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Old 05-20-2019, 09:59 AM   #1
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Allow myself to introduce... myself

Hello all,
New to the forum and hopefully purchasing a trawler in next few years. Currently own a 22' Cuddy on Lake Washington in Seattle but looking for something bigger for the Sound and San Juan Islands. Just me and my wife and two dogs.

Still in the gathering data phase but starting to find what we like and what don't every time we step onboard.

Right now as far as new we're looking at the Ranger Tug R-29CB and R-31CB as well as the Cutwater 30CB. Saw the Helmsman 31 in Anacortes this weekend and that was pretty interesting as well.

Lots of options, looking forward to learning from all of your experiences.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:01 AM   #2
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:24 AM   #3
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:27 AM   #4
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you are in the right place to get guidance and opinions.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stiggy View Post
Allow myself to introduce... myself

I see what you did there, Austin.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:55 AM   #6
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Hi Mike
Welcome aboard TF
You are in good company and no shortage here of opinions and assistance.
A good place to start is Boat Search 101

Figuring out what your style of boating will be and then the Musts, Wants and Don't Wants is the challenge. Many have said here it challenge is to buy your second boat First!
Many of us (myself included) learn from the first and end up wanting something different. Its a natural progression but if approached with diligence I do think it's possible to increase your odds of getting it right the first time.
I recommend the following as a way to start - and write it down -
- How do you envision your boating style?
- What amenities are musts, wants?
- What are you pretty sure you don't need / want
You mentioned your wife - have her do the same - at least partially independent
Then compare notes & combine / compromise (when in doubt - do it her way!)
Now you have a basis to compare different styles, makes, models
Look at as many as you can - walk docks, talk to owners, boat shows, etc
Refine your lists as you learn more and hopefully narrow the field.

Don't forget to inquire and consider what others like about their choices and how they use it. The "best" boat for one purpose may be a "poor" choice for another purpose.

Lastly - make the search fun for you & the wife. Boat shows can become mini vacations of weekend get-a-ways. Walking docks and talking to owners live can result in lots of good info and many / most are happy to share info and usually welcome showing off their boats. Especially helpful to visit marinas where you intend to boat.

You are certainly in a great area for enjoying the trawler lifestyle.
The other great advantage you have where you are is the abundance of charters - It can be a very good learning experience and a way to confirm you preferences before committing the Big $

Good luck with getting up the learning curve and the search.
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Old 05-20-2019, 12:11 PM   #7
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Hey, Mike. Those sub 32 ft. Trawler options seem to be looking better all the time. Stay in touch on your search and welcome aboard!
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Old 05-20-2019, 12:48 PM   #8
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Stiggy,
Baccus gave some great advice, and I will not repeat it. However, you did mention some brands and models. I read a post/blog from an unsatisfied customer who purchased a brand new Cutwater recently (don't remember the model). He experienced some big problems and was very unhappy with both Cutwater and the dealer's after sales service. I know there are always 2 sides to any story and that some of the problems could have been at least partially caused by the customer?? However, his story would cause me to either avoid Cutwater or at least to do some extensive research into the (potential) issues (and the boat and company in general) if I found their boats near the top of my list.
It is not my intent to "bash" Cutwater (I have no personal experience with them), but to try to warn you to be careful and thorough in your boat search.
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Old 05-20-2019, 01:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
Hi Mike
Welcome aboard TF
You are in good company and no shortage here of opinions and assistance.
A good place to start is Boat Search 101

Figuring out what your style of boating will be and then the Musts, Wants and Don't Wants is the challenge. Many have said here it challenge is to buy your second boat First!
Many of us (myself included) learn from the first and end up wanting something different. Its a natural progression but if approached with diligence I do think it's possible to increase your odds of getting it right the first time.
I recommend the following as a way to start - and write it down -
- How do you envision your boating style?
- What amenities are musts, wants?
- What are you pretty sure you don't need / want
You mentioned your wife - have her do the same - at least partially independent
Then compare notes & combine / compromise (when in doubt - do it her way!)
Now you have a basis to compare different styles, makes, models
Look at as many as you can - walk docks, talk to owners, boat shows, etc
Refine your lists as you learn more and hopefully narrow the field.

