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Old 03-13-2020, 12:25 PM   #1
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New and Excited to Know More

Ok, I am about as new to this world as one can get.

A couple months ago I was looking into possibly transferring back to the east coast around Kings Bay, GA. During that process, I looked heavily at the Ameilia Island area as location to live. During the research process, I thought, well if I am going back that close to water and now that we are full empty nesters, I might get a boat.

I have never given owning a boat much thought because of the cost and no time with children and work to do anything other that pay payments. Now that I am 2-5 years from retirement, my eyes are now open to new things.

The job transfer did not go through, but the full on boat thing has now kicked in, so I am full on researching. It will be at least two years before I make a purchase.

A little about me:

Did 10 years as a submarine navigation electronics technician, but that was more that 30 years ago. During that time, I was part of the piloting party for incoming and leaving port. I did this in Charleston, SC and Kings Bay, GA. I have taken navigation fixes on paper charts with Loran, NAVSAT, RADAR (Fischer Plot), periscope triangulation, but never utilized the fancy new stuff, so that would be interesting.

I now work as an engineer for an aircraft manufacturing company. I have spent time in various stanges of aircraft lifecylce from design to ground/flight operations/test.

I grew up working with my father who was an auto mechanic including owning our own shop for a period of time. I do all the work possible on my own cars.

We plan to sell our house when we retire, which has always been the plan regardless of the boat, but now the new picture is taking shape.

So, in my search I am slowly gathering much information and there is a ton out there. The one thing that I find interesting is that until I started my search, I had never heard of the Great Loop or a non-commercial trawler. Also, I have since found out that you can start this Great Loop from Tulsa, OK or even Tuscaloosa, AL if you would like. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought of this. When I ask friends and family if they have ever heard of such a thing, they all look at me in shock and say nope. Crazy stuff.

So, with all that being said, I look forward to exploring the information on the forum and advice.

Based on the little time that I have researched, these are the boats that I have interest in right now, but of course that is subject to change as requirements are solidified.

American Tug (Thanks to Bruce B as his 395 with videos of build)
North Pacific - I did not know about this one until I saw a response someone made about a Helmsman
Nordic Tug
Nordhavn
Beneteau (I prefer the raised pilot house right now, but my wife could put everything sideways when we go to our first boat show)

34-43 ft (haven't nailed down the need to pay for an have the extra room, probably not) Amercican Tug 34/365 may work fine.
Single Diesel Engine

Also, I recently stumbled across this site that has scanned American Practical Navigator (Bowditch) for those that care. I have hard copies that I received as part of my reenlistment, so I thought it was pretty cool to be on here.
https://books.google.com/books?id=p9...page&q&f=false

Thank you for being here.
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Old 03-14-2020, 11:03 PM   #2
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Nordhaven, which I love by the way, is a step beyound just about all the other brands you have suggested. Nordhaven is a genuine ocean going vessel, great if those are your plans but overkill if you are going to be coastal cruising. By overkill I mean costly to meet the standards of an ocean going vessel.

Rather than start with what boat brand and boat within that brand, why not look at the area(s) you will be cruising and decide how you want to do it, and to what degree of comfort you need/want.

The smaller the boat, the easier to handle, less costly for marina costs and maintenance, and all the other associated expenses. The larger the boat generally less spontaneous to take out but more comfort when you are out there.

Speed is another issue. You can go really slow - sailboat; really fast - express cruiser or fast trawler; or something slower but faster than a sailboat - your typical traditional trawler.

Many traditional trawlers have a more rounded bottom which can make for an interesting ride is heavier winds. A fly bridge raises the center of gravity of the boat thus more sway side to side. A fly bridge also increases wind profile thus more side to side motion in a blow.

So for me, I could find happiness in the Nordic Tug 32 with a wide open throttle of 19 knots, but more realistic cruise at 7 - 9 knots.



The Nordic Tug 37 gives more room and habitable space. It still has a decent speed at wide open throttle, good when you need it but most of the time you will cruising slower:

https://ca.boats.com/power-boats/200...gs-37-7340514/

A Back Cove is a sedan cruiser (like an express cruiser) with a lower side profile, a little bit faster, not quite as roomy but still a comfortable boat. For where I am this type of boat is preferable in my mind to the conditions I face, including beam seas and beam wind, faster speed to knock off the boring initial part of the journey, but slow down to smell the roses once I get to the more scenic part of my trip.

Notice the lower side profile and faster top end speed.



I think it is important to get the best type of boat for your cruising area and your needs. Start with you and your area, then choose a style, then your boat.
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Old 03-15-2020, 06:48 AM   #3
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BoomerSailor;
Well, the bug has bitten you hard!
There is no hope.
You have become one of us and you will now spend ALL your cash and time on this wild ride

Wohoo.

Welcome.
Its a wonderful life!

Tim
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Old 03-15-2020, 07:23 AM   #4
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RSN 48 Thank you for your feedback.

I agree with you on the requirements where I will be cruising needs to be the primary thing on my list, but I need to nail that down. Having never owned a boat brings in many more complexities as well. I have looked "online" at the boats you have mentioned and the attractions are there. I have the Nordic 37 you have saved on my list...just for going back to for future. I notice it is now pending.

