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Old 08-21-2015, 04:36 PM   #1
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Hello from southern California

Howdy all,

Figured it was about time to do the introduction. I've been a sailor my entire life, and until a few months ago had never actually contemplated owning an ocean going power boat. We currently own a 40' sailboat, which I've sailed over 2000 nm this year, 95% of them singlehanded. It's really my baby, and I've pretty much completely rebuilt and refit it from the keel up. The admiral and the boy enjoy it, we take summer trips out to the Channel Islands, but it's pretty much "my boat" most of the year. We're in southern California, so boating is a year round thing.

After returning from a long passage recently, I asked the boss what it would take for her to spend more time boating as a family. The answer was pretty simple, "get a faster, more comfortable boat." Something that would make weekend trips out to the islands practical. And doesn't feel like a cave inside. "Oh, and no long blue water passages."

So, I had the choice to either continue on my path of occasional family boating, or contemplate the unthinkable and join the dark side. Family comes first, so here I am.

We've been looking at lots of boats. We recently took a three week camping road trip around Vancouver Island and down through the San Juans, and just fell in love with the area. We're planning on boating there next summer, on our new-to-us trawler (yes, I've read the define-the-term threads) type boat, or our sailboat if we still have it.

We're looking for something in the 35-38 foot range that can fit in our current slip, and hopefully on a truck without too much modification. We'd like to have two separate cabins, one for us and one for the lad, preferably on opposite ends of the boat (like we have now.) I'd like to keep it under $100k, but would consider taking on some debt (or a longer waterline) if the perfect boat came along.

Our planned usage is where we get a little sticky. Our primary use will be out to the islands, down to Catalina, and bopping around between Morro Bay and San Diego. I'd also like to spend a summer or two up in the PNW. And just to make it really interesting, we're planning on taking a sabatical three years from now, and would like to do a modified loop (Great Lakes, Canada, east coast, Florida, Bahamas, etc.) Though to be honest, our current plan involves buying a looper boat for that trip and ditching it at the end and keeping the sailboat, but if we get something more loop (and truck) friendly that would work even better.

The issue we're having (and by we I mean me) is making the thinking adjustment from blue water sailing to coastal power boating. I'm reading everything I can get my hands on, but I keep tripping over myself and my previous misconceptions of motor yachts. For instance, I look at the giant windows and see nothing but a large boarding wave taking them out. Silly I know, but having taken a few of those, I cringe at the thought of getting caught out in any of the boats we can afford. It's just going to take time.

I'm comfortable with boat work. I do almost all my own work, have completely refit two boats, and am one of those crazy people that enjoy fiddling with my boat almost as much as using it. I get off work at 8:am, so I usually spend a couple hours each off day working on the boat as a kind of less expensive therapy before I head home. I don't mind another fixer, but the wife is kind of tired of sailing around in a floating tool shed.

At any rate, this is probably waaaaaaayyyy too long already. Thanks to everyone for being here. I've learned a great deal, and look forward to learning even more.
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Old 08-21-2015, 05:05 PM   #2
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Well, you have some interesting plans.

As a blue water sailor you probably take for granted your sailboat's capability to handle near extreme conditions. So you have to wrap your mind around a significant reality: 99+% of "trawlers" should never do blue water. They don't have the scantlings, window strength, stability, etc. to take on a long blue water passage where you have to be able to take anything mother nature throws at you, and survive.


I have an interesting picture of the front of a downeaster style hull that got caught in a wind vs tide issue at Oregon Inlet on the east coast. The entire windshield structure was bashed in by a green water wave, not just the glass broken. This was in sight of land of course. The same thing might happen to 99% of the "trawlers" on the market.

So your first decision is real blue water capability or not. If you have to have blue water capability then the price doubles and your budget is probably not realistic to find one.

But if you can live with near coastal and wait out the weather to get around notorious places like Point Conception then many possibilities open up within your size, layout and price considerations.

Then think about transportation from the east coast to the west. With a flybridge trawler you are going to have to remove the flybridge to ship. Shipping cost will be $10,000+ and another $5,000+ for removal, replacement, haulout and loading. It will take 30-40% of your budget to make the round trip. A non flybridge style will make this easier. But if I were doing the loop, I would want a flybridge.


So, maybe wait a few years, buy the boat on the east coast, spend a few weeks getting her ready, do the loop and ship the boat back to the west coast. Or sell it after doing the loop.

So think about blue water or not and that transportation thing before jumping in too deep.

David
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Old 08-21-2015, 06:13 PM   #3
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My advice would be to charter a boat up in the PNW at least once before you buy anything. Then you and yours will have a much better idea of 1) if this is the life for you and 2) what are the things that you all want in the boat that you will buy.
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:49 PM   #4
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We've been doing a little looking and a lot of discussing. If nothing else, this has been the communication exercise of all time...

