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Old 09-06-2019, 12:52 PM   #1
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Sailboat to Trawler

First post. Ahoy. After approx. 24 years sailing 3 boats (25,30, 36) Admiral & I think we should move to trawler. Current sailboat for sale. We sail lower Lake Michigan. I have always done 95% of my own maintenance. Thinking of Grand Banks 42 but not set in stone, maybe Ocean Alexander, like the Sabreline aft cabin 43 also. Not a lot of these trawlers available close by. I think I may have to buy a northeast coast or upper Gulf coast boat and drive it home. So many questions such as: How do I put a value on a boat? What's best way to learn to drive twin screws? Speaking of a Gulf coast boat, have you brought one up to the Great Lakes? That would part of the Great Loop in reverse. If this a tough trip? How much of the boat work/maintenance can I expect to do? I will have more questions but those are just a few to get me introduced.

I love these forums b/c you get great info from real people/owners with occasional humor! I belong to several sailing forums and find them invaluable so thanks in advance.

Pat
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:14 PM   #2
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Welcome Aboard ! Anyone who knows me by my posts knows I advocate single engine diesel whenever there is a choice. Being a sailboater, you are already ultra familiar with the handling, docking and maneuvering of a single engine boat. Why not stay single engine and save yourself the extra expense of duals, not to mention all the other discussion points which will always make an appearance in the single vs dual engine discussion. Plus you will be an expert boat handler first time out !!

The only problem might be bringing a single engine boat up river (Mississippi) . The P.O. of my boat tells the tale of coming up the Mississippi and watching a particular tree on the shore for over an hour as he slowly crept past at a white knuckle hull speed of around 7 mph but actual speed over the bottom of more like 1 or 2.

As far as value and cost. There was a very interesting thread a while back where a member wondered how much to offer on a boat. Seems like most buyers and sellers sort of agree that 50% to 75% of asking price is not an unreasonable starting point, depending on the boat.

I am on Green Bay. Depending on you and your yard you can expect to do up to 100% of the work on your boat. Many marinas allow you to do almost anything. The upscale and corporate marinas (Skipper Buds, etc) will limit the amount of dust etc. you are allowed to generate. Just find a marina that fits your style and budget. This forum can help.

You seem to be on the right track about boat choice. If you are the social cruising type who likes to take friends for a few days you definitely want an aft cabin with two heads. There are a lot of boats out there, just start looking, it's half the fun.

pete
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:40 PM   #3
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Welcome to the dark side. Many trawler owners are recovering sailors who were tired of being cold (or hot), wet, and tired.

Learning to drive twin screws will not be difficult. When the time comes, you will be able to find a good captain with experience giving lessons. The good news is that it's easier to learn to drive/operate a boat than it is to afford one. As an aside, as someone who used to conduct "How to purchase a Trawler" seminars at Trawler Fest's until PMM purchased TF, i noted that sailors tended to want twin screws on the theory that two is better than one, to which someone once said 'if I took care of my engine the way many sailors do, I'd want a backup too!" I personally like single screw boats, with a thruster perhaps. I find they are easier to work on. But it's personal preference - there are long threads on forums like this arguing the merits of one or the other.

I'd hazard an observation that there are four different general configurations, each with their own pluses/minuses. Trunk Cabin (or Tri-Cabin) trawler such as the GB42 and dozens of Taiwan variants; Sundeck Motor-yacht style with a full-width aft cabin (Defever 44, and GB also makes a variety); Pilothouse (Nordhavn 46; American Tug/Nordic Tug; Krogan 42; Solo 43; Ocean Alexander 50 MkII; etc.); and a Sedan/Euro (Willard 36 or 40; GB42 Euro; etc.). Also need to factor in speed vs economy. If you're not retired yet, you may be willing to trade economy for speed - for example, if you are limited by work to long weekends, going 15-knots will triple the area you can cover compared to 8-kts (not the distance, but the area of the circle); though fuel costs will double. Might be a good trade-off depending on your situation.

