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Old 02-11-2019, 11:48 PM   #1
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Pacific NW Dreamer

Hello. I've been poking around TF off and on for quite some time and finally created an account. I've been really impressed with the information available here, so thank you to everyone who has already made this such a great resource.

My wife and I have never owned a boat, but we started thinking a few years ago about how we might explore some of what the Puget Sound region has to offer. I've read that our area is a great place to cruise, but have no first-hand experience.

We like the idea of a slow, safe, and efficient boat that is comfortable and livable. I am still working, so we are starting to explore options that would start to get us some experience so we can make better boating choices as we get closer to retirement.

I just finished reading 51 pages of N4061's great thread on his Helmsman 38 build. It is what roped me back into this forum most recently! I was not aware of the Helmsman brand before and I am excited to look more into them, especially since they are local to me. I was surprised at the price of their boats vs something like a Kadey Krogen (which my wife and I fell in love with a few years ago).
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:17 AM   #2
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Hi Infinite,
Welcome to the forum. Helmsman are great boats, especially for the money. North Pacific are in a similar category. If older boats are OK with you check out Pacific Trawler as well. Go to boat shows, Trawler fest, walk the docks and talk to other boaters (most are very friendly and willing to discuss their boats in detail and may even welcome you aboard for a tour). Get on board as many different makes and models as you can (preferably in the size range you are considering). You will then start to narrow down your needs, wants, and absolutely don't wants for your boat purchase.
The waters of Puget Sound, BC , and Alaska are some of the most beautiful in the world and offer a lifetime of boating opportunities.
Take your time and enjoy,
Tom
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:20 AM   #3
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:53 AM   #4
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Welcome to Trawler Forum.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:30 PM   #5
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:45 PM   #6
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Welcome! You're where my wife and I were a couple of years ago. While we had previous sailboat experience in New England, owning a trawler in the PNW was a great decision for us given all the amazing cruising destinations that are available within a few hours of your home port along with the year round cruising weather. There is really nothing better than steaming across the Sound, sipping coffee, in a T-Shirt in February (although the weather this last week begs to differ) or chilling on deck at anchor in Lake Washington in the heat of the summer for that matter.

We ended up with an older two stateroom trawler, made in China. We looked at KK42s and OA50MK1s and about a hundred other boats before we found ours. If you're interested in the process we went through you can check out this post about accidentally buying a trawler.

Last year we joined a yacht club and went on a two week cruise along with about six other boats up to the San Juans and the Gulf Islands off Vancouver Island. Amazing vistas, experiences, friends, food and fun. If anything now we're thinking about going further and longer and potentially living aboard most of the time (which means a larger boat too).

Trawlerfest is a great event to attend and is coming up in Seattle in late April. Again, welcome and enjoy this site. Tons of great info and people on here.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:47 PM   #7
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Loop, a piece of advice I often give to first time boat owners is to buy your second boat first. By that, I mean don't make the mistake many people do. They are hot to buy a boat and buy one they fall in love with, only to have it a year or two and realize it is not right for how they want to use a boat. So they sell it, take a financial hit, and buy their second boat which they should have bought in the first place.


Take your time and, like firehoser said above, walk the docks, get on board as many boats as you can. Look closely at them and find things you like and don't like on each boat. Keep a mental list of what you want on a boat and what would keep you from buying THAT particular boat.


It took me 6 months of looking when I was upsizing to find a size I was comfortable with, then another few months to zero in on the particular boat I wanted.


If you take your time and buy your second boat first you likely will be able to enjoy it for years to come.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:41 PM   #8
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Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone. I am familiar with Trawler Fest and the Seattle Boats Afloat show from years past, though I have not attended in some time. I will see if I can sign up this year and get some classes. It seems to me it was in Anacortes when I went before, but appears to be in Seattle now.

Thanks for the advice on North Pacific and Pacific Trawler, firehoser. I think (especially for out first boat) that used boats are very much an option. I just started looking into the North Pacific lineup, but haven't done much research yet. The Pacific Trawler is not something I have seen before. It looks like there is a 37' and a couple of 40' on Yachtworld, though.

