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Old 07-19-2020, 04:44 PM   #1
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City: North Bend, Washington State
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retirement boat investigations

hello,

been lurking for a few months, seems like a helpful friendly place, and figured i might as well join.

i'm about 2 years away from retirement from retail management, and have been researching cruising boat choices. when my children were young i owned 25-30 foot Sea Rays, and then a 38 foot sailboat. but sold those when the kids left home 25 years ago and no boat since (my job is not boat friendly....6 days a week). my son lives on a 35 foot sailboat so spend some time on that still.

i live in the Seattle area, and my cruising dream is the The Inside Passage to Alaska and in between every summer for my wife and i. and i'm mostly concerned about her level of comfort to get her to be fully at ease. so galley, head and shower are big. as is easy anchoring and handling. i could single hand my 38 foot sailboat easily back in the day; i'm not the same guy now, but healthy and reasonably fit and so is my wife. occasionally my kids might join us but mostly just us 2.

price range could be anywhere from $150k-$500k to acquire, assume monthly upkeep not cheap. i do want a good range and reasonable fuel mileage. ideally a 3-8 year old, well equipped, boat, but could be new. i'm not any sort of mechanic, but not completely clueless to fix stuff either. i'm not interested in any sort of project. i figure i have a year to 18 months to have fun identifying the right boat. then 6 months to get it.

i've not been to a boat show in 30 years, or even really looked at them.

so i'm at the boat research point now, the trawlers that appeal to me at this point include the Nordic Tugs and American Tugs, as they seem to be wife friendly and well built.

next year i likely will do a couple of short charters with my wife and see how that goes before i dive all the way into this.

anyway, that's about it. glad to be here and plan on mostly reading things to learn and ask the occasional question as i move toward a more serious point.

cheers,

Mike
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Old 07-19-2020, 04:59 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. First I would recommend that you start looking at Yachtworld and see what strikes your fancy. You may not know what you are looking for at this point, but you can learn about what is available and get familiar with trawlers in general. If you go to Yachtworld and then select the England version you will be able to do an Advanced Search. Then you will have to select feet instead of meters and US dollars. Then you can define what you are looking for. Just look through the boats and you might see some boats that you like in your area. Then go look at them. Also suggest you get some formal education if you can in your area, good luck
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Old 07-19-2020, 05:08 PM   #3
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Good idea to start looking now. Some of the tugs in particular have narrow deck passage to the bow. This can be an issue when handling bow lines when docking depending on surefooted comfort level. To get a roomy shower, separate from toilet equals a bigger boat. So how much you want to spend for a bigger boat for shower room. 10k? 20k? 50k?. Twin engines handle best at dockside but lots of boats offer bow thrusters for single engine. For the trip you're looking to repeat yearly, generator, water maker, ample fuel tanks would very good to have. Still plenty to choose from. Getting out to physically see different boats is crucial as well. What length boat do you think you'd like at this point?
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Old 07-19-2020, 05:23 PM   #4
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Welcome!

Get on boats WITH your wife. Learn what she likes, what she thinks she needs, and determine how that fits or adjusts your budget. I ended up buying the 2nd boat my wife fell in love with. The first was outside our budget. So was the second, but I found another one a few years later that fit better. Decide your budget but set aside another ~25% to fix things and make it yours. Even new boats require adjustments and may be more of a headache than a well-cared for used boat.

Living an entire summer on a boat defines some requirements, so decide what those are, which are essential and the others that are nice-to-haves. I don't know anything about the inside passage, maybe you don't know enough about it. Read blogs of those who've done it, talk to those you can tl find out what they would have changed on their boat to make it better for that adventure. Ask for advice here. I'm sure there's plenty.

Having a broker on your side may be an advantage, maybe not. You have time, and if you want a broker to help, explore brokers to find the right one for you and your wife. Hopefully, that same person will still be available when you're ready to buy.

Good luck realizing your dream.

