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Old 08-26-2015, 10:56 PM   #1
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Another old sailor thinking about a trawler....

Hi All,

I have been lurking here for a few months getting information and ideas on boat systems. Now I am thinking of making the switch.

My current boat is a Catalina 400, a nice two cabin sailboat. Love the boat, but chronic back issues have made being on a sailboat simply painful. Rather than give up boating, we are thinking about making a move to a trawler.

To be honest, it is a painful thought to give up sailing, but the reality of Puget Sound is that we spend a lot of time under power anyway.

What we think we want now is informed by my lifetime of sailing on Puget Sound. Here is what I am thinking of so far...

Single engine
Diesel
Slow and fuel efficient cruise (I am used to 7 knots at under 1 gph after all)
Twin cabins to take our adult children's families with us.
We use the boat primarily for weekends and vacations and that will continue for the foreseeable future.
Cruising grounds would be Olympia to Desolation Sound.
I am used to the seaworthiness of a sailboat, and want to retain that as much as I can.
Size is determined by the boat that meets our needs, but I have a slip that can hold up to about 45 feet comfortably.
I like the wide open view from the helm, so am thinking a Pilothouse design would be good.
The biggest issue is cost. Powerboats are a LOT more expensive than sailboats.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:07 AM   #2
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Sounds like you need a vessel with pilothouse and aft cabin, and preferably that obtained by one of the 40-45' sundeck models, so you still have the aft outdoor area as well, even if they do end up a bit high off the water. Alternatively a Europa style of 40-45' up, with nice aft cockpit, possibly also pilothouse, and a second for'd stateroom. Not quite as private as the aft cabin, but speaking from experience, a generally more people friendly, indoor/outdoor layout, especially when for the majority of your time out there, family won't be with you. Shouldn't be too hard. Happy hunting. There are plenty out there.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:51 AM   #3
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Thanks Pete,

One of the issues in our area is normally we get cool and wet weather most of the year. This year is an exception. As such, the more covered outdoor space the better. I see many boats with large aft sun decks that have added canvas covers simply because of our rain.

But being new to these boats, I am not familiar with the design terminology.
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Old 08-27-2015, 03:01 AM   #4
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Charter something like a Grand Banks 42 from Bellingham or Anacortes for a few days. In the off season you can likely try a few different styles of boats out over an interval of a couple of weeks, you wont necessarily need a full weeks rental of each one. Once you have your preference of cabin types and the right size settled you can then hunt for make/model that is good value for you needs. Which is unlikely to be the cheapest one to buy initially.
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Old 08-27-2015, 03:51 AM   #5
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If you're interested in trying out a Grand Banks you could call Northwest Explorations in Bellingham. Their charter fleet consists of GBs from 36 to 52 feet. We chartered a single engine GB36 from them before we decided to buy our own. We bought a twin ebgine GB36 in California and had it trucked up here. Northwest Explorations is also a Grand Banks dealer and they always have a number of used boats in their inventory as well as connections throughout the industry. Their lead broker is Scott Blake. He found our boat for us in 1998 and he's an outstanding person to have working on your behalf.
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:22 AM   #6
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Greetings,
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:39 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum!

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Old 08-27-2015, 06:42 AM   #8
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Can you wait until TrawlerFest up in Anacortes next spring. If so, go have a look, attend some seminars, and talk to as many people as you can.
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:59 AM   #9
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welcome and best of luck in your search
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Old 08-27-2015, 08:58 AM   #10
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I graduated to power years ago. It took a long time for me to feel confidant about the reliability of power. With sail I knew I could always get home and I even had an engine if the mast fell down.

Twin engines helped reduce the reliability stress.

Twins don't really use that much more fuel and the extreme improvement in maneuverability is a big asset.

