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Old 08-05-2021, 07:23 AM   #1
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Top 10 Wish List Equipment and Condition 80s era 40 foot or less

i'm beginning a search in Florida for a twin cabin trawler 40 feet or under. Looking to use it at the dock as a weekend condo with occasional day trips and once or twice a year week long cruises up or down the ICW. Ideally, by retirement in 5 years could use to cross to Bahamas or at minimum the Florida loop and possibly parts of the Great Loop. So for those with experience in these matters knowing some of this will be personal preference in a perfect world what are your top 10 attributes to look for ie (engines, thrusters, electronics, heads, bottom, hull design, layout, dinghy, galley features, air con,) etc. or what things to absolutely avoid, all input is greatly appreciated, budget for purchase around $60k. Thanks!!
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:46 AM   #2
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I am in FT Pierce and probably selling my Albin 40 this coming late Winter. She's a single with no thruster and lots of upgrades but needs interior cosmetics I am working on.

Just finished up 8 years and 20,000 miles of ICW (Jersey to FL).

PM me for more details if willing to wait that long.
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:46 AM   #3
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This is not a direct answer to your question but for whatever boat you do choose, focus on how recently the boat has been in frequent use. Boats don't like to sit around, especially the various systems that are installed on them (windlasses, thusters, electrical components, generators, water makers, Air Conditioning). Don't be drawn to a boat that checks every box but has been laid up for 4 or more years without use as you are likely to find the systems failing shortly after you start putting them into regular usage. Yes, they might function at time of survey but as a general rule, these systems are operating in a harsh environment and require regular care and feeding or replacement.
I would prefer a boat that just completed a lengthy cruise and the seller is just looking to return to a life on land rather than a boat that sat for years and is in an estate sale or the owner finally accepted that they are too old to use it. The recently cruised but will still have a list of needs, but a good seller can let you know what they are as well as offer some guidance on what systems to look out for in particular. This may sound like a pipe dream, but in my experience, many owners who truly loved their boats want to see the future owner enjoy them as well as well and avoid pitfalls.
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:54 AM   #4
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Thank you, that is wonderful advice and I will keep it in mind, we actually had a deposit on a boat that only had 100 hours over the last 4 years, due to health of owner, 1400 engine hours sounded promising until my mechanic looked in the engine room, all kind of galvanic corrosion and although engines ran and sounded good at low idle he estimated up to 100 hours of labor to really bring them up to standard. Yes, something in current use, by a competent owner who is willing to share the 'truth' is probably a reasonable starting point.
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Old 08-05-2021, 09:14 AM   #5
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Welcome aboard. With a $60K budget you will most likely have to accept that the boat will have some, maybe quite a bit, of deferred maintenance. Do you like working on boats? If so then you can make it work. If you like to pay someone to do the work then you could easily spend another $60K in labor. At around $100 per hour it adds up quickly. I love working on my boats but as I get older it isnít as easy to do. It is a good plan to get the boat and have it for a while prior to retirement so you can get the bugs worked out while you still have a larger income and are able to physically do the work. Good luck!
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Old 08-07-2021, 08:07 PM   #6
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To me access to the dingy and water were crucial and seemed to rule out the long ladder climb on older trawlers. Fortunately newer model vessels have stairways down.


With and easy couple steps to on top of the aft cabin and a few more to the flying bridge does not make that journey hard and the flybridge has a 360 degree view at anchor which beats sundeck view.


Of course these are only opinions.... but wish lists are often just that.


plus trying to get the OP more ideas to consider as this thread died pretty quick.
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Old 08-08-2021, 08:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kebs3 View Post
Thank you, that is wonderful advice and I will keep it in mind, we actually had a deposit on a boat that only had 100 hours over the last 4 years, due to health of owner, 1400 engine hours sounded promising until my mechanic looked in the engine room, all kind of galvanic corrosion and although engines ran and sounded good at low idle he estimated up to 100 hours of labor to really bring them up to standard. Yes, something in current use, by a competent owner who is willing to share the 'truth' is probably a reasonable starting point.
Maybe having a look at psneeld's boat above might be worth considering then, as it just about fits your bill perfectly. A thruster or two easily fitted, although he, (like we did), manages well without, but I have seen him admit if his boat had had one, he would not have been displeased, I think..?
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Old 08-08-2021, 08:17 PM   #8
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No I would love a thruster, just never really needed one. Too expensive for what it would do for me.

Wouldn't remove it and probably repair if reasonable.
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Old 08-09-2021, 05:29 AM   #9
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I'm on the same search as you, but hoping to find something a little farther North.
We've been on board and looked at few so far and stayed on one dockside for a couple of days (via air bnb). That really helped us decide what we wanted on our wish list. First was a bigger boat lol.


Our preferences include'
1. Single engine Lehman or Cummins preferred, with bow thruster.
2. Down galley
3. Walk around bed in at least one stateroom.
4. Heat and a/c, one may be more important than the other depending on our location.
5. Propane range/oven
6. Inside wheelhouse, with flybridge or a pilothouse model.
7. Walk around decks
8. At least one pilothouse to side deck door.
9. Two heads that have independent systems.
10. Windlass and good ground tackle.
11. Fiberglass decks.
12. Ease of access to board the boat from dingy and/or dock.


Once we check out the livability of the vessel and the basic set up, that is when we go deeper into the boat systems and examining the operations of everything and check on quality of previous work and upgrades done to them.


