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Old 11-18-2019, 09:40 AM   #1
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Big enough for Great Loop?

I am shopping for first trawler and am wondering how something like the Nimble Nomad would work for doing America’s Great Loop? Seems to me that if you are not headed for rougher waters and plan to get off the boat for a couple of hours per day then this is plenty big enough?

I do like the idea of being able to trailer the boat. Why should I pay to winter the boat on someone else’s land when I have room on my own? Then I can work on the boat how and when I want.

So what am I missing?
Smaller boat = smaller costs = go farther and more often.
No?
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:47 AM   #2
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You could do the loop in just about anything you'll be comfortable living aboard. You'll just end up doing it somewhat differently in a bigger vs smaller boat. With a small boat, there are places you may explore that the bigger boats can't go. And with a big boat, you may run in some places or weather that a smaller boat will choose to avoid.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:56 AM   #3
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Of course it's big enough. Go for it. Are you single handing or a couple? Might get a little close with 2 or more people.

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Old 11-18-2019, 09:57 AM   #4
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I see a lot of C Dory’s doing the loop or trailer cruising usually with Honda four stroke O/B’s. I would think your physical size and if your single handing the boat might be important in your choices.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:30 AM   #5
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You're doing the right thing - poling the Trawler Forum group, which has some very experience cruisers here, but ultimately it will be about what you find comfortable.
Some people can go cross country tenting, others need a Class A motor home only and everything in between.
All the best in your research!
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:48 AM   #6
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Plenty big enough. IIRC, the fuel capacity is pretty low, so you may have to tote a couple of jerry cans of fuel on some stretches on the west side.
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:06 PM   #7
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Wifey B: Only you can decide but please make sure you're honest with yourself. I personally can't imagine spending a year living on a Nimble Nomad. I think they're cute little boats and great for many things but that's not one of them. I think of it in the RV world as somewhat like the small fifth wheels. We knew someone with one and they'd spend six months a year on it in NC as they then lived in FL. I would have had my fill of time on it in a day. Just think carefully of all day, every day.
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:43 PM   #8
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As others have said, it's all about your personal comfort requirements. You can do the loop paddling a waterproofed coffin if you want to. The Nomad could do it for sure. It'd be too small for me personally, but I'm fairly enormous, and I never leave home without my extensive bowling ball collection.

As Larry Pardey famously said: 'Go small, go simple, go now.' If you're comfortable with a nomad, and have the opportunity and desire to leave next Wednesday, then there's no sense in waiting seven years to be able to afford something bigger and more complicated.
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:59 PM   #9
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All Day

Wifey B you went almost to the heart of my thoughts. I don't want to spend all day every day on the boat. From what I see they figure about 100 days of travel out of one year. If the boat is not moving I want to get off and explore. If the boat is too comfortable I will end up watching TV on the couch (scratch that settee). I have a more comfortable couch and bigger TV with more channels on land. If I am not seeing and doing new things why bother?

So I am trying to figure out how small is almost too small.
I have not heard anyone mention head room at the helm but I have noticed a lot of bigger boats are pretty low where you spend a lot of time. Berths are another thing that they seem to skimp on. A full length bed seems one of the more important things to a 6'4" guy.

A lot of small cars have more head and leg room then the big cars. Never understood why bigger vehicles so often have less room where I need it.

So I am still thinking we need head and leg room for helm and berth then just enough room for wife & I to get around each other every where else?
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:13 PM   #10
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Wifey B you went almost to the heart of my thoughts. I don't want to spend all day every day on the boat. From what I see they figure about 100 days of travel out of one year. If the boat is not moving I want to get off and explore. If the boat is too comfortable I will end up watching TV on the couch (scratch that settee). I have a more comfortable couch and bigger TV with more channels on land. If I am not seeing and doing new things why bother?

So I am trying to figure out how small is almost too small.
I have not heard anyone mention head room at the helm but I have noticed a lot of bigger boats are pretty low where you spend a lot of time. Berths are another thing that they seem to skimp on. A full length bed seems one of the more important things to a 6'4" guy.

A lot of small cars have more head and leg room then the big cars. Never understood why bigger vehicles so often have less room where I need it.

So I am still thinking we need head and leg room for helm and berth then just enough room for wife & I to get around each other every where else?

"So I am still thinking we need head and leg room for helm and berth then just enough room for wife & I to get around each other every where else?"
Now that your are saying 'we' and have also shared your 6'4" I would most definitely fond a way to charter or lease something this size and make sure I lived on it for over a week before I bought anything.
Where will the wet rain gear go, where will the cooking gear go, the tools, the clothes , the electronic gear? Much to figure out and no better way then a test that puts you in the know without making a commitment.
Good luck with whatever works well for you.
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by AdkChris View Post
Wifey B you went almost to the heart of my thoughts. I don't want to spend all day every day on the boat. From what I see they figure about 100 days of travel out of one year. If the boat is not moving I want to get off and explore. If the boat is too comfortable I will end up watching TV on the couch (scratch that settee). I have a more comfortable couch and bigger TV with more channels on land. If I am not seeing and doing new things why bother?

So I am trying to figure out how small is almost too small.
I have not heard anyone mention head room at the helm but I have noticed a lot of bigger boats are pretty low where you spend a lot of time. Berths are another thing that they seem to skimp on. A full length bed seems one of the more important things to a 6'4" guy.

A lot of small cars have more head and leg room then the big cars. Never understood why bigger vehicles so often have less room where I need it.

