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Old 09-20-2022, 10:28 AM   #1
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Overkill in boat selection for normal cruising

My opinion is that there is a Huge amount of overkill in the selection of boats for the cruising that those boats actually do.

I'm not saying that it is bad, only that it is not necessary for comfortable or safe cruising.

The reason I bring this up is because TF attracts a large number of people that are dreaming of cruising. They come here for advice, and they use that knowedge to buy a boat to fulfill their cruising dreams.

The challenge to me is that maybe some of those people dreaming give up that dream because they think they cannot afford the expedition yacht that they believe is necessary to make their dreams reality.

I say this as I am sitting at Hotel Coral Marina in Ensenada in my 4788 Bayliner, and my good friend is just down the dock in his 30 willard, both of us having recently completed a journey encompassing the full length of the pacific ocean coast of the United States and Canada, 2800NM. Our boats are clearly up to the challenge,and neither of them is a huge money expedition yacht. Yey we are here sharing dock space with many boats that I could never dream of affording on my working mans salary.
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Old 09-20-2022, 10:31 AM   #2
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I think you have definitely made that case, and you often bring it up when people ask the question on here. Fancy and expensive is not a requirement. People cross oceans in row boats.
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Old 09-20-2022, 10:43 AM   #3
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Thanks Kevin. I wholeheartedly agree. In the old "Trawlers & Trawlering" days, there was a guy with the handle Rick the Mouseherder who's signature block read something along the lines of "a small boat and a briefcase of cash beats a big boat tied to a bank. "

Thanks to both you and Doug for being so generous with your trip details. Fair winds.

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Old 09-20-2022, 10:57 AM   #4
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I'll share some insite as to why this thread, why today?

Last night I came back to the harbor after a couple weeks at my place in La Paz.
Next to me was my dream boat a Nordhavn 52.

I was honestly a bit taken back, thinking that is my dream boat!
Then I realized that I am in the exact same marina, sharing the same view.

Last night the owners came back to their boat and we talked. They are a nice couple and the boat is new to them. They are dreaming of going to Alaska, the place that I just left, and then maybe exploring the sea of Cortez, the place I am going.

Then they asked if maybe one day they could pick my brain for cruising advice.

WOW! that was gigantic for me!

I realized that I had made it. That my little Bayliner had fulfilled my dreams, and had provided the experience that others seek. The adventures that others dream of.

Then I smiled when I realized that I retired at 60 from a working mans job, and am living the dream that others are dreaming of living
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Old 09-20-2022, 11:15 AM   #5
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I see this all the time. People buying Nordhavan’s or Kady Krogen’s so they can cruise to Alaska from Seattle. I understand bringing a gun to a knife fight but a bazooka is not necessary.

This is why I have the boat I have. It’s been LA to Alaska 4 times. The furthest I dream of venturing is Panama. I have all the range I need. Speed and comfort are taking a higher priority now.
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Old 09-20-2022, 12:12 PM   #6
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Kevin, I certainly agree with your sentiment, however, yours isn't a stock average 4788. You have done a fair amount of work to yours to make it mission capable. To be fair, an average used Nordhavn is far better equipped for extended coatal cruising than the average used 4788.

The other point to be made is that the owner / operator has to have the experience or guidance to know which boat make / models are stout enough to handle bad weather and which ones have no business going where you did.

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Old 09-20-2022, 01:28 PM   #7
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Kevin, I certainly agree with your sentiment, however, yours isn't a stock average 4788. You have done a fair amount of work to yours to make it mission capable. To be fair, an average used Nordhavn is far better equipped for extended coatal cruising than the average used 4788.

The other point to be made is that the owner / operator has to have the experience or guidance to know which boat make / models are stout enough to handle bad weather and which ones have no business going where you did.

Ted
So true!

Every boat needs fitting out. A great example is to walk artound any marina and look at ground tackle. It becomes evident really quickly the boats that actually use their anchors.
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Old 09-20-2022, 02:30 PM   #8
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Good job to both of you for showing it can be done!

Years ago, I took a 22’ C-Dory up the Inside Passage to Glacier Bay and then around Vancouver Island—and the boat didn’t matter! The views were the same, the people were wonderful and interested in what the little boat was doing, and I could afford to go do it in my 20s. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything!
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Old 09-20-2022, 03:46 PM   #9
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Greetings,

One sees the same "overkill" in cars as well. Big 4X4's that never see mud or a gravel road and exotic sports cars that seldom exceed 70MPH. That $800K class A motor home has the same view of the KOA pool and snack bar as the young couple with the 10 year old Chevy and a tent.

Over 4 summers, a few years back, we took our 2 grandsons (6 and 10 the first year) on a week long boating trip. Myself, wife, 70lb. dog, the two boys with supplies and gear would cast off the lines for a cruise. Traveling canals and lakes on a 23' boat. They eventually developed other interests (girls) but I wouldn't swap those adventures for anything.