Greg.
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Old 07-19-2020, 05:45 PM   #5
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Mike,
This is a excellent way to go. But keep in mind that charter companies wont turn anyone loose with one of their boats until you can show them you can handle it. So start now checking into what they require so you will be all set when the time comes.
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Old 07-19-2020, 08:53 PM   #6
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I suggest researching and finding a charter company that has boats similar to what you are looking to eventually purchase. They will have experience requirements and most have in house skippers for you to receive instruction and/or check out. The charter company should be near your intended cruising areas. Once you survive the first charter with the company, you can charter different boats every year to narrow your list.

Go to boat shows, the ones that feature new and used boats. Or Trawler Fest. Or attend rendezevouses for boats you are interested in. Owners at boat rendezevouses are very welcoming to potential buyers of their make boat and will give you tours and point out positive and negative attributes of the make. And you might see one for sale.
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Old 07-19-2020, 09:06 PM   #7
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Nordic Tugs

My boat is a 17 year old, 42 foot Nordic Tug. Based on my and others’ experience, this model and the smaller versions are good Inside Passage boats!

As far as amenities, they are well equipped. Two heads with separate showers, two staterooms, and mine has a generator and diesel heat (very important). I had my 90 year old Mom out with me last summer. Because of the user friendly design, she managed well.

You won’t find a 42 Nordic (or the same sized American Tug) in the 3-5 year range for your stated budget, but you could find a well-maintained one in the 12 to 15 year old range.

I also recommend Yachtworld as a good way to survey the market. An experienced buyer’s broker can really help too.

Tip: the 2002 and earlier models had a layout that featured more stairs to the master stateroom. It’s not as ergonomic...
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Old 07-19-2020, 09:47 PM   #8
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First ANY boat of sufficernt size to be comfortable for extended cruising can take you from Seattle to Alaska, or along ANY coastline.

So... find a boat that fits your budget, and your expected comfort levels.

There are so many choices that it would be silly to recommend any particular make or model.

If you live in Seattle take a day drive to Anacortes. Go to Bananna Belt Boats.
They have a dry land sales lot where you can in one afternoon get on many types of boats.

Take that knowledge and refine what you like and do not like to narrow down the style of boat that suits your needs.
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Old 07-19-2020, 10:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
.......Then go look at them. Also suggest you get some formal education if you can in your area, good luck
i've been afraid of spinning someone's wheels bothering sellers at this early point. but i will look into some training, great idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swfla View Post
Good idea to start looking now..................Getting out to physically see different boats is crucial as well. What length boat do you think you'd like at this point?
hummmm? i guess i can blame it on you guys if i'm out kicking tires.

as far as length, i'm thinking 32 to 42 feet.....ideally in the middle. i want to fit in slips and anchorages easily. and not get over my head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregBrannon View Post
Welcome!

Get on boats WITH your wife. Learn what she likes, what she thinks she needs, and determine how that fits or adjusts your budget..........

..........Living an entire summer on a boat defines some requirements, so decide what those are, which are essential and the others that are nice-to-haves. I don't know anything about the inside passage, maybe you don't know enough about it. Read blogs of those who've done it, talk to those you can tl find out what they would have changed on their boat to make it better for that adventure. Ask for advice here. I'm sure there's plenty.

Good luck realizing your dream.

Greg.
ok, another push to go and look. and drag my wife along. i guess i should do that.

i have purchased the Don Douglass 'Exploring' texts, which did give me a few basics. and i have joined this group. baby steps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Clifton View Post
But keep in mind that charter companies wont turn anyone loose with one of their boats until you can show them you can handle it. So start now checking into what they require so you will be all set when the time comes.
i will do that.

my son (lives on a 35 foot sailboat and crewed on some race boats, and sailed across the Atlantic on a 42 foot cat sailboat last year) is a salt and pretty knowledgeable. he could accompany me and my wife. but he's not dealt with 40 foot 30,000+ pound power cruisers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by syjos View Post
I suggest researching and finding a charter company that has boats similar to what you are looking to eventually purchase..........

