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Old 06-16-2018, 12:09 PM   #1
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New member -- Pacific NW

Hi all, and thanks for adding me. I'm excited to see so much good information all in one place.

First, a little intro. I grew up on a 42' ketch in Seattle, long before living aboard was mainstream. (In fact, my folks had to go to the ACLU for help because I was under 12 at the time and wasn't technically allowed to live aboard at our marina. I was the first "legal" kid in our marine neighborhood. But that's another story...) So I grew up aboard boats and around boaters, then moved away, got married and had kids. My husband is from wheat country, a long ways from salt water, but we've had smaller watercraft the whole time our kids were growing up -- camping, tubing and skiing, cruising the Columbia and inland reservoirs, and some time up in south Puget Sound.

Now we are empty nesters and are thinking of buying a trawler, for all the tangible and intangible reasons you all have trawlers! For me, the gold standard was always the Grand Banks. In my mind, a 32' fiberglass GB is exactly where I see us. We love everything about them and that is the boat we've always gravitated toward when strolling the docks over the years. "Someday...sigh." BUT I know there are so many boats out there that might fit our needs and I'm looking for either confirmation that we should concentrate our search for the right fiberglass GB, or advice on other trawlers that we should be looking at.

Our hope is to possibly keep it on the Columbia for a couple years, nearer to our home in SW Washington. It would be a little more accessible and we could get "our feet wet," so to speak. Other options would be finding moorage up in south Puget Sound, not really a long drive for us, either. Until retirement, we hope to enjoy long weekends, and some longer (1-3 weeks, depending on schedules) trips up north. Retirement will be in about 8 years, and then I foresee us heading to Desolation Sound, maybe the Inside Passage, and other more adventurous forays. Just see where life takes us...

We are attracted to the GB because of it's reputation and persona, comfortable cruising, economy and resale value. (I mean, what if we find we don't like cruising in 10 years?) Our budget isn't huge, we need to make sure we have enough left over to drop into that "hole in the water." We'd like to keep it under $75k. Nothing bigger than the GB36, either.

So I'd love to basic advice from all you experienced trawler people, particularly those here in the NW. What other boats would you suggest we look for? Thoughts?
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:09 PM   #2
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Welcome! We have a winter dock in Longview and go north in the summer, except this year we are cruising east up the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

If you are interested in buying a private dock in Longview, PM me. I may have a lead for you.
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:23 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard. GBs are great boats, the only thing I don’t like is the built in setees. My back doesn’t work well with them.
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Old 06-16-2018, 03:15 PM   #4
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Will definitely keep that in mind. We just stepped aboard our first one (well, in many many years for me) and spent a bit of time, but don't think I was paying much attention to how comfortable I was on the settee. This particular boat had new foam -- Tempurpedic, I believe -- but they do look upright. Those creature comforts are important!
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Old 06-16-2018, 03:19 PM   #5
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Welcome! We have a winter dock in Longview and go north in the summer, except this year we are cruising east up the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

If you are interested in buying a private dock in Longview, PM me. I may have a lead for you.
Does it come with a "Shed"?
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:08 PM   #6
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Welcome melissar.

Grand Banks are great boats with a well deserved reputation. I have never been fond of them them because the configuration doesn’t fit with how I want to use the boat in the PNW. First of all, I want my primary helm station to be inside, not a flybridge. So keep your options open. When you search for boats look at a variety of boat in your budget range, not just GBs.
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:34 PM   #7
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Since you have been out of big boats for a while, when you look at a boat you should spend some time just being on it and visualizing how it would or wouldn’t work for you. Our first priority in comfort is that there is no fixed seating. We use recliners due to both of us have had multiple back problems. Talk to other boaters in marinas and pick their brains as to what they like and dislike about their boats. Also don’t fixate on one particular boat or brand before you have done some looking. You may find something that works great for you that you had not even considered. Good luck.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:33 PM   #8
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Thank you! What other trawlers would you suggest we look at that fit our criteria?
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:12 PM   #9
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I highly recommend touring as many trawlers as possible and start making your list of features you want. For us, it help eliminate boats from what felt like an overwhelming number of possibilities.

Also, really think about how you intend to use your boat, where will you go, how long will you be out and with how many guests?

In the end only you will know when you’ve found ‘the one’ but that only comes from looking at as many boats as possible.

