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Old 12-21-2017, 08:04 PM   #901
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As winter starts to set in here in San Diego the evenings can get chilly so what better excuse to prepare some home made Tortilla Soup along with a margarita as the ominous marine layer rolls in.
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Old 12-22-2017, 05:33 PM   #902
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Upper Aft Deck

One of the reasons we selected the H38E was its industry leading beam to length ratio for a boat in this size range. Today I was walking up the side Dec steps to check on the dingy when I noticed just how much room we have. The photos below show the space on both sides of the 10' Gig Harbor stored up top. It's sure nice being able to walk around the entire boat when stored and having over three feet for error when launching and retrieving.

John
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Old 12-22-2017, 06:24 PM   #903
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One of the reasons we selected the H38E was its industry leading beam to length ratio for a boat in this size range.
Maybe you didn't look at the Great Harbour N37 with its LOA of 36'10" and beam of 15'10".
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Old 12-22-2017, 07:19 PM   #904
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It's sure nice being able to walk around the entire boat when stored and having over three feet for error when launching and retrieving.

John
That's a lot of wiggle room!
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Old 12-22-2017, 07:55 PM   #905
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Beam

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Maybe you didn't look at the Great Harbour N37 with its LOA of 36'10" and beam of 15'10".
We actually did review them bur they didn't offer what we were looking for. Definitely a wide beam boat.
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Old 12-31-2017, 07:05 PM   #906
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John,

Wow... Just finished reading this thread from the beginning. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I hope that you will excuse some questions and observations from a newbie. I am a long term small boat boater on the East Coast, and a wanna be 6 month per year live aboard when I retire. I have had a few thoughts after reading all of the posts.

The first thought is that it really seems that your interaction with Scott was a true win win situation for both of you. From your side, you got to pick your current dream boat template and customize it to almost your hearts content. The builder was not only willing, they changed the molds for future builds based upon your ideas. This was huge for you.

For Sott, I suspect that you are a very unique customer and a unique opportunity to improve his already great boats. You are the prior owner of three boats from a very prestegious builder. You have gone through the building process with two of the Nordhavens, are detail oriented, and have extensive cruising experience. To top it all off, you now want to build with his up and coming (relative to Nordhaven) company. Having someone with your background and experience tweak options with his already excellent boat is really a huge win for Scott too.

I should also mention that I think that you will eventually have helped me, as the H38P is currently at the top of my short list. So everyone from here on down benefits from your modifications. (Thanks).

The second question stems from my ignorance of West Coast boating. Did you consider draft when deciding upon the H38? Do West coast boaters care about draft? I see very little thought given to it when reading PNW cruising posts. However, for me, this is a major variable to consider when looking for a coastal liveaboard cruiser.

Many popular West coast boats have great reputations. However, in my opinion, many also have drafts way too deep to be used as coastal cruisers here in the east. The 38e's draft is listed as 3'6" in Sea Magazine, 4' on Helmans web site, and several drafts in between elsewhere. Whatever it really is (do you know) this is realistic for the East. The 5'2" draft listed for your old N40 would have kept you out of some great gunk holes in the Chesapeake.

The third is just my curiosity as to whether you will make it without a generator once you ship your boat and start on the ICW. I realize and respect your 90% rule, keep it simple guideline, and desire to sleep in marinas. However, I also believe that you will hit days over here that will require you to use your A.C. and therefore to be in a marina. Anchoring out will not be an option. On a hot, humid, and oppressive August night A.C. is just a must. In the southern Chesapeake you often can't even jump in the water to cool off. There are often just too many nettles.

Maybe that is just my different or newby way of looking at it. While we also love going out to dinner, we love going back to the boat, leaving the dock, and spending the night on the hook. There is something about waking up alone in a beautiful gunkhole, with a gentle rain coming down, the boat slowly swinging, a coffee in one hand, and a book in another. In any event, Happy New Year and thanks for letting me vicariously enjoy your journey.

Rob
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Old 12-31-2017, 07:19 PM   #907
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The unexpected

What better way to ring in the new year then a boat ride on the bay while enjoying the warm afternoon sun. When we headed out, the bay was dead calm with minimal boat traffic so I decided not to secure the boat as though we heading out to the ocean. As we cruised along in the center of the channel heading for Sheltor Island I noticed a large express cruiser closing on our stern. Mary was at the helm watching the sail boats as I stood next to her keeping an eye on cruiser. As luck would have it the cruiser (50' Sea Ray) passed us on our port side the same time we were surrounded by sail boats and a few small power boats. Our options were limited so I took the wheel and attempted to take the large wake on our stern (no chance we could into the swells) to minimize roll. Unfortunately traffic prevented this move fully and we got hit on the port side more than I planned. The wake resulted in three consecutive 5' swells very close together. We rolled side to side a solid 15-20 degrees and everything went flying. The first thing I thought was the dingy up top wasn't fully tied down and where it may have ended up. Once we cleared the wake I watched a few smaller sail and power boats struggle as they fought the large swells. After Mary picked up the saloon including the tequila (the bottles didn't break) she took the helm as I went up top to check on the dingy. Fortunately everything was fine. The boat and soft chocks all moved about 12" to starboard but everything was fine. Talk about getting lucky!

