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Old 10-27-2020, 11:05 PM   #1
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Not So Slow Boat for Puget/Desolation Sound

Otherwise known as the Salish Sea. While we usually are fine going slow, we want something that can also pick up the pace when needed.

We've chartered a bunch of boats, took a 10 year break from the water and are looking back. Done everything from sail to trawler to motoryacht.
  • 15+ Kts capable - sometimes just have a place to be
  • Great efficiency 6-7 kts
  • At least two separate spaces where work can be done
  • Less than 40' overall (finding slips gets rough over that, and we like docking as the dog wants land 3+ times a day)
  • Great visibility from an indoor helm
  • Diesel, with diesel heat. Probably a single diesel.
  • Room for washer/dryer would be great
  • BONUS: can have two desks (they could be small) in it or at least room for an office chair on the table in the salon for "work from wherever" days

Price: $300k or less, cheap is good

What looks good/not so good so far
Aspen Cats - like cats in general, the only downside is they really don't have much room or event separate spaces.

Bayliner 3587 - Quality is "meh", engine room is not great, but they pack a lot of living space into the small boat. Could probably achieve desk in front cabin and salon (in place of sofas), along with washer/dryer in the coffin cabin. Economy sucks.

Nordic Tug 39 - great economy, guest state room could be made into office, washer could also go there or in the galley. Maybe the frontrunner?

Greenline 39/40 - electric cruise sounds nice, especially for going through the locks. Diesel economy is great, especially on the 39 with a single, the 40 does well for a twin screw. Comes with decent solar/battery banks which could mean a lot less need for generator or refits. I like how the cockpit flows into the Salon. Hardtop over the cockpit is well appreciated.

Any other additions?
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:10 PM   #2
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Regarding Greenline, have you read this current thread? https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...ain-53892.html
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:14 PM   #3
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Maybe a hardtop Mainship 34 Pilot? They come in singles and twins.
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:16 AM   #4
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I’d go with the Nordic Tug. I believe they come with Cummins single and with the speed capability you seek. Ifyiu can live with 10 knots max 8 knots cruise a 36 Grand Banks or other builder three cabin Classic will do the job and has the two working spaces you described very well designed. They can be found with singles. Probably better value ( less expensive and more choice)..
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:53 AM   #5
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Regarding Greenline, have you read this current thread? https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...ain-53892.html
Yikes. That wasnít there when I had been looking to them.

One nice thing about Nordic is they are local, so for whatever that is worth. I do really like the green line layout and solar, maybe some of the newer ones would be better but that thread is still a little puzzling to see something from 2010 with those problems.
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Old 10-28-2020, 06:12 AM   #6
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I don't think they are very common in the PNW, but consider Back Cove, or it's higher-end sister a Saber.
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Old 10-28-2020, 06:42 AM   #7
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In general, the motoryacht types will tend to have the most interior space relative to their size. However, most will have twins. Provided you find one with somewhat modern design, efficient diesels, the fuel burn at low speeds should be pretty good.

Room for a washer/dryer and lower helm plus all of the other stuff will be tough in 40 feet or less. My 38 footer (hull length, really just over 42 feet overall) has good work space (there's a bar top extending above a galley counter that I used as a desk with one of the bar stools for work all summer and it's plenty big for 2 people). But no lower helm and you'd probably need to do some work and give up a closet to fit a washer/dryer.
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:23 AM   #8
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Look at Sea Ray 39 Motor Yacht. Lots of space, fast, economical at slow speed. Two work areas would be salon and climate controlled cockpit. About 170 with twin diesels.
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:30 AM   #9
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The Sea Ray 39 looks great, but it's actually over 40' overall (closer to 42 from what I see). Many spots in some Marinas around here have many more spots in 40' piers - like bell harbor is something like 3x as many slips available if you are under 40'. Overhangs are verboten.

Regarding work spaces, my first target is any separate Sofas or settees that can be pulled. That and a dinette that could have an office chair or ergo captain's chair pulled up to it. Even fine giving up guest berth to make something happen - ideally temporarily where it could be converted back.

For washer/dryer I am fine giving up galley space or the guest hanging locker.

In the Greenline 39/40 layout, assuming it can keep the water out, it could be chair at dinette, and mini/folding desk either in the v-berth or where the seat is in the guest room. Washer could maybe fit in guest locker or in the 39 under the helm bench or just forward of the fridge in the 40.