45' especially aft cabin gives a lot of interior room for people to spread out. When migrating to power go all the way and get the space, comfort and maneuverability of a boat designed as a power boat not one that tries to look sailboat to appeal to ex sailors such as trunk cabin trawlers.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:18 AM   #11
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insequent View Post
Charter something like a Grand Banks 42 from Bellingham or Anacortes for a few days. In the off season you can likely try a few different styles of boats out over an interval of a couple of weeks, you wont necessarily need a full weeks rental of each one. Once you have your preference of cabin types and the right size settled you can then hunt for make/model that is good value for you needs. Which is unlikely to be the cheapest one to buy initially.
That is an excellent idea and Marin's idea of chartering out of Bellingham is a good one.
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:11 PM   #13
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Can you wait until TrawlerFest up in Anacortes next spring. If so, go have a look, attend some seminars, and talk to as many people as you can.
Yes I can wait. I am in no rush and if/when my wife and I decide to make the move we will still need to sell our current boat. TrawlerFest sounds like a good idea and a fun weekend.
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:16 PM   #14
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I graduated to power years ago. It took a long time for me to feel confidant about the reliability of power. With sail I knew I could always get home and I even had an engine if the mast fell down.

Twin engines helped reduce the reliability stress.

Twins don't really use that much more fuel and the extreme improvement in maneuverability is a big asset.

45' especially aft cabin gives a lot of interior room for people to spread out. When migrating to power go all the way and get the space, comfort and maneuverability of a boat designed as a power boat not one that tries to look sailboat to appeal to ex sailors such as trunk cabin trawlers.
Good points all. I guess I am shy of twins just because of perceived added cost and maintenance. I am pretty impressed when I see large power boats with twins maneuver into a tight dock space. Heck, I'm just jealous of bow thrusters.

45' may be out of our reasonable price range. Just going from a 40' sailboat to a 40' power boat would be a huge increase in interior volume.
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:30 PM   #15
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Depending on your back problems there are things you can do to make sailing easier. A few years ago I had a severe shoulder injury that made hauling on lines and cranking winches extremely painful. I managed to keep sailing by making a few small changes to my sailboat. First I switched the main to a Leisurefurl boom with a multipurpose electric winch on the cabin top for sheeting and raising the main. Second I installed electric main sheet winches. Those two changes made a huge difference and allowed me to keep sailing, although my button pushing finger sometimes gets tired now . Oh yeah, I also bought a powerboat for those windless days.
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Old 08-28-2015, 12:41 AM   #16
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Depending on your back problems there are things you can do to make sailing easier. A few years ago I had a severe shoulder injury that made hauling on lines and cranking winches extremely painful. I managed to keep sailing by making a few small changes to my sailboat. First I switched the main to a Leisurefurl boom with a multipurpose electric winch on the cabin top for sheeting and raising the main. Second I installed electric main sheet winches. Those two changes made a huge difference and allowed me to keep sailing, although my button pushing finger sometimes gets tired now . Oh yeah, I also bought a powerboat for those windless days.
My back problem is an issue primarily with bending over. Cranking on winches, hauling on sheet etc aren't the problem. I am 6'2" and on a sailboat I always have to bend over, even on a boat with as much head room as the C400.

I have to bend over to handle any of the lines on the cabin top. Crouching under the dodger to adjust the traveler, main sheet, etc are a killer.I am looking at modifying the dodger and Bimini so I don't have to crouch as much but even just bending down to climb down into the cabin is a problem.
So yeah, I am looking at modifications, but after dealing with this for a while now, I think I could spend about 20 boat bucks on them and still have the issues.
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Old 08-28-2015, 12:50 AM   #17
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Old 08-28-2015, 02:21 AM   #18
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Redundancy

dhays, I`m reading you may prefer a single engine to twins. Putting aside the eternal "single vs twins" debate, you are used to redundancy, you currently have sail and engine power at your disposal, you may want to think about retaining redundancy with twins.
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Old 08-28-2015, 02:45 AM   #19
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dhays, I`m reading you may prefer a single engine to twins. Putting aside the eternal "single vs twins" debate, you are used to redundancy, you currently have sail and engine power at your disposal, you may want to think about retaining redundancy with twins.
I suppose, but I am used to counting on my 56hp Yanmar. Sails are great, but in a small channel with 4 knots of current and no wind, I don't think of my sails as a reasonable backup.

However, I get your point. It is just a matter of finding a suitable boat I can afford.
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