhavn 47 feel free to ask. We own hull number 12 of the series.
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:20 PM   #19
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Greetings,
Yes, knee pads AND a small stool to sit upon. I use a 14" step stool to minimize the rise from ground level to standing.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:00 PM   #20
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Good evaluation, I'll have those knee pads ready the next time you come into town.
Don't worry, Oliver. Your time will come..... Enjoy it while you can...
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