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Old 02-24-2016, 06:09 PM   #1
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New Trawler Build: Introduction and First Question

Good evening, and fair seas to all. My family and friends call me Sweet Pea because of my middle name, I am married to Dan, and we are 40-year residents of St. Petersburg, the most beautiful waterfront city on the Gulf coast of Florida.

Dan and I just ordered a somewhat unusual cruising vessel sight unseen… the new Great Harbour TT35. I have been observing this site for a long time with extended cruising plans in mind, and I am very grateful for all I have learned here. Yesterday, Dan gave his retirement notice and we can hardly wait to get started on our next adventure. I am in awe of Janice aboard Seaweed, and hope to meet many of you in person over the next several years.

We are experienced boaters in the warm waters of the Gulf, the bays and the ICW. Some Atlantic experience years ago. We've never done more than camper boating, though, and we've never bought a new boat, either. We could use some help with the design of our new vessel. My first question for everyone is: Airhead or holding tank? We plan to go from St. Petersburg to the Great Lakes, with stops in Cuba, the Bahamas, and many spots along the ICW. We are initially considering transporting the TT35 over land back down to Florida after spending some time on the Great Lakes (we have family in Cleveland.) But time will tell; we might head to Alaska after Cleveland!

I am sure there will be many more questions from both of us. Thank you in advance for your answers and comments. This forum is awesome!

Warmest regards from our home to yours,
Sweet Pea, Dan and Captain Lucy the dog
Our TT35 mockup here:
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Old 02-24-2016, 06:58 PM   #2
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Best of luck with your new adventure. Welcome aboard. The TT 35 sounds like a great concept, and like C-Dory, Rossborough, Nimble and others, could be just the final push necessary to stretch the definition of trawler into the outboard motor category forever.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:50 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard!

I just noticed the TT35 on the Great Harbour site yesterday...looks HUGE for a trailerable boat and sure would be a blast to drop in the water on the Atlantic, Pacific, or Arctic coasts...or rivers...or lakes...

Great Harbour N37 trawler: spacious, stable, unsinkable - Great Harbour Trawlers
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:03 PM   #4
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The best of all worlds. Congrats on your purchase decision!
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:17 PM   #5
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We installed both, holding tank and sanitation system. In the marina tied to the dock the holding tank, and when in open water the sanition system.

For many years we had a 28 ft boat we trailer around PNW.
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:56 PM   #6
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If you are going to be doing lots of long trips the MSD would probably be a better bet - composting toilets can be fickle with heavy use and the cost of a top of the line marine head and MSD isn't significantly greater. You also have to comfort/familiarity factor for guests. I would look into installing both a holding tank (Type III) and a Type 1 MSD - ultimate flexibility and you may decide to boat in waters that require a Type III.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:17 PM   #7
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Welcome aboard! Nice to have more Floridians.
I would prefer a good marine toilet and holding tank or treatment system to a composting head. As far as I can see composting toilets are just glorified litter boxes. I don't enjoy scooping my cat's box. I wouldn't enjoy dealing with human waste.

If you decide to go with the marine toilet, we can then talk about which one to get.
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:22 AM   #8
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I imagine she'll be a quiet cruiser, with the power out back like that.
Nice boat!
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Old 02-25-2016, 01:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miz Trom View Post
Dan and I just ordered a somewhat unusual cruising vessel sight unseen… the new Great Harbour TT35. I have been observing this site for a long time with extended cruising plans in mind, and I am very grateful for all I have learned here......We've never done more than camper boating, though, and we've never bought a new boat, either. We could use some help with the design of our new vessel.
Yes, welcome aboard, and in view of your above statements, if you have not already, I strongly suggest you go and have a look as this thread from the beginning, as it is by someone starting from scratch and considering every possible aspect of what one might need in a new boat - as opposed to what one might want, but not actually need...
Contract Signed / New Build Underway
I am sure John would be more than happy to answer more specific questions via PMs as well.

Regards,
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Old 02-25-2016, 05:25 AM   #10
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I would go with the marine head. If you are considering the composting route check out C-Head.
Good luck with your new build! We need lots of pics of construction and after.
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Old 02-25-2016, 05:31 AM   #11
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Welcome to TF and congratulations on being selected as the first TT35 Ambassador. It takes a lot of bravery to sign up for hull number one but it will certainly be a fantastic boat.

Have no experience with composting heads so won't offer an opinion but we are definitely interested in the design selections you end up going with.

Noticed that the standard power plant is twin 60hp gas outboards but it can be built with a single diesel duoprop. Did you go with the standard power plant?