After returning to our slip I simply shifted the dingy and soft chocks back in place. I'm very impressed on how the dingy remained in place within the chocks. If I had tied down the boat like I did last time we went out I'm sure nothing would have moved.

We are now back in our slip enjoying a strawberry margarita with some large shrimp cocktail watching the countdown to the new years celebration in NY. The heater is on in the salon and the sun is setting. Life is good today.

Happy New Year!
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:14 AM   #908
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Originally Posted by Kaz View Post
John,

Wow... Just finished reading this thread from the beginning. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I hope that you will excuse some questions and observations from a newbie. I am a long term small boat boater on the East Coast, and a wanna be 6 month per year live aboard when I retire. I have had a few thoughts after reading all of the posts.

The first thought is that it really seems that your interaction with Scott was a true win win situation for both of you. From your side, you got to pick your current dream boat template and customize it to almost your hearts content. The builder was not only willing, they changed the molds for future builds based upon your ideas. This was huge for you.

For Sott, I suspect that you are a very unique customer and a unique opportunity to improve his already great boats. You are the prior owner of three boats from a very prestegious builder. You have gone through the building process with two of the Nordhavens, are detail oriented, and have extensive cruising experience. To top it all off, you now want to build with his up and coming (relative to Nordhaven) company. Having someone with your background and experience tweak options with his already excellent boat is really a huge win for Scott too.

I should also mention that I think that you will eventually have helped me, as the H38P is currently at the top of my short list. So everyone from here on down benefits from your modifications. (Thanks).

The second question stems from my ignorance of West Coast boating. Did you consider draft when deciding upon the H38? Do West coast boaters care about draft? I see very little thought given to it when reading PNW cruising posts. However, for me, this is a major variable to consider when looking for a coastal liveaboard cruiser.

Many popular West coast boats have great reputations. However, in my opinion, many also have drafts way too deep to be used as coastal cruisers here in the east. The 38e's draft is listed as 3'6" in Sea Magazine, 4' on Helmans web site, and several drafts in between elsewhere. Whatever it really is (do you know) this is realistic for the East. The 5'2" draft listed for your old N40 would have kept you out of some great gunk holes in the Chesapeake.

The third is just my curiosity as to whether you will make it without a generator once you ship your boat and start on the ICW. I realize and respect your 90% rule, keep it simple guideline, and desire to sleep in marinas. However, I also believe that you will hit days over here that will require you to use your A.C. and therefore to be in a marina. Anchoring out will not be an option. On a hot, humid, and oppressive August night A.C. is just a must. In the southern Chesapeake you often can't even jump in the water to cool off. There are often just too many nettles.

Maybe that is just my different or newby way of looking at it. While we also love going out to dinner, we love going back to the boat, leaving the dock, and spending the night on the hook. There is something about waking up alone in a beautiful gunkhole, with a gentle rain coming down, the boat slowly swinging, a coffee in one hand, and a book in another. In any event, Happy New Year and thanks for letting me vicariously enjoy your journey.

Rob
Rob, thanks for your post. We did have and continue to have a great time working with Scott. He is very accommodating and understands how to provide his customers with a great experience. Regarding the boats draft our boat is shallower than our N40's and we believe she will handle the ICW well. As with anything in life it's all a balance. We plan to follow a path taken by a fellow N43 owner who's draft was similar to our deeper N40. Regarding A/C we recognize we may need it and have a back up plan to have it added on the east coast. The boat is prewired and plumbed. I would enjoy assisting you in any way with your purchase so let me know if I can be of assistance. If so we can talk over the phone. Thanks
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Old 01-02-2018, 11:52 AM   #909
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John,

Did you consider draft when deciding upon the H38? However, for me, this is a major variable to consider when looking for a coastal liveaboard cruiser.

The 38e's draft is listed as 3'6" in Sea Magazine, 4' on Helmans web site, and several drafts in between elsewhere. Whatever it really is (do you know) this is realistic for the East. The 5'2" draft listed for your old N40 would have kept you out of some great gunk holes in the Chesapeake.

In the southern Chesapeake you often can't even jump in the water to cool off. There are often just too many nettles.