We've had a lot of fun big plans, but what we mostly do together is trips out to the Channel Islands. It's very important to my wife to make a weekend trip a practicality. That really limits us to things that can do 15kn or more. It's really what we'd do 99% of the time. So we've decided to go looking for the boat that we will use the most, not the one for some future plan. If it works out to be doable for both, that's great.

As an added bonus, I've redone the math and if I drop my budget a bit, I can keep my sailboat for up to two years while we decide if this power boating thing is really for us. I've got so much time invested in it that it's kind of like "pot odds" in poker. You've got to call with a lesser hand because you're already in for a bunch. Either way, I don't need to worry about finding a blue water capable power boat, because we won't use it for that (and to be brutually honest, no powerboat can match what I already have at less than five times my budget.)

So we're looking at sport fishers of all things. I won't be half surprised if that revelation gets me tossed from here, but it is what it is. The wife asked how hard it was going to be for me to adjust to a go fast boat. I told her, "the hardest part is going to be putting up with the looks from sail boaters that I used to give to the go fasters when they pulled in."
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Old 09-05-2015, 06:55 PM   #5
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Welcome, and where are you planning on home-porting the boat? We've done day trips from Oxnard and Santa Barbara to the Channel Islands on sub-10 knot boats.
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:51 PM   #6
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We've had a lot of fun big plans, but what we mostly do together is trips out to the Channel Islands. It's very important to my wife to make a weekend trip a practicality. That really limits us to things that can do 15kn or more. It's really what we'd do 99% of the time. So we've decided to go looking for the boat that we will use the most, not the one for some future plan. If it works out to be doable for both, that's great.
It sounds like you have already come to the realization that "Blue water" and "go faster" are mutually exclusive in anything even approaching your budget.

I am in a similar situation, with my wife and I going through the discussion of what we want, need, and can afford. We also have the same constraints of time and the desire to have more time together as a couple and with our grown children.

I would also encourage you to simply consider Chartering in the PNW. Buy a weekend/week vacation boat for your local waters and continue to refine what you might want to do for your sabbatical.

I am working through the idea of moving from sail to power myself. It is odd how much of a visceral reaction the thought induces.

There are a number of semi-displacement designs that can get you to that 15 knot speed (at a fuel cost) that will have two cabins. I know because my wife and I want to move from our Catalina 400, two cabins, bow and stern, two heads, etc, to a trawler with two cabins somewhere in the 36-42 foot range. I see lots of great boats that may require more work than I am capable of or have a desire to do. It sounds like you may have the skills and that time to handle that.

So a sport fisher might be great, but consider some of the semi-displacement designs out there. Some of them seem to be a bargain and might serve your needs.
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Old 09-06-2015, 05:26 PM   #7
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A semi displacement hull will work well for you and possibly give you the speed you want. A coastal cruiser is just a boat that can make a safe anchorage or port if weather kicks up, rather than ride it out. We moved from a Union 36 we sailed to Mexico twice, to a CHB 42 Europa. The CHB uses about three times the fuel but goes twice as fast. A good tradeoff for us. We plan on taking her to the PNW and Mexico. Lot's of forum folks are, or were,
stick boat sailors.
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Old 09-06-2015, 07:07 PM   #8
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There are a number of semi-displacement designs that can get you to that 15 knot speed (at a fuel cost) that will have two cabins.
Here's another candidate that will meet your criteria. (It comes with a little bias, however.)

2005 Ocean Alexander Sport Sedan Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

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Old 09-06-2015, 10:02 PM   #9
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I agree with Codger2....and also look at the Navigator 42 and 48. They're very nice coastal cruisers with a turn of speed. Made in SoCal, too, so there are several there to look at.

Tom B just bought a 42, I think. He's probably still replacing his hose clamps with color coordinated, labeled pairs. Hopefully he'll chime in.
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Old 09-07-2015, 03:41 PM   #10
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Here's another candidate that will meet your criteria. (It comes with a little bias, however.)

2005 Ocean Alexander Sport Sedan Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Thanks, that's a nice boat. I probably should mention that in order to keep my sailboat for a while I have to radically lower my budget. I've got to keep it below $75k, and $60k or less would be better. As we say at work, "I'm unicorn hunting..."

