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Old 01-21-2019, 09:28 PM   #1
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Talking New Build - Helmsman Trawlers 43 Pilothouse

About this time last year we stumbled upon Helmsman Trawlers in our Passagemaker magazine. We instantly fell in love with the lines of the boat, and its spacious interior layout.

We decided to reach out to Helmsman Trawlers with an initial interest introduction, and a slew of questions. We quickly received a response from Scott, the president of Helmsman Trawlers with answers to our questions, and an introduction to Paul in the newly opened Helmsman Trawlers Maryland Office. They had a Helmsman 38E Pilot house available for viewing, so my other half and I jumped in the car the following weekend, and made the 4 hour trip down from New York.

When we arrived, it was a frigid day, but the sun was shining. The boat was out front, bright and shiny. We met with Paul, and he gave us the grand tour. We knew then that Helmsman was most likely going to be our next boat. We loved the boat, and knew that we would need the second stateroom, as we entertain friends and family often. That solidified our want for the 43 Pilothouse.

We spent the following months doing our due diligence. Lots of spreadsheets and number crunching! We came to the conclusion that we could realize our dream a few years earlier than planned, and decided to schedule a visit with Scott in Seattle. We were lucky enough to be able to see the recently delivered Helmsman 43 Pilothouse to Seattle. We were blown away again by the spacious nature of the boat, and the high end fit and finish. A few hours later we had some paperwork, and we were off to the races!

Now for the fun part! The build started about 6 months ago, and today was the day it starts to make its way to its new home in New York on the Hudson River!

I was fortunate enough to visit the boat during the build. I was thoroughly impressed with the level of craftsmanship, and attentiveness that goes into the creation and construction of the vessel. The yard combines modern construction methods while still leveraging tried and true methods. Nothing beats a hand planer to make absolutely perfect and beautiful joinery work.

The finish throughout the boat is outstanding. Words and pictures truly don't do it the justice it deserves. The boats entire interior is varnished, for hardness, longevity and beauty. Many coats of two-part, hand brushed, and hand sanded polyurethane varnish are applied. It consumes a massive amount of time, but in the end it looks fantastic.

Even though the boat was nearing completion, it amazed me how accessible everything was. Nothing is buried behind panels, or hidden. It is refreshing to know that if anything ever requires maintenance, it will be easily accessible!

Here are a few photos while we wait for the arrival! We will report back with some more photos once the boat arrives in Philadelphia and we start making our way up to New York.







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Old 01-22-2019, 07:55 AM   #2
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Congratulations on your new boat! It looks great! Seems there are lots of happy Helmsman owners. The interior layout is very similar to my Cherubini, and makes for a very comfortable cruising platform.

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Old 01-22-2019, 04:45 PM   #3
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Congratulations. A very nice boat. How do you intend to use her? Great Loop? ICW & Bahamas? What did you outfit her with?
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:12 PM   #4
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Congratulations. A very nice boat. How do you intend to use her? Great Loop? ICW & Bahamas? What did you outfit her with?
Thanks Jim! We are still on the younger end of the spectrum and have work commitments. So we will mostly be cruising the Hudson River, Long Island Sound, and NJ coastline. Later on we will begin our loop.

The boat is outfitted with a single Cummins 380 that will allow us to have an easy cruise at 8 knots and allow us to speed up to 11.5kts if needed. Boat has bow and stern thrusters to make close quarters maneuvers easier.

Once the boat arrives it will have a number of items added -

1. Complete Garmin system including MFD's, Radar, Panatopix sonar, Cameras, Auto Pilot, AIS, VHF. Lots of bells and whistles...

2. 1100 amp hour house bank as we spend a fair bit of time at anchor during the season

3. 1500 watts of Solar panels added on top of the pilot house connected to a Magnum charge controller interfaced with the Magnum Inverter/Charger

4. Magnum BMK battery monitor for House Bank State of Charge (Boat is already wired with buss bars to make install straight forward)

5. Washer and Dryer will be added in the rear of the engine room under the Saloon

6. Kohler Generator in the rear engine room under saloon (boat is already plumbed and wired for it. Still debating between a 6kw or 9kw)

7. Nick Jackson 650 Low Profile davit crane (Stand pipe was already installed at the yard)

8. Custom Navy canvas flybridge cover, phifertex window covers, and bimini

9. Siren Marine system to monitor and log boats health remotely

10. AB Marine Shaft Shark line cutter for the shaft

11. Cellular and Wifi system to make internet always available on the boat and switch seamlessly. (A whole thread could be spent on this subject alone)

12. Boat has an extended re-enforced swim platform as we spend a lot of time in the water where we boat with local river beaches and water toys.

