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Old 05-01-2020, 10:15 PM   #1
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have you ever heard someone who wished the bought a smaller boat?

In looking at a new trawler we are limited to 16'10 height and about the same in width. Looking at american 41, nordic 44, np45. My wife wonders if thats to much boat for newbees to the category. We are used to rv travlel and there is a lot of discussion on power and i have never heard anyone say they wish they didnt have so much.
I the same true that most trade up? I am hoping to buy my last boat and not my first.
Thanks all
Rod seattle
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:24 PM   #2
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We have bought a bunch of different boats, mostly due to changing circumstances or locations. We are on our , maybe last, 23rd boat. I would recommend that you get the boat you want first rather than going too small and trading up when you realize that you want/need something larger. It will save you a lot of money. I guess that a few people decide they want a smaller boat than they bought, however I think many, many more wish they had gone larger.
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:48 PM   #3
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In my experience people often do both: Downsize and/or up-size boats. I don't know that there is a generalization.

One thing I can say (which may or may not matter to you) is that in boating costs and sizes/weights of things go up exponentially which is not the case for RV's in the same way. Sure, a Cass A is going to have big, expensive truck tires, but in many other ways a Class B (van based) can be just as expensive or feature rich.

In boating there is a huge difference. 25# anchor vs. 100#, size of windlass, line, fenders, fuel tanks, you name it. Doesn't mean it has to be more difficult (in some ways a larger boat can be much easier to handle) but it almost certainly will be more expensive. And things are bigger/heavier if a system goes out and you have to do it manually.

The marine environment is also harder on things, so things break, corrode, or need "renewing" more often. (On the other hand a good boat can be re-fitted and go on for generations.)

The above may not matter to you; or it may.

Another thing I notice is that although boating is my lifelong favorite, RV-ing is so comparatively easy and stress free. The weather? Oh I take a look, but it's not like it controls my every move. Never once had to sit up all night on "wheel chock watch" Never had that "Just Let Me Off!" feeling you can get in a rough or scary situation on a boat.

Okay, sorry, got off on a comparison tangent since you referred to RV-ing.

To get back on track: I think plenty of people downsize just as plenty go up in size. Come here and you tend to find people moving up in size (trawler forum after all); go to a forum for Rosborough, Ranger Tug or similar (trailerable cruisers) and there will be people who have downsized. Both are happy. So it depends.

I don't disagree with "buy your second boat first," but sometimes you just don't know, because before your first boat you haven't had one (or not a trawlerish one). You may not know how you will end up boating, or may "know" you want to boat in one way but it turns out you like something different. Those things may not be known as you shop for your first boat, so you can't buy your second boat first. (If they are, great, buy your second boat right off )
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Old 05-02-2020, 12:09 AM   #4
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Someone on here recently said their boat was too big, because it was more effort to handle than the couple had anticipated. I think they had a 58', but the number doesn't matter. A 44' may be too much for the two of you to handle without preparation, but training, practice, and experience can cure that.

The ability to 'handle' something depends on attitude and confidence. If someone doesn't want to or think they can, they won't. Don't put a crew member in an uncomfortable position. Give all crew members, but especially your wife, the tools she needs to be successful and enjoy the hobby. You should both be able to do everything there is to do on the boat, and it's useful to learn and practice all skills together.

Good luck!

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Old 05-02-2020, 04:45 AM   #5
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Our first, only, and present boat is a DeFever 44. Never regretted its purchase. We have lived aboard for four years. Engage training captain and learn to drive and dock the boat locally until your acquire sufficient safe boating skills before venturing out. We successfully completed the Great Loop (5,500 miles) one year ago. So, no, in my opinion, up to a 45-foot boat is not too much for a new boat owner. However, your height restriction will reduce your choices especially any with flybridges.
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Originally Posted by magna 6882 View Post
In looking at a new trawler we are limited to 16'10 height and about the same in width. Looking at american 41, nordic 44, np45. My wife wonders if thats to much boat for newbees to the category. We are used to rv travlel and there is a lot of discussion on power and i have never heard anyone say they wish they didnt have so much.
I the same true that most trade up? I am hoping to buy my last boat and not my first.
Thanks all
Rod seattle
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Old 05-02-2020, 05:40 AM   #6
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The only time I wish for a smaller boat is to go places that I can't with my current boat. It would be nice to inexpensively be able to long haul truck it to another part of the country such as taking it to the PNW. Mine isn't truckable, and many can be expensive between permits, lead and follow vehicles.

