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Old 07-22-2021, 12:06 AM   #1
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Suggestions for new boat

I have been boating on inland lakes most of my adult life, starting from 16ft bow-riders 30 years ago, to my last boat which was a 28ft twin engine Four Winns. As I am now within a few years of retirement my wife and I are looking to make big changes, most notable to sell our house and the Four Winns to move up to a larger boat that we could live on comfortably.

Our retirement plan is to spend as much time as possible on the new boat cruising the Caribbean during winter, and perhaps head up the ICW and do the loop during hurricane season.

I find myself drawn to European style cruisers, that have large sunroofs that open and stern garage for tender or PWC. However I admit, I don't know if they are suitable for liveaboard months at a time.

Would be just the 2 of us most of the time, however our 2 grown children may visit if we are anchored at a warm island. So ideally 1 larger master cabin with ensuite, and 2 guest cabins.

My requirements:
- Budget would be max $500K CDN or $400K USD
- I would like to cruise slowly and efficiently as possible, but able to hit WOT if needed to get somewhere quick (storm/emergency etc).
- Engine(s) have to be newer or rebuilt, I am comfortable with electronics and computers, but know next to nothing about engines.
- Older electronics is fine, I most likely replace all electronics anyhow
- as self sufficient as possible (watermaker, solar, etc)
- Air compressor for scuba diving (or at least the boat should be suitable enough that I can have one added)
- large swim platform and rear cockpit area

My wife's requirements:
- Newer style boat, she doesn't like the look of older commercial boats
- Separate shower from head, she wants the boat to be as comfortable as possible.
- large master stateroom, with queen island bed

Would you have any suggestions for brands or models that I should consider?
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Old 07-22-2021, 12:22 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard. I donít have ant good suggestions now, but have fun in your search. Be aware that a lot of insurance companies will only insure a certain length jump or you will have to get training for a larger boat.
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:20 AM   #3
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Welcome to TF.

Sunseeker and Searay come to mind as having more flashy style, but I can't speak to quality. I once delivered a Sunseeker 50-something footer from Seattle to San Francisco. Was actually a decent sea boat in modest seas due to wide beam.

There are theee concerns about these style boats for cruising. First is range. At cruise speed (20-25 kts), they burn approx 60+ gph. The example below carries 900 gals diesel so range is under 300 nms....and a fuel-dock whack of over $4,000 at the end of the day (literally). You can throttle back to 9 kts (throttle-up periodically) and greatly extend range, but with small rudders, the boat is not being used the way she was designed. But it is possible.

Second issue is storage. The galleys are designed to look really sexy with small stoves, often no oven, smallish fridge, etc.

Final concern is maintenance. These boats typically have large engines, lots of systems such as multiple A/C etc. and small engine rooms. Maintenance can be cumbersome and expensive. The exposed running gear is vulnerable to damage.

Finally, I'll comment that holding out for a toy garage will likely drive you to a very challenging search, at least in this size and price range. Further caution that this type of design creates a vulnerable seaboat in terms of strength (transom is structural) and leaks. There was a recent 80+ footer that reportedly sank off the Florida gulf coast due to compromised garage. The hydraulics required to operate a system such as this will require frequent repair.

You should probably decide your priorities. Cruising a boat such as this is definitely possible, but the itinerary will be punctuated by choosing destinations based on availability of fuel dock and access to skilled labor to work on sophisticated systems.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/200...an-62-3729348/

Good luck.

Peter
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:16 AM   #4
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I think you are talking about biting off more than you can chew. Buy a 40' trawler type boat and learn to use it in coastal waters first. Then after a few years if you really want to cruise the Caribbean you can think about a larger, more capable boat although properly equipped and with judicious weather watch you can do that as well in most 40'ers.

A 40'er is a reasonable size to do almost all of what you want, absent the garage. FWIW I don't think you will find many members of this site with a toy garage on their boat.

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Old 07-22-2021, 08:52 AM   #5
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I think you are talking about biting off more than you can chew. Buy a 40' trawler type boat and learn to use it in coastal waters first. Then after a few years if you really want to cruise the Caribbean you can think about a larger, more capable boat although properly equipped and with judicious weather watch you can do that as well in most 40'ers.

A 40'er is a reasonable size to do almost all of what you want, absent the garage. FWIW I don't think you will find many members of this site with a toy garage on their boat.

David
Amen David!

Story time. My best boating friend with whom I spent countless days sailing SF Bay aboard his Brewer 46 cutter wanted to transition to trawlers. He sold the sailboat a few years ago and began his search, mostly in the $1.0m-$1.5m range, so Nordhavns were on the list. A couple years ago I get a text "Pete, we did it! We made an offer - you'll never believe it. A Power Cat!" (SISTERSHIP HERE).

Now, while far from my traditional and conservative boating tastes, there's no denying this is a beautiful boat. It sits in my friend's backyard on the ICW near my home in St Pete FL.