The idea above about chartering in the PNW is a good one, and we're planning on doing so a few times in the next few years. If I sail up there we will have a base of operations, and can charter something more guest friendly when family comes to visit (and when the wife needs a break from the man cave.) I estimate I can charter a 36 footer for 12-14 days for what it would cost to truck a boat up. Sailing up will probably cost a few hundred in fuel, a grand or so in breakage (hopefully less) and three weeks or so on the clipper route. The added bonus that we could spread out the charters over a summer, and try several different boats.
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Old 09-26-2015, 09:22 PM   #11
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We are from scal and have our boat in pnw. This last summer we were up in the Desolation Sound area for three weeks. We ran into a couple from San Diego who trucked their 30' Bayliner and went to Ketchikan AK and will be on their boat for 4 months. It's a great idea to get a trailer able boat for many options. Something to think about
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Old 09-30-2015, 04:59 PM   #12
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We are from scal and have our boat in pnw. This last summer we were up in the Desolation Sound area for three weeks. We ran into a couple from San Diego who trucked their 30' Bayliner and went to Ketchikan AK and will be on their boat for 4 months. It's a great idea to get a trailer able boat for many options. Something to think about
Thanks for the advice. We've considered the trailer idea, even looked at a Nordic 32 that was totally trailerable. The problem is us, in that we are upgrading (sideways-grading?) from a 40 foot sailboat and we just aren't willing to take the size hit.

I'm not sure why I thought it would be any different, but having looked at a ton of power boats, I'm back to the purchase paradigm we've used with sailboats.

Make a list of must haves, want to haves, would like to haves, don't likes, and dealbreakers. Try and find the boat in the best shape that satisfies the musts, avoids the breakers, and ticks as many of the other wants and likes as possible.

Our must haves are two cabins, and a master bed that both people can get in and out of without crawling over the other. Minimum cruise 8 knots. Enough engine access space that I can change filters/impellers/belts/etc without burning myself (learned this one the hard way) if the engine is hot.

Our want to haves are a maximization of living and playing space over sleeping space. A galley with enough counterspace for me to prep and cook. A flybridge is a want. Something that is or can be modified to fit in a 43' LOA slip (what I have now, and this is the most flexible want.)

Like to have is easy access for my parents and in-laws (ok, maybe not them) and the dogs, basically bulwark doors. A platform I can freedive / SCUBA / swim from. The ability to carry a transportation dinghy, my kid's Opti, and a Laser for me, and that I can launch and retrieve without herniating a disk.

We're pretty flexible. In our price range we're looking at older used, and it's looking more like I need to find the boat in the best shape, not the one that fits the best. As such, we've been leaning either towards a sport fisher or a Europa style.

We made an offer on a nice sportfish/cruiser, but someone beat us to it by a day. Like Garth says though, thank God for unanswered prayers, because the engines ate themselves on the guy's sea trial. Dodged a bullet there.
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:12 AM   #13
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"Thanks for the advice. We've considered the trailer idea, even looked at a Nordic 32 that was totally trailerable."

Are you sure you weren't looking at a NT26?
This is my 32 NT on a semi getting ready to be trucked out to California
NOT a trailer friendly boat
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:04 PM   #14
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"Thanks for the advice. We've considered the trailer idea, even looked at a Nordic 32 that was totally trailerable."

Are you sure you weren't looking at a NT26?
This is my 32 NT on a semi getting ready to be trucked out to California
NOT a trailer friendly boat
Yeah, it was a 32. We saw one on a trailer when we were headed down from Vancouver Island this summer. When I say "totally trailerable", I don't mean by me. I'm referring to the fact that it can travel via roadway without attention from a sawz-all, and without completely emptying the wallet. A huge bite maybe, but I can always make more money, I can't make more time.

Would you mind elaborating on any additional prep your NT32 required for transport? What the ballpark costs were (if you don't mind sharing), and how long it took to move?
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Old 10-03-2015, 01:20 PM   #15
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I had the radar mast removed and the side air intake taped up along with the exhaust. As the picture shows, the boat was hauled backwards.
I was able to re install the mast myself easily.
It cost me $10,500 to haul from ft lauderdale to Ventura Ca.
It took about 5 days including a one day layover in Texas as NM would not allow oversize hauling on a Sunday.
Are you in Ventura harbor?
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:48 PM   #16
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I had the radar mast removed and the side air intake taped up along with the exhaust. As the picture shows, the boat was hauled backwards.
I was able to re install the mast myself easily.
It cost me $10,500 to haul from ft lauderdale to Ventura Ca.
It took about 5 days including a one day layover in Texas as NM would not allow oversize hauling on a Sunday.
Are you in Ventura harbor?
Yes, we're over in MW Phase 2 by the visitor's center. Thanks for the info. I do love the NT32 but it's a bit out of our price range and doesn't have the second cabin for the kid. Beautiful boats, though.

There's a flybridge version for sale in SB for $220k. Right in front of Brophie's. I walk by it every time I take the grom to sailing practice.
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:27 PM   #17
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I hear ya on the second cabin for the kids.
We're quickly outgrowing our boat with 2 kids.

Good luck! Pm me if you ever want to take a closer look at the NT's.
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