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Old 01-11-2020, 10:35 PM   #1
City: San Francisco
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 2
Sailboater coming over to the Dark Side... May need some help.

Thanks for having us.
Nearing retirement, so done with the 33' catamaran (took our family for 10 years sailing all the way down to Colombia) and now the kids are grown and gone, so we have a new to us Albin 34' trawler... single Cummins turbo diesel, and more systems than the space shuttle. Everyone says that sailing is hard, but looking at all these mechanical/electrical/hydraulic systems is way more intimidating to me.

We live near Walnut Creek, but right now our boat is in St. Petersburg FL waiting for us to go bock and shake it out in May and play around FL waiting to join the "Great Loop" at the end of this year.

In the meantime, are there any trawler folks out there that could share some trawler wisdom, or maybe even have me over when you change your oil or need to take the boat out for a spin. I'm a good extra set of hands, quick learner and easy to get along with.

thanks for any help.
Bruce & April
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Old 01-11-2020, 10:51 PM   #2
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City: Ex-Brisbane, (Australia), now Bribie Island, Qld
Vessel Name: Now boatless - sold 6/2018
Vessel Model: Had a Clipper (CHB) 34
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 10,059
Welcome Bruce and April. Although I agree there are more systems on a trawler style cruiser than most sailboats, it is these systems which allow one to enjoy the ultimate pleasure of not having to muck around with sails, worry too much about the wind direction, and to be able to turn on the key, throw off the lines, and just go in whichever direction one wants, (channels permitting), rather than where the wind tends to dictate. Then there is the appeal of being able to command the vessel from the nice shelter at the inside helm when the weather turns nasty, and mostly on the level, rather than heeled over. And the room...Believe me, it'll grow on you. Ask me how I know.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:43 PM   #3
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City: Au Gres, MI
Vessel Name: Black Dog
Vessel Model: Formula 41PC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 20,602
Welcome aboard.
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:57 AM   #4
City: Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island
Vessel Name: Capricorn
Vessel Model: Mariner 30 - Sedan Cruiser 1969
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,019
When discussing the refit that hadn't begun yet, I went through a list of things to take out (everything) and what to add, electronics and all. I jokingly said I wanted to have a complex system to impress all my friends, but I won't understand any of it. And his response was - "Rick, why should you be any different than the rest of them."

You're not alone.
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:14 AM   #5
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City: Seneca Lake NY
Vessel Name: Bacchus
Vessel Model: MS 34 HT Trawler
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 7,639
Welcome aboard TF. You are not the first to feel overwhelmed. There are many knowledgable folks here willing to share.
Break it down and tackle one system at a time and you will be just fine. With that much cruising experience you are ahead of many that jump in cold and still survive.
Nigel Calders books are very well done and a trusted resource. If you are a DIYer another very well done resource is
CMS (Compass Marine) is a member / contributor here and has provided a great service sharing his knowledge.
2008 MS 34 HT Trawler
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:21 PM   #6
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City: California Delta
Vessel Name: FlyWright
Vessel Model: 1977 Marshall Californian 34 LRC
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 13,724
Welcome aboard, Bruce and April. In the beginning, it's a lot like drinking from a fire hose...too much to take in at one time.

I keep my boat in Vallejo as do a couple of other TFers. If you'd like to come by sometime for lunch and a boat tour, send me a PM. We've got a couple of restaurants at our marina so it's easy to meet up and discuss boating over lunch.

I've got a 34 Californian with twin diesels. Lots of common features and systems that might be helpful to examine.
My boat is my ark. It's my mobile treehouse and my floating fishing cabin. It's my retreat and my respite. Everyday I thank God I have a boat! -Al FJB

@DeltaBridges - 25 Delta Bridges in 25 Days
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:29 PM   #7
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City: Slicker?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,358
Welcome aboard. The ONLY piece of advice that I will offer is: Do NOT make any major changes to your new mistress for at least 1 year! Get her cleaned up, prepped and serviced but that's it.

Unfortunately you are on the wrong coast or I could put you to work tomorrow.

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Old 01-13-2020, 12:41 PM   #8
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City: Inside Passage Summer/Columbia River Winter
Vessel Name: Alaskan Sea-Duction
Vessel Model: 1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,041
Welcome to the "Stink Pot" side of the house.

To practice being said stink pot you must breath diesel smoke from a trawler to "purge" all your blow boat tendencies. Things like a proper anchor, proper rode length, etc you will learn here you will young paddawan (grasshopper).
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:23 PM   #9
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City: Slicker?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,358
OMG! The "A" word!!!

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Old 01-21-2020, 09:53 PM   #10
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City: Oconto, WI
Vessel Name: Best Alternative
Vessel Model: 36 Albin Aft Cabin
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,110
All my friends and family know that Boating is my life. Usually in the Spring once I get the boat fully commissioned I will post a little note on Facebook saying how happy I am that all systems survived the winter and are now functioning.

One year I had a non boating friend ask me what I meant by "all systems". I told him to imagine that he had completely closed, shut up and drained everything in his dirt house, disconnected the electricity locked it up and had walked away.

Think of the systems that needed to be reactivated. plumbing,both hot and cold, refrigeration, heat, air conditioning, radios and television, and the list goes on and on. Now add the systems specific to a boat, the bilge pumps, the engine, a diesel generator, cables, fenders, steering and propulsion.

It can be daunting but in almost all cases I get everything up and running in one day. I always spend the first night after Spring launch on the boat, "just because", but I have never had a problem.

I just love boating and the "systems" are a part of it. I don't mind that part either.

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Old 01-22-2020, 06:38 AM   #11
City: Alexandria, VA
Vessel Model: 2000 Wellcraft
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,467
We switched from sail to power a couple of years ago (in reality, I have gone back and forth a few times over the years).

We have found that nothing goes to windward like twin 370 horsepower diesels!
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