Good luck!
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:13 PM   #10
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Ps - a GB 36 is a fine, sweet boat.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:41 PM   #11
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You can get Powerboat Guide. It has specs and drawings of hundreds of boats not just trawlers. No affiliation. Also maybe go to a TrawlerFest if there is one nearby. They have classes and usually lots of private boats that are open to registered participants to look at. We wanted no fixed seating, no tall ladders since we are getting older and have a large dog, twin engines and galley down. I don’t want to start a huge discussion on single versus twins, twins were just our preference but if we had loved a single that would have been ok. I would not get hung up on a particular brand, but rather a particular boat that meets your needs and is in the condition you want. We are on our 23 boat. I love working and restoring boats so I look for a boat that needs some TLC. Just finished painting the whole boat yesterday. You need to decide what you want in a boat and what work you are willing to take on or have done by others. Good luck.
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:54 PM   #12
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Great suggestions, Comodave...I will see if I can get ahold of the PowerBoat Guide, and also see if there are any Trawler Fests (great name!) near us. I hear you about being drawn to boats needing a little TLC. We have done the same with houses our whole married life...currently in an 1890s farmhouse that was abandoned for 25 years. Talk about a labor of love. We finally got it about 95% complete two years ago for our daughter's wedding. So the boat will really be our vacation property. Yes, work will be fine and expected. But it will be our happy place, just like our small boat is now, with the ability to go out longer and farther. We're tired of working, working, working on stuff and would rather spend our free time cruising, crabbing and fishing, kayaking, etc. If the grown kids want to come, great. If we have a berth for them, they are welcome to it. If we don't, there's always the cockpit, a hammock slung topsides, or shore camping. One day, a long time from now as our daughter is going back to school, there might be grandkids that could necessitate a different boat. But for now, it will be for the two of us to enjoy while we're young, agile and have many more years of adventures ahead of us. We have had the discussion of single vs twin engines, and I think we're okay with either. (Hubby a commercial airline pilot though, so as you can imagine, the more engines the better in his book.) We spent time on a GB 36 the other day -- things we liked and things we didn't. So now the search begins...
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:55 PM   #13
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And also, we have a Labrador that will go with us. One of the attractions of the GB 32 over the 36 is the size of the aft cockpit. There will be more room for Lucy.
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:55 PM   #14
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Now if I could find a boat suitable to bring my horse along, also...
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:56 PM   #15
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Sounds good, good luck.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:02 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by melissar View Post

Hi all, and thanks for adding me. I'm excited to see so much good information all in one place.

First, a little intro. I grew up on a 42' ketch in Seattle, long before living aboard was mainstream.

So I'd love to basic advice from all you experienced trawler people, particularly those here in the NW. What other boats would you suggest we look for? Thoughts?
Welcome, Welcome!

I recommend you look closely at several different models of Tollycraft boats.

Happy Boat-Search Daze! - Art
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:09 PM   #17
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And also, we have a Labrador that will go with us. One of the attractions of the GB 32 over the 36 is the size of the aft cockpit. There will be more room for Lucy.
Then I would consider a means of getting the dog to the flybridge rather than a ladder. The dog will not be happy being below while all the people are on the bridge. We have 3 steps to the bridge that I modified so Radar can get up them. He is an 85 pound black lab. We went with a sundeck model because of that.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:51 PM   #18
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Then I would consider a means of getting the dog to the flybridge rather than a ladder. The dog will not be happy being below while all the people are on the bridge. We have 3 steps to the bridge that I modified so Radar can get up them. He is an 85 pound black lab. We went with a sundeck model because of that.
Well built sun deck boats are very cool!
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:58 AM   #19
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So true and a really good thing to keep in mind. She would hate it if she couldn't be with us! I have a really cool set of folding steps that I use to get her in my truck; I will also see if those could be used on any of the boats we consider.
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:52 AM   #20
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[QUOTE=melissar;673229]

Now we are empty nesters and are thinking of buying a trawler, for all the tangible and intangible reasons you all have trawlers! For me, the gold standard was always the Grand Banks. In my mind, a 32' fiberglass GB is exactly where I see us. We love everything about them and that is the boat we've always gravitated toward when strolling the docks over the years. "Someday...sigh." BUT I know there are so many boats out there that might fit our needs and I'm looking for either confirmation that we should concentrate our search for the right fiberglass GB, or advice on other trawlers that we should be looking at.

Melissar,
You can't go wrong with a GB 32, assuming you find one that has been decently maintained. We purchased our 1990 GB 32 in 2016 and never looked back!. When I decided to switch from sail to trawler I knew I wanted a GB. I too had lusted after them for years....with good reason! For a couple (with occasional guests), it's about perfect. We especially enjoy the "back porch."

Their reputation for being among the best-built trawlers is well-deserved. First, they are, as the saying goes, "hell for stout." A history of good maintenance counts for a lot of course. After nearly 30 years, the basic structure, fit, and finish of our boat is nearly perfect. Every door, hatch, and drawer opens and closes like new--no jamming or binding at all, indicating that the hull has not torqued or tweaked at all. Much of the plumbing and electrical stuff is original and still works just fine. With a bit of wax, the gelcoat looks brand new. GB obviously used high-quality parts and materials and installed everything to a high professional standard.

Yes, they tend to be priced much higher than similar-looking trawlers, but with good reason, given the basic quality. They seem to retain their value quite well. in 2016 we paid about $125K for ours, in California. On Yachtworld I recently saw a 1990 in B.C., slightly better-equipped than ours, asking $US 130K. It sold within a few weeks, probably for near the asking price, I'm guessing. (For some reason, boats in the southeastern US seem to sell for much less).

A boat is a love affair, basically. I see people agonizing for years over which boat to buy. Arthur Beiser, author of "The Proper Yacht," said it best...."Buy the boat that makes your heart sing." Our boat looks good, feels good, and has a great reputation among boaters. What more could you ask for?

Good luck in your search.
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