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Old 12-17-2020, 10:46 PM   #1
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Hello from Alaska/Arizona

Newbie to the forum here. While we currently do not own a boat at this time we are in the market for a used modest sized trawler.

We have been looking at the Nordhavn 40 which appeals to me on so many levels (stout, fuel efficient, open ocean capable, etc) but lacks some things that we want interiorly. This style of boat (trawler) is a totally new experience for us.

My wife and I are both retired but have owned both a 26' & 28' Bayliner's while cruising Prince William Sound in Alaska for 15 years. My earlier career before joining the Anchorage Fire Dept was as a commercial king crab fisherman in the Bering Sea for 9 years (1981-1990) and about 15 years salmon fishing in Bristol Bay and around Alaska.

We currently split our time between Alaska and Sedona, AZ. I know, kind of ironic for a guy who loves the ocean but after 35 winters in Alaska we really enjoy the sunny and warmer desert weather in the winter.

We are hoping to find a trawler that we can cruise the inside passage of Alaska and coast of BC for 4-5 months a year as a live aboard. We are looking in the $400k-$450k range and do not want a project. We do not have kids but we will have the occasional guest or two. We have our share of re-powering boats and dealing with many different issues. Knowing how much maintenance and potential mechanical problems boats can be, we are hoping to hedge our bets with a well built and reliable trawler.

So, I will be scouring this forum for peoples knowledge and experience with different manufacturers and designs. I know opinions of boats are always subjective and often biased by the owner but I also know that all manufacturers and models have obvious pros and cons.

Thanks for letting me ramble....

I look forward to learning a lot from the vast wealth of knowledge on this forum.

Cheers,
Paul & Annie
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Old 12-17-2020, 11:39 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard from a wee bit south

Dare to Dream!
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Old 12-17-2020, 11:40 PM   #3
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We are Alaskans as well.

Just like you we have cruised all over Prince William Sound in our Bayliners from 19 feet and up.

When it came our time in life to buy a larger boat than our 2859 Bayliner we looked at many different boats.

What did we buy???

A 4788 Bayliner. We gave up our 28’ slip in Whittier and now have a 50’ slip in Seward and could not be happier.

I am not going to knock the Nordhavn 40 you mentioned. Those are Very capable boats.

But... If you have owned Bayliners you might be a bit disappointed in the interior size of the N40. We found it not a heck of a lot larger than our old 3488 Bayliner.

Good luck and happy boating!
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Old 12-18-2020, 01:30 AM   #4
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Welcome aboard. We lived in Tucson for 30 years before retiring to Michigan to live on the water, currently hard.
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Old 12-18-2020, 02:49 AM   #5
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We are Alaskans as well.

Just like you we have cruised all over Prince William Sound in our Bayliners from 19 feet and up.

When it came our time in life to buy a larger boat than our 2859 Bayliner we looked at many different boats.

What did we buy???

A 4788 Bayliner. We gave up our 28’ slip in Whittier and now have a 50’ slip in Seward and could not be happier.

I am not going to knock the Nordhavn 40 you mentioned. Those are Very capable boats.

But... If you have owned Bayliners you might be a bit disappointed in the interior size of the N40. We found it not a heck of a lot larger than our old 3488 Bayliner.

Good luck and happy boating!
Thanks for the welcome everyone!

Kevin thanks for the reply. We sure do miss our many days of exploring all of the Fjords, islands and islets in PWS! Many great memories!

Your statement regarding the interior of the Nordhavn vs Bayliner are valid especially the layout and the small pilot house of the Nordhavn. We are not set on any particular boat yet but we would like a trawler that could comfortably cross open areas like the Gulf of Alaska and the Dixon Entrance.

The other requirement for us is a full displacement hull for fuel efficiency and long distance capability. While the Bayliner's are much faster with a planing hull, the fuel economy does not work for our plans to live aboard for 4-5 months at a time. We've also been eyeing the 42 Nordic tugs as well.

Of course I have 2 foot-itis (or more like 10-20 foot-itis) and wishing we could afford the boats in the $650k+ category. But I'm hoping we can find something that works well overall for us in our price range.
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Old 12-18-2020, 02:58 AM   #6
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Welcome aboard. We lived in Tucson for 30 years before retiring to Michigan to live on the water, currently hard.
Thanks for the welcome Comodave. If I could convince my wife to sell the house and live on the water full time, I would be able to buy the size of boat with capabilities I really want much easier. We're trying to make it work to have the best of both worlds.

Michigan in the winter must have its challenges for full time live aboard..... Brrrrrrr!!! My days of spending entire winters in the Bering Sea are long over!
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Old 12-18-2020, 07:38 AM   #7
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Welcome from a fellow Arizonan. I lived on Fort Apache for 2 years and then in Tucson for 15. I am currently working with a client from Tucson and one from Chandler. At one point, AZ had the highest boat owners per capita of any state, but not sure if that's still a current record.

