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Old 02-04-2015, 08:15 PM   #1
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Go-fast boater hoping to move into trawlers!

Hi everyone! I'm happy to join TF and, like many new members, need to solicit some advice!

After a few years of boating in my go-fast boat I've re-assessed the type of boating I do, am going to sell it, and get a trawler. I've read a lot of the forum posts, and would welcome any input you have to offer on what I *should* think I want.....

I am in Philadelphia, and am looking for a boat for weekend cruising, and would like the option to take longer cruises. I also must have twin engines. This criteria has lead me to the Grand Banks line - 36 with twins or the more common 42, and more recently (for price and layout reasons) to the Albin 40 or 43.

The majority of these models within my price range hail from the 1980s and seem to have similar issues to look out for - leaky windows, teak decking, fuel tank replacement, on top of the "normal" boat stuff you have to consider - engines, systems, generator, etc. Any "general" particularities on these models I need to avoid or be aware of? I know....condition is EVERYTHING.

Any input is welcomed! Models I missed (I did find an awesome Californian a few days ago...) and if you know of any boats on or coming to the market I'd love to hear about them!

Thanks and happy boating!
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:57 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:18 PM   #3
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Welcome Mike, Have you been to the "Albin Owners Group" site yet? They are the Albin experts and quite often have some nice boats in the 'FOR SALE" section. Lots of discussion on the classic trawlers (36 and up) category. Good luck and hope to see you on this site often. Ben
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:15 PM   #4
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You need to rethink speed. You said two things that don't go with slow. Actually going somewhere on a weekend and cruising long distance with limited time. There are boats like Bayliners, Mainship and others that go slow and fast. Your search may be better directed down this path.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:35 PM   #5
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Thanks all! I will certainly peruse the Albin Owners site. As for speed, while I have limited time, there are also limited destinations around me. I'm more interested in enjoying my time on the water, even if I don't get too far!
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:59 AM   #6
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First off: Welcome Aboard !! The trawler world is a big and diverse one. Not every boat here here is dead slow. Not every boat is diesel powered. Some boats can do little more than hull speed. Some can plane, Some can do both but at a cost of doing neither particularly well. But all hopefully met the needs of their current OO's. You really need some quality time reconciling what you want your new boat to do. A boat that can do 6 or 7 knots. can be a fabulous vessel if your not in a hurry or on a schedule. The cost of operation is a real advantage. but if you want to get 20, 25 miles to your weekend destination, and need to be back before late30 on Sunday may not be ideal for you. A diesel will cost more to buy. It will probably be cheaper to own, but might not. The cost to repair or replace a diesel will be a power of ten different (more) than gas. They also last longer, so you may never get to the point to justify the difference. Diesels are more expensive to buy, more expensive to fix, but, cheaper to operate. Only you can decide what meets your needs. Why do insist on twins? They are easier to maneuver at slow speeds, but the second engine more than doubles the cost and hassle of maintenance. I am not going to get sucked into the single/twins debate. My particular boat a Californian 34LRC, has twin 200 hp Perkins. It will do reasonably well (cheap) at 7 knts. It can do 18 knots. at big diesel consumption just over 1 gal/mile. The downside is it can not be run hour after hour, day after day at 7 its without running it hard at least 20 minutes a day to bring the after cooler up to temperature and blow out the carbon once a day. Think about what you want the boat to do, the speed, distance time requirements, and a million other considerations and report back. Then we can talk about the drawbacks and advantages of teak decks, single vs. twin Sedan vs double cabin and all the other stuff folks like to argue about. Any thoughts about anchors?
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:11 AM   #7
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This criteria has lead me to the Grand Banks line - 36 with twins or the more common 42, and more recently (for price and layout reasons) to the Albin 40 or 43.
As the owner of one of the first batch of fiberglass GB36s ever made (late 1973) and having lived with this boat for the past 16+ years, I can offer some insight into the care and feeding of these vessels.

In short, they take a lot of care but not so much feeding. Ours is a twin (FL120s) and if these engines are run in their optimum rpm band (1500-1800 rpm), it is an 7-8 knot boat give or take. A single-engine GB36 with the same engine will cruise a bit slower for a given rpm.

At our cruising rpm of 1650, we get about 8 knots and burn a total of 5 gallons or so of fuel an hour. So not a lot of feeding necessary.

On the care side, while a fiberglass GB has a solid fiberglass hull, there is a lot of wood inside and outside the boat. The cabin shells are fiberglass but they are not self-supporting, which means there are wood stiffeners on the inside of the shell. The interior is almost exclusively wood--- bulkheads, ceilings, framing, soles, cabinetry, and so forth. So I think the smartest way to think of these boats for the purposes of maybe wanting to buy one is that it's a wood boat encased in a fiberglass shell.

Our boat has its original teak decking on top of the fiberglass-marine ply-fiberglass sandwich subdeck which is typical for most of this type of boat. While still serviceable, the teak planking is just barely so and we put a fair amount of work into extending its longevity as much as possible. Replaceing a teak deck is an amazingly expensive proposition these days ($30,000 or so for the main deck of a GB36 are the bids we got some years ago). As neither my wife nor I like a fiberglass deck surface, it has behooved us to keep our deck going.

