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Old 04-03-2017, 03:37 PM   #21
JLD
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Most of the Mainship 34 trawlers that I have seen, have the optional lower helm as well as the upper helm. They also have a door at the lower helm. For me, this would be the perfect trawler for a single or a couple, with room for the occasional visitor. I think, however, that you would have a hard time finding one, however, within your budget.

I know that I am a Newbie, and this is trawler forum, but don't limit yourself to just trawlers. If you like the downeast style, a nice Mainship Pilot 30 (10'3" beam') could be purchase for under $80,000. $100,000 would buy a nice Mainship Pilot 34 (12'3" beam). Nice thing about these boats, is that you can cruise at 7 - 10 knots, or faster at 18+ knots if you needed.

While I currently am power-boat-less, I'm looking for a boat that I can have fun with for the last couple of years till I retire, cruise the eastern part of the great loop (in two segments) and still enjoy for a number of years afterwards.

Jim
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:36 PM   #22
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Keep in mind that there are parts of this trip where you can't buy fuel for over two hundred miles. Many smaller boats don't have the range unless you add additional fuel storage.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:20 PM   #23
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Keep in mind that there are parts of this trip where you can't buy fuel for over two hundred miles. Many smaller boats don't have the range unless you add additional fuel storage.
That's a very good point. We actually brought four, six-gallon gas cans with us on one trip, and bummed rides to a gas station a couple of times. Longer range is one factor that drove us to a trawler, along with the separate shower.

Still, 200 miles isn't totally out of the realm of possibility for an agile cruiser, going at hull speed.

But for sure, consider fuel capacity in your search!
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:25 PM   #24
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And for the other side of the story, I'll be doing the loop this year solo. The boat is slow (7 knots), bigger (45'), and no flybridge. Simply, get what you want, practice, and learn to adapt. Locking with 2 people may be easier, but solo is very doable.

As far as the wife, she can come visit you or you can take a week off and go visit her. It all works.

Ted
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:23 PM   #25
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I'm not sure what your budget is... just want to say, you can get some very capable, smaller sized [26 to 30 foot] well cared for older Bayliners, Tollycraft, Chris Craft, etc for extremely reasonable prices. Would take a bit of shopping, but be not put down, the good smaller old ones at good prices are out there.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:42 AM   #26
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I'm looking for advice about what y'all think is the best boat for cruising the Great Loop single-handed.

As for boat size, I wouldn't be looking at anything that requires space for more than two people. Easy to handle and dock single-handed, and comfortable in inclement weather, are prime considerations for me. Also, I can't afford new so something used is fine.

I wouldn't normally suggest it, but it happens a potential solution appeared in our marina yesterday... with brokerage signs on it.

The boat is a Silverton 43' Sport Bridge. Not our cup of tea, but it has a couple design features that would lend themselves toward single-handing: the side decks and bow are immediately/easily accessible from the flybridge, and flybridge access from the cockpit is via stairs, not a ladder. This particular one also apparently has a bow thruster already, too.

Not sure of the interior layout, but I'd imagine it's a main stateroom in the bow, and another stateroom down there somewhere. Possibly with head and shower separated. There's probably a layout schematic on line somewhere.

FWIW, the sign says it's a 2007 model with D9 Volvos, recently soda-blasted/barrier coated/bottom painted, $249K. Looks to be in pretty good condition on the outside...

Doesn't cost much in fuel to drive these kinds of boat at hull speed and below.

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Old 04-04-2017, 08:54 AM   #27
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The Mainship "Pilot" line in some ways is similar to the express cruisers I mentioned. The look is a little more salty, and less Clorox-bottle. The compromise is you give up a lot of interior space for the larger cockpit. Having a hard-top version would be my preference. But to my mind, it's a better day boat than a loop cruiser.

I don't know where they got the name "Pilot." To me that means "pilothouse" and there isn't one. I'd call it more of a "picnic" boat.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:10 AM   #28
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Haven't done the loop but if I was single-handing and not too hung up on comfort I'd look hard at a Rosborough or small Ranger. They give you all the essentials in a small, easily-handled package. And if there are parts of the loop you want to skip or do twice, just throw it on the trailer.
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:09 AM   #29
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Haven't done the loop but if I was single-handing and not too hung up on comfort I'd look hard at a Rosborough or small Ranger. They give you all the essentials in a small, easily-handled package. And if there are parts of the loop you want to skip or do twice, just throw it on the trailer.
The Rosborough has a very Spartan interior. The Ranger Tugs are very well finished inside. There's one next to me that just sold. The interior is beautiful and luxurious. It also has a docking station in the cockpit which would seem to be ideal for docking and locking. It has both a bow and stern thruster.
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:11 AM   #30
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Different boat for different folks!

I wouldn't pooh-pooh anyone's choice of a boat. While a lot of folks do the loop in a trawler, others do it other types of boats. Some boats are big, some are small. Many are powerboats, but there are also some sailboats in the mix. Some folks buy a boat specifically to do the loop, others run the loop in the boat they already have or plan to use after the journey.

In the end, what really matters is are you comfortable on the boat for extended periods of time. I would suspect that this would vary for most of us.
For this reason, I also chuckle a bit when someone asks "what boat should I buy". Quite often, the response is "one just like mine!"

Jim
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:32 AM   #31
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With the $80,000 max budget, one could find a 2008ish Ranger Tug 25. A nice, trailerable little boat (8.5' beam) with an inboard diesel.

Another choice, if one would be happy with a small, spartan, boat, would be a C-Dory 25. Used C-Dory can be had for $50,000-$70,000. These are also easily trailerable (8.5' beam) and come with single or twin gas outboards.

Jim
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Old 04-04-2017, 01:42 PM   #32
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A friend of mine has a 34' Mainship that he let me run on Lake Ponchartrain. It has a flybridge and I really liked the view and ride up there. But it seemed like it would be tough for someone not very athletic to dock single-handed. Of course, practice makes perfect. I'd fear falling off the ladder at a crucial moment. Thus the interest in a helm-side door to be close to the lines.
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I would recommend a early model Mainship 34, ....
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Originally Posted by JLD View Post
Most of the Mainship 34 trawlers that I have seen, have the optional lower helm as well as the upper helm. They also have a door at the lower helm. For me, this would be the perfect trawler for a single or a couple, with room for the occasional visitor. I think, however, that you would have a hard time finding one, however, within your budget.

Hadn't seen the part about budget, when I posted my earlier note.

We had an early Mainshhip 34, great boat... but yes, no helm door and it had a ladder. Wouldn't be my choice for single-handing. The later Mainship 350/390, 34T, 400, etc. models all have stairs to the bridge and lower helm doors. Much better for single-handling, I think.

That said... I don't have a lower helm now, no lower helm door... and I can single-hand in many circumstances. There are some work-arounds...

-Chris
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:25 PM   #33
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Lots of great food for thought in this thread. Feels like I am reading my Thanksgiving Dinner! Many thanks to all who are sharing their thoughts and experience. It's very beneficial.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:43 PM   #34
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Nordic 26 or 32 would meet his 6'2" height requirement. Not sure about the Ranger Tug. I prefer the interior finish and size of a NT 26 over a Ranger Tug 25. Either way, they hold their value well and could resell without​ losing much, if any. If you find a NT with a stbd side berth up forward, they have much more room than a V berth.

You'd make lots of friends with a NT26 on the loop. They still draw admirers every where you'd pull in.

I'm a big C Dory fan too. But it would be a bit more like camping. Read Waterhorse by William Least Heat Moon.
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:22 AM   #35
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A Lord Nelson could fit your bill.
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