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Old 05-16-2017, 08:50 PM   #1
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Sailor turning to the dark side to liveaboard a trawler

Hi all!

I am new to the forums but not to trawlers, I think I have been dreaming of one since I was 9. Then I wandered away from them to sailing, which is definitely fun (and cheap, relatively speaking), but now that I am thinking of living aboard (in frigid Boston) and you can't really beat the comfort of a trawler so... I'm back!

Any suggestions relative to good live aboard trawler for one in the 100k range, or experience with installing heating would be more than welcome. I just started my search and I have about a year to find a boat. So far I have looked at some interesting ones including a 48 foot Marine Trader Pilothouse and a 45 foot Steel Gladding Hearn (which is 30+ years older than me!).

Thanks! Hopefully someday I will actually have a trawler to share with y'all!

-Chris
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:11 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard!
Don't worry we won't mind you your digression in the world of sailing now that you are back to the right side lol

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Old 05-16-2017, 11:38 PM   #3
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Chris, we always welcome with open arms former blow boaters back into the fold.


Good luck with your search. I do have some experience with diesel heaters, having had a Webasto diesel forced air furnace on a prior boat. I loved it for the dry heat it put out, the near-silent operation, thermostatically controlled comfort at the push of a button. I highly recommend it.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:03 AM   #4
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Rather, you've seen the light! (Most all motor boats have more natural lighting than sailboats.)
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:41 AM   #5
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Rather, you've seen the light! (Most all motor boats have more natural lighting than sailboats.)
Not to mention that most blow boats motor more than 50% of the time...so really power boating.
Welcome and good luck with the search
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:59 AM   #6
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We've recently switched to the "enlightened" side and love it!
There is substantial additional space in a powerboat when compared to a sailboat. That space leads to more comfortable living spaces. It's a little amazing actually.
I keep hearing that sailing is so much cheaper than powerboating...
I never found sailing to be that inexpensive actually. I wonder if you might not be surprised at the cost of running a trawler especially if it is your home. Most livesboard boats that I see never leave the dock so their fuel costs are nil!
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:06 AM   #7
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Not to mention that most blow boats motor more than 50% of the time...so really power boating.
Welcome and good luck with the search
Boy isn't that the truth!
We sailed when offshore for sure but coastal cruising, running the engine is a part of life. It all depends on your tolerance for sailing at 2 and 3 knots of course. Sailing is a wonderful way to spend time on the water. The good days are simply awesome. In the end, they were too few and too far between for my taste.
Of course spending time cruising on our tug is pretty awesome too!
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:07 AM   #8
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Welcome aboard.

I like the Wallas DT30, a truly silent, dry heat. Check it out.
In terms of trawlers, you need to find one that will do what you want to do?

Are you going to live in a marina most of the time? or cruise the world?
Most likely it's something in between, but that still leaves many options.
How much off shore cruising do you consider doing? etc.

I would be afraid of any old steel boat. Considering the lack of problems I've had on my fibreglass boat, it had made me rethink my initial fascination with steel.
Good luck.
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:55 AM   #9
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Welcome!

There used to be a TF poster, GalaxyGirl or something like that, who bought a large Hatteras and lived aboard in Boston Harbor for a year or so. After one winter, she sold the boat and moved to Southern Cal. Google "5 kids and a boat". IIRC, she had big problems keeping the boat warm, even when covered with shrink wrap. You might want to rethink that part of the plan but this advice comes from a Florida boy....hint, hint.
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:03 PM   #10
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Thanks for the welcome everyone! I love sailing but I do have to admit sometimes it can be a bit trying. Last weekend we went on a short 20NM to the next harbor down. It took 8 hours (that's 2.5 knots on course), in the rain, and I have to admit that maybe 4 hours into that I started to daydream of a dry, warm pilothouse.

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Originally Posted by Wxx3 View Post
Are you going to live in a marina most of the time? or cruise the world?
Most likely it's something in between, but that still leaves many options.
How much off shore cruising do you consider doing? etc.

