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Old 04-06-2020, 04:57 PM   #1
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Yeah, all that.

Boats are almost entirely about dreams, right? Some of us are drawn to the water like moths to a flame, to re-use a well-worn adage. For those so drawn, countless subcategories blend together in one of the most complex Venn diagrams known; swimmers, surfers, kayakers, fishers, boaters. Boaters are separated in a myriad of dimensions; fast and slow, power and sail, recreational and liveaboard... All of us dream about being on the water, even when we're on it already. And for most of us, boats are the vehicle to get us there.

I've been around small boats most of my life. In the seventies, someone in our family always had something to use for lake fishing, water skiing, or simply puttering around on the water for the pleasure of it. In later years, my wife and I took up kayaking until back injuries stopped me from being able to tote all the gear hither and yon to get us to the point of being able to enjoy ourselves. I have friends who sail, and while I enjoy spending time on their boats, I have no proficiency at that and don't much care to learn.

Speed is not my thing. I've spent too much time sitting in the open bow of a boat zipping across the waves at 30 mph, busting my kidneys with every slap of the waves and watching the guy at the helm (and it's always a guy, isn't it?) scream "Yee haw!" while looking for the next swell to jump. The older I get, the more I'm looking for a slow, comfortable ride.

In the last couple of years, we have spent a lot of time talking about how we want to live in retirement, which is looming closer all the time. We eagerly consume YouTube channels like Sailing Yacht Ruby Rose and Gone With The Wynns. We love the places they go and the things they do, but watching them has solidified the idea that sailing is not for us. So we took up watching MV Freedom and MV Cassidy (which, due to their purchase of a motorsailer is now Cassidy's Sailing Trawler). We are inveterate vicarious yachters.

However much we watch and try to learn, there are things we can't know just yet. We are hatching a plan (five years in length) to figure them out. Among them is knowing how well my wife will tolerate being at sea. We once went out fishing in a friend's 26' walk around, and she chummed the water the entire time in light swells. I blame it as much on the size of the boat as anything, but that's supposition on my part. Later this year, after everyone can leave their houses again, we intend to charter a (crewed) trawler in the Puget Sound for a couple days to see how it goes.

Elsewhere in this forum, someone pointed out that choosing a boat isn't so much about the brand or features, but about the people who are going to use it. My career as an analyst means that it's natural for me to ask a ton of questions before even thinking I'm in a position to make statements about what we want. That said, we've toured boats at shows, and have some ideas. But I have more questions, and since this post is already getting long, I'll post something else more targeted.

Thank you all for creating this community. It appears to be a good one, and I look forward to being a member.

Cheers.

J.D. Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
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Old 04-06-2020, 05:19 PM   #2
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Try to charter a boat, the same brand that holds your interest and pick the brains of the crew.
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:03 PM   #3
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Try to charter a boat, the same brand that holds your interest and pick the brains of the crew.
Yeah, the problem with that is the brand that holds our interest is Nordhavn, and we can't afford one.
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:52 PM   #4
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Welcome aboard.
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:14 PM   #5
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Welcome aboard! Ahhh... The slow, comfortable ride. Otherwise known as "trawler speed"!

You will enjoy the journey you are about to embark upon, as even the research stage is fun. Well, it is if you look at it that way. And it appears you do!

Portland, eh? My home town. RCTID!
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:25 PM   #6
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Sure Nordhavns catch your eye, they catch lots of eyes and dreams. But they are not ideal boats for most boaters. They are built for Blue water crossings. The windows are probably an inch thick, the latches are industrial, the hinges the same.

If you are not sure you will ever be leaving the sight of land or braving 15 foot waves or spending two or three weeks on the high seas, you don't need a Nordhavn. You also don't need a Kady Krogen or a 200 foot yacht.

Match your boat to your needs and style. It will make the selection simpler. Not many boats can match up to a KK or a Nordhavn, not many need to either.

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Old 04-06-2020, 07:43 PM   #7
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Sure Nordhavns catch your eye, they catch lots of eyes and dreams. But they are not ideal boats for most boaters. They are built for Blue water crossings. The windows are probably an inch thick, the latches are industrial, the hinges the same.

If you are not sure you will ever be leaving the sight of land or braving 15 foot waves or spending two or three weeks on the high seas, you don't need a Nordhavn. You also don't need a Kady Krogen or a 200 foot yacht.

