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Old 06-20-2016, 03:59 PM   #1
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Wannabe Trawler owner in Sitka, AK

Hello All,
My wife and I live in Sitka, AK and are looking forward to purchasing our first boat. Doing a lot of research through this forum. I would appreciate any thoughtful advice in my search for the right vessel. My budget only allows for a used boat at this time. I met a nice retired couple from Phoenix this morning down at the harbor in a 1980 Grand Banks....a beautiful boat. If you were in my position what would you purchase for SE Alaska?
Fair Winds,
RC
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:29 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by RCinSitka View Post
Hello All,
My wife and I live in Sitka, AK and are looking forward to purchasing our first boat. Doing a lot of research through this forum. I would appreciate any thoughtful advice in my search for the right vessel. My budget only allows for a used boat at this time. I met a nice retired couple from Phoenix this morning down at the harbor in a 1980 Grand Banks....a beautiful boat. If you were in my position what would you purchase for SE Alaska?
Fair Winds,
RC
This.

It has been on the market for a while. I would imagine the asking price is overly optimistic.

Edit: This is the boat that I would likely buy if I was in Sitka. But that is based on how I would use the boat. I was looking at this boat before I bought my boat. The logistics of bringing it South while still having to work caused me to look closer. However, that extra helm in the cockpit would be wonderful for single hand docking.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:37 PM   #3
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Live on board for days, weeks , months, or years at a time.
Only good weather?
Longest distance like to run from fuel stop to fuel stop?
Care if you only cruise at 6 or 7 knots speed.....or want crusise of 10 or 12 or 15 .....?
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Old 06-20-2016, 05:00 PM   #4
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Nowhere asks the right questions. What I would do would not necessarily fit for what you want to do. In addition to what Nowhere asked,
How many folks will there be on board and how often and for how long? If only you and your wife that is a much different boat than a boat that you can take guests/family members out with you.
Where do you want to cruise? AK and the inside passage or are you thinking of heading for Mexico?
Will you be fishing on board?
etc...
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Old 06-20-2016, 05:50 PM   #5
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Thank you, good questions...just my wife and I... Just SE Alaska. Top speed isn't a huge priority. I won't be using for fishing primarily as I enjoy flyfishing A nice raft to get to shore for flyfishing is my plan....she wants a queen bed walk around.
I appreciate the sharing....
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:54 PM   #6
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A Defever 49 raised pilot house is the perfect S.E. Alaska boat for a couple. But then I'm biased, we have lived on ours for over 10 years.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:46 PM   #7
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I'm with Arctic Traveler...

I'd choose a pilothouse in the 50' range. Choose what you like, there are several good choices to be had.

A pilothouse is important because even in the summer you'll be in the rain, so indoor piloting is the norm.

Look for a covered cockpit for the same reasons.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:44 PM   #8
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Hello from Petersburg. Gotta go with the covered cockpit in SE AK. The second boat we brought to SE Ak was a GB 42 classic woody. Nice boat, but too exposed on the deck for such rainy weather. We then had a woody GB50 which we loved and spent 4-5 months on every year for 6 years in SE AK. When we decided12 years ago to leave our boat in SE, we went to fiberglass, raised pilothouse and covered cockpit. Gave up the covered side decks and haven't missed them.

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Old 06-20-2016, 11:18 PM   #9
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I'm with Arctic Traveler...

I'd choose a pilothouse in the 50' range. Choose what you like, there are several good choices to be had.

A pilothouse is important because even in the summer you'll be in the rain, so indoor piloting is the norm.

Look for a covered cockpit for the same reasons.
Kevin, did you catch the post where he said it would just be his wife and he? 50' seems a bit of overkill for just a couple that aren't living aboard or making long cruises. Arctic Traveler is right about a coveted cockpit.

A good friend just bought a Nordic Tug 34. Used boat, not too expensive. Single nice cabin but plenty of room for a couple.

A lot will also depend on how much you want to spend. There are some very nice Nordhavens in the ~45 foot range that would be nice if you want to spend the money.
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:19 AM   #10
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Dave, you're right about the 50 being huge, especially for our first boat I'm gathering a 36-42' would be about right. As it is our first, not wanting to break the bank. Everybody has given me some nice ideas to consider. We love SE so much we'll be taking most of our vacation time just touring the islands.
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Old 06-21-2016, 02:20 AM   #11
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Kevin, did you catch the post where he said it would just be his wife and he? 50' seems a bit of overkill for just a couple that aren't living aboard or making long cruises. Arctic Traveler is right about a coveted cockpit.
Of course I caught that part.

Our boat seems about right in size for the two of us. Yes you cold go a bit smaller like the 42' you suggested, and that would probably be a great boat.

The important takeaway, that we both seem to agree on is that in this part of the world a pilothouse and covered cockpit are desireable features.
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Old 06-21-2016, 02:35 AM   #12
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I'll go ahead and chime in here with my 6 weeks of trawler experience. I think the best trawler you could buy is a Californian 34, although I might be a little biased Regarding the covered cockpit, being an Arizonan that ended up in Alaska, I am glad we don't have a cover because when the sun is out, I don't want anything getting in between me and it. I would like to make a removable cover of some sort for the 300 or so rainy days we have here in Sitka, but I've been told they get in the way of fishing. Plus, when there's sun here, there is absolutely nothing better than soaking it in and there's not a more beautiful a place in the world to be. The best advice I was given when moving here is that there's no bad weather, just bad gear. But who knows, next year my opinion might be a little different and we have different things we want to get out of our boats. I'm looking forward to getting together with you, RC, and offering the very little bit that I hopefully can, but it will still is a lot of fun to talk about it
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Old 06-21-2016, 04:53 AM   #13
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Of course I caught that part.


The important takeaway, that we both seem to agree on is that in this part of the world a pilothouse and covered cockpit are desirable features.


I think the important takeaway from all of this is that there is not one perfect boat, but there are features that are probably "must haves".

My sense is that a vast majority of boats are built for the Florida market, which may work well there, but not other places.

Decide on what you can live with or can not live without and go from there.

Richard in Waterford
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:14 AM   #14
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I'll go ahead and chime in here with my 6 weeks of trawler experience. I think the best trawler you could buy is a Californian 34, although I might be a little biased Regarding the covered cockpit, being an Arizonan that ended up in Alaska, I am glad we don't have a cover because when the sun is out, I don't want anything getting in between me and it.
I understand your point. Initially I didn't want a flybridge because I thought we would never use it in the PNW. I have spent plenty of days sailing a boat out in the weather thank you very much. However, the boat that checked off most of our list happened to have one. In the very short time we have owned it, we have used it several times. When it is nice around here, it is really nice.

However, a smaller boat like the Nordic Tug or American Tug have a very nice boat deck to enjoy the sun on those rare days, yet have a covered cockpit for the rest of the year. For fishing, a covered cockpit might be a problem though.

FWIW, I think the covered cockpits on the North Pacifics, and Helmsmans are very good. The American Tugs have a great covered cockpit as well but the Nordic Tugs isn't fully covered which I think is a design failing that AT fixed when they started to compete. The Bayliners like the 4788 that Kevin mentioned also have a great cockpit and those boats can be bought at a great price in the PNW.

Still, doing a search on Yachtworld for Alaska boats, I think that NP42 is the best of the bunch.
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Old 06-23-2016, 10:30 PM   #15
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RC, good luck in finding the right boat. The search can be fun. Ken
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Old 06-26-2016, 02:49 PM   #16
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What Boat? Consider a bare boat charter first and get some first hand ideas. There are tug type trawlers available in Pudget Sound.
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