For the Nordic Tug 39. Putting a chair at the dinette and one on the chart area of the pilot house would be easy, it'd then be a matter of installing a sound barrier/door between the spaces to make it more of a pilot house. Otherwise guest stateroom is an option. Washer/Dryer can go either in one of the galley cabinets or guest stateroom.

With the Aspen Cats, it'd be a matter of closing off the front stateroom from the cabin, or converting the cockpit to some sort of semi-climate controlled area - the hardtop models would help with this. The only place I can see to add a washer to them is the coffin berth (under the galley) or just put it in the cockpit under the window trying to not interfere with hatches there would be the harder part.

Ideal efficiency numbers for the above:
Greenline 39: 6.4kts @ 5.8nmpg / 7.7kts @ 3.5nmpg Top: 22k@1.2
Greenline 40: 6.5kts @ 3.8nmpg / 7.3kts @ 2.8nmpg Top: 19k@0.8
NordicTug 39: 6.2kts @ 6.9nmpg / 7.4kts @ 4.9nmpg Top: 17k@0.9
Mainship Pilot 34: 6.3kts @ 3.7 npg / 7.8kts @ 2.2nmpg Top: 19@1.0 (found varied reports)
Aspen C100: 6.3kts @ 6nmpg / 8.1 kts @ 3.5 nmpg Top 21@1.8

The Aspen pays the least penalty for going faster - but it is also the most spartan in that form (ie not tested with generator or other things that might impact those numbers).

While I know fuel isn't the predominant cost of ownership, it does influence how much we use a boat.
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:38 AM   #10
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Realistically, if you can't stick out of a 40 foot slip at all, you're limited to about a 36 foot boat. Figure you need a little wiggle room at the inner end of the slip and most boats are longer than their advertised size, as LOA typically excludes bolt-ons.
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:11 PM   #11
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Larger than you mentioned above but worth a look as it fits most of the other criteria.

https://unionmarine.com/boat-listing...-sedan-bridge/
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:32 PM   #12
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or at least room for an office chair on the table in the salon for "work from wherever" days
Wifey B: Methinks that would never pass OSHA.

Ok, looking at the rest of your list. I'd suggest you separate your requirements into absolute hard requirements and slightly softer ones or preferences so you really know which are the must haves. My reasoning is that you'll find a lot of boats that almost fit your requirements but miss them a bit on one item or another and to reject all those boats may be a mistake. Every boat is a compromise, so best to decide what items you're willing to compromise on up front. For instance, your rule that it must fit in a 40' slip really limits the probability of finding many of the other things you seek. That specific requirement is one I'd carefully reevaluate. I think from my little time in the area, but also from watching many others who boat there, that you're under a misperception there. I know moorings have a very strict limit but there are many larger slips available and, for transient boaters, even fewer limitations.
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Old 10-28-2020, 01:01 PM   #13
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Nordic Tug would get my vote.
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Old 10-28-2020, 01:33 PM   #14
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Wifey B: Methinks that would never pass OSHA.

Ok, looking at the rest of your list. I'd suggest you separate your requirements into absolute hard requirements and slightly softer ones or preferences so you really know which are the must haves. My reasoning is that you'll find a lot of boats that almost fit your requirements but miss them a bit on one item or another and to reject all those boats may be a mistake. Every boat is a compromise, so best to decide what items you're willing to compromise on up front. For instance, your rule that it must fit in a 40' slip really limits the probability of finding many of the other things you seek. That specific requirement is one I'd carefully reevaluate. I think from my little time in the area, but also from watching many others who boat there, that you're under a misperception there. I know moorings have a very strict limit but there are many larger slips available and, for transient boaters, even fewer limitations.
For the booth, right now we are just sitting at the booth in our motor home as we travel around the US taking advantage of COVID work from home, so having an actual ergonomic chair would be an upgrade. I would probably upgrade the lifter mechanism to provide more height options and turn it into a semi sit/stand desk as the Supreme Leader likes those.

My easy pick without limits would be a Lagoon 43 PC or Fountaine Pajot MY 37/40. Just finding docks for those is pretty hard - the MY37 maybe coming the closest as it is "only" 16' 8" in beam. But I'd rather be more creative in our sometimes-workspace to be more likely to get a seasonal space in something like Bell Harbor-the Dearest Leader works in downtown Seattle, so being able to walk down to the marina on a Friday and jump on the boat would be pretty awesome vs starting with a drive to someplace else.


