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Old 09-21-2016, 03:19 PM   #1
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Smile "We Need a Bigger Boat"

We are seniors and have a 26' Sea Ray Sundancer 260. We are relatively new to boating and want a trawler (or something) more comfortable, easier to maneuver (bow and stern thrusters), safer (less balancing on the forward deck and more and higher rails), a side door, and about 29-32 feet. I would like some power, but I would also like a diesel as we contemplate taking on the ICW. Right now I am just seeking ideas. We will be buying used (our current boat is a 2004), but we are not mechanically inclined. Suggestions are welcome with many thanks.
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:40 PM   #2
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We are seniors and have a 26' Sea Ray Sundancer 260. We are relatively new to boating and want a trawler (or something) more comfortable, easier to maneuver (bow and stern thrusters), safer (less balancing on the forward deck and more and higher rails), a side door, and about 29-32 feet. I would like some power, but I would also like a diesel as we contemplate taking on the ICW. Right now I am just seeking ideas. We will be buying used (our current boat is a 2004), but we are not mechanically inclined. Suggestions are welcome with many thanks.
Spickman,

We are in similar situations, except for different reasons, but I'm going to follow this thread for ideas.

FWIW, my buddy has something that is probably what you're looking for. It's a 31 foot Grand Banks look alike. I'll find out what kind. He has run it from the Chesapeak Bay to St. Petersburg, Florida, single handed, and boats the ICW in St. Pete. Has owned it for several years. Single engine diesel with a stern thruster. Will get more info. He's probably going to sell it at some time. I'd be interested, but thinking of the loop and thinking a bigger boat.

I have a 280 Sundancer, similar to yours and love it. Gonna keep it, and for short trips up and down the FL west coast it's fine. It is a challenge to back into a slip with a cross wind blowing me away from the slip.

Do you have a budget?
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:16 PM   #3
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Welcome to TF

Good folks and lots of opinions here...many valuable but you will have to do the sorting...seriously there is a wealth of knowledge and experience available here.

Not sure what your needs, wants & budget are but lots of folks including us are Mainship owners and they seem to fit many needs for inland & coastal cruisers.

You might want to start w Boat Search 101 lots of good thought provoking posts / info

Take a look at our Bacchus website... link in my signature.
Some pics there. We love our MS34HT and think it's a perfect safe and comfortable cruising boat for 2 people.
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:24 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum!

There is this place called Yachtworld where you can punch in some parameters and look at boats, lots of boats! As you refine your desires, you can refine your search. Then come back and say, "Looking for a pilothouse trawler, single engine, 32 -35', <$125K" (or something like that). It's much easier to make suggestions if we have a clue as to what your interested in.

Enjoy your search!

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Old 09-21-2016, 08:20 PM   #5
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That is what we said crossing the Strait of Georgia. We were looking at 40 45 ft boats unit my wife saw our 60 ft trawler.
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:51 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard,
You probably will get more questions from the group with things for you to consider. Will you be living aboard this boat or using it for occasional cruising? Will you be keeping it in New York?
Do you have a budget you are targeting?
Enjoy the search and the research. Once you have the boat, then it gets fun....
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:19 PM   #7
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In my opinion, bigger is better if you're living aboard or long term cruising. It's nice to have the room for appliances that make life easier. Also, a walk-in engineroom gets more care. A big battery bank allows you to anchor for days w/o running a generator.
Even if you're "not mechanically inclined", routine maintenance on gas or diesel is easy enough for any owner if you wish to avoid the expense. You'll probably do a better job than the minimum wage boso that the marina usually sends to change oil.
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Old 09-22-2016, 02:24 AM   #8
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32' Nordic Tug - Good Call - NT32-127


Visit the Nordig Tugs range, I'm convinced. Good luck with the boat Exchange!
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Old 09-22-2016, 06:46 AM   #9
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Hi and welcome!

I just did the same thing. I went from a 24ft. Sea Ray to a 36ft. Marine Trader. Enjoy your search but remember, with a bigger boat , comes bigger problems! LOL! I'm having a blast on most days "making her mine". One of these days I'll learn to drive it!
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:34 AM   #10
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Hi and welcome!

I just did the same thing. I went from a 24ft. Sea Ray to a 36ft. Marine Trader. Enjoy your search but remember, with a bigger boat , comes bigger problems! LOL! I'm having a blast on most days "making her mine". One of these days I'll learn to drive it!
If you plan on leaving the dock often or cruising make sure the boat is in our comfort zone. So bigger is not often better. The eagle is a great live aboard and cruising boat, but I do not enjoy taking her out especially as we have gotten older. Much rather take out the 12 ft dink, or 19 ft run about. Bigger the boat the chances are the less times it will be taken out.
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:57 AM   #11
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If you plan on leaving the dock often or cruising make sure the boat is in our comfort zone. So bigger is not often better. The eagle is a great live aboard and cruising boat, but I do not enjoy taking her out especially as we have gotten older. Much rather take out the 12 ft dink, or 19 ft run about. Bigger the boat the chances are the less times it will be taken out.

This is true. IMO get a boat you can single hand, because at times you will have to, or sometimes want to. You will use it more.

Full disclosure: I actually don't use my boat all that much, but when I do it's about 50% single handed.
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Old 09-22-2016, 11:44 AM   #12
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[QUOTE="cardude01;482191"]

This is true. IMO get a boat you can single hand, because at times you will have to, or sometimes want to. You will use it more.
[/QUOTE.]

Agree w ability to single hand but I don't think size is the major/only factor... layout and equipment can make it easier even when larger.