Match your boat to your needs and style. It will make the selection simpler. Not many boats can match up to a KK or a Nordhavn, not many need to either.

pete
Pete, gosh with that attitude, I dont NEED a boat but I have a boat.
So if I cant prove I need a boat, the feds will come and take it a way?
LOL
The feds must realize, I am supporting a very small portion of the marine industry. Without me, maybe 5 first level people would lose income and all they deal with would lose income too
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:53 PM   #8
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You will enjoy the journey you are about to embark upon, as even the research stage is fun. Well, it is if you look at it that way. And it appears you do!

Portland, eh? My home town. RCTID!
I certainly enjoy the research. But I get lost in all the options. I can't tell what's best for us until I learn a lot more.

Port Townsend, eh? My sister-in-law and her husband live there. Nice town.
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:28 PM   #9
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At the top of the main page is a magnifying glass search icon. This will allow you to search 10+ years of threads and comments, by keywords.
A good place to start is "boat search 101", which will give you a good overview, some of the subject-specific lingo, and ideas for further search.
Another area of research is into yourselves. What are must haves in your lives, and what is less important.
Do you self-validate, or are the opinions of others more important? This can affect the level of ooh-shiney that you need, or are willing to pay for.
You are in one of the better cruising areas in the world. Will you stay in these waters, or go farther? Cruising with your wife only, with the kids and grands, or with a paid crewman?
All boats are a compromise. Look online at boats, see what catches your eye, and try to figure out for what type of client or purpose the compromises on that boat were made.
Will you do maintenence and repairs yourself, or hire it out? Complexity of systems and engine room size and access can drive these choices.
Is there enough headroom? Walk spaces inside and out? Living aboard for extended periods, or only for short cruises? Water tankage, fuel economy and tankage = range.
Some good books to have, and get started with are Chapmans Piloting and Seamanship, Mid Sized Powerboats by Pascoe, Marine Diesel Engines by Nigel Calder, and Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual, also by Calder.
Welcome, and good luck with your journey.
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Old 04-06-2020, 10:10 PM   #10
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Thanks, I'll definitely check out those resources. But I'm pretty clear on what questions we need to ask ourselves. Some of them I have answers to:
  • My wife is more concerned with the "look and feel" of a boat's interior than I am, but it's more about color and fabric choices than anything else, and those can be changed.
  • I'm willing to do a certain amount of maintenance myself, but would like to have an understanding of when value proposition says I should hire it out. I'd rather pay someone $100 to do something that takes them an hour rather than spend three hours doing it myself.
  • I'm of the opinion that short coastal cruises will be all we ever do. My wife wants to be able to get as far as Hawaii. It's a reasonable ask. We love Hawaii, and airfare for two plus a couple weeks' worth of hotel can pay for a lot of fuel.
  • I'm 6'1", so headroom is a concern.
  • We have no children, and therefore no grandchildren. We prefer to be able to do things ourselves, but having paid crew on a large boat isn't out of the question.

With all that, my list of questions holds.

Thanks, though.

JD
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Old 04-06-2020, 11:27 PM   #11
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If you are out in the ocean in Oregon on those long tedious swells, sea sickness is more a reality there then up in the Puget Sound area and north into BC and southern Alaska. The last time I got sea sick a few decades ago was whale watching out of Depot Bay. I to watch most of those blogs on your list.

Don't write off speed. You can always go slow in a fast boat, but you can't go fast on a slow boat. Most of the time I'm hitting trawler speeds on my sedan cruiser, more to mitigate fuel burn. And in most areas I go, slow is the way to do it. But sometimes you might want to make a jump quickly for schedule reasons or weather reasons and its nice to have the option to do a 7 or 8 hour journey in 3 hours.

And I too am one of those moths drawn to the sea even though I have experienced sea sickness, but most often in wretched weather states on board a destroyer.
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Old 04-07-2020, 09:17 AM   #12
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A new question popped up watching a fast trawler (Benetau 41) review last night: does a semi-displacement or planing hull bob more on the hook than a full displacement hull?
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Old 04-07-2020, 12:30 PM   #13
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Probably the Fast trawler is a semi-displacement hull, but up and down movement is also determined by weight, hull design etc. But a moderately sized sailboat with a deep keel is going to move around less due to weight and being full displacement. The Beneteau 41 might bob up and down less than a full displacement hull that is significantly lighter.