Rob
Rob, If I may, I'll jump in here and respond to a few of your points. Cristina and I had a new Mariner Seville 37, AKA Helmsman 38, delivered in May 2009. We have lived aboard since day 1. We lived and cruised the Chesapeake for about 25 years. The first 5 years on Tadhana we were living aboard in the Southern Chesapeake where i was managing a boatyard. The most snow we had to shovel was 11" and the coldest nights were 9 degrees. For the past 4 years we have travelled the ICW to FL. A much more civilized climate in winter. We have been from Lake Champlain and Cape Cod, FL west coast and to the Keys, and have explored the Outer Banks ,the Sea Isles of GA, and know 126 anchorages on the Chesapeake. I mention this to allay your concerns about the boat's draft.

With a huge, full tool box, spares for almost everything, dinghy, two outboards, bikes and live aboard gear and with full fuel and water tanks, our boat draws about 4'6" With empty tanks she is about 4'. We have never touched bottom in the Chesapeake, and have never found the draft to limit our options. We have touched bottom 4 or 5 times on the ICW, but lets face it. If you wander out of the well marked channels you will run aground with any boat. So again no worries about draft on the ICW.

We have a generator, but its primary use is to recharge our 850 amp battery bank. We will often find a nice anchorage and stay there for several days. Once day we run the generator to recharge the batteries and heat water for showers. We never found it necessary to have AC at when anchored at night in the southern Bay. The southern Bay has more wind than the northern Bay.

You will want to have both AC and heat along the ICW. Spring and fall, we have used both cycles each season. But if it is going to be that hot or cold, we head to a marina with shore power rather than anchor.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:50 PM   #910
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Floor Boards

One thing about boat ownership over time is you learn what works and what doesn't. On previous trawlers our engine room was basically a beautiful one piece molded floor/walls shell which was easy to keep clean. While it had a few small access panels it didn't take long to realize its downside. There was very limited access to everything. Chasing a leak was nearly impossible and I'm sure some owners had to cut addition access panels over time.

Another trawler we owned had no floor at all leaving everything exposed. Great I thought until over time I realized just how careful I needed to be walking around to insure I didn't step on something.

How come I couldn't find the perfect balance of access and cleanliness? Well the Helmsman hit this One out of the ball park. With its all white and removable composite floor boards Ima in heaven. After a solid year of use I decided it was time to really give them a good cleaning (I normally wipe them down monthly) so I removed the panels from the lazerate, put them on the floor of the aft deck and spent time cleaning up with 409 cleaner. They look like new and back in place. Anyone looking for a boat should consider this simple but effective design. What will I discover next?

John
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:11 PM   #911
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My 1981 built boat has removable floor boards, so it is not a new idea!
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:41 PM   #912
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Great thread, I discovered it last night...It's now 17:45 the next day and I've read the whole thing. Thanks for posting! If it's possible can we see pictures of the ottomans in action?

DK
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:17 PM   #913
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Rob, If I may, I'll jump in here and respond to a few of your points. Cristina and I had a new Mariner Seville 37, AKA Helmsman 38, delivered in May 2009. We have lived aboard since day 1. We lived and cruised the Chesapeake for about 25 years. The first 5 years on Tadhana we were living aboard in the Southern Chesapeake where i was managing a boatyard. The most snow we had to shovel was 11" and the coldest nights were 9 degrees. For the past 4 years we have travelled the ICW to FL. A much more civilized climate in winter. We have been from Lake Champlain and Cape Cod, FL west coast and to the Keys, and have explored the Outer Banks ,the Sea Isles of GA, and know 126 anchorages on the Chesapeake. I mention this to allay your concerns about the boat's draft.

With a huge, full tool box, spares for almost everything, dinghy, two outboards, bikes and live aboard gear and with full fuel and water tanks, our boat draws about 4'6" With empty tanks she is about 4'. We have never touched bottom in the Chesapeake, and have never found the draft to limit our options. We have touched bottom 4 or 5 times on the ICW, but lets face it. If you wander out of the well marked channels you will run aground with any boat. So again no worries about draft on the ICW.

We have a generator, but its primary use is to recharge our 850 amp battery bank. We will often find a nice anchorage and stay there for several days. Once day we run the generator to recharge the batteries and heat water for showers. We never found it necessary to have AC at when anchored at night in the southern Bay. The southern Bay has more wind than the northern Bay.

You will want to have both AC and heat along the ICW. Spring and fall, we have used both cycles each season. But if it is going to be that hot or cold, we head to a marina with shore power rather than anchor.

Thanks very much for your reply. It is good to hear from someone who boats similar waters and has the boat that I am looking at. I am sure that you are aware that Helmsman now has a dealership on the Chesapeake.

We are still in the decision phase of our boat purchase and, as not yet retired, time is currently on our side. We don't need to rush the decision. While I very much like the Helmsman 38e, we are still looking at viable alternatives.