Here is the marina maps closest to us, none allow overhang.

Bell Harbor (closest)
Elliot Bay (semi-close)
Shilshole (starting to become a pain)

I am not sure how availability works out these days, but back when I was actively boating in the area smaller was helpful. It'd also be great to easily find a spot at destinations around the Sound(s).

Ideally we could keep it at EBM and maybe get off seasonal/occasional transient at Bell Harbor. Lake Union would be close, but dealing the lock on departure/return doesn't seem fun.

So in short, the size I _could_ go up to 45' in LOA, but would prefer 40' if that means more convenient mooring even if we get creative with some of the stuff inside.
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Old 10-28-2020, 02:34 PM   #15
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Our Nordic Tug 37 fits in a 40' slip with no overhang. 39' LOA, including the integrated swim step, with no bow pulpit, and the dinghy on top, not hanging off the stern. NT 39 is basically the same boat size wise.

Don't know about installing a washer/dryer, but it could meet your other requirements as long as max cruise of about 12 knots is OK. WOT on our 37 with a 330 hp Cummins is 16 knots. 3.7-4.0 nmpg at 7-7.5 knots.
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:13 PM   #16
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Out Nordic Tug 37 is a bit longer overall, (than Richard's) due to a bow pulpit. I think from tip of anchor to end of stern platform we measure 41-42' LOA.

There are single cabin versions (they are rare) of the NT 37,39 or 40 (basically the same boat) where they (can) come with a washer/dryer and storage/office instead of a guest cabin. I have seen washers installed in the port side cabinet near the aft galley door, and in a single cabin 37 in what would othewise be the second cabin. Richard is correct about the top speed. When factory tested with partial tankage, very lightly loaded, spotless bottom, they will achieve 17 knots (WOT), but that is not the "real world" as to how the vast majority load their boats. 12 knots would be a max top end cruising speed where you would not be overworking the engine (say 80%). At that speed, the boat is "up on plane" but still pushing a big wake. Personally, I don't know of any owners who run at that speed for more than a few minutes or maybe once in a "blue moon" (and I know quite a few NT owners). Running at that upper cruising speed, you pay a large "premium" in fuel cost. At 7-8 knots I burn 2 gallons per hour (3.75 nmpg), while at 12 knots I burn about 9 gallons per hour (1.33 nmpg).
Nordic or American Tugs are great PNW built boats, and I am sure you could find a model (or example) that could mostly meet your needs.

As Wifey B stated, all boats are a compromise, some just more so.
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:52 PM   #17
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Thanks for the real world experiences with the NT. Our general MO was 6 kts water speed, riding a current to where we want to be. But sometimes schedules or weather make that impractical so being able to hit the teens would be great. Or sometimes hitting the narrows at the wrong time because someone took too long to get ready can be rough -- especially in a sailboat that at best does 6 kts and the opposing current is right around there .

The more I look at the greenlines the more I like their layout, but don't see any to charter here to really spend a week crawling all over them to verify quality on newer builds or handling. For now it looks like an Aspen, an NT/AT, and maybe something else are on the short list/need to charter list.
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Old 10-28-2020, 09:20 PM   #18
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Mainship 400? Iím not sure about top speed. There is room for a W/D. Before Mainship reworked the 390, they had working group(s) involving 390 owners. Many meaningful changes were refined into the 400. I have always been a fan, but never had an opportunity to run one.
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:09 AM   #19
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Mainship 400 is a good thought. The ones with twins will cruise around 15-ish kts I'm pretty sure. The singles are slower. They're a bit over 40 feet though. If you like the Mainships but want more speed, the 430 is a bit faster and a less trawler-y hull. More of a trawler body on a planing hull.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:03 AM   #20
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Wifey B: Methinks that would never pass OSHA.

Ok, looking at the rest of your list. I'd suggest you separate your requirements into absolute hard requirements and slightly softer ones or preferences so you really know which are the must haves. r .
Best advice of all the posts so far.
I dont think you can satisfy all wants reasonably so its a matter of defining Musts & Wants and compromising... where? Including Don't Wants is also helpful.
Only you can decide. Once priorities are provided some of the suggestions could make sense - others not even close.
It depends!
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