Those are the things at the top of the list this year!
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:22 PM   #5
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okay, I'm jealous!


With 1100 amp hour battery bank, you probably only need the 6K genny unless you plan to add more power consuming amenities later on.


The Helmsman 43 is the perfect platform for the type boating you plan. You've outfitted her well and I wish you years of hassle-free enjoyment.


I'm not too far behind you!
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:38 PM   #6
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That's my dillema with the generator. We didn't really use it on the last boat except a few time for A/C when under way, and heat at anchor a handful of times.

I liked the size and power of the Onan 7.5, but do the like the higher rpm's. Might be a trade-off we are willing to accept given what we will use it for.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:18 PM   #7
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We have a 9kw Onan in our 41. We have 2 16k A/Cs, electric stove etc. i wish we had a6kw instead. It isn’t easy to properly load the 9kw. When we do run it it is usually way underloaded. Personally I would rather have to manage the loads when I want a bunch of stuff running than try to load it up properly.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:23 PM   #8
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We have a 9kw Onan in our 41. We have 2 16k A/Cs, electric stove etc. i wish we had a6kw instead. It isn’t easy to properly load the 9kw. When we do run it it is usually way underloaded. Personally I would rather have to manage the loads when I want a bunch of stuff running than try to load it up properly.
That's helpful. I know they like to run at load.

We will have 3 units total. 2 16k, and 1 12k. A hot water heater, and washer/dryer. Those are our only real large loads. Cooking is propane. We will probably add hurricane hydronic heat next year.

6kw is sounding like just the right size, especially since we use is so infrequently. Wanted to be able to run all 3 AC units at the same time if needed.
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:38 AM   #9
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Very nice!!!
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:19 PM   #10
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We have a Kohler 9k with soundshield - love it. We have two 16k air conditioners/heaters, and a 19 gal hot water heater and washer/dryer. And being in the south we run the ac's a lot - nice to have the power when needed. And it's an extremely quiet generator!
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:49 PM   #11
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I so much appreciate your enthusiasm! Thanks for sharing! Come visit North Carolina - trawler cruising heaven....look up River Forest Marina and Spoon River restaurant (Belhaven), Bath, Elizabeth City, New Bern, Ocracoke, Edenton, The Dismal Swamp Canal, Morehead City (Tony's Sanitary Seafood Market - famous!) - beautiful colonial small towns off of Pamlico Sound and Albemarle Sound..... great value on meals, fuel, and marinas. Wonderful inland waterways, unspoiled, minimal commercial traffic....trawler paradise!
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:54 PM   #12
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Thanks NC! That sounds Amazing. We are hoping to make time to do some longer traveling. Still have a few decades before retirement though!
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:55 PM   #13
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That's gorgeous! I love the layout on the Helmsman PH. Great flow, easy to move around inside and out, good water and system access, and that ER door from the day head! The ER is one of the easiest access to boat systems on a 40-ish boat I've seen. Is the access door the same on the 43?

Do you plan to add a watermaker down the road? If so, it might affect the gen size decision.

Congrats on your new dream come true.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:04 PM   #14
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That's gorgeous! I love the layout on the Helmsman PH. Great flow, easy to move around inside and out, good water and system access, and that ER door from the day head! The ER is one of the easiest access to boat systems on a 40-ish boat I've seen. Is the access door the same on the 43?

Do you plan to add a watermaker down the road? If so, it might affect the gen size decision.

Congrats on your new dream come true.
Thanks! We are very excited!

You do not have the dogged door to the engine room on the 43 because of the second stateroom on the other side of the day head wall. It would be too tight of a squeeze to put it on the starboard wall of the day head adjacent to the engine.