If you have done 95% of the maintenance on your sailboats, you will easily be able to do the maintenance on a trawler. The systems are not that much different. Trawlers tend to have more room for mechanical installations (especially single-engine trawlers) so access is easier and tendency is less to defer maintenance.

How to value the boat? I wish I knew. I've owned the same brand (Willard) for over 25-years, and moderate the Willard Boat Owners group on Yahoo, so I have a very good feeling for them (example: there is a W36 just listed that is an estate sale from a very knowledgeable owner who did an impeccable restoration and the boat, correctly marketed, would easily bring twice the $38k asking price, though probably too small for your needs, and on the wrong coast). You will have to decide whether you have tolerance for a boat that is cheap and a bit tired, or willing to recognize that an owner may have made recent desirable upgrades (such as electronics).

Some folks on forums such as these are pretty harsh with brokers - attitude that they are a bit sleazy. Personally, while I've met some like that, the vast majority I've met are honest people who like what they do and look forward to repeat business. Even when I was pretty involved in the business side of trawlers 15+ years ago, I preferred working with a good broker than not, though I view them as advisors who's input I weigh carefully - in the end, they are paid by the seller, so I do not expect them to be my advocate, of course. These days, brokers often have access to Yachtworld records of what actually sold so they can help you work-up comparable values. If a broker won't work with me in that way - honestly and fully - I would find someone else.

Pat, these questions have been rehashed in the archives, but they are difficult to find, and I'm guessing few on this list will mind giving their opinions. But I can say one thing: very, very few converted sailors revert back to sail (I know of one - someone up in your neck of the woods in MI bought a new Nordhavn 57, hated it, and had a custom 50-foot Valiant built). There's something to be said for cruising in fuzzy slippers.

Good luck! And welcome to the list
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:55 PM   #4
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There is a nice updated Kady Krogen in Waukegan for sale on yacht world. Iím in Kenosha. We have 10 or so trawlers here including a GB 42 that did loop
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Old 09-06-2019, 02:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat T View Post
First post. Ahoy. After approx. 24 years sailing 3 boats (25,30, 36) Admiral & I think we should move to trawler. Current sailboat for sale. We sail lower Lake Michigan. I have always done 95% of my own maintenance. Thinking of Grand Banks 42 but not set in stone, maybe Ocean Alexander, like the Sabreline aft cabin 43 also. Not a lot of these trawlers available close by. I think I may have to buy a northeast coast or upper Gulf coast boat and drive it home. So many questions such as: How do I put a value on a boat? What's best way to learn to drive twin screws? Speaking of a Gulf coast boat, have you brought one up to the Great Lakes? That would part of the Great Loop in reverse. If this a tough trip? How much of the boat work/maintenance can I expect to do? I will have more questions but those are just a few to get me introduced.

I love these forums b/c you get great info from real people/owners with occasional humor! I belong to several sailing forums and find them invaluable so thanks in advance.

Pat
Welcome aboard! I was a sailboat sailor for 30+ years until last year when I decided to move to a trawler.

I wrote up my thoughts about Sailing towards power and what I wanted out of a trawler, and then about my beautiful new-to-me Ocean Alexander that I ended up purchasing. I was looking for an OA and definitely found their build quality and overall design to be more to my liking.

Every person has different requirements for any boat, whether it be trawler or sailboat or canoe. I have always found that making a pros/cons/details list helps me to figure out what I really want, as they change with every boat you look at