As Nike advertises...Just do it.
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Old 09-20-2022, 04:08 PM   #10
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A counterpoint: in a boat it's easy to get yourself in a dangerous situation.


If you picked the wrong car for a trip, the worst is probably waiting a day for a tow and paying an exorbitant (by land-based standards) sum of money for that. But if you picked a wrong boat for a cruise and discovered that in the Gulf of Alaska, well, the consequences are likely to be... bad.


Experienced and capable people can afford to cruise in small/barely adequate boats. But someone who retires and goes on his first cruise -- he'd better have a bulletproof boat which will save his ass when he blunders.
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Old 09-20-2022, 04:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drako View Post
A counterpoint: in a boat it's easy to get yourself in a dangerous situation.


If you picked the wrong car for a trip, the worst is probably waiting a day for a tow and paying an exorbitant (by land-based standards) sum of money for that. But if you picked a wrong boat for a cruise and discovered that in the Gulf of Alaska, well, the consequences are likely to be... bad.


Experienced and capable people can afford to cruise in small/barely adequate boats. But someone who retires and goes on his first cruise -- he'd better have a bulletproof boat which will save his ass when he blunders.
Well said. A couple other points. I was perfectly content with my Manatee for living aboard and cruising full time. Wife wasn't. To fulfill the dream, I had to alter boating plans.

Second: A good survey would be to ask members how long it took for them to get comfortable with their boats for cruising. Not how long it took them to start cruising, but how long before they became confident for repairs/understanding/equipping their boat for cruising. I think this would really help the new boat buyer. For me it is about three years. This time would shorten if you cruised more often and/or have a large bank account.
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Old 09-20-2022, 04:56 PM   #12
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When I was a mere pup before I was shaving, with my first boat (a small skiff and outboard) a wise waterman who made his living with his boat taught me an important insight. There are only two lengths of line that matter: long enough, and too short.

Apply that thinking to boats. There is stout enough, and too fragile. For what YOU want to do.

I don't fault the people looking for advice. I applaud them. They don't know what they don't know, but the good news is that they know it. They will learn. The same way everyone else does. None of us were born knowing any of this.

In the meantime, the inexperienced Nordhavn buyer won't get into trouble because the boat can't be made to handle trouble. They were willing to stroke a check for that peace of mind. Hard to fault the sentiment and caution.
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Old 09-20-2022, 05:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drako View Post
A counterpoint: in a boat it's easy to get yourself in a dangerous situation.


If you picked the wrong car for a trip, the worst is probably waiting a day for a tow and paying an exorbitant (by land-based standards) sum of money for that. But if you picked a wrong boat for a cruise and discovered that in the Gulf of Alaska, well, the consequences are likely to be... bad.


Experienced and capable people can afford to cruise in small/barely adequate boats. But someone who retires and goes on his first cruise -- he'd better have a bulletproof boat which will save his ass when he blunders.
sorry but not true, not true at all.

First, no matter what the boat, you need to be a capable captain.

Having a fantastic expedition boat may theoretically in fact be more dangerous in inexperienced hands because you might be more likely to put yourself in harms way.

Again, I have no issue with the great expedition boats out there. My only issue is the precieved need for offshore capability for coastal cruising.

This is doubly important when that incorrect perceived need removes potential cruisers from the life they dream of because they again incorrectly believe they cannot afford that lifestyle.
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Old 09-20-2022, 06:01 PM   #14
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sorry but not true, not true at all.

First, no matter what the boat, you need to be a capable captain.

Having a fantastic expedition boat may theoretically in fact be more dangerous in inexperienced hands because you might be more likely to put yourself in harms way.

Again, I have no issue with the great expedition boats out there. My only issue is the precieved need for offshore capability for coastal cruising.

This is doubly important when that incorrect perceived need removes potential cruisers from the life they dream of because they again incorrectly believe they cannot afford that lifestyle.
I think you're both right. I've gone out in conditions I had no business going out into-complete inexperience. While the boat a few hundred yards from me sank, I did not. My current boat would have laughed off these conditions. I can also see where you could think that because you have an expedition yacht, you can go where others can't, thus putting yourself in jeopardy.

Regardless of which type of boat, you need the experience to be able to fix things. And all things will break. The advantage of the expedition yacht is that mother nature is unpredictable. No amount of planning and experience can prevent you from being in the shit. Regardless, if my only option was a row boat, I would start now to meet you in Mexico in a couple years!
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Old 09-20-2022, 06:23 PM   #15
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Experienced and capable people can afford to cruise in small/barely adequate boats. But someone who retires and goes on his first cruise -- he'd better have a bulletproof boat which will save his ass when he blunders.
This is a major part of Nordhavns perceived value proposition - the belief that you can write a check and mitigate risk. They build a strong boat no doubt, a well built boat. I'd be proud to own one. If the plan is serious passagemaking, it's in a class with very few competitors.