We will have a camera in the engine room, and will be doing our daily checks via the hatch in the pilot house.

I have mulled the idea of a water maker, and we do have lots of space and places to put it. We will have 200 gallons of water which will last us quite a while. Our Ranger Tug only carried 50 gallons and we became very good at rationing. The 200 gallons should last us for a week plus, which aligns with our cruising plans the next few years.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:51 PM   #15
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Nice vessel. Is there more aft deck space and galley on the 43 over the 38' ?
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:12 AM   #16
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Nice vessel. Is there more aft deck space and galley on the 43 over the 38' ?
Thanks! We are very excited! Moving up from a 30' LOA with a beam of 8'6", so we still haven't completely come to terms with all the new space. No more sideway passes in the hallway!

Indeed, the 43 has about 2 extra feet inside the Saloon, and is in what we call the "Recliner Outcove". The space is just massive. This also affords the U-Shape settee, v. the L shape in the 38E. The Galley on the 43 is slightly larger, noticeable by the larger, wider drawers to the right of the propane range.

The Cockpit is also noticeably larger than the 38, which also makes the upper aft deck larger as well. We also opted for a larger swim platform that adds 9". All of that coupled with the above makes for great entertaining spaces!
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:21 PM   #17
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Wow! Perfect boat. We've been looking around and just this weekend looked at (online) a couple of 38E's. We have the same desire for the second stateroom, but I didn't know that it was an option. It looks like your plan for outfitting her matches what I'd want. We are located in the great lakes near sturgeon bay, and hope to use the boat for cruising the Greatlakes in the summers for a few years and then take the great loop. Your my new role model!
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Old 01-28-2019, 03:09 PM   #18
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Hi there,

Hi There,

My wife and I bought a new to us Helmsman 38 about six years ago, then called Mariner Seville. We ended up moving on to the boat and have continued as full time cruisers and live aboard since that time. We have cruised from the Exumas in the south to Maine up north and have loved every minute of it. We have been extremely happy with the boat and love how she handles. Of course, the systems on the boat wear out occasionally, but the boat and the finishes have performed flawlessly. The setup of your future boat seems just about perfect to me and has all the “wish list” items we dream about.


Our boat is currently on the hard on the Hudson River and we plan on continuing our ”journey” starting in mid May when we’ll cruise up the Hudson, through Lake Champlain, and then on to Canada and the Great Lakes.


It would be a lot of fun to see you’re “dream” if it’s there by May and we would be happy to to share our experience with our Helmsman if you’d be interested.


Magnus and Charlotte Sjoberg
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Old 01-28-2019, 04:29 PM   #19
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Hi There,

My wife and I bought a new to us Helmsman 38 about six years ago, then called Mariner Seville. We ended up moving on to the boat and have continued as full time cruisers and live aboard since that time. We have cruised from the Exumas in the south to Maine up north and have loved every minute of it. We have been extremely happy with the boat and love how she handles. Of course, the systems on the boat wear out occasionally, but the boat and the finishes have performed flawlessly. The setup of your future boat seems just about perfect to me and has all the “wish list” items we dream about.


Our boat is currently on the hard on the Hudson River and we plan on continuing our ”journey” starting in mid May when we’ll cruise up the Hudson, through Lake Champlain, and then on to Canada and the Great Lakes.


It would be a lot of fun to see you’re “dream” if it’s there by May and we would be happy to to share our experience with our Helmsman if you’d be interested.


Magnus and Charlotte Sjoberg
Swede Dreams
Thanks for the kind words.

Boat should be there by May. Not sure where you are laid up for the winter, but come stay for a night or two at Minisceongo Yacht Club! We have wonderful grounds, and the calmest water!
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:27 PM   #20
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I have a 10kw Northern Lights which is mostly oversized on my Nordhavn 43. Best practices is to always be above 50% load which translates to 42 amps. My boat was spec’d for tropical use with three AC units, laundry and a watermaker. I depend on making water to keep the Genny loaded properly, but would prefer a DC watermaker and s smaller gen set. Look seriously at the smaller genny especially with hydronic heat. We love the hydronic heat in PNW. Northern Lights has super customer support. Enjoy the journey.

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