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Old 05-02-2020, 05:43 AM   #7
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I know a few that bought a boat they were afraid of and to the point they weren't comfortable enough to practice and learn. I never heard anyone admit it or Express a wish for smaller but they became mostly dock queens. It was sad to see IMO as it was all an attitude problem as they certainly were capable.
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Old 05-02-2020, 05:48 AM   #8
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"It would be nice to inexpensively be able to long haul truck it to another part of the country such as taking it to the PNW. Mine isn't truckable"

Thats why I think a really great design" Box Boat"

39ft long just under 8 ft wide that could fit in a sea land container might be the next world cruiser.

No big deal on land , almost no work involved in the move for the owners.

The boat should handle a couple,, with room for 2 guests for a week or so.

If built light the fuel / speed should be grand!!
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Old 05-02-2020, 06:21 AM   #9
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I would stay at under 40 feet. Due to the EXTREME cost of shipping a boat to Europe or the other coast or N.Z., etc I would not make a purchase that would fit into that eventuality. Unless, of course that is part of your original plan.

What I am saying is that you want a wider boat than "FF" advocates. Eight feet width in a 40 foot boat is really, really narrow. Not being a sailor I am not real familiar with sailboat dimensions but I doubt if even a racing boat is that narrow. Why do you think they put "slide outs" on RVs? Width baby, width.

You don't say your age but I assume you are early retirement or soon to be retired age group. You will do fine with a 40 footer (or so). Providing you are reasonable fit and at least half way smart.

You also say you are looking at a "new" trawler. If, by that you mean brand new, from the factory, new boat smell and look, etc. I would strongly urge you to change your plans. Buy used, maybe only slightly used. Like a year or so old.

You will save a fortune. At least 30% maybe as high as 50% but that is not the main reason.

If you are new to trawling you are not ready to make the decisions that ordering and outfitting a new boat requires. You need a stronger understanding of electronics, battery /solar/genny interrelationship, accessorizing, boat layout (aft cabin, forward master, up or down galley, flybridge vs pilothouse, number of bathrooms, pumps, electrical, etc).

In the price range you are looking, if you buy used, you will probably get a boat that a previous owner knowledgably set up.

Welcome Aboard

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Old 05-02-2020, 12:32 PM   #10
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Rod, 40-45’ is a real sweet spot for boats in the PNW. Doubt you would have any regrets buying a boat of that size.
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:04 PM   #11
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Not exactly 'wished that they bought a smaller boat' but got too old or had some wifely heartburn and sold the big boat and bought something smaller and trailerable. Maybe that's an evolutionary step for some people, maybe me too in my 90's?.
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:24 PM   #12
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Our first bigger boat was a 1984 Carver 3207. I often miss that boat. Wasn't glamorous, we got it for I think $15K at the time, but it taught me a lot of what I know about boat systems. Those Carver 3207's and 3607's and 3807's were a pretty good design I think and held their looks pretty well even now. Relatively straightforward, the systems weren't too complicated, pretty solid boat, and it had enough room for us at the time. Now we're in a much bigger 37, around 40 LOA and wider and taller. That Carver is one dock away at the marina now and I sometimes look at it and I think I wouldn't mind still having that boat. Our current boat is much more comfortable and now we have two boys, but it's much taller and bigger so handling in high winds is much more difficult for me, maintenance is more expensive, I have many more jobs to do myself -- like fixing the icemaker on the aft deck, trouble shooting the LED light ropes in the salon and the three flatscreen displays in the aft, salon, and forward berths. Two air conditioning units. On the Carver we had six relatively small seat cushions we had to get redone on the flybridge and aft deck. Now our current boat needs to be redone and on the flybridge alone I have 10 cushions and vinyl upholstered trim panels that in total are about 40 liner feet of upholstery work. An acre of canvas. More electronics and radar and AIS at the helm. The Carver had none of those, much simpler overall. Everything's a trade-off.
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Old 05-02-2020, 05:48 PM   #13
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I was originally looking for something in the 36-40' range, with the Monk 36 being the frontrunner. I didn't think I'd ever be able to afford a 44 that was worth buying. Thankfully I found one, and I'm really happy to have the extra space. I think any craving I have for a smaller boat to get into smaller places will hopefully be satisfied by a dinghy.
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Old 05-02-2020, 06:10 PM   #14
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In my garage is a 1K$ bicycle I'm afraid of and hardly used.
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Old 05-02-2020, 08:18 PM   #15
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In my garage is a 1K$ bicycle I'm afraid of and hardly used.
My wife has a $3.5K electric bike in our garage that has been ridden 5 times and none in the last 1.5 years!
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Old 05-02-2020, 08:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Meisinger View Post
I would stay at under 40 feet. Due to the EXTREME cost of shipping a boat to Europe or the other coast or N.Z., etc I would not make a purchase that would fit into that eventuality. Unless, of course that is part of your original plan.