Lots of good information to be gleaned here.
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Old 12-18-2020, 10:55 AM   #8
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Thanks for the welcome everyone!

Kevin thanks for the reply. We sure do miss our many days of exploring all of the Fjords, islands and islets in PWS! Many great memories!

Your statement regarding the interior of the Nordhavn vs Bayliner are valid especially the layout and the small pilot house of the Nordhavn. We are not set on any particular boat yet but we would like a trawler that could comfortably cross open areas like the Gulf of Alaska and the Dixon Entrance.

The other requirement for us is a full displacement hull for fuel efficiency and long distance capability. While the Bayliner's are much faster with a planing hull, the fuel economy does not work for our plans to live aboard for 4-5 months at a time. We've also been eyeing the 42 Nordic tugs as well.

Of course I have 2 foot-itis (or more like 10-20 foot-itis) and wishing we could afford the boats in the $650k+ category. But I'm hoping we can find something that works well overall for us in our price range.
It sounds like youy have your “needs” list pretty well figured out.

Lots of great boats out there to choose from!
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Old 12-18-2020, 12:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AK-Firedude View Post
Thanks for the welcome Comodave. If I could convince my wife to sell the house and live on the water full time, I would be able to buy the size of boat with capabilities I really want much easier. We're trying to make it work to have the best of both worlds.

Michigan in the winter must have its challenges for full time live aboard..... Brrrrrrr!!! My days of spending entire winters in the Bering Sea are long over!
We have family in Michigan and it is worth it living on the water. During the winter we go to the barn and work on the boat so that keeps us occupied.
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Old 12-18-2020, 01:00 PM   #10
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We are in the same boat you want to be in so to speak. We spend our winters in AZ and summers on the boat. Some things to be aware of before signing on the dotted line. The most important is if you plan to keep the boat in the PNW is to make sure you have a spot to moor the boat, It's getting hard to find moorage for anything over 50 ft. at least in WA. The waiting lists for a desirable location can be many years long. I also never assume that I know what anyone,s likes or dislikes of boats are, but from your description and experience this may be of interest https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/199...house-3721908/

good luck in your search we think it's a great way to spend your retirement.
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Old 12-18-2020, 03:58 PM   #11
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We had the same short list of boats, Nordhavn 40/Nordic 42. You can see we chose the Nordic after finding both boats side by side at the Seattle Boat Show. Having had a tour of the USS Missouri, I likened the pilothouse of the Nordhavn to the battle bridge/fire director on the Missouri. It was well protected but you couldn't see much out of it. The main tradeoff between the two is open ocean performance. I would take the Nordic across the gulf to PWS, but I'd wait for a good weather window and would kick it up to 9 kts, something the Nordhavn couldn't do. I burn a little less than 1.0 gph at 7 kts, so fuel tradeoff is not a concern.

I would add to your list of boats the Nordhavn 46. Very capable, roomy, and a little better visibility out of the pilot house.

Tom
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Old 12-18-2020, 04:07 PM   #12
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...I burn a little less than 1.0 gph at 7 kts...
Did you or a PO repower with a smaller engine...don't most NT42's have 450hp to 540hp engines?
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Old 12-18-2020, 09:04 PM   #13
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Murray,

My bad, a typo. It should have said 1.9gph. It's a Cummins 6CTA8.3 rated at 420HP. I don't use that much of it most of the time, but it's nice to use some HP in a following or quartering sea to keep the boat tracking in more or less a straight line.

Tom
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Old 12-18-2020, 09:53 PM   #14
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Murray,

My bad, a typo. It should have said 1.9gph. It's a Cummins 6CTA8.3 rated at 420HP. I don't use that much of it most of the time, but it's nice to use some HP in a following or quartering sea to keep the boat tracking in more or less a straight line.

Tom
Even after the typo, that's really good.
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Old 12-19-2020, 12:06 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=Ka_sea_ta;954429]We are in the same boat you want to be in so to speak. We spend our winters in AZ and summers on the boat. Some things to be aware of before signing on the dotted line. The most important is if you plan to keep the boat in the PNW is to make sure you have a spot to moor the boat, It's getting hard to find moorage for anything over 50 ft. at least in WA. The waiting lists for a desirable location can be many years long. I also never assume that I know what anyone,s likes or dislikes of boats are, but from your description and experience this may be of interest

Thanks Ka-Sea_Ta Yes, we are fully aware of the NW moorage dilemma. Heck, even in Whittier Alaska the wait list for some slips are well over 10 years long. I've been searching and by far the best deal is in Ketchikan AK where the costs are very reasonable. The downside is it's in Ketchikan Alaska!

Thank you for the link. The 55 Jones-Goodell looks like a great set up for a live aboard. More room and convenience that I could ever hope for. But there are a couple things on a boat like this that might not work for us.