Airstream, I'll definitely check out your post. Thanks for sharing.

GFC, thanks for the advice. You perspective is much appreciated.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:53 PM   #9
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I can tell by your posts that you are being methodical in your approach. A smart way to do it. Checking out various brands is fun, and will greatly help in determining what will work best for you and your wife’s planned boat useage. Good luck with the search.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstream345 View Post
If you're interested in the process we went through you can check out this post about accidentally buying a trawler.
I just finished reading all of your blog. Thanks for the link, it was a great read. I especially liked your renaming ceremony and your itemized "list of wants."

If you don't mind me asking, now that you have had the boat for a year, has your list of wants changed in any way? Have you found your priorities to fit with the way you ended up using your boat over the past year?
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infinite_loop View Post
I just finished reading all of your blog. Thanks for the link, it was a great read. I especially liked your renaming ceremony and your itemized "list of wants."

If you don't mind me asking, now that you have had the boat for a year, has your list of wants changed in any way? Have you found your priorities to fit with the way you ended up using your boat over the past year?
Thanks for reading it. To answer your question: yes and no.

The boat we have is perfect for it's mission. We wanted something that delivered "the list" but also a boat that got us boating earlier (financially speaking) and it's done that well. We love the boat, most of our boating friends admire the boat and we can see owning it longer and taking it further (Alaska).

If there is one thing we'd like to add it's stabilizers to make her full displacement hull more comfortable in beam seas. A few other BW40 owners have paravanes which intrigues me but I'm not sure it's worth the expense on a 37 year old boat. Most of the other things we'd change are really upgrades, improvements, personal preferences.

That said, we've begun to discuss live aboard/longer term (+) cruising in roughly five years so we'd want a larger, longer range vessel with the sea keeping and seas kindliness needed for longer passages, more room, storage,, more redundancy, etc.

We've just started building that list:

Local Boat (PNW, West Coast)
Length 50 - 65'
Three Staterooms (min)
Two or more heads
Flush deck layout ideal (raised pilothouse on the right boat)
Lower cockpit for docking/boarding with dogs
Walk around decks
Large galley/full size appliances
Mid Ship or Aft Master
Sleeps Six Plus
Stabilized
Watermaker capable of long range needs
Passagemaking Range (2400 nm +)
Large, loungy fly bridge / boat deck
Large Cockpit (Dining capable)
Simple Machinery (mechanical controls, minimal electronics)
DIY Maintenance Capable
Walk in Engine Room
Stand up Engine Room
Aluminum or Fiberglass Fuel Tanks
Large Holding Tank (100+ gallons +)
Secondary refrigeration
Two generators
Full displacement hull
Get home capability (single with wing engine or twin engine)
High bow/bulwarks
Deep water, storm capable ground tackle
Can be run by a couple, or upgrade for single handing
Bow thruster
Stern thruster
Large water capacity (500 gals)
Upper helm
Modern electronics
"Real Stairs" to top deck (as opposed to a ladder)

I should point out that dropping a few of these requirements opens up many more vessel options. For example going from three to two staterooms with a raised pilothouse config and losing the walk-in engine room increases the number of boats considerably.

For us we plan to cruise more with the current boat to learn more about how we actually use it. Do our kids or friends really come with us for extended trips? Do we need the bells and whistles in something like a 60' LRC or would a KK42 or N46 be a better fit? We just don't know yet.