What I am saying is that you want a wider boat than "FF" advocates. Eight feet width in a 40 foot boat is really, really narrow. Not being a sailor I am not real familiar with sailboat dimensions but I doubt if even a racing boat is that narrow. Why do you think they put "slide outs" on RVs? Width baby, width.

You don't say your age but I assume you are early retirement or soon to be retired age group. You will do fine with a 40 footer (or so). Providing you are reasonable fit and at least half way smart.

You also say you are looking at a "new" trawler. If, by that you mean brand new, from the factory, new boat smell and look, etc. I would strongly urge you to change your plans. Buy used, maybe only slightly used. Like a year or so old.

You will save a fortune. At least 30% maybe as high as 50% but that is not the main reason.

If you are new to trawling you are not ready to make the decisions that ordering and outfitting a new boat requires. You need a stronger understanding of electronics, battery /solar/genny interrelationship, accessorizing, boat layout (aft cabin, forward master, up or down galley, flybridge vs pilothouse, number of bathrooms, pumps, electrical, etc).

In the price range you are looking, if you buy used, you will probably get a boat that a previous owner knowledgably set up.

Welcome Aboard

pete

Thanks Pete
I just turned 65 and with the virus restrictions getting a taste of what its like to have so much time. I don't think the handling will be a problem. Both my wife and i are licensed helicopter pilots and we both still can operate heavy machinery as in cranes and excavators. Most of the problems people run into are predictable. I know with flying and weather there may be three or four on the pad and the new guy will go for while we just stay home.
I think 39 to 44 with some decent beam is where we will end up but were learning something new everyday. Looked at one today and it looked well built then i was informed it is made in china. Just a lot of stuff to learn but we have time and with a forum as active as this one i know my questions will be quickly answered. This is a very friendly group.
Rod
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:00 PM   #17
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Many, many, many trawlers are made in Taiwan. T.T. for short. Don't be afraid of them mostly they are great boats showing incredible woodworking and fitting skills. I get the drift you will be looking at newer boats. T.T.s of older vintage, say 70's and 80's need to be surveyed carefully for window, deck and fuel tank leaks.

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Old 05-03-2020, 02:36 AM   #18
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Lots of boats are built in China, less in Taiwan than previously. You`ve got to check build quality, but commonly the yards there build for local brands to their specs and hopefully supervision checks.
I almost bought a 43ft boat, bigger than I needed. Pulled out for survey issues, bought the same brand/year at 39ft with considerably less volume but more than enough space for 2. You might buy more boat than you want/need because it otherwise meets your needs,a compromise, but different.
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Old 05-03-2020, 03:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magna 6882 View Post
Thanks Pete
I just turned 65 and with the virus restrictions getting a taste of what its like to have so much time. I don't think the handling will be a problem. Both my wife and i are licensed helicopter pilots and we both still can operate heavy machinery as in cranes and excavators. Most of the problems people run into are predictable. I know with flying and weather there may be three or four on the pad and the new guy will go for while we just stay home.
I think 39 to 44 with some decent beam is where we will end up but were learning something new everyday. Looked at one today and it looked well built then i was informed it is made in china. Just a lot of stuff to learn but we have time and with a forum as active as this one i know my questions will be quickly answered. This is a very friendly group.
Rod
Rod,

Don't be to quick to disregard a boat that is built in China. My NP45 is made in China and it is a very well made boat. Fantastic fit and finish. Selene and Nordhavn I believe are both made in China. Those folks have been building boats for many years. My Carver C34 was built in the USA and was what I considered a throw away boat. No real wood. The walls were mostly vinyl. The inside ceiling was a thin piece of vinyl stretched over stringers with nothing behind it. The hull was paper thin. I bought it new and after couple of years they still weren't able to get everything working right. But I actually liked the boat. I eventually got tired of fixing things and when the warrantee was up I sold it and bought my Chinese made North Pacific 45. Everything worked from the first time I used it and everything is still working after 2 seasons and 1700 NM. The boat is built like a brick sh#t house and handles 5' seas as if it likes it.

I'm not one of these people that gets bent out of shape if someone knocks his brand. I just don't want you to limit your options because some of the best made, most seaworthy, trawlers are made in China. It really depends on the factory over there, from what I've been told. And what's being made. Electronics may be a different story.

Happy Hunting!

P.S. After I posted this I saw a couple other posts that just came in saying the same thing. I didn't mean to gang up on you. Sorry about that!
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Old 05-03-2020, 08:47 AM   #20
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1st boat 37'
2nd boat 53' (Grandkids spent a lot of time with us and needed more beds.)
3rd boat 38' (Grandkids didn't come as often)

Depends on how/where you boat. We travel a lot between Great Lakes and Bahamas. We found 53' shut us out of many of our favourite (very tight anchorages) and on the rare occesions we spent time in marinas it became much more challenging to find a slip for 53' than 38'.
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