Are you selecting the land or sea air conditioning and genset package?

Best of luck with your new build!
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:53 AM   #12
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How about a Yanmar diesel outboard motor
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:02 AM   #13
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Welcome to TF and good luck with your interesting project. Please post pictures when you can.
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Old 02-25-2016, 10:18 AM   #14
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HealHustler: Yes, my sentiments exactly. We feel that the TT35 is the first generation of outboard-powered long distance cruising vessels. I see you live on Longboat Key; did you know my dad, Hamlin Jones? We would love to drop by with our new boat after this November when it is scheduled to be finished, and see your Krogen. That's one of the few trawlers we have not seen in person.

MurrayM: Yes, we are having fun imagining where we can go with this boat by utilizing land transport.

dimer2: It was amazing meeting with Ken Fickett and his Marketing Director, Pierce, because Ken has put a tremendous amount of creativity, combined with his boat building knowledge, into this vessel. Plus, since the boats are built in Gainesville, FL, we will be up there often to see the progress.

We had looked at the Aspen boats, and they have an 8-foot beam for trailering, but Ken's idea (much like John's thoughts about beamy boats) is to build a boat with a 10-foot beam which is still trailerable with a permit but supplies much more interior space.

Phil Fill: On a 35-foot vessel, I envision only room for one head. At my family's small marina in Cortez, FL, we did not have a pump-out station. I wonder how many other marinas do not provide the pump-out. Also, when at home, we will dock the boat behind our house. These are some of the factors we are considering before deciding on a marine head or composting head. But so far, it appears the marine head is favored by the forum.

devorenm: It sounds like you have experience with both types of heads. We will be indeed be taking long (six-month) trips on the boat, along with much shorter trips. Your comments have me leaning toward a marine head. Do you prefer the fresh-water or salt-water MSD's? IIRC, the Canadian side of the Great Lakes require Type III, so that is also a consideration.

HopCar: You made me laugh with your comment about the kitty litter. I've cleaned many a litter box and also picked up lots of dog poop over the years. It is what it is.

Two of our small boats have porta-potties, and we have a sanitary sewer line in our side yard where we modified the clean-out pipe so that we can dump the porta-potties there instead of inside the house. That makes it easy to then hose off the porta-pot. But I am looking forward to no more porta-potties in my life, while still understanding that the waste needs to be removed from the boat periodically.

Bluto: Yes, I am anticipating a very quiet boat. We have a good friend with a Yamaha 4-stroke who pulls up to our dock and it's so quiet he sometimes forgets to turn off his outboard.

Peter B: Yes, I have been following John's thread closely. We do not have the same experience that John has with his cruising desirables, but it is most interesting to read his perspective. I felt I should introduce myself here in the Welcome Mat first and also not hijack his thread.

Sailor of Fortune: I have looked at many youtube videos covering both the Airhead and C-head. And many videos from sailors complaining about the bad smell of their sanitary hoses, and also mentions of bugs in the composting heads. I've also seen bugs in RV toilets, but it is my understanding that if hooked up properly and maintained properly, these issues can all be avoided.

Devorenm mentioned the comfort/familiarity factor for guests, but we are designing the systems for us, since we will be the ones primarily using the sanitary system (John's 90% rule). Maybe I am overthinking the idea of not having to rely on pump-out stations, and also overthinking the idea of going with an alternate technology. In many cases the tried and true method is the best one.

Based on the comments thus far, I am definitely leaning toward the marine toilet. But I am also considering buying a composting toilet now, installing it in our garage with the required vent, and just trying it out for a few months.

Donsan: Thank you. Actually, it wasn't bravery as much as it was our experiences with skinny water and outboards. After seeing the fit and finish of a Great Harbour GH47, and meeting Ken, we knew that this was a boat we couldn't pass up.

Ken and I are also aligned in our desire for a lower-draft-than-normal trawler, i.e. a larger cruising vessel that can go places that other trawlers can't. I know our Pacific friends have trouble relating to the need for less draft, but Gulf and Atlantic coasters know all about running aground in channels marked as 6-ft deep on the charts.

I actually have a some difficulty calling this a trawler because it is basically a planing hull with a very narrow bow (we will have a long anchor locker). I am not a big fan of most v-bottom boats due to their hard ride, but when I looked at how we will be using our boat I was willing to make that trade-off for the lower draft factor. I have been a weather-watcher my entire life, so that combined with the fact that we will not be on a schedule to get from point A to point B made the decision easy. And yes, we went with the 60-hp four-stroke Suzuki outboards for ease of maintenance. That was a no-brainer for us.