You definitely have boated the Chesapeake much more than I. We love the Chesapeake. I kind of figured that the draft of the 38e would work for that area, the loop, SW Florida, and the Bahamas. Those are our dream crusing grounds.

However, when comparing the 38e to other boats, the deeper draft of other viable boats, and my lack of experience in non local areas that I want to boat, comes into play. For comparable boats, it is really hard to find out what is a viable maximum draft for those cruising grounds.

I read this site semi regularly yet thoroughly. Every thread seems to have some tidbit of knowledge to be gained. However, many posters seem to be West Coast, and they never seem to express concerns about draft. I am guessing that theirs are mostly deep water crusing grounds and deep water Marinas.

In the northern and mid Chesapeake, there are marinas that we barely get into at low tide with a 3' 6" draft. The same is true for many of our favorite gunk holes. While I think the draft of the Helmsman 38e will work, even the 43 might not. I am curious about the thoughts of East Coast boaters who have deeper draft boats.

So, for an anticipated 6 month per year cruising habit, I am currently torn between looking for a reasonably sized shallower draft boat (such as the 38e) that will go where we want or a larger yet deeper draft boat, that will handle children, grandchildren (just had 1st!) and friends, but may limit our cruising areas. I am thinking that, for east coast boating, draft is every bit as important a decision as #of staterooms, #of heads, engine room access, etc. West coasters seem lucky in that this seems not to be a part of their decision process. Thats all, just my thoughts.
Rob
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:49 PM   #914
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So many posts mentioning, Margaritas! I would bet you have a great recipe.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:23 PM   #915
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We've never found a 5' draft to be limiting. That doesn't mean you can go absolutely anywhere, as some areas are better explored by dinghy, but it means you can cruise all the areas mentioned and never feel it's a problem. Beyond 5' up to 6' is only occasionally more of an issue. Over 6' is a daily challenge on the ICW and in the other areas mentioned and requires a lot of picking ideal tides.
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:59 PM   #916
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So many posts mentioning, Margaritas! I would bet you have a great recipe.
2 parts tequila (must be 100% agave, don't cheat. I personally greatly prefer anejo, though silver is the standard)
1 part some type of orange liquor (Throw any tripple sec you may have overboard. Patron Citronge will suffice. A 50-50 mix of Gran Marnier and Cointreau is ideal,)
1 part simple syrup (more or less to desired sweetness)
1 part fresh squeezed Lyme juice ( this part is critical and cannot be cheated on. It must be fresh squeezed. You cannot buy a "good" mix. It doesnt exist. Likewise, there is no such thing as a "good" sweet and sour mix. For cruisers, you can freeze fresh squeezed Lyme juice for up to 6 months. We buy it by the case. You can freeze 1 cup bags, and store it)
Shake with ice.

Follow the recipe exactly, and don't cheat. It will be the best you have ever had. There are variations beyond this basic recipe. I don't know boating as much as most here. However, I will match my mixology skills against almost anyone.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:18 PM   #917
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We've never found a 5' draft to be limiting. That doesn't mean you can go absolutely anywhere, as some areas are better explored by dinghy, but it means you can cruise all the areas mentioned and never feel it's a problem. Beyond 5' up to 6' is only occasionally more of an issue. Over 6' is a daily challenge on the ICW and in the other areas mentioned and requires a lot of picking ideal tides.
Thank you! A lot of reading to gain that little valuable tidbit of knowledge. That opens up a lot of boats.

I have been trying to buy the last trawler 1st. Though that currently seems unrealistic. I have always had a thing for Defevers, despite the deeper draft and not so great fuel consumption. However, I currently really am picturing myself on the 38e as our next move up. It is not so big a jump and many people seem happy with them long term, or even as a move up from a Nordhaven. That was my original interest in this thread.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:59 PM   #918
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Thank you! A lot of reading to gain that little valuable tidbit of knowledge. That opens up a lot of boats.

I have been trying to buy the last trawler 1st. Though that currently seems unrealistic. I have always had a thing for Defevers, despite the deeper draft and not so great fuel consumption. However, I currently really am picturing myself on the 38e as our next move up. It is not so big a jump and many people seem happy with them long term, or even as a move up from a Nordhaven. That was my original interest in this thread.
Well, you can run aground with a 3' draft but you can avoid doing so with 5' and more. You learn and plan based on your air and water draft.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:08 PM   #919
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Four feet can be a squeeze in many SF Bay/Estuary sloughs because dredging hasn't kept up with silting.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:28 PM   #920
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Four feet can be a squeeze in many SF Bay/Estuary sloughs because dredging hasn't kept up with silting.
Well, not part of his loop. And, if it was, easily handled by just dropping anchor and exploring by dinghy.
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