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Old 04-06-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
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Nimble Vagabond and new to the group

Hi,

We recently sold our Pacific Seacraft sailboat and purchased a Nimble Vagabond pocket trawler. We had spent 6 months on the inland rivers living on our sailboat and loved the time spent on the sailboat but decided a small trawler would fit the bill for future adventure. I grew up on the upper Mississippi River and found it is real hard to get being a river rat out of my system.... so we sold the sailor.

The Vagabond was purchased in Florida and we will be taking the Vagabond to the upper midwest this summer and fitting her out for cruising the rivers and lakes. It appears to be a neat little boat and should be able to skim into those backwaters real nice. She does need some buffing and fitting out but we are excited about the possibilities of our small cruiser. We decided to name our Vagabond "Tadpole".

We are living fulltime in a 5th wheel trailer and have adapted to a fulltime transient life. I am particularly interested in conversing with any other Vagabond owners that may be on the site.

So we have converted to motoring and looking forward to meeting folks on this site and on the water.

Bob and Suz
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:46 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard. Enjoy the Nimble and the Trawler Forum.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:26 PM   #3
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Hi Bob, Do you still have your Vagabond? I am looking at one to buy here in Alabama.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:29 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard X2.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:59 PM   #5
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Marvinjanson,

Yes we have the Vagabond Trawler. We named it Tadpole and have been doing misc renovations. We plan on taking it down to the Gulf coast this summer.

Ask any questions you may have about the boat. We took it up to Iowa last summer and had a blast using it on the inland lake. We have boated in Alabama too, I see you are from that great state.

Bob
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:11 AM   #6
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Hi Bob, Thanks for responding. Sounds like you really like your Vagabond. We will look closely at one this weekend and maybe buy it. It is a 93 and one owner used in fresh water and kept in water part of year. Has newer Honda 10hp. I haven't been in it on the water and wonder how much the motor noise is heard in the cabin? What is the capacity? What do you think the value of the Vagabond is? Have you had it out in choppy conditions? Where on the Gulf Coast do you go, we live in Mobile, AL? What modifications are you making? Thanks again for telling me about you Tadpole. This boat is named Manatee.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:45 PM   #7
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We purchased our Vagabond with an almost new trailer for $3500. It was a good bargain, but the 30hp Suzuki less than three years old was trashed and would have cost over 2g to rebuild it. So we purchased a 30hp Merc and had it installed. The 10hp will work fine for you in relatively calm waters but if you run against a strong current it may be a slow go. It does not need a lot of power to get the Vagabond up to hull speed but our cruising has encompassed strong currents of over 10 knots and the 30HP will be welcome.

The interior of our Vagabond was pulled out as the previous owner wanted to do a restoration. Last summer I replaced the removed teak paneling with 1/4 inch tongue and groove wainscot and it looks real neat. We also did not replace the head compartment since we needed storage for gear when we go cruising. So we built a cabinet in the place of the head to hold our refrigerator and to provide storage.

Noise level in the cabin and while sitting in the after deck is relatively quiet even though we do not have the engine cover some of these boat are equipped. We plan on building an engine cover next year for the engine and for use as a cockpit table/fishing rod holder etc.

We have had it out in moderate winds and it maneuvers well while underway but maneuvering around docks and at slow speed takes a little getting use to due to the flat bottom. Compared to sailboats we have owned it does not track as well but heading into shoal water it is very refreshing to not be concerned with dragging a keel and grounding.

When we first retired we traveled from Minnesota to Florida in our Pacific Seacraft sailboat. We came down the river system into Mobile Bay before we headed of to Florida. It was a great trip but we wished we had the Vagabond for that trip. I love river and backwater cruising and the Vagabond is ideal for that. Being out in rough conditions is not as fun as it was when I was younger and choosing a decent weather window for large open bodies of water would be wise in the Vagabond.

We feel the Vagabond is a fun cruiser and plan on intracoastal cruising as well as exploring the interior rivers and lakes of the US. A real neat little package.

As for the value, I have seen some on the market for over 18g but depending on condition of the boat you will be inspecting 10-13g would be a good value if the engine is in good order. We only gave 3500 for ours but we would have been happy paying twice that for the package. Our new engine cost 5g and we have less than 10g invested. Our major problem is the chalky gelcoat and I will address that this summer.

These are good solid little boats. They have good bones from which you can make a neat little cruiser.

Bob
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:00 PM   #8
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Thanks again for the great information. I am encouraged that you feel a 20' Nimble Vagabond can be used for more than a weekend trip. We have a West Wight Potter 19 now and I am wondering if I will miss the ability to sail sometimes. On occasion I have sailed, motored, and paddled to make it back to the dock.
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:27 PM   #9
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Marvin,

We lived on our Pacific Seacraft 25 for 8 months and it had less cabin space than the Nimble Vagabond 20. I am a big advocate of small boats for travel. I have owned big ones too but small will take you back into waters the big boys can never reach. Of course you give up comforts the larger boats can carry.

Bob
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:30 PM   #10
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Marvin,

I also wondered if I would miss the sails but I found backwater and river travel as my calling. We motored more with our sailboat n sheltered waters than I would like to admit, for a bunch of reasons, one being no wind when we wanted to go.
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:49 AM   #11
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about to purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Schaut View Post
Hi,

We recently sold our Pacific Seacraft sailboat and purchased a Nimble Vagabond pocket trawler. We had spent 6 months on the inland rivers living on our sailboat and loved the time spent on the sailboat but decided a small trawler would fit the bill for future adventure. I grew up on the upper Mississippi River and found it is real hard to get being a river rat out of my system.... so we sold the sailor.