But if you are thinking about a smoother ride on a full displacement hull, also realize that the fast trawler can get out of the crappy waves faster than the slow boat.
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Old 04-07-2020, 02:00 PM   #14
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But if you are thinking about a smoother ride on a full displacement hull, also realize that the fast trawler can get out of the crappy waves faster than the slow boat.
Indeed. My primary concern is bobbing on the hook (at anchor). If we're sitting in an anchorage over night, and even the slightest wind swell is going to knock the boat about like we saw in the fast trawler review, I might as well stop looking at boats right now, because my wife won't stand for it:
https://youtu.be/J9kGLdiBl84?t=894
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Old 04-07-2020, 02:22 PM   #15
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Wait, What?? Hawaii?? I thought you said you couldn't afford a Nordhavn.. For that trip you would need one. Plus if at first glance you don't think you can afford a Nordhavn I can guarantee you can't afford to take a boat to Hawaii.

Tread carefully here, my friend, your plans and dreams may end up in a thread I just started, something about Flakes and Dreamers...

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Old 04-07-2020, 02:43 PM   #16
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Thanks, but moving my thread to the "point and laugh" section probably isn't necessary.
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Old 04-07-2020, 03:20 PM   #17
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As mentioned above--going to Hawaii from Portland is WAY different than coastal cruising.
I was where you are a number of years ago--went to boat shows (Seattle a few times), walked the docks, Trawler Fest was better back then. Read books, seminars at the boat shows, bought cruise guides (Pacific NW)

I chartered a boat from Desolation Sound yacht charters for 2 weeks (I would also recommend Anacortes Yacht charters as an option) to make sure my wife & I could be in those close quarters for 2 weeks and both of us survive (we did fine).. I had a captain for the first two days then dropped him off. We had a great time.


Then the search for THE BOAT was on. Yachtworld and the internet were my friend. At first I knew we needed either a Nordhavn or a KK--then I saw the premium price they commanded and I more critically evaluated my mission---I didn't need one of those boats (actually after shopping I found many others I liked better) to safely and comfortably cruise from Seattle to Glacier Bay and back (Inside Passage).


We made a few offers, didn't work out, didn't survey the way I wanted, etc then wew found the boat we "Needed".
Was the boat trouble free--Hell NO! BUT--it carried us safely & comfortably on our mission--Inside Paassage-coastal cruising-mostly protected waters.


Most of us "want" a Nordhavn but don't really "need" a Nordhavn and IMO--it is not the most comfortable boat out there for the money.


Enjoy the Search--it's part of the fun.


Ken
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Old 04-07-2020, 03:25 PM   #18
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That's pretty much the progression I expect from us. BTW, if we ever do make Hawaii (unlikely given the time to get there), we'd go down to San Diego and over, shortening the shore-to-shore trip length. Personally I don't care for the idea. It's not the time at sea, but the distance from solid ground in the event something goes awry.
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Old 04-07-2020, 03:59 PM   #19
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I am agreeing with the others - charter a boat first and see what you like and what you don't like. Charter another one and add those likes and dislikes to the list.

We have a friend who is a naval architect and we talked to him about designing a boat, specifically for the Pacific NW. He first made us create a list of exactly what we wanted to do with the boat. A few items from the list: (a) we saw it as a platform to take us exploring so we wanted a good skiff and easy logistics with the skiff [lots of shore trips so skiff easily stowed and accessed], (b) we wanted to go out for weeks w/o support [excellent ground tackle; good water supply] and (c) we wanted to travel w two guests occasionally. I still have the plans he drew for us although we never built his design. But the two boats we have had since are pretty close.

You really need to get out on the water to see how much "rolling" you can tolerate. Some like a bit of motion at anchor and some don't like any. You can't pin these things down from reading others' experiences.
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Old 04-07-2020, 04:10 PM   #20
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Getting on the water is one of our earliest priorities. While we can't do that, we're doing all the reading and researching we can.

Brentwood Bay? I have three cousins who live on the island. One in Campbell River, another in Victoria, and a third in Langford. Lots of other cousins up in the BC interior country (Burns Lake) and several in the Vernon/Salmon Arm region.
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