It rarely gets used. I think last time it was out was just before COVID when I helped him take it to Viking Boatworks for a bottom job. Why? It's too big for him to single-hand; and there is almost always something not working properly. He's gotten to know his marine electrician well enough that they go boar-hunting together, and my buddy even donated a car to the electrician's church.

It's heartbreaking for me. He's been a good friend for 25+ years and I know he just wants to head-off and hang-out. A 40-foot trawler would be perfect. But his girlfriend really wanted a sexy boat with shiny wood, leather upholstery, and motorized window-shades operated by an iPad. So they were swayed by the shiny-object of a flashy boat that is pretty much an ornament due to complexity and size. Worse, my buddy dreams of doing some sort of crossing to Mexico - a little over 400 nms - and he's worried he'd need a bladder for fuel (it carries 700g, which I am pretty sure is enough). But still.....good looking boat, just not incredibly useable. Great for a day out fishing or entertaining, not bad for a long weekend, possibly a week. But for cruising? Wrong boat for him.

I'll reiterate - you have to decide what you want to do and buy the right boat for the purpose. There are a couple ways to go haywire. One is my buddy who was seduced by a flashy boat that can't comfortably cruise. The other is to buy a hard-core cruising boat and use it for weekend/week-long trips.

Peter
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:59 AM   #6
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I appreciate your advice, I am leaning towards the European style cruisers because that is the style my wife likes. And you know the saying happy wife happy life.

Is there a short list of modern style looking trawlers that you suggest I research? I was looking at Sabre models last night, but I am not sure its big enough to live on for months at a time.
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Old 07-22-2021, 09:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sharked View Post
I appreciate your advice, I am leaning towards the European style cruisers because that is the style my wife likes. And you know the saying happy wife happy life.

Is there a short list of modern style looking trawlers that you suggest I research? I was looking at Sabre models last night, but I am not sure its big enough to live on for months at a time.
I haven't looked at a McKnew Powerboat Guide in years, but it was helpful many years ago when I was asking similar questions. Not sure how relevant it is these days. https://www.powerboatguide.com/index.html

Passagemaker Magazine has long since morphed away from it's trawler roots. Seems the advertising money is more along the lines of your wife's tastes than traditional trawlers (though they often show-up). You may want to consider attending one of their TrawlerFests - I realize it's not quite the style of boat, but it's much more approachable than a large boat show and will give you a better idea on interiors, space, seating, storage, etc. Seriously, I think when you're aboard one of the sexy/sleek Euro-boats and give a second thought to making dinner, you'll realize there's something missing.....a fridge, an oven, etc., though there will be a very nice wet-bar with ice maker.

Power & Motoryacht Magazine also has a blend of boats including the production-style boats similar to what you're looking for.

Good luck

Peter
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Old 07-22-2021, 10:03 AM   #8
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A Beneteau Swift Trawler 44 might work. It's style is a bit more European looking than say a Grand Banks.

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Old 07-22-2021, 02:52 PM   #9
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The Swift Trawler does appear to check many of my boxes

There is no price listed for the 44:
https://www.beneteau.com/en/swift-tr...ift-trawler-44

But the 41:
https://www.beneteau.com/en/swift-tr...trawler-41-fly
is starting 421,000 euros

I imagine the 44 would be more




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A Beneteau Swift Trawler 44 might work. It's style is a bit more European looking than say a Grand Banks.

David
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:45 PM   #10
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A couple listed as pending in the US.

Florida $349k
https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/201...er-44-3857523/

SoCal $499k
https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/201...er-44-3723904/

Here's the challenge - if it's "The Boat," you have to figure out who is selling them. Chances are there are a just a couple brokers who specialize in these boats. They may know when one comes up before it's actually listed. Then you have to swallow hard and dig deep to damn near make a sight-unseen offer.

I do not envy buyers in this market......good luck

Peter
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Old 07-22-2021, 07:00 PM   #11
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You can make a sight unseen offer and sign a contract with little risk. Most contracts (and if they don't have this feature, run away) have a provision that the buyer can back out for any reason after the survey. It does obligate you to spend $500-1,000 on a survey. But if you find significant things that would lower your price then ask for a reduction or a fix (although it is usually better to accept money rather than a fix) and if the seller says no, walk away.

I have purchased 5 used and 3 new cruising boats in my career. Three of the used boats started as a sight unseen offer that resulted in a contract that we finally closed with at least one significant fix that the seller bore 100% after the survey- overheating.