I only have experience with marine A/C, so that was going to be my next question. I hope some of the users here will take the survey offered on the TT35 page, because that will really help us make some decisions:

Great Harbour N37 trawler: spacious, stable, unsinkable - Great Harbour Trawlers

We will either go with the genset or a large battery bank and solar panels. However, now we are getting into another design issue. Ken and his team did not initially design the vessel with a flybridge, but we asked to add one. (If you had known my dad you would understand that a flybridge is literally in my genes!) Ken is great in that he is happy to add whatever his owners request, within reason, and the design is stable enough for a flybridge. The upper deck needs to accomodate A/C (we do live in Florida), radar tower, dinghy, and the flybridge. I fear we are out of room for solar panels.

Here are some photos of the Great Harbour crew getting ready to build the mold for the TT35.


Sweet Pea
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:29 AM   #15
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I think this is going to prove to be an interesting thread. I hope you keep us updated on the progress throughout.

As for Fresh/Salt water heads - I only have experience with freshwater but I think the general consensus is that it is preferred over salt for odor reasons. I don't want to talk you out of a composting head as my experience with them is limited and I'm sure there are some that are better designed then others - it just that my concern would be about heavy use, variable temperatures, moisture, and all of the other things that have to be "just right" to make it a good experience.

As for pump-outs - If you go with a combined Type 1 and Type III system you will be covered as most places that are NDZs also have fairly good and reasonably priced pump outs facilities (and some like in Florida are free/very cheap and all over the place).

As for power - if you are going to be doing Florida cruising and want AC - you'll want the genset. There just aren't alternators big enough to go on an outboard to give you the kind of power you would need to run even a small unit through an inverter (People have done this with IB diesels though - and if your other 120VAC needs are low its a pretty good trick). I'm not sure how much use it would get but the fact that the genset can be configured to be air cooled and used out of the water is pretty slick as well.
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:33 AM   #16
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Hi Sweet Pea,
Welcome aboard! Had no idea that Great Harbor was producing a vessel of that type. Great compromise on interior space and economy for coastal cruising.

Regarding the head situation, I can only add from my personal experiences with holding tank toilet installations. No experience with composting heads, and actually, when needing to install a new head on a 41 Hatteras Double Cabin (recently sold), I did not want to deal with emptying solids and liquids separately.

The boat was located at St. Pete Municipal Marina (I live in Largo,so we're neighbors). They provide a mobile pump out boat as part of the slip fee. For simplicity sake, I went with a permanently installed porta-potti with dockside pumpout connection. It had a 5.5 gal integral holding tank.

If you want simplicity, Sealand makes and RV gravity drop head (Sealand/Dometic 312371101 711-M28). This has a 10 gal holding tank. Depending on access below the position of the toilet it may even be possible to add a larger holding tank.

Good luck on your purchase and can't wait to see progress reports!
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:59 AM   #17
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I miss understood your question as I figured you were having a marine head. There for having both a holding tank and a salitation system that you can switch back and forth. We have a MicroPhor system which require no electricity or chrmicals, just use it like a septic tank. The marine head you could plumb so it is raw or fresh water. At dock we use fresh and when out and about raw and the MicroPhor. Electric head with maserator built in.

As for engines I would look at other brands and types. Make sure parts and service is available.

If your going to have AC then gen set would be recommended, and if you are heading up north to colder weather a good primary heating is also recommend. We have domestic portable window AC as the fewer the thru hulls the better, besides they are cheap. We mostly use on fan.
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miz Trom View Post
Donsan: Thank you. Actually, it wasn't bravery as much as it was our experiences with skinny water and outboards. After seeing the fit and finish of a Great Harbour GH47, and meeting Ken, we knew that this was a boat we couldn't pass up.