The Vagabond was purchased in Florida and we will be taking the Vagabond to the upper midwest this summer and fitting her out for cruising the rivers and lakes. It appears to be a neat little boat and should be able to skim into those backwaters real nice. She does need some buffing and fitting out but we are excited about the possibilities of our small cruiser. We decided to name our Vagabond "Tadpole".

We are living fulltime in a 5th wheel trailer and have adapted to a fulltime transient life. I am particularly interested in conversing with any other Vagabond owners that may be on the site.

So we have converted to motoring and looking forward to meeting folks on this site and on the water.

Bob and Suz

Bob,

I am about to purchase a Vagabond...any advice appreciated.

terraplane
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Old 08-02-2016, 05:37 PM   #12
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They are very well constructed boats. I would look for a possible weak deck in the cockpit, side window operation, and missing parts. Our boat was found to be very heavily built and we love this little cruiser. It can be a little bit difficult to operate when docking due to the flat bottom and minimum keel. Good luck! Any specific questions I would be glad to answer.

Bob
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:51 PM   #13
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vagabond questions

Bob,

I am off to look at the boat early next week, and take it out.

Is the boat "tender"? Roll a lot? In a 3ft chop how is she?

Do people ever put a drop in air cond. in? I live on the Chesapeake...often days of 95 degree temps.

Is there room for two for sleeping? We are used to crampbed quarters..I'm 5'11, she is 5.8.

Would a trip of a week be reasonable to anticipate?


thanks for the tips about windows, cockpit softness, and "missing parts"...any special parts?''

Finally, where the top structure meets the hull, is the boat sturdy enough to take a bump or two?

No rush ...much appreciated. Loved reading about your adventures.

Tom (terraplane)
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:44 PM   #14
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Tom,

There can be a little roll when anchored due to the flat bottom. We tend to stay in protected waters but would be ok on flat seas. Underway she can roll with the waves but maintain a comfortable heading. The lack of a deeper keel will keep you busy steering in the wind.

I have seen some with air conditioners up top like on RV campers. There is a hatch overhead in the pilot house where you could fit a small unit. We opt to not have one but if I were to travel an extended way hopping from marina to marina it would be welcome to have some cold air while sleeping.

The vee berth is plenty big for sleeping two. The cushions are a little thin so some extra padding maybe in order but we are ok with the way it was outfitted. I would not hesitate to be out for a week at a time or more. we have spent considerable time out camping on the water and feel the Vagabond is very comfortable. But I do have friends that need much more in accommodations than us for comfort. We added a bimini to the rear deck to keep the sun off.

The reason I mentioned parts missing had to do with our boat having the cabin dismantled and in parts. We had to search for items that were lost.

The bond between top and bottom is quite good on our boat. Broad and well attached. These boats were well manufactured where it counts and they created a great little boat. Ours came with a good trailer too and we have no problem taking her anywhere we can pull it. But like any boat they all have there limitations, we are very comfortable with ours.

One problem I have and have seen on other Nimble boats is the gelcoat chalking. Ours is the green hull and though cosmetic we have yet to concentrate on buffing her out. Our old Pacific Seacraft was much easier to keep shiny.

Always glad to hear when people enjoy our adventures!

Bob
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:01 PM   #15
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thanks

I will be seeing the boat next Tuesday. Will let you know the reaction.

I believe it also has the green hull...looks in great shape...

Tom
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:35 PM   #16
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Tom,

Good Luck!!

Bob
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Old 09-01-2016, 01:55 PM   #17
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Did you ever get to check out the boat??
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Old 09-03-2016, 01:12 PM   #18
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I did check out the boat

Sorry to be so long getting back.

I went to the Ozarks, to see the boat...owned by a young couple...and it was in pristine shape.
I did not buy.
My reasons: the age of the motor, and no records of maintenance was one factor.
In addition, there were several add ons that I would have to consider...for instance, there is no bow rail, and at my tender age of 78, I need as much support as possible. There is also no ladder for easy getting on board. I know from experience that both of these things will be expensive at my yard.
Oddly, I feel the boat may be better suited for a younger person. My current boat, the Albin mini trawler, will suffice for now.

I did almost buy...but felt that mysterious tug saying no. Who can explain.

Tom
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:39 PM   #19
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vagabond

Hi bob ,I am thinking you can give me some insight . I am looking to do a lot of inland waterways soon . I have been looking for a Nomad .Ones i have found seem over priced . I have found three Nimble Arctic close to me up in Canada.It would appear that the vagabond is close to a Arctic without the rigging .Have you ever been on a Arctic ,can you say if the layout is the same ?
I had read a great loop forum captain Ken i think .were he recommends getting a shallow draft sail boat and removing the rigging . he claimed this is a very economical way to go a great distance on inland waterways .the boats i have found are still pricey 17,500 to 26,000.and i would need to upgrade the motor to bigger HP. will keep looking for now .Thanks Richard
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:10 PM   #20
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Hey Richard,

I have seen a couple of Nimble Arctic's and believe they are the 25ft. sail configuration??

My Vagabond is the 20ft hull as can be found on other Nimble boats of similar length whether trawler style or sail version without the pilot house. If I recall correctly only 30 Vagabonds were manufactured and can be a little difficult to find but have seen several for sale over the past year.

The 25ft Arctic of course has larger cabin accommodations but I do not recall how the layout is different. Removing the sail rig would yield a trawler like hull. I too have seen some keel modifications on sailboats minus the rig that have been used as cruising power boats.

The skeg keel on my Vagabond is about 12 inches yielding a draft of around 16 inches at the water line. How you would reduce the draft on the sail versions would be of some concern. Not sure what was used as ballast in these boats and reducing the size may be a headache but am sure possible with some engineering. Maybe you could get by with the keel remaining as it exists??

Good luck and feel free to ask any other questions.

Bob
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