Go to boat shows, the ones that feature new and used boats. Or Trawler Fest. Or attend rendezevouses for boats you are interested in. Owners at boat rendezevouses are very welcoming to potential buyers of their make boat and will give you tours and point out positive and negative attributes of the make. And you might see one for sale.
another great idea. thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinner View Post
Nordic Tugs

My boat is a 17 year old, 42 foot Nordic Tug. Based on my and others’ experience, this model and the smaller versions are good Inside Passage boats!

As far as amenities, they are well equipped. Two heads with separate showers, two staterooms, and mine has a generator and diesel heat (very important).
been checking them out. love the new 40 but it would bust my budget. but what are the odds i stay within my budget?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
First ANY boat of sufficernt size to be comfortable for extended cruising can take you from Seattle to Alaska, or along ANY coastline.

If you live in Seattle take a day drive to Anacortes. Go to Bananna Belt Boats.
They have a dry land sales lot where you can in one afternoon get on many types of boats.
my wife and i love to do day trips to LaConnor (pre-COVID that is). so we can do that. thanks.

appreciate all the encouragement and gentle understanding. i have much to learn. boat lusting i'm finding is an enjoyable way to get my mind off all the crap in the world right now.

cheers,

Mike
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Old 07-19-2020, 10:55 PM   #10
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If you like the NT40, but it's too expensive, check out the earlier model NT37. Very much the same size. Ours is a 2002, and it's functionally little different from a new 40. A 37 in good condition could be a fine choice. Excellent range and fuel economy, easily single handed. Well within your budget.
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Old 07-19-2020, 11:54 PM   #11
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Hey Kevin, I only brought up Nordic Tugs because the OP wrote that he was thinking about American Tugs and Nordic Tugs. I sure wouldn’t imply that Nordics are the only, or the best, for his purpose!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
First ANY boat of sufficernt size to be comfortable for extended cruising can take you from Seattle to Alaska, or along ANY coastline.

So... find a boat that fits your budget, and your expected comfort levels.

There are so many choices that it would be silly to recommend any particular make or model.

If you live in Seattle take a day drive to Anacortes. Go to Bananna Belt Boats.
They have a dry land sales lot where you can in one afternoon get on many types of boats.

Take that knowledge and refine what you like and do not like to narrow down the style of boat that suits your needs.
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Old 07-20-2020, 12:45 AM   #12
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Mossback,

You're getting lots of good advice on finding the right boat. I'm going to toss out something you also should be thinking about. Moorage. You mentioned the Seattle area in your OP. It's very tight and difficult to find anywhere near Seattle. Call some marinas you like and ask about getting on their wait list. Ask how long the list is, how long the most recent new slip renter was on the list and how long the current top of the list has been on the list.

Don't shop just one marina, get on multiple lists.
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Old 07-20-2020, 12:53 AM   #13
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Hey Kevin, I only brought up Nordic Tugs because the OP wrote that he was thinking about American Tugs and Nordic Tugs. I sure wouldn’t imply that Nordics are the only, or the best, for his purpose!
I understand! Honestly I had not even read yet your post when I replied to the OP’s question.

No harm at all recommending what we own, but I wanted to make sure the OP takes the time to explore all the different boat design types, before settling on what we both apparently prefer, Pilothouse style boats.
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Old 07-20-2020, 07:00 AM   #14
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My dos centavos worth:
Drive to Bellingham, talk to Northwest Explorations and tour the various boats that are for charter. Talk to them and listen carefully, IMHO no other group has their level of SE AK experience. Once this virus period has passed you may be interested in signing up for one of their legs of the SE Alaska tours.

Ignore all hints of brands for now, but recommend you go for the newest, well maintained and least used vessel you can afford. Also, remember it rains and storms. Side deck protection and cockpit covering is important. Don't forget to look closely at foredeck access for raising anchor in wet heaving conditions.

Enjoy the hunt, the knowledge gained and things you'll see during the next while will dictate your next decade of fun and fulfillment.
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