Ken and I are also aligned in our desire for a lower-draft-than-normal trawler, i.e. a larger cruising vessel that can go places that other trawlers can't. I know our Pacific friends have trouble relating to the need for less draft, but Gulf and Atlantic coasters know all about running aground in channels marked as 6-ft deep on the charts.
The claimed 16" draft seems almost too good to be true. I was wondering if the draft includes the outboard shaft or if it was measured with the outboards in trailering position. Regardless, it will get you a lot of places a 42" draft won't like around the FL Panhandle. The draft on this boat is so shallow you might not even need a dinghy most of the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miz Trom View Post
I actually have a some difficulty calling this a trawler because it is basically a planing hull with a very narrow bow (we will have a long anchor locker). I am not a big fan of most v-bottom boats due to their hard ride, but when I looked at how we will be using our boat I was willing to make that trade-off for the lower draft factor. I have been a weather-watcher my entire life, so that combined with the fact that we will not be on a schedule to get from point A to point B made the decision easy. And yes, we went with the 60-hp four-stroke Suzuki outboards for ease of maintenance. That was a no-brainer for us.
3 MPG at fast cruise is rather impressive. There are a lot of advantages in not requiring a shaft, a rudder, cutlass bearings, log tubes, stuffing boxes, seacocks, cooling plumbing and the like. If it were my choice, I would go with the dual 60hp outboards also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miz Trom View Post
I only have experience with marine A/C, so that was going to be my next question. I hope some of the users here will take the survey offered on the TT35 page, because that will really help us make some decisions:

Great Harbour N37 trawler: spacious, stable, unsinkable - Great Harbour Trawlers

We will either go with the genset or a large battery bank and solar panels. However, now we are getting into another design issue. Ken and his team did not initially design the vessel with a flybridge, but we asked to add one. (If you had known my dad you would understand that a flybridge is literally in my genes!) Ken is great in that he is happy to add whatever his owners request, within reason, and the design is stable enough for a flybridge. The upper deck needs to accomodate A/C (we do live in Florida), radar tower, dinghy, and the flybridge. I fear we are out of room for solar panels.
If you go with the traditional marine genny, you are probably looking at a need for a diesel fuel tank. So you will need both diesel and gasoline on the boat. Putting a gas powered genny in the ER is asking for problems with carbon monoxide. The GH web site and the survey are vague on how they will configure the land based setup which I am guessing is powered by a gas generator. I was wondering where the generator would be located if that is the case (over the cockpit?). I think you need to ask Ken a lot more questions on the genset and AC options.

Don't blame you for wanting the flybridge but most likely if you go with the flybridge, there won't be room for solar panels. Even though your boat will be shallow draft, there are still a places that only provide a dinghy dock for shore access. How will you provision for a dinghy?
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donsan View Post
The claimed 16" draft seems almost too good to be true. I was wondering if the draft includes the outboard shaft or if it was measured with the outboards in trailering position. Regardless, it will get you a lot of places a 42" draft won't like around the FL Panhandle. The draft on this boat is so shallow you might not even need a dinghy most of the time.



3 MPG at fast cruise is rather impressive. There are a lot of advantages in not requiring a shaft, a rudder, cutlass bearings, log tubes, stuffing boxes, seacocks, cooling plumbing and the like. If it were my choice, I would go with the dual 60hp outboards also.



If you go with the traditional marine genny, you are probably looking at a need for a diesel fuel tank. So you will need both diesel and gasoline on the boat. Putting a gas powered genny in the ER is asking for problems with carbon monoxide. The GH web site and the survey are vague on how they will configure the land based setup which I am guessing is powered by a gas generator. I was wondering where the generator would be located if that is the case (over the cockpit?). I think you need to ask Ken a lot more questions on the genset and AC options.

Don't blame you for wanting the flybridge but most likely if you go with the flybridge, there won't be room for solar panels. Even though your boat will be shallow draft, there are still a places that only provide a dinghy dock for shore access. How will you provision for a dinghy?
I somewhat disagree with this - there are a ton of boats with gas gensets and very few deaths related. Those that are often are a result of a lack of a CO detector, faulty installation of the genset, imprudent maintenance, or some combination there of. Not to say it isn't a remote possibility but I'd take my chances with a modern, properly installed, monitored gas genset before I fussed with the need for two types of fuel storage onboard.
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:33 PM   #20
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The published profile and arrangement and specifications don't really match, which is often the case with prototypes. Building the first one without a complete design will be a learning exercise. The problem with building a high volume boat is that people fill that volume with stuff, and the design weight is left behind.

We built a 30' x 10' foam-cored twin outboard trailerable cruiser with all the bells and whistles, generator, flying bridge, dinghy, anchor windlass, water pressure, water heater, etc. Design weight was 9500 lbs and she came in over that, heavier outboards, but still. With all that stuff aboard and all the windage, stability became questionable in a lumpy cross sea. Perhaps not dangerous, but worrisome for me.

From the drawing I'd say the helm needs to go aft or the windshield forward. And the hull draft shown is more like 6" instead of 16". Also I would stay away from curved deckhouse sides, they look odd and make window installation a real pain.

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