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Old 07-05-2019, 01:57 PM   #1
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Ahoy from Whidbey Island

I am new to the forum, and we are looking at trawlers in the 40-50í range with the idea of a cruise up the inside passage, perhaps as far as Glacier Bay, during the 2020 season. Plan is tobget the boat this year, do some shorter cruises and get her dialed in, and get ready to start the big adventure in June Ď20.

I would welcome any suggestions for a good boat in the Seattle area, given a budget up to $250K or so. We have seen a number of boats, one we really like, but are not in contract in anything yet. In particular, one question that comes is whether active stabilizers are highly recommended or not. I would not want to have paravanes with all of the associated rigging etc. while I lean toward twin engines, I would consider single screw as long as there is a bow thruster. A good dink with proper davits and storage is a must. Need comfortable accommodations for 4, with the ability have an extra couple of people in a pinch.

Anyway, I am glad to be part of the forum and find the posts very helpful.

Best,

John Knox
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:02 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. As to stabilizers, I have never had them so I donít really have any experience to make a recommendation. Probably would be nice to have until it came time to do maintenance on them.
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:16 PM   #3
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Indeed. Plenty of things to maintain already, but I have read elsewhere that it isn’t too bad - changing seals every couple of years?
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:50 PM   #4
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Our boat was equipped with paravanes when purchased.

We used them several times in the straits; Georgia, Johnston, Queen Charlotts. They were effective but a PIA. Cought seaweed and other debris in the cable. Also need to put them out long before you actually need them.

We came to the conclusion that if the sea was rough enough that paravanes were required - we should'nt be out.

Took the paravanes off 17 years ago after purchasing a boathouse.

Thousands of boats cruise to Alaska every year and very few are equipped with any form of stabilization. We cruised north of Desolation annually for over 15 years without stabilizers and as long as we took our time, followed the weather predictions, study the currents and picked the right time to go, we did not encounter any difficulty with sea conditions.

If I were to need a stabilizer, I'd look at the gyroscope stabilizers. Nothing in the water.
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:00 PM   #5
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Given your budget goal, I think itís unlikely you will find a boat with stabilizers, or one with them that isnít suffering in some other way.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:19 PM   #6
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Given your budget goal, I think itís unlikely you will find a boat with stabilizers, or one with them that isnít suffering in some other way.

That was my thought as well. For that price, I'd forgo the stabilizers. However, I've never had them so don't know what I'm missing.
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:17 PM   #7
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Our boat was equipped with paravanes when purchased.

We used them several times in the straits; Georgia, Johnston, Queen Charlotts. They were effective but a PIA. Cought seaweed and other debris in the cable. Also need to put them out long before you actually need them.

We came to the conclusion that if the sea was rough enough that paravanes were required - we should'nt be out.

Took the paravanes off 17 years ago after purchasing a boathouse.

Thousands of boats cruise to Alaska every year and very few are equipped with any form of stabilization. We cruised north of Desolation annually for over 15 years without stabilizers and as long as we took our time, followed the weather predictions, study the currents and picked the right time to go, we did not encounter any difficulty with sea conditions.

If I were to need a stabilizer, I'd look at the gyroscope stabilizers. Nothing in the water.


Simon, do you still have those paravanes?
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:52 PM   #8
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Once you have stabilizers here in the NW you will hate being with out them. It’s all the large boat wakes. With Stabilizers you don’t care if some 90’ blows by you at max wake. With all our narrow pass it’s hard not to be continuously waked.

There is no way I can get the wife to stow things properly. With stabilizers it doesn’t matter, the boat doesn’t roll.
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Old 07-06-2019, 12:40 AM   #9
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John,
If you found the right boat and she has Stabilizers great. If it doesn’t and you are primarily cruising the inside dont worry. I can count on one hand the times I think stabilizers might have helped. Ours doesn’t but as we head south my opinion may very well change. Play close attention to weather and tides. And dont be in a hurry to get to your next stop. Its a lot more comfortable sitting in a protected cove our tied up to a dock and saying, “sure glad were not out in that crap”!
Oak Harbor Marina is one of our favorites up that way, mostly cuz of the exchange and commissary right across the parking lot.
Welcome and happy hunting for that new to you boat!
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
In particular, one question that comes is whether active stabilizers are highly recommended or not.
Stabilizers will give you a good ride but I'm not a fan of them. I don't own a boat with stabilizers but have delivered several equipped with Niads up and down the west coast. The failure rate is alarmingly high 20%! If you must go stabilizers know how to properly disable them and lock them centered. Fins not locked in the centered position present two problems. One is unpredictable handling in close quarters. The other seen on one boat in heavy weather was the extreme flexing of the mounts to the point I feared they might be torn from the bottom of the boat before we could get them locked on center.

Another concern is structural damage if you hit something. The fin posts are supposedly designed to break away if you strike an object such as a rock or big dead head. There are plenty of both in the PNW. I've seen two boats hauled out where the fins did not break away but bent to the point of holing the boats. These were well built boats so hull integrity was not likely the weak point. Nordhaven and KK42. No, I don't know what happened. I only saw the after effects.

Like Custy says, just stay outta the rough stuff if you can. I've got about 9 weeks under my keel on a KK42 in SE Ak and BC without stabilizers. There was one day I wished I'd stabilizers. I got stubborn and decided to cross Tongass Narrows from the north end of Gravina Island to Cholmodeley Sound on Prince of Whales Island when the wind was kicking up against the tide.

Regarding your goal to purchase this summer and head north next summer I'd focus on a boat that is mechanically and structurally in excellent condition, not just very good, excellent. Those will be your show stoppers. All else can be done after your Glacier Bay trip.
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Old 07-06-2019, 10:30 AM   #11
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Simon, do you still have those paravanes?
Sold them years ago.
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Old 07-06-2019, 01:34 PM   #12
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Don't forget passive stabilizers, amazingly affordable to add them during an annual haul out. There was an article in Pacific Yachting I believe recently and the guy paid $5000, done by a place quite close to where I live, or at least they were the company used but the haul out was done in Nanaimo, B.C. Apparently a lot of commercial fishing boats use this cheaper method.

Two fins are added on the sides of the hull, underwater of course, tapered fins so to speak, narrow in the front, wider at the back. The chap who had it done says they are effective from wave action on all side except from following seas, which is logical. They dampen side to side motion, but not much front to back motion, particularly from the stern. It is said these fins don't affect future haul out procedures and are quite strong.

If you can't find a place locally, you could bring your boat up here to have it done. Leave the boat here, apparently it only takes a couple of days. Also note, the $5000 quote I gave was Canadian dollars.
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Old 07-06-2019, 03:01 PM   #13
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syjos wrote;
“We came to the conclusion that if the sea was rough enough that paravanes were required - we should'nt be out.”

The comb troller/gill-net fishermen deploy them at the first sign of rough weather while in transit going long distances. Like a day’s run.

Lots of logs and debris up north and it would be really nasty to snag a log. Add some bad weather and ...... but I don’t think the fishermen often run into stuff.
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Old 07-06-2019, 03:23 PM   #14
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As a troller;

Lower the poles and lock them down when leaving port, going to need them down
and easier and safer to do when calm.

Throw the chickenirons (paravanes) over if it gets sloppy.
They also are used to keep the boat slow enough to troll in some cases.

Need to pull them alongside occasionally to cut the kelp off.
With chain in the water some trollers attached Kelp cutters on the chain.

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Old 07-06-2019, 04:07 PM   #15
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"Boating season" in SE and SC Alaska almost always has calm seas.
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