But what Kevin and Doug and others are doing is coastal cruising. There are many, many ways to reduce risk. Chances are they are pretty good with weather and making go/no-go decisions. They have many options to bail out if needed. They have chosen a good time of year to transit the coast. They are headed south with the prevailing weather on their stern.

So your suggestion is that they should have waited until they had another half million bucks to throw at a boat. Why?

The original intent of Ksanders post was to nudge people to consider just going. The ocean commands respect, but not the abject fear some hold. Nothing wrong with choosing an expensive boat if you can afford it. And for some use cases such as Northwest Pasaage or circumnavigation, you really need a very specialized and expensive boat.

It's my belief that acquiring the skills to cruise coastally is well within the means of the average person with average means. You have to learn a few things, but they are achievable and the vast majority of people underestimate themselves - they are ready before they know it. These two passages- 2800 nms(!!!!) demonstrate this in spades. And I know of dozens of other similar passages on perfectly average boats

At any rate, perhaps you can share your experience, what kind of boat you have, what kind of cruising you've done.

Peter
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Old 09-20-2022, 06:32 PM   #16
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Now this is an interesting thread!

I agree with Kevin on so many levels. Although sometimes it is all about the boat, more often it’s about the skipper and crew. I know boaters that I would go to Mexico with on a <insert perceived lesser quality brand of boat> due to their knowledge and experience, and boaters I definitely would not do the same trip even on a expedition style North Sea trawler…
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Old 09-20-2022, 06:38 PM   #17
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Yes, it's about the person, their capabilities, training, experience, smarts, ability to stay calm under pressure, etc.

Weebles, I am curious. You had previously cited their decision to do this solo as reckless and irresponsible when he had first posted about it and was getting ready to leave. You now appear to be singing on the same sheet. If he had a major mechanical, or some other serious event I have a feeling you would be doing the "I told you so" routine on here. Just keeping it real.
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Old 09-20-2022, 06:39 PM   #18
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This is a major part of Nordhavns perceived value proposition - the belief that you can write a check and mitigate risk. They build a strong boat no doubt, a well built boat. I'd be proud to own one. If the plan is serious passagemaking, it's in a class with very few competitors.

But what Kevin and Doug and others are doing is coastal cruising. There are many, many ways to reduce risk. Chances are they are pretty good with weather and making go/no-go decisions. They have many options to bail out if needed. They have chosen a good time of year to transit the coast. They are headed south with the prevailing weather on their stern.

So your suggestion is that they should have waited until they had another half million bucks to throw at a boat. Why?

The original intent of Ksanders post was to nudge people to consider just going. The ocean commands respect, but not the abject fear some hold. Nothing wrong with choosing an expensive boat if you can afford it. And for some use cases such as Northwest Pasaage or circumnavigation, you really need a very specialized and expensive boat.

It's my belief that acquiring the skills to cruise coastally is well within the means of the average person with average means. You have to learn a few things, but they are achievable and the vast majority of people underestimate themselves - they are ready before they know it. These two passages- 2800 nms(!!!!) demonstrate this in spades. And I know of dozens of other similar passages on perfectly average boats

At any rate, perhaps you can share your experience, what kind of boat you have, what kind of cruising you've done.

Peter
Thanks Peter, that was the whole intention of this thread!
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Old 09-20-2022, 07:01 PM   #19
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Well, as much as I agree with Kevin's overall perspective of "just do it", especially as it applies to pretty much everyone on this site, in addition to overkill there is underkill too, if that's a word.

What I replay in my mind was a clip that popped up more than a year ago in YouTube. Young couple. Just bought a cheap boat. The clip showed it was in poor condition. They had owned it something like 2 weeks. Their entire chart package was one app on one cellphone. The clip was they were setting off on the Loop. One hour into casting off, the wood anchor roller flat broke off from rot. They proudly proceeded. You just knew this was a story that would not end well for them. Just last week on a Facebook page someone popped up, looking for a boat they could settle on within the week, had to sleep six, be in great condition needing no work, and the top of the budget was $25,000. There really are people out there like that. They should not "just do it." Others? Absolutely.
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Old 09-20-2022, 07:20 PM   #20
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Greetings,
Mr. FWT. "There really are people out there like that." Yep. Those folks (the latter) may end up with a houseboat somewhere.


As far as the young couple with the cheap boat? Why not? I/we were that young couple with the cheap boat some 45 odd years ago, Had a GREAT time and some real downers but we're still here. Frequently talk of some of the adventures and we only sank twice!
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