Learning to use two engines is pretty easy - I learned years ago. Depending on how you learn, you can read and try things out near a dock on your own, or hire a captain and have them teach you in a more interactive session. I have always found that I have more control and options with twin engines than with a sailboat. My crew always said that docking a sailboat was more like a controlled crash, and that the trawler is far less stressful, and more up to the captain to control.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:06 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard TF
Lots of "discussions" re single vs twin do some searches and you will find more than you ever wanted.
I'm on inland / Great Lakes and canals and love my single w thrusters. I do up my towing coverage when doing an extended Great Lakes cruise.
If we cruised off shore I might feel different?
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:44 PM   #7
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Thanks for the welcome and great info guys. I hear you on the single engine benefits and I would consider one. I just haven't seen to many for sale yet. I did meet Hal in Racine WI recently. He has a beautiful GB42 with a single & bow & stern thrusters! Nice. Saw the KK in Waukegan just not my type. Steve, I read your write up on your OA 42. What great cruising grounds. I did my Navy time on Whidbey Island. I almost did not return to Illinois. Deception Pass picture brought back memories but I was always on the highway above.
I keep looking and doing my research.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:31 PM   #8
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I was in the same situation, could not really find a 40-44 sailboat we liked and one day the boss and me were invited to go out on a trawler and wow we enjoyed it.

So I skipped the 40-44 sailboat and bought a 2006 Mainship 400 single Yanmar 440HP...We love it and it has all the comforts of home....


Good Luck sir!!!
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:53 AM   #9
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Welcome Pat,
It seems a natural transition from sail to trawler, we did it too!
My advice, think through how you want to use the boat, then look at a lot of boats. Are you happy with sailboat/trawler speeds, or do you want to be able to occasionally go faster? Do you have guests regularly or rarely and (if guests) is privacy a concern (one or two heads)? Do you want covered outdoor space or full sun? Marinas or on the hook? etc.
Then make 3 lists. Must haves, nice to have, and do not want. This should narrow down your focus. For me, screwed down teak decks, exterior brightwork, and twin engines were on my "don't want" list. Too much expensive and/or work for me. I found most twin engine boats in the size range I could afford had very cramped engine rooms. I am not a very flexible person anymore, and access to the engine for maintenance was next to impossible for me on most twin boats I saw (not to mention double the work and cost).
Good luck in your search and have fun in the process,
Tom
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:01 PM   #10
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Welcome aboard. First I would suggest you try to get aboard as many trawlers as you can. Then decide what your priorities are in a boat. Some of our priorities were no tall ladders due to older age and our 85 pound dog, no fixed seating due to both of us have back issues and sitting in built in furniture for multiple hours does not work for our backs. We wanted hardtops over our outdoor areas due to my skin cancer issues. I would not be as concerned with single or twin engines but rather the boat and its condition. Most people here push what they have, if they have a single only singles are good, if they have twins you must have twins. Buy the boat that meets your needs and is in the best condition. Then learn how to handle it. As we get older and are not as strong or limber, thrusters can be a huge help. I installed a stern thruster several years ago because we have a sundeck style with a single helm on the flybridge. By the time I get down from the bridge the stern usually has drifted away from the dock so the thruster with a remote is a big help. Eventually I will install a bow thruster and we have twin engines. If having thrusters enables us to extend our boating life for 5 or more years due to having thrusters then they absolutely are worth it. Good luck and have fun in your search.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:30 PM   #11
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Welcome aboard Pat to the Dark Side! LOL
Spent some time at Whidbey myself. 73-76 and 78-83. Was young and acclimated to the weather much easier than now.
You need to go to boat shows, walk the docks and talk to owners for their views.
The like others have mentioned, make your lists of must have’s and the boat will find you.
We are a single screw, dual thrusters and cruise the west coast, currently in Southern Ca. On our way to Mexico.
Thank you for your service, and best of luck on the boat search.

Cheers
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Old 09-20-2019, 04:05 PM   #12
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Former sailor too. Bought a single engine Grand Banks 36, Green Turtle Bay, Land Between The Lakes, Kentucky. Brought it 1,000 miles up river to Lake City, Mn. Great trip! Green Turtle Bay,Ky to St Louis,Mo is 200 miles without marinas. We motored sunrise to 1 hr before sunset for that stretch. The rest of the way north has plenty of marinas. Took about 4 weeks. Video on my home page. We live on the boat all summer. Love it. 2 staterooms, 1 full head/shower, fwd stateroom is commode/sink. Great boat for visiting couples or the grandkids!
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