So I am still thinking we need head and leg room for helm and berth then just enough room for wife & I to get around each other every where else?
Wifey B: Hubby 6'4 1/2" barefoot, wifey 5'9 1/2" barefoot. Can't imagine being crammed into the Nomad. Have you looked at the berths?

I wasn't born a sardine and don't want to be one. Your full length bed isn't there.
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:32 PM   #12
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Good idea

A test run sounds like a great idea.
First time I looked all I saw was charters that seem to be pushing a couple hour boat ride at hundreds of dollars per hour.
1 week at 24 hour/day x 7 day/week x $150/hour = $25,200 / week. I might as well buy the boat to see if I like it.

Don't remember what words I searched for but found more promising hits this time.
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Old 11-19-2019, 05:07 AM   #13
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If you don't find one to rent, rent the smallest travel trailer you can find, park it in your driveway, and live out of it for a week with all the stuff you plan to take on your trip. If you can reduce what you're taking on the boat to fit in the trailer, and adapt to the space limitations, fine. Most can't once they have tried.

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Old 11-19-2019, 08:46 AM   #14
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Interesting.
A better test might be to go on vacation in a small travel trailer. A major part of my idea is that I hope to be out and about a lot of the time. When we travel we spend much less time time in the hotel then we spend in the house when at home. When doing the Great Loop you try to travel with the fair weather seasons so even more reason to be out and about.

Of course we can't cook in a hotel room.
Food for thought. Thanks for the suggestion
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:22 AM   #15
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Interesting.
A better test might be to go on vacation in a small travel trailer. A major part of my idea is that I hope to be out and about a lot of the time. When we travel we spend much less time time in the hotel then we spend in the house when at home. When doing the Great Loop you try to travel with the fair weather seasons to even more reason to be out and about.

Of course we can't cook in a hotel room.
Food for thought. Thanks for the suggestion
Wifey B: You're reading, but you're not really listening. You came in with a preconceived idea and plan and you're still trying to convince yourself it's right. It's not right, at least not until you do something more to prove it to be so, and most of us have serious doubts about it.

No, you can't cook in a hotel room plus hotel rooms have far more spacious sleeping areas and bathrooms and general relaxing areas.

Fair weather seasons do not have fair weather every day.

We get out and about and sight see. We also had a faster boat requiring less time on the boat. Still you're going to spend 4 to 12 hours on board the days you move and at least 10 hours on board every other day. Then some days you'll spend the majority of the day on the boat. I'd guess you'll average at least 14-15 hours a day on board. Think of it as a person with a long commute to work and so x hours at home, y hours in the car, and the time at work is the equivalent to the time you'll have off the boat exploring.
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:39 AM   #16
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Interesting.
A better test might be to go on vacation in a small travel trailer. A major part of my idea is that I hope to be out and about a lot of the time. When we travel we spend much less time time in the hotel then we spend in the house when at home. When doing the Great Loop you try to travel with the fair weather seasons so even more reason to be out and about.

Of course we can't cook in a hotel room.
Food for thought. Thanks for the suggestion
Maybe a slide in camper on a 2 door pickup truck. I have lived in tight accommodations. IMO, it's as much about a place for your stuff.

Small boat, limited galley, limited cookware
Small cabinets, limited provisions
Small closet, limited clothing
Small water tank, limited washing anything

While the bed is a consideration, see if you fit in the bathroom or shower.

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Old 11-19-2019, 09:58 AM   #17
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Some very good points being made. We have lived in a slide in camper on a pickup, in a storm with 6 people because the kids tents were under water and the space gets very tight in minutes not hours. Our last boat also had no heat or AC, a V berth that required acrobatics to get into, let alone a mattress not near as comfortable as either a hotel or travel trailer, and no seating areas for more than 2 guests for short periods of time. The loop is a loooong trip and there will be days when weather does not permit travel and you may or may not be in an area that you can go ashore and explore or do whatever. I think trailerable trawlers are great but may not make the loop as enjoyable as it would in a larger boat with a few creature comforts. Just my opinion and may be showing my age
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:01 AM   #18
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Everyone has preconceived ideas. One is that more and bigger is always better. It can be nice but what is the cost? How many of the rooms and stuff in my house do I get that much use from. And I buy less stuff and have less rooms than a lot of people say I need.
My preconceived idea is that I have been too busy getting the stuff I thought I wanted to play with what I have.
So would you suggest as the small end of a reasonable Great Loop boat?

Thanks for helping me arrange my thoughts.

I agree with Wayfarer’s quote of Lyn Pardey.
Go small
Go simple
Go now
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:10 AM   #19
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Everyone has preconceived ideas. One is that more and bigger is always better. It can be nice but what is the cost? How many of the rooms and stuff in my house do I get that much use from. And I buy less stuff and have less rooms than a lot of people say I need.
My preconceived idea is that I have been too busy getting the stuff I thought I wanted to play with what I have.
So would you suggest as the small end of a reasonable Great Loop boat?

Thanks for helping me arrange my thoughts.

I agree with Wayfarer’s quote of Lyn Pardey.
Go small
Go simple
Go now
"So would you suggest as the small end of a reasonable Great Loop boat?"
We have spent at least a week on various boats we owned - 21/34/38/ 45+.
You already have your answer and our opinion does not seem to matter.
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:11 AM   #20
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I have been trying to figure out how I feel about the head and shower. How often do you use the boat shower when you are stopping on land every night?
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