I would be afraid of any old steel boat. Considering the lack of problems I've had on my fibreglass boat, it had made me rethink my initial fascination with steel.
Good luck.
I've had a membership at the Boston Sailing Center for the past year (which I will likely keep a small membership just case I get the itch to go "blow boating") and I usually sail every week. My limitation is more finding crew to help me than actually getting the motivation to go somewhere, so I think it would probably the same on a trawler, I don't want to just sit at the dock, defeats the purpose in my mind. That being said I have a full time job so I can't just jaunt off to go sail the world, the best I might get is a couple of weeks to go up to Maine or down to New York.

The big advantage that the steel boat has is that its fairly cheap and has a Hurricane hydronic heating system already installed. Of course its cheap because its been on the market for over a year as far as I can tell, and the cabin is missing a lot of trim work as its only partway through being retrofitted, so its definitely not "turn key".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donsan View Post
There used to be a TF poster, GalaxyGirl or something like that, who bought a large Hatteras and lived aboard in Boston Harbor for a year or so. After one winter, she sold the boat and moved to Southern Cal. Google "5 kids and a boat". IIRC, she had big problems keeping the boat warm, even when covered with shrink wrap. You might want to rethink that part of the plan but this advice comes from a Florida boy....hint, hint.
Winter is definitely my number one concern but unfortunately moving to warmer weather is not an option. I have my dream job at my dream company at a beyond dreaming salary, so unless something major changes I don't see myself going anywhere for at least a few years.

Hopefully I will find some way to keep warm, have water and make it down the dock without slipping. Galaxy Gavin's blog came up while I was researching this actually, her Hatteras is massive but her Webasto and shrink wrapping seemed to keep the heat in. 2015 was also a crazy winter, I lost a car in the snow for 6 months. Oh well, its New England.
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:56 PM   #11
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Steel boat? It's a matter of insulation. I've got substantial insulation from the waterline up.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by CmdrK View Post
Hi all!

I am new to the forums but not to trawlers, I think I have been dreaming of one since I was 9. Then I wandered away from them to sailing, which is definitely fun (and cheap, relatively speaking), but now that I am thinking of living aboard (in frigid Boston) and you can't really beat the comfort of a trawler so... I'm back!

Any suggestions relative to good live aboard trawler for one in the 100k range, or experience with installing heating would be more than welcome. I just started my search and I have about a year to find a boat. So far I have looked at some interesting ones including a 48 foot Marine Trader Pilothouse and a 45 foot Steel Gladding Hearn (which is 30+ years older than me!).

Thanks! Hopefully someday I will actually have a trawler to share with y'all!

-Chris
Have you spent time around other live aboards in Boston during the winter? Been to the marinas in the coldest days? I ask because a couple of years ago we had a lady hit here who was gung-ho, a bit crazy, bought a Hatteras, fixed it up, spent the summer with her kids on it and got it to Boston. One winter and she sold it and moved to California. Now I think the fact it was her and five kids and her mother certainly made her situation a lot different.

With a good heating system and other amenities from what I've heard, you can make living aboard in Boston winters survivable. Not sure you can ever make them comfortable or enjoyable though. I'd just make no assumptions and be sure to talk to those there who actually do it. Now, understand they'll give you the best side of it. The ones who would give you the worst left there.

You might find her blog interesting.

5 Kids and a Boat - Part 2

She is now planning on moving them into an RV and travelling in it.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:07 PM   #13
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Galaxy Gavin's blog came up while I was researching this actually, her Hatteras is massive but her Webasto and shrink wrapping seemed to keep the heat in. 2015 was also a crazy winter, I lost a car in the snow for 6 months. Oh well, its New England.
Yes, and after a winter of it, GG gave up on the idea, sold her Hatteras, moved west and now in contemplating an RV.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:43 AM   #14
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I, too, am a convert from sailing to trawlering. I found myself running the motor a lot and became tired of standing out in the cold and wet (or heat for that matter.)

I do think that sailing provides a great basis for developing strong boating skills. It's worth noting that with a USCG masters license you can captain a power boat with all your sea time on a sailboat. However, to get a sailing endorsement you need to have a certain proportion of sea time on a sailboat.

As for needing crew - you shouldn't let that stop you. I singlehanded my 36' sailboat all over the place. Now I do the same with my 54' Krogen - probably 90% of the time.

Richard
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