David
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Old 07-23-2021, 06:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharked View Post
I find myself drawn to European style cruisers, that have large sunroofs that open and stern garage for tender or PWC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
Finally, I'll comment that holding out for a toy garage will likely drive you to a very challenging search, at least in this size and price range. Further caution that this type of design creates a vulnerable seaboat in terms of strength (transom is structural) and leaks. There was a recent 80+ footer that reportedly sank off the Florida gulf coast due to compromised garage. The hydraulics required to operate a system such as this will require frequent repair.
Sharked, there are a couple of other solutions to carrying dinghies. One might be a crane and chocks on the bow (not my favorite). Another might be a crane and chocks on an upper boat deck (flybridge extension) at the stern.

There are also manual and hydraulic lifts you can use at the stern. Former could be coupled with a swim platform for carrying (Hurley davits) or not (Seawise davits, etc.). Latter could be coupled with a swim platform (TNT Lifts) or not (Freedom Lift.) Carrying a dinghy exposed at the stern comes with some potential issues (backwash when coming down off plane, crossed stern lines, etc.); not unsolvable.


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I was looking at Sabre models last night, but I am not sure its big enough to live on for months at a time.
Sabre makes several models/sizes, both express "Down East" style and flybridge style. You might find the latter more suitable. I think their current production is all using Volvo IPS pod drives, and there are pros/cons to that. If our budget stood to a 54 Flybridge, we'd be all over that.

-Chris
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Old 07-23-2021, 06:57 AM   #13
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Ocean Alexander made a whole line of well constructed handsome Euro-look boats beginning in the 90s. Clean crisp lines without the plastic milk bottle/wedding cake look. Many are Ed Monk Jr. designs.
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Old 07-23-2021, 10:09 AM   #14
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I don't see a 54ft model, was it discontinued?
https://www.sabreyachts.com/motor-ya...achts-overview



Quote:
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Sharked, there are a couple of other solutions to carrying dinghies. One might be a crane and chocks on the bow (not my favorite). Another might be a crane and chocks on an upper boat deck (flybridge extension) at the stern.

There are also manual and hydraulic lifts you can use at the stern. Former could be coupled with a swim platform for carrying (Hurley davits) or not (Seawise davits, etc.). Latter could be coupled with a swim platform (TNT Lifts) or not (Freedom Lift.) Carrying a dinghy exposed at the stern comes with some potential issues (backwash when coming down off plane, crossed stern lines, etc.); not unsolvable.




Sabre makes several models/sizes, both express "Down East" style and flybridge style. You might find the latter more suitable. I think their current production is all using Volvo IPS pod drives, and there are pros/cons to that. If our budget stood to a 54 Flybridge, we'd be all over that.

-Chris
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Old 07-24-2021, 06:08 AM   #15
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I don't see a 54ft model, was it discontinued?
https://www.sabreyachts.com/motor-ya...achts-overview

Yes, I think so... so they might not be on the market often... but I'd guess they'll still build you one if you wave money at 'em.

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Old 07-24-2021, 07:52 AM   #16
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Your budget seems a little thin given your list of "wants".

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Old 07-24-2021, 12:04 PM   #17
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Greenline might make a boat that fits your needs. Models range from 33-48’ and can be diesel powered, hybrid diesel/electric, or completely electric.
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Old 07-26-2021, 02:23 PM   #18
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Great Loopers that can do Blue Water Too

I have been speaking on this subject for many years at various Trawler Fests. I currently know of several boats within your budget that can handle the extreme low air draft of the European canal system and that are capable of safely crossing the Atlantic. I have over 200,000 NM of offshore experience so I do not make such claims casually. If you reach out to me privately, I will be happy to advise.
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Old 07-26-2021, 02:37 PM   #19
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Boat advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharked View Post
I appreciate your advice, I am leaning towards the European style cruisers because that is the style my wife likes. And you know the saying happy wife happy life.

Is there a short list of modern style looking trawlers that you suggest I research? I was looking at Sabre models last night, but I am not sure its big enough to live on for months at a time.
If you buy a boat based on your wife liking how it looks and then try and make it do something for which it wasnít intended you will likely be making the mistake of a lifetime. The advice about researching your insurability and buying a boat suited to your purpose is very sound.
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Old 07-26-2021, 04:31 PM   #20
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Whoa there Nellie. You're going too fast!

"The advice about researching your insurability and buying a boat suited to your purpose is very sound." But, the harder part is knowing what you will actually be happy with.
Have you considered going to the ideal places where you want to cruise and renting boats that you think will make you happy. Experience is hard gained and very costly.
So many of us planned for years before retirement to be certain that we got everything that we thought we needed, only to find that the boat, the place, the weather, the cost, the actual floating around without our friends/kids/etc was NOT what would make us happy. Then you have a big hole in the water that will bomb your bank account.
Lastly, caribbean cruising can be dangerous. How will the wife feel after experiencing an attempted boarding by armed men. Families have disappeared while cruising off countries where extreme poverty exists.
I am not trying to blow smoke at your plans. Just saying that you seem locked into a huge decision making process that could be your undoing.
Take it slow, get some real experience, and let time guide you through careful planning and small decisions.
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