I thank you so much for your feedback, as I have seen in this forum many people are willing to share...what a great deal that is.
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Old 03-15-2020, 07:26 AM   #5
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kokopelliTim I would say yes it has bitten me hard...so much information out there. That alone gets me excited with the many opportunities and adventures that await.

Thanks
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Old 03-15-2020, 09:54 AM   #6
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It is true that the Great Loop is a pretty well kept secret from the West Coasters. But everyone is welcome. You might consider joining the "Great Loop Cruising Association". It is a little pricey, I think about a hundred a year, but really a source of information.

Also you need to read the thread here "Boating 101" or something similar.

You should schedule yourself to a "Passagemaker" boat show/convention, you will learn a lot.

You need to come East and get on some boats.

Welcome Aboard

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Old 03-15-2020, 10:05 AM   #7
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With a couple of years to launch you have the time to take a few Americas Boating Club (AKA US Sail & Power Squadron) courses to freshen up and add to your skill set. In addition to the education piece you get to expand your network of folks with common interests. The courses are very well done and generally taught by experienced volunteers so the cost is reasonable when compared to for profit training.
If serious about the loop you also should be looking at the various route options and limitations re: air & water draft. The NE section(s) of the loop provide many options for some spectacular cruising that will take more than 1 season. Many do this as a multi season cruise by storing the boat over the winter and returning for another season of exploring. Others complete the loop and return to explore the areas / routes they bypassed the first time.
Best of luck with the search and adventures
BTW - Bought our Mainship at Eagle Point on Lewisville Lk
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Old 03-15-2020, 01:21 PM   #8
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Is your wife buying into the excitement as well? Otherwise I see possible storm clouds on the horizon!
Also, you DO realize that is the ride gets bumpy, submerging to smooth out the ride is a really BAD idea in a trawler, right?
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Old 03-15-2020, 02:07 PM   #9
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BoomerSailor, Welcome!

Fair warning, four years ago my wife and I (former sailboat owners) learned of recreational trawlers and now, two trawlers later, have recently become empty nesters, sold the house and live aboard a Kadey Krogen 54 in the PNW. Still working and refitting the boat for the next few years.

My advice, enjoy the process, it's a fun journey.
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Old 03-15-2020, 02:15 PM   #10
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Welcome aboard. Donít get too hung up on a particular brand of boat but rather a boat that fits your wants and needs, now you just have to figure out what your wants and needs are. Have fun!
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Old 03-15-2020, 02:23 PM   #11
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Here's a blog you might find helpful:

https://captainjohn.org/GL-Boat1.html
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Old 03-15-2020, 02:48 PM   #12
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Don't think you've mentioned budget to get in and your expected annual budget thereafter??

Also, are you fixed on boat age if used or do you require new?

There are soooo many things to contemplate for you and wife.

Things that requires no contemplation at all is to be sure wife is always kept very happy... and you too; regarding boat choice and anticipated use of boat.

Welcome aboard!

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Old 03-15-2020, 03:56 PM   #13
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Welcome aboard, Boomer. Sounds like you got bit bad, like many of us boat-purchase survivors here on TF. Sounds like you have a great set of skills and the work experience to feed and support your newfound habit.

I did something similar when I was 5 years from retirement. I bought the boat of my dreams 5 years before retirement to see if

1. I like it and can handle most of the work,
2. I can afford it,
3. If yes to both above, to give me time to 'make it mine' while I was still working and had 'disposable' income,
4. If no to either 1 or 2, I'd have time to formulate Plan B for my upcoming retirement.

As it turned out, 13 years later, I like it and am having a the time of my life aboard whenever possible.

The biggest variable is how are you going to use the boat. Fishing? Diving? Large crowds aboard? Single-hand or crew? Then find that perfect combo of layout, features, condition, location and price that makes it all work.

Lots to learn and lots of boats to look at. There's no substitute for getting out on boats to see first-hand how they look/feel/sound/perform. Enjoy the hunt!!
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Old 03-15-2020, 04:03 PM   #14
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Given you're 2 trips around the sun from dropping large on a hole in the water, consider some charter experience. That could really help you converge on the boat for you, the boats not for you.
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Old 03-15-2020, 07:05 PM   #15
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Boomer, welcome. I did my war patrols on the 627 and the 630, nuc trained main propulsion
I had a N46 but the yard dropped it and poke a hole in the side. I replaced it with an At34/36.
Poured money into the N46 and now, the AT. I am happy with the AT SMILE
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Old 03-15-2020, 07:49 PM   #16
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Hey there, ex-bubblehead, I was/am a skimmer and was navigator on two DDGs and skipper of an ATF before GPS. We did not have the inertial system you guys had either. Outside of radar landfall, we navigated by stars alone, not even Omega or LORAN A was better than stars, when we could even receive them. Knowing the old Bowditch was kewl, but in 1998, I finally broke down and bought a used laptop for an exorbitant sum and loaded The Captain and a bunch of raster scan charts on it and never looked back. Later on I bought a Garmin chartplotter and I eventually upgraded the analog autopilot on my old Grand Banks 42 (a boat I HIGHLY recommend) to digital and interfaced with my plotter to let it run the routes I plotted. So you're thinking, HA, if an officer can do this, then I with my pre-Navy, enlisted, and post-Navy skills can certainly do that stuff! And you'd be absolutely correct. Oh, and toss the Bowditch and paper charts. There's not time to plot positions running the ICW and usually too rough to take accurate bearings off shore.
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