First of all I have no idea how efficient this boat is at lower cruise speeds (6-7 kts) but that is a major need for us (not to mention that these cruise speeds are not ideal for the diesel engine long term). While I fully appreciate having a semi-planning hull for getting out of the weather when needed, I think being retired and picking our weather windows allows us to choose a more fuel efficient full displacement hull.

I am also hoping to pick up a boat in the 15-20 year old range and with hopefully a bit lower engine hours. I've helped re-powered 2 commercial fishing boats and re-powered our personal boat. I want to put this possibility off as long as possible. While I truly love the look and feel of exterior teak, I hate the maintenance of it. Been there, done that.

I know I'll eventually have to compromise on several of my wishlist items but a few of them are important to us.

Thank you again for your helpful information!
Paul
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Old 12-19-2020, 12:19 AM   #16
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Having had a tour of the USS Missouri, I likened the pilothouse of the Nordhavn to the battle bridge/fire director on the Missouri. It was well protected but you couldn't see much out of it.
I would add to your list of boats the Nordhavn 46. Very capable, roomy, and a little better visibility out of the pilot house.

Tom,

I completely concur with your amusing assessment of the Nordhavn 40 pilothouse! That is a significant issue for us.

I would love to own a Nordhavn 46 (or larger) but I think they are out of our price range. Like many others, the boat I really would love to own are just out of our price range.

Paul
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Old 12-19-2020, 09:58 AM   #17
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The Nordic 42 is a semi planing hull for the most part. We run the Cummins at 1200-1300 rpm typically which is lightly loaded. We are a little over 6000 hours on a 25 year old engine. Go to the Seaboard Marine website and read some of Tony Adkins tips. The one on running diesels with light loads closes with the statement, he never saw a diesel fail because it was lightly loaded. https://www.sbmar.com/articles/low-s...arine-diesels/

Tom
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Old 12-19-2020, 11:51 AM   #18
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The Nordic 42 is a semi planing hull for the most part. We run the Cummins at 1200-1300 rpm typically which is lightly loaded. We are a little over 6000 hours on a 25 year old engine. Go to the Seaboard Marine website and read some of Tony Adkins tips. The one on running diesels with light loads closes with the statement, he never saw a diesel fail because it was lightly loaded. https://www.sbmar.com/articles/low-s...arine-diesels/
Tom
Tom, thanks for the article. Being around commercial fishing boats for many years that run at both moderately high & low speeds for very long extended periods of time, the article makes sense and I can agree with the author. That being said, his article also contains statements like "I’m also making the assumption that the engine doesn’t fail due to maintenance/installation problems".

My biggest concern with buying a higher hour older boat is that unless you are buying this older boat from the original owner that has kept meticulous maintenance records, you really have no idea of how the boat was run and maintained.

Over the years I've observed and had discussions with a few folks in marinas that are first time larger vessel owners who not only had little to no seamanship knowledge or experience, but also very little knowledge of maintenance and upkeep of boats and engines. That being said, I have also known folks that bought a 50'+ as their first ever boat and were dedicated to learning everything they could about boat maintenance and upkeep and were probably more diligent and meticulous than myself.

I also had a partner (and long time friend) in one of our boats for a couple years that had a vastly different idea of how important and necessary upkeep and maintenance was to not only the long term health of the boat but for the safety of hopefully not getting stranded out of radio contact and long distances from port in areas where we boated in Alaska. Our partnership ended specifically due to the yearly disagreement of money, time and effort to perform ongoing and preventive maintenance.

I would assume that a majority of folks that own coastal cruisers are diligent about protecting their rather large investments along with trying to avoid break downs at inopportune times.

The risk for me of buying an older boat is that I will have to assume that all of the previous owners fit into this later category. I am hoping to hedge my bets (and a large sum of our hard earned money) by hopefully buying a middle aged boat that the history might be easier to be known.

I sure hope my response does not come across as a know it all because that is the farthest from the truth and why I hope to glean lots of knowledge and experience from this forum. I only have my limited experiences and like everyone else forms most of my opinions/beliefs.

The article you sent does open my eyes and has shifted my belief on diesel engines running at constant lower speeds.

Thank you for sharing your experience and information, it is truly greatly appreciated!
Paul
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Old 12-19-2020, 01:16 PM   #19
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When considering boats it is important to take into account a change in technology that occurred somewhere in the 90’s that affects boats.

The traditional deck on a boat was constructed of a balsa core encapsulated between two layers of fiberglass. They did this to keep weight down and provide strength. Any water intrusion into this sanwhich of material resulted in rotting of the balsa core. Water gets in through any penetration or around edges of cutouts.

This rotting has resulted in huge repair bills in boats, and is a risk to take into consideration.

Sometime in the 90’s boat manufacturers switched away from balsa as a core material to structural foam. This structural foam is not deteriorated by water, reducing or eliminating the risk.

Just another thing to consider
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Old 12-19-2020, 01:45 PM   #20
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Welcome to TF Paul and Annie. Remember, we like pictures.
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