I know and expect to buy a boat that we will be upgrading and making repairs to. I just need to be sure that what it needs is what I'm willing to give it.


Good Luck!
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Old 08-09-2021, 06:46 AM   #10
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I'm always surprised how these threads focus on livability features vs design attributes. Exhauated cruisers I've met didn't give up because they were underwhelmed by their accommodations, but rather they were overwhelmed by the expense, effort, and time it takes to keep a boat in cruising form

Ergo, my list emphasizes practical aspects of design and outfitting:

Protected prop(s)

No exterior wood of any kind

Covered/outdoor seating space

Comfortable forward berth with good ventilation for anchor-out comfort

Water tight ports/windows

Comfortable seating to read and hangout.

Decent Dinghy storage and launch capabilities.

Oversized and manageable ground tackle

Accessible and understandable systems (pumps, etc.)

No superfluous gadgetry
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Old 08-09-2021, 06:58 AM   #11
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The reasons why people focus on different things is because they want different things out of a boat.


I can't believe how often forgotten this is forgotten on this board, especially when commenting from experienced, knowledgeable boaters..


There can be sportfishermen here who sportfish like crazy (antithesis of a trawler) but still family cruise on vacations, etc. Of course their boat might be different than the explorer trawler.


Or the river cruiser versus the offshore guy.....or the mostly dock condo versus the full timer cruiser.


So why not just answer the question of what is your preferences and state your style of cruising and let the probably very smart people here asking (because they might be really smart but inexperienced) people sort out their own preferences?
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Old 08-09-2021, 09:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
The reasons why people focus on different things is because they want different things out of a boat.


I can't believe how often forgotten this is forgotten on this board, especially when commenting from experienced, knowledgeable boaters..


There can be sportfishermen here who sportfish like crazy (antithesis of a trawler) but still family cruise on vacations, etc. Of course their boat might be different than the explorer trawler.


Or the river cruiser versus the offshore guy.....or the mostly dock condo versus the full timer cruiser.


So why not just answer the question of what is your preferences and state your style of cruising and let the probably very smart people here asking (because they might be really smart but inexperienced) people sort out their own preferences?
Point taken - I keyed into the Bahamas/Loop part and neglected that they would be occasional at best. OP did mostly describe a dock-condo/queen boat. Mostly over 40-feet, but you cannot beat the liveability of some of the houseboat-style boats such as Bluewater Yacht (not the trawlers); the older Carrie Crafts, etc.

Staying under 40-feet at $60k, and a boat capable of the Loop and venture to Bahamas in decent weather coupled with patience, something along the Bayliner 38xx would be a decent pick, though finding them in reasonable condition is getting hard. But good combination of indoor/outdoor living space.

As far as what to avoid - I/O's tend to be higher maintenance.

Peter
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Old Yesterday, 08:02 AM   #13
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Sometimes it helps to write down your needs expectations, and use watrrs in detail. Then review the numerous type and mfrs available that fit your needs. Start with long list then go to get on all. Then narrow search. Avoid focusing on "what he said and likes" and "budget". Your budget or lack three of will ferrit itself out in the search process.
$60 k will likely buy a fixer upper. So your personal skills at repair refit will figure in big time.
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Old Yesterday, 12:27 PM   #14
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Desirable attributes are really dependent on what type of cruising one intends. We hardly ever stop at marinas unless we need to pump out. Others don't even need a galley on board because their cruising is hopping from one dockside restaurant to the next. So it depends.

A couple of seemingly small but (to us) very important items were dinghy access and visibility for the "crew." We found a little trawler that had a door leading from the covered aft deck to the swim step. With our dinghy on Weaver davits, it literally takes less than a minute to raise or drop the dinghy. Another minute to put the electric motor on. Step out the door and into the dinghy. That ease and speed could probably also be seen as a safety issue.

Another little feature we really like is that the floor in the dinette seating area next to the helm is raised 6 inches above the cabin floor. Doesn't seem like much, but the distance from our dinette cushions to the lower edge of the windows is 14 inches. That means that sitting at the dinette leaves an adult head and shoulders above the windows. Excellent visibility. Passengers sit next to me and have essentially the same view. Other designs leaves one feeling like they're sitting below by themselves and can barely see the horizon. A few inches makes a big difference.

The majority of the wish list items talked about here are aftermarket googaws, generally electronics. Anybody can add tho$e. But the vessel's basic design characteristics are likely more important for long term comfort and enjoyment.
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Old Yesterday, 12:42 PM   #15
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As mentioned, the 1st criteria would be a boat that is currently being used, especially by someone experienced whose had her for several years. Not necessarily used for long trips, but at least a few times a month or more.


A close second would be a seller that is competent at rebuilding and has replaced most of the major systems... new head and plumbing, new wiring, batteries, inverter and electronics, good engine/transmission/shaft etc maintenance. No rot, and prefer no exterior wood.



I'd start by looking at Paul's boat... if nothing else, bet you'd get a good education. The Albins are solid boats.


Also, NO gas, IOs or outboards. Diesel only and no Volvos.



The cosmetic stuff is often easy to fix and not something that will stop you cold.
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Old Today, 01:20 PM   #16
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A lot of good advice here.

Older boats have more issues but are generally a lot easier for the amateur to work on, excluding wooden ones.

Buy the smallest boat you can be comfortable on is very sound advice. Sure the 40í boat makes a better Dock queen than the 34í one but when you are anchoring in a blow, painting the bottom, paying for transient dockage the 34í starts looking really good.
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