Basically, "the list" is fluid. It changes and improves as we change and improve.
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:06 PM   #12
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Welcome aboard. Trawlerfest is a good place to start. Good luck.
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:11 PM   #13
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You are getting some good advice here and on your other threads, people warning to go slow, make sure you research a lot, maybe charter or get a "between" boat so you know better what you want.
I'm going to go another direction.
Find a boat that makes your heart race, that makes you stand there and stare off into space dreaming about it anchored in some dream location. And jump right in. Don't think too long about it or you will talk yourself out of the dream. Don't go for what you can easily afford, go for what you can barely pull off if you eat Ramen for half your meals, because what the hell, you will be eating that Ramen on your dream boat. Don't focus on problems and repairs, that is what you hire a surveyor for, focus on how happy the boat makes you every time you look at it.
You mentioned you both liked the Krogens. Here is your opportunity:


https://www.yachtworld.com/core/list...thouse+trawler


If that one is too big for you, let me know, I will gladly sell you our 42 and move up to this one, because I can already envision this thing anchored somewhere in the Aleutians.........
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:18 PM   #14
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Hey now, I never said I didn't and don't still get butterflies and a warm feeling when I see our boat! I still look back at her and smile whenever I leave through the marina gate!

That 54 is very cool. I saw one from afar on the hard up in LaConner recently. Massive! Would love to get on this one (in fact it's represented by the brokerage we bought our current boat from).

KK54's are very very special indeed. Especially anchored in the Aleutians.
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:59 AM   #15
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Thanks everyone, I did sign up for Trawler Fest and am set to go on that. My first boating class starts next week. I got the Waggoner's Cruising Guide and have been losing sleep reading that. I appreciate all of the advice and friendly welcomes.

Stripper, nice to see that you are enjoying your Krogen 42! You already have a boat that makes my heart race! That 54 you linked to looks mighty nice as well. I know you mean about looking for something special and I will certainly keep that in mind.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infinite_loop View Post

Stripper, nice to see that you are enjoying your Krogen 42! You already have a boat that makes my heart race!

Yep, the roof leaks, the holding tank smells, heavy winds tore up some of the canvas, the electronics cut out every time we start the main or engage the windlass.....Just living the dream.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infinite_loop View Post
Thanks everyone, I did sign up for Trawler Fest and am set to go on that. My first boating class starts next week. I got the Waggoner's Cruising Guide and have been losing sleep reading that. I appreciate all of the advice and friendly welcomes.

Stripper, nice to see that you are enjoying your Krogen 42! You already have a boat that makes my heart race! That 54 you linked to looks mighty nice as well. I know you mean about looking for something special and I will certainly keep that in mind.
Welcome, Loop...!!

After Waggoner's, pick up the Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Guide by Nigel Calder. It's the 'bible' for boatowners.

Looking forward to following you in your journey...!!
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Old 02-22-2019, 02:08 PM   #18
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i may have a boat for sale, is it appropriate to describe it here? Also a boathouse.
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Old 02-22-2019, 02:09 PM   #19
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Welcome

I would agree with the "buy your second boat" philosophy. We were like you just getting in as new boaters wanting to boat in the San Juans and didn't want to go through the process of buying a boat again for a long time. Our broker warned us of "footitis" which usually strikes about 2 years after your first purchase where you feel the urge to upgrade to a bigger vessel. So we decided to buy the boat we ultimately thought would best serve our needs. So we jumped in on a 43 foot power boat. It might have been a little harder at first starting with the larger boat but we are so glad we did.

Second, getting involved with our local US Power Squadron (America's Boating Club) was key in getting up to speed quickly. Not only do they offer many different classes, they have "on the water training" programs as well to help you get comfortable with your new boat. You could also hire a private instructor for a day or two for additional guidance in your area. It is a great way to develop a network of fellow boaters you can ask questions of and go out on rendezvous with. Plus they are some of the nicest and most helpful people you could ever meet.

Enjoy the search and see you hopefully on the water soon.
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Old 02-22-2019, 02:44 PM   #20
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hallo mr loop, my advice for people with zero experience, is to do your due diligense in the research area, then check into leasing the boat types you like, to get some hands on experience without buying, till you get some good ideas on what your wants/needs are...that`ll save you some of the buy/sell 2 foot itis [sp] problems...i grew up commercial fishing, so my decision was`nt dificult!...clyde
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