Don't forget to inquire and consider what others like about their choices and how they use it. The "best" boat for one purpose may be a "poor" choice for another purpose.

Lastly - make the search fun for you & the wife. Boat shows can become mini vacations of weekend get-a-ways. Walking docks and talking to owners live can result in lots of good info and many / most are happy to share info and usually welcome showing off their boats. Especially helpful to visit marinas where you intend to boat.

You are certainly in a great area for enjoying the trawler lifestyle.
The other great advantage you have where you are is the abundance of charters - It can be a very good learning experience and a way to confirm you preferences before committing the Big $

Good luck with getting up the learning curve and the search.
Appreciate the link to that the 101 thread and the advice. That's mostly what my wife and I are doing at this point. We are hitting every show we hear about and also walking the docks whenever we are moored at a guest marina.

Quote:
Originally Posted by firehoser75 View Post
Stiggy,
Baccus gave some great advice, and I will not repeat it. However, you did mention some brands and models. I read a post/blog from an unsatisfied customer who purchased a brand new Cutwater recently (don't remember the model). He experienced some big problems and was very unhappy with both Cutwater and the dealer's after sales service. I know there are always 2 sides to any story and that some of the problems could have been at least partially caused by the customer?? However, his story would cause me to either avoid Cutwater or at least to do some extensive research into the (potential) issues (and the boat and company in general) if I found their boats near the top of my list.
It is not my intent to "bash" Cutwater (I have no personal experience with them), but to try to warn you to be careful and thorough in your boat search.
I have run across some similar intel recently. It's concerning since Ranger and them are under the same roof that they may have a systematic problem although I haven't heard as much negatives from the Ranger Tugs, they do have a huge following out here in Seattle which got us looking at them.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:13 PM   #10
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Personally I think the Cutwater and Ranger Tugs are ideal for your Pacific Northwest waters and our coastal BC waters. There are a few places where its nice to have some speed to get through it. The Strait of Georgia is one, Johnstone Strait is another, and the back channels East of Johnstone Strait is another. If you start cruising in your area I can guarantee you it won't be long before you coming up my way.

Folks have gone to Alaska on much smaller than what you are considering and I'm planning on going to Alaska next year I hope or the year after. So you are really purchasing for extended cruising whether you realize it or not.

My philosophy after sailing on many boats of various sizes and living full time in a 17, 21, 35 foot trailer and a 32 foot motorhome during two massive home renovations, is that I am best purchasing the smallest boat that will make me happy. I could be very happy in either of your two choices.

Its always difficult to access bad news about a particular maker of boats. Nordhaven has a good reputation and loyal following yet there is a video made by an owner who was not happy with the quality of work on his boat and hired two experienced surveyors to back him up and Nordhaven wouldn't honour their findings. So there you go, what do you do with that information?

I will suggest another choice and I'm guessing you might have problems finding one and it will be probably more money even though it will be used. Check out the Corvette 340, its nick name is the "Baby Fleming" and although not owned by Fleming, senior execs at Fleming own it and its built in the same yard as Flemings. I'll give you a link below. It is considered one of the roomiest of 34's, for one reason it extends the living space pretty much to the transom and the cockpit is on the roof of the aft cabin.

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Old 05-21-2019, 01:39 AM   #11
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Welcome. As you point out, a lot of Ranger Tugs out here. Most owners absolutely love them, and you can certainly understand why.


I must say that I tend to despise them when they decided to do a close pass at speed. for such a small boat, they throw and impressive wake!


The Helmsman is very nice. If I'm not mistaken (and I frequently am) they are essentially the same boat as the Camano Troll. Love those little boats and occasionally you can find them on the used market.
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:32 AM   #12
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I enjoyed my 31 Ranger Tug (Sedan model). Comfortable, easy-handling boat....I single handed it to/from Alaska in 2017. I only sold it because I wanted a larger boat for taking guests along :-)
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