The windows in older GBs are wood-framed and come apart with lots of screws and stuff. So rebuilding them is a fairly straightforward process if one learns the necessary techniques and has the necessary tools and skills. It's not rocket science but it is a multi-step process that takes time if it's done correctly. We've overhauled or rebuilt most of the 21 windows on the boat over the years.

Probably the best advice for a person interested in an older GB is to join the Internaitional Association of Grand Banks Owers aka Grand Banks Owners Forum. The URL is Grand Banks Owner's Resources. It's a good place to ask questions about the boats, and searching the archives can give you a very good picture of what GB ownership is like.

GBs are well-made boats, but the thing they are probably most valued for is their consistency of build and build quality. Other brands, particularly those from Taiwan in the 70s and 80s can be very nice boats, but the build quality varies wildly from boat to boat within the same model line because of the way the boats were built by the yards on Taiwan.

What American Marine did with their Grand Banks line, first in wood from their Kowloon, Hong Kong yard and then in fiberglass from their Singapore yard, was build them with consistency. The same people, same materials, same components, same processes--- these stayed the same from boat to boat to boat.

However.... a neglected, poorly maintained Grand Banks can be just as much a pile of junk as a neglected, poorly maintained boat of any other make. So the name "Grand Banks" is not an automatic guarantee of a good boat.

If you want a low-maintenance, drive-it-and-forget it sort of boat, a Grand Banks is not what you want. They are great boats, but it takes a fair amount of effort--- or money if you want to have someone else do the work--- to keep them that way.

Below are a couple of photos I've taken of ours. The last picture is the cover of the original brochure for the first fiberglass GB36s like ours.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:28 AM   #8
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Welcome to TF
I second Capn Craig's comments and mostly wondering why the twin reqm't?
We have recently moved back to a single from twin gassers and frankly dreaded the move until I experienced singles w/ thrusters. I'm not anxious to get into the debate only saying different locations & uses surely can be satisfied w/ different configurations... just be sure it is truly a must.
Best of luck w/ the search.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:56 AM   #9
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Scary View Post
You need to rethink speed. You said two things that don't go with slow. Actually going somewhere on a weekend and cruising long distance with limited time. There are boats like Bayliners, Mainship and others that go slow and fast. Your search may be better directed down this path.
You are so correct Steve! I operate our Bayliner at hull speed most of the time. But it sure is nice when I want to get somewhere to have the ability to cruise at 14 knots as well.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:41 AM   #11
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Any thoughts about anchors?
Not sure what you mean - you mean what type of anchor? Danforth, etc? Or is this trawler "lingo" that I have not been indoctrinated with yet?
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:45 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone! This is a lot of good information to start. The ability to cruise a little faster is certainly a consideration, however slow and comfortable isn't so bad - particularly after I've dealt with more bugs hitting my face while cruising than I'd like to admit! I'm taking a look on the GB and Albin forums - if anyone knows of any boats that are going to be coming to market, feel free to pass along to me!
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:52 AM   #13
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Greetings,
Mr. pm. Ancho...'s are a bit of a running gag for want of a better description. Some of the longest and most contentious threads have to deal with which is the best, why mine is bigger and better than yours or smaller and better, how to deploy, how to stow, what rode to use, with or without swivel, how many flukes, roll bar or not...good golly, I could go on and on which is what most ancho' threads evolve into. Sort of a never ending p*ssing match. You'll soon get the drift as you participate. So whatever you do, do NOT mention the "A" word unless you've got lots of time on your hands or you really want to be thoroughly confused, bewildered and befuddled.
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:26 PM   #14
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So very well said... maybe we can get your reply posted as a "sticky"???
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:29 PM   #15
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Greetings,
So whatever you do, do NOT mention the "A" word unless you've got lots of time on your hands or you really want to be thoroughly confused, bewildered and befuddled.

I will be sure NOT to use the A-word!
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:38 PM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr. pm. No problem at all. How were you to know? I'm sure you will be forgiven as you're a newbie (NOTHING wrong with that) but aslo be advised, maybe you shouldn't mention Danfo', Roc' or any of the other brand names or styles....



Opps, sorry, I panicked.....Mea culpa...
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:09 PM   #17
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Welcome to the Forum!
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:32 PM   #18
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Have to ask the one question and that is how fast did your go-fast boat go? I ask because our boat on the lake was 55 knots but we didn't consider anything under 70 or 80 knots to be a go-fast. I can see the speed you're use to playing a large role in what feels right as your step down. For us, 40 knots was a big step down and 20-25 knots bigger. Meanwhile a lot here might find anything over 10 knots to be a go-fast.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:42 PM   #19
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Many of us here were sailboaters at one time. Moving to a reliable 8kt boat that proceeds in a straight line to its destination required a motorcycle helmet. Welcome aboard.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:19 PM   #20
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Many of us here were sailboaters at one time. Moving to a reliable 8kt boat that proceeds in a straight line to its destination required a motorcycle helmet. Welcome aboard.
ROFLMAO!!
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