Our 34MS is our largest so far and easiest to single hand by far.
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:18 PM   #13
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Agree with most all the comments! Our little 28' has been up and down the ICW a few times. Decide on how much money you want to spend, how easy the boat is to handle (this becomes an issue as we age!), how comfortable you want to be and how complex the systems you "need" to be comfortable while cruising. The larger the boat, the more Maintenance and costs increase exponentially. I've had bigger, I've had smaller, but this one strikes our fancy just fine at this stage in life..





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Old 09-22-2016, 01:26 PM   #14
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&quot;We Need a Bigger Boat&quot;

Heron, you reminded me about the "complexity" issue. I've looked at fancy boats with two mains, two generators, bow and stern thrusters, water makers, huge battery banks, way too many appliances, etc.
Some of these boats are just overwhelming IMO. I don't want to work on that much stuff, so I never can get serious about those boats.

Then I get back on my relatively simple boat and forget about upgrading.
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:37 PM   #15
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Heron, you reminded me about the "complexity" issue.
Understand Dude ( I do love your boat!)......I have a simple boat with good quality systems.....Radar, AP, Bow thruster, large battery bank etc. No generator, no twins. no appliances other than a fridge, no windlass etc.. I can sit out in the creek for 2 days and still keep the beer cold. I can pull the 15lb anchor up by hand and I can cook on alcohol, or grill. It's been simple and easy to maintain and use. Does everything I need, without the backbreaking maintenance and upkeep of more complex boats. Been there done that!
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:54 PM   #16
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If you plan on leaving the dock often or cruising make sure the boat is in our comfort zone. So bigger is not often better. The eagle is a great live aboard and cruising boat, but I do not enjoy taking her out especially as we have gotten older. Much rather take out the 12 ft dink, or 19 ft run about. Bigger the boat the chances are the less times it will be taken out.
Could you elaborate on why you don't enjoy taking it out? Is it the preparation and untying and disconnecting and then doing the opposite when returning? Or is it operating it once out?
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:45 AM   #17
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Could you elaborate on why you don't enjoy taking it out? Is it the preparation and untying and disconnecting and then doing the opposite when returning? Or is it operating it once out?
Part is what you said. However the main is we been there done that numerous times, we have gotten older, my wife has a hip and neck pain, and we need a crew assistance to take the boat out unless I want to single handle. Since the boat is bigger and 6 ft draft we usually have to more on a end pier way our there so we are tired by the time we walk the dock and ready for a nap. Actually my wife pain is not worth it.

We initially bought the boat to be a dock condo, not really to take out. At the time we had a 19 ft run about and a 28 ft. Actually we didn't know understand what we bought except it was big and my wife wanted it. So we have not had the intetest in taking the boat out unless there is a reason. What we now need is motivation reason and assistant.

So for the time being we will live on the boat the warm summer months and the coldet months in the motor home down south. Not to bad a life.
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Old 09-23-2016, 12:14 PM   #18
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Part is what you said. However the main is we been there done that numerous times, we have gotten older, my wife has a hip and neck pain, and we need a crew assistance to take the boat out unless I want to single handle. Since the boat is bigger and 6 ft draft we usually have to more on a end pier way our there so we are tired by the time we walk the dock and ready for a nap. Actually my wife pain is not worth it.

We initially bought the boat to be a dock condo, not really to take out. At the time we had a 19 ft run about and a 28 ft. Actually we didn't know understand what we bought except it was big and my wife wanted it. So we have not had the intetest in taking the boat out unless there is a reason. What we now need is motivation reason and assistant.

So for the time being we will live on the boat the warm summer months and the coldet months in the motor home down south. Not to bad a life.
No, not a bad life at all. Thanks for elaborating as it might be something for others to think of as well. You bought it as a dock condo and it still is. We sometimes speak disparagingly of those who don't take their boats out, use them like condos. If that's what works, there's nothing wrong with that. Most won't admit it but you did and you and your wife should continue happily doing things your way.
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Old 09-23-2016, 12:31 PM   #19
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Look at ten boats and buy the wrong one. Look at fifty and maybe you will find the right one for you.

Forget about what the maker called the boat in marketing terms. Look at what it would be living on that boat for an extended period. Make a list of features you like then weed that down to some must have features At that point the brand or marketing name doesnt matter to you.

Some ideas:
Does it have good safe forward deck acess.
Is the cabin comfortable for extended stays.
Does it have stairs or ladders?
Twin diesel ?
Good visibility from helm?
Is the shower and head actually useable?
Can you get out of bed without climbing over the other person?
can you sit up in bed without hitting your head?
Forward berths are noisy at anchor, does thta bother you?
Does it have engins with good reputations and well supported?

These and many other things are important in deciding.

Our goal was to look at enough boats so that after we bought we never saw another boat and said we wish we had known about that when we bought. we never did.

Bigger boats are not more trouble. They usually have the same stuff as smaller but are more comfortable and easier to handle. All boats appear to shrink after a few months anyway
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Old 09-24-2016, 06:35 PM   #20
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Part is what you said. However the main is we been there done that numerous times, we have gotten older, my wife has a hip and neck pain, and we need a crew assistance to take the boat out unless I want to single handle. Since the boat is bigger and 6 ft draft we usually have to more on a end pier way our there so we are tired by the time we walk the dock and ready for a nap. Actually my wife pain is not worth it.

We initially bought the boat to be a dock condo, not really to take out. At the time we had a 19 ft run about and a 28 ft. Actually we didn't know understand what we bought except it was big and my wife wanted it. So we have not had the intetest in taking the boat out unless there is a reason. What we now need is motivation reason and assistant.

So for the time being we will live on the boat the warm summer months and the coldet months in the motor home down south. Not to bad a life.
Phil, I get to Everett about once a month on business and am usually there 3 or 4 days. Any time you need a crew member for a day trip, I will gladly volunteer. If you get to Fla. when you winter down south you can return the favor. Hey, I am willing to make such a